Photo: Chris Owens/ASP, Inc.

Up to Speed: Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 at Daytona Preview

By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer

It’s the 16th race of the season and only three full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series regulars has scored a victory. The Xfinity Series returns to Daytona International Speedway for the second time this season, this time for the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250. Cup drivers, the unpredictability of restrictor-plate racing, and stage racing are just some of the storylines heading into the 16th race of the season.

Coverage for the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 is scheduled to start Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET. The ‘World Center of Racing’ has held the season opener for the Xfinity Series since its’ inception in 1982 and has hosted the 16th race of the season three times (2012-2014). In 53 races at the 2.5-mile Restrictor Plate track, 29 drivers have visited victory lane. The last six races at Daytona have produced six different winners.

The last time the Xfinity Series visited Daytona, Tyler Reddick took the victory in dramatic and historic fashion. Reddick beat his JR Motorsports teammate to the line by 0.0004 seconds, making it the closest finish in NASCAR history.

By the Numbers

What:Coca-Cola Firecracker 250, NASCAR Xfinity Series Race 16

Where: Daytona International Speedway – Daytona Beach, Florida (Opened: 1959)

TV/Radio: NBCSN, 7:30 p.m. ET / MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90

Track Size: 2.5-mile Tri-Oval

Banking: 31 degrees in turns, 18 degrees in tri-oval, 6 degrees on straightaways.

Race Length: 100 Laps, 250 Miles (Three Stages, 30/60/100)

2017 Race Winner:William Byron – No. 9 Axalta / Vorteq Chevrolet Camaro SS (Started third, 29 laps led).

Track Qualifying Record: Tommy Houston (46.298 seconds, 194.389 mph – 1987).

Storylines Heading into the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250:

There are several storylines going into this weekend’s race to watch for:

  • Shane Lee returns to the No. 3 Childress Vineyards Chevrolet Camaro SS for Richard Childress Racing.
  • Caesar Bacarella returns to the No. 8 MAXIM / ALPHA PRIME Chevrolet Camaro SS for BJ McLeod Motorsports.
  • Tyler Reddick will have Takl as the primary sponsor of his No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro SS for JR Motorsports.
  • Ryan Preece returns to the No. 18 Rheem Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing.
  • Ryan Blaney will be in the No. 22 Pirtek Ford Mustang for Team Penske.
  • Chase Elliott returns to the No. 23 UNTUCK it Chevrolet Camaro SS for GMS Racing.
  • Justin Haley will be in the No. 24 FOE Chevrolet Camaro SS for GMS Racing.
  • Kyle Larson returns to the No. 42 DC Solar Chevrolet Camaro SS for Chip Ganassi Racing.
  • Austin Cindric returns to the No. 60 Odyssey Battery Ford Mustang for Roush Fenway Racing.
  • Kaz Grala will be in the No. 61 Kiklos Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil Ford Mustang for Fury Race Cars LLC.
  • Ray Black II returns in the No. 99 Zomongo / America’s Donuts Chevrolet Camaro SS for BJ McLeod Motorsports.

Weekend Schedule (All Times Eastern)

Thursday, July 5

  • NXS Practice 1 (1:05 p.m. – 1:55 p.m., on NBCSN)
  • NXS Practice 2 (3:05 p.m. – 3:55 p.m., on NBCSN)

Friday, July 6

  • NXS Qualifying (2:10 p.m., on NBCSN)
  • NXS Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 (3:30 p.m. – 100 laps, 250 miles – on NBCSN, SiriusXM Channel 90, and the Motor Racing Network)

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Seth Eggert has followed NASCAR his entire life. Seth is currently pursuing a writing career and is majoring in Communications and Journalism. He is an avid iRacer and video gamer. Seth also tutors students at Mitchell Community College in multiple subjects. He has an Associate's Degree in History.