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Ross Chastain Wins in Wild Xfinity Race at Daytona

Scores 1-2-3 Finish For Kaulig Racing
Saturday, July 6, 2019

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Ross Chastain wins at Daytona
Getty Images
Kaulig Racing found the key to victory in Saturday night's Circle K Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway, and the team did so in triplicate.

In a wild race that featured five multicar wrecks, hired gun Ross Chastain teammates Justin Haley and AJ Allmendinger across the finish line in a 1-2-3 finish for Kaulig Racing, which collected its first NASCAR victory.

Chastain finished .109 seconds ahead of Haley and .206 ahead of Allmendinger, who made his first NASCAR start since last year and his first-ever Daytona start in a NASCAR Xfinity Series car.

"Oh, my god, we did—Daytona!" exulted Chastain, a watermelon farmer from Florida who continued his roller-coaster ride in NASCAR racing with his first Xfinity victory of the season and the second of his career. "I watched these races in July as a kid, and I never could come (to the track) because we were growing watermelons.

"The guys right here (from Kaulig Racing) gave me a car that could win at Daytona!"

Chastain took the lead from series leader Tyler Reddick on Lap 93 of 100 and pulled Haley with him. Allmendinger, who steered his way adroitly through an 11-car incident on the backstretch on Lap 87, worked his way forward after a restart on Lap 91 and picked off fifth-place finisher Austin Cindric and fourth-place Christopher Bell to put an exclamation point on the first win for team owner Matt Kaulig.

Unfortunately, that exclamation point also came with an asterisk as the No. 10 Chevrolet driven by Allmendinger was disqualified after failing post-race inspection, relegating Allmendinger to a 38th-place finish.

For Haley, the race was a redemption of sorts for last year's event, when he crossed the finish line first but was demoted for passing below the double yellow line approaching the flag stand.

"After last year at Daytona, finishing second here is pretty cool," Haley said. "To have a 1-2-3 finish is absolutely incredible for us."

Ross Chastain (16) beats his teammate Justin Haley to the checkered flag at Daytona
Getty Images
A race that was a pinnacle for Kaulig Racing took its toll on a number of heavyweight teams. Bell survived late contact with Michael Annett to run fourth and trails Reddick by 77 points. Reddick had to pit with a flat tire after losing the lead to Chastain on Lap 93.

But four-time winner Cole Custer caught pieces of three different wrecks, the last of which (on Lap 87) totaled his No. 00 Ford and relegated him to 27th place.

"That was terrible," Custer said. "It's just speedway racing. I just have never been good at it, I guess. I always get caught up in the wrecks, so I don't know."

In a race that started two hours late because of rain and was red-flagged for 17 minutes 45 seconds after the Lap 87 pileup, Justin Allgaier also had an evening full of contact. His last incident came on Lap 92, when he spun after contact from Allmendinger's No. 10 Chevrolet. Allgaier finished 18th, a lap down.

But the big winner was Chastain, who lost his Xfinity ride with Chip Ganassi Racing when his sponsored folded in the offseason. Opting in midseason to run for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series championship, Chastain lost a victory on a disqualification at Iowa, only to win at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois in the next event.

RACE RESULTS

Finish Start # Driver Sponsor/Make Laps Led Points Status
1 4 16 Ross Chastain(i) Ellsworth Advisors Chevrolet 100 49 0 Running
2 7 11 Justin Haley # LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet 100 4 43 Running
3 8 20 Christopher Bell Ruud-Ferguson Toyota 100 0 43 Running
4 19 22 Austin Cindric Pirtek Ford 100 0 35 Running
5 25 1 Stephen Leicht Flex Glue Chevrolet 100 0 32 Running
6 33 86 Brandon Brown # BMSraceteam.com Chevrolet 100 0 33 Running
7 20 38 Jeff Green Larry's Hard Lemonade Chevrolet 100 0 30 Running
8 5 8 Gray Gaulding WorldWide Safety Consulting Services Chevrolet 100 0 29 Running
9 37 51 Jeremy Clements RepairableVehicles.com Chevrolet 100 0 28 Running
10 28 5 Matt Mills J.F. Electric Toyota 100 0 27 Running
11 27 78 Vinnie Miller Pit Viper Toyota 100 0 26 Running
12 29 99 Stefan Parsons Jacob Companies Toyota 100 0 25 Running
13 36 7 Ray Black II ISOKERN Fireplaces & Chimneys Chevrolet 100 0 24 Running
14 35 0 Garrett Smithley Flex Tape Chevrolet 100 0 23 Running
15 16 9 Noah Gragson # Switch Chevrolet 99 1 34 Running
16 1 2 Tyler Reddick Gimme Country Chevrolet 99 6 25 Running
17 12 7 Justin Allgaier Vannoy Construction Chevrolet 99 6 32 Running
18 11 18 Riley Herbst(i) Monster Energy Toyota 98 0 0 Running
19 22 25 Chris Cockrum Advanced Communications Group Chevrolet 97 0 18 Running
20 18 66 Timmy Hill VSI Racing/Overkill Motorsports Toyota 97 0 23 Running
21 32 28 Shane Lee Circuit City Toyota 97 0 16 Running
22 21 23 John Hunter Nemechek # Digital Ally Chevrolet 93 0 15 Accident
23 6 21 Joe Graf Jr. Eat Sleep Race Chevrolet 92 0 14 Accident
24 14 39 Ryan Sieg CMR Roofing Chevrolet 89 0 23 Accident
25 3 1 Michael Annett Pilot Flying J Chevrolet 86 1 22 Accident
26 15 0 Cole Custer Jacob Companies Ford 86 0 15 Accident
27 31 42 Chad Finchum Amana Heating & Air Conditioning Toyota 86 0 10 Accident
28 26 36 Josh Williams Sleep Well/Star Tron Chevrolet 86 0 9 Accident
29 13 90 Caesar Bacarella Fisher House Foundation/Alpha Prime Chevrolet 86 0 8 Accident
30 17 19 Brandon Jones Menards/ORCA Toyota 76 0 7 Chassis
31 23 93 Scott Lagasse Jr. Chevrolet 73 0 6 Accident
32 34 52 David Starr Starr Mechanical/Tomi Aircraft Chevrolet 72 0 5 Accident
33 30 15 BJ McLeod Flex Shot Chevrolet 72 0 4 Accident
34 9 8 Sheldon Creed(i) Chevrolet Accessories Chevrolet 71 0 0 Accident
35 10 98 Chase Briscoe # Ford Performance Ford 44 0 3 Accident
36 38 13 Joe Nemechek(i) MBM Motorsports Toyota 39 0 0 Steering
37 24 4 Landon Cassill Flex Seal/Contec Chevrolet 12 0 1 Accident
38 2 10 AJ Allmendinger Cornerstone Produce Group Chevrolet 100 33 1 Disqualified


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