My name is Kaylee, and I was born and raised in Bridgewater, VA. I am currently a student at the College of William and Mary, where I'm pursuing a degree in communications. I have a passion for NASCAR, and it's my dream to work on the media side of the industry. In my spare time, I love to hike, spend time with family, and travel.
With only one prior Xfinity Series start on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, the track remains fresh, new, and challenging to the drivers. However, the road course was no challenge for road course aficionado Austin Cindric, who ultimately wound up in victory lane. Austin Cindric led 29 laps en route to his Pennzoil 150 win. This marked his fifth win of the 2021 season.
“Unbelievable," said Cindric. "First, I have to thank Roger Penske for this opportunity. I am so proud to be part of this Penske family. With my family history, this place means so much to me."
Prior to the drop of the green flag, the starting lineup was set by qualifying. AJ Allmendinger bested Austin Cindric for the pole position by a mere 0.327 seconds. However, Justin Haley quickly blew by Allmendinger during the first lap of the race as Allmendinger went off in the grass.
The first caution of the day appeared on the second lap of the race. Preston Pardus’ inability to get restarted was the cause of the yellow flag. Brandon Jones, Brandon Brown, Josh Bilicki, Kevin Harvick, and Harrison Burton all also suffered various degrees of damage from a chaotic start to the race. Ultimately, Harvick, Jones, Pardus, and Brown were all forced to retire for the day.
With only 6 laps to go in stage one, Will Rodgers spun but did not bring out the yellow flag. However, one lap later the yellow flag waved for debris off of Ryan Sieg’s tire. Austin Cindric was leading at the time of the caution, after passing Haley a few laps prior.
After 20 laps of competition, stage one came to a close. Justin Haley won this stage and the ten points associated with it.
Brett Moffitt was forced to the garage at the beginning of the second stage. Under green, Chase Elliott and Kris Wright both went for spins, but there was no caution. The damage from the spin brought Wright’s day to an end. Meanwhile, Ty Gibbs and Daniel Hemric suffered from major tire rubs.
Austin Hill’s inability to get rolling on lap 29 caused the fourth caution of the day. Back under green, Noah Gragson stole the lead off the restart. Quickly, the leader changed again as Allmendinger cleared Gragson. Shortly after the intense battle for the lead, Austin Dillon spun under green but did not bring out the caution.
The fourth incident-related caution of the day came on lap 39 for Will Rodgers, who was stalled out on the frontstretch. On lap 40, Allmendinger maintained his lead to claim the stage two victory under the yellow flag.
Ty Gibbs initially led to begin the final stage of the race, but Cindric soon reclaimed his lead with 18 laps to go. Just a lap later, Sam Mayer went for a spin and sustained heavy damage that ended his day. Later, on lap 53, Spencer Pumpelly was spun by Jeb Burton. Pumpelly was able to continue on.
After 62 laps of racing, Cindric reached the finishline a solid 2.180 seconds ahead of runner-up AJ Allmendinger. Meanwhile, Justin Haley, Chase Elliott, and Noah Gragson rounded up the remainder of the top-five.
The Xfinity Series will be back in action next Saturday, August 21, at 3:30 PM ET. Be sure to tune into NBCSN to watch all of the race coverage from Michigan International Speedway.
For the first time since 2011, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series finally made its return to Nashville Superspeedway. At the end of the much anticipated event, it was ultimately Ryan Preece that struck the right chord and scored the victory in Music City. In doing this, Preece became the fifth driver to win in his debut start in the Truck Series.
“This is why I love to race. I love winning. There is no better place than victory lane,” Preece said of his win.
Unlike many races this season, there was both practice and qualifying to help the drivers prepare for the Rackley Roofing 200. From this qualifying session, Derek Kraus scored the pole with a lap time of 160.493 mph; this marked Kraus’ first career Truck Series pole. Meanwhile, Jack Wood’s lap time of 158.959 mph allowed him to start alongside Kraus on the front row. From his starting spot, Kraus was able to maintain his lead and claim the stage one win on lap 45, after leading all 45 laps.
Following stage one, Chandler Smith came off pit road the quickest, which allowed him to take hold of the lead. Chandler Smith’s lead was brought to a halt as the first incident-related yellow flag flew on lap 77. As William Byron’s engine expired, his racecar dripped fluid on the track, which was the root cause of the yellow flag. This caution gave drivers an opportunity to come to pit road. Chandler Smith maintained his lead off pit road. Meanwhile, pit road was troublesome for Josh Berry and Todd Gilliland, who both faced penalties.
