DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – It may have been the closest NASCAR will ever come to declaring a tie.
It took five overtime attempts before Tyler Reddick gave fans at Daytona Int’l Speedway for Saturday’s 37th NASCAR Xfinity Series PowerShares QQQ 300 a thrilling photo finish. The finish was so close, in fact, that NASCAR’s timing and scoring system was initially unable to show a margin of victory.
The photo at the start/finish line showed the bumper of Reddick’s Chevrolet was just a few inches ahead of Elliott Sadler’s Chevrolet. NASCAR later announced that the official margin of victory was .000, the closest finish in NASCAR history.
“It feels amazing,” Reddick said. “This is a great way to start the year off at JR Motorsports. It’s a great way to get into the playoffs and to finish the 100th Xfinity Series race. I was struggling on the restarts to get going and Ryan gave me on last push on the restart and that was enough for me to get by him.
“It was so close.”
It was hard for Sadler to accept how close this finish was, especially when timing and scoring was unable to measure it in time.
“I was trying to figure out how close to get to him and my spotter said he was coming, too so I didn’t want to leave the inside,” a dejected Sadler said. “I’m proud a JR Motorsports car went to victory lane, I just wish it was us. It says a lot for us to finish 1-2 today.
“I think the statement means we’re going to be tough. This is just a hard one to swallow. I’ve got a lot of second-places here, but no wins.”
Ryan Reed’s Ford was third followed by Kaz Grala’s Ford, with Garrett Smithley’s Chevrolet rounding out the top five.
It was Reddick’s second career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory and his first at Daytona. The road to Saturday’s victory was certainly an eventful one.
After running the first two stages of the race mostly incident free with the exception of a crash on lap 10 that saw rookies Austin Cindric and Christopher Bell eliminated from contention, the final stage saw the race turn into a demolition derby.
There was a big crash on lap 100 that included eight cars was just a preliminary for the chaos that came with a five-overtime finish. After two additional minor incidents, a spin by Sadler down the backstretch on lap 119 set up the first of those overtime restarts.