Based off the precedent set in the first two races of the weekend at Daytona, the finish of the Daytona 500 has a lofty bar to clear.
After Kyle Busch beat Timothy Peters in Friday's Camping World Truck Series race by a few feet, the margin of victory was even closer in Saturday's Nationwide race as Regan Smith snuck ahead of Brad Keselowski at the finish line. The margin of victory was 0.016 seconds.
Smith, just like Busch, was on the high side when he made his winning move. That's where Matt Kenseth was on Thursday as well, when he beat Kevin Harvick to the finish line by a half-car length in the first Budweiser Duel race.
Last year, Smith was leading as the field headed towards the finish line while Keselowski was on his bumper. However, the two drivers made contact, setting off the wild accident that sent Kyle Larson's car flying into the catchfence along the trioval. Over 20 fans were hurt as debris went into the grandstands, and part of Larson's engine came to rest inside the torn fence.
Tony Stewart won the race, while Smith ended up 14th.
This year's race felt destined to also end with a large crash after a green-white-checker restart extended the race to 121 laps. However, as the field streamed towards the finish line in two separate lines, there wasn't any crashing until after the checkered flag and the field went through the trioval.
And once again, Larson was involved in the crash. He went spinning and hit Joe Nemechek, whose car slid up the banking in turn one as Ryan Reed's car careened into him.
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