On lap 95, Chandler Smith merely held off Zane Smith to capture the stage two victory, along with the ten championship points associated with it.
At the end of stage two, Grant Enfinger and Stewart Friesen opted to stay out in order to gain track position. After less than a lap back under green, a caution appeared on lap 103 for a spin from Johnny Sauter. Sauter received slight contact from Tanner Gray, which helped contribute to his spin.
Under green, Enfinger managed to clear Friesen off the restart. Enfinger held the lead for just a few laps before lap 110 saw yet another caution. The caution appeared for Derek Kraus’ hard hit into the wall due to both a tire issue and slight contact from Josh Berry.
Though Ryan Preece led briefly following the caution, Grant Enfinger got around Preece to take back his lead. With seven laps to go, Preece battled back and passed Enfinger for the number one position. Shortly after, Todd Gilliland also made his way past Enfinger to take hold of the runner-up spot.
At the close of the 200-mile race, Ryan Preece scored the win by a margin of 0.940 seconds over runner-up Todd Gilliland. Grant Enfinger, Zane Smith, and Stewart Friesen made up the remainder of the top-five.
The Truck Series will be back in action next Saturday (June 26) to take on the ‘Tricky Triangle.’ Make sure to tune into FS1 at 12 PM ET to catch all of the action from Pocono Raceway.
After leading 94 laps of the 400-mile race, Alex Bowman reigned victorious at Dover, marking his second win of the 2021 season. The win also marks Bowman’s first career win at the track and Hendrick Motorsports’ twenty-first win at Dover. Notably, Hendrick Motorsports managed to secure a 1-2-3-4 finish, which has never happened for the organization.
“We won Richmond and had a rough couple of weeks there. We are still the same team that did it at Richmond. I am so pumped for Ally. It is so cool to get the 48 in victory lane after how many races this car has won at Dover,” Bowman told FOX Sports, following the race.
NASCAR, once again, set the starting lineup for the race by their metric qualifying formula. This system allowed Martin Truex Jr. to start from the pole position, alongside his teammate Denny Hamlin. Notably, only three competitors were forced to forfeit their starting positions and start from the rear. Chase Elliott was forced to start from the rear due to a two-time pre-race inspection failure. Similarly, Ryan Newman was sent to the rear for an unapproved adjustment. Meanwhile, Josh Berry, who filled in for Justin Haley, was sent to the back due to the driver change.
At the drop of the green flag, Truex took off with the lead until William Byron moved past him on lap 15. Byron remained in the lead until the scheduled competition caution waved on lap 35. Kyle Larson gained the lead off pit road. Meanwhile, Tyler Reddick and Michael McDowell suffered speeding penalties. Additionally, Kyle Busch’s team discovered an issue with his valve spring, which went on to become a major deficit to his day.
Back under green, Larson was able to maintain his lead on the restart. Larson went on to dominate the stage, leading a total of 83 laps en route to his stage one win. The first stage ended under caution, as Chase Briscoe made heavy contact with the wall on the final lap of the stage.
To start stage two, Larson picked up right where he left off. Larson continued in the lead until lap 171 saw the first incident-related caution of the day. Josh Berry was the cause of the caution. While pitting, Ryan Blaney was forced to pit early to address damage from a piece of debris that was wedged in his car. This issue forced Blaney to restart from the back of the lead lap cars. Meanwhile, Larson was, again, the quickest off pit road and held his lead on the restart. Larson scored the stage two win on lap 240. This stage win marked Larson’s sixth stage win of the season, the most of all drivers.
Larson held his lead off pit road and on the restart to begin the final stage of the race. Larson was in a league of his own until the yellow flag appeared on lap 301 for Aric Almirola. Almirola was in thirteenth at the time in which he slammed into the wall. The damage brought an end to a solid day for Almirola’s team. On pit road, Alex Bowman’s pit crew propelled him into first for the fifth restart of the day.
Bowman held the lead until the yellow flag waved again on lap 313. The caution stemmed from Anthony Alfredo’s spin after receiving contact from Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Following the caution, Bowman worked to stretch his lead until debris put a pause on the race with only 75 laps to go. However, Bowman picked up right where he left off on the restart and cruised to victory.
After leading a total of 263 laps throughout the day, Larson trailed Bowman by a margin of 1.233 seconds. Meanwhile, rounding out the remainder of the top-five was Chase Elliott, William Byron, and Joey Logano.
