Another week, another blown lead by Joey Logano.
A week after Penske teammate Brad Keselowski wrecked him in the final stretch of the Daytona 500, Logano again led with just laps to go in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 road race. There was no crash this time, but Christopher Bell — making only his 38th career start — muscled past him heading into the final lap.
Neither racer had issues with the infield, bus stop or frontstretch chicane, but Bell, who was near the front of the pack for a good portion of the race, was able to hold off Logano for his first-ever Cup Series win.
MORE: Watch today’s NASCAR race live with fuboTV (7-day free trial)
Logano wasn’t the only racer who will rue the way Sunday’s race played out; Chase Elliott, who led 44 of 70 laps, also likely regrets that his run of dominance on road courses ended. The race was his to lose with 14 laps remaining, but he pitted for rain tires; he lost several positions on the restart — Logano stayed out — then had to fight from spinning out in the grass. His race was essentially finished after he spun out fighting for position with five laps left.
It’s his first road course loss in five races.
Sporting News tracked live race updates and lap-by-lap highlights from NASCAR’s road course race at Daytona. Follow for complete results from the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253.
NASCAR at Daytona live updates, highlights from road course race
All times Eastern
6:20 p.m.: And there’s the final chicane. No problem. Bell wins the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253! It’s his first win in 38 career starts.
6:19 p.m.: Bell gets the bus stop, no problem.
6:19 p.m.: They’re back on the oval. Logano has the bus stop and frontstretch chicane to make his move.
6:18 p.m.: And Bell takes the lead on the frontstretch chicane heading with the white flag waving! This could set up for a fantastic finish.
6:16 p.m.: Bell is aggressive in his pursuit of Logano heading into Turn 6 of the second-to-last lap. He’s .24 seconds off the lead.
6:15 p.m.: The Fox telecast reports light rain on Turn 4. That should make for an exciting final three laps.
6:13 p.m.: Briscoe has some damage and limited visibility. Either way, it’s Logano, Bell, Kurt Busch, Hamlin and Keselowski in positions 1-5, respectively. Logano has over a two-second lead on Bell.
6:09 p.m: Bad luck for Elliott; he had a chance to fight for first place but got hit from behind by Hamlin, forcing him to spin off the track. No caution, but he lost too many positions to truly challenge with just five laps to go.
6:08 p.m.: Elliott, meanwhile, is up to fifth. Logano is way out in front, however.
6:06 p.m.: Now Kyle Busch is in the wall. Lots of action on the front stretch; no caution.
6:05 p.m.: Kyle Larson is the next driver to sustain damage, spinning out into the tire wall. He can drive off but he sustained pretty significant damage by the look of it. Eight laps remain.
6 p.m.: LaJoie’s car is in the pit getting some percussive maintenance. Looks like Elliott may have got a little unintentional comeuppance against him:
Caution is for Corey LaJoie. Haven’t seen a replay yet, but Chase Elliott just said: “Didn’t mean to wreck him. I don’t know exactly what he was doing.”
— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) February 21, 2021
5:58 p.m.: Scratch that: Caution No. 8 is out. Elliott, who has led the majority of laps today, is now in 10th with nine laps remaining. He has some damage to the front of his car.
5:57 p.m.: Truex Jr. is a little loose heading into Turn 1, hitting Bell and causing him to spin. But there’s no caution as the field manages to evade him.
5:50 p.m.: Looks like Reddick sustained damage from hitting the grass and taking out a sign. Elliott, surprisingly, gained a position.
5:49 p.m.: Reddick and Elliott both have issues heading into Turn 2; Reddick’s car is on fire, while Elliott had to struggle not to spin out after getting pushed onto the grass by LaJoie. Caution No. 7.
5:45 p.m.: Logano, Briscoe and Kurt Busch are in the top three heading into the restart, followed by Chris Buescher and Corey LaJoie in fourth and fifth. Elliott is 15th, and Bell is 12th. Still plenty of laps to race, but will they regret pitting?
5:44 p.m.: Elliott, Bell and a big portion of the field pit for rain tires. Logano is among those who remain out.
5:39 p.m.: And there’s a caution flag — sixth of the day — for the weather. Fourteen laps remain.
