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NASCAR race at Daytona live updates: Chris Buescher hangs on to win in overtime

Charlotte Observer reporters Alex Zietlow and Shane Connuck provided live updates and analysis throughout Saturday’s Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway. See those musings below. Refresh this page as needed.

For a look at the unofficial NASCAR Cup Series playoff field, click here.

For a full recap of Chris Buescher’s win at Daytona, click here.

Unofficial results

Pos.

Car

Driver

Time behind

Best time

Best speed

1

17

Chris Buescher

--

46.096

195.245

2

6

Brad Keselowski

0.098

45.902

196.07

3

10

Aric Almirola

0.178

46.25

194.595

4

9

Chase Elliott

0.206

46.268

194.519

5

22

Joey Logano

0.254

46.273

194.498

6

48

Alex Bowman

0.269

46.267

194.523

7

8

Kyle Busch

0.306

45.931

195.946

8

24

William Byron

0.352

46.264

194.536

9

4

Kevin Harvick

0.38

46.425

193.861

10

7

Corey LaJoie

0.452

46.106

195.202

11

77

Ty Dillon

0.469

46.289

194.431

12

23

Bubba Wallace

0.511

45.95

195.865

13

34

Michael McDowell

0.546

45.972

195.771

14

62

Austin Hill

0.582

46.169

194.936

15

13

Chandler Smith

0.639

46.101

195.224

16

20

Christopher Bell

0.692

45.952

195.857

17

1

Ross Chastain

0.725

46.085

195.291

18

43

Erik Jones

0.766

45.97

195.78

19

51

JJ Yeley

0.86

46.124

195.126

20

99

Daniel Suarez

0.915

46.064

195.38

21

31

Justin Haley

1.013

46.014

195.593

22

42

Josh Berry

1.069

46.098

195.236

23

78

BJ McLeod

1.497

46.274

194.494

24

19

Martin Truex Jr.

3.013

46

195.652

25

45

Tyler Reddick

7.762

46.28

194.468

26

11

Denny Hamlin

-1

46.391

194.003

27

5

Kyle Larson

-2

46.261

194.548

28

21

Harrison Burton

-3

46.492

193.582

29

16

AJ Allmendinger

-3

46.039

195.486

30

14

Chase Briscoe

-7

46.493

193.578

31

41

Ryan Preece

-8

46.058

195.406

32

38

Todd Gilliland

-32

45.984

195.72

33

3

Austin Dillon

-61

46.208

194.771

34

47

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

-67

45.714

196.876

35

54

Ty Gibbs

-69

46.435

193.819

36

12

Ryan Blaney

-69

46.392

193.999

37

2

Austin Cindric

-69

46.183

194.877

38

36

Riley Herbst

-69

46.456

193.732

39

15

Brennan Poole

-70

46.502

193.54

Live updates from Daytona

Stage 3

Overtime: Chris Buescher wins. As a former winner, he allows Bubba Wallace to make the final field of the NASCAR playoffs!

Take a look at what happened on those final few laps here:

Overtime: Harvick falls back off the restart, isn’t getting a clean push. Chris Buescher has the outside momentum.

Overtime: As the drivers continue to circle the track after the incredible crash involving, unofficially, 11 barrel roll flips by the 41 car of Ryan Preece, one important piece — beyond, of course, Preece’s health and well being — to note: The final race of the season will go to overtime, meaning a two-lap dash will decide the final piece of the playoff field.

Ryan Preece goes crashing through the grass on the backstretch after a crash in the closing laps of the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on Saturday night in Daytona.
Ryan Preece goes crashing through the grass on the backstretch after a crash in the closing laps of the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on Saturday night in Daytona.

Lap 155: Ryan Preece does at least four, maybe five barrel rolls after a collision mid-pack, and caution is out while medical attends to the driver. Preece runs full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series, driving the No. 41 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing.

