Austin Dillon Wins Wild Daytona 500

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Austin Dillon won the Daytona 500 on Sunday afternoon from the Daytona International Speedway.

Dillon picked up his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory in NASCAR’s most prestigious race.  Dillon took the lead on the final lap after making contact with Aric Almirola while making a pass for the lead.

Photo courtesy Richard Childress Racing Facebook

Dillon said he didn’t mean to wreck Almirola for the lead.

“I hate it for the 10 [of Almirola],” Dillon said.  “We just had a run and I stayed in the gas…I did what I had to do at the end.”

Dillon restarted fourth heading into overtime, and he used a push from Darrell Wallace Jr. to take the lead.  Wallace finished second, and he became the highest-finishing African American driver in the Daytona 500 in just his first start with a new team.

Dillon’s win returns the iconic No. 3 to victory lane 20 years after Dale Earnhardt won the Daytona 500.  Dillon was in victory lane with Earnhardt back in 1998, and he said he was excited to take his grandpa back to victory.

“It is so awesome to take the 3 car back to victory lane,” Dillon said.  “20 years ago…this one’s for Dale Earnhardt Sr. and all those Sr. fans.”

“I said that my first win…I couldn’t beat it, and this does.”

Wallace was emotional following his second-place finish, but he said he was excited to start the season off strong with a new team.

“I’ve got so many emotions right now,” Wallace said.  “Thank you to the King [Richard Petty] for giving me this opportunity.”

“We know how much stress this team has been through in the last three or four months just trying to get this thing together, so for me to come out here…P2 in my first Daytona 500.”

Unofficial results:

  1. Austin Dillon
  2. Darrell Wallace Jr.
  3. Denny Hamlin
  4. Joey Logano
  5. Chris Buescher
  6. Paul Menard
  7. Ryan Blaney
  8. Ryan Newman
  9. Michael McDowell
  10. AJ Allmendinger
  11. Aric Almirola
  12. Justin Marks
  13. Trevor Bayne
  14. David Gilliland
  15. Clint Bowyer
  16. Jamie McMurray
  17. Alex Bowman
  18. Martin Truex Jr.
  19. Kyle Larson
  20. Gray Gaulding
  21. Jeffrey Earnhardt
  22. Mark Thompson
  23. William Byron
  24. DJ Kennington
  25. Kyle Busch
  26. Kurt Busch
  27. Matt DiBenedetto
  28. Brendan Gaughan
  29. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  30. David Ragan
  31. Kevin Harvick
  32. Brad Keselowski
  33. Chase Elliott
  34. Kasey Kahne
  35. Danica Patrick
  36. Erik Jones
  37. Daniel Suarez
  38. Jimmie Johnson
  39. Ty Dillon
  40. Corey LaJoie