No. 5 NationsGuard Chevrolet Race Results: Daytona 253 Road Course
Date: February 21, 2021
Race: DAYTONA 253
Track Specs: 3.61-mile road course / 70 laps / 253 miles
Points (behind leader): 12th (-51)
Late in Sunday’s Daytona 253, Kyle Larson was in a position to battle for the win. But the 28-year-old made an aggressive move with eight laps to go while battling for second and the No. 5 NationsGuard Chevrolet slid into a tire barrier. Larson pitted for damage repair and finished 30th in the race held on the DAYTONA Road Course.
Larson, who started eighth, was at a slight disadvantage since he did not compete in last year’s inaugural race on the road course. But Larson became comfortable with the serpentine layout quickly and raced his way up to finish sixth in the first stage that ended on lap 16.
“I lack drive off of the corners,” he explained to crew chief Cliff Daniels. Larson pitted for four new tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment while other drivers elected not to stop for service during the caution period. The green flag waved again at lap 19 with Larson restarting behind those cars in the 14th position.
The California native again showed the speed of the Hendrick Motorsports entry, moving up seven positions in just four laps. He remained there before a caution waved at lap 26. While many of the leaders pitted, Larson stayed out and restarted second on lap 29. On older tire rubber, he was quickly passed by those with new tires. Larson fell to 16th before the second stage ended on lap 34.
A fast pit stop by the No. 5 crew gained Larson five positions before the lap-37 restart, and Larson passed six more on the track to run fifth before a caution waved on lap 55 of 70. Daniels again called Larson to pit road, and another fast four-tire stop by the No. 5 crew gained two positions on pit road. But Larson restarted 12th since nine drivers ahead did not pit and were on older tires.
The race restarted with 12 laps to go, and Larson gained three positions in one lap before another caution waved. When the race restarted, he again picked off spots – gaining four spots in one lap to run fifth before the day’s final caution waved with 10 laps to go. On lap 62 of 70, Larson made a great restart and was battling for second before losing control of his Chevy entering a corner. The damaged car was repaired on pit road, but Larson could gain only five spots before the checkered flag waved to finish 30th.
On Sunday, the NASCAR Cup Series visits Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Dixie Vodka 400. FOX and MRN Radio will broadcast the race live beginning at 3:30 p.m. EST February 28.
Comments From Kyle Larson: “It took 5 or 7 laps to get comfortable on the track, but even after that you’re inching up on your braking zones. I think halfway through the first stage I was in a good spot with being comfortable with the race track. I made some decent passes and we made the car better. I ended up being in a great position to win but made a mistake that cost us a chance to win.
“I just drove in really far and probably got a little wheel hop. I just carried too much speed and backed it into the tire barrier. I just got overly aggressive.”