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Daly “fortunate” to make Daytona 500 after bouncing downside

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Daly, a late entry from boxer Floyd Mayweather’s The Cash Group to drive its No. 50 Chevrolet, has little NASCAR expertise having solely began 4 races throughout its three divisions since 2018.

The 31-year-old needed to race his manner into the 40-car subject within the second of two 150-mile qualifying races at Daytona Worldwide Speedway, however his odds of constructing the lower appeared slim.

Daly was by no means in a position to make a qualifying try on Wednesday night time as a result of {an electrical} concern, that means his first lap on the observe can be when the qualifying race went inexperienced.

Proper from the beginning, Daly knew it was going to be a tough night time as he reported his automotive was shaking terribly as soon as he left pit street. The scenario didn’t get significantly better as soon as the race received underway and he was quickly a lap down.

However your entire scenario took a drastic activate lap 41 of 60, when Daniel Suarez received into the again of Kyle Busch and despatched his Trackhouse Chevrolet into the wall which collected a number of different drivers. Amongst them had been Austin Hill and Travis Pastrana, the opposite drivers within the race from unchartered groups.

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As a result of harm, Hill and Pastrana each ended up within the storage, which meant Daly would declare a spot within the 500 subject no matter how he completed the race.

He ended up seventeenth and two laps down on winner Aric Almirola – however the particulars mattered little afterwards. Pastrana (23XI Toyota) made it in on qualifying tempo, however Hill’s Beard Motorsports Chevrolet missed the lower. 

“Properly, we had been inherently unfortunate for the final 36 hours, however we received fortunate,” stated Daly, who will turn out to be the 62nd driver in historical past to compete in each the Indianapolis 500 and Daytona 500.

Begin motion Duel 2

Picture by: NASCAR Media

“I want I may have stated that I drove it in on pure tempo, however it was simply loopy.

“Once we went on the market, the automotive was bouncing round. I had no thought what was happening.

“I assumed the drivetrain was damaged, and (the crew) simply made it higher each time (we pit). We received fortunate with the yellows to attempt to get some expertise, however it’s fairly loopy.

“This race, I’ve watched it for thus a few years and a lot loopy stuff can occur, and fortunately we had been on the proper aspect of the craziness. It’s fairly superb.”

Hill, a winner at Daytona in Vehicles (2019) and the Xfinity Sequence (20220) was left to lament his choice to stick with the pack, relatively than backing out of the draft and specializing in ending forward of Daly.

“It’s a bummer as a result of we knew the place the 50 [Daly] was and we knew that he was a number of laps down and all we needed to do was beat him,” he stated.

“There isn’t a cause why we shouldn’t be within the 500 from the place the 50 was working and actually it was simply being dumb on my half. There’s simply no cause for that.

“I used to be the one holding the steering wheel and I ought to have simply seen what was taking place and simply let these guys do their factor and we simply fall again.

“Even when we fall laps down, it doesn’t matter so long as we keep in entrance of the 50. It stings.”

Reigning NASCAR Truck Sequence champion Zane Smith ran a strong race within the first qualifying race in his Entrance Row Motorsports Ford and ended up ending eighth – the best-placed driver among the many unchartered groups – to safe his spot within the subject.

Seven-time Cup champion and crew proprietor Jimmie Johnson claimed the opposite spot from the race primarily based his Wednesday night time qualifying pace, however Chandler Smith missed out after a rushing penalty in a race that went caution-free left the Kaulig Chevrolet driver 18th.

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