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 after heavy rain followed two lightning delays. You will find 33 laps remaining when the 160-lap race has been halted.
Haley was 27th when chief Austin Dillon triggered a 17-car crash that took out almost half the area and the majority of the best contenders. He passed a range of wrecked automobiles and then a few more that left pit stops.
The 20-year-old Haley won’t lock in a place in the playoffs, however. He’s a full-time motorist at the second-tier Xfinity Series and was making his third Cup Series start – all for newcomer Spire Motorsports. The team’s No. 77 Chevrolet can secure a postseason bid, but only as long as it ends up in the top 30 in points.
However, it was a fitting ending for the closing July race in NASCAR’s most famous track.
The event, which was postponed a day due to rain, was plagued with inclement weather and filled with unpredictable winners in recent decades. It’s moving to late August in 2020 – the regular-season finale – as part of NASCAR’s major schedule shake-up.
William Byron finished second, followed by seven-time Cup winner Jimmie Johnson and Ty Dillon. Manufacturer Chevrolet won for the second consecutive week and took the top four spots.
Ryan Newman was fifth in a Ford.
Drivers Bubba Wallace and Daniel Hemric entertained fans during two lightning flaws by throwing a soccer across the trail and in the stands.
Wallace and Hemric every had a couple of throws and got booed a bit.
But it surely gave fans a reason to stay around for at least an hour without any racing.
Lighting has stopped the NASCAR race at Daytona International Speedway with Justin Haley in 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 forcing for Kaulig Racing. This is his third Cup Series start.
Kurt Busch was leading the 400-mile race following a 17-car mess. However, Busch ducked onto pit road for fuel under warning. 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 automobiles were parked and coated on pit road.
With dark clouds looming and the end of the race in sight, leader Austin Dillon wrecked almost half the area at Daytona International Speedway.
“The Big One” occurred on Lap 119 in Turn 1 and involved 17 cars – many of these at the front of the field.
Clint Bowyer was pushing Dillon to front on the outside and made a tough move left to try and pass the leader. Dillon turned left in No. 3 Chevrolet, tagged Bowyer and then started spinning and taking out rivals.
“I guess that he didn’t 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 keep the lead,” Dillon said.” That is exactly what you get.”
Kurt Busch managed to make it through the melee unscathed.
Read more: rio-2016-live.com