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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

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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

Final results, stats, earnings for the Subway Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Austin Dillon scored his first victory at Daytona International Speedway, winning Saturday’s crash-plagued Subway Firecracker 250.

Elliott Sadler finished second, followed by Chase Elliott, Kasey Kahne and Benny Gordon.

Several contenders were eliminated by two multicar pileups in the final 10 las, leading to a green-white-checkered finish.

Results:

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Austin Dillon avoids two major wrecks to win Subway Firecracker 250 at Daytona

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Two large crashes in the final 10 laps of Saturday’s Subway Firecracker 250 eliminated several contenders, and Austin Dillon avoided the wrecks to beat Elliott Sadler and Chase Elliott in a green-white-checkered finish for the victory.

The two crashes, which involved 24 cars total (12 each), left more than a few that remained with damage that rained smoke and sparks on the field as it chased down Dillon to the finish.

“So many family memories here,” Dillon told NBCSN in victory lane. “I got to go to a lot of victory lanes with RCR and a lot crazy events happen here. I’m just happy for my grandfather.

“He told me one day when we were standing in victory lane here with Dale Earnhardt, ‘you’re going to have the opportunity one day, you’ll make it.’ It means so much to be here.”

Dillon claimed it was his favorite win of his career.

It’s the third Xfinity Series win of the season for Dillon, who runs full time in the Sprint Cup Series. It also his first career win at Daytona International Speedway racing for his grandfather, venerable NASCAR team owner Richard Childress.

Dillon will start second tomorrow in the Coke Zero 400.

The top five: Dillon, Sadler, Elliott, Kasey Kahne and Benny Gordon.

How Austin Dillon won: After carefully navigating two crashes in the final 10 laps, Dillon took the lead and got a good restart with two laps to go and was unchallenged.

Who had a good day: Benny Gordon, making his 20th career Xfinity Series start and just his second since 2012, finished in fifth for his best-career finish. His previous best was 12th at Daytona in 2012.

Who had a bad day: Nearly everyone. Two wrecks in the final 10 laps took 24 cars out of contention, including Chris Buescher and Ty Dillon, who entered the race in the top-two in points … Brian Scott was leading his 85th lap when he started the second crash by mistiming a block on the backstretch. “I told myself I was going to be aggressive,” Scott told NBCSN. “I was trying to time that run, I knew the outside lane was coming … obviously I mistimed it a little bit, but I still felt like I gave them room to split me and go high.” … Pole-sitter Daniel Suarez was involved in the first 12-car accident and then spun by himself coming to the checkered flag. He wound up 15th … Seven cautions were seen Saturday night and two of them were for Cale Conley one-car accidents on Lap 10 and Lap 80.

Notable: Harrison Rhodes was the highest finishing rookie, placing ninth.

Quote of the night: “I thought he’d have a good shot if he got the racing behind him and that’s what happened with the 9 (Elliott) and the 1 (Sadler) and he pulled it off. It’s great to win at Daytona.” – Richard Childress, Dillon’s grandfather and owner of Dillon’s No. 33 Chevrolet.

What’s next: Kentucky 300 at Kansas Speedway, June 4 at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

 

Joey Logano throws blocks at right time, holds on to win Xfinity race at Talladega

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Joey Logano made a picture-perfect move on the final lap, blocking to hold off late surges by Brian Scott, Chris Buescher and Austin Dillon, to win Saturday’s Winn Dixie 300 at Talladega Superspeedway.

“That was intense,” Logano said over his team radio after taking the checkered flag.

It was Logano’s second career Xfinity win at Talladega (also won in 2012), his second victory in NASCAR’s junior league this season and 24th career triumph.

“It’s a combination of the old school draft and cars hooking up and bumping,” Logano said. “It’s so intense out there and your mind is looking at everything in the mirror the whole time. It’s just so cool to get to Victory Lane.”

Brian Scott rallied to finish second, followed by Dillon, JJ Yeley and Joey Gase. Buescher placed sixth,

There were six cautions, and four involved multiple cars.

On Lap 39, defending Xfinity champion Chase Elliott cut a right front tire while leading, and his car slammed into the outside wall. Elliott’s car suffered significant damage and finished 37th.

On Lap 73, a 10-car wreck occurred as several cars tried to reach pit road, bringing out a red flag for cleanup.

