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Two multi-car wrecks involving 30 cars bring out red flags early in Xfinity race at Daytona

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Saturday’s Xfinity Series season-opening Powershares QQQ 300 has been red-flagged twice in less than the first 30 laps.

The first red flag was the result of a major wreck that involved 18 cars. The pack was on Lap 23 of the scheduled 120-lap event when several drivers made contact, setting off a chain reaction crash.

Among those involved in the wreck were Cole Custer, Garrett Smithley, Austin Dillon, Michael Annett, Ray Black Jr., Jeff Green, William Byron, Blake Koch, J.J. Yeley, Ryan Reed, Brad Keselowski, Spencer Gallagher, Ryan Sieg, Tyler Reddick, Anthony Kumpen, Benny Gordon, Scott Lagasse Jr., Jeremy Clements, Clint King and Aric Almirola.

The first red flag lasted 18 minutes, 20 seconds.

The race went back to green flag racing on Lap 28 when yet another multi-car wreck – this time 12 cars – took place one lap later on the back straightaway, bringing out the red flag once again.

The second wreck occurred one lap before the scheduled end of the first of two stages in the race.

Drivers involved in the second wreck included Darrell Wallace Jr., Daniel Suarez, Brandon Jones, Justin Allgaier, Daniel Hemric, Erik Jones, Chris Cockrum, Harrison Rhodes, Brandon Hightower, Matt Tifft, Blake Koch and Ryan Reed.

The second red flag lasted 27 minutes, 51 seconds.

When the racing resumed following the second wreck, of the 40 cars that began the race, only Elliott Sadler, Ty Dillon, Ross Chastain, Dakoda Armstrong, Brennan Poole, Joey Gase, Brendan Gaughan, Kasey Kahne, Mario Gosselin and David Starr had not been involved in wrecks.

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JJ Yeley paces final Xfinity practice at Daytona

Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – JJ Yeley posted the fastest lap in Friday’s final practice session for the Xfinity Series.

Yeley went 187.005 mph around Daytona International Speedway. He was followed by Ross Chastain (186.978 mph), Benny Gordon (186.846), Tyler Reddick (186.679) and rookie Cole Custer (186.598).

There were no incidents in the session.

The Xfinity Series qualifies and races Saturday.

Click here for practice speeds

Tonight’s Xfinity race at Daytona: Start time, weather, TV/radio info and lineup

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After enjoying last weekend off, the Xfinity Series returns to action tonight with the Subway Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway.

It will be the 15th race of the 2016 season for the circuit and the 50th Xfinity race at one of NASCAR’s signature tracks.

Here’s all the info you need for today’s race.

(All times are Eastern)

START: Subway Franchisee and retired U.S. Air Force Sgt. Kelly Miller will give the command for drivers to start engines at 7:38 p.m. Green flag is set to wave at 7:50 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 100 laps (250 miles) around the 2.5-mile oval.

PRERACE SCHEDULE: The Xfinity garage opens at noon. The driver/crew chief meeting is at 3:45 p.m. Driver introductions are at 7 p.m.

NATIONAL ANTHEM: Musician First Class David Kraftchak, vocalist of the U.S. Navy Band of the Southeast, will perform the anthem at 7:31 p.m.

TV/RADIO: NBCSN will broadcast the race with its coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN Countdown to Green airs at 7 p.m.). Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast and at MRN.com will begin at 7 p.m. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the MRN broadcast.

FORECAST: The wunderground.com stie predicts a temperature of 82 degrees at race time with a 60 percent chance of rain.

LAST TIME: One day before he’d be involved in a horrific wreck in the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup race, Austin Dillon won the Subway Firecracker 250 on July 4, 2015. Dillon led just nine of 104 laps. Elliott Sadler finished second, followed by Chase Elliott, Kasey Kahne and Benny Gordon. Brian Scott dominated the race, leading 84 laps but was involved in a 11-car race on Lap 97 and finished 23rd, three laps off the pace.

STARTING LINEUP:

Xfinity Daytona 2 starting lineup row by row

J.J. Yeley to drive for TriStar Motorsports in Xfinity Series

(Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
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After spending 2015 driving full-time in the Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series, JJ. Yeley has joined TriStar Motorsports to compete in the Xfinity Series in 2016.

Yeley will drive the No. 14 Toyota beginning this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Heads Up Georgia 250. Yeley was with JGL Racing in Xfinity last year while the No. 14 was driven by Cale Conley and Mike Bliss.

The No. 14 was driven by Benny Gordon in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway.

“I am excited to get back behind the wheel of a race car this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway,” Yeley said in a team release. “It was tough not being at Daytona last weekend, but I am ready to get back out and make some laps. I can’t thank Mark Smith and the guys at TriStar Motorsports enough for the opportunity. Hopefully we’ll be able to get some decent finishes for the team.”

Yeley has competed in NASCAR’s top three series since 2004 but has not recorded a win in 493 starts. He finished 12th in the Xfinity point standings last season.

NASCAR docks Cup team 30 minutes of practice

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The BK Racing team with driver Jeb Burton will be docked 30 minutes of practice time Friday at Chicagoland Speedway for being late to qualifying and race inspection last weekend at Richmond International Raceway, NASCAR confirmed Tuesday night.

NASCAR typically docks a team 15 minutes of practice time for being late to inspection. That penalty was doubled for BK Racing because the No. 23 team was late to two inspections.

Three other teams – the No. 7 of Alex Bowman, the No. 26 of J.J. Yeley and the No. 95 of Michael McDowell – will be docked 15 minutes of practice time Friday for being late to qualifying inspection at Richmond.

These do not count as warnings since the teams are being penalized practice time.

In the Xfinity Series, the No. 66 team with Benny Gordon will be penalized 15 minutes of practice time for being late to qualifying inspection. Also, the No. 17 team of Ryan Ellis will serve its 15-minute penalty this weekend for being late to inspection at Darlington. This is the team’s first event since that infraction.