Red Flags and Wild Rides for Xfinity in Daytona

The Xfinity Series kicks off the Independence Day weekend with some restrictor plate racing in Daytona for the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250.

Daytona_International_Speedway_2011By Jeff – Flickr: Awesome track, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14334576

After two round of qualifying Brennan Poole won the pole and will bring the field to the green flag.

Brennan_Poole_2016_Road_America(1)By Royalbroil – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50962896

The starting lineup for the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250:
Brennan Poole
Ben Kennedy
William Byron – moved to the back of the field for a brake change
Blake Koch
Daniel Hemric
Matt Tifft – moved to the back of the field
Elliott Sadler
Danel Suarez
Brendan Gaughan
Joey Logano
Michael Annett
Ryan Reed
Tyler Reddick
Erik Jones
Ty Dillon
Brandon Jones
Jeb Burton – moved to the back of the field
Ryan Sieg
Cole Custer
Ross Chastain
Dakoda Armstrong
Spencer Gallagher
Casey Mears
Scott Lagasse Jr
Justin Allgaier – moved to the back of the field for unapproved adjustments
Harrison Rhodes
Garrett Smithley
Brandon Brown
Chris Cockrum
Ray Black Jr
BJ McLeod
Josh Williams
David Starr
Joey Gase
Mike Harmon
Timmy Hill
JJ Yeley
Jeremy Clements
Mark Thompson
Jeff Green

The drivers will make 100 laps around the two and a half mile track with stages one and two lasting 30 laps each with stage three lasting 40 laps.

Brennan Poole brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and the drivers gets two by two all through the field. At the start/finish line Ben Kennedy edges out by thousandths of a second to lead lap one over Brennan Poole.

Lap two Brennan Poole gets the lead but on lap three Ben Kennedy retakes the lead.

Lap five Blake Koch has the lead by a thousandth of a second.

No driver has been able to get more than a lead of a few feet over the other 39 drivers.

Lap six Blake Koch holds on to the lead

Lap seven pole sitter Brenan Poole takes over the lead.

The first caution flag of the race comes out on lap eight for precipitation in the area. The NASCAR drivers run smooth tires and do not have rain tires.

NASCAR puts out the red flag and brings the drivers down pit road stopping the race for rain on lap eleven.

Scheduled for after the race, the Professional Fighters League fighters entered the ring during the rain delay for some MMA fights in the Decagon cage in the infield of Daytona International Speedway. Many of the drivers and racing team members were ring side for the event.

At 9:19pm NASCAR has called the race and will be rescheduled for noon on Saturday.

After being rained out on Friday night, the Xfinity Series returns to Daytona International Speedway only to be delayed again by rain. Once the drivers return to the track, the crew chiefs will have many decisions to make since the original race was scheduled for night time racing and now they will be running in the heat of the day.

Seven drivers running the Xfinity race and a number of crew members will be running in the Monster Energy Cup Series race only a few hours after the end of the Xfinity Race.

At 12:14 pm NASCAR called the drivers to their cars.

At 12:18pm the drivers have started the engines.

At 12:21pm NASCAR has pulled the red flag and replaced it with the yellow caution flag as the drivers begin making laps around the track following the pace car. Pit road is open.

Many of the teams elect to stay out on the track.

And at 12:25pm Blake Koch takes the green flag and gets the race restarted after over 16 hours of red flag conditions.

Lap 14 Blake Koch leads the race as drivers get three wide behind him.

Daniel Suarez passes Blake Koch for the lead but one lap later Blake Koch retakes the lead on lap 18. All 40 cars are still on the track and on the lead lap.

Lap 21 Blake Koch holds a narrow lead on Ben Kennedy.

Lap 24 Blake Koch continues to lead as stage one nears an end.

Lap 27 Blake Koch leads as the first handful of drivers have gotten single file.

Blake Koch wins stage one. This is Koch’s first stage win of the season.

Blake_Koch_2016_Road_AmericaBy Royalbroil – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51212635

The top 10 drivers at the end of the stage:
Blake Koch
Ben Kennedy
Brennan Poole
Daniel Hemrick
Elliott Sadler
Matt Tifft
Casey Mears
Jeb Burton
Ty Dillon
Tyler Reddick

Taking only two tires, Ben Kennedy wins the race off of pit road.

After starting from the back of the field, Justin Allgaier brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 35 and takes over the lead of the race.

There is a question of more bad weather in the area with a possibility of a shortened race – NASCAR considers the race official at the end of stage two.

Brennan Poole takes over the lead of the race but gets passed by Ty Dillon, only to have Brennan Poole retake the lead.

The caution flag comes out on lap 36 for weather in the area – a lightning strike within an eight mile area.

At 12:49pm the race has once again been red flagged as NASCAR tells fans to clear the metal stands and for race spotters to come down. NBC also pulls their camera crews down to the ground area.

The thunder and lightning has turned to rain.

At 2:46pm – nearly two hours after the red flag was displayed – the teams uncover the cars to prepare for returning to the track.

At 2:53pm the drivers are getting back into their cars.

And at 3:01pm NASCAR tells the teams to cover the cars again as it begins to rain once again.

At 3:12pm NASCAR calls the drivers back to their cars.

