NASCAR driver change leads to ‘unbreakable’ record

Kyle Busch, Kaulig Racing, NASCAR (Photo by David Jensen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, Kaulig Racing, NASCAR (Photo by David Jensen/Getty Images) /

Justin Haley wasn’t supposed to run the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Now he owns a record that will be almost impossible to break.

Heading into this past NASCAR race weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the plan was for Kyle Busch to drive in both the Xfinity Series race, the Alsco Uniforms 300, and the Cup Series race, the Coca-Cola 600. The only other driver set to compete in both events was Ty Gibbs.

The Alsco Uniforms 300 was scheduled to take place on Saturday afternoon, and Busch was set to compete for Kaulig Racing behind the wheel of the No. 10 Chevrolet.

The Coca-Cola 600 was scheduled to take place on Sunday evening. Busch is the full-time driver of the No. 8 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing.

But the Alsco Uniforms 300 was rained out on Saturday and postponed until Monday. Then the Coca-Cola 600 was rain out on Sunday and postponed until Monday as well.

As a result, Busch made the decision to withdraw from the former to focus on the latter, and Kaulig Racing confirmed Justin Haley as his replacement. Haley also competes full-time for Matt Kaulig’s team in the Cup Series.

This announcement put Justin Haley in position to run all 900 miles of the longest national series same-day doubleheader in NASCAR history.

Haley ultimately completed 599 of 600 laps around the four-turn, 1.5-mile (2.414-kilometer) Concord, North Carolina oval on Monday, which was one more than Gibbs.

While he didn’t run the entire 900-mile distance, Haley now owns the record for the most NASCAR national series miles completed in a single day in the history of the sport: 898.5.

Haley completed 199 of 200 laps of the Alsco Uniforms 300 en route to a 12th place finish, and he completed all 400 laps of the Coca-Cola 600 en route to a 15th place result.

Gibbs, who competed for Joe Gibbs Racing in both events, completed all 200 laps of the Alsco Uniforms 300 en route to a fifth place finish, but he only completed 398 of 400 laps of the Coca-Cola 600 en route to a 26th place finish.

While Gibbs doesn’t own the record Haley does, 897 miles is still going to be tough to beat for second best.

It was truly a perfect storm which allowed Haley to break this record, no pun intended. The fact that both races, which weren’t initially scheduled for the same day, were rained out and then both rescheduled and run on an entirely different day — the same day, to be specific — is something that NASCAR simply doesn’t see happen all that often.

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The fact that it happened on the weekend of the longest race on the NASCAR calendar makes it that much more likely that this record won’t fall.