Rejoice! NASCAR’s regular season is back, ready to fill that empty hole in your heart with cars once more. You know, much like how their second-tier Xfinity Series filled the entire width of Daytona International Speedway with crashed cars this afternoon. The race ended after five overtime restarts in a photo finish and set a new record for the most cautions in a Xfinity Series race at Daytona.
The madness really started when the race went into overtime, thanks to Elliott Sadler bringing out the yellow flag after spinning with three laps to go. Kyle Larson tried to block in the very front of the field on the first overtime restart attempt of the race, but Aric Almirola was on a fast run behind him thanks to some drafting help from Chase Elliott.
Almirola bumped Larson from behind, sending him into a spin that started a chain reaction crash that ate up most of the field behind them. After the tire smoke dissipated, the entire width of the track was blocked in one spot by a wall of wrecked cars.
Some cars made it through, though, and the race went on to four more restarts, setting a new record for the number of cautions in one Xfinity Series race at Daytona: 12! They’d restart, someone would crash before the last-lap white flag was thrown, and they would be forced to restart all over again.
Describing this race at this point feels a bit like describing the construction of Swamp Castle in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. But the fifth restart! The fifth restart held up.
After a red flag was thrown to clean up a big mess left by the No. 28 car hitting the wall on the fourth overtime restart and oiling down the track, Tyler Reddick won by the tip of his car’s nose on the last lap of the fifth overtime restart.
The race had been planned for 130 laps, but ended after lap 143.
Daytona is already insane and we haven’t even made it to the 500 yet. Buckle up.