There have been many surprises in NASCAR, but for a new underfunded race team who has different drivers racing every week, this was big to win at the 2.5 mile Daytona International Speedway.
Part time driver Justin Haley in the 77 Fraternal Order of Eagles.com Chevrolet Camaro has won the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Justin Haley was in the mid pack for the most part but would miss the big one on lap 119. Haley would take the lead when some cars pitted, which gave him the lead. Haley would stay out when Kurt Busch in the 1 Global Poker Military Chevy pitted and would get Spire Motorsports their first ever Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win.
Hendrick Motorsports had all four cars in the top 10, but only two would make it out. William Byron in the 24 Axalta Patriotic Chevrolet Camaro did not lead a lap but was up front, somehow missed the “big one”, and would finish second, while his teammate Jimmie Johnson in the 48 Ally Chevy was just outside of the top ten when the wreck happened. Johnson did not lead a lap but finished third. The two Hendrick cars who were involved in the accident on lap 119 were Alex Bowman in the 88 Valvoline Patriotic Chevy who finished 21st, and Chase Elliott in the 9 NAPA Batteries Chevy who was leading at one point but was caught up in the wreck. Elliott led three laps and finished 35th.
Stewart Haas Racing had a tough day. Daniel Suarez in the 41 Haas Ford Mustang was involved in a wreck early on and would finish 40th, and Clint Bowyer in the 14 Mobil 1/Rush Truck Centers Ford who made contact with Austin Dillon which caused the big wreck. Bowyer would lead three laps and finish 34th and is now only four points above the cutline. Another driver involved for Stewart Haas Racing was the 4 Jimmy Johns Ford of Kevin Harvick who led 12 laps and finish 29th. The only car to finish in the top 10 was Aric Almirola in the 10 Smithfield Anytime Favorites Ford who did not lead a lap and would finish 7th.
Team Penske was also caught up in the incident. Joey Logano in the 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang led 41 laps, won stage one, and finished 25th. Ryan Blaney in the 12 BodyArmor Ford led a lap and finished 36th, while the final Penske driver Brad Keselowski in the 2 Miller Lite Patriotic Ford was involved in a wreck on lap 83 and would finish 39th.
Just like Team Penske, Joe Gibbs Racing had their cars wrecked and none finished in the top 10. Kyle Busch in the 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry led three laps and finished 14th. Martin Truex Jr in the Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER ATVs & Boats/ USO Toyota did not lead a lap finishing 22nd, Erik Jones in the 20 Sport Clips Toyota finished 23rd, and Denny Hamlin in the 11 FedEx Office Toyota who led five laps finishing 26th.
Richard Childress Racing Driver Austin Dillon in the 3 American Ethanol Chevrolet Camaro did win stage two and led 46 laps hoping to get the victory and make the playoffs, but was involved in the accident as well. Teammate Daniel Hemric in the 8 Cessna Chevy was involved in the wreck with Keselowski on lap 83, but came back to finish 18th.
Other surprise finishers include Ty Dillon in the 13 GEICO Military Chevrolet Camaro who finished fourth, Corey LaJoie in the 32 Shine Armor Ford Mustang finished sixth, Matt DiBenedetto in the 95 Procore Toyota who led a lap and finished eighth. Matt Tifft in the 36 Ron Jon Surf Shop Ford finished ninth, Landon Cassill in the 00 Jacob Companies Chevy finished 11th, and J.J. Yeley in the 52 DriveSmartWarranty.com Ford finished 12th.
The next race will be the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday in which last years winner Martin Truex Jr looks to repeat.
- Justin Haley 77 Fraternal Order of Eagles.com Chevrolet Camaro Spire Motorsports
- William Byron 24 Axalta Patriotic Chevrolet Camaro Hendrick Motorsports
- Jimmie Johnson 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro Hendrick Motorsports
- Ty Dillon 13 GEICO Military Chevrolet Camaro Germain Racing
- Ryan Newman 6 Roush Performance/Acorns Ford Mustang Roush Fenway Racing
- Corey LaJoie 32 Shine Armor Ford Mustang Go Fas Racing
- Aric Almirola 10 Smithfield Anytime Favorites Ford Mustang Stewart-Haas Racing
- Matt DiBenedetto 95 Procore Toyota Camry LeavineFamilyRacing
- Matt Tifft 36 Ron Jon Surf Shop Ford Mustang Front Row Motorsports
- Kurt Busch 1 Global Poker Military Chevrolet Camaro Chip Ganassi Racing
- Landon Cassill 00 Jacob Companies Chevrolet Camaro StarCom Racing
- J.J. Yeley 52 DriveSmartWarranty.com Ford Mustang Rick Ware Racing
- Michael McDowell 34 Long Johns Silvers Ford Mustang Front Row Motorsports
- Kyle Busch 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry Joe Gibbs Racing
- Bubba Wallace 43 United States Air Force Chevrolet Camaro Richard Petty Motorsports
- Paul Menard 21 Menards/Dutch Boy Ford Mustang Wood Brothers Racing
- Chris Buescher 37 Scott Comfort Plus Chevrolet Camaro JTG Daugherty Racing
- Daniel Hemric 8 Cessna Chevrolet Camaro Richard Childress Racing
- Brenden Gaughan 62 Beard Oil/SouthPoint Chevrolet Camaro Beard Motorsports
- Kyle Larson 42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet Camaro Chip Ganassi Racing
- Alex Bowman 88 Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro Hendrick Motorsports
- Martin Truex Jr 19 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER ATVs & Boats/ USO Toyota Camry Joe Gibbs Racing
- Erik Jones 20 Sports Clips Toyota Camry Joe Gibbs Racing
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr 17 Fifth Third Bank Ford Mustang Roush Fenway Racing
- Joey Logano 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang Team Penske
- Denny Hamlin 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry Joe Gibbs Racing
- Joey Gase 53 Connected Claim Service/Action Chevrolet Camaro Rick Ware Racing
- B.J. McLeod 51 Jacob Companies Patriotic Ford Mustang Rick Ware Racing
- Kevin Harvick 4 Jimmy Johns Ford Mustang Stewart Haas Racing
- Ross Chastain 27 Chevrolet Camaro Premium Motorsports
- Parker Kligerman 96 TRD 40th Anniversary Toyota Camry Gaunt Bros Racing
- Ryan Preece 47 Kroger Patriotic Chevrolet Camaro JTG Daugherty Racing
- Austin Dillon 3 American Ethanol Chevrolet Camaro Richard Childress Racing
- Clint Bowyer 14 Mobil 1/Rush Truck Centers Ford Mustang Stewart Haas Racing
- Chase Elliott 9 NAPA Batteries Chevrolet Camaro Hendrick Motorsports
- Ryan Blaney 12 BodyArmor Ford Mustang Team Penske
- Quin Houff 15 TheEleaseProject.org Chevrolet Camaro Premium Motorsports
- David Ragan 38 MDStrucking.com Ford Mustang Front Row Motorsports
- Brad Keselowski 2 Miller Lite Patriotic Ford Mustang Team Penske
- Daniel Suarez 41 Haas Ford Mustang Stewart Haas Racing
Ian O’Brien is a Contributor for the Unwrapped Sports Network website. Follow him @Ianthekicker41 on Twitter.