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Justin Haley gets first career NASCAR Cup Series win

nascarJustin Haley won his first-ever Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race Sunday afternoon at the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

The race, which was originally scheduled for Saturday night on NBC, was postponed by NASCAR until Sunday afternoon due to inclement weather. Today’s race was red-flagged with 33 laps to go due to inclement weather with Haley in the lead and was officially called after an hour-plus delay.

Highlights from post-race coverage on NBC Sports

  • Haley during his post-race interview with Snider: “The stars aligned. I didn’t ever think I was going to get redemption back from last year at Daytona when I got the Xfinity win taken away…and it makes that second-place win on Friday (at Daytona) a lot better.”
  • NBC Sports analyst Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Haley winning the Coke Zero Sugar 400: “This is going to change this kid’s life. This is going to be an incredible moment for him, considering everything that he’s been through.”
  • NBC Sports analyst Steve Letarte: “I’ve been fortunate to win one of these rain-shortened races. Guess what? When the trophy goes up in your house, it doesn’t matter the story. You are the winner. You won that race. Everyone down there would have taken this trophy. Today it was Justin Haley.”
  • Earnhardt Jr. on if his first win came in same scenario as Haley: “I would demand that we’re going to celebrate this win in Victory Lane. I don’t care if I have to do it in the rain. I’m not doing it in the media center.”
  • Burton on Haley leading as the race was red-flagged: “Last year in the Xfinity race he thought he won the race but he got called for passing on the yellow line. They gambled here and they have nothing to lose. They were coming to one to go, but now the caution lights are back on the pace car.”
  • NBC Sports analyst Jeff Burton on caution following one to go announcement by NASCAR: “I went down to the NASCAR tower to have a conversation about what’s been going on. What happened was they did not have a lightning strike within the parameter. They were clear so they give one to go. Then down the backstretch, they get a lightning strike that was confirmed to be 7.4 miles away. Then, they have to go to caution. NASCAR did not have one in the area, they cleared it, but then they had one down the back straightaway and they had to call it.”
  • NBC Sports’ Rick Allen on the caution coming out after initially declaring one to go: “It’s a timing issue. Obviously, NASCAR is not looking at who’s leading the race or who’s on pit road when they make these calls. It’s exactly when something happens. The caution had to come out or they had to go back to caution and in this situation. When lightning strikes within eight miles, if it is eight miles within the venue, they have to go to caution and red flag. It’s a safety issue for everyone in the grandstands, for everyone on the race track, anywhere around this venue. They have to do that for a safety issue.”
  • Burton on NASCAR’s decision to return to yellow flag after telling drivers one to go: “(Kurt Busch’s team) made a great call. (Crew chief) Matt McCall made a call, that they were going to stay on the race track. But NASCAR gave one to go. They said ‘we’re coming to one to go,’ so that means the race is going to restart, so the No. 1 car comes down pit road. Then down the back straightaway, conditions change, they get a lightning strike and they call it off. So right now, Matt McCall is like, ‘I was in the right position. You gave one to go, why did you give one to go?’”

Courtesy NBC Sports

augusta free press
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