William Byron’s win reminds fans why restricter plate tracks are pure entertainment

Lucy Atkinson

Daytona International Speedway is notorious for its close racing and huge wrecks as a result of it being a restrictor plate track. The Xfinity drivers kicked off the weekend when they took to their cars and showed yet another side to their multi-dimensional pool of talent. We were seeing speeds in excess of 190 mph, whilst these drivers were running inches away from one another in gigantic packs that were bursting with horsepower and precision.

Daytona is a track where drivers must keep their wits about them and tap into their knowledge of physics. Aerodynamics could either be your best friend or worst enemy here at Daytona, and on a track that almost always ends up with a “big one” in terms of a catastrophic wreck – the Xfinity Firecracker 250 was about to live up to its very apt name.

The race saw Blake Koch won Stage one in his first ever Stage win. Elliott Sadler went on to win the second stage on the last lap–his fourth of the season and third at Daytona. But it was William Byron who won Coca Cola Firecracker 250, the 19-year-old becoming the youngest Xfinity driver to ever win at Daytona, and he did it in overtime…Just

The race wasn’t without incident though, Brandon Jones started off a massive chain reaction after being bumped and shoved from behind by Just Allgaier. He got loose and “the big one” of the Xfinity race unfolded in a flurry of chaos. Sixteen cars were involved in the huge wreck and 11 were totally done for the day.

This unfolded shortly after Byron shoved Logano out of the way from first and went on to lead. The race went into overtime, and just as Byron passed the overtime line a wreck happened and a caution was thrown. Byron’s win was secure but the rest of the field was not formalised until later. On top of that, there were a total of nine cautions, 18 lead changes and ten different leaders.

Speaking about it, Byron had this to say:

“Man it’s awesome. These Daytona fans are really cool. I came here for a Daytona 500 when I was a kid … this is so cool to win at Daytona. I can’t even imagine it. These guys brought a great JRM car and hopefully Dale can get it done (tonight). This is is really cool for our team and just really proud of everybody.”

Love them or hate them, restrictor plate tracks certainly provide a whole new style of racing as drivers rely heavily on their spotters, their talent and physics. Seeing packs run so closely together at mind blowing speeds is incredibly thrilling. Watching drivers take air off each other’s cars and bump draft each other to gain momentum is phenomenal. It was announced earlier this year that the Xfinity Series would run a restrictor plate race at Indianopolis Motor Speedway later in the season. If this Daytona race was anything to go, it’ll certainly be feisty.

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