Allmendinger, Haley and Burton Strong Favorites to win at Daytona International Speedway Traditional Summer 250-Miler
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Red hot AJ Allmendinger, coming off a win one week ago after a pair of runnerup finishes, will lead the charge of a Kaulig Racing assault in Friday’s Wawa 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway.
Allmendinger will start from the Busch Pole in hopes of capturing his fourth win of the year in the highly anticipated race, which is set for a 7:30 p.m. ET start (NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90). Flanking him will be a former Daytona Champion in Noah Gragson, who is hungry for his first win of 2021. Brandon Jones will start third, Justin Allgaier fourth and Harrison Burton will round out the top-five starters. For ticket information, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.
“I look forward to Daytona,” said Allmendinger, who has gone to the winner’s circle before in the 2012 ROLEX 24 At DAYTONA. “I enjoy the momentum we have going from the last couple of weeks as a team. We are back in a position to have the opportunity to go for the regular-season championship, so Daytona is super important for us to try and run up front all day to get some points. We always have fast Kaulig Racing Chevys there, so hopefully Jeb (Burton), Justin (Haley) and I can get together and dictate the front of the pack. This is always an important race to Matt (Kaulig), so we want to go out there and try to do everything we can to at least get one of cars in victory lane and keep the team momentum going.”
Haley is the defending champion of the Wawa 250 while Burton was victorious at Talladega Superspeedway in April, his first career triumph in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
“Daytona is one of my favorite tracks,” said Haley. I’ve always done well there and have had some success at the superspeedways. The key to having a good run at Daytona is understanding draft, having fast cars, and having teammates you can rely on.”
Burton, son of 2002 DAYTONA 500 Champion Ward Burton, hopes to join his dad as a Daytona Champion. “I finished fourth in my last two starts at Daytona on the superspeedway, so I think we have a good chance this weekend, especially with my teammates,” said the younger Burton.
Others have high hopes of a victory, including Austin Cindric who won the Xfinity Series opener at Daytona in February.
Here are some other interesting facts about Friday’s Wawa 250 Powered by Coca-Cola and the NASCAR Xfinity Series at the iconic Daytona International Speedway:
- The inaugural NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona was on February 13, 1982 and was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt.
- The 59 Xfinity Series races at Daytona have produced 42 different pole winner and 34 different race winners. William Byron was the youngest winner in 2017 at 19 years, six months and one day. Bobby Allison holds the record for the oldest winner in 1988 at 50 years, two months and 10 days.
- Only five races in history have been won from the pole or first starting position (2002, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2021) including Cindric’s win earlier this season. Geoff Bodine still holds onto the race record from 1985 at 157.137 mph.
- Joe Nemechek has the most starts at Daytona in the Xfinity Series with 37 as well as the most poles with five. Earnhardt and Tony Stewart are tied with the most wins at seven each and Kevin Harvick has the most top fives at 12. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Harvick are tied with 14 top 10s and Earnhardt Jr. holds the record for the most lead lap finishes at 19. Nemechek has completed the most laps at 3,526 and Earnhardt Jr. has led the most laps at 560. Daniel Hemric is the only full-time active Xfinity Series driver that holds a record at Daytona. Hemric has the best average start at 5.500.
- Michael Annett, Noah Gragson and Ryan Reed all captured their first wins at Daytona, most recently Gragson in 2020.
- Aside from the first Daytona race in 2020, the last five races have had a Margin of Victory less than 0.253-second, in the first 2020 race, the race was won under caution.
- This weekend’s race will be 250 miles and 100 laps with Stage 1 ending on Lap 30 and Stage 2 ending on Lap 60.
Tickets to the Xfinity Series Wawa 250 Powered by Coca-Cola begins at $35 for adults and FREE for kids 12 and under. Access to the UNOH Fanzone will be available before this race as well! A Two-Day Pass is available which includes access to the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on Saturday, and the Wawa 250 on Friday. These passes start at $69 for adults. Fan Q&A is also scheduled for Friday and will include Cindric, Gragson, Haley, Allmendinger and Justin Allgaier.
Fans can purchase tickets for Saturday’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 starting at $49 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under. Those fans can also purchase access to the UNOH Fanzone for $60. Here, fans can participate in events before the race. This includes, but is not limited to, the return of the traditional Coke Zero Sugar 400 Pre-Race Concert featuring Chris Lane, pre-race ceremonies, driver introductions, access to the large grass ballfield, signing the start/finish line through the middle of the 18-degree, banked trioval. Also scheduled is LIVE entertainment on the main UNOH Fanzone Stage, including Fan Q&A, which includes (scheduled) McDowell, Aric Almirola, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Bubba Wallace, Daniel Suarez and two-time DAYTONA winning crew chief Drew Blickensderfer. Fans can also get photos with the winning trophies of the weekend in Ruoff Mortgage Victory Lane.
As part of the “Welcome Back” weekend for fans, the track’s outside Midway (In Front of Sunoco, Toyota, Axalta, Chevrolet and AdventHealth Injectors) and UNOH Fanzone will be the site of a host of exciting interactive activities, featuring eNASCAR Racing, along with other speedway partner exhibits like Pit Boss, Coca-Cola, GEICO, Chevrolet, Toyota, Wawa, Air Force (featuring a fighter jet), Door Dash, Busch Beer, General Tire and a NASCAR Kids Zone.
The first 10,000 fans through the gates on Saturday will receive complimentary Coke Zero Sugar 400 drawstring bags.
For ticket information, and a full listing of activities in the Midway and UNOH Fanzone, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP. Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway and see the latest speedway news on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
About Daytona International Speedway
Daytona International Speedway is a state-of-the-art motorsports facility and was awarded the SportsBusiness Journal’s prestigious Sports Business Award for Sports Facility of the Year in 2016. Daytona International Speedway is the home of The Great American Race – the DAYTONA 500. Though the season-opening NASCAR Cup Series event garners most of the attention – as well as the largest audience in motorsports – the approximately 500-acre motorsports complex, also known as the World Center of Racing, boasts the most diverse schedule of racing on the globe. In addition to at least nine major event weekends, the Speedway grounds are also used extensively for events that include concerts, civic and social gatherings, car shows, photo shoots, production vehicle testing and police motorcycle training.