Reddick and Sadler Duel for Daytona Supremacy in Photo Finish

JR Motorsports | 2/18/2018

Brandt BurgerFi Chase Elliott Daytona Elliott Sadler Hellmann's Justin Allgaier Michael Annett News OneMain Pilot Flying J Tyler Reddick XFINITY Series

Reddick scored the victory in Saturday's NASCAR Xfinity Series race, beating Sadler to the line by a NASCAR-record 0.000 seconds. It stands as the closest finish in National Series history.

Race 1 of 33: Powershares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway
Track Specs: 2.5-mile tri-oval / 120 laps
Weather: Partly cloudy; 78 degrees
Race Winner: Tyler Reddick

Reddick’s Finish: 1st
Sadler’s Finish: 2nd
Elliott’s Finish: 12th
Allgaier’s Finish: 31st
Annett’s Finish: 37th

Tyler Reddick

Tyler Reddick, driver of the No. 9 BurgerFi Chevrolet Camaro, overcame several late-race cautions and survived multiple green-white-checkered restarts to earn the victory in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Powershares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway. Reddick, who led the final 11 laps, became only the second driver to win in their first start for JR Motorsports, joining Regan Smith who accomplished that feat in 2012 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Reddick took the green flag for the scheduled 120-lap race from the ninth position after advancing to the final round of knockout qualifying on Saturday morning. From the drop of the green flag, the driver of the BurgerFi Camaro worked with his JR Motorsports teammates to draft toward the front. However, damage sustained from contact during a multi-car incident on lap 12 forced the Corning, Calif. native to come to pit road several times for repairs. As a result of the pit stops, Reddick took the green flag on lap 15 from 32nd but wasted little time moving forward, improving 28 positions over the final laps of Stage One to take the green and checkered flag in fourth on lap 30.

Crew chief Dave Elenz called Reddick to pit road in between stages for right-side tires and fuel, sending the BurgerFi Camaro back onto the track in the fifth position for the lap 35 restart. Reddick battled two and three-wide throughout the caution-free second stage, consistently jockeying for position inside the top 10 before ultimately finishing Stage Two in eighth.

Prior to the green flag for the final stage, Elenz called Reddick back to pit road to make further repairs to the right-side door of the BurgerFi Camaro from damage sustained in the lap 12 incident. Despite the repairs, Reddick charged forward when the race restarted on lap 66, utilizing just 11 laps to move back into the top 10 and up to the sixth position. However, Reddick was shuffled back to 16th following a lap 83 caution period due to a variety of pit strategies used by the race leaders. The loss of track position didn’t phase the rookie driver as Reddick drafted back into the top 10 through the middle lane and up to seventh before the caution flag fell once again. Reddick continued to methodically move forward in the closing laps despite a rash of late-race caution periods. After narrowly avoiding another multi-car incident during the first attempt at a green-white-checkered finish, the driver of the BurgerFi Camaro was scored in the third position.

Reddick then drafted into the race lead just before the caution came out while the field was coming to the white flag on lap 133. Following another caution period immediately after the restart, Reddick lined up as the leader for the final restart of the afternoon on lap 141 and held off a feverish charge by JR Motorsports teammate Elliott Sadler to score the victory in the closest finish in NASCAR history.

With Saturday’s win, Reddick becomes the first NXS driver to secure a position in the 2018 Playoffs and crew chief Elenz becomes the winningest crew chief in team history with nine career wins, surpassing Tony Eury, Sr., who holds eight victories for the organization.

The remainder of the top five in Saturday’s event was Sadler, Ryan Reed, Kaz Grala and Garrett Smithley.

Tyler Reddick, driver No. 9 BurgerFi team

“It was just an incredible day. Big thank you to BurgerFi and everyone at JR Motorsports. I don’t know what to say. It’s incredible that we were able to win this race today. I’m just blown away. It’s a great way to kick off the year and we’re in the playoffs already. We went and tested Atlanta so I’m really excited to get there and see how our car is going to be down there. I don’t know what to say. I’m pumped for next week but at the same time I’m going to enjoy this win tonight. I’m really thankful to be a part of this team.”