Among those involved were Daniel Suarez, Ryan Reed, Ryan Sieg, Kenny Wallace, Gase, Brendan Gaughan and Ty Dillon. Gaughan lost control after the wreck and slammed hard into the pit wall after bouncing off teammate Ty Dillon.

Gaughan’s car struck the pit sign for Aric Almirola’s team when he hit the wall, whipping the sign into the crew. Two crew members were injured. One was treated and released from the infield care center, while the other was sent to a local hospital by ambulance for evaluation and treatment.

UPDATE: Troy Ward, was released from Trinity Medical Center, a team spokesman confirmed Saturday night.

How Logano won: Logano actually made three different moves on the final lap to keep Elliott Sadler at bay, as well as to make a couple of late blocks to hold off the late surge by Buescher and Ty Dillon.

Who else had a good day: Scott was just one position from earning his first career Xfinity Series win after 184 starts. Scott rallied from sixth to second on the last lap. “I wanted it so bad,” Scott told FOX Sports. “These things always seem to kind of snakebite me, so I’ll take it.”

Who had a bad day: Because of wrecks, several drivers saw what appeared to be promising days end prematurely. Among those: Brendan Gaughan (finished 39th), Chase Elliott (37th), Kasey Kahne (33rd), Daniel Suarez (31st) and Erik Jones (30th).

Notables: Also having a good day was JJ Yeley, who finished fourth, and Joey Gase, who recorded a career-best fifth-place finish. … Aric Almirola also had a strong day, consistently in the top 10 before finishing 10th.

Quote of the day: “I don’t know if they don’t pay attention or don’t realize it, but when you’re pitting and start sliding up, get the hell out of the way and get down. Talladega’s easy to get down on to pit road, just get out of the way. People don’t get out of the way or try to come from the outside and chaos happens. … It just pisses me off, it’s not that tough to get onto pit road here, and for some reason, guys can’t figure it out.” – Brendan Gaughan, who got caught up in a multi-car wreck on Lap 73.

Standings: Ty Dillon remains in first in the Xfinity Series point standings, Chris Buescher (nine points out of the lead) gained one place to once again take over second place, Chase Elliott (-37) dropped one position to third place, Darrell Wallace Jr. (-37) and Regan Smith (-43) remained unchanged in fourth and fifth place respectively, Brian Scott (-44) gained three spots up to sixth, Elliott Sadler (-48) and Ryan Reed (-75) remained in seventh and eighth respectively, Daniel Suarez (-760 moved up one spot to ninth, and Brendan Gaughan (-81) dropped four spots to 10th.

Next race: Sunday, May 17, Iowa Speedway.

FINAL RESULTS:

1 Joey Logano … 113 laps

2 Brian Scott … 113 laps

3 Austin Dillon … 113 laps

4 JJ Yeley … 113 laps

5 Joey Gase … 113 laps

6 Chris Buescher … 113 laps

7 Elliott Sadler … 113 laps

8 Ty Dillon … 113 laps

9 Regan Smith … 113 laps

10 Aric Almirola … 113 laps

11 Landon Cassill … 113 laps

12 Jeffrey Earnhardt … 113 laps

13 Benny Gordon … 113 laps

14 David Starr … 113 laps

15 John Wes Townley … 113 laps

16 Boris Said … 113 laps

17 Jeremy Clements … 113 laps

18 Peyton Sellers … 113 laps

19 Mario Gosselin … 113 laps

20 Darrell Wallace Jr. … 113 laps

21 Eric McClure … 113 laps

22 Dakoda Armstrong … 113 laps

23 Blake Koch … 113 laps

24 Cale Conley … 113 laps

25 Ross Chastain … 111 laps

26 Derek White … 111 laps

27 Mark Thompson … 111 laps

28 Brennan Poole … 110 laps

29 Ryan Sieg … 107 laps

30 Erik Jones … 105 laps

31 Daniel Suarez … 101 laps

32 Ryan Reed … 99 laps

33 Kasey Kahne … 98 laps

34 Mike Bliss … 98 laps

35 Chad Boat … 97 laps

36 Harrison Rhodes … 84 laps

37 Chase Elliott … 84 laps

38 Kenny Wallace … 72 laps

39 Brendan Gaughan … 72 laps

40 Charles Lewandoski … 3 laps

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