If the Daytona Xfinity race is any indication of what's to come, NASCAR fans are in for a wild ride this season. Between one star being involved in a horrific crash and a young gun capturing his first win, Saturday's race seemingly had it all.
At 21 years old, Ryan Reed clinched the top prize at the historic track with a last-lap pass over Brad Keselowski. The day after saw another Ford engine win the Daytona 500, but Reed shined in the first start of his second full-time season. Prior to Saturday, Reed had just one top-five finish.
Meanwhile, Kyle Busch's late wreck into a concrete wall was the biggest story of the afternoon. The Xfinity Series owner and Sprint Cup driver suffered a broken leg during the accident and will miss several weeks due to the injury.
That was all in the first weekend. What comes next is anyone's guess. Here's a look at the schedule, the standings and a preview for the Hisense 250 in Atlanta.
|2015 NASCAR Xfinity Standings|
|Pos.||Driver||Points||Wins||Top 5||Top 10|
|7||Darrell Wallace Jr.||33||0||0||0|
Where: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, Georgia
When: Saturday, Feb. 28
Start Time: 2 p.m. ET
TV: Fox Sports 1
Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
Radio: Performance Racing Network
Last season's race in Atlanta was dominated primarily by Sprint Cup regulars. That might be the case again Saturday, with myriad premier series drivers moving down to the Xfinity level in Atlanta.
Kevin Harvick, who won the event last year, will be driving the No. 88 for JR Motorsports again. The reigning Sprint Cup champion will be joined by Daytona 500 winner Joey Logano, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Larson.
Kenseth finished outside the top 10 last season, but the other three were inside the top five. While Busch will be sorely missed, he will be replaced by Erik Jones, via Jim Utter of The Charlotte Observer:
Jones may have a chance to make some serious noise at the Xfinity level. After all, he has three top 10s in just four races at middle tier.
Along with Jones, the other driver looking to make a statement is Chase Elliott. The defending Xfinity champion didn't exactly fare well in Daytona, finishing 28th after an accident, but he should see his fortunes change in Atlanta.
Elliott noted that the JRM team immediately turned its attention to Atlanta after the unfortunate start:
Elliott was the lone Xfinity driver in the top five last year and will be looking for a huge win at his home track. In order to drive to Victory Lane, he'll have to hold off Ty Dillon and Regan Smith, who also finished strong in Atlanta last year.
The field is loaded with experienced and young talent, so expect Saturday's race to be another exciting event leading up to the main event Sunday.
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