As medical attended to Preece, there were some tense moments before Preece was helped from the car and stood on his own with his helmet off in the infield. He drew generous applause from the crowd after it held its collective breath.

Lap 154: Bubba Wallace is a big Kevin Harvick fan right now. If Harvick wins, Wallace will get in on points because Harvick is already in on points even without a win. Kyle Larson is two laps down, but he’s helping Chase Elliott on the bottom line.

Lap 147: Briscoe continued to lead as pit stops started. Strategy was be the most important it has been all season long. Harvick to the front off this round of stops. Elliott, in a must-win scenario, is now in second.

Lap 137: Briscoe, who can advance to his second consecutive Cup Series playoffs with a win Saturday night, remains out in front. Several other winless drivers find themselves in the Top 10, including Aric Almirola, Ryan Preece, Ty Dillon and Chandler Smith.

Should we have a repeat winner Saturday night, Bubba Wallace would take the final playoff spot. But currently, the 23XI Racing driver sits in 14th.

Lap 125: With 35 laps left, the Top 10: Chase Briscoe, Aric Almirola, Ryan Preece, Chris Buescher, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, Ty Dillon, Chandler Smith and Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 113: Chase Briscoe remains out in the lead. Amid the 16-car pileup that punctuated Stage 2 (see below), several Cup Series contenders are officially OUT — including Ty Gibbs, Ryan Blaney, Austin Cindric and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Lap 105: We’re green again!

Lap 103: Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch remain out in front as the third stage gets underway. Differing pit strategies have jumbled the starting group in Stage 3. Chase Briscoe, your pole-winner, is starting out front. A bunch of cars — including favorites Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin — are down a lap.

Also, Martin Truex Jr. has officially clinched the Cup Series regular-season championship.

Stage 2

Lap 95: A close Stage 2 ends with a crash — and a big one at that! The Big One. In the front of the pack, Christopher Bell pushed Ty Gibbs in the corner of his car, and Gibbs’ Toyota spiraled over toward leader Ryan Blaney, who then spun and slammed head-on into the fence. Over half the field was involved in the wreck. Red flag is out. Blaney’s day is done; stay tuned as we learn who all will remain in the race after that one.

Brad Keselowski emerged above all the rubble and takes the Stage 2 win. Behind him: Kyle Busch, Daniel Suarez, Alex Bowman, William Byron, Tyler Reddick, Chase Elliott, Austin Dillon, Ross Chastain, Joey Logano.

Take a look at what happened here:

Lap 83: Green flag pit stops! The big news: Aric Almirola, who once held the lead, had an extended stop before heading back out to fill up on fuel to put him in better position for Stage 3. Denny Hamlin must serve a pass-through penalty after a crew member went over the wall.

Lap 69: For seven drivers currently in the Top 20, a win at Daytona would send them to the playoffs. None higher than Ryan Preece of Stewart-Haas Racing, who has climbed to third place. He trails Ross Chastain and Joey Logano.

Lap 60: The second stage has been much more aggressive than the first, with several drivers breaking out to the top spot, including Chase Elliott. The Top 10: A.J. Allmendinger, Ross Chastain, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Justin Haley, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kevin Harvick, Ty Gibbs, Martin Truex Jr. and Austin Hill.

Lap 41: And we’re green green green! Joey Logano emerges as the winner on that stage break trip down pit lane. The Top 10 running after pit stops under yellow: Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Christopher Bell, Daniel Suarez, Bubba Wallace, Denny Hamlin, Chase Briscoe, Chase Elliott, Aric Almirola.

Stage 1

Lap 35: Martin Truex Jr. passed Denny Hamlin — who he is battling for the regular-season title — and claimed the Stage 1 win. Everyone earning points at the stage finish: Truex, Christopher Bell, Kevin Harvick, Ty Gibbs, Joey Logano, Bubba Wallace, Austin Cindric, Denny Hamlin, Chase Briscoe, Daniel Suarez.

