By Sarah Handy, Staff Writer
Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series UHOH188 on the Daytona International Speedway Road Course held a lot of unknowns. In a historic first for the series, and with no practice – drivers were left wondering what would unfold during the 52-lap event. While Austin Cindric went on to win his fifth race of the season in the last six races, the underdogs also came through and shined with some really solid finishes.
Tommy Joe Martins
After starting in the 22nd position, Tommy Joe Martins had a very solid race on Saturday evening and earned his best finish on a road course. His No. 44 AAN Adjusters Chevrolet finished stage one in 21st and stage two in the 19th position, respectively. As the checkered flag flew on lap 52, Martins crossed the finish line in 13th – his best finish of the season. Additionally, Martins 13th place result marked his fourth Top-20 finish in a row, and the team’s best finish in team history.
The series heads to Dover International Speedway next weekend for a double-header. In two previous NXS at the track, Martins has a best finish of 21st.
Bayley Currey continues to have a career best season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and Saturday evening was no different. After starting the race in 34th and finishing stage one in 29th and stage two in 20th, the cards fell just right for Currey as he made his way forward even further. Currey went on to bring home his No. 74 We Stand for the National Anthem Chevrolet for Mike Harmon Racing to a 14th place finish. The result is not only Currey’s best finish of the season but his best career finish in the series to date.
“Well you guys, P14, my best Xfinity Series finish ever. Daytona Road Course was definitely an exciting one, definitely a lot of fun too,” said Currey on his Twitter account post-race. “Hope we get to come back here in the future. I can’t say enough about my MHR guys, they work really hard, get better every week. It was a lot of fun starting up there on the front row even though we got pushed off, kind of expected it. I didn’t think it was going to happen that quick – but hey, it happens, it’s racing. Luckily, we were able to put some tires back on it and wheel up to 14th. Hopefully we take some momentum to Dover next week and get us another good finish.”
Next up on the schedule is Dover, a track where Currey has three NXS starts with a best finish of 17th in the May event last season.
Myatt Snider would finally have some luck on his side at the Daytona Road Course on Saturday evening. After starting the race in 27th, he would go on to finish stage one in 24th and stage two in 15th. By the time the checkered flag flew, Snider was able to finish 10th, scoring his fifth Top-10 of the season and his first since a fourth-place finish at Pocono Raceway at the end of June.
“We got a Top-10, I’m so ecstatic,” said Snider post-race on his Twitter account. “A lot of bad luck the last couple weeks, a finish like this, especially on old tires is so refreshing. I’m really proud of the Reaume/Sieg Racing team that we got here on the No. 93, Louisiana Hot Sauce team. Great effort by all of us. I wasn’t sure we were going to make it on old tires, getting a Top-10 is awesome and it’s a great turn around for us recently. I’m so proud of everyone on the team and can’t wait to get back to it at Dover next weekend.”
Snider has yet to see Dover in NXS competition, but in his one lone NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series start in 2018 he went on to finish 11th.
Starting the race in the 26th position, Weatherman went on to finish stage one in 23rd and stage two in the 13th position. Overall, it was another solid race for the driver of the No. 47 We Stand for the National Anthem Chevrolet for Mike Harmon Racing. Weatherman crossed the finish line in the 17th position to earn his fourth Top-20 of the season and his best finish in the series this season since he finished eighth at Kentucky Speedway.
With the series heading to Dover next weekend, Weatherman has only seen the track once in the NXS. An unfortunate overheating issue in 2019 left him with a disappointing 35th place finish.
Josh Bilicki made just his fifth start of the season in the No. 99 Insurance King / Rock’ n Vodka Toyota for B.J. McLeod Motorsports on Saturday evening. Bilicki started the race from the 19th position and went on to finish stage one in 15th and stage two in the 27th position. Bilicki made his way back through the field during the final stage and was able to bring home a 12th place finish – his second Top-20 of the season and his second in his last two starts.
P12 at the inaugural @DISupdates road course! Pushed hard for a top 10 finish but ran out of time at the end of the race. Pleased with the result and happy to have another great points day for @TeamBJMcLeod! pic.twitter.com/BtA3xBzJut
— Josh Bilicki (@joshbilicki) August 16, 2020
Other Notables within the Top-25
Andy Lally: P5
Jeremy Clements: P6
Ryan Sieg: P11
Jade Buford: P16
Jesse Little: P18
Scott Heckert: P19
BJ McLeod: P20
Stephen Leicht: P21
Matt Mills: P22
Kody Vanderwal: P23
Josh Williams: P24
Mike Wallace: P25
Photo Credit: Nigel Kinrade Photography / NKP Photo