The Latest: Cup Series race at Daytona begins a day late
Justin Haley has won the rain-shortened Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway, his first in NASCAR’s top level.
Haley took the lead under warning – Kurt Busch surrendered the top spot when he pitted for tires and was declared the winner following heavy rain followed two lightning flaws. You will find 33 laps remaining when the 160-lap race was halted.
Haley was 27th when leader Austin Dillon triggered a 17-car crash which took out almost half the area and most of the best contenders. He passed a range of wrecked cars and then a few more that left pit stops.
The 20-year-old Haley won’t lock at a spot in the playoffs, though. He’s a fulltime motorist in the second-tier Xfinity Series and has been making his third Cup Series start – for newcomer Spire Motorsports. The group’s No. 77 Chevrolet could secure a postseason bid, but only if it winds up in the top 30 in points.
However, it was a fitting end for the closing July race at NASCAR’s most famous track.
The event, which was postponed a day because of rain, has been plagued with inclement weather and filled with unpredictable winners in recent decades. It’s moving to late August at 2020 – the regular-season finale – as part of NASCAR’s significant schedule shake-up.
William Byron finished second, followed closely by seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and Ty Dillon. Manufacturer Chevrolet won for the second consecutive week and took the top four places.
Ryan Newman was fifth in a Ford.
Drivers Bubba Wallace and Daniel Hemric amused lovers during two lightning flaws by throwing a football throughout the trail and in the stands.
Wallace and Hemric each had a few errant throws and got booed a bit.
However, it certainly gave fans a reason to stay around for more than an hour without any racing.
Lighting has stopped the NASCAR race at Daytona International Speedway with Justin Haley at the lead.
The 20-year-old Haley is a part time driver for newcomer Spire Motorsports. He finished second in Friday night’s second-tier Xfinity Series race whilst driving for Kaulig Racing. This is his third Cup Series start.
Kurt Busch was leading the 400-mile race following a 17-car wreck. However, Busch ducked onto pit road for fuel under caution. That left Haley out front, and when the red flag was brought out because of a nearby lightning strike, it left Busch in 18th. As cars were parked and covered on pit road.
With dark clouds looming and also the end of the race in sight, leader Austin Dillon wrecked nearly half the field at Daytona International Speedway.
“The Big One” occurred on Lap 119 in Turn 1 and included 17 cars – many of these at the front of the area.
Clint Bowyer was pushing Dillon into the front on the outside and made a tough move left to try and pass the pioneer. Dillon turned left in No. 3 Chevrolet, branded Bowyer and then started spinning and taking out rivals.
“I guess that he did not want me to pass him,” Bowyer said.
All four Joe Gibbs Racing automobiles – Deny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and defending race winner Erik Jones – were included. So were Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott.
“I was being aggressive and trying to maintain the lead,” Dillon said.” That is what you get.”
Kurt Busch managed to make it through this melee unscathed.
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