Last February at Daytona International Speedway, the NASCAR Xfinity Series not only set the NASCAR national series record for the closest finish to a race ever (0.0004 secs. margin of victory), but did it in spectacular fashion, as the race reached a record five NASCAR Overtimes, and extended the race to a record 143 laps – 23 more laps and 57.5 more miles than originally scheduled.
Fast-forward a year and the NASCAR Xfinity Series has returned to Daytona to deliver more great racing action in the NASCAR Racing Experience 300 on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 2:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Edging his then-JR Motorsports teammate Elliott Sadler by the slightest of margins, 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Tyler Reddick, etched his name in the record books and took home the spoils of victory in last year’s season-opener at Daytona. Reddick was able to use the win as a spring board to the Xfinity Series Playoffs where he closed out his rookie season with a win at Homestead-Miami Speedway to clinch the 2018 title. After winning the title with JRM last season, Reddick has made the move to Richard Childress Racing’s No. 2 Chevrolet team for 2019.
|Margin of Victory||Date|
|0.0004||Saturday, February 17, 2018|
|0.2180||Saturday, February 25, 2017|
|0.0430||Saturday, February 20, 2016|
|0.0890||Saturday, February 21, 2015|
|0.0130||Saturday, February 22, 2014|
Last season wasn’t an anomaly when it comes to close racing at Daytona. Over the last five years, the Xfinity Series season opener has produced finishes with a margin of victory of less than a second.
But the unpredictability doesn’t end there, passes for the win have happened in the closing laps of the last five season-opening races at Daytona; including two on the last lap:
In 2014, Regan Smith passed Brad Keselowski on the last lap to win; in 2015 Ryan Reed passed Brad Keselowski on the last lap for the win, in 2016 Chase Elliott passed Joey Logano and led the last 14 laps to win; in 2017 Ryan Reed passed Brad Keselowski with two laps to go to take the checkered; in 2018 Tyler Reddick took the lead with 11 laps to go in NASCAR Overtime and then held off the field for two more overtime restarts to win the closest race in NASCAR history. (NASCAR PR)