Ross Chastain captures first win for Kaulig Racing at Daytona

Ross Chastain won the NASCAR Xfinity Series Circle K Firecracker 250 Friday night at Daytona International Speedway, earning Kaulig Racing their first NASCAR victory.

Chastain’s teammates Justin Haley and AJ Allmendinger followed his lead in what appeared to be a 1-2-3 finish for Kaulig Racing. However, Allmendinger’s car failed the post-race inspection and, as a result, he was officially scored in last place.

Wayne Auton, Xfinity Series managing director, explained the inspection process, saying, “Post-race teardown at all of our races we check a vacuum test on the cars and the engine would not hold a vacuum. So looking at parts on the car we found a discrepancy in one area of the car.”

Allmendinger’s disqualification moved Christopher Bell up to third, with Austin Cindric in fourth place as Stephen Leicht rounded out the top five. Brandon Brown, Jeff Green, Gray Gaulding, Jeremy Clements, and Matt Mills rounded out the top 10 finishers.

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It was a hard-fought victory for Chastain in a tumultuous race that included five multi-car wrecks. He was competitive from the start, winning Stage 1 and finishing third in Stage 2. After the final caution of the night, he took the lead on Lap 93, passing Tyler Reddick, and holding off his teammates to claim the checkered flag.

As Chastain climbed from his car and faced the cheering fans, he told NBCSN, “Oh my gosh, we did it! I sat here as a kid. I watched these races as a kid every Fourth of July, never could come in the spring because we were growing watermelons. These guys right here gave me a race car that, oh my gosh, could win a race at Daytona!”

He celebrated by taking a watermelon to the start-finish line and smashing it on the pavement, a nod to his family, watermelon growers in Florida.

More importantly, the win was also a testament to Chastain’s determination. He lost his Xfinity Series ride with Chip Ganassi Racing when sponsorship issues arose after the end of the 2018 season. Although he declared to run for Xfinity Series points at the beginning of the year, he decided to switch mid-season to make a run for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series championship instead. Things did not go as planned when his win at Iowa was disqualified after he failed post race inspection. But Chastain persevered and won the following race at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.

And now, he’s in victory again.  

Follow @angiecampbell_ for the latest NASCAR news and feature stories.

Xfinity Series Race Number 16
Race Results for the 18th Annual Circle K Firecracker 250 at Daytona Powered by Coca – Cola – Friday, July 5, 2019
Daytona International Speedway – Daytona Beach, FL – 2.5 – Mile Paved
Total Race Length – 100 Laps – 250. Miles

Fin Str No Driver Team Laps S1Pos S2Pos S3Pos Pts Status
1 4 16 Ross Chastain(i) Ellsworth Advisors Chevrolet 100 1 2 0 0 Running
2 7 11 Justin Haley # LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet 100 0 3 0 43 Running
3 8 20 Christopher Bell Ruud-Ferguson Toyota 100 8 5 0 43 Running
4 19 22 Austin Cindric Pirtek Ford 100 0 9 0 35 Running
5 25 1 Stephen Leicht Flex Glue Chevrolet 100 0 0 0 32 Running
6 33 86 Brandon Brown # BMSraceteam.com Chevrolet 100 9 0 0 33 Running
7 20 38 Jeff Green Larry’s Hard Lemonade Chevrolet 100 0 0 0 30 Running
8 5 8 Gray Gaulding WorldWide Safety Consulting Services Chevrolet 100 0 0 0 29 Running
9 37 51 Jeremy Clements RepairableVehicles.com Chevrolet 100 0 0 0 28 Running
10 28 5 Matt Mills J.F. Electric Toyota 100 0 0 0 27 Running
11 27 78 Vinnie Miller Pit Viper Toyota 100 0 0 0 26 Running
12 29 99 Stefan Parsons Jacob Companies Toyota 100 0 0 0 25 Running
13 36 7 Ray Black II ISOKERN Fireplaces & Chimneys Chevrolet 100 0 0 0 24 Running
14 35 0 Garrett Smithley Flex Tape Chevrolet 100 0 0 0 23 Running
15 16 9 Noah Gragson # Switch Chevrolet 99 4 6 0 34 Running
16 1 2 Tyler Reddick Gimme Country Chevrolet 99 7 0 0 25 Running
17 12 7 Justin Allgaier Vannoy Construction Chevrolet 99 6 4 0 32 Running
18 11 18 Riley Herbst(i) Monster Energy Toyota 98 3 8 0 0 Running
19 22 25 Chris Cockrum Advanced Communications Group Chevrolet 97 0 0 0 18 Running
20 18 66 Timmy Hill VSI Racing/Overkill Motorsports Toyota 97 5 0 0 23 Running
21 32 28 Shane Lee Circuit City Toyota 97 0 0 0 16 Running
22 21 23 John Hunter Nemechek # Digital Ally Chevrolet 93 0 0 0 15 Accident
23 6 21 Joe Graf Jr. Eat Sleep Race Chevrolet 92 0 0 0 14 Accident
24 14 39 Ryan Sieg CMR Roofing Chevrolet 89 2 10 0 23 Accident
25 3 1 Michael Annett Pilot Flying J Chevrolet 86 0 1 0 22 Accident
26 15 0 Cole Custer Jacob Companies Ford 86 0 7 0 15 Accident
27 31 42 Chad Finchum Amana Heating & Air Conditioning Toyota 86 0 0 0 10 Accident
28 26 36 Josh Williams Sleep Well/Star Tron Chevrolet 86 0 0 0 9 Accident
29 13 90 Caesar Bacarella Fisher House Foundation/Alpha Prime Chevrolet 86 0 0 0 8 Accident
30 17 19 Brandon Jones Menards/ORCA Toyota 76 0 0 0 7 Chassis
31 23 93 Scott Lagasse Jr. Chevrolet 73 0 0 0 6 Accident
32 34 52 David Starr Starr Mechanical/Tomi Aircraft Chevrolet 72 0 0 0 5 Accident
33 30 15 BJ McLeod Flex Shot Chevrolet 72 0 0 0 4 Accident
34 9 8 Sheldon Creed(i) Chevrolet Accessories Chevrolet 71 0 0 0 0 Accident
35 10 98 Chase Briscoe # Ford Performance Ford 44 10 0 0 3 Accident
36 38 13 Joe Nemechek(i) MBM Motorsports Toyota 39 0 0 0 0 Steering
37 24 4 Landon Cassill Flex Seal/Contec Chevrolet 12 0 0 0 1 Accident
38 2 10 AJ Allmendinger Cornerstone Produce Group Chevrolet 100 0 0 0 1 Running

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