The NASCAR Cup Series‘ regular season came to a close in Daytona Beach, Florida on Sunday, with Austin Dillon earning a clutch victory to qualify for the Cup Series playoffs.
Here are the top moments from Daytona International Speedway:
And they’re off! We hope you’ve strapped up your safety belt. It’s gonna be one wild ride.
Larson finished early
Tire trouble spelled doom for defending Cup Series champion Kyle Larson early on, and he was finished for the day before Stage 1 even came to a close.
Teamwork makes the dream work
Denny Hamlin gave teammate Erik Jones a big push early, as Jones jumped into the lead.
Keselowski done early
An early wreck put Ryan Blaney and lap behind and also causes Hamlin to spin out — but both are still in the race.
Brad Keselowski was not so fortunate, and his day is done.
Logano takes Stage 1
A wild Stage 1 ended with Joey Logano leading the pack.
Blaney on the recovery
It looked as though Blaney could follow in the footsteps of Larson and Keselowski, but his crew was able to salvage his car after that early crash and keep him in the playoff hunt.
Kyle Busch wins Stage 2
It’s getting hot and heavy at Daytona, as drivers make their final pushes for a playoff berth.
Truex in trouble
What was a good start for Martin Truex Jr. turned sour in a hurry, as his playoffs hopes barely hang on.
A wreck in front
Several cars close to the leaders were involved in a wreck in Stage 3. Chase Briscoe’s car elevated and was taken out, and Alex Bowman, Bubba Wallace and Austin Dillon were also involved in the mixup.
Joey Logano and Erik Jones both burned out in the back of the pack.
As it began drizzling on lap 138, several cars that were near the top of the leaderboard were involved in a wreck.
Dillon managed to escape and land in front.
Race comes to a pause
With the rain settling in, drivers were taken to pit road. Dillon remains the leader.
The race is still delayed due to the rain.
NASCAR senior vice president of competition Scott Miller told the broadcast booth he doesn’t really think they could’ve done anything much different in terms of timing the delay.
Air titans have been deployed
The rain is beginning to weaken in Daytona, allowing the air titans to come out and possibly get the race restarted soon.
A look at the final playoff spot
As the track continues to get dried off, Truex sits in seventh on the leaderboard while Blaney is in 29th. However, nine cars ahead of Blaney are listed as “out” if the race resumes.
Blaney trails Truex by 12 points in the playoff standings.
Drivers, get back to your cars!
Drivers have been told to report back to their cars by 3:50 p.m. ET in hopes of restarting the race by 4:10 p.m.
Kevin Harvick spot not credited during delay
Harvick’s car was ahead of the pack when the yellow caution flag came up, but because his car was slightly damaged, he wasn’t credited with the leader spot and won’t be able to finish the race.
Dillon holds on
After a heck of a delay, Dillon was able to hold on and win after the restart, clinching a berth in the playoffs.
Joining him are Blaney and 14 other drivers.
Stay tuned for updates.
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