NASCAR at Daytona race results, highlights: Bubba Wallace clinches first-career Cup playoff appearance in wreck-filled Coke Zero Sugar 400

Beware of The Big One.

Bubba Wallace knew what the directive was when he took reins of his ironclad chariot on Saturday. His first postseason appearance was on the horizon. All he needed was a clean race and he would snag that vaunted golden ticket.

Daytona is a fickle mistress, however. And she certainly wasn’t going to let the festivities go by without twirling the field through her jaundiced fingers.

Ultimately, Wallace survived. But only just. Chris Buescher took advantage of Brad Keselowski’s late push, securing his third win in his last five races. As such, Wallace will make his postseason bow.

It wasn’t for the faint of heart. Stress dripped onto the track as bubble drivers like Ty Gibbs, Chase Elliott, Ryan Preece and others pushed for the gold. Ultimately, though, that only resulted in fireworks. Gibbs and Ryan Blaney got caught in a skirmish, resulting in a 16-car pile up that took out much of the field.

Preece got caught up, as well, twirling through the air after colliding with teammate Chase Briscoe. He climbed out of the car eventually. But it made for a terrifying sight.

Daytona is fear epitomized. But it’s also hope. Now, Wallace looks to impress as he takes his place in the promised land of racing: the Cup Series playoffs.

MORE: Watch the Coke Zero Sugar 400 live with Fubo (free trial)

The Sporting News tracked updates from Saturday’s race at Daytona, the Coke Zero Sugar 400. Scroll below for highlights and live results as Wallace punched his ticket to the big dance that is the Cup Series playoffs.

NASCAR at Daytona results

(Results are unofficial)

Place Driver Car No. Team
1 Chris Buescher 17 Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing
2 Brad Keselowski 6 Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing
3 Aric Almirola 19 Stewart-Haas Racing
4 Chase Elliott 9 Hendrick Motorsports
5 Joey Logano 22 Team Penske
6 Alex Bowman 48 Hendrick Motorsports
7 Kyle Busch 8 Richard Childress Racing
8 William Byron 24 Hendrick Motorsports
9 Kevin Harvick 4 Stewart-Haas Racing
10 Corey Lajoie 7 Spire Motorsports

NASCAR at Daytona live updates, highlights from 2023 race

(All times Eastern)

10:34 p.m.: Overtime comes and goes and it’s Buescher who takes the crown! Bubba makes the playoffs!

10:28 p.m.: Preece out of the car, he’s headed to the medical center. But what a terrifying wreck as we prepare for overtime. It’s Harvick at the front, joined by Buescher in the front row. Keselowski and Elliott taking their spot in row two, followed by bubble drivers Almirola and Bowman.

10:24 p.m.: CAUTION! Preece flips into the air! Terrifying crash there! He somehow walks out of the car! My goodness, that was horrifying.

10:16 p.m.: Briscoe holding strong at the top of the pack. Just 28 laps to go. Looking like a great chance for a new driver to earn a spot in the postseason.

9:58 p.m.: Briscoe leading the way as we roll through Stage 3. Almirola and Preece right on his tail. SHR is threatening.

9:48 p.m.: Truex secures the regular season championship! He’ll grab 15 playoff points as a result, the equivalent of three additional wins. Big boost for the Joe Gibbs Racing star.

9:38 p.m.: Back to yellow at Daytona. For Wallace, the job is clear: as long as there isn’t a new winner, he’ll make it to the playoffs. No one can catch him on points.

9:27 p.m.: More than 16 cars impacted, none more than Blaney’s, whose front bumper looks like it tangoed with a tornado. Terrifying wreck for the Penske star. Fortunately, he was able to walk away, as was all the other drivers impacted. Nevertheless, there’s so much laundry left on the track that the red flag was brought out.

In terms of playoff drivers, Wallace and Elliott somehow survived. More important things at hand, however.

9:18 p.m.: CAUTION! There it is! The Big One happens as Gibbs veers into Blaney! Plenty of carnage left on the track.

9:16 p.m.: Gibbs making his move toward the front! He looks like he’s going to take the stage! Or is he? Blaney making a move! What will happen here?

9:14 p.m.: Chastain gets plenty loose! Looked like he was going to wreck for a quick second! However, impressive control by the Trackhouse star, who reined in his wild jackal and got it back on course. Three laps to go before the final stage break.

9:12 p.m.: Brad Keselowski gives Busch the momentum he needs to fly forward. That will reshuffle the pack at the top. It’s Busch followed by Suarez and Bowman. Keselowski int he mix as well.

9:10 p.m.: Suarez, Alex Bowman, Austin Dillon and Harrison Burton all filter their way to the front as the second stage nears its conclusion. Pit stops muddy the water for everyone. It seems there’s a host of bubble drivers taking advantage.

9:04 p.m.: A tide of cars head to pit road. Things were fairly calm, all things considered. Impressive driving from the field given the drama associated with such a race.

9:01 p.m.: Green flag pit stops are on the horizon. Shockingly, we haven’t had a caution just yet. Can’t imagine that will be the case come the end of tonight, however.

Blaney, Chastain and Logano dovetailing for the lead atop the top of the totem pole.

8:43 p.m.: I mean, just look at all this chaos:

8:39 p.m.: We are three-wide not even a third of the way through the race. Unbelievable racing at Daytona. Elliott sliding down the track now. He’s down to P12. Allmendinger holding firm at the top, however.