Lap 29: We’ve got a new leader! Denny Hamlin has moved into the top spot, with his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Martin Truex Jr., Christopher Bell and Ty Gibbs right behind.

Lap 20: Seventeen drivers face “win and get in” scenarios for the postseason beginning after this race, including Chase Briscoe, who has held the lead for the last several minutes. Aric Almirola, Harrison Burton, Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin round out the current top five.

Lap 7: The pack has been pretty tight through the first handful of laps. Most of the energy is in the inside line, but Ty Gibbs and Bubba Wallace — Toyota teammates — are looking to build some momentum on the outside. There’s even a brief three-wide moment, which is rare in Daytona in the Next Gen car era. Top 10 at the moment: Chase Briscoe, Aric Almirola, Harrison Burton, Kyle Larson, Chris Buescher, Ty Gibbs, Martin Truex Jr., Christopher Bell, AJ Allmendinger, Bubba Wallace.

Green flag, 7:48 p.m.: It’s time! Let’s gooooooo racin’!

7:41 p.m.: Engines fired. Cars making their ways around the track. Clear skies and 84 degrees — beautiful night for racing. Green flag soon! (Update: The No. 41 car — Ryan Preece — will fall to the rear due to unapproved adjustments.)

7:34 p.m.: While we wait, one storyline from this weekend at Daytona that no one saw coming: Kurt Busch, 45, has officially retired from racing. The 2004 Cup champion made the news official today in an announcement in the Daytona media center. About a year ago, Busch said he wouldn’t return to full-time Cup driving because he still wasn’t 100% after sustaining a concussion in the summer of 2022, and after spending a year trying to get back in the car, he ultimately made the decision final Saturday. He ends his career with 34 Cup victories, and he said he still hopes to work in a consulting role with 23XI Racing.

7:09 p.m.: An administrative note for pre-race timings for those watching at home: Driver Introductions will begin promptly at 6:55 p.m.; Invocation: 7:26:20 p.m.; National Anthem: 7:27:00 p.m.; Command: 7:34:00 p.m.; Green Flag: 7:46:00 p.m. (No cars will go to the rear, NASCAR clarified.)

7:05 p.m.: A look at the most up-to-date betting odds before the green flag drops: Denny Hamlin at 10-1, Chase Elliott at 11-1, Brad Keselowski at 12-1, Joey Logano at 12-1 and Ryan Blaney at 12-1. The Team Penske teammates — Logano and Blaney — haven’t been good in a while, but they’re each great superspeedway racers, and they each are sporting cars with the manufacturer that was king in qualifying yesterday (Ford).

6:50 p.m.: One. Final. Chance. The NASCAR Cup Series regular-season finale is set to begin just after 7:30 p.m. at Daytona International Speedway on NBC, and playoff aspirations abound. After an awesome round of qualifying for Ford, Chase Briscoe will start on the pole, and right next to him will be Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Aric Almirola. Bubba Wallace is the top-starting Toyota in P4, with Ty Gibbs being the top-starting Chevy in P5. (Gibbs and Wallace, of course, are the top two drivers contending for that 16th and final playoff spot.)

Some Observer predictions, you ask? Alex Zietlow is taking William Byron to win it — he perhaps was influenced by a conversation he had with NASCAR great and NBC announcer Steve Letarte earlier in the week — and thinks Wallace will earn the up-for-grabs playoff berth. Shane Connuck is predicting that Kyle Larson takes the checkered flag and Wallace finds himself in the playoffs. Racing soon!

Feb 19, 2023; Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (47) restarts the pack through the trioval during the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 19, 2023; Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (47) restarts the pack through the trioval during the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Details on Coke Zero Sugar 400

  • Race: Coke Zero Sugar 400

  • Place: Daytona International Speedway

  • Date: Saturday, August 26

  • Time: 7 p.m. ET

  • Purse: $8,778,583

  • TV: NBC, 7 p.m. ET

  • Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

  • Distance: 400 miles (160 Laps)

  • Stages: Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 35), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 95), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 160)