Elliott Sadler

Elliott Sadler and the OneMain Financial team persevered in the PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway bringing home a runner-up finish to JR Motorsports teammate Tyler Reddick. The margin of victory was 0.000, the closet finish in NASCAR National Series history. Following the second-place finish in the 2018 season opener, Sadler and his team sit second in the point standings.

After taking the green flag in 11th, Sadler began his drive forward and was running ninth by the end of lap 1. Competing on the bottom line, the OneMain Financial Camaro was right behind three of his four teammates. On lap 12, the Emporia, Va., native was caught in a minor incident. Sadler brought his No. 1 Chevrolet down pit road for four tires, fuel and right-side front repair. When the field returned to green, the OneMain Financial team was in 30th. With the help of his spotter, Sadler drove his way back into the top five by the end of the stage, earning him and the OneMain Financial team six regular season points.

Under the stage-ending caution, the No. 1 team elected for a fuel only pit stop. Sadler restarted for Stage Two in first place. Remaining focused, Sadler drove his Chevrolet just like he did throughout Stage One, as he reported positive handling. On lap 45, Sadler slipped to 10th place after the top line received a stronger push while he was running the bottom. When the stage ended on lap 60, the OneMain Financial team was in 15th place.

Before the final stage began, Sadler came down pit road for four fresh tires and fuel. With a quick pit stop by the OneMain Financial team, Sadler restarted in 10th place. Making another strong drive, Sadler made his way back into the top three. The driver of the No. 1 Camaro raced there until he was penalized for locking bumpers with teammate Chase Elliott and had to serve a pass through down pit road. Fortunately for the team, the caution flag was displayed just a few laps later, returning them to the lead lap. Crew chief Kevin Meendering called Sadler down pit road for fuel only under the yellow flag. Sadler restarted in 24th place.

With his veteran experience, the 42-year-old driver made his way back into the top 10. On lap 119, slight contact loosened Sadler taking him for a spin. A great save kept the No. 1 Chevrolet with little to no additional damage. Sadler restarted the first of five green-white-checkered finish attempts from the 32nd-running position. Running towards the back, the OneMain Financial driver was able to avoid trouble and race smart throughout the overtime runs. On what was the final lap of the race, Sadler drove from racing single-file in second place behind Reddick to two wide for the lead. Sadler ultimately finished runner-up for the third consecutive time at a superspeedway.

Reddick won the NASCAR Xfinity Series season opener and was followed by Sadler, Ryan Reed, Kaz Grala and Garrett Smithley to round out the top five.

Elliott Sadler, driver OneMain Financial team

“We had a pretty wild day today. I think we were in 32nd place on the first green-white-checkered (finish). With perseverance, my OneMain Financial team was able to race for the win. It hurts to finish runner-up at a superspeedway for the third time in a row, but I’m happy for Tyler (Reddick) and JR Motorsports on getting a Chevrolet to Victory Lane.”

Chase Elliott

Chase Elliott’s widely eventful race in Saturday’s PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway concluded in a 12th-place finish with the No. 88 Hellmann’s Chevrolet Camaro. After leading 17 laps and claiming a win in Stage Two, the team looked poised to challenge for victory until a series of events forced them to rebound from a late-race penalty and replace a side window to salvage the day. 

After starting in the eighth position, Elliott patiently abided the race’s early stages in the middle of the pack and climbed to 12th by the conclusion of Stage One on lap 30. Under the ensuing stage-ending caution, he radioed the crew, commenting that “the car gets some pretty good runs”. Crew chief Scott Radel used that feedback and the opportunity to bring the Hellmann’s ride to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments.

Elliott lined up in 18th for the Stage Two restart and, as the field rumbled up to speed, made solid work of the high line. Elliott drove the No. 88 into the sixth position in only a handful of laps. Shortly after, he charged his way to second and found the bumper of leader Kyle Larson. After setting Larson up for a pass over a period of several laps, Elliott made a brazen move past the No. 42 on the inside and took point on lap 47. Elliott would lead the next 17 laps and claim the win in Stage Two.