8:34 p.m.: Outside lane proving vital thus far. Chase Elliott and A.J. Allmendinger fly to the front on the back of some slick driving. The roulette continues to spin here at Daytona.

8:30 p.m.: Stage 2 is off! And it’s Joey Logano controlling the tempo in the early stages. Suarez making a big push in the third row. But it’s still winners all over the front.

8:24 p.m.: The margin of error getting ever so slim for Daniel Suarez.

8:17 p.m.: Truex steals Stage 1! He sneaks by Hamlin after the No. 11 attempts to swerve from one lane to the next! Regular season championship appears to be in his hands with two stages remaining.

Further down the line, Gibbs ends the stage with a P4 showing. Wallace not too far behind at P6. Briscoe and Almirola fell off tremendously as the stage went on.

8:08 p.m.: Outside line finally making its way up the track. And it’s Denny Hamlin leading the troops, bringing Martin Truex Jr., Christopher Bell, Ty Gibbs and Wallace up with him. Just 10 laps to go in the stage.

7:55 p.m.: Toyotas attempting to team up on the outside. However, it’s the Fords who are leading the way, spearheaded by Briscoe and Almirola. Plenty of race left, however.

7:52 p.m.: Almirola pushing Briscoe up the track. Wallace is on the outside line, but isn’t getting too much momentum from Riley Herbst who sits behind him. SHR controlling the pace through five laps.

7:49 p.m.: And we’re off! Briscoe and Almirola leading off from Daytona!

7:36 p.m.: Engines are roared up and racing to go. Green flag slated to wave shortly.

7:13 p.m.: Slick conditions here at Daytona. Hot and humid day at the track. That should make things that much more exciting.

6:45 p.m.: Kurt Busch receiving his much-deserved flowers after announcing his retirement earlier today. You’d have to imagine his 23XI Racing teammates Bubba Wallace and Tyler Reddick would love to put on a show in his honor. So too would younger brother Kyle Busch.

6:20 p.m.: Chase Briscoe has flown under the radar for much of the season. But the Stewart-Haas Racing youngster is hoping to punch his ticket to the playoffs for the second straight year. He’ll start at the front alongside Aric Almirola, which should help him as he aims to shock the world.

What channel is NASCAR on today?

  • TV channel: NBC (U.S.) | TSN (Canada)
  • Live stream: Peacock, Fubo
  • Radio: MRN

Saturday’s race will be broadcast on NBC in the United States. Canadian viewers can find the action on TSN.

Veteran announcer Rick Allen will lead the race’s lap-by-lap commentator. He’ll be joined by former Cup Series stars Jeff Burton and Dale Earnhardt Jr., as well as former Daytona 500-winning crew chief Steve Letarte.

Cord-cutters can follow the action on Peacock, as well as with Fubo, which offers a free trial.

NASCAR start time today

  • Date: Saturday, August 26
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET

The Coke Zero Sugar 400 has a listed start time of 7 p.m. ET., but pre-race festivities are expected to push the waving of the green flag closer to 7:15 p.m. ET.

NASCAR at Daytona starting lineup 2023

Leading the field for Saturday night’s race are Chase Briscoe and Aric Almirola. Below is the rest of the starting lineup for the race

Starting pos. Driver Car No. Team
1 Chase Briscoe 14 Stewart-Haas Racing
2 Aric Almirola 10 Stewart-Haas Racing
3 Harrison Burton 21 Wood Brothers Racing
4 Bubba Wallace 23 23XI Racing
5 Ty Gibbs 54 Joe Gibbs Racing
6 Riley Herbst 36 Rick Ware Racing
7 Kyle Larson 5 Hendrick Motorsports
8 Ryan Blaney 12 Team Penske
9 Ryan Preece 41 Stewart-Haas Racing
10 Kevin Harvick 4 Stewart-Haas Racing
11 Chris Buescher 17 RFK Racing
12 Brad Keselowski 6 RFK Racing
13 Martin Truex Jr. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing
14 Joey Logano 22 Team Penske
15 Christopher Bell 20 Joe Gibbs Racing
16 Austin Cindric 2 Team Penske
17 A.J. Allmendinger 16 Kaulig Racing
18 Kyle Busch 8 Richard Childress Racing
19 Denny Hamlin 11 Joe Gibbs Racing
20 Tyler Reddick 45 23XI Racing
21 Austin Dillon 3 Richard Childress Racing
22 Daniel Suarez 99 Trackhouse Racing
23 Chase Elliott 9 Hendrick Motorsports
24 Erik Jones 43 LEGACY Motor Club
25 Ross Chastain 1 Trackhouse Racing
26 Austin Hill 62 Beard Motorsports
27 William Byron 24 Hendrick Motorsports
28 Justin Haley 31 Kaulig Racing
29 Josh Berry 42 Hendrick Motorsports
30 Ty Dillon 77 Spite Motorsports
31 Alex Bowman 48 Hendrick Motorsports
32 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing
33 J.J. Yeley 51 Rick Ware Racing
34 Brennan Poole 15 Rick Ware Racing
35 Todd Gilliland 38 Rick Ware Racing
36 Chandler Smith 13 Kaulig Racing

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