By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Correspondent
In an attrition-filled race at Daytona International Speedway, Brandon Brown earned his first career top-10 finish.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender was at the center of one ‘big one,’ and involved in another. A mistimed bump by Brown’s No. 88 BMSRaceTeam.com Chevrolet Camaro SS to Scott Lagasse Jr.’s No. 93 sent Lagasse spinning in the middle of the field. 11 cars, including the Brandonbilt Motorsports machine, were damaged in the incident.
Brown’s team persisted however and repaired his No. 86 machine to complete the Circle K Firecracker 250. He restarted mid-pack after the repairs. Brown found himself in the middle of a 15-car melee as a result. Somehow, his team repaired his battered car.
Restarting in the outside line, Brown quickly moved into the top-five. However, the damage hindered any chance for further progression. AJ Allmendinger picked him off, followed by Stephen Leicht. When Brown crossed the line, he was seventh. A disqualification for Allmendinger moved the 25-year-old into sixth.
The military-themed No. 86 was up front throughout much of the restrictor plate race. Despite starting 33rd, Brown climbed into the top-10 by the end of the first 30-lap stage. He finished the stage in ninth and earned two points.
The sixth-place finish is the first top-five in Brown’s career and came in his 36th start. His only other top-10 in NASCAR competition came at Daytona in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series in 2016.
Brown remains 14th in the championship points standings, 408-points behind points leader Tyler Reddick. He is just 125-points behind the playoff cutoff held by Ryan Sieg.
Brown admitted on Twitter that he likely upset several competitors in his drive to a top-10 finish.
Won’t lie, didn’t make friends tonight… but my team needed this, they work too hard for me not to deliver. Thank you boys https://t.co/DWm4SKrF1a
— Brandon Brown (@brandonbrown_86) July 6, 2019