Making another pit stop with the rest of the front runners under the stage break, the Hellmann’s entry took the restart for the final stage in sixth. Elliott maintained a stranglehold on the top five over the next 30 circuits. Around the 100-lap mark, Elliott surged toward the front when teammate Elliott Sadler provided a heavy push to the rear bumper of the No. 88.  NASCAR deemed the move illegal, claiming the push was locking bumpers, a move banned if held for too long. The resulting penalty forced the No. 88 down pit road to serve a pass-through penalty under green-flag conditions.

The penalty would have been a dagger in the heart of the team’s victory chances were it not for a caution flag that waved a lap later, slowing the field and allowing the Hellmann’s team to stay on the lead lap, though they would be in 24th for the upcoming restart on lap 105. Back up to speed, Elliott immediately went to work, clawing his way up the leaderboard and finding the 10th position with only five laps remaining in the race’s scheduled distance. 

With several cautions forcing the race into mandated overtime, random misfortune found the team when the ride-side window came undone and Elliott came back down pit road for a replacement. Quick work by the Hellmann’s team put him back on the track but not before Elliott dropped to 22nd. He rallied over the race’s closing laps to secure a hard-fought 12th-place effort.

His JRM teammate Tyler Reddick won the race by 0.000 seconds over Elliott Sadler in the closest finish in NASCAR National Series history. The two were followed the line by Ryan Reed, Kaz Grala and Garrett Smithley. 

Chase Elliott, driver No. 88 Hellmann’s team

“It was just a wild day, man. It was really a lot of fun when we were up front; us, and Joey [Logano], and Kyle [Larson], that was really a lot of fun. We didn’t get a chance to continue that towards the end. Everybody gets to pushing so hard, it’s hard to check up sometimes. You just can’t. There are guys all over you.”

On the penalty:

“I knew we were locked on, I just didn’t know how [NASCAR] was going to call it. The only thing I don’t like about that is the car in front has no control over that happening or not. There was absolutely nothing I could have done to get him off my bumper in that situation. That’s the only frustrating thing, there is nothing I can do.”

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier and the BRANDT Professional Agriculture team were in the hunt for the victory in Saturday’s Powershares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway when a late-race wreck ruined their chances, relegating them to a 31st-place finish in the season opener.

The 31-year-old driver started the race in the fifth position and showed the power of his BRANDT Chevy early, staying within the main draft towards the front to finish Stage One in third on lap 30. Under the stage-ending caution, Allgaier relayed to the team that the No. 7 Camaro was tight off of Turn 4. Crew chief Jason Burdett called the driver down pit road and the crew gave him two right-side tires and fuel.

He took the green for Stage Two in third and was shuffled back in the draft early to just outside the top 10. Working his spotter to try to utilize different lanes in the draft to advance forward, he was able to end the second stage in 10th. During the run he radioed that the BRANDT Chevy had continued to get tight, especially off of Turn 4. The team opted to make a pit stop for four fresh tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment.

When the field went back to green for the final stage on lap 67, Allgaier found himself in the 11th spot. He was back up to fourth when the yellow flag waved on lap 83. The Illinois native told his team that the last adjustment freed him up on entry, but didn’t help on exit. In an effort to help with the handling, the team called him in for another wedge adjustment and fuel. He restarted in 10th on lap 86 and maneuvered his way back up towards the front, surviving multiple wrecks. On a restart with five laps to go, Allgaier was running in the seventh position and had worked his way up to the second spot when another caution came out, sending the race into overtime.

Allgaier earned himself a front-row spot for the overtime restart and had a good run going, but the No. 98 of Aric Almirola shuffled him to the outside line. Shortly after, chaos ensued ahead of him and the No. 7 Chevrolet was collected in a wreck. The team tried to make repairs, but the heavy damage sustained left Allgaier unable to finish the race, resulting in a 31st-place finish.

Allgaier’s JR Motorsports teammate Tyler Reddick eventually went on to win the first Xfinity Series race of the season, narrowly beating out fellow JRM driver Elliott Sadler in the closest finish in NASCAR history. Ryan Reed, Kaz Grala and Garrett Smithley rounded out the top five.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture team

“The guys brought a really good BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevy and I thought we had a good shot at getting the victory today. We had put ourselves in good position there towards the end, but then we got caught up in that wreck and our day was done. I hate it for this entire team because of all the hard work they put in all weekend long and to get so close to coming home with a clean race car. Congrats to Tyler (Reddick) and the entire No. 9 team. It was awesome to see one of my teammates get to Victory Lane. He and Elliott (Sadler) put on quite a show there at the end. I just wish we could have been in the mix there along with them.”

