Friday, July 19, 2024

Justin Allgaier wins Daytona dash in 4th-closest Xfinity finish

Sheldon Creed‘s hunt for his first NASCAR Xfinity Series win has been a campaign of disappointments left and right, from losing in last-lap scrambles (multiple times, in fact) to getting spun while fighting for the lead to even having the fastest car set back by a qualifying crash and divine intervention. Perhaps his most heartbreaking defeat took place Friday night at Daytona International Speedway when the difference between victory and yet another runner-up finish was just .005.

Creed escaped a pair of wrecks in overtime to restart second alongside Justin Allgaier for the third attempt. Allgaier initially found the early run while Creed with Daniel Hemric to keep pace before catching the leader on the final lap. He carried his newfound momentum to take the lead along the outside in turn three, but Allgaier had enough speed coming to the finish to beat him by five one-thousandths of a second.

It tied with the 2018 Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 at Daytona for the fourth-closest finish in Xfinity Series history, trailing the .002 set by the 1996 Sears Auto Center 250 at Milwaukee and 1998 Touchstone Energy 300 at Talladega, as well as the .0004 in the 2018 PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona.

Allgaier notched his second win of 2023 and first at Daytona.

As characteristic for Daytona, all four non-stage cautions were for crashes that collected multiple cars; a four-car wreck with less than ten laps remaining was the smallest, while lap 43 saw the largest when twelve cars were taken out on the fronstretch. The last of the day on lap 105 saw Josh Williams get airbourne on the backstretch after he got turned into the outside wall before being impacted by John Hunter Nemechek. Trevor Bayne and Austin Hill, who combined to lead 62 laps and Hill won the first leg, were victims of overtime accidents.

Kaz Grala also spun coming to the white flag, but was far enough from the racing surface that NASCAR did not call for a caution.

For the race titled the Wawa 250, sponsor Wawa also appeared on four cars piloted by Natalie Decker, Joe Graf Jr., Brett Moffitt, and J.J. Yeley. All four were involved the quartet of crashes, with only Moffitt reaching the finish in eighteenth.

Jordan Anderson Racing endured the chaos to place all three cars in the top fifteen led by Parker Retzlaff in seventh. The team’s eponymous owner, running his first NASCAR race since his fiery crash in the Truck Series at Talladega in 2022, drove Jeb Burton‘s usual #27 while Burton was in a #22 car wrapped to resemble his father Ward Burton’s 2002 Daytona 500-winning vehicle of the same number. Burton drifted into the pit road wall on lap 93, but salvaged a twelfth. Anderson and Josh Berry wrecked coming to the checkered, though Anderson was still classified fifteenth.

Race results

Finish Start Number Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Status
1 12 7 Justin Allgaier JR Motorsports Chevrolet 110 Running
2 2 2 Sheldon Creed Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 110 Running
3 6 11 Daniel Hemric Kaulig Racing Chevrolet 110 Running
4 5 48 Parker Kligerman Big Machine Racing Team Chevrolet 110 Running
5 11 00 Cole Custer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 110 Running
6 38 39 Ryan Sieg RSS Racing Ford 110 Running
7 23 31 Parker Retzlaff Jordan Anderson Racing Chevrolet 110 Running
8 20 78 Anthony Alfredo B.J. McLeod Motorsports Chevrolet 110 Running
9 33 08 Gray Gaulding SS-Green Light Racing Chevrolet 110 Running
10 9 10 Justin Haley* Kaulig Racing Chevrolet 110 Running
11 27 45 Jeffrey Earnhardt Alpha Prime Racing Chevrolet 110 Running
12 10 22 Jeb Burton Jordan Anderson Racing Chevrolet 110 Running
13 24 28 Kyle Sieg RSS Racing Ford 110 Running
14 15 35 Joey Gase Emerling-Gase Motorsports Chevrolet 110 Running
15 37 27 Jordan Anderson Jordan Anderson Racing Chevrolet 110 Running
16 36 6 Garrett Smithley JD Motorsports Chevrolet 110 Running
17 13 8 Josh Berry JR Motorsports Chevrolet 110 Running
18 22 25 Brett Moffitt AM Racing Ford 110 Running
19 14 1 Sam Mayer JR Motorsports Chevrolet 110 Running
20 18 26 Kaz Grala Sam Hunt Racing Toyota 109 Running
21 3 18 Sammy Smith Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 109 Running
22 4 16 Chandler Smith Kaulig Racing Chevrolet 109 Running
23 1 21 Austin Hill Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 109 Running
24 16 98 Riley Herbst Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 108 Running
25 25 02 Blaine Perkins Our Motorsports Chevrolet 108 Running
26 32 51 Jeremy Clements Jeremy Clements Racing Chevrolet 104 Accident
27 21 92 Josh Williams DGM Racing Chevrolet 103 Accident
28 7 20 John Hunter Nemechek Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 103 Accident
29 8 19 Trevor Bayne Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 103 Accident
30 34 07 J.J. Yeley SS-Green Light Racing Chevrolet 98 Accident
31 30 44 Caesar Bacarella Alpha Prime Racing Chevrolet 92 Accident
32 28 43 Ryan Ellis Alpha Prime Racing Chevrolet 91 Accident
33 19 4 Kyle Weatherman JD Motorsports Chevrolet 45 DVP
34 26 38 Joe Graf Jr. RSS Racing Ford 42 DVP
35 35 53 Natalie Decker Emerling-Gase Motorsports Ford 42 Accident
36 17 9 Brandon Jones JR Motorsports Chevrolet 41 Accident
37 29 24 Connor Mosack Sam Hunt Racing Toyota 41 Accident
38 31 91 Alex Guenette DGM Racing Chevrolet 41 Accident
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for points