5:36 p.m.: There was a brief deluge of rain on the speedway, but no caution yet with 16 laps remaining. Elliott and Bell still lead, but the rain has lightened up considerably. NASCAR may put a weather warning into effect.
Pit crews are preparing rain tires as it starts to rain at Daytona. It’s light, but definitely falling, according to a few reports on the scanner. #NASCAR
— PRN (@PRNlive) February 21, 2021
5:31 p.m.: Now both Elliott and Bell pit with 18 laps remaining. They both exit without penalty and maintain their positions.
5:28 p.m.: Elliott and Bell are playing a game of cat and mouse as neither pit with 20 laps to go. They’ll need to pit here in a few laps.
5:19 p.m.: Elliott is still comfortably in the lead with 23 laps remaining (but Bill in hot pursuit behind him). He has led 34 of 47 laps.
5:08 p.m.: And now Kurt Busch hits Keselowski from behind him, forcing the latter to spin out.
5:07 p.m.: Elliott retakes the lead heading into Turn 1.
5:06 p.m.: Bell, Elliott and Truex Jr. make up the top three after Kurt Busch’s mishap.
5:04 p.m.: There goes Kurt Busch’s lead; he hits the curb coming out of Turn 3, causing him to spin out and slide through the grass all the way to Turn 5. He’s now in 25th. No caution.
5:03 p.m.: And now Kurt Busch takes over the lead position in Lap 38. Elliott moves up to fourth.
4:59 p.m.: Daniel Suarez, DiBenedetto and Kurt Busch take positions 1-3, respectively heading into the restart. Elliott is at sixth; Hamlin and Bell are fourth and fifth.
4:52 p.m.: Good portion of the field pits under caution on Lap 36.
4:48 p.m: Denny Hamlin wins Stage 2, with Elliott coming in sixth. Here are the other top-10 finishers for the stage:
Denny Hamlin wins Stage 2. He has three playoff points now because he swept the first two stages last week.
Others getting stage points:
9. No one (Allmendinger doesn’t get points)
— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) February 21, 2021
4:46 p.m.: Martin Truex Jr. locks up heading into the frontstretch chicane, losing a couple of positions. in the process. No need to pit, however. And now Elliott’s right on his rear.
4:43 p.m.: And there’s Elliott climbing the positions; he’s now seventh.
4:42 p.m.: Bubba Wallace’s car locks up and he’s forced to pit; no caution necessary.
4:38 p.m.: Allmendinger, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson take the top three positions in the restart; Elliott starts at 11 but falls back to two positions to 13th.
4:37 p.m.: Chastain’s day is finished.
4:33 p.m.: We’re on Lap 13 of 18 in the second stage; a good portion of the field, meanwhile, pits under caution.
4:31 p.m.: And now Tyler Reddick’s car has slowed to a crawl on the oval. Not sure what the issue is there.
4:29 p.m.: We’re under our fourth caution as Ross Chastain’s car hit the wall coming out of Turn 6. He was 20th at the time the yellow flag waved; he has some damage to his car — looks like his suspension — but is able to drive off. Now he’s trying to get to pit row as quickly as possible without tearing up his car.
4:24 p.m.: Keselowski, 11th, misses the backstretch chicane and had to make a stop. He lost three positions and is now 14th.
4:15 p.m.: No issues for the field in any of the first six turns out back onto the oval; racing’s getting a little smoother.
4:13 p.m.: Elliott, Logano and Hamlin hold the top three positions heading into the restart.
4 p.m.: Elliott picks up right where he left off on road courses, winning Stage 1 handily. Here are the other drivers who earned points:
Chase Elliott easily wins Stage 1 at the Daytona road course.
Others getting stage points:
— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) February 21, 2021
3:54 p.m.: Christopher Bell is first coming out of the restart but Elliott quickly jumps back out to the lead with just three laps remaining in the stage. Keselowski and Joey Logano — who were at the center of the Daytona 500 crash — are behind him in the second and third positions, respectively.
3:47 p.m.: We’re under our second caution with five laps left in the stage; Brad Keselowski’s car seemed to lock up, resulting in a flat tire. Matt DiBenedetto suffered considerable damage to his car as well.
3:42 p.m.: Elliott, meanwhile, has a notable lead over second-place Hamlin; 4, going on 5 seconds on Lap 10.
