William Byron, 19, becomes youngest winner at Daytona; wins 2nd straight Xfinity race

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William Byron earned his second consecutive NASCAR Xfinity Series race, winning the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.

Driving the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, Byron won under caution, needing four laps past the scheduled 100. The final caution was due to a five-car wreck that occurred behind Byron as he passed the overtime line.

At 19, Byron becomes the youngest winner at Daytona. He also won last week at Iowa Speedway and finished second a week before that at Michigan.

“We’re extremely blessed to be here and just a lot of hard work from all these guys to get here,” Byron told NBCSN in victory lane. “As a team, we’re getting more and more confident. Coming into this week (after the win at Iowa), I could tell everyone was confident.

“I never thought I’d win one of these. It’s so hard to win it.”

MORE: Xfinity race results from Daytona

MORE: Elliott Sadler remains No. 1 in the Xfinity standings after Daytona race

Byron’s JR Motorsports teammate, Elliott Sadler, finished second, followed by Dakoda Armstrong, Jeb Burton and David Starr.

“Really happy for William, but man, I didn’t want to see that (last) caution come out,” Sadler said.

With eight laps left in regulation, Brennan Poole got loose, abruptly cut to his left near the front of the pack and collected Ty Dillon.

The race resumed with four laps to go. Joey Logano was in the lead with three laps left, got shuffled back and almost wrecked, but regained control even though he dropped back to 16th.

Then, with just over a lap to go, the first multi-car wreck occurred on the backstretch, bringing out a red flag and sending the event into overtime.

The race originally started Friday night, but was red-flagged after 11 laps due to rain.

It resumed Saturday shortly after Noon ET following a red flag delay of 16 hours, 15 minutes, 51 seconds.

Then, after running an additional 26 laps, the race was stopped again for rain for two hours, 29 minutes and 37 seconds.

STAGES: Blake Koch won Stage 1, while Elliott Sadler won Stage 2.

HOW BYRON WON: The JR Motorsports driver led 29 laps. When the final restart began with four laps to go, he kept pushing toward the front and got to the point with two laps left, holding on for his second straight Xfinity Series win.

WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: Elliott Sadler had a strong run throughout the race and appeared poised to win his first race of the season. But his JRM teammate was just a bit stronger, leaving Sadler to finish runner-up. Even so, Sadler remains No. 1 in the Xfinity standings.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Wrecks are synonymous with Daytona, and several drivers saw their days end early, including Daniel Suarez, Blake Koch, Ryan Sieg, Casey Mears, Michael Annett, Ryan Reed and Daniel Hemric.

NOTABLE: Dakoda Armstrong (third), Jeb Burton (fourth) and David Starr (fifth) each earned career-best Xfinity finishes.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We’ve had a great last three weeks. I just can’t believe this. .. I never thought I’d win one of these.” – Race winner William Byron

WHAT’S NEXT: Alsco 300, Friday July 7, 8 p.m. ET, Kentucky Speedway.

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Stage 1 winner AJ Allmendinger blows engine at Sonoma

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AJ Allmendinger lost the engine on his No. 47 Chevrolet on Lap 33 of Sunday’s Cup race at Sonoma Raceway, not long after winning Stage 1.

Allmendinger was running in 13th when the engine blew, a result of a bad shift. It is his first DNF at Sonoma.

The JTG Daugherty Racing driver, a favorite to contend in road course races, had started the race in fifth and made it to second before drifting back.

Once the race leaders pitted with four and three laps left in the stage, Allmendinger took the lead.

Allmendinger has started in the top five in the last five Sonoma races and not finished better than 14th.

“I haven’t missed a shift on a road course in 10 years,” Allmendinger told Fox Sports 1. “Just me. I was trying to be so patient, so smooth with it. It was unexpected. It’s on me. I let everybody down here.”

Jamie McMurray also experienced a mechanical issue that caused his engine to shut off and lose oil pressure, ending his day.

 

 

NASCAR community pays tribute to World of Outlaws driver killed in crash

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The NASCAR community paid tribute to World of Outlaws driver Jason Johnson, who died after a sprint car crash Saturday night at Beaver Dam (Wisconsin) Raceway.

Johnson crashed after a restart racing for the lead. Witnesses said that Johnson’s car flipped and went through billboards outside Turn 3, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Johnson won the 2016 Knoxville Nationals. He finished sixth in the points last year in the World of Outlaws.

 

Today’s Cup race at Sonoma: Start time, lineup and more

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There has been a different winner in each of the last nine Cup races at Sonoma Raceway, site of today’s Cup race. Those nine winners have been Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr., Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart and Kevin Harvick.

Will there be a 10th different winner at the road course?

Here is all the information for today’s race.

(All times are Eastern)

START: Olympic gold medalist Jonny Moseley will give the command to start engines at 3:01 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:13 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 110 laps (218.9 miles) around the 1.99-mile road course.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 25. Stage 2 ends on Lap 50.

PRERACE SCHEDULE: Garage opens at 10:30 a.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 1 p.m. Driver introductions are at 2:20 p.m.

NATIONAL ANTHEMBroadway Under The Stars in Sonoma Valley, Transcendence’s Meggie Cansler will perform the anthem at 2:55 p.m.

TV/RADIO: Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the race beginning at 3 p.m. Coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. Performance Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 2 p.m. and also can be heard at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will have PRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for a high of 80 degrees and a zero percent chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Kevin Harvick led the final 22 laps to win last year’s race. Clint Bowyer placed second. Brad Keselowski finished third.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for full qualification results.

Staff picks for today’s Cup race at Sonoma

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Here’s a look at who the NBC Sports staff is picking to win today’s Cup race at Sonoma Raceway.

Nate Ryan

Martin Truex Jr. He probably had the best car at Sonoma last year; his team closes the deal this season.

Dustin Long

Kevin Harvick. No one can stop him on an oval or a road course.

Daniel McFadin

William Byron pulls off a shocking win in his first Cup race at Sonoma.

Dan Beaver

Jamie McMurray seesaws through the field, but gets track position in the closing laps.