Next Sunday (May 23), the NASCAR Cup Series will be back in action for their debut at Texas’ Circuit of the Americas. Be sure to tune into FS1 at 2:30 PM ET for all of the road course action.
The 400-mile race at Kansas ultimately came down to a two-lap shootout to the finish. Kyle Busch came out of this restart victorious, only leading a total of 20 laps throughout the race. The win marks his first of the 2021 season and his second career Cup Series win at Kansas. Notably, Busch continues his streak of winning any Cup Series race he has competed in on his birthday.
“Talk about the ups and downs of racing. It has been a lot of downs of life for us. I have a great opportunity and a great job, no doubt, but struggling with infertility and stuff with Samantha. So hey to Samantha and Brexton back home,” said Busch.
On a lighter note, Busch joked, “I just remembered it is the Buschy McBusch race. A Busch won it. How about that.”
At the drop of the green flag, Brad Keselowski started from the pole position. Keselowski earned this position based on NASCAR’s mathematical formula, which now replaces qualifying. Keselowski remained in the lead until the competition caution waved on lap 25. On the first restart of the day, Keselowski maintained his lead after battling with William Byron.
Keselowski’s dominant lead came to an end with only six laps to go in stage one. Kyle Larson pulled a crossover move to steal the lead from Brad Keselowski. Just a few laps later, another lead change occurred. Kyle Busch took the lead from Larson and ultimately claimed the stage one win. This marked the first stage win of 2021 for Kyle Busch.
Kyle Larson gained the lead off pit road and maintained his position on the restart to begin stage two. As green-flag pit stops were underway, Cody Ware spun on pit road, but there was no caution for this incident. A few drivers stretched their fuel mileage in hopes of a caution. One of these drivers was the No. 47 of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Stenhouse remained in the lead for a total of 23 laps until Larson reclaimed his lead on lap 145. Larson went on to gain his fourth stage win of the season.
After the stage break, Larson maintained his lead off pit road yet again and held his position off the restart. On the restart, Bubba Wallace got loose and made contact with both Alex Bowman and the wall. Despite this contact, there was no caution. However, Bowman did have to make a pit stop under green to address the damage on his car.
During green-flag pit stops, Tyler Reddick’s crew lost control of his tire, which led to a penalty for Reddick. Once the green-flag pit stops cycled all the way through, Larson was in the lead yet again, and NASCAR was able to throw a caution to allow the NASCAR safety crew to pick up the aforementioned tire. This caution appeared with only 38 laps to go.
On this round of pit stops, both Kevin Harvick and Daniel Suarez suffered from uncontrolled tire penalties. Back under green, Denny Hamlin stole the first-place spot from Kyle Larson, but Larson managed to steal it back within laps. Denny Hamlin blew a right front tire during his battle with Larson, which brought out a yellow flag. This caution came out with 23 laps to go.
Larson blasted to the lead on the restart. Austin Dillon got loose and up into the wall during the restart. Meanwhile, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. spun, which led to sixth caution of the day. Austin Cindric suffered damage from this incident also.
As they say, cautions breed cautions. As Kyle Busch stole the lead from Kyle Larson on the restart, chaos broke loose in the back. The incident included: Christopher Bell, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Ryan Preece.
A two-lap shootout brought the race to a close. During the chaotic restart, Kyle Larson made contact with Ryan Blaney, which shuffled them both to the back. Ultimately, Kyle Busch came out on top.
In the final lap of the race, Kevin Harvick trailed by a slim 0.336 seconds. Keselowski finished third, behind Harvick. Matt DiBenedetto and Chase Elliott rounded out the remainder of the top-five. Notably, DiBenedetto’s top-five finish marks his second-straight top-five finish of the 2021 season.
Catch the NASCAR Cup Series back in action on Sunday, May 9 at 3:30 PM ET. Be sure to tune in to FS1 for all the coverage from Darlington, South Carolina.
After a two-week break for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the series went back in action for some short track racing at Richmond Raceway. Following the 250 laps around the 0.75-mile track, it was John Hunter Nemechek that hoisted the trophy. Leading 114 laps throughout the race, Nemechek managed to grab his first career win at Richmond and his second win of the 2021 season. Importantly, the victory also marks the fourth win in a row for KBM and the sixth straight win for Toyota.
“We have had a never give up attitude. It’s pretty cool to come out here and do what we did,” said Nemechek, who is now the second two-time winner in 2021.
