NASCAR Xfinity Series

Justin Allgaier wins Daytona dash in 4th-closest Xfinity finish

2 Mins read
Credit: James Gilbert/Getty Images

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.

Race results

1127Justin AllgaierJR MotorsportsChevrolet110Running
222Sheldon CreedRichard Childress RacingChevrolet110Running
3611Daniel HemricKaulig RacingChevrolet110Running
4548Parker KligermanBig Machine Racing TeamChevrolet110Running
51100Cole CusterStewart-Haas RacingFord110Running
63839Ryan SiegRSS RacingFord110Running
72331Parker RetzlaffJordan Anderson RacingChevrolet110Running
82078Anthony AlfredoB.J. McLeod MotorsportsChevrolet110Running
93308Gray GauldingSS-Green Light RacingChevrolet110Running
10910Justin Haley*Kaulig RacingChevrolet110Running
112745Jeffrey EarnhardtAlpha Prime RacingChevrolet110Running
121022Jeb BurtonJordan Anderson RacingChevrolet110Running
132428Kyle SiegRSS RacingFord110Running
141535Joey GaseEmerling-Gase MotorsportsChevrolet110Running
153727Jordan AndersonJordan Anderson RacingChevrolet110Running
16366Garrett SmithleyJD MotorsportsChevrolet110Running
17138Josh BerryJR MotorsportsChevrolet110Running
182225Brett MoffittAM RacingFord110Running
19141Sam MayerJR MotorsportsChevrolet110Running
201826Kaz GralaSam Hunt RacingToyota109Running
21318Sammy SmithJoe Gibbs RacingToyota109Running
22416Chandler SmithKaulig RacingChevrolet109Running
23121Austin HillRichard Childress RacingChevrolet109Running
241698Riley HerbstStewart-Haas RacingFord108Running
252502Blaine PerkinsOur MotorsportsChevrolet108Running
263251Jeremy ClementsJeremy Clements RacingChevrolet104Accident
272192Josh WilliamsDGM RacingChevrolet103Accident
28720John Hunter NemechekJoe Gibbs RacingToyota103Accident
29819Trevor BayneJoe Gibbs RacingToyota103Accident
303407J.J. YeleySS-Green Light RacingChevrolet98Accident
313044Caesar BacarellaAlpha Prime RacingChevrolet92Accident
322843Ryan EllisAlpha Prime RacingChevrolet91Accident
33194Kyle WeathermanJD MotorsportsChevrolet45DVP
342638Joe Graf Jr.RSS RacingFord42DVP
353553Natalie DeckerEmerling-Gase MotorsportsFord42Accident
36179Brandon JonesJR MotorsportsChevrolet41Accident
372924Connor MosackSam Hunt RacingToyota41Accident
383191Alex GuenetteDGM RacingChevrolet41Accident
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for points
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Justin is neither a NASCAR nor off-road racer, but he has covered them for The Checkered Flag since 2018.
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