At 3:21pm the cars are finally back on the track under the yellow flag completing lap 38.

Jeb Burton has been reporting a vibration and brings his car down pit road to diagnose the issue. Pit road is not open and he will have to restart the race at the end of the longest line once he returns to the track.

Once pit road opens only a few drivers make their way down for service.

Choosing the outside lane, Brennan Poole brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 41. Poole and Ty Dillon are side by side.

Ty Dillon edges out for the lead of the race but Brennan Poole pulls out and retakes the lead of the race.

Lap 43 Ben Kennedy takes the lead of the race.

On lap 44 Ty Dillon is now the leader of the race as the drivers are nose to nose all the way through the field.

Lap 47 William Byron has moved up to 21st after restarting the race near the back of the field.

Lap 48 Ty Dillon is still in the lead with Brennan Poole on his bumper.

Lap 50 Brennan Poole has again taken the lead of the race.

Lap 51 the caution flag comes out for a wreck when Josh Williams, Daniel Suarez, and Blake Koch hit the wall and end up in the grass. Cole Custer checked up and drivers behind him could not get slowed down. Cole Custer and Brandon Brown were also involved.

Brennan Poole waited too late to come down pit road and lost the lead to Elliott Sadler; team mate Justin Allagier is in second with Poole in third.

From the inside lane, Elliott Sadler brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 58 – two laps from the end of stage two – and holds on to the lead of the race.

Brandon Jones passes Elliott Sadler for the lead but on the last lap of the stage, Elliott Sadler retakes the lead as the cars get three wide.

Elliott Sadler wins stage two for his fourth stage win of the season.

Elliott_Sadler_Road_America_2015By Royalbroil – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43230764

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Elliott Sadler
William Byron
Dakoda Armstrong
Ty Dillon
Tuyer Reddick
Michael Annett
Brenan Poole
Brandon Jones
Ben Kennedy
Spencer Gallagher

After Elliott Sadler came down pit road for service, William Byron takes over the lead of the race.

Ty Dillon brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 66 and is nose to nose with William Byron with Byron edging out for the lead of the race.

With the first half dozen cars in single file, William Byron holds on to the lead on lap 70.

With the first half of the field single file, William Byron has a tenth of a second lead on team mate Michael Annett.

Lap 77 William Byron is still leading the pack.

With 20 laps remaining in the race all 36 cars on the track are on the lead lap.

Lap 83 William Byron has pulled away from the pack.

Lap 85 Jeremy Clements brings out the caution flag when he gets caught up in a bunch of cars that got stacked up, spins out, and runs through the grass. Chris Cockrum was also involved.

Leaders stay out on the track but many of the drivers back in the pack come down pit road for fresh tires and fuel.

Ty Dillon brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 90 and edges out for the lead with the help of Elliott Sadler giving him a push.

Joey Logano passes Ty Dillon for the lead of the race on lap 91.

Brennan Poole gets loose and spins out bringing out the caution flag on lap 92. Poole catches up Ty Dillon in the wreck. Poole was getting a push from William Byron and got misaligned.

From the inside lane Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 96 and edges out William Byron for the lead.

Erik Jones challenges Joey Logano for the lead. Logano runs through the grass but the track stays green. William Byron takes the lead of the race.

With only two laps remaining in the race, it’s the “big one” when Brandon Jones pushes Erik Jones and gets loose and causes a multi car chain reaction. Ryan Reed, Matt Tifft, Daniel Hemrick, Spencer Gallagher, Brandon Jones, Timmy Hill, Tyler Reddick, Cole Custer, Ben Kennedy Ty Dillon, Michael Annett, Justin Allgaier, Ray Black Jr, Jeff Green, J.J. Yeley, and Casey Mears were all involved.

NASCAR has red flagged the race to get the track cleaned up. The race will finish with an overtime green/white/checker finish.

Once the cars are rolling again, William Byron will lead the field down for the green flag restart. Taking the inside lane and getting a little push from team mate Elliott Sadler, William Byron jumps out in front of the field. Erik Jones misses the start and falls back.

Just as William Byron passed the overtime line, cars wrecked behind him.

In a race with three red flags, covered two months, and took over 21 hours to complete William Byron wins under the caution flag for his second win in a row. At 19, William Byron is the youngest Xfiinity Series winner ever in Daytona.

Carneros_200_-_William_Byron_-_1_-_StierchBy Sarah Stierch – Own work, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41293844

The unofficial results of the race:
William Byron
Elliott Sadler
Dakoda Armstrong
Jeb Burton
David Starr
Brennan Poole
Ross Chastain
Joey Logano
Joey Gase
Brendan Gaughan
BJ McLeod
Ray Black Jr
JJ Yeley
Scott Lagasse Jr
Jeremy Clements
Ben Kennedy
Timmy Hill
Matt Tifft
Brandon Jones
Jeff Green
Ty Dillon
Cole Custer
Mike Harmon
Spencer Gallagher
Erik Jones
Chris Cockrum
Tyler Reddick
Garrett Smithley
Mark Thompson
Justin Allgaier
Ryan Reed
Daniel Hemric
Michael Annet
Casey Mears
Ryan Sieg
Harrison Rhodes
Brandon Brown
Blake Koch
Daniel Suarez
Josh Williams


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