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Larson Inherits Daytona Xfinity Win

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, July 7 2018

Kyle Larson celebrates his victory in Friday night’s Xfinity Series race in Daytona. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Ashley R Dickerson)

Kyle Larson drove to overtime victory in the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Friday night.

The win by Larson came by .005 seconds over Elliott Sadler, who finished second at Daytona for the third straight race.

The race’s finishing order was put in doubt, however. It was decided after NASCAR bumped Justin Haley from a spot in Vicotyr Lane because during his pass for the lead coming to the finish line he had dipped below the yellow line dividing the racing surface from the apron, a violation of NASCAR rules.

Though Haley took the checkered flag, he was demoted an 18th-place finish.

“I didn’t even think I’d won until I got to the lug nut check, and they had a big screen down there,” Larson said. “And I saw a little bit of the replay and saw that he went a clipped the yellow line, so I asked about it, and they said NASCAR was talking about it, and about 10 seconds later we were declared the winner…

“I saw him (Haley) go up the track, and I thought I was screwed at that point, because I wasn’t going to have anybody behind me to propel me or at least keep me side-by-side with Elliott. The we got to the straightaway, and I could see in my mirror that he was getting a huge run…

“The I saw him hang a left, and I knew with the run he had, if he had a hole, he was going to come out the leader, and he shot right by us.”

Sadler, who has never won at Daytona, had run second to JR Motorsports teammate Tyler Reddick by .0004 seconds in February, the closest recorded margin in NASCAR history.

“This one hurts,” said the 43-year-old Sadler, whose status with JRM for 2019 remains uncertain because of sponsorship issues. “I don’t know how many restrictor-plate races I have left in my career. To lose the one like we did in February, so close, I feel like we were in the right spot again.

“We were really paying attention to Kyle and trying to figure out what he was doing off of (Turn) 4, and he was really running into my door a lot and trying to slow me down. And I was trying to leave myself room to get away from him. And it was just a miscommunication that the 24 (Haley) was coming on the bottom. I could have definitely made a block there and got some momentum.”

Haley was, naturally, disappointed afterward.

“Not how we wanted it to end,” Haley said. “I’m running trucks full-season, and this is just an opportunity part-time, and I’m extremely blessed just to get the opportunity.”

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NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – Coca-Cola Firecracker 250

Daytona International Speedway

Daytona Beach, Florida

Friday, July 06, 2018

  1. (7) Kyle Larson(i), Chevrolet, 105.
  2. (5) Elliott Sadler, Chevrolet, 105.
  3. (6) Christopher Bell #, Toyota, 105.
  4. (2) Ryan Blaney(i), Ford, 105.
  5. (38) Kaz Grala #, Ford, 105.
  6. (14) Shane Lee, Chevrolet, 105.
  7. (36) Timmy Hill, Toyota, 105.
  8. (4) Daniel Hemric, Chevrolet, 105.
  9. (9) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 105.
  10. (16) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 105.
  11. (17) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 105.
  12. (10) Brandon Jones, Toyota, 105.
  13. (12) Ryan Truex, Chevrolet, 105.
  14. (35) Chad Finchum #, Toyota, 105.
  15. (21) Alex Labbe #, Chevrolet, 105.
  16. (25) JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, 105.
  17. (30) Spencer Boyd #, Chevrolet, 105.
  18. (40) Justin Haley(i), Chevrolet, 105.
  19. (29) Vinnie Miller #, Chevrolet, 104.
  20. (13) Matt Tifft, Chevrolet, 103.
  21. (37) Mike Harmon, Chevrolet, 102.
  22. (39) Ray Black II, Toyota, 102.
  23. (31) Jeff Green, Chevrolet, Accident, 98.
  24. (28) Josh Williams, Chevrolet, Accident, 97.
  25. (3) Cole Custer, Ford, Accident, 97.
  26. (15) Ryan Reed, Ford, Accident, 97.
  27. (18) Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, Accident, 97.
  28. (22) Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet, Accident, 94.
  29. (11) Chase Elliott(i), Chevrolet, Engine, 90.
  30. (34) Brandon Hightower, Toyota, Accident, 87.
  31. (8) Tyler Reddick #, Chevrolet, Accident, 82.
  32. (20) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, Accident, 82.
  33. (23) Austin Cindric #, Ford, Accident, 81.
  34. (19) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, Accident, 81.
  35. (27) David Starr, Chevrolet, Accident, 81.
  36. (32) BJ McLeod, Chevrolet, Accident, 81.
  37. (26) Blake Jones, Toyota, Accident, 75.
  38. (24) Caesar Bacarella, Chevrolet, Accident, 70.
  39. (1) Ryan Preece, Toyota, Overheating, 51.
  40. (33) Josh Bilicki #, Toyota, Engine, 33.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  129.541 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 01 Mins, 35 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.005 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  6 for 29 laps.

Lead Changes:  11 among 5 drivers.

Lap Leaders:    0; C. Custer 1-8; K. Larson(i) 9-32; R. Blaney(i) 33-57; K. Larson(i) 58-63; J. Haley(i) 64; R. Blaney(i) 65-77; E. Sadler 78-80; R. Blaney(i) 81; E. Sadler 82-95; K. Larson(i) 96-104; J. Haley(i) 105;.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  R. Blaney(i) 3 times for 39 laps; K. Larson(i) 3 times for 39 laps; E. Sadler 2 times for 17 laps; C. Custer 1 time for 8 laps; J. Haley(i) 2 times for 2 laps.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 42,23,1,7,22,2,60,00,21,11

Stage #2 Top Ten: 42,23,60,22,9,7,24,2,1,21

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, July 7 2018
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