DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Four drivers earned their highest finishes in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series careers Sunday in the 61st running of the Daytona 500.
Ryan Preece (8th), Ross Chastain (10th), Parker Kligerman (15th) and B.J. McLeod (19th) scored their best finishes in NASCAR’s premier series. With the exception of Kligerman, the other three drivers made their first start in The Great American Race.
“It’s better to be lucky than good sometimes,” Preece said of his first top-10 effort in the Cup Series. “I’m really thankful for the opportunity.”
The Rookie-of-the-Year candidate’s prior best finish was a 32nd at New Hampshire International Speedway in September 2015.
Chastain’s previous best finish was a 17th-place result at Texas Motor Speedway last season in April.
“Jay (Robinson, team owner) kept me in it,” Chastain said. “That’s the biggest thing, he stuck behind me through everything, and that means more to me than he’ll ever know.”
Kligerman’s prior best finish was 15th at Texas in November 2013.
McLeod’s prior best finish was 27th at Las Vegas in September of last year.
“It was an eventful day,” McLeod said. “I sped on pit road, it hurt us. We were lead lap till then. That’s all on me… it cost us two laps.”
The next race for the series is next Sunday’s (Feb.24) QuikTrip 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. The drivers will tackle the worn-out surface at the 1.5-mile speedway live on FOX.
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