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NASCAR live updates: Chase Elliott wins Stage 1 of Daytona road course race

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 21: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2021 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 21: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2021 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

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The NASCAR Cup Series is points racing today at the Daytona International Speedway road course. The O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 is scheduled for 3 p.m. on FOX.

Chase Elliott is starting on the pole for the 70-lap race on the 3.61-mile road course. Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell is also starting in the front row. Stages will end on laps 16, 34 and 70.

Results will be posted here after the race. All times are ET.

NASCAR at Daytona RC live updates

Stage 2

4:21 p.m., Lap 23: Chase Elliott gets out to a quick lead after the race goes green. A.J. Allmendinger, who started 34th, is up to fifth place early in the second stage. Allmendinger is running full-time in the Xfinity Series for Kaulig Racing, but also entering select Cup events for the team. He and Martin Truex Jr. look like they could challenge Elliott for the lead by the end of the race. Truex is up to third after passing Logano on the inside.

4:06 p.m., Lap 18: Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson and Kevin Harvick pit from the top-10 while under caution, along with Chris Buescher, Christopher Bell, Aric Almirola, Ryan Preece, Bubba Wallace and Corey LaJoie, among others. Ty Dillon gets a penalty for having a crew member over the wall early. He’ll have to drop to the back for the restart. The restart order is Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Austin Dillon, Cole Custer, Alex Bowman, A.J. Allmendinger and William Byron.

Stage 1

4 p.m., Lap 16: Chase Elliott wins stage 1 at the Daytona road course, leading second place stage finisher Joey Logano by over three seconds. Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch finish the stage in the top-five. Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr., Austin Dillon, Kevin Harvick and Chris Buescher finish the stage in the top-10 for points.

3:56 p.m, Lap 13: The race restarts with Christopher Bell and Brad Keselowski in the front row. Bell didn’t take new tires during the yellow flag. Keselowski had pitted earlier for his blown tire and he continues to have a tough tire day, getting into the grass multiple times after the restart. Chase Elliott, who took new tires, restarted in the second row and quickly gets back up to first. William Byron’s and Tyler Reddick’s teams both get uncontrolled tire penalties on pit road and they have to restart in the rear.

3:48 p.m., Lap 11: Matt DiBenedetto has significant right rear tire damage, and the caution comes out for debris on the track from his ripped up tire. Keselowski also has a flat tire.

3:46 p.m., Lap 10: The running order after 10 laps is Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Austin Dillon and Martin Truex Jr. in the top-five. Erik Jones have to pit under green with a flat left rear tire and fender damage.

3:35 p.m., Lap 6: Joey Logano, who started 11th, is up to third place after the first five laps. Denny Hamlin is in second behind Chase Elliott. On lap 6, Chase Briscoe rolls over the turtle in the frontstretch chicane. Passing drivers have to evade him, but no caution come out.

3:24 p.m., Lap 1: Michael McDowell, starting in second, drops to last place after he overshoots the first turn. The caution flag comes out for tire remnants on the track from McDowell’s car. Kyle Busch’s car also has early damage to his right front after he drives through the grass. Chase Elliott is in the lead. Busch and McDowell both meet minimum speed for the restart and can continue.

Pre-race

3:01 p.m. Opening ceremonies

Chaplain Juleun Johnson from AdventHealth delivers the pre-race invocation and award winning gospel artist Cece Winans performs the national anthem, both virtually, ahead of the second points Cup race of the season. Netflix’s The Crew actor Kevin James gives the command to fire engines is at 3:08 p.m. and the green flag is at 3:20 p.m. There will be no competition caution for today’s race. The first stage ends after 16 laps.

2:40 p.m. Garrett Smithley also to the back

Rick Ware Racing driver Garrett Smithley will also drop to the back at the start of the race for unapproved adjustments on his team’s No. 53 Ford. Smithley was slated to start 25th and is ineligible for driver points.

2 p.m. Erik Jones and Justin Haley starting at the rear

NASCAR announces that two cars will drop to the back of the pack at the start of today’s race. Erik Jones and his No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports team was previously slated to drop to the back due to an engine change for the Daytona 500 (teams are penalized for two races for a Daytona 500 engine change). Justin Haley will also start at the rear due to two pre-race technical inspection failures by his No. 77 Spire Motorsports team. Jones was slated to start 37th and Haley was slated to start 20th. There were no three-time inspection failures.

NASCAR THIS WEEKEND: HOW TO WATCH THE RACE AT DAYTONA

  • Race: O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 At Daytona
  • When: Sunday, Feb. 21 at 3 p.m.
  • How to watch/listen: FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
  • Distance: 70 laps, 252.7 miles on the 14-turn, 3.61-mile road course
  • Stages: laps 16, 34, 70
  • Last year’s winner: Chase Elliott

NASCAR CUP AT DAYTONA RC STARTING LINEUP

OrderDriverCar No.
1Chase Elliott9
2Michael McDowell34
3Austin Dillon3
4Denny Hamlin11
5Kevin Harvick4
6Ryan Preece37
7Corey LaJoie7
8Kyle Larson5
9Ross Chastain42
10Bubba Wallace23
11Joey Logano22
12Christopher Bell20
13Cole Custer41
14Kyle Busch18
15Brad Keselowski2
16Ricky Stenhouse Jr.47
17Kurt Busch1
18Chase Briscoe#14
19Martin Truex Jr.19
20Justin Haley(i)77
21Cody Ware51
22William Byron24
23Josh Bilicki52
24Tyler Reddick8
25Garrett Smithley(i)53
26Aric Almirola10
27Ryan Blaney12
28Scott Heckert78
29Quin Houff0
30Chris Buescher17
31Anthony Alfredo#38
32Matt DiBenedetto21
33Ryan Newman6
34AJ Allmendinger(i)16
35Daniel Suárez99
36Alex Bowman48
37Erik Jones43
38Ty Dillon(i)96
39James Davison15
40Timmy Hill(i)66

(i) ineligible for driver points, # rookie

NASCAR and Charlotte FC beat reporter Alex Andrejev joined The Observer in January 2020 following an internship at The Washington Post. She played Division I volleyball at Columbia University before earning her master’s degree at the University of Southern California.
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