Smith Takes Charge at Daytonaby Kyle Pokrefky February 22, 2014 0 comments
Photo Credit: Tilton/Getty Images
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — In a nail biting green-white-checkered finish, Regan Smith won the Drive4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway.
This marks the first time a full-time Nationwide Series driver has won the season opening event since Randy Lajoie won it in 2001.
Smith and second-place finisher, Brad Keselowski, were separated by .013 seconds as they crossed the start/finish line; a winning margin that was smaller than last night’s Camping World Truck Series finish. The pair restarted side-by-side on Lap 120 and would remain that way until the conclusion of the race.
The event had five cautions take place and featured nine lead changes amongst six different drivers. A notable absence from the race was the lack of the large crash that has become so familiar to tracks like Daytona and Talladega. The most amount of cars to be involved in a caution today was two.
The action throughout the race featured pack racing as NASCAR decreed that drivers were no longer allowed to draft in two-car tandems. The preferred method of drafting today was by giving the car ahead a bump down the straightaway but then immediately laying off the car in front.
This is Smith’s fourth career Nationwide Series victory and first at Daytona. Smith leads third place finisher, Trevor Bayne, by six points heading into next Saturday’s race at Phoenix.
The Top-10 finishers were as follows…
- 7 – Regan Smith – Chevrolet – JR Motorsports
- 22 – Brad Keselowski(i) – Ford – Team Penske
- 6 – Trevor Bayne – Ford – Roush-Fenway Racing
- 54 – Kyle Busch(i) – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing
- 11 – Elliott Sadler – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing
- 62 – Brendan Gaughan – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing
- 3 – Ty Dillon# – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing
- 31 – Dylan Kwasniewski# – Chevrolet – Turner-Scott Motorsports
- 39 – Ryan Sieg(i) – Chevrolet – RSS Racing
- 42 – Kyle Larson(i) – Chevrolet – Turner-Scott Motorsports
(i) = Ineligible for NASCAR Nationwide Series points.
# = Rookie.