Theriault Wins ARCA Daytona Thriller
With five laps remaining, ARCA Officials declared Austin Theriault the race winner of the thrilling Lucas Oil 200. The race was declared official due to time constraints and the time to fix a punctured SAFER Barrier following an accident that saw Justin Fontaine go on his roof on the frontstretch.
Fontaine has been transported to a local hospital for further evaluation.
Theriault was able to grab the lead from Terry Jones shortly before the caution flag that ended the race.
When the green flag flew with less than 10 laps remaining, Theriault and Lee were dead even for over a lap and a half. With the help from Dalton Sargeant, Theriault edged in front of Jones before the caution flew with five laps remaining.
“It was such an awesome race. The guys gave us a really good car. I think that if we went back green, we would’ve been fine. This car was that strong,” said Theriault in victory lane.
The win by Theriault, with the help of Ken Schrader Racing, kicks off a run for the ARCA Racing Series championship.
This is Theriault’s second career ARCA win in his third start. His first win came at Michigan in 2015. Ken Schrader Racing scores their third Daytona ARCA win, their first since winning back-to-back in 1994 to 1995.
Jones finished second, Shane Lee finished third, Sargeant was fourth, and Tom Hessert rounded out the top-five.
Keselowski Draws P1
The lineup for the Advanced Auto Parts Clash at Daytona is set. Brad Keselowski will start on the pole in the 75-lap exhibition race. Denny Hamlin will start from the outside pole position.
Jamie McMurray will start third followed by Martin Truex Jr., Austin Dillon, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Alex Bowman, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson, Danica Patrick, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Matt Kenseth, Daniel Suarez, and Chris Buescher.
The field was set by a random draw behind the NASCAR hauler shortly after 3:30 p.m. EST.
The Advanced Auto Parts Clash at Daytona kicks off the season. The race will be live on Fox Sports 1 and Motor Racing Network beginning at 8:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, February 18th.
Advanced Auto Parts Clash at Daytona Preview
The first official “race” of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series begins with the Advanced Auto Parts Clash at Daytona. This is the 39th running of the Clash.
17 drivers are scheduled to compete with new names like Alex Bowman and Daniel Suarez.
Drivers who are eligible to compete in the Clash are 2016 MENCS Pole winners, former winners of the Clash, former Daytona 500 pole winners, and 2016 Playoff drivers.
Suarez was able to participate in the Clash due to the sudden departure of Carl Edwards. NASCAR will allow Suarez to participate because Joe Gibbs Racing has already being in advanced stages of preparing the car and having sponsorship.
Bowman will drive the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet because Dale Earnhardt Jr. determined that Bowman should have the opportunity because he won the pole at Phoenix late last season.
The Advanced Auto Parts Clash will be a 75-lap feature with competition caution at lap-25 to separate the segments.
Bowman, Chris Buescher, and Suarez will be making their “Clash” debuts.
“The biggest thing for me racing in the Clash this weekend is going to be just getting the feel of the car and learning my crew chief,” Buescher said. “This is a big race, not in points, but because it’s the first time the No. 37 team is all going to be on track together. That’s the one learning curve we haven’t been able to test yet, but I’m really looking forward to getting back in the racecar and using The Clash as a learning tool for the Daytona 500,” said Buescher.
“It’s going to be really nice to be able to get back to the grind and have Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) behind the wheel for us again. It’s almost kind of like getting a rookie back, somebody who’s really intense and really wanting to just get back behind the wheel. I know that’s re-energized and rejuvenated a lot of the guys on the team -- especially myself,” said Bowman.
Qualifying for the Clash will be based on a random draw. There will be two practice sessions for the race on February 17th at 5:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. EST on Fox Sports 1.
Almirola Snags Daytona Victory
Aric Almirola edges Justin Allgaier on the last lap that ended in caution to win the Subway Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway. Almirola was deemed the winner by inches when the field was frozen at the time the caution flag flew for a multi-car wreck on the Daytona Superstretch. Ryan Seig, Joey Logano, and Brendan Gaughan.. This is Almirola’s 1st Xfinity win in 72 races.
“It’s so cool,” Almirola said. “What a season we’ve had. We’ve had a horrible season on the Cup side. Things just haven't gone our way. But I’m so glad to be in Victory Lane. It’s such a special place for me. I won my first Cup race here two years ago, but for me, this is my first Xfinity win. I know I have a win, but there’s always been that asterisk next to it. But I’ve been dying to get back to Victory Lane in an Xfinity car so I can say I’ve won in all three series without that asterisk (2007 Milwaukee) by my name.”
Allgaier, who could have clinched his spot in the chase, stated that this one “is going to hurt for awhile,” after missing the win by inches.
The Subway Firecracker 250 saw 19 lead changes among 12 drivers. Joey Logano led a race high of 46 laps, followed by David Ragan (18), Elliott Sadler (11), Austin Dillon (10), Chase Elliott (5), Justin Allgaier and Ty Dillon with three, Aric Almirola and Ross Chastain with two, and Morgan Shepard, Brendan Gaughan, and Mark Thompson led one lap.
The caution flag flew eight times for 33 laps. All cautions were for accidents on the racing surface. The red flag was also displayed on the second caution for speedway cleanup.
Daniel Suarez still holds the Xfinity Series points lead by 21 over Elliott Sadler, followed by Ty Dillon (-35), Justin Allgaier (-68), and Brandon Jones (-73).
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will travel to Kentucky Speedway for a Friday evening spectacular, the Alsco 300. Coverage from Kentucky will begin at 8:30 on the NBC Sports Network and Performance Racing Network.
Ragan Surfs into Daytona Pole
In the first round of qualifying, teams were running about 10 to 15 mph slower than they were in the practice sessions this weekend. Qualifying was halted after 22 drivers to the afternoon thunderstorms in the Daytona Beach area, but resumed shortly after 3:30 pm eastern, a 70 minute delay. David Ragan was fastest in the first round with a speed of 181.302 mph followed by Austin Dillon, Joey Logano, Erik Jones, and Brennan Poole. Carl Long, Derrike Cope, and Mike Harmon will be packing up their haulers as they did not qualify for the Subway Firecracker 250. Blake Koch and Brendan Gaughan are notable Xfinity drivers that did not make the top-12 in this round. Notable drivers advancing to the second round include Corey Lajoie and Benny Gordon.
The second round of qualifying went green without any delays. Corey Lajoie qualified 10th and Benny Gordon rounded out the round in the 12th position.
The Xfinity Series cars will be impounded before tonight’s race. Coverage begins at 7 pm eastern on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) and Motor Racing Network.