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.
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
|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|