Kahne Steals Daytona Nationwide Checkers
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Friday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series Subway Firecracker 250 produced another classic Daytona Int’l Speedway finish.
Kasey Kahne used a push from Ryan Sieg on the final lap to overtake Regan Smith to win Saturday’s event at Daytona Int’l Speedway by a scant .021 of a second.
Smith, who won February’s season opener at Daytona, had been the dominant car most of the night. He was leading when the second caution flag of the race waved on lap 93 when Brendan Gaughan spun out of turn four and into the tri-oval.
The caution flag came at a bad time for many front runners, Smith among them, who were on extremely tight fuel mileage. Several drivers were driving on the apron through the turns in order to try and save fuel prior to the green flag.
The field returned to racing with three laps left, but as soon as the green flag waved second-place Chase Elliott’s Chevrolet Camaro didn’t go. The entire inside lane stacked up behind Elliott, with Elliott Sadler and David Ragan getting spun into the infield grass to bring the caution flag immediately back out.
Smith retained the race lead, with Kyle Larson now in second. Ryan Reed was third followed by Joey Logano and Ty Dillon. David Starr, Chris Buescher, Kahne, Brian Scott and Sieg were the remainder of the top 10 for the green-white-checkered restart.
The green flag waved again and this time the field stayed clean as Smith battled alongside Larson for the race lead. Despite Starr bouncing off the wall in turns three and four, the race remained green as the field took the white flag.
Coming out of turn two Smith was still in front. Coming down the backstretch Kahne began to make his move. With a big push from Sieg, Kahne jumped into the middle lane and tried to get a run on Smith. The push initially stalled and Kahne and Sieg found themselves racing in the middle lane as Smith pulled clear of them through turns three and four.