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Penalty For Haley Gives Larson Daytona Xfinity Victory

by Brandon Reed
Friday, July 6, 2018

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Kyle Larson (42) edges out Elliott Sadler (1) by inches behind Justin Haley (24) who was later penalized for passing below the yellow line
Sarah Crabill/Getty Images

Kyle Larson crossed the finish line in second place in Friday night's NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway, but took home the winner's hardware with the victory in an overtime finish.

With Larson and Elliott Sadler racing side-by-side for the lead coming off of turn four to the checkered flag, Justin Haley threw a Hail Mary, dropping all the way to the inside of Sadler to take the leaders three-wide.  Haley made the pass, and reached the finish line first.

But in doing so, Haley dipped two tires below the double yellow line – a no-no in restrictor plate racing. 

NASCAR officials penalized Haley, giving the win to Larson by just inches over Sadler.

Larson swept the night by winning both earlier segments of the race.  It marks his third series win of the season, and the 11th of his career.

"I honestly didn't think I had a shot at winning that until I pulled over here to the lug nut check, and I could se the big screen where he kind of went below the yellow line," said Larson.  "So, little bit of a shock for me, but this is awesome.  To win both stages, win the race, means a lot for me and DC Solar, everybody at Chip Ganassi racing.  It's amazing.  I've been close I feel like every time to win an Xfinity race here at Daytona, so it's nice to finally get it done."

NASCAR made the call after determining that Haley went below the yellow lines to improve his position.  The rule states that if a driver is pushed or crowded below the lines, the pass can stand.  But there was at least a car width between his car and Sadler's when he made the pass.

That led them to penalize Haley, taking away what would have been the first career series win for the 19-year-old.

"I don't know, I just wish NASCAR would be a little more – tell us how much of the car we can have under the yellow line," Haley said.  "But I don't get this opportunity enough.  GMS Racing has been behind me, Spencer Gallagher, Mike Beam, everyone.  I don't have a lot of sponsorship and to come out here and get the opportunity to compete with these guys is a bless full opportunity."

"I did see the 24 make his move," said Larson in victory lane.  "Really quick in my mirror I could see he had a massive run so I was trying to squeeze the 1 down to maybe choke the 24 up, but he was able to get by and clipped the yellow line so that worked out for us."

For Sadler, it was another near-miss at Daytona – a track that the veteran driver has yet to win at in his career, and where he also lost by inches to teammate Tyler Reddick back in February.

Elliott Sadler (1) posted his fourth-straight Daytona runner-up finish
Jerry Markland/Getty Images

"I didn't know the 24 (Justin Haley) was coming – just a miscommunication between my spotter and myself," a disappointed Sadler said.  "I was just trying really key in on the 42 (Larson), but I feel like it's Daytona in February all over again. I hate it for my guys – they work way too hard for me to keep finishing second here at Daytona. They gave me another fast Chevrolet and I should have capitalized on it and I felt like I was in a good spot there at the end beside Larson, but it just wasn't meant to be."

Sadler leaves Daytona winless in 48 starts at the 2.5-mile superspeedway.

In a race that had run mostly clean, the race was marred by a pair of multi-car crashes with less than 20 laps to go.  The first, with 18 laps to go, resulted in a red flag after contact between Matt and Austin Cindric sent Cindric spinning in turn one.  As cars were gathered up, contact between Cindric and Tyler Reddick send Cindric's car barrel rolling.

Fortunately, Cindric climbed out of the car uninjured.  In all, 15 cars were collected in the scrum. 

"Any time you wreck at one of these tracks you're usually wrecking in front of somebody and it's collecting a lot of good cars," Cindric said.  "It's a shame we had to do that with 20-some-odd laps to go, just trying to figure out which lane was gonna move forward.  It's unfortunate you have that kind of impatience, but that's what you expect.  Everyone is racing for spots on track and you can't blame someone for being aggressive I guess in that scenario."

The second multi-car crash broke out with three laps to go, when Cole Custer's car was tagged by Jeff Green as they raced in a pack through the tri-oval.  At least eight cars were involved, setting up the overtime finish.

