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Justin Haley wins as teammates wreck at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – AUGUST 28: Justin Haley, driver of the #11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Wawa 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on August 28, 2020 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

When his Kaulig Racing teammates, A.J. Allmendinger and Ross Chastain, wrecked while racing for the win in turn three on the last lap of the Wawa 250 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on Friday night, Justin Haley was able to take advantage and take the win. Friday night’s victory was Haley’s second-career win and second win of the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series season.

“An amazing effort by Kaulig Racing. Obviously, I hate that A.J. and Ross got together there,” Haley said. “Parked it right here on the double yellow line where I went down too low about two years ago (and was disqualified from a win after taking the checkered flag) in an Xfinity race. A little humor, there.”

Chastain finished sixth, and Allmendinger wound up 15th after leading over half the 100-lap race (58 laps) and taking the white flag as the race leader.

“It’s terrible to run into your teammate like that. Must be my fault, though. It’s unfortunate; we did everything right all night. We just got to win,” Chastain said. “Did everything right to be the the best teammate I could. I haven’t always been. Last lap, I don’t back down, and I’m going to go for it.”

The trio of Kaulig drivers led most of the second half of the race. Allmendinger took his first lead on lap 36 and was joined in the top-three soon after by his teammates. They gave up the top-three positions in the running order when they pitted during a lap-52 debris caution but were back up front, with Allmendinger leading, on lap 60, the final lap of the second stage.

While most of the race field pitted during the caution after the second stage, the Kaulig Racing teammates stayed out and stretched their fuel mileage. As a matter-of-fact, Haley ran out of fuel on the cool-down lap after taking the win.

Gray Gaulding took runner-up honors, a career-best finish. Chase Briscoe finished third, and Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Riley Herbst and Harrison Burton rounded out the top-five. Herbst’s top-five came after dropping to the back at the start and serving a pit-road, pass-through penalty for improperly-attached weight.

Haley also was a stage winner at lap 20. After pole sitter Briscoe led the first 22 laps with fellow-front-row starter and fellow-Ford driver Austin Cindric in second, Haley took the lead on lap 23.

Timmy Hill led the early laps of the second stage after staying out during the caution that followed the conclusion of the first stage, having pitted during a lap-25 yellow flag. Allmendinger also was among the drivers who stayed out during the caution after the opening stage and took the lead from Hill a few laps later.

The last yellow flag of the race, the eighth, waved at the end of the second stage, but the first two stages were attrition-filled. By the halfway point of the race at lap, nearly half of the race ran under caution, and the yellow flag waved one more time, on lap 52, before the second stage ended.

Wrecks in the first half of the race included two large multi-car crashes. The first of those coming on lap 40 and involving at least 12 cars, including the pole sitter and all four JR Motorsports cars (Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragsone, Daniel Hemric and Michael Annett). A second large crash came just six laps later and resulted in a red-flag for track cleanup. After the second large crash, only 25 cars remained on the race track.

Other top-10 finishers included Michael Annett in seventh, Cindric in eighth, Josh William ninth and Jesse Little 10th.

Below, is the complete finishing order of the Wawa 250 at Daytona International Speedway:

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Posted by on August 29, 2020. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR,Xfinity Series. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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