The 2013 NASCAR Nationwide kicked off its season with a exciting race at Daytona. The Nationwide Series opener usually attracts Sprint Cup Drivers that do not usually race in Nationwide like Dale Earnhardt Jr, Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth.
As usual with pack racing, the lead changed constantly for the first eight laps than the first caution came out on lap 8 when Scott Lagasse spun in the tri oval. Luckily for him though there was not a lot of damage done to the car. Then on lap 31 the second caution came out when Sadler tapped Regan Smith and sent him spinning off of turn four. That also caused Juan Carlos Blum to spin and hit the inside wall fairly hard. At the same time as this wreck Danica Patrick had a mechanical problem and went to the garage and was out of the race early.
The racing itself was pretty good and nothing to complain about. There was tandem racing, pack racing and even single file racing. That’s just about everything you could ask for. Thanks to restrictor plate racing some of those “filler drivers” as I call them got some exposure. Joe Nemecheck ran up front as did Blake Koch, Reed Sorenson, Johanna Long for a little and many others did.
Then Mike Wallace triggered a “little” big one and him, Joe Nemecheck, Kurt Busch and Reed Sorenson were all sent spinning in the grass. No one had severe damage and at halfway the Gibbs cars were showing to be the dominant cars. After a long green flag run, on lap 85 Trevor Bayne had an engine problem while he was in 4th place and everyone did an amazing job not to get involved. At this point they were one lead change away from tying the record of 16.
Kyle Busch led a lot of the race but complained early of an overheating problem and with 20 to go he was stuck in the pack and the engine overheated and his race was over. At this point it was Parker Kilgerman on top and everyone on the lead lap had a chance to get up front.
When the green flag went back up it was one of the most tense 10 laps I have ever seen until finally the big wreck happened. 11 cars were involved including Austin Dillion and Kasey Kahne. The race was red flagged as a result and the top three were Regan Smith, Tony Stewart and Brad Keselowski. The big story front the wreck though was Michael Annett who was sent to Halifax Medical Center after the crash.
On the final turn disaster struck when Keselowski turned leader Regan Smith and another big wreck happened. This time it was much worse as Kyle Larson’s car flew into the catch fence and many cars were involved. In the end Tony Stewart got the win but did not celebrate in Victory Lane. In his interview he was very shaken up and worried about the fans and the drivers involved in the wreck.
Race Winner: Tony Stewart (1) | Points: 1. Sam Hornish Jr 2. Alex Bowman 3. Parker Kilgerman