En route to his victory, there were nine lead changes and eleven cautions. Ben Rhodes led the field from the pole position to begin the race. However, the first lead change of the race appeared quickly. On lap 3, Grant Enfinger passed Rhodes to take the number one spot. Though Ryan Truex suffered from a right rear tire rub, there were no incident-related cautions in stage one. At the end of 70 laps, Enfinger grabbed the green checkered flag, marking his first stage win of the season.
Following the stage break, Kyle Busch was the quickest off pit road, which allowed him to take the lead to begin stage two. While on pit road, Stewart Friesen, Tyler Ankrum, and Spencer Boyd were all handed penalties. Once back under green, Busch led until the second caution of the day came on lap 15 of stage two. Contact between Hailie Deegan and Tate Fogleman was the source of the yellow flag. Under the yellow flag, a mechanical issue forced Ryan Truex to step out of the truck.
Under green, John Hunter Nemechek quickly moved past his boss Kyle Busch. However, a caution brought the race to a halt as Nemechek took the lead on lap 100. A spin from Jennifer Jo Cobb was the cause of the caution. Following this accident, Nemechek picked up right where he left off and remained in first for the remainder of stage two. Nemechek’s stage victory is his sixth of the season, the most of all drivers.
While on pit road, Austin Hill was the only driver to receive a penalty, and Nemechek was able to maintain his lead going into the final stage. Shortly after the start of the final stage, Derek Kraus spun to bring out the fifth caution of the day on lap 152. Another caution soon appeared for Chase Purdy’s spin as they went back under green. Cobb’s crash into the inside wall on lap 84 brought out yet another yellow flag.
Nemechek maintained his lead on each restart. A mechanical issue ended Brett Moffit’s day shortly after the restart, but there was no caution for this issue. However, Jennifer Jo Cobb spun Norm Benning in retaliation for an event earlier in the day. This wreck was the cause of the caution on lap 177, and Cobb was called to meet with NASCAR officials postrace. After half a lap under green, Dawson Cram brought out the yellow flag again.
Nemechek continued to be the leader. With a shove from Austin Wayne Self, Codie Rohrbaugh became the cause of the tenth caution on lap 196. Eight drivers decided to stay out, while the majority of the field pitted. On pit road, Sheldon Creed faced a penalty. Meanwhile, the no-pit strategy allowed Matt Crafton to lead the field on the restart. On the restart, Chandler Smith managed to pass both Crafton and Johnny Sauter to steal the lead. However, his lead was brought to halt as the yellow flag waved with 37 laps to go. Kris Wright suffered major damage. Cram, Gray, Friesen, Lessard, and Deegan were all involved but sustained minor damage.
Under green, Chandler Smith maintained his lead until Nemechek passed him with 17 laps to go.
As Nemechek crossed the finish line in first place on lap 250, Kyle Busch trailed closely to snag a 1-2 finish for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Tyler Ankrum, Chandler Smith, and Johnny Sauter rounded up the remainder of the top-five.
The Truck Series will be back in action on Saturday, May 1 at 7:30 PM ET. To watch the Truck Series take on Kansas Speedway, be sure to tune into FS1.
After 163 laps around the 1.5-mile track of Atlanta Motor Speedway, it was Justin Allgaier who led the final lap. The win marks Allgaier’s first victory of the 2021 season and his fifteenth career win in the series. Notably, his first career win at Atlanta also guarantees his spot in the 2021 playoffs.
“First of all, God is good, man. This one is for Rowdy. Our pit crew is emotional because of Rowdy. You fans are awesome,” Allgaier said of his win.
“Just proud of the effort we put in today. Martin had a great racecar, and he definitely had the car to beat. We made great adjustments,” said Allgaier.
During the initial start of the race, Austin CIndric was the control car. Cindric obtained the pole position due to NASCAR’s formula calculations. Cindric remained in the lead until Martin Truex Jr., who started eighteenth, took the lead on lap 6. Truex remained in the lead until the competition caution appeared on lap 20. Following the competition caution, Truex was able to pick up right where he left off. The race continued under green until the first incident-related caution appeared with 5 laps to go in stage one. Dexter Bean was the cause of the caution. This set up a one-lap shootout to determine the stage one winner. During the shootout, there was a large accident to end the stage. The incident began when Brandon Jones spun sideways after receiving light contact from Brett Moffitt. Noah Gragson, David Starr, Austin Cindric, Timmy Hill, and A.J. Allmendinger all sustained damage from this pileup. With the mess behind him, Truex went on to claim the stage one win.
Stage two had no cautions, and Truex went on to dominate the stage en route to his second stage win of the day.
