Grant Enfinger survived the chaos at Daytona to win his 3rd career ARCA race, but the big story was the drama that happened off the track.
As is usually the case with ARCA at Daytona, carnage happened early. On lap 13, the 99 of Buster Graham spun out to end the night for 8 of the 40 cars – and caused quite a bit of drama on pit road. A scuffle between Graham and Chase Elliott’s crews ensued when the 99 team claimed Chase Elliott got into the back of Graham to cause the spin out. Elliott denied any contact was made.
“I never touched him, it was just an air thing from what I could tell. And I watched the video several times,” Elliott said.
Graham had a much more smug view on the topic. “Maybe his brakes went out,” he said after the wreck. “He did the same thing to Ty Dillon at Road America, maybe his brakes went out there too.”
The drama apparently carried over into the garage after the race. Police and ARCA officials showed up to the scene when things got heated between the two teams again. Video of the incident reportedly did not show any punches thrown or any arrests.
Aside from The Big One early and the post-race fracas, the racing was fairly tame. Elliott, who ran up front for the majority of the race after the big wreck, restarted on the outside of the front row with 10 to go but fell back quickly as the outside line failed to make a run. Elliott’s No. 9 car finished 9th. Pole-sitter Dylan Kwasniewski, a rookie in the Nationwide series this year who also held his own for a large part of the race, fell victim to the outside line as well and finished 14th.
Enfinger understandably was happy with the racing despite the lack of passing. “I think the rules package is working, I think it leveled the playing field,” he said.
Perhaps the most interesting finisher of the race was the 3rd place driver and president of Martinsville Speedway, 54-year-old Clay Campbell. The only other race he’ll run in ARCA this year will be at Talladega. “I’d always like to do more, but I’ve got a day job to look after,” he joked.
This article originally appeared on the Florida Sports Talk website, the media outlet for which Tori was covering the Daytona 500.