Sheldon Creed‘s hunt for his first NASCAR Xfinity Series win has been a campaign of disappointments left and right, from losing in last-lap scrambles (multiple times, in fact) to getting spun while fighting for the lead to even having the fastest car set back by a qualifying crash and divine intervention. Perhaps his most heartbreaking defeat took place Friday night at Daytona International Speedway when the difference between victory and yet another runner-up finish was just .005.
Creed escaped a pair of wrecks in overtime to restart second alongside Justin Allgaier for the third attempt. Allgaier initially found the early run while Creed with Daniel Hemric to keep pace before catching the leader on the final lap. He carried his newfound momentum to take the lead along the outside in turn three, but Allgaier had enough speed coming to the finish to beat him by five one-thousandths of a second.
It tied with the 2018 Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 at Daytona for the fourth-closest finish in Xfinity Series history, trailing the .002 set by the 1996 Sears Auto Center 250 at Milwaukee and 1998 Touchstone Energy 300 at Talladega, as well as the .0004 in the 2018 PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona.
Allgaier notched his second win of 2023 and first at Daytona.
As characteristic for Daytona, all four non-stage cautions were for crashes that collected multiple cars; a four-car wreck with less than ten laps remaining was the smallest, while lap 43 saw the largest when twelve cars were taken out on the fronstretch. The last of the day on lap 105 saw Josh Williams get airbourne on the backstretch after he got turned into the outside wall before being impacted by John Hunter Nemechek. Trevor Bayne and Austin Hill, who combined to lead 62 laps and Hill won the first leg, were victims of overtime accidents.
Kaz Grala also spun coming to the white flag, but was far enough from the racing surface that NASCAR did not call for a caution.
For the race titled the Wawa 250, sponsor Wawa also appeared on four cars piloted by Natalie Decker, Joe Graf Jr., Brett Moffitt, and J.J. Yeley. All four were involved the quartet of crashes, with only Moffitt reaching the finish in eighteenth.
Jordan Anderson Racing endured the chaos to place all three cars in the top fifteen led by Parker Retzlaff in seventh. The team’s eponymous owner, running his first NASCAR race since his fiery crash in the Truck Series at Talladega in 2022, drove Jeb Burton‘s usual #27 while Burton was in a #22 car wrapped to resemble his father Ward Burton’s 2002 Daytona 500-winning vehicle of the same number. Burton drifted into the pit road wall on lap 93, but salvaged a twelfth. Anderson and Josh Berry wrecked coming to the checkered, though Anderson was still classified fifteenth.
|1||12||7||Justin Allgaier||JR Motorsports||Chevrolet||110||Running|
|2||2||2||Sheldon Creed||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||110||Running|
|3||6||11||Daniel Hemric||Kaulig Racing||Chevrolet||110||Running|
|4||5||48||Parker Kligerman||Big Machine Racing Team||Chevrolet||110||Running|
|5||11||00||Cole Custer||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||110||Running|
|6||38||39||Ryan Sieg||RSS Racing||Ford||110||Running|
|7||23||31||Parker Retzlaff||Jordan Anderson Racing||Chevrolet||110||Running|
|8||20||78||Anthony Alfredo||B.J. McLeod Motorsports||Chevrolet||110||Running|
|9||33||08||Gray Gaulding||SS-Green Light Racing||Chevrolet||110||Running|
|10||9||10||Justin Haley*||Kaulig Racing||Chevrolet||110||Running|
|11||27||45||Jeffrey Earnhardt||Alpha Prime Racing||Chevrolet||110||Running|
|12||10||22||Jeb Burton||Jordan Anderson Racing||Chevrolet||110||Running|
|13||24||28||Kyle Sieg||RSS Racing||Ford||110||Running|
|14||15||35||Joey Gase||Emerling-Gase Motorsports||Chevrolet||110||Running|
|15||37||27||Jordan Anderson||Jordan Anderson Racing||Chevrolet||110||Running|
|16||36||6||Garrett Smithley||JD Motorsports||Chevrolet||110||Running|
|17||13||8||Josh Berry||JR Motorsports||Chevrolet||110||Running|
|18||22||25||Brett Moffitt||AM Racing||Ford||110||Running|
|19||14||1||Sam Mayer||JR Motorsports||Chevrolet||110||Running|
|20||18||26||Kaz Grala||Sam Hunt Racing||Toyota||109||Running|
|21||3||18||Sammy Smith||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||109||Running|
|22||4||16||Chandler Smith||Kaulig Racing||Chevrolet||109||Running|
|23||1||21||Austin Hill||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||109||Running|
|24||16||98||Riley Herbst||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||108||Running|
|25||25||02||Blaine Perkins||Our Motorsports||Chevrolet||108||Running|
|26||32||51||Jeremy Clements||Jeremy Clements Racing||Chevrolet||104||Accident|
|27||21||92||Josh Williams||DGM Racing||Chevrolet||103||Accident|
|28||7||20||John Hunter Nemechek||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||103||Accident|
|29||8||19||Trevor Bayne||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||103||Accident|
|30||34||07||J.J. Yeley||SS-Green Light Racing||Chevrolet||98||Accident|
|31||30||44||Caesar Bacarella||Alpha Prime Racing||Chevrolet||92||Accident|
|32||28||43||Ryan Ellis||Alpha Prime Racing||Chevrolet||91||Accident|
|33||19||4||Kyle Weatherman||JD Motorsports||Chevrolet||45||DVP|
|34||26||38||Joe Graf Jr.||RSS Racing||Ford||42||DVP|
|35||35||53||Natalie Decker||Emerling-Gase Motorsports||Ford||42||Accident|
|36||17||9||Brandon Jones||JR Motorsports||Chevrolet||41||Accident|
|37||29||24||Connor Mosack||Sam Hunt Racing||Toyota||41||Accident|
|38||31||91||Alex Guenette||DGM Racing||Chevrolet||41||Accident|
* – Ineligible for points