Michael Annett

Michael Annett’s day at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday got off to a great start, but his Powershares QQQ 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race ended in the garage area after a crash with 33 laps remaining. Annett’s Pilot Flying J Chevrolet was caught up in a crash mid-pack as the field exited Turn 4 on lap 106.

After qualifying a stellar seventh, Annett ran much of the day in the top 10 and spent considerable time in the top five with his JR Motorsports teammates. He was running 12th on lap 98 when Ryan Reed jumped down to block Ryan Truex and sent the latter under the double yellow line. Truex gathered it up, but hit the banking in Turn 3 and chased a couple of cars up the track. One of them hit Annett and sent him to the outside wall, which flattened out the right side of the No. 5 Chevrolet, splitting a fender and cutting down a tire.

Crew chief Jason Stockert called Annett to pit road to fix the damage, changing four tires and cleaning up the bodywork well inside the six-minute crash clock time limit. Annett got back on the track in 29th and was running 19th when Garrett Smithley and Truex tangled over a spot. Annett was punted sideways into a spin through Daytona’s infield grass. The splitter dug into the grass and shattered the front end of the car, ruining the radiator and whatever chance Annett had at a reasonable finish. The damage was too severe to repair inside the time limit and he retired from the race with a 37th-place finish.

Prior to all that, Annett and Stockert, with the help of spotter Kevin Hamlin, had engineered a pretty solid day. After starting seventh—Annett’s best start since a fifth-place effort at Indianapolis last July—Annett advanced to third place inside the first five laps. He stayed in the top 10 over the first stage to finish seventh, earning three stage points. Prior to the start, Annett told his team that he was going to race hard and get every stage point possible, and judging by the first stage of the season, it was a good plan.

Annett told Stockert that the car was too tight to run anywhere but the top, so Stockert gave him four tires and a couple of adjustments on the pit stop, and the Iowa native started Stage Two in 12th. After sorting out the draft for a few laps, Annett reported that the car got tighter right away and just kept going. “I can feel the splitter all the way around the track,” Annett said at the end of the stage. Stockert reset the air pressures and made wedge adjustments for the pit stop and sent Annett back out in 17th.

In the final stage, Annett took off and within 11 laps was challenging for the lead, pushing teammate Elliott Sadler to the lead at one point before getting suckered in the draft and falling to eighth. A caution flag for fluid on the track allowed him to catch his breath, and Stockert called his driver down pit road for fuel only and a couple of adjustments. Annett restarted fifth on lap 87 and was running fourth or fifth for the next several laps until getting pushed out of the middle groove and falling to 14th. He was running eighth on lap 98 before the incident involving Truex put him in a bad position.

JRM rookie Tyler Reddick won the race over teammate Sadler by a NASCAR-record margin of victory (0.000 seconds, finish determined by photo). Reed was third, followed by rookie Kaz Grala and Smithley.

Michael Annett, driver No. 5 Pilot Flying J team

“Even though we didn’t finish this race, I am excited for what we were able to do today. We qualified well, for starters. We want to earn as many stage points as we can, and we did that in the first stage of the season. We ran in the top five a lot today, and that’s because of the hard work that Jason (crew chief Stockert) and my Pilot Flying J team did over the winter. I was a tight for a good bit of the race, but I could run the top and we were in a solid position for a very good result today.”

 

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XFINITY Series Schedule

XFINITY Series Standings

After Ford EcoBoost 300*

Homestead-Miami Speedway | 11/17/2018
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Tyler Reddick (P)40400
2Cole Custer (P)4035-5
3Daniel Hemric (P)4033-7
4Christopher Bell # (P)4026-14
5Elliott Sadler2255-1785
6Matt Tifft2254-1786
7Justin Allgaier2251-1789
14Michael Annett632-3408