Aric Almirola edges Justin Allgaier on the last lap that ended in caution to win the Subway Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway. Almirola was deemed the winner by inches when the field was frozen at the time the caution flag flew for a multi-car wreck on the Daytona Superstretch. Ryan Seig, Joey Logano, and Brendan Gaughan.. This is Almirola’s 1st Xfinity win in 72 races.
“It’s so cool,” Almirola said. “What a season we’ve had. We’ve had a horrible season on the Cup side. Things just haven't gone our way. But I’m so glad to be in Victory Lane. It’s such a special place for me. I won my first Cup race here two years ago, but for me, this is my first Xfinity win. I know I have a win, but there’s always been that asterisk next to it. But I’ve been dying to get back to Victory Lane in an Xfinity car so I can say I’ve won in all three series without that asterisk (2007 Milwaukee) by my name.”
Allgaier, who could have clinched his spot in the chase, stated that this one “is going to hurt for awhile,” after missing the win by inches.
The Subway Firecracker 250 saw 19 lead changes among 12 drivers. Joey Logano led a race high of 46 laps, followed by David Ragan (18), Elliott Sadler (11), Austin Dillon (10), Chase Elliott (5), Justin Allgaier and Ty Dillon with three, Aric Almirola and Ross Chastain with two, and Morgan Shepard, Brendan Gaughan, and Mark Thompson led one lap.
The caution flag flew eight times for 33 laps. All cautions were for accidents on the racing surface. The red flag was also displayed on the second caution for speedway cleanup.
Daniel Suarez still holds the Xfinity Series points lead by 21 over Elliott Sadler, followed by Ty Dillon (-35), Justin Allgaier (-68), and Brandon Jones (-73).
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will travel to Kentucky Speedway for a Friday evening spectacular, the Alsco 300. Coverage from Kentucky will begin at 8:30 on the NBC Sports Network and Performance Racing Network.
In the first round of qualifying, teams were running about 10 to 15 mph slower than they were in the practice sessions this weekend. Qualifying was halted after 22 drivers to the afternoon thunderstorms in the Daytona Beach area, but resumed shortly after 3:30 pm eastern, a 70 minute delay. David Ragan was fastest in the first round with a speed of 181.302 mph followed by Austin Dillon, Joey Logano, Erik Jones, and Brennan Poole. Carl Long, Derrike Cope, and Mike Harmon will be packing up their haulers as they did not qualify for the Subway Firecracker 250. Blake Koch and Brendan Gaughan are notable Xfinity drivers that did not make the top-12 in this round. Notable drivers advancing to the second round include Corey Lajoie and Benny Gordon.
The second round of qualifying went green without any delays. Corey Lajoie qualified 10th and Benny Gordon rounded out the round in the 12th position.
The Xfinity Series cars will be impounded before tonight’s race. Coverage begins at 7 pm eastern on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) and Motor Racing Network.
The NASCAR Xfinity surfs their way to Daytona Beach at Daytona International Speedway for their second trip of the year and the final super speedway race of the 2016 season. 43 drivers will be vying for 40 spots on Friday’s Subway Firecracker 250. Four drivers from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be participating in double duty this weekend in Daytona. The Subway Firecracker 250 will be 100 laps and 250 miles.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series extends their travel schedule to Daytona Beach for the 50th time. There have ben 36 different pole winners with Dylan Kwasniewski as the youngest and LD Ottinger as the oldest. There have been 25 different race winners with Chase Elliott as the youngest and Bobby Allison as the oldest. Only four drivers have won from the pole. The most recent winner from the pole was in 2009 by Clint Bowyer. Geoff Bodine holds the race record with a speed of 157.137 mph set back in 1985. Tommy Houston holds the qualifying record with a speed of 194.389 mph set back in 1987.
In their weekly press releases, drivers talk about what it means to race at Daytona.
Bubba Wallace Jr stated, “Daytona is crazy and intense. We ran solid there in the spring and I’m ready to get back there this weekend with this LoudMouth Exhaust Mustang and see if we can get up front and get ourselves a win. Hopefully we can stay out of trouble and be there in the end.”
“I’m really looking forward to heading back to Daytona with this TradeMark Nitrogen Chevy. It’s always fun there, racing under the lights during Fourth of July weekend. We had a great car there in February, but didn’t quite get the finish we wanted. I’m ready to get there and try to get a win for this team and the members of the military that we’re honoring this weekend,” stated Justin Allgaier.
