The dominance of not only Joe Gibbs Racing, but the dominance of the Sprint Cup Series drivers in the Nationwide Series continued tonight at Daytona in the Subway Firecracker 250. It was Matt Kenseth who crossed the finish line just ahead of James Buescher to claim his first victory in the Nationwide Series under the Gibbs power.
His first win in the series for Joe Gibbs Racing comes after just seven starts on the season. With the exception of the season opening Daytona race, Kenseth has all top-ten finishes this season in the No. 18 Nationwide Series car.
It was a very quiet and uneventful race, and despite that multi-car wreck on lap 94 that involved several drivers including Travis Pastrana, there was not much action and anxiety on the track.
Pastrana attempted to follow teammate Trevor Bayne down a groove in turn three but at the same time Cole Whitt was coming up and it sent Pastrana hard into the wall and collected a few others. Jason White also took a hard hit. Both Pastrana and White had to catch their breath after the incidents.
Regan Smith will hold onto his points lead but finish just behind Sam Hornish Jr. who also led the most laps to help him gain two points on Smith. Smith’s lead is just six points now with most of the top-ten within striking distance should he have another bad weekend.
Elliott Sadler was the highest finishing driver competing in the Dash For Cash this weekend and he earned the $100k bonus and will qualify to win it again next weekend at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
The last restart and final two laps saw a lot of bumping and close contact, but somehow nobody wrecked. Brad Sweet got loose but he saved it and lost the draft on the final lap. However for the first time in a long time over half of the field (29 cars) were returned un-wrecked back to pit road for their owners at the conclusion of the race.