They say history repeats itself. And while it wasn’t the same name, it was the same number that saw itself in victory lane after the Daytona 500, 20 years later. Austin Dillon won the Daytona 500, driving the number of Dale Earnhardt Sr., #3. Earnhardt’s first 500 win came 20 years ago.
Austin Dillon Wins Daytona 500 Under #3
The race started with new #88 driver, Alex Bowman on pole position. Denny Hamlin was with him on the first row. Danica Patrick, running her last NASCAR race started in 28th. Defending MENCS Champion Martin Truex Jr. started in 24th, while defending Daytona 500 winner Kurt Busch started in 11th.
Very early in the race, Corey Lajoie retired due to an engine issue. During the caution pitting, Hamlin overshot his stall, giving him a 1 lap penalty. Kasey Kahne saved himself from spinning out in what looked like an alarming situation. On Lap 30, Kyle Busch started to have car issues. Later on, Kyle Busch went spinning after blowing a rear tire.
We went back to green with 5 to go. Kurt Busch was in the lead. Logano made slight contact with Elliott, making him go to the pits. We stayed green. On the final lap of Stage 1, a huge wreck happened. Ricky Stenhouse was aggressive, blocking Ryan Blaney from passing him. He wiggled but saved his car, though the cars behind him crashed. The crash involved William Byron, Jimmie Johnson, Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones & Ty Dillon. Byron was the only one who was able to continue the race. Meanwhile, Kurt Busch maintained his lead and won Stage one of the race.
Stage 2 started with Bowman and Blaney in the front row. With 28 laps left in Stage 2, William Byron had smoke coming out of his car. A caution was thrown out due to debris. Another big wreck happened with 19 to go. Chase Elliott was spun by Brad Keselowski, tagging Patrick, Harvick, Ragan & Kahne with them. This crash was the final chapter of Danica Patrick’s NASCAR career. Harvick, Keselowski, Ragan & Kahne did not finish the race either.
Ryan Blaney held on to the Stage 2 with clean racing that tied over to the final stage as well.
Ryan Blaney held the lead for majority of the Final stage. We had a short caution with 10 to go when William Byron’s car gave up on him. The right front of the car blew out.
Near the conclusion of the race, many names shuffled around the front group. Denny Hamlin and Kurt Busch both had the lead at one point. With two laps to go, Ryan Blaney made Kurt Busch go sideways, causing another huge wreck. Stenhouse, Kurt Busch, DiBenedetto & Bowman got involved (involuntarily).
We went to NASCAR Overtime to find a winner. Aric Almirola had the lead for the first of two overtime laps, but got spun out by Austin Dillon on the second lap. This paved the way for Dillon to take the checkered flag. Bubba Wallace got second place, just barely beating out Denny Hamlin. This was Wallace’s first cup race with a permanent team.
Dillon and his team celebrated after the race with a slide across the grass. Austin Dillon got his second career win, and his most memorable.
Read all our NASCAR coverage this weekend including interviews here: http://lastwordonmotorsport.com/nascar/
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