Today began the first points race of the 2016 season for the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Starting on the front row today was the 3 of Ty Dillon and 19 of Daniel Suarez, leading to the ultimate question: Would an Xfinity regular win today at Daytona? Ty takes an early lead next to brother Austin, followed closely by Suarez. Not even a lap later Austin gets out front and the field is 3 wide form about 6th place on back.
First caution of the day happens early at lap 5 when the 85 car looked to have scrapped the wall causing a tire to go down. Fast forward to lap 30 Ty takes the lead back from Guaghan and Kahne who had been swapping positions for more than a few laps.In the first quarter of todays race we saw 10 lead changes, mostly between Logano, Kahne and the Dillon brothers.
Joey Logano and Kasey Kahne showed the most speed and were the strongest cars all day proving to be the ones to beat. The top seven were pretty much a constant for most of the day between Sadler, Logano, Kahne, Elliott, Ty Dillon and Daniel Suarez. A late caution with 19 laps to go would change all of that up real quick. Ty Dillon and Kahne would be the only 2 cars on the lead lap to pit for four tires. The restart should prove interesting.
Restart with 13 laps to go we watch Suarez push Elliott to the lead followed by Sadler in 2nd and Bubba Wallace in 3rd. Suarez proved to have a strong car all day. We’re now coming down to the last few laps and all are driving hard and Elliott keeping the lead easily. The white flag flies, hearts start pumpimg and i swear the cars got faster.
As we watch close to what looks to be Chase Elliott’s first win at Daytona International Speedway, here comes Logano and he’s coming fast. Out of turn 3 and Chase is still leading, barely. Coming out of turn 4 Logano get next to Elliott and looks to take the lead with only a half mile to go. Joey gets into the back of Chase in what looked like would be “the big one” only to watch Elliott hold on and take the WIN.
It was a good day in NASCAR for all!! Congratulations Chase Elliott and JRM who finishe 1, 2 and 4 today. Next up, on to tomorrow!!
-Alicia L. Cook