Last Lap Crash Hands Justin Haley Daytona Xfinity Win
(DAYTONA BEACH, FL - AUG 28, 2020 - RIS) Justin Haley took advantage of a wreck between his two Kaulig Racing teammates to win his second career Xfinity race, taking the lead down the back straight on the last lap as AJ Allmendinger and Ross Chastain wrecked out of the lead.
Riley Herbst had a penalty imposed before the start of the race today, drawing a pass-through penalty for improperly attached ballast. Chase Briscoe, with a push from Austin Cindric, moved to the lead at the green flag, with Ross Chastain dropping to third from the outside first row. The first caution flew on lap six for Joe Graf Jr's impact into the wall and destroyed right side of the car after contact from Jeffrey Earnhardt. This became the early race competition caution due to the amount of debris scattered around the track.
NASCAR does not utilize the "Choose" rule on superspeedways, with the excuse given that it removes a On the restart, Briscoe kept the lead over Cindric, with Justin Haley and Ross Chastain pushing the outside lane to a challenge. Another caution flew for Caesar Bacarella's spin on the back straight at the Bus Stop chicane and John Jackson's slow car at the exit of the pits.
On this restart, Harrison Burton had a push on the outside from Brandon Jones, trying to take the lead from Briscoe, who moved down in front of the other Ford to lead the inside lane and ease ahead. Haley and Chastain moved into the lead with Briscoe and Cindric dropping back to the middle of the top ten before a caution for a spin by Jeffrey Earnhardt, BJ McLeod and Kody Vanderwal interrupted the race again on lap 24.
A one-lap shootout for the stage points had Chastain start in the lead, flanked by Justin Haley with the two Kaulig Racing cars followed by Briscoe and Cindric in the only two Fords. Haley took the stage with Chastain, Cindric, Brandon Brown and Briscoe the top five. After serving his pass-through penalty earlier, Riley Herbst moved up to sixth in the stage.
Nearly the entire field stopped for tires and fuel. Haley took only right side tires, joined by Chastain. Cindric took left side tires.
Timmy Hill and Alex Labbe led at the restart after not pitting for the stage end. soon passed by AJ Allmendinger, Ross Chastain and Justin Haley as the Kaulig cars teamed up to move around into the lead. Cindric held fourth with Hill between the two Ford entries in fifth. A major wreck resulted from Brandon Jones looking for a pass, getting trapped and moving down into Briscoe's car. Briscoe escaped with only scuffed paint but Brett Moffitt, Michael Annett, Daniel Hemric, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Colby Howard, Brandon Jones, Anthony Alfredo, Alex Labbe, Tommy Joe Martins, Brandon Brown and MJyatt Snider all involved to some extent..
Allmendinger picked the outside for the restart, with Cindric taking second, then Justin Allgaier's left rear tire blew, sending him into a spin and another multi-car incident for the sixth caution in only 46 laps out of the 100 laps scheduled. The crash resulted in a brief red flag for cleanup, with 23 of the 37 starting cars involved in a wreck to some extent.
Allmendinger and Cindric led the field at the restart with the inside line drafting around Cindric who lost all his drafting partners in the outside lane. More caution laps for debris on the back straight. The debris was a piece of crush panel that was trapped on Austin Cindric's nose briefly before it blew off and onto the track next to the wall.
All three Kaulig cars stopped during this caution, with less than half the race left to run. Herbst led the field after his pre-race penalty, with Gray Gaulding on the outside, getting a push from the Kaulig trip after they drove up, then Gaulding side drafted Allmendinger to take the lead of the race for a few laps before the outside lane drafted around and AJ Allmendinger was first under the stage-ending green and white checkered flag, followed by Chastain and Haley.
Mixed pit strategies played during this caution with Cindric taking two tires, Briscoe fuel only. 'Dinger headed the pack at the restart, with Chastain moving into second. Ryan Sieeg and Daniel Hemric both lost rear panels and had to pit for repairs. The top ten cars pulled well ahead of the rest of the pack, with Allmendinger, Chastain, haley, Briscoe, Josh Williams, Cindric, Michael Annett, Herbst, Harrison Burton and Gray Gaulding over five seconds ahead of eleventh place Chad Finchum.
