One day after a 5 overtime finish the Monster Energy Series drivers get their shot at the Daytona track in the biggest race of the season.
The race started off with Denny Hamlin leading laps with Darrell Wallace moving up to second. At lap 8 it was caution time for Corey Lajoie and his car that had engine problems. Cars did pit with some staying out. Denny Hamlin wound up pitting and missed his pits. He backed up and still was outside hit pit stall and wound up getting a one lap penalty.
As the race continued Alex Bowman and Kurt Busch got to lead laps as Denny Hamlin lost the draft and was losing more time on the track. At lap 17 Kasey Kahne got loose and wound up going down pit road to not cause a caution. Around lap 26 it got to single line racing. Three laps later and Kyle Busch winds up slow on the track as he has a flat tire. Erik Jones at this time was the race leader. Then Rickey Stenhouse Jr. got to lead some laps. At lap 50 we got back to caution time as Kyle Busch blows a second tire. Jamie McMurry also got some damage from this.
As the race continued Kurt Busch had a shot to lead some laps. At lap 56 it was almost mega wreck time as Kyle Larson gets loose, but saves it enough to not bring out the caution. At lap 60 though Ricky Stenhouse Jr. gets tapped by Ryan Blaney. Rickey goes up to the top and somehow saves it. Erik Jones winds up with nowhere to go and then takes out Jimmie Johnson, Daniel Suarez, and more cars. Kurt Busch won the first stage. Cars pitted and Kurt fully missed his pit stall.
Daniel Suarez stated it was a little crazy at the end of the first stage.
Under the second stage Ryan Blaney got to lead a whole bunch of laps and at lap 102 a new big wreck occurs as Brad Keselowski gets Chase Elliott loose which winds up taking out Kasey Kahne, David Ragan, Danica Patrick and more.
Danica Patrick stated that car was better today than the Duals.
“It happened so fast,” said Brad Keselowski.
“Got light at the wrong time,” said Chase Elliott.
At lap 112 Ricky Sternhouse Jr. was losing water big time and then he had to pit. Ryan Blaney was still leading laps and wound up taking the second stage. Cars pit and Ryan Blaney was back to the race lead.
The third stage got to a single lane of racing quickly. The single line racing lasted so long that green flag pit stops with 29 laps left. Joey Logano got a speeding penalty entering pit road. After they were over Ryan Blaney took the lead back. With 11 laps left we finally get a caution as William Byron spins out.
When the race finally continued Kurt Busch with 7 laps left took the race lead as Ryan Blaney got shuffled in the middle. He was able to recover and get back to second place. Denny Hamlin made some bold moves and was able to get the race lead. With 2 laps left it was major caution time again. Ryan Blaney tapped Kurt Busch took out Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Matt DiBenedetto, Martin Truex Jr., and more cars.
This brought out overtime and we only got one of them. Denny Hamlin started off with the lead and then on the high side Aric Almirola was able to get a solid push and then the race lead. On the final lap Aric was blocking low and high just to keep the race lead. Austin Dillion who was in second got such a good run he bumped out Aric that wrecked giving Austin the Daytona 500 win.
“Did what I had to do at the end,” said Austin Dillion.
“50/50 shot,” said Aric Almirola and the final restart.
“Incredible experience for me,” said Darrell Wallace Jr. who finished second.
“My heart is broken,” said Aric Almirola.