The Xfinity Series goes under the lights at Daytona International Speedway for the Firecracker 250.
Forty teams brought cars to the track but only 38 will be able to run the race.
After a delay in qualifying due to weather issues, Tyler Reddick puts his car on the pole for his third pole of the season, including the pole for the inaugural race in Daytona last February.
Cody Ware is under the weather and is unable to drive; taking his place is mechanic Stefan Parsons – nephew of NASCAR icon Benny Parsons – making his debut at Daytona.
After over two hours of a delay due to rain, the drivers have been called to their cars for some late night racing.
Stages one and two of the race are 30 laps each with stage three lasting 40 laps for a total of 100 laps around the two and a half mile track.
Noah Gragson makes an unscheduled trip down pit road on the parade laps, reportedly with radio issues.
Tyler Reddick brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and edges out in front of the field for the lead.
Lap four, AJ Allmendinger and Ross Chastain go nose to nose in a battle for the lead.
Lap five, Ross Chastain takes the lead but gets passed by AJ Allmendinger.
After getting caught up in the middle, pole sitter Tyler Reddick drops to 21st place.
Lap seven, Michael Annett takes the lead. Annett won the Daytona race in February to open the season.
Lap eight, AJ Allmendinger is the new leader with Ross Chastain in second.
Ross Chastain takes the lead as the drivers go two by two through the field.
The caution flag comes out on lap eight whenAustin Cindric and Caesar Bacarella make contact and catch up other drivers. Brandon Jones, Ray Black Jr, Cole Custer, Landon Cassill, Chris Cockrum, Josh Williams, Scott Lagasse Jr, and Joe Graf Jr were also involved in the crash.
Ross Chastain brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 14 and holds on to the lead after getting a push from AJ Allmendinger.
Lap 18, “Watermelon Man” Ross Chastain has just a tenth of a second lead on Justin Allgaier.
Lap 21, Tyler Reddick has moved back to the front of the field in fourth place behind Ross Chastain, AJ Allmendinger, and Christopher Bell.
The caution flag comes out on lap 22 for a big crash with a number of drivers running through the wet grass. Tyler Reddick slaps the wall and cars got stacked up behind him. John Hunter Nemechek and Sheldon Creed were also involved in the crash.
Ross Chastain brings the field down for the two lap shootout to end stage one on lap 28. Chastain edges out Ryan Sieg to hold on to the lead of the race.
Ryan Sieg takes the lead on lap 29 but Ross Chastain gets back around Sieg to take the lead.
Ross Chastain wins stage one.
The top 10 at the end of stage one:
From inside his car, in race reporter AJ Allmendinger called the race insane but awesome.
NASCAR has penalized Justin Haley after Haley forced a car down below the yellow line late in stage one and will have to restart the race from the back of the field.
AJ Allmendinger brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 36 and holds on to the lead.
After a wild stage one, the drivers have settled down a bit and are somewhat less aggressive.
Lap 41, AJ Allmemndinger has a tenth of a second lead on Michael Annett.
The caution flag comes out on lap 45 for a wreck involving Tyler Reddick and Chase Briscoe. After a hard hit into the wall, Chase Briscoe climbs out of the car unassisted. Tyler Reddick’s car was out of control with a flat tire.
AJ Allmendinger brings the field down for the green fflag restart on lap 50 and holds on to his lead with Ross Chastain in second and Christopher Bell in third.
Eight laps remain in stage two, and the drivers are no longer taking it easy, they are getting three wide throughout the field.
Five laps to go in stage two, AJ Allmendinger is in the lead with Ross Chastain on his bumper in second.
After being penalized at the beginning of stage two, Justin Haley has moved into the top five.
After saying that he didn’t want any part of what those crazy kids were going to do in the race, AJ Allmendinger wins stage two.
The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Taking fuel only, Justin Allgaier wins the race off of pit road. Noah Gragson and Riley Herbst also took fuel only.
Christopher Bell was charged with having an uncontrolled tire on pit road.
Justin Allgaier brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 66 but it is Noah Gragson who gets out in front for the lead.
Lap 68, Ross Chastain takes the lead of the race.
Leader Ross Chastain and Justin Allgaier battle for the lead with Justin Allgaier getting out in front for the lead.
Lap 70, Ross Chastain gets a push from AJ Allmendinger to take the lead.
The caution flag comes out on lap 72 for “the big one” with cars on the track and in the grass. Shane Lee, Chad Finchum, David Starr, Scott Lagasse Jr, Sheldon Creed, Brandon Brown, Chris Cockrum, and BJ McLeod were all involved.
Ross Chastain brings the filed down for the green flag restart with just 21 laps remaining in the race.
Riley Herbst makes a run through the grass but the track stays green.
Ross Chastain holds on to the lead with Justin Haley in second and Timmy Hill in third.
With only 14 laps remaining in the race the caution flag comes out for the second big one involving all of “the big three”. Cole Custer, Timmy Hill, Gray Gaulding, Chad Finchum, Noah Gragson, Caesar Bacarella, Ryan Sieg, Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell, and Michael Annett were all involved.
In his first ever NASCAR start, Stefan Parsons is in the top 15.
NASCAR has red flagged the race with only 13 laps remaining in the race to get the track and the infield cleaned up.
In car reporter AJ Allmendinger noted that he could see the wreck happening before it started and even though he avoided most of the carnage, he did sustain a bit of damage.
The cars finally get moving again.
Justin Haley and Tyler Reddick bring the field down for the green lfag restart with just 10 laps remaining in the race. Justin Haley gets out in front for the lead. Tyler Reddick makes a run on Justin Haley and passes for the lead as drivers battle for position throughout the field.
Justin Allgaier gets spun around with nine laps to go but the track stays green.
Ross Chastain gets around Tyler Reddick for the lead with seven laps to go.
Five to go, Ross Chastain holds on to the lead with Justin Haley in second. Shane Lee spins out but the track stays green.
Tyler Reddick has to bring his car down pit road with a flat tire with only four laps to go.
Two to go, Ross Chastain still has the lead but only a tenth of a second ahead of Justin Haley.
Ross Chastain takes the white flag. Can he hold off Justin Haley to drop another watermelon in victory lane or will another driver make a last turn pass for the lead?
Ross Chastain wins the Firecracker 250 with team mates Justin Haley and AJ Allmendinger right behind for the team’s first win.
Chastain smashes the watermelon on the start – finish line and then takes a bit out of one of the pieces.
,Firecracker 250 results:
Ray Black Jr
John Hunter Nemechek
Joe Graf Jr
Scott Lagasse Jr