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NASCAR: Blaney avoids last-lap wreck to win common season finale at Daytona

Ryan Blaney gained for the second consecutive week when the race Saturday night time at Daytona Worldwide Speedway ended beneath warning in extra time with a typical fiery end.

(Logan Riely/Getty Photographs)

Tyler Reddick took the 16th and last spot within the playoffs with a seventh-place end. Reddick wanted solely to beat Richard Childress Racing teammate Austin Dillon and hope for a repeat winner to earn his first playoff berth.

Reddick and Dillon had been each in rivalry to make a determined final gasp push for the win within the two-lap extra time dash to the end. However Blaney, who was second on the restart, cleared site visitors with a push from Corey LaJoie and was effectively forward of the pack when a crash ended the race.

Daniel Suarez, considered one of 10 drivers within the entrance pack attempting to win the race to earn the automated playoff berth, turned Kevin Harvick to set off the multi-car crash. Suarez appeared to be pushed into Harvick from behind by Kurt Busch.

Blaney, the winner in Michigan final week, heads into subsequent week’s playoff opener at Darlington Raceway with three victories this season in his Staff Penske Ford.

“Yeah, we have good momentum,” Blaney stated. “We might wish to make it three in a row, we’ll see.”

The regular-season finale had pretty low stakes in that 15 of the 16 playoff slots had been claimed earlier than the beginning of the race. It meant solely a first-time race winner may edge Reddick or Dillon for the ultimate spot.

The one different competitors was for the regular-season title, which went to Kyle Larson, a five-time winner this season. The race for the regular-season championship and its playoff factors was between Larson and Denny Hamlin, who entered Daytona trailing Larson by 28 factors.

Hamlin held the regular-season lead for 22 weeks till Larson claimed it two races in the past at Indianapolis. Larson overcame a 166-point deficit to Hamlin to earn the title.

“What an superior yr he is had,” stated staff proprietor Rick Hendrick, who gave Larson a job this season after Larson missed all however 4 races in 2020 whereas suspended for utilizing a racial slur.

Chris Buescher completed second, one spot in need of incomes the automated berth into the playoffs he was searching for. However it was a 1-2 end for Ford.

“To overlook that playoff spot by one spot, that’s a troublesome ending to a day,” Buescher stated. “I’m certain I’ll play it again and discover one thing else totally different.”

Bubba Wallace was a season-best third however annoyed he had no assist from any Toyotas on the finish of the race. Hamlin, his staff proprietor at 23XI Racing, was the closest Toyota driver to Wallace on the end — means again in 14th.

“I’m just a little annoyed, I’m the one who will get referred to as out for not working with teammates and I’m the one which will get left hanging,” Wallace stated. “There’s a purpose why Ford’s in victory lane, trigger they at all times work collectively.”


Michael McDowell completed first and final in two superspeedway races at Daytona this season.

The shock Daytona 500 winner blew an engine beneath warning Saturday and was finished after 23 laps. McDowell clinched a spot within the playoffs together with his Daytona 500 victory so the early exit did not have an effect on his playoff possibilities.

However McDowell has no momentum after ending 20th or worse for the seventh consecutive race.

McDowell’s night time began within the gap when crew chief Drew Blickensderfer was ejected as a result of his Ford failed failed pre-race inspection. Anthony Alfredo’s crew chief additionally was kicked out for failing inspection.


NASCAR offered Wendell Scott’s household a customized trophy commemorating his historic 1963 victory earlier than the race. Scott is the one Black driver to win a race at NASCAR’s prime stage.

Scott handed Richard Petty with 25 laps remaining at Speedway Park in Jacksonville on Dec. 1, 1963. However Buck Baker, who truly completed second, was declared the winner of the Jacksonville 200 and acquired the trophy in victory lane.

Race officers found hours later that Scott was the precise winner and had lapped the whole area twice. However he was not credited with the victory for an additional two years, and his household has lengthy pushed for a correct celebration.

NASCAR obliged on the eve of what would have been Scott’s 100th birthday.


Olympic bronze medalist Noah Lyles served because the race’s grand marshal and demanded extra from the gang.

Lyles, the 200-meter favourite who settled for third in Tokyo, requested followers for a louder response after his first try drew a lackluster effort. “That’s what I’m speaking about,” he stated earlier than giving the command for drivers to begin their engines.

Lyles was carrying his medal earlier than the race and mingling with driver Bubba Wallace on the grid. Wallace bought an up-close have a look at the medal.

Lyles made headlines in Japan for his emotional breakdown following the 200-meter last. The American sprinter was in tears after a troublesome yr wherein he went on and off antidepressants and struggled when his brother did not make the Olympic staff with him. Like gymnast Simone Biles and tennis star Naomi Osaka, Lyles was unapologetic as he broached the topic of psychological well being.



The playoffs start subsequent Sunday at Darlington Raceway, which just lately repaved a piece in Flip 2 that might change the way in which the observe races. Kevin Harvick is the defending race winner and Martin Truex Jr. gained on the South Carolina observe in Could.


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