Daytona, FL (February 17,2018) – Daytona International Speedway always seems to bring a certain level of energy and excitement that is unlike anything else in motorsports. In a race that sported a record setting 12 cautions, 5 overtimes, and the closest finish ever in NASCAR history, the World Center of Racing again did not disappoint.
Boyd would roll off 34th for the season opener. It only took nine laps for the carnage to begin as Austin Cindric and Christopher Bell brought out the first caution. Boyd would move up to 28th after the first pit stop. In effort to protect the car, Boyd played it safe for the remainder of stage one. Kyle Larson won the first stage as Boyd rode back in 31st.
Stage two would prove to be similar to the first, as Boyd continued his conservative approach. As the leaders jockeyed for position, Boyd rode back around the 25th-28th positions. Chase Elliott won stage two and Boyd finished 25th. After 4 tires, an air pressure adjustment, fuel, and a tear-off, Boyd was set for the third and final stage of the race.
The time for riding around was over as, spotter Hayden Reeves called for Boyd to “get aggressive” with 30 laps to go. Boyd masterfully weaved his way up to as high as 17th before he would be required to make an incredible maneuver around the spinning cars of Daniel Hemric and Jeff Green on lap 98 of the 120 lap event. Boyd managed to keep the car in one piece, but would have to come to pit road to address slight damage. Too many men working on the car cost Boyd a two-lap penalty.
Wreck after wreck would force five overtime attempts to complete the race. After the dust finally settled Tyler Reddick edged Elliott Sadler by mere inches to win the closest ever race in the history of NASCAR. Meanwhile, Boyd never gave up and despite the setbacks of the penalty, managed to finish 25th with the car intact.
After the race Boyd reflected, “ It was a roller coaster of emotions all day for us. We had a game plan of just hanging back to avoid the wrecks and I think we executed well. We got into a little trouble there with about 20 to go I think, and ended up getting that penalty. Unfortunately, that was a bit of a set back for us, but we never gave up and managed to fight back after all those wrecks at the end. This race was a great foundation for us as a team to start the season. I can’t wait to get to Atlanta.”
Boyd will take the next few days to rest and then help the team prepare for the second race of the year at Atlanta Motor Speedway next Saturday.