firecracker 250

(Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

NASCAR’s weekend schedule for Daytona

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The second half of the NASCAR season begins this weekend with the Coke Zero 400 and Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway.

This weekend also represents the beginning of NBC’s portion of the schedule. Friday’s Firecracker 250 will be shown on NBCSN and Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 will be broadcast on NBC.

Here’s the full weekend schedule for the Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series, complete with TV and radio info.

All times are Eastern.

Thursday, June 30

9 a.m. – 8 p.m. – Xfinity garage open

10 a.m. – 6 p.m. – Sprint Cup garage open

2 – 2:55 p.m. – Xfinity practice (NBCSN)

3 – 3:55 p.m. – Sprint Cup practice (NBCSN, Motor Racing Network)

4 – 4: 55 p.m. – Final Xfinity practice (NBCSN)

5 – 5:55 p.m. – Final Sprint Cup practice (NBCSN, MRN)

Friday, July 1

10:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Cup garage open

noon – Xfinity garage opens

2:10 p.m. – Xfinity qualifying; single car/two rounds (NBCSN)

3:45 p.m. – Xfinity driver-crew chief meeting

4:10 p.m. – Sprint Cup qualifying; single car/two rounds (NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

7 p.m. – Xfinity driver introductions

7:30 p.m. – Firecracker 250 Xfinity race; 100 laps, 250 miles (NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Saturday, July 2

3 p.m. –  Cup garage opens

5:45 p.m. – Driver-crew chief meeting

7:15 p.m. – Driver introductions

7:45 p.m. – Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup race; 160 laps/400 miles (NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

 

Preliminary entry list for Xfinity Series’ Firecracker 250 at Daytona

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There are five Sprint Cup drivers among the 45 cars on the preliminary entry list for the Xfinity Series’ Subway Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway.

Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, Aric AlmirolaJoey Logano and Josh Wise are in the field.

Also entered is former Sprint Cup driver Joe Nemechek, who will drive the No. 87.

Last year’s Firecracker 250 was won by Dillon. The Xfinity Series last trip to Daytona in February was won by Elliott.

The Firecracker 250 can be seen on July 1 at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

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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.

 

Starting grid for Xfinity Series’ Subway Firecracker 250 at Daytona

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For the first time in his NASCAR Xfinity Series career Daniel Suarez will lead the field to green with Saturday night’s Subway Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway.

Here’s is how the cars will line up behind Suarez’ No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

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Daniel Suarez earns first Xfinity Series pole in Subway Firecracker 250 at Daytona

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Daniel Suarez made history Saturday with a qualifying speed of 180.256 mph, claiming his first career pole for the Xfinity Series’ Subway Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway.

Suarez is the first Mexico native to earn a pole in a Xfinity Series pole in the Unites States.

Suarez is now the second driver from Mexico to win an Xfinity  pole, joining Jorge Goeters, who did it in Mexico City in 2005.

“To be honest, I can’t describe with words what I’m feeling right now,” said Suarez. “First of all, I want to thank everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing. It’s unbelievable. I mean, my car is super-fast. We felt that speed in the first practice yesterday. We knew that we had a fast car in traffic in the draft, but we didn’t know exactly what to expect with a single-car run, and the car was as fast or even better.”

Suarez and his No. 18 Toyota will be joined on the front row by Brian Scott (179.827) in the No. 2. Suarez and Scott has the fastest cars in both rounds of qualifying.

The top five is filled out by Suarez’ Joe Gibbs Racing teammate David Ragan (179.497), Joey Logano (179.412) and Erik Jones (179.308).

Mark Thompson’s No. 13 car failed post-race inspection, meaning his qualifying time will be disallowed and that Derrike Cope (No. 70) will now start the Firecracker 250.

The race is scheduled to start at 7:35 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Qualifying results:

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