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NASCAR’S Daytona 500 weekend: Hamlin (Cup), Gragson (Xfinity) and Enfinger (Trucks)

NASCAR Cup Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway

Hamlin wins the ‘500' after Newman has a big wreck on the final lap

Daytona Beach, FL, Feb 17/20 (GRW): The bulk of this year’s Daytona 500 was run on the Monday after rain washed out Sunday’s racing. It has become normal for these races at Daytona to involve a number of big wrecks and this one lived up to that sad history.

Running in the second overtime session – brought on by wrecks – Ryan Newman was leading the final lap with a push from Ryan Blaney. His car spun out of control and hit the wall, went up in the air and flipped, landing on its roof. Corey LaJoie could not avoid slamming into the driver’s side of the stationary car. Newman sustained injuries that were described as serious but not life-threatening. He was taken to a nearby hospital and he was discharged, walking out, two days later. Ross Chastain has been chosen to drive Newman’s No. 6 car at Las Vegas the following week.

When Newman crashed, setting off a multi-car wreck and ending the race, Denny Hamlin was in a position to take the win by a 0.014-second margin over Blaney. Chris Buescher finished in third place ahead of David Ragan and Kevin Harvick. Newman was scored as having completed the final lap (lap 209 in second overtime)

On Sunday the race was red-flagged on lap 21 due to rain and racing never resumed until Monday afternoon. On Monday, NASCAR counted eight more cautions. The sixth caution of the 200-lap race came on lap 185 and involved 19 of the race’s 40 starter – and it brought out the race’s second red flag.

Four laps after that restart another yellow came after Reed Sorenson and Timmy Hill collided on the backstretch. A big pileup on lap 200 involving nine of the remaining cars took the race into another red flag and into overtime. On the second lap after this restart, a three-car incident involving Clint Bowyer, Michael McDowell, and Justin Haley brought out yet another yellow, sending the race into a second overtime.

This second overtime saw the big wreck involving Newman and it ended the race. I guess because the checkered flag was shown as Newman was wrecking and sliding across the finish line, this tenth and final yellow was not officially noted in the ‘cumulative report’.

Click HERE for the results of the Daytona 500.

The next NCS race will be run at Las Vegas on Sunday, February 23.

PHOTO NXS 1 DIS1 NXS Gragson 021520Noah Gragson, driver of the #9 Bass Pro Shops/BRCC Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Racing Experience 300 (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

NASCAR XFinity NASCAR Racing Experience at Daytona International Speedway
Gragson leads final lap and takes his first Xfinity win

Daytona Beach, FL, Feb 15/20 (Staff): Noah Gragson, with help from Harrison Burton took the lead on the final lap of the 200-lap race. Burton was second. A big wreck behind the race leaders brought out a final yellow and the race finished under caution.

In all, the race saw five cautions for wrecks which involved a total of 31 of the race’s 36 starters. When there are so many cautions and so many cars wrecked, it must be acknowledged that these races on the superspeedways like Daytona are more wreck-a-thons than sports contests.

Click HERE for the results of the Xfinity race at Daytona.

The next Xfinity race is scheduled of Saturday, February 22 at Las Vegas.

PHOTO NGROTS DIS NGROTS PhotoFinsh 021420Grant Enfinger crosses the finish line to win over Jordan Anderson during the NextEra Energy 250 (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Gander Outdoors Truck Series NextEra Energy 250 at Daytona International Speedway
A big wreck in overtime hands the win the Enfinger

Daytona Beach, FL, Feb 14/20 (Staff) : Grant Enfinger held off a charging Jordan Anderson on the final lap of overtime to win the NGROTS race by 0.010 seconds.

Enfinger got his shot at the win after a massive wreck on lap 98 of a scheduled 100 took out his ThorSport Racing teammate, Ben Rhodes, and a baker’s dozen of other contenders. Enfinger had the lead for a restart on lap 105, but on the final lap, Anderson made a move to the outside and briefly took the top spot as the drivers sped into the tri-oval.

But Enfinger turned the wheel of his No. 98 Ford to the right, door-slamming Anderson’s No. 3 Chevrolet and breaking his momentum just enough to get to the finish line with two feet to spare. Codie Rohrbaugh charged into third place, 0.070 seconds back, followed by rookie Derek Kraus and Natalie Decker, whose fifth-place finish was the highest ever by a female driver in the Truck Series.

The two Canadian drivers in the race, Stewart Friesen and Raphael Lessard had been running well but they ended up finishing back in 20th and 21st places when all the wrecking was done. Friesen was numbered among the 14 trucks caught up in the race’s final caution. Lessard also blamed his poor finish on being involved in that final wreck.

Earlier in the race both of them had looked like contenders. Lessard had started in eighth place while Friesen was back in 28th place.

In the race, Friesen soon moved up into the top tan and, at one point, the two Canadians were running one-two with Friesen in the lead.

Despite their relatively poor finishes, these two have come out of the box strong this year. We can expect good things from both of them as the season goes forward this year.

Click HERE for the results of the NGROTS race from Daytona.

The next truck race will be run at Las Vegas on Friday, February 21.

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