Last night's finish at Daytona in the Xfinity Series race was UNBELIEVABLE!!!
Last February at Daytona, Elliott Sadler finished 2nd behind teammate Tyler Reddick. Losing by only .0004 seconds, it was the closest margin of victory in series history. Sadler has never won at Daytona, and what driver wouldn't want to win at Daytona? So to lose by such a small margin had to have an extra sting to it, and Elliott probably had a little extra fire in his belly to win last night.
And, last night, Elliott once again had himself in position to win. But on the last few hundred feet of the last lap, as Sadler and Kyle Larson were battling it out for the win, Justin Haley dipped down, passed them both, and crossed the finish line ahead of both of them in only his second NASCAR Xfinity Series start.
It would've appeared as though Haley just pulled off one of the most incredible wins in NASCAR history! But not so fast...
NASCAR has a rule that you cannot go below the double yellow line to improve your position. This rule is only in effect at Daytona and Talladega, and a review of the video shows that Haley did indeed go below the yellow line to improve his position. A penalty was issued to Haley, and after further review, it was deemed that Kyle Larson won the race, crossing the finish line a mere .005 seconds before Elliott Sadler. WOW!
Here is the dramatic finish.
This was the ending to a race that saw not one, but TWO "big ones." With 19 to go, the first Big One happened, causing Austin Cindric to roll twice. He was uninjured.
And then this happened with four to go.
After the race was over, Justin Haley showed great class in going over to congratulate Kyle Larson on the win... much like Larson did last week in the cup series at Chicagoland when he was beat by Kyle Busch.
It was certainly disappointing for Justin Haley to think that he won, only to find out that he instead got a penalty. There are a lot of people speaking out- including fellow drivers. Some are saying that NASCAR made the wrong call and some are saying it was the right call. But one thing is for sure... Justin Haley has a GREAT career in front of him and we will be hearing a lot from this driver in the future. And after what we saw last night, there should be no doubt in anyone's mind that he'll get his Daytona win. Maybe several...