Christopher Bell finished in third, with Ryan Blaney in fourth and Kaz Grala in fifth.

Shane Lee, Timmy Hill, Daniel Hemric, Justin Allgaier and Ross Chastain rounded out the top ten.

RACE RESULTS

Finish Start # Driver Sponsor/Make Laps Led Points Status
1 7 42 Kyle Larson DC Solar Chevrolet 105 39 0 Running
2 5 1 Elliott Sadler ARMOUR Chili Chevrolet 105 17 45 Running
3 6 20 Christopher Bell
GameStop PDP Toyota 105 0 34 Running
4 2 22 Ryan Blaney Pirtek Ford 105 39 0 Running
5 38 61 Kaz Grala # Kiklos Extra Virgin Olive Oil Ford 105 0 32 Running
6 14 3 Shane Lee Childress Vineyards Chevrolet 105 0 31 Running
7 36 66 Timmy Hill CrashClaimsR.Us Toyota 105 0 30 Running
8 4 21 Daniel Hemric South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet 105 0 32 Running
9 9 7 Justin Allgaier Breyers 2in1 Chevrolet 105 0 40 Running
10 16 4 Ross Chastain Georgia Watermelon Association Chevrolet 105 0 27 Running
11 17 5 Michael Annett Pilot Flying J Chevrolet 105 0 26 Running
12 10 19 Brandon Jones Comcast/NBC Universal Salute to Service Toyota 105 0 25 Running
13 12 11 Ryan Truex Phantom Fireworks Chevrolet 105 0 25 Running
14 35 40 Chad Finchum
Amana Toyota 105 0 23 Running
15 21 36 Alex Labbe
Can-Am/Wholey/Cyclops Gear Chevrolet 105 0 22 Running
16 25 38 JJ Yeley RSS Racing Chevrolet 105 0 21 Running
17 30 76 Spencer Boyd
Grunt Style Special Chevrolet 105 0 20 Running
18 40 24 Justin Haley FOE Chevrolet 105 2 0 Running
19 29 1 Vinnie Miller
JAS Trucking Chevrolet 104 0 18 Running
20 13 2 Matt Tifft KCMG Chevrolet 103 0 25 Running
21 37 74 Mike Harmon The Journey Home Project Chevrolet 102 0 16 Running
22 39 99 Ray Black II Zomongo/America's Donuts Toyota 102 0 15 Running
23 31 93 Jeff Green Night Owl Contractors Chevrolet 98 0 14 Accident
24 28 90 Josh Williams Starbrite Star Tron/Sleep Well Chevrolet 97 0 13 Accident
25 3 0 Cole Custer Haas Automation Ford 97 8 15 Accident
26 15 16 Ryan Reed Drive Down A1C Lilly Diabetes Ford 97 0 11 Accident
27 18 39 Ryan Sieg Off Road Heat/ionomy Chevrolet 97 0 10 Accident
28 22 0 Garrett Smithley FAME-USA Chevrolet 94 0 9 Accident
29 11 23 Chase Elliott UNTUCKit Chevrolet 90 0 0 Engine
30 34 55 Brandon Hightower Cane River Brewing Co. Toyota 87 0 7 Accident
31 8 9 Tyler Reddick
Takl Chevrolet 82 0 12 Accident
32 20 35 Joey Gase Donate Life Florida/Sparks Chevrolet 82 0 5 Accident
33 23 60 Austin Cindric
Odyssey Battery Ford 81 0 16 Accident
34 19 51 Jeremy Clements RepairableVehicles.com Chevrolet 81 0 3 Accident
35 27 52 David Starr Whataburger Chevrolet 81 0 2 Accident
36 32 15 BJ McLeod Chevrolet 81 0 1 Accident
37 26 78 Blake Jones Tennessee XXX Moonshine Toyota 75 0 1 Accident
38 24 8 Caesar Bacarella MAXIM/ALPHA PRIME Chevrolet 70 0 1 Accident
39 1 18 Ryan Preece Rheem Toyota 51 0 1 Overheating
40 33 45 Josh Bilicki
Prevagen Toyota 33 0 1 Engine

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