To say Friday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Wawa 250 at Daytona International Speedway was wild, would be an understatement. To say that it was filled with chaos, that doesn’t even touch it, either.
In all, 33 of the 38 cars in Friday’s race were involved in an on-track incident of some sort, 14 of them were involved in multiple crashes. And what’s crazy is that the insanity really didn’t start to slip in until the final Stage of the race.
While the opening two frames of the race contained two incidents with two cars involved, the final Stage of the race featured a whopping five crashes with four-or-more cars, including a 12-car melee on lap 98 and a 14-car pileup on lap 104.
The only five drivers who made it through the night without being swept up in a crash were: race-winner Jeremy Clements, runner-up finisher Timmy Hill, sixth-place finisher Ryan Vargas, 11th-place finisher Jesse Iwuji and Joey Gase, who finished 16th, two laps off the pace after battery issues late in the race.
For, the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season point leader AJ Allmendinger, who was involved in a couple of incidents on the night, he was just happy to walk out of the 2.5-mile speedway alive.
AJ Allmendinger on the contact with Noah Gragson.
"I absolutely fucking hate this place. Anytime I can leave here with feeling in my arms and legs, I'm satisfied." pic.twitter.com/dtlHcaUjer
— Matt Weaver (@MattWeaverRA) August 27, 2022
“I’m just happy to get out of this place alive,” Allmendinger stated with annoyance after the race. “I absolutely fucking hate this racing. So, any time I can walk away and feel my legs and arms and be okay and have a top-five finish, I’m okay with that.”
You could feel the emotion in Allmendinger’s words, and it’s the same frustrations drivers have been voicing about Superspeedway racing for decades upon decades.
However, while everyone agrees it’s dangerous to race in bunched up packs in the modern day superspeedway packages, the only other alternative seems to be to let the cars run upwards of 230 miles per hour so they can separate themselves, which opens an entire can of worms.
Regardless, by skidding through the mayhem for a decent finish, Allmendinger maintained his regular season point lead over Ty Gibbs, which now sits at 58 points with just three races remaining until the Playoff field is set.
As long as Allmendinger can remain steady, he should easily swipe the additional 15 Playoff Points, which are awarded to the regular season points champion.
While it was a wild night, which came after a lengthy rain delay to start the evening, I think Allmendinger and the entire NASCAR Xfinity Series garage — aside from maybe the No. 51 Jeremy Clements Racing team — is ready to move past the wreckfest that was Daytona International Speedway.