NASCAR Xfinity Series team Kaulig Racing looked like it would practically be handed a victory at Daytona International Speedway’s Wawa 250 last night. As the final lap got underway, Kaulig drivers Ross Chastain and AJ Allmendinger were duking it out for the lead of the race when the two made contact and crashed in spectacular fashion.
Their teammate Justin Haley took home his second win of the season, the first having come at Talladega Superspeedway. There, Haley started on pole but was able to take advantage of a massive crash with nine laps to go in order to secure his win.
It was a similar story on Friday night. Haley was settled in third place when his teammates crashed, enabling him to slide up to victory.
“Amazing effort by Kaulig Racing. Obviously, I hate Ross and A.J. got together,” Haley said after the race. “We all work as one. I can’t believe it. Two superspeedway races in a row.
“It looked like a little delayed reaction, obviously not intentional on anyone. We got lucky there. We got shuffled out and I got a little frustrated but that’s why you never give up. These things are so unpredictable.”
Chastain, who has been criticized for his drastic end-of-race moves was somewhat defensive of his move.
“That’s terrible to run into a teammate like that. Must be my fault, though,” he said in a post-race interview. “It’s unfortunate. We did everything right all night. Did everything right to be the best teammate I could, and last lap I don’t back down. I’m going to go for it. Coming to the checkered, what am I supposed to do? Run second? Not this guy.”
Allmendinger was far quieter after what must have been a terribly frustrating night.
“It’s the way it is,” he said. “I don’t know. I try to take care of my teammates, but I was going for the win. Ross is going for the championship and going for the win there. I saw him get low and thought maybe he would take care of me a little bit considering I was there. But he’s going for the win. It’s just disappointing because we were going to have another one-two-three Kaulig finish at Daytona.
“It’s racing. And congratulations to Justin Haley for getting a Kaulig Racing Chevrolet into victory lane. That’s the most important thing.”
Following Haley to the checkered flag were Gray Gaulding in second and Chase Briscoe in third.