Just four laps after a long red-flag delay to clean up the first huge wreck in Saturday’s XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway, another violent, 12-car wreck followed.
On Lap 29, the No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of Daniel Hemric appeared to drift ever so slightly up the track as it went into Turn 3 – clipping the left rear quarter-panel of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevy of Justin Allgaier in the process.
That sent Allgaier’s car sideways into high-speed traffic, setting off a chain reaction of calamity. Among the additional collateral damage: the cars of Erik Jones, Daniel Suarez, Darrell Wallace Jr., Brandon Jones, Chris Cockrum, Harrison Rhodes, Brandon Hightower, Matt Tifft, Scott Lagasse Jr. and Blake Koch.
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Hemric told FOX Sports that he thought his car might have slipped in some of the Speedy-Dry and oil residue that was still left on the track from the wreck just a few laps earlier. But Suarez had another idea about what might have contributed to the unexpected melee.
“I feel like we were racing too hard. It was too early,” Suarez said. “I don’t really know what happened exactly. … I feel like we have to be a little bit smarter than that. I just feel like it’s a long race and we should be a little bit more smart.”
Yet another lengthy red-flag period followed for more track cleanup.
The hit to the outside wall was so hard for Allgaier that it shook up his wife, who took to Twitter to offer a sobering reminder of how dangerous the sport can be — and how heart-wrenching it can be for the loved ones of drivers who are involved in nasty accidents.
Worst feeling ever… Jason asking @J_Allgaier if he's okay 3 times & he didn't reply. Radio came unplugged & he couldn't answer.