Dillon wins Daytona 500 after bumping Almirola

Speedcafe.com

Monday 19th February, 2018 - 1:25pm

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Austin Dillon takes the chequered flag

Austin Dillon has won a crash-strewn Daytona 500 having turned around then-leader Aric Almirola on the final lap.

Dillon took the lead for the first time at Turn 3 on the last of 207 laps in an overtime finish, while Almirola (#10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford) was ultimately classified 11th.

Denny Hamlin (#11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) held first position for the final restart but Almirola took over the lead before the end of the lap, before being unloaded by Dillon.

The win came 20 years after Dale Earnhardt’s only Daytona 500 triumph, also in the #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet entry.

The two-lap dash to the finish was set up by a ‘big one’ on Lap 200, the scheduled final lap, when Kurt Busch (#41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford) spun near the head of the pack having become unsettled with Ryan Blaney close behind.

Blaney snuck through in the #12 Team Penske Ford but several others weren’t so lucky, including Ricky Stenhouse Jnr (#17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford), pole-sitter Alex Bowman (#88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet), and 2017 Cup champion Martin Truex Jnr (#78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota).

Blaney and Hamlin had earlier exchanged the lead through the longest run of green flag racing, 64 laps from the start of Stage 3 to Lap 190, before a spin for William Byron (#24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) on Lap 191.

Kurt Busch joined them in the battle for the lead before his race-ending crash, his third spell at the head of the field.

The longest of those was the 11-lap run which helped him to win Stage 1.

That too ended in carnage when Stenhouse Jnr got loose trying to defend second position, and while he somehow managed to gather up his moment, Erik Jones lost control of his #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Jones’ spin took out four other cars, most notably the hapless Jimmie Johnson (#48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet), who leaves Daytona having crashed out of each of his three races (Clash, Duel, 500).

Darrell Wallace Jnr (#43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet) finished runner-up, ahead of Hamlin, Joey Logano (#22 Team Penske Ford), Chris Buescher (#37 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet), and Paul Menard (#21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford).

Blaney took seventh, having lost ground when he was held up as Busch spun out, but did pick up solid bonus points for winning Stage 1.

Among other non-finishers were Clash winner Brad Keselowski (#2 Team Penske Ford), Chase Elliott (#9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet), and the retiring Danica Patrick (#7 Premium Motorsports Chevrolet), who all went out together when Keselowski turned Elliott around on Lap 102.

Round 2 is the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend (February 23-25 local time).

Stenhouse Jnr’s save and the wreck behind

Final corners

Results: Daytona 500, Daytona International Speedway

Pos Num Driver Make Laps Led Status
1 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 207 1 Running
2 43 Darrell Wallace Jnr Chevrolet 207 0 Running
3 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 207 22 Running
4 22 Joey Logano Ford 207 3 Running
5 37 Chris Buescher Chevrolet 207 0 Running
6 21 Paul Menard Ford 207 1 Running
7 12 Ryan Blaney Ford 207 118 Running
8 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 207 0 Running
9 34 Michael McDowell Ford 207 0 Running
10 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 207 1 Running
11 10 Aric Almirola Ford 206 1 Running
12 51 Justin Marks Chevrolet 206 1 Running
13 6 Trevor Bayne Ford 206 0 Running
14 92 David Gilliland Ford 206 0 Running
15 14 Clint Bowyer Ford 206 0 Running
16 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 205 0 Running
17 88 Alex Bowman Chevrolet 205 13 Running
18 78 Martin Truex Jnr Toyota 205 4 Running
19 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 204 0 Running
20 23 Gray Gaulding Toyota 204 0 Running
21 00 Jeffrey Earnhardt Chevrolet 204 0 Running
22 66 Mark Thompson Ford 203 0 Running
23 24 William Byron Chevrolet 203 0 Running
24 96 DJ Kennington Toyota 201 0 Running
25 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 200 0 Running
26 41 Kurt Busch Ford 198 16 Crash
27 32 Matt DiBenedetto Ford 198 0 Crash
28 62 Brendan Gaughan Chevrolet 198 0 Crash
29 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jnr Ford 197 11 Crash
30 38 David Ragan Ford 107 0 Crash
31 4 Kevin Harvick Ford 105 0 Crash
32 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 102 0 Crash
33 9 Chase Elliott Chevrolet 101 4 Crash
34 95 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 101 0 Crash
35 7 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 101 0 Crash
36 20 Erik Jones Toyota 59 11 Crash
37 19 Daniel Suarez Toyota 59 0 Crash
38 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 59 0 Crash
39 13 Ty Dillon Chevrolet 59 0 Crash
40 72 Corey LaJoie Chevrolet 8 0 Engine

Standings

Pos Driver Pts Gap Starts Wins Pl’off pts
1 Ryan Blaney 48 1 0 1
2 Austin Dillon 42 -6 1 1 5
3 Paul Menard 42 -6 1 0 0
4 Joey Logano 41 -7 1 0 0
5 Darrell Wallace Jnr 39 -9 1 0 0
6 Michael McDowell 39 -9 1 0 0
7 Denny Hamlin 35 -13 1 0 0
8 Aric Almirola 33 -15 1 0 0
9 Chris Buescher 32 -16 1 0 0
10 Martin Truex Jnr 30 -18 1 0 0
11 Ryan Newman 29 -19 1 0 0
12 Alex Bowman 29 -19 1 0 0
13 Trevor Bayne 28 -20 1 0 0
14 AJ Allmendinger 27 -21 1 0 0
15 Clint Bowyer 22 -26 1 0 0
16 Jamie McMurray 21 -27 1 0 0
17 Kurt Busch 21 -27 1 0 1
18 Kyle Larson 18 -30 1 0 0
19 Gray Gaulding 17 -31 1 0 0
20 Jeffrey Earnhardt 16 -32 1 0 0
21 Mark Thompson 15 -33 1 0 0
22 Ricky Stenhouse Jnr 15 -33 1 0 0
23 William Byron 14 -34 1 0 0
24 DJ Kennington 13 -35 1 0 0
25 Kyle Busch 12 -36 1 0 0
26 Matt DiBenedetto 10 -38 1 0 0
27 Kevin Harvick 10 -38 1 0 0
28 Brendan Gaughan 9 -39 1 0 0
29 David Ragan 7 -41 1 0 0
30 Chase Elliott 7 -41 1 0 0
31 Brad Keselowski 5 -43 1 0 0
32 Kasey Kahne 3 -45 1 0 0
33 Danica Patrick 2 -46 1 0 0
34 Erik Jones 1 -47 1 0 0
35 Daniel Suarez 1 -47 1 0 0
36 Jimmie Johnson 1 -47 1 0 0
37 Ty Dillon 1 -47 1 0 0
38 Corey LaJoie 1 -47 1 0 0
39 Justin Marks 0 -48 1 0 0
40 David Gilliland 0 -48 1 0 0

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