NASCAR Xfinity Series Points Leader, Daniel Suarez, states “I’m looking forward to Daytona and getting back behind the wheel of my Juniper Networks Camry this week. Track position is so important at Daytona. If you can qualify up front and stay up front, you can make it a little easier to avoid the big one. We have a great game plan heading in to the race and I’m looking forward to racing under the lights on Friday night at one of the best tracks on the circuit.”
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will race and qualify on Friday. TV coverage of the Subway Firecracker 250 will be on NBC Sports Network at 7 pm. Motor Racing Network will have coverage at 7 pm.
On Friday, NASCAR announced a joint effort with Microsoft that will revolutionize the way races are officiated.
The Race Management App will be used to help officiate events starting this weekend in Sonoma. The app incorporates everything from inspection to racing. Everything will now be available on one screen for race control, helping to simplify race officiating. Teams will be able to see this information. Eventually, this program will be viewed by fans.
“We’re really excited about working with NASCAR because they really have complicated problems to solve in really three areas: operations and logistics, in competition and performance and in fan engagement,” said Microsoft’s Mike Downey, “As we looked at, over the last year working with NASCAR, all the things we could do, our major focus was how can we use technologies to create efficiencies in how NASCAR runs its races?”
With the fast pace environment of race-day officiating, NASCAR’s Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer, Steve O’Donnell, was impressed by the ability to consolidate information onto one screen.
“It allows us to be quick, see the replays, make calls and be confident in what we’re seeing,” stated O’Donnell.
The Race Management App allows for race “recreation, which allows for critiquing of the racing product, how teams were policed, and for training purposes.
“This is not only about being more efficient and transparent at the race track but improving each week when we go back and building our team off of this platform and kind of learning together,” O’Donnell added.
Although NASCAR offers more realtime stats to its fans compared to other sports, they must remain vigilant in being sensitive to private information that teams use. However, the telemetry and analytics from the app will be used to create and increase fan engagement.
“We’ve talked often about our fans being in the 41st car and experiencing everything,” O’Donnell added. “Ultimately, we still have work to do in terms of getting data out from the race track to the fans. But the great news for us is no other sport has more data to be able to compile and get out and especially with the younger generation and racing technology. For us, it’s about getting as much data out to the fans knowing that there are some things that the teams need to be proprietary. Those are the discussions we’re having right now with Microsoft and the race teams. What can we get out to the fans and what should we keep proprietary that would effect competition?”
After a speeding penalty in the beginning of the race, Daniel Suarez surprises Kyle Busch for his first career victory followed by Paul Menard, Erik Jones, and Elliott Sadler round out the top five. This is Joe Gibbs Racing’s eighth win of the 2016 season. Suarez made the charge to the lead on the final restart to pass Kyle Busch on the last lap of the Menards 250. Suarez also locks himself into the 2016 Chase for the Xfinity Series Championship. Suarez is credited for leading the last two laps. The driver from Mexico is the sixth foreign born winner in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and the second on an oval. Suarez is also a graduate of the NASCAR Next and Drive for Diversity programs.
In victory lane, Suarez was elated about his first victory. “I don’t think I can speak English or Spanish right now. I don’t have the words to describe what I’m feeling right now.”
Suarez dedicated this victory to his teammate, Erik Jones. Jones lost his father in a battle to cancer on Tuesday.
“You never want to get beat, but it’s cool when you get beat fair and square. He ran me down and had a really fast car at the end. He had some speed and a really good car,” said Kyle Busch post-race.
The Menards 250 from Michigan International Speedway saw eight lead changes among seven drivers. Kyle Busch led the most laps at 59. followed by Erik Jones (18 laps), Alex Bowman (11 laps), Daniel Suarez ( two laps), and Elliott Sadler, Paul Menard, and JJ Yeley leading only one lap.
The caution flag flew for three times for a total of 14 Laps. There were two cautions for debris at lap 29 and 82. The third caution involved an incident with the car of Chris Cockrum, where he backed it into the fence on lap 88.
The average speed of the race was 155.952 mph. Time of the race was one hour, 35 minutes, and 11 seconds. Suarez beat Busch by a margin of victory of .280 seconds.
Suarez extends his points lead to 18 over Elliott Sadler, followed by, Ty Dillon (-36), Erik Jones (-55), and Justin Allgaier (-64). Jones, Sadler, and Suarez have locked themselves into the Chase with a win.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will join the Camping World Truck Series at the Iowa Speedway for a Father’s Day special in the American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen. The first practice session at Iowa will begin at 4:30 pm Eastern.