Chaotic Daytona 500 decided by last-lap pass

Weekend Racing Wrap

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The first proper NASCAR race of the season – the Daytona 500 – was blighted by incidents in which 35 of the 40 cars that started the race picked up some form of crash damage, and was won with a final lap overtake.

NASCAR Cup Series

Race 1 of 36: Daytona International Speedway

Kurt Busch won the 59th running of the Daytona 500 with an overtake on the final lap of the race as then-leader Kyle Larson was one of many who ran out of fuel on the white flag lap.

Forty drivers started the biggest NASCAR race of the season yet after 200 laps of racing and countless accidents, just 25 made it to the flag. Of those, only five escaped the carnage unscathed. In total eight cautions occurred during the race culminating in 40 laps behind the pace car.

The race was the first to feature NASCAR’s new staged format which awards points to whichever driver is leading after each segment. These were taken by Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick, though the former failed to finish and the latter suffered damage in an accident that eliminated reigning champion Jimmie Johnson, and eventually limped home 22nd.

Over to you

What did you make of NASCAR’s new format and the carnage the blighted the Daytona 500?

What racing action did you watch last weekend? Let us know in the comments.

Next weekend’s racing

The following series are in action next weekend:

  • NASCAR Cup race 2: Atlanta Motor Speedway

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  • 10 comments on “Chaotic Daytona 500 decided by last-lap pass”

    1. Can’t say i’m a fan of the new format. Not just because I think it’s all very contrived but also because the whole thing with is somewhat confusing trying to work out the points 4 times a race & additionally it really just kills the flow of a race.

      I also believe that the new rules in part led to the ridiculous number of accidents over the weekend, Not just in the main race but also some of the other races. People seemed to get desperate & aggressive towards the end of each segment in order to get in the points places & that sort of thing on this sort of track with these cars always creates chaos…… Although I guess thats what Nascar was going for.

      1. I disagree. I enjoyed the stage format. It breaks long races up and creates mini races. Now you need to watch all stages. Before you could miss out laps 80-160 because a lot didn’t happen. It was a fun race, action packed and unpredictable. And a gutting end for Chase Elliot and Kyle Larson. If only they got rid of the playoffs

        1. Then make the races shorter, Having a supposed 500 mile/200 lap race split into 3 segments is nothing more than 3 artificial competition caution’s in all but name.

          I used to be a massive Nascar fan as did my dad & his 2 brothers. None of us like the new format & none of us will be watching any more races until they ditch this crappy artificial format.

    2. Oh, what a surprise from the wrestling of motorsports. You couldn’t pay me to watch this drivel.

    3. Fun racing at Sears Point and Watkins Glen, but other than those two tracks NASCAR amounts to not much more than a kaleidoscope of colors.

    4. Meh, too confusing to me.


    5. I liked the new race format. Also the new rule that you can’t just spend 50 laps fixing a car and get into it again.

    6. I watched all the races over Speedweeks & have to say that this new segmented race & points format is some of the stupidest, most contrived & confusing stuff i’ve seen yet.

      I thought the race was quite dull, The racing was quite dull & the number of accidents, car’s involved & amount of laps run under caution & time spent under a red flag was frankly embarrassing & made the races drag on far longer than they otherwise would have, Something the new format didn’t help with.

    7. Makes me a touch concerned that Liberty have said they’ll be looking towards NASCAR and its success. If their formula was good they wouldn’t need gimmick point systems to attract the fans.

    8. The stage format is a result of the TV networks wanting changes and a retention of viewers. I personally have mixed feelings. While I hate for the races to be broken up like this. I do like the idea of a driver scoring points for how well ran during the race and not just for the finish. Sometime the final standings don’t reflect who the best actually were.

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