Briscoe and Cindric moved around Josh WIlliams and into fourth and fifth on the field, chasing the Kaulig lead three, moving high in an effort to make the Kaulig cars use more fuel by running the outside, longer line around Daytona's banking. Briscoe and Cindric drafted low around Haley, with Cindric claiming third behind Chastain.
A move by Cindric forced Briscoe to drop back. Chastain and Allmendinger hit approaching the checkered flag, with Justin Haley dodging the impact, Gray Gaulding leapfrogging into second in a one-off drive, with Briscoe third, Herbst fourth and Burton fifth.
"I hate that AJ and Ross got together there," said Haley. "That's why you never give up."
"It's just disappointing - we were going for a one-two-three finish for Kaulig Racing," said Allmendinger.
"I hope we get some good ratings on that one," Chastain said. "It's terrible to run into your teammate like that. It must be my fault.
"I hate it, man, it's not going to help me moving forward. Coming to the checkered, what am I supposed to do? Finish second?" he asked. Chastain is trying to land a full-time drive in the Cup series for next season.
Fourth place finisher Riley Herbst said that: "I just think it speaks to the resilience of everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing. We definitely had an up and down day. Got bailed out there with the competition caution and we worked our way back up to the front. Just didn't have the speed that we needed in our Supras to compete with the Kaulig cars, but we'll go back to work on the Monster Energy Supra for Talladega."
Third place finisher Briscoe commented that: "There at the end I felt like we were in a pretty good position. The three Kaulig cars were so fast and you knew if you made a move on one of them you wouldn't be able to clear the other two.
"We found out they were going to be a little tight on fuel so we tried to move up to the top to run them out. I felt like I had to split them up if I had any chance and I was able to split the 11 from the 10 and as soon as I got where I was behind Cindric instead of Cindric pushing me my car wasn't near as good and I couldn't even get to him to help him. I think with two to go I was fourth, white flag I was ninth and we ended up third. That is Daytona. We ended up being in the right place at the right time. Overall, to come out of here in third is always good and now we get to go to Talladega with a clean Ford Performance Racing School Mustang to take there and that will be big."
Unofficial Results, WaWa 250 powered by Coca-Cola, Daytona International Speedway
Fin, Str, Driver, Car, Laps, St1, St2, Tms, Laps, Playoff Pts, Pts, Status
1) 9, Justin Haley, 11, LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet, 100, 1, 3, 3, 9, 6, 58, Running
2) 28, Gray Gaulding(i), 07, WalkOns.com Chevrolet, 100, , 4, 1, 2, , 0, Running
3) 1, Chase Briscoe, 98, Ford Performance Racing School Ford, 100, 5, 8, 1, 22, , 43, Running
4) 10, Riley Herbst #, 18, Monster Energy Toyota, 100, 6, 6, 1, 4, , 43, Running
5) 11, Harrison Burton #, 20, DEX Imaging Toyota, 100, , 7, , , , 36, Running
6) 2, Ross Chastain, 10, Nutrien Ag Solutions Chevrolet, 100, 2, 2, 1, 1, , 49, Running
7) 8, Michael Annett, 1, TMC Chevrolet, 100, , 5, , , , 36, Running
8) 3, Austin Cindric, 22, Odyssey Battery Ford, 100, 3, 9, , , , 39, Running
9) 20, Josh Williams, 92, Alloy Employer Services/ProAct Chevrolet, 100, , , , , , 28, Running
10) 21, Jesse Little #, 4, Skuttletight Chevrolet, 100, , , , , , 27, Running
11) 30, Vinnie Miller, 78, Koolbox Toyota, 100, , , , , , 26, Running
