What began as a promising night of NASCAR Xfinity Series action in Friday’s rain-delayed Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway for Sheldon Creed and the No. 8 Drivers Edge Development / Chevrolet Accessories team ended in frustration. Creed finished 34th after falling victim to a chain reaction that resulted in the No. 8 getting punted through the infield grass and taking on extensive damage.
Starting in only his third career NXS event and first with JRM, Creed rolled off ninth for the 100-lap race and held fast to a spot inside the top 10 in the opening circuits. As competitors shuffled positions in the field, Creed found the bumper of teammate Michael Annett. Working the high line, the pair ran nose-to-tail and Creed climbed to seventh. That would be the team’s high point on the night. At the front of the field, the inexperience and aggressive driving of Ross Chastain on lap 23 took an early toll. Chastain stacked up the field off Turn 4, creating a 190 mile-an-hour traffic jam that sent Creed careening through the grass after contact from behind. Soaked from earlier rains the off-track excursion netted extensive damage to the No. 8 machine.
Under the ensuing caution, crew chief Taylor Moyer called Creed to pit road multiple times for repairs, with the pit crew doing all they could to get the car repaired and in drivable condition. With the damage, Creed finished Stage One in 35th and moved up to 33rd to conclude Stage Two, one lap down. Despite the night’s woes, Creed and the No. 8 team positioned themselves for the free pass award, but another multi-car melee completely ended the team’s night, relegating Creed to the 34th-place finish.
Ross Chastain won the race and was followed to the stripe by Justin Haley, Christopher Bell, Austin Cindric and Stephen Leicht.
Sheldon Creed, driver No. 8 Drivers Edge Development / Chevrolet Accessories Chevrolet team
“Our night started off good. We had a good car. I was just being patient early on. We restarted on the top and were starting to get organized up there, and I think the top was going to roll in another lap or two. Ross [Chastain] was leading and he just blocks the whole field like he does. He checked the line up and whoever was behind me just drove through me. We were just fighting to get a lap back after that. When they started wrecking in front of us, there was nothing you can really do.”