DOVER, DELAWARE – APRIL 29: Jeremy Clements, driver of the #51 All South Electric Chevrolet, attends qualifying for the NASCAR Xfinity Series A-GAME 200 at Dover Motor Speedway on April 29, 2022 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Friday night’s bizarre, attrition-filled, rain-delayed NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway produced an unexpected outcome when Jeremy Clements took the checkered flag on bail at the end of the third overtime attempt .
Clements’ win at the Wawa 250, a race that started about three hours late and finished shortly before 1:30 a.m. Saturday, was his first at Daytona and the second of his career. Both of Clements’ wins came on August 27, his first at Road America on August 27, 2017.
“I’m speechless man, I don’t even know what to say,” said Clements, who clinched a playoff spot with the win and pushed Ryan Sieg to 13th in the standings, 12 points below the cut line. . “We survived that big wreck there (in the first overtime). It was like a “Days of Thunder” wreck.
“Then I thought, ‘If we can keep up with these guys, it’s going to be a good day – top five and get this car home in one piece. But, wow! It’s incredible.”
As race leader Austin Hill lost electric power and steered his Chevrolet towards the apron, Clements received a push from Sage Karam on the third overtime restart on lap 117 and was in the lead on the final lap when NASCAR called the 11th caution for Riley Herbst’s spin on the back stretch. Timmy Hill finished second, followed by AJ Allmendinger, Brandon Brown and Karam, who posted his best result of his career.
Eighteen of the 38 cars that started the race were already in the garage when Clements took the checkered flag.
A massive multi-car wreck on lap 98 of a scheduled 100 sent the race into overtime. First, Landon Cassill’s Chevy hit the outside wall and collided with Jeb Burton’s Camaro.
Then, at the front of the field, Daniel Hemric moved onto the track and put out the nose of Noah Gragson Chevrolet, sparking an eight-car melee.
But that was just the appetizer before a feast of crumpled chassis that followed the restart for the first overtime attempt. On lap 104, Brown’s Chevrolet broke away on the straight ahead of Riley Herbst’s Ford.
Brown spun and 13 cars were damaged in the ensuing chaos. But the hardest blow of the evening came on the second overtime attempt.
The chain reaction contact between the cars of Clements, Allmendinger and Noah Gragson made Gragson the path to Landon Cassill’s Chevrolet. The impact of Cassill’s car spun Gragson 360 degrees and ripped the body from the front clip.
Gragson had led a record 54 laps at that point.
A multi-car crash on Lap 83 shattered Sheldon Creed’s playoff hopes and destroyed his No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.
John Hunter Nemechek’s #26 Toyota broke away from Turn 2 and spun the front bumper of Brown’s Chevy.
“All of a sudden I was looking at the inside wall,” Nemechek said. “I don’t know what happened, but I felt like I was hanging on at left-back.”
Creed’s Camaro hit Nemechek’s car and flipped inward and crossed the track into traffic, demolishing Joe Graf Jr.’s Ford. The wreckage kept Creed below the playoff cut line , 55 points behind Cassill for last place, with three races to go before the playoff field is set.
— NASCAR Wire Service —
View race details at: Race Results, Driver Points Ranking, Owner Points Ranking, Cumulative Report, Penalty Report.
For complete race information, see the Daytona Race page.