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NASCAR Xfinity: Tyler Reddick wins in photo finish after long day at Daytona

Tyler Reddick celebrates in victory lane at Daytona International Speedway after winning the PowerShares QQQ 300 on Feb. 17, 2018 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

Tyler Reddick celebrates in victory lane at Daytona International Speedway after winning the PowerShares QQQ 300 on Feb. 17, 2018 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

By AMANDA VINCENT

The PowerShares QQQ 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series 2018 season-opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on Saturday turned into the PowerShares QQQ 357.5 when five attempts to end the race under green added 23 laps to the scheduled 200-lap distance. Despite more than 50 extra miles, Tyler Reddick’s second-career Xfinity Series win came at a margin of less than three inches over series veteran and JR Motorsports teammate Elliott Sadler. The two drivers took the checkered flag at a dead-heat, down to thousandths of a second for the closest race finish in the history of Daytona International Speedway to give JR Motorsports the one-two finish.

“Honestly I wish I could say I knew I timed it exactly how I wanted it,” Reddick said. “It just came down to the side draft. And it’s funny, we were talking about it in practice, and a little bit today how much more effective side-drafting  was. It was just situational that I felt I had to get down on his door as hard as I could right when I did, or he was going to win the race. Maybe that’s one time out of 10 it’s going to work and the other nine times it doesn’t. But it worked out in our favor that time.”

For Sadler, the second-place finish was his third-straight runner-up showing in a restrictor-plate race.

Sadler was in position for the near-win, despite being a part of the caution that sent the race into its first overtime attempt. He, along with another JR Motorsports teammate, Chase Elliott, was black-flagged inside the final 25 laps of the race’s scheduled distance for locking bumpers in the draft.

“It was a tough finish,” Sadler said. “Tyler did a great job on the restarts, keeping his momentum going and blocking good. He did a really good job of stalling my momentum coming to the finish.”

Like Sadler, Elliott also got back toward the front, but Elliott was forced down pit road when the right-side window fell out of his car as the field took the green flag for the fourth overtime attempt.

Kyle Larson and Elliott were stage winners, with Larson winning the first 30-lap stage of the race and Elliott the second. The two drivers combined to lead all but 10 of the first 60 laps of the race, with Larson leading 36 and Elliott 14. By the end of the race, Larson had led a race-high 61 laps and Elliott 17.

Both Larson and Elliott, though, were involved in the multi-car wreck that resulted in the ninth caution of the race and the second overtime attempt, as was Joey Logano, who took his first lead on lap 69 and led a total of 28 laps.

Ryan Reed finished the extended race in the third position after being involved in the multi-car incident that brought the first caution on lap 10 and being black-flagged for blocking with just under 20 laps remaining.

Kaz Grala finished fourth, and Garrett Smithley claimed his first-career top-five. Finishing sixth through 10th were Spencer Gallagher, Ryan Truex, Daniel Suarez, Ross Chastain and Brandon Jones.

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Posted by on February 18, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR,NASCAR Xfinity. 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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