In The Fast Lane: Most Improved after Daytona

Photo by: Sean Gardner

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series was hit with continuous rain at Daytona International Speedway for the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on Saturday, June 6th and postponed until Sunday.

The rain didn’t completely hold off on Sunday and the race was called official after 127 laps.

No. 1 William Byron – William Byron earned his first top-five finish of the season with his second place finish at Daytona.

Byron overcame starting from the back after contact with Brad Keselowski in practice forced him to a back-up car.

The Hendrick Motorsports driver failed to earn stage points during Stage 1, but earned them in Stage 2 with a third place finish.

Byron is 12th in the standings, 202 points away from leader Joey Logano and 14 points away from 10th, which is held by Aric Almirola.

No. 2 Corey LaJoie – Corey LaJoie earned his first career top 10 at Daytona, finishing in the sixth position.

LaJoie, who started 30th, avoided the “Big One” on Lap 119 and was running sixth when NASCAR was forced to red flag the event because of lightning in the area.

It started to rain during the holding pattern and the MENCS race was unable to continue.

No. 3 Jimmie Johnson – Jimmie Johnson earned his third top-five finish of the season, finishing in third place.

Johnson failed to earn stage points during Stage 1, but earned them in Stage 2 with seventh place.

Johnson is 13th in the standings, 226 points away from Logano and 38 away Almirola.

No. 4 Matt DiBenedetto – Matt DiBenedetto earned his second top-10 finish of the season, finishing eighth.

DiBenedetto was involved in the “Big One” on Lap 119, but was able to continue with minimal damage to his No. 95 Toyota.

DiBenedetto is 25th in the standings, 114 points away from Paul Menard in 20th.

No. 5 Matt Tifft – Matt Tifft earned his first career top-10 finish with ninth.

Tifft failed to earn stage points, but ran as high as seventh on Sunday.

Tifft is 31st in the standings, 519 points away from Logano and 27 points away from David Ragan, who is 30th.

Notable: Justin Haley earned his first career MENCS victory at Daytona with Spire Motorsports.

Haley was scored the leader when lightning in the area forced a red flag. The drivers were called to their cars after a 30-minute holding pattern, but lightning struck again and the rain returned before the event resumed.

Haley became the second youngest MENCS winner at 20 years, 2 months, and 9 days. He won his first series victory in his third Cup start.


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