Race 2 of 33: Super Start Batteries 188 at Daytona International Speedway Road Course
Track Specs: 3.61-mile road course / 52 laps
Weather: Clear; 54 degrees
Race Winner: Ty Gibbs
Paludo’s Finish: 7th
Making his first NASCAR national series start since the conclusion of the 2013 season, Miguel Paludo, driver of the No. 8 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, overcame a flat left-front tire during the second stage to score a hard-fought seventh-place finish in the NASCAR Xfinity Series event at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course on Saturday evening. Paludo improved 25 positions over the course of the final stage to earn the first top-10 finish of his NXS career in only his third start in the series.
Stage One Finish: 19th
Paludo lined up for the 52-lap event around the famed road course in the 35th position after the field was set via the 2021 NXS Owner Points. Once underway the Nova Prata, Brazil native wasted little time moving forward, racing up to the 24th position by the time the first caution flag of the day was displayed on lap 3. The driver of the BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet continued his climb forward following the lap-6 restart, needing just four laps to move up to 18th before the field was slowed by a lap-10 caution. While under this caution, crew chief Taylor Moyer made the strategy call to bring Paludo to pit road for four fresh tires, setting the JR Motorsports driver up with the possibility of staying out on the track following the conclusion of Stage One.
Rejoining the pack following the stop in 22nd, Paludo methodically gained three positions over the final two laps of the opening stage to take the green-and-white checkered flag on lap 15 in the 19th position.
Stage Two Finish: 33rd
With Stage One in the books, Moyer made the call for Paludo to remain on the track while the race leaders came to pit road. As a result, the six-time Porsche Carrera Cup Champion took the green flag for the start of Stage Two in the seventh position on lap 18. The driver of the BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet continued to fight for position inside the top 10 until a flat left-front tire on lap 25 forced Paludo to make an unscheduled pit stop under green.
As a result of the stop, Paludo returned to the track in the 33rd position but found himself trapped one lap behind the leaders as the caution-free second stage came to a close on lap 30.
Although off of the lead lap, Paludo opted to remain on the track following the completion of Stage Two, moving him into position to take the wave-around prior to the beginning of the third and final stage. Now back on the lead lap, Paludo marched forward, improving 16 positions to race back into the top 20 before a lap-37 caution period provided Moyer another opportunity to bring the BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet to pit road.
Returning to the track following the four-tire stop in 26th, Paludo again ascended up the leaderboard, charging back into the top 15 and up to the 10th position before a caution with just two laps remaining shuffled up the running order. With 10 cars choosing to remain on the track during the caution, Moyer made the call to bring Paludo back to pit road for one last set of fresh tires.
Lining up for the first attempt at a green-white-checkered finish in 16th, Paludo was able to narrowly avoid a multi-car incident in the third corner to move up to 13th before the final caution flag was displayed on lap 52. Remaining in 13th for the ensuing restart on lap 54, the driver of the BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet took advantage of the final two laps to improve six positions and take the checkered flag in seventh.
The top-10 result comes in Paludo’s first start in the NXS since 2012 and marks the first of his career in only his third start in the series.
Miguel Paludo, driver No. 8 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet team
“I can’t say thank you enough to BRANDT Professional Agriculture and to everyone at JR Motorsports. We overcame a lot of obstacles throughout the night tonightand to be able to come home with a top-10 finish is just great. I also want to give a thank you to Taylor (Moyer, crew chief) and all of the guys on this No. 8 team. They gave me a great car today and I’m really happy we were able to come home with a strong finish.”
No. 8 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Camaro SS
Laps Completed (Led)
56 of 56 (0)
Owner Point Standings (from leader)
Mike Campbell | Public Relations
Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021