No. 1 OneMain Financial Team Finishes 24th to Open the 2017 Season
Elliott Sadler and the OneMain Financial team stole the show leading 32 laps throughout the first two stages of the three-stage race at Daytona International Speedway. The team’s two stage wins brought them 20 regular season points and two bonus points for the championship playoffs. Due to an unfortunate incident with only 16 laps remaining, Sadlerultimately finished Saturday afternoon’s race in 24th place.
After taking the green flag in 11th, Sadler began to race his way through the field. By lap 11, the No. 1 OneMain Financial Chevrolet Camaro was right behind teammate Kasey Kahne in second. Only one lap later, the Emporia, Va., native made the pass and began to lead the field. Shortly thereafter, three cautions followed, ending the first stage under caution. Sadler’s first-place running position at the end of the stage earned him and the OneMain Financial team 10 regular season points and one bonus point for the NASCAR Xfinity Series playoffs. Remaining focused, Sadler drove his Chevrolet Camaro just like he did throughout Stage One. The team battled between first and second the majority of the stage—and in the end, claimed the stage win once again. By earning the first two stage wins at Daytona, JR Motorsports and the OneMain Financial team made history as the first team to not only win a NXS stage, but also the first team to win back-to-back stages at the NXS level.
The final 16 laps of the 120-lap race brought trouble for the No. 1 team. After making contact with Austin Dillion while running third, the OneMain Chevrolet Camaro received significant damage. The team worked quickly to get Sadler back on track, but within one lap the team returned to pit road for additional repair. The team ultimately ran out of time, given the new five-minute rule to repair damage on pit road by NASCAR, and was sent to the garage. The No. 1 OneMain Financial team finished the 2017 season-opening race in 24th place.
Ryan Reed took home the checkered flag followed by Kasey Kahne, Austin Dillion, Brad Keselowskiand Brendan Gaughan to round out the top five.
“I’m so proud of my OneMain Financial teammates. They unloaded me a fast car and we ran a great race. Earning those first two stage wins and competing the way we did, was the start to the season we needed and knew we could have. Our race ending was unfortunate, but we are ready to build on this weekend and take home the win in Atlanta. It’s going to be a great season and tonight’s race shows it. Anything can happen in Daytona and tonight just didn’t go our way.”
Race 1 of 33: PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway
Track Specs: 2.5-mile tri-oval / 120 laps
Weather: Partly Sunny, 77 degrees
Race Winner: Ryan Reed
Sadler’s Finish: 24th