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Regan Smith Edges Keselowski For Nationwide Series Victory

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, February 22 2014

Regan Smith got the victory Saturday in the Nationwide Series race at Daytona. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Tom Copeland)

Regan Smith eased past Brad Keselowski  just as they hit the finish line and won the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday.

Keselowski finished second – .013 seconds behind – and Trevor Bayne was third.

Kyle Busch, winner of Friday night’s Truck Series race at DIS, finished fourth. Elliott Sadler was fifth.

The victory gave Smith a bit of redemption as a year ago in the race, he was leading on the final lap but ended up getting involved in a wreck.

“It’s a good start to the year,” he said. “After last year, what happened at the start/finish line, I felt terrible. It’s a situation where you can’t change it. I wanted to see the checkered flag in a proper manner at Daytona and not in the middle of the wreck.”

Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. led large chunks of the first half of the race.

About 80 laps into the 120-lap race, Smith moved to lead. He was leading from the inside lane of traffic when the race restarted after a caution with 17 laps to go. Busch was behind him and Keselowski was beside him at the front of the high line.

With 11 laps to go, Keselowski edged ahead of Smith and dropped down in front of him on the inside lane to get the lead.

With four laps to go, a wreck brought out a caution.

When the race restarted in a green/white/checkered situation, Keselowski had the lead and chose the inside lane. Next to him was Smith. Behind them were Busch and Bayne respectively.

Keselowski took the white flag first. But with Bayne behind him, Smith edged his Earnhardt Jr.-owned Chevrolet past Keselowski at the finish line to get the victory.

“The 6 car (Bayne) certainly played a big part in us winning with Trevor back there bump drafting,” Smith said. “He stuck with me and I don’t know how it would have worked out if he had tried to pull out and gone three-wide.”

“We were able to push the 22 to the front,” said Bayne. “I was hoping somebody could figure out how to push me like that so we could get to the front, but it didn’t happen. The 7 (Smith) got in front of us and we pushed him to the lead and tried to go through the middle at the end to get the win, but at the end of the day, a third-place finish at Daytona is a really good day.”

NASCAR Nationwide Series Race – DRIVE4COPD 300

Daytona International Speedway

Saturday, February 22, 2014

1. (19) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 121, $122152.

2. (17) Brad Keselowski(i), Ford, 121, $92585.

3. (31) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 121, $87066.

4. (4) Kyle Busch(i), Toyota, 121, $74785.

5. (5) Elliott Sadler, Toyota, 121, $70051.

6. (27) Brendan Gaughan, Chevrolet, 121, $65276.

7. (23) Ty Dillon #, Chevrolet, 121, $63776.

8. (1) Dylan Kwasniewski #, Chevrolet, 121, $65601.

9. (29) Ryan Sieg(i), Chevrolet, 121, $60851.

10. (2) Kyle Larson(i), Chevrolet, 121, $61001.

11. (16) Dale Earnhardt Jr.(i), Chevrolet, 121, $52195.

12. (24) Joe Nemechek, Toyota, 121, $58026.

13. (25) Mike Wallace, Dodge, 121, $51345.

14. (6) Matt Kenseth(i), Toyota, 121, $51020.

15. (26) Chase Elliott #, Chevrolet, 121, $57576.

16. (14) James Buescher, Toyota, 121, $56826.

17. (20) Brian Scott, Chevrolet, 121, $56376.

18. (39) Ryan Reed #, Ford, 121, $56251.

19. (3) Danica Patrick(i), Chevrolet, 121, $50070.

20. (12) Mike Bliss, Toyota, 121, $56701.

21. (34) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 121, $55876.

22. (11) Blake Koch, Toyota, 121, $55746.

23. (30) Dakoda Armstrong #, Ford, 121, $55571.

24. (40) Chad Boat #, Chevrolet, 121, $49240.

25. (10) David Starr, Toyota, 121, $55796.

26. (22) Scott Lagasse Jr., Toyota, 121, $55171.

27. (7) Jamie Dick, Chevrolet, 121, $55071.

28. (9) Johnny Sauter(i), Toyota, 120, $48765.

29. (33) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 120, $54871.

30. (37) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 120, $55046.

31. (28) Jason White, Toyota, 119, $54571.

32. (36) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, 119, $54476.

33. (18) Bobby Gerhart, Chevrolet, 118, $54426.

34. (38) Mike Harmon, Dodge, 117, $54371.

35. (13) Eric McClure, Toyota, Accident, 115, $54204.

36. (32) Josh Wise(i), Chevrolet, 114, $48391.

37. (35) Derrike Cope, Chevrolet, 114, $48326.

38. (21) Robert Richardson Jr., Chevrolet, Engine, 12, $42059.

39. (15) Harrison Rhodes, Toyota, Engine, 8, $40960.

40. (8) Jeff Green, Toyota, Vibration, 3, $40910.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 148.204 mph.

Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 02 Mins, 28 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.013 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 5 for 20 laps.

Lead Changes: 9 among 6 drivers.

Lap Leaders: 0; K. Busch(i) 1-11; J. Dick 12-13; D. Earnhardt Jr.(i) 14-41; K. Busch(i) 42-53; K. Larson(i) 54; K. Busch(i) 55-75; R. Smith 76-109; B. Keselowski(i) 110-120; R. Smith 121;.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): K. Busch(i) 3 times for 44 laps; R. Smith 2 times for 35 laps; D. Earnhardt Jr.(i) 1 time for 28 laps; B. Keselowski(i) 1 time for 11 laps; J. Dick 1 time for 2 laps; K. Larson(i) 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 10 in Points: R. Smith – 47; T. Bayne – 41; E. Sadler – 39; B. Gaughan – 38; T. Dillon # – 37; D. Kwasniewski # – 36; J. Nemechek – 32; M. Wallace – 31; C. Elliott # – 29; J. Buescher – 28.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, February 22 2014
One Comment

One Comment »

  • NASCAR Nutered Fords says:

    You know what is sad it that only four Fords were even in the race. Two Dodges.

    Sadly it seems NASCAR is nothing more than the Chevy and Toyota show these days.