UPDATE (4:10 p.m. ET): A second shower at Daytona International Speedway has forced NASCAR to cancel the remainder of Nationwide Series qualifying for tonight’s Subway Firecracker 250.
As a result, Richard Petty Motorsports’ Dakoda Armstrong has earned his first career Nationwide Series pole. Trevor Bayne will join him on the front row.
With less than eight minutes remaining in the first round of qualifying, a sudden cloudburst over the midway point of the backstretch caused a cluster of cars to spin out and wreck. The incident brought out a red flag.
The drivers involved include: Matt Dibenedetto, Ross Chastain, Scott Lagasse Jr., Blake Koch, Benny Gordon, Robert Richardson, Mike Bliss, Joe Nemechek, and Eric McClure.
“I don’t know if there’s any words to properly describe it,” McClure told Fox Sports afterwards.
“We had no idea it was raining. The spotter caught it right as we came off Turn 2 and saw it. I’m a little disappointed that with all the technology we have and the spotters around the race track that a caution wasn’t thrown. But that’s not my call to make.”
NASCAR promptly declared Round 1 complete and with the onset of more rain, they’ve set the field for tonight’s race based off the results from Round 1.
Chris Buescher and Ryan Reed will start in Row 2, followed by Kyle Busch and Nationwide points leader Elliott Sadler in Row 3. Chase Elliott and Regan Smith are in Row 4, while Darrell “Bubba” Wallace and Kyle Larson roll off from Row 5.
Three of the drivers involved in the Round 1 crash – Koch, Gordon, and Dibenedetto – were unable to make the show.
Sprint Cup qualifying for tomorrow’s Coke Zero 400 is expected to go off at 5:10 p.m. ET, followed by the Nationwide race at 7:30 p.m. ET. Right now, the track is working to get the 2.5-mile oval in shape for Cup qualifying.