Justin Haley saves Kaulig Racing’s day with Daytona win

Eight cautions were called in 100 laps and only 14 cars finished on the lead lap. In a typical Daytona crash-fest, it was Justin Haley winning yet another race at a superspeedway, his second of the season and his third dating back to his win at Daytona in the Cup Series.

Before the race, Riley Herbst served a pass-through penalty for failing pre-race inspections three times. The race began with Chase Briscoe taking advantage of his pole position, gaining the early lead with pushes from Austin Cindric and Ross Chastain. Joe Graf Jr. collided with the wall on lap seven, bringing out the competition caution out a few laps early.

After another caution, Haley and Ross Chastain took the lead as Briscoe and Cindric gave up their lead as the Toyotas were gaining moment. After another caution, stage one ended on a one-lap sprint to the finish. Haley got the advantage, beat out Cindric and Chastain to win stage one, his third of the season.

Seven cars did not pit in between the stages, prompting A.J. Allmendinger to the front a few laps after the restart. About halfway into stage two, Briscoe was riding between the two lines, collided with Brandon Jones. Jones was spun and took out more than a fewer drivers such as Noah Gragson (finished for the night), Daniel Hemric, Justin Allgaier and Myatt Snider among others.

Just a couple laps later, Allgaier blew a tire, causing another crash and the sixth caution. NASCAR brought out the red flag to clean up the fluid on the track. Another caution brought Haley, Allmendinger and Chastain to pit road.

On the restart with five laps left in stage two, Gray Gaulding battled the three Kaulig Racing cars (Chastain, Haley, Allmendinger) for the stage win but Allmendinger would pull away to win stage two, his second stage win of 2020.  

As the final stage got underway, the Kaulig cars continued to dominate, taking the top three spots in the stage as Allmendinger led followed by Chastain and Haley.

Cindric and Briscoe fought to pass the Kaulig cars. Haley was passed by Briscoe and Cindric and were behind Chastain and Allmendinger. Cindric and Briscoe pushed to pass the leaders on the final lap. Chaos would ensue as Chastain crashed into Allmendinger, taking out Cindric as well. Haley would take advantage and win his second race of the season, both at superspeedways. Gaulding finished second and Briscoe finished third.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series will head to Darlington Raceway for the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 next Saturday.

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