Coming into this weekend, Regan Smith had yet to experience what it was like to flip a racecar upside down. Now leaving Daytona, that is something else that he can mark in his books.
With 27 laps to go, Kyle Larson would give Daniel Saurez a bump, getting the rookie sideways. Larson admitted the contact, saying on the radio, “The 18 (Saurez) kept moving up and up…and we hit him and he turned and went down and flipped the 7 (Smith).”
The contact would turn Saurez across the track into Smith, resulting in Smith’s No. 7 Hellman’s Mayonnaise Chevrolet going over on it’s roof.
“We had a fast car,” Smith commented. “The Hellman’s Chevy was fast and on hat restart, just got down ahead of Chase and couldn’t get the runs that I needed. We started to drop back and were able to get back up. I saw the 18 started wrecking…and wrecking….and wrecking….and was just in trouble there. I know the 18 is two laps down and you’re not going to get the lucky dogs so perhaps he should’ve rode in the back.”
Leading the outside lane, Saurez was scored two laps down as a result of some trouble on pit road earlier in the event.
The crash also collected Chad Boat, Scott Lagasse Jr., Justin Marks, John Wes Townley and Chase Elliott. Elliott was able to continue with some front end repairs, but would get caught up in the second big wreck later in the event.
Austin Dillon and Mike Wallace also sustained damage in the wreck, but not as part of the initial contact. As the field went down the backstraightaway to stop for the red flag condition, Wallace could not hear anybody on his radio and didn’t know about the red flag condition. As a result, he ran into the back of Austin Dillon. Dillon was able to fix the rear of his car and finish fourth.
“I watched a flip down in front of me and made it down pit road, came around on the backstretch and thought I stop beside the 22 (Keselowski),” Dillon commented on his radio after the contact. “I then glanced in my mirror, and oh my gosh, that scared the crap out of me. We went five feet in the air and 100 feet down the road.”