12) 26, Colby Howard, 15, Project Hope Foundation Chevrolet, 100, , , , , , 25, Running
13) 6, Brandon Jones, 19, Menards/Pelonis Toyota, 100, 9, , , , , 26, Running
14) 18, Tommy Joe Martins, 44, AAN Adjusters Chevrolet, 100, , , , , , 23, Running
15) 34, AJ Allmendinger, 16, Ellsworth Advisors Chevrolet, 99, , 1, 2, 58, 1, 32, Accident
16) 29, Matt Mills, 5, J.F. Electric Toyota, 99, , , , , , 21, Running
17) 35, Mike Harmon, 74, Back The Blue Chevrolet, 99, , , , , , 20, Running
18) 36, Tim Viens(i), 47, Mutt & Jeff Porkskins Inc. Chevrolet, 99, , , , , , 0, Running
19) 19, Myatt Snider #, 93, Superior Essex Chevrolet, 99, , , , , , 18, Running
20) 16, Jeremy Clements, 51, All South/Repairables.com Chevrolet, 98, , , , , , 17, Running
21) 13, Anthony Alfredo, 21, Pyro Putty Chevrolet, 98, , , , , , 16, Running
22) 31, Timmy Hill(i), 61, RoofClaim.com/VSI Racing Toyota, 97, , , 1, 4, , 0, Running
23) 14, Ryan Sieg, 39, CMRRoofing.com Chevrolet, 96, , 10, , , , 15, Running
24) 7, Daniel Hemric, 8, Poppy Bank Chevrolet, 92, 10, , , , , 14, Running
25) 25, Chad Finchum, 13, RoofClaim.com Toyota, 88, , , , , , 12, Engine
26) 15, Brandon Brown, 68, Original Larry's Hard Lemonade Chevrolet, 48, 4, , , , , 18, DVP
27) 12, Brett Moffitt(i), 02, Destiny Homes Chevrolet, 47, , , , , , 0, Accident
28) 33, Joey Gase, 99, EFX Corp/Eternal Fan Toyota, 46, , , , , , 9, DVP
29) 5, Justin Allgaier, 7, Suave Men Chevrolet, 46, 8, , , , , 11, Accident
30) 17, Alex Labbe, 36, Larue Snowblowers Chevrolet, 45, , , , , , 7, Accident
31) 4, Noah Gragson, 9, Bass Pro Shops.TrueTimber Camo Chevrolet, 40, 7, , , , , 10, Accident
32) 23, BJ McLeod, 6, Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches Chevrolet, 36, , , , , , 5, Accident
33) 24, Jeffrey Earnhardt, 0, Drydene Chevrolet, 24, , , , , , 4, Accident
34) 27, Kody Vanderwal #, 52, The Swag Spot Chevrolet, 24, , , , , , 3, Accident
35) 37, John Jackson, 66, CrashClaimsR.US Toyota, 14, , , , , , 2, Handling
36) 32, Caesar Bacarella, 90, Alpha Prime/Maxim Chevrolet, 12, , , , , , 1, Accident
37) 22, Joe Graf Jr. #, 08, Bucked Up Chevrolet, 7, , , , , , 1, Accident
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (#) Rookie
Race Length: 100 laps, 250 miles
Time of Race: 2 hr, 2 min, 55 sec
Average Speed: 122.034 mph
Margin of Victory: .253 sec
Stage 1 Top 10: 11, 10, 22, 68, 98, 18, 9, 7, 19, 8
Stage 2 Top 10: 16, 10, 11, 07, 1, 18, 20, 98, 22, 39
Race Comments: Justin Haley won the Wawa 250 Powered By Coca-Cola at the Daytona International Speedway, his second victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Prior to the start, the following vehicle(s) dropped to the rear of the field under penalty: No. 18 (Inspection Failure).
Caution Flags: 8 for 28 laps;
Laps: 8-11 (No. 0, 08, 90 Incident Frontstretch / Competition Caution [None]);
15-17 (No. 90 Incident Turn 3 [None]);
26-29 (No. 0, 6, 52 Incident Turn 1 [None]);
32-34 (Stage 1 Conclusion [None]);
41-45 (No. 02, 1, 9, 7, 8, 15, 19, 21, 36, 44, 68, 93, 98 Incident Turn 4 [None]);
47-49 (No. 7, 36, 51, 68, 93, 99 Incident Turn 3 [Red Flag: 00:11:22] );
53-55 (Debris Backstretch );
62-64 (Stage 2 Conclusion [None]).
Lead Changes: 9 among 7 drivers;
C. Briscoe 1-22;
J. Haley 23-27;
R. Chastain 28;
J. Haley 29-31;
T. Hill(i) 32-35;
A. Allmendinger 36-53;
R. Herbst # 54-57;
G. Gaulding(i) 58-59;
A. Allmendinger 60-99;
J. Haley 100.
Mobil 1 Driver of the Race: Justin Haley, No. 11
Sunoco Rookie of the Race: Riley Herbst, No. 18
Long-time RIS staffer, beginning in the mid-80s. Charlotte, NC area local contact.