3:41 p.m.: Brief moment between Ryan Blaney and AJ Allmendinger as the latter brake-checked Blaney on the oval.
3:35 p.m.: Chase Briscoe falls to the rear after spinning out on the frontstretch chicane; the entire field pretty much had to take evasive maneuvers around him as his car sat idle. No caution, though; he wheels around and continues racing.
3:31 p.m.: And we’re back on Lap 4 of 70. Chase Elliott, Austin Dillon and Denny Hamlin are in the top three positions coming out of the caution.
3:27 p.m.: One lap in and we’re already under caution for debris. Kyle Busch is in the pit getting some work done on his car; McDowell is also getting his car looked at.
3:21 p.m.: Michael McDowell is the first driver — but not the only one — to overshoot Turn 1. The Daytona 500 winner loses position immediately. Kyle Busch seems to have sustained some damage to his front right tire as well.
3:13 p.m.: It’s about that time.
NASCAR race start time today
- Date: Sunday, Feb. 21
- Start time: 3 p.m. ET (Green flag at 3:20 p.m. ET)
- TV channel: Fox (TSN5 in Canada)
- Live stream: Fox Sports Go | fuboTV (7-day free trial)
The green flag for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race on the Daytona Road Course is scheduled to wave at 3:20 p.m. ET.
Although NASCAR will race on the Daytona Road Course on Sunday even if it gets wet, there still will be weather-related threats: If the rain is too heavy, if there is lightning in the area or if there is too much water on the course. The weather forecast for Daytona Beach, Fla., on Sunday is partly cloudy skies, temperatures in the mid-60s and about a 15 percent chance of precipitation.
NASCAR at Daytona starting lineup
The starting lineup for Sunday’s race on the Daytona Road Course was determined through a mathematical formula NASCAR adopted late in the 2020 season. The same procedure for setting lineups without qualifying is set to be used for the majority of races in 2021.
The formula produced this starting lineup for Sunday’s NASCAR race on the Daytona Road Course:
|1.||Chase Elliott||9||Hendrick Motorsports|
|2.||Michael McDowell||34||Front Row Motorsports|
|3.||Austin Dillon||3||Richard Childress Racing|
|4.||Denny Hamlin||11||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|5.||Kevin Harvick||4||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|6.||Ryan Preece||37||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|7.||Corey LaJoie||7||Spire Motorsports|
|8.||Kyle Larson||5||Hendrick Motorsports|
|9.||Ross Chastain||42||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|10.||Bubba Wallace||23||23XI Racing|
|11.||Joey Logano||22||Team Penske|
|12.||Christopher Bell||20||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|13.||Cole Custer||41||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|14.||Kyle Busch||18||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|15.||Brad Keselowski||2||Team Penske|
|16.||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|17.||Kurt Busch||1||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|18.||Chase Briscoe||14||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|19.||Martin Truex Jr.||19||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|20.||Justin Haley||77||Spire Motorsports|
|21.||Cody Ware||51||Petty Ware Racing|
|22.||William Byron||24||Hendrick Motorsports|
|23.||Josh Bilicki||52||Rick Ware Racing|
|24.||Tyler Reddick||8||Richard Childress Racing|
|25.||Garrett Smithley||53||Rick Ware Racing|
|26.||Aric Almirola||10||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|27.||Ryan Blaney||12||Team Penske|
|28.||Scott Heckert||78||Live Fast Motorsports|
|29.||Quin Houff||00||StarCom Racing|
|30.||Chris Buescher||17||Roush Fenway Racing|
|31.||Anthony Alfredo||38||Front Row Motorsports|
|32.||Matt DiBenedetto||21||Wood Brothers Racing|
|33.||Ryan Newman||6||Roush Fenway Racing|
|34.||AJ Allmendinger||16||Kaulig Racing|
|35.||Daniel Suarez||99||TrackHouse Racing|
|36.||Alex Bowman||48||Hendrick Motorsports|
|37.||Erik Jones||43||Richard Petty Motorsports|
|38.||Ty Dillon||96||Gaunt Brothers Racing|
|39.||James Davison||15||Rick Ware Racing|
|40.||Timmy Hill||66||Motorsports Business Management|
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