The 2011 Daytona 500 tied a race record with its 11th caution of the day as the yellow flag waved with just about 60 laps to go. Cautions have been coming out left and right at Daytona International Speedway as drivers have spun-out, hit the wall or blown engines throughout the race. 27 drivers remain on the lead lap, but it’s been slow going for much of the race. With 55 laps to go in the Daytona 500, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has come full-circle, jumping into the lead to the delight of the crowd.
The leaders are bunched together again with Regan Smith behind Earnhardt Jr., followed by Kyle Busch and Joey Logano. Kasey Kahne sits in fifth, lurking right behind the leaders and lying in wait. Tony Stewart, Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowyer are all within a second, as well. With cautions all over the place, it’s been impossible for anyone to break away for an extended period of time as restarts have come early and often.
The 11 cautions tie a race-record set in 1968 and tied in 2005 and 2006. The track record, set in 1989, is 12 a record surely in reach with plenty of race left. In the first 145 laps, drivers have been under caution for 31 laps. To say it’s been a slog would be an understatement.
When the drivers are under green flag conditions, the racing has been entertaining. Two-, three- and four-wide racing has been the norm as drivers are all jockeying for position. With everyone bunched together, it’s setting up for a fast and furious finish at Daytona as drivers utilize their pit strategies to set up for the final run. One more caution should give the drivers a last-chance to pit for the stretch run, allowing them all to top-off and, perhaps, get a change of tires in.
For more on the race, check out our Daytona 500 StoryStream.