20-year-old Justin Haley gets first NASCAR Cup win in third race

The third time was definitely the charm for Justin Haley.

The 20-year-old won his first NASCAR Cup series race in just his third start.

(AP)

The victory came in Sunday’s rain-shortened event in Daytona, which was red-flagged with 33 laps to go in the planned 160-lap race due to a lightning storm.

A 17-car pileup gave Haley the lead just before the race was suspended, and he had to wait 2 hours and 12 minutes until he was declared the winner.

(AP)

The Indiana native is running a limited number of events in the top NASCAR series for newcomer Spire Motorsports.

"I had no expectation to win this race," said Haley, admitting he'd have quickly been passed for the lead if the race resumed.

"We were just trying to keep the fenders on it. That was the whole goal of the race, to finish with no scratches. Yes, I really did pray for rain."

Haley is also a full-time driver in the NASCAR Xfinity series for Kaulig Racing and also took second place in Friday’s Firecraker 250 at Daytona behind teammate Ross Chastain.