Truex remained in the lead throughout stage three until lap 113 saw another yellow flag for Mason Massey. This caution, of course, brought the field to pit road for fresh tires. On pit road, leader, Martin Truex Jr., suffered from a speeding penalty. Once back on the track, the sixth yellow flag of the day quickly appeared for Jeremy Clements and Jeb Burton, who were both having strong runs. Following the caution, Justin Allgaier was able to grab the lead. Allgaier continued leading until a yellow flag came with only 32 laps to go. Josh Berry’s spin was the cause. Berry sustained heavy damage from the grass, which ended his day.
The race continued under green the rest of the way with Allgaier coming out victorious. Allgaier managed to hold off Truex, who trailed by a mere 1.449 seconds to finish in the runner-up position. Meanwhile, Harrison Burton, Noah Gragson, and A.J. Allmendinger all finished out the top five.
Notably, the action didn’t stop at the wave of the checkered flag. On pit road, top-five finisher Noah Gragson got into a physical altercation with Daniel Hemric following the race due to a disagreement about an incident on pit road earlier in the day.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will not be back in action until their race at Martinsville Speedway. Be sure to tune into FS1 on Friday, April 9 at 8 PM ET to catch all the short track action.
After 312 miles in Phoenix, it was ultimately Martin Truex Jr. who led a total of 39 laps en route to his first career win at Phoenix and his twenty-eighth career win overall. Of course, the win also advances him into the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Truex is no stranger to the playoffs, as he won the championship in 2017. Notably, Truex’s victory marks the fifth different winner in the first five races of the season.
“I’m kinda speechless. This feels pretty amazing. Phoenix has been a tough one for us. I wish it was November, but hopefully we will be back here in November,” Truex Jr. told FOX Sports’ Jamie Little.
At the opening of stage one, it was Brad Keselowski who led the field to green, after winning the pole based on NASCAR’s formula system. Keselowski held the first place position until Denny Hamlin passed him for the lead within a few laps. The race continued under green until the competition caution on lap 30. Another yellow flag appeared shortly after on lap 47 for Alex Bowman. Ross Chastain, who was ahead of Bowman at the time, checked up causing Alex Bowman to be spun from behind by Austin Dillon. The rest of the stage continued under green until Lap 75 marked the end of stage one. At this time, it was Ryan Blaney who led the field to capture the stage win.
Lap 15 of the second stage brought the next yellow flag. This time it was for Anthony Alfredo, who was spun by Cody Ware. Following this, the remainder of stage two carried on under green. After 190 laps of competition, the second stage came to a close with Joey Logano gaining his first stage win of the season.
Trouble for Tyler Reddick brought out the sixth caution of the day with only 51 laps to go. Lap 282 saw the last yellow flag of the race for Kyle Busch. Busch spun with some help from Ross Chastain.
As Truex ultimately grabbed the checkered flag, runner-up Logano trailed by 1.698 seconds. The remainder of the top-five consisted of Hamlin, Keselowski, and Chase Elliott.
The NASCAR Cup Series will be back in action next Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Be sure to tune into FOX at 3 PM ET on March 21 to catch all of the action.
As the second race of the season came to a close, it was ultimately Christopher Bell that bested the rest of the 40-car field. The win marks his first win in the Cup series, and it was only his second race with his new team of Joe Gibbs Racing.
The win also locked Bell into the NASCAR playoffs. Notably, Michael McDowell is the only other driver guaranteed a spot to compete for the 2021 championship title, as his win last week at Daytona secured his place. It is both drivers' first chance at the title.
“This is definitely one of the highlights of my life so far. I’m just so incredibly grateful to be here with Joe Gibbs Racing,” Bell said of his first win.
Ahead of Bell claiming the checkered flag, there laid 70 laps around the 14-turn road course, and it was Chase Elliott who led the field to green from the pole position. This starting spot was determined based on NASCAR’s new formula to set the starting lineup. The calculation includes: owner points, the fastest lap from the race prior, the car owner’s finishing position from the most recent race, and the driver’s finish in the preceding race.
Elliott remained in the lead as the first caution came out on lap two for debris. During the caution, Kyle Busch and Michael McDowell both came down pit road to work on their damaged vehicles. Once back under green, Chase Briscoe spun and retained some damage. No caution flew for the spin. Matt DiBenedetto, Erik Jones, and Brad Keselowski all suffered flat tires under green. Debris from these cars caused the yellow flag to wave with five to go in the stage. After 16 laps of competition, the first stage of the race came to a close. It was ultimately Elliott that was able to capture the stage one win.
