Tyler Reddick survived a massive wreck and five overtime restarts to inch past Elliott Sadler and capture the NASCAR Xfinity Series PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday.
The pair battled it out down the stretch before Reddick’s No. 9 Chevy crossed the finish line just ahead of Sadler’s No. 1 Chevy. The margin of victory was 0.000, the closest in NASCAR national series history.
Ryan Reed finished third.
“That was insane. It’s not much. It was just enough and just soon enough and it was incredible that it worked out that way,” Reddick said of the close finish. “I’m just thankful it was me that won.”
After the win by his JR Motorsports teammate, a dejected Sadler said: “This one hurts the most now because it just happened. I knew it was going to be close. This one hurts a lot. I don’t know how many starts I’ll have at this racetrack. I really want to get a trophy here. This one hurts a lot because it was so close.”
It was Sadler’s ninth top-10 finish in 18 races at Daytona International Speedway.
“I watched the whole thing. It was incredible,” said Dale Earnhardt Jr., who owns JR Motorsports.
The final laps were some of the most aggressive racing of the day, with nine caution flags during the final segment of what was supposed to be a 125-lap race. But it was a yellow flag with four laps remaining during regulation that started the chaotic overtime finish.
Chase Elliott’s No. 88 Chevy tapped Sadler’s Chevy from behind, sending him spinning. That incident brought out the eighth caution of the day and extended the race into overtime.
After the restart, the leaders were packed coming down the stretch before Kyle Larson spun out, taking out the majority of the front of the field.
WIth 18 cars involved, it would turn out to be the biggest crash of the day. Larson, who led for close to half the race, was among the drivers taken out.
It appeared Reddick, 22, had won the race in the third overtime, but another wreck brought out the yellow flag before he crossed the finish line, sending the race to its fourth extra period.
A wreck by Dylan Lupton sent out the 12th caution of the day and forced the fifth overtime. Forty-nine of the 143 laps were raced under caution.
NASCAR would eventually bring out the red flag, stopping the cars in order to clean up the track.
On the fifth restart, Reddick pushed out front of the pack and held on to get the win.
“I think it would have been disappointing if we finished under caution,” David Elenz, Reddick’s crew chief, said of the overtime finishes. “The way the racing had been all day and the show that all the leaders put on all day, it would have been disappointing to finish under yellow.”
Larson captured the first stage of the race, with the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series driver leading 22 of the 30 laps. He outlasted fellow cup driver Joey Logano, who worked his way to the front all the way from the back of the field.
Justin Allgaier was third and the first Xfinity Series driver to earn points for the spot.
The first crash of the afternoon took place 11 laps in the race when Austin Cindric’s No. 60 Ford got loose in the front stretch of the track and slid into a wall. The crash impacted more than a handful of cars and ended the 19-year-old’s day.
The wreck also took out Christopher Bell.
Midway through the second segment, a handful of cars battled for command of the front of the pack, including Spencer Gallagher, Elliott, Sadler and Larson.
However, it would be Elliott who captured the second stage just ahead of Aric Almirola, Larson and Daniel Suarez.