The 2021 Daytona Road Course Race Report features (another) surprise winner, a 10x larger margin of victory and an incredibly frustrating end to Chase Elliott’s string of road course wins.
Caution- and Lead-O-GramTM
Let’s see what we can learn about the 2021 Daytona Road Course race from the caution-and lead-o-grams
Cautions & Accidents
We only have one other race to compare to, which was run in the fall of 2020.
We had 8 cautions in 2021 year, up from 4 in 2020, the only other time we ran the Daytona Road Course.
- 3 accidents (same as last year)
- 2 debris cautions
- 2 stage-end cautions
- 1 weather caution
That definitely impacted the overall race pacing. This year, 17.4% of the race was run under caution, while only 11.6% of the race was run under caution last year.
Margin of Victory
There was a big difference from last year’s 0.2 second margin of victory and this year’s 2.2 second margin of victory. Joey Logano used up his brakes and lost a half-second lead. Once C.Bell got ahead, Logano couldn’t catch him.
There were 12 lead changes (compared with 13 last year), with 7 distinct drivers leading and six of those drivers leading quality laps (i.e. not having taken the lead during a caution).
Last year featured 13 lead changes.
The lead-o-gram shows that, despite not winning, the 2020 winner and champion Chase Elliott dominated this race.
Elliott again let the most laps (44, or 63%) of the 2021 Daytona Road Course race. Last year, he led 34 laps. And last year, he won.
The next highest lap leader was Logano with under 9 quality laps led.
17 drivers had at least one fastest lap of the race.
Chase Elliott had the most fastest laps at 21, while eventual winner C. Bell had 12. Martin Truex, Jr. was third with 9 of the fastest laps in the 70-lap race.
But Chase Elliott finished 21st, Martin Truex, Jr. finished 12th and Kyle Busch, who also had a number of fastest laps, finished 35th. This race was a race of accidents and mistakes, which I’ll detail on tomorrow’s post.