Racing at Daytona is always exciting, and this past weekend did not disappoint. The Xfinity Series was rained out on Friday and had to be completed Saturday afternoon before the Cup race. This meant that the drivers that did double-duty, did it back-to-back, driving 650 miles at near 200 mph over the course of the day. Notably, those drivers included David Starr, Christopher Bell, and Justin Haley.
Kaulig Racing was the big winner in the Xfinity race. All three drivers for Kaulig were dominating throughout the race, with Justin Haley winning Stage 1 and Jeb Burton winning Stage 2. But the final stage showed the true strength of this race team. On the final lap, going through turns 3 and 4, the Kaulig drivers went 3 wide on the front row. It was a drag race to the finish between Justin Haley, Jeb Burton, and AJ Allmendinger. Notably, Justin Haley took the checkered flag, and would be climbing into a Cup car just a few hours later.
Also notably, Sam Mayer, who is set to drive full-time next year for JR Motorsports, made his first career start on a Super Speedway and finished 12th, which is a major accomplishment. Mayer then headed off to Milwaukee to compete in the ARCA race on Sunday.
Saturday night, the Cup cars took to the track in the last race of the regular season. There were 15 drivers vying for the final spot in the playoffs. This made for great racing and more than one Big One. Notably, Tyler Reddick earned the final spot with a highly damaged car, and Ryan Blaney took the checkered flag, with everyone wrecking behind him, for his 3rd win of the season and his 2nd in a row. Kyle Larson won the regular season championship.
As fans know, at Daytona, it is always anybody’s race, and everyone has the chance to excel. Some other notable finishes include Justin Haley finishing 6th, BJ McLeod finishing 9th, and Josh Bilicki finishing 10th.
Sunday afternoon the ARCA Series took to the Milwaukee Mile. Notably, Sam Mayer finished 2nd after competing the day before in the Xfinifty Series. Also notably, Gracie Trotter finished 10th after starting in the 13th position. But Ty Gibbs was the star of the show. Notably, Gibbs got his 9th win of the season in dominating style by leading every lap. It was also announced by MAVTV that Gibbs would be competing full-time in the Xfinity Series next year.