The yellow flag made another appearance after 27 laps of competition for Ross Chastain, who was twentieth at the time. Just a few laps later, stage two ended with Denny Hamlin claiming the ten championship points associated with the stage victory.
Though Kurt Busch and Aric Almirola both had single-car spins during the final stage, there was no caution thrown for these incidents, as both drivers were able to continue. The sixth caution of the day flew with 14 to go for rain. With 12 laps to go, another caution came out for Tyler Reddick. Just two laps later, another yellow flag appeared for an incident in which Martin Truex Jr. sustained damage.
At the end of the 250-mile event, Joey Logano trailed Bell by two seconds. Meanwhile, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, and Brad Keselowski made up the remainder of the top-five.
The Cup series will be back in action next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Be sure to tune into FOX for all the racing coverage Sunday, February 28 at 3:30 PM ET.
After several hours under rain delay following Duel 1, Duel 2 was underway to set the even-numbered starting positions for the Daytona 500. Alex Bowman and William Byron claimed their front row starting spots during Wednesday’s qualifying session. Additionally, Aric Almirola won Duel 1 to grab the third-place starting position for Sunday’s race. This left one open slot in the first two rows, and it was Austin Dillon that managed to win Duel 2 to gain this sought-after fourth place starting position.
Prior to the wave of the checkered flag, there was a 60-lap race ahead of the drivers. Within the first half of the race, William Byron, Kevin Harvick, and Bubba Wallace all led laps.
The race remained drama-free until 25 to go. The yellow flag came out for an incident involving Chase Briscoe, Garrett Smithley, Anthony Alfredo, and Kaz Grala. The root of the accident began when Briscoe spun as he was trying to get down to pit road.
Another caution came with only four laps to go. This time the accident was caused by Smithley, who clipped Brad Keselowski. William Byron, Ross Chastain, and Noah Gragson all sustained major damage. This event undermined Gragson’s chance to make the Daytona 500. Additionally, Byron may have to resort to a backup car, which would cause him to forfeit his front row starting position. This accident allowed Grala to advance due to his finish, and David Ragan advanced to the Daytona 500 based on his qualifying time.
With a two-lap shootout to the finish, it all came down to Bubba Wallace and Austin Dillon. Ultimately, it was Dillon that bested Wallace by a meager 0.057 seconds.
“I knew Bubba was gonna block it, but I just whipped the wheel, and it worked out well,” Dillon said of the battle.
Now that the starting lineup has been set, make sure to tune into FOX this Sunday at 2:30 PM ET to watch the thrilling season opener at Daytona International Speedway.
Now that Duel 1 is complete, half of the lineup is set for the annual Daytona 500 race. Aric Almirola was able to win the duel in order to grab the third-place starting position for Sunday’s race. Notably, Alex Bowman and William Byron respectively each claimed their starting positions on the front row prior to the duels during Wednesday night’s qualifying session.
Duel 1 consisted of odd-numbered drivers according to the qualifying speed charts, and the duel served the purpose of setting the odd-numbered starting positions for the 500.
Though there was no caution during the first half of the race, pole-sitter Alex Bowman reported an issue with the engine of the No. 48 and took his car to pit road at the halfway point. Though less severe than Bowman, Austin Cindric also faced a challenge just a few laps later. As he came for his scheduled pit stop, he was handed a penalty for speeding on pit road, which hurt his chances at locking into the Daytona 500. Notably, the race remained caution-free all the way through.
Although Daniel Suarez and Christopher Bell both managed to lead the race at various points, it was Aric Almirola that dominated the race. He led a whopping 52 laps en route to his win. Almirola bested second-place finisher Christopher Bell by a 0.041 second margin.
“This thing is really fast. I can’t wait until Sunday,” Almirola told Fox Sports’ Jamie Little.
For some drivers, the sole purpose of the duels was to advance their car to the main event. Teams that did not have a charter had to battle through the duels in order to participate in the Daytona 500. Of these eight unchartered cars, the No. 37 of Ryan Preece and the No. 36 of David Ragan both secured their spot in Sunday’s race due to their qualifying speeds.
This left Austin Cindric, Ty Dillon, and Timmy Hill to battle their way into the race in Duel 1. Since Preece was the first open car to finish, this allowed Cindric to advance to the big race on qualifying speed, despite his speeding penalty. Meanwhile, Ty Dillon fell short in advancing by a mere 0.038 seconds.
Duel 2 is currently under delay for inclement weather.