Dillon wins crash-marred Dayton 500

Should stand. With AP Photos. "I said, man, you got to take that off", Dillon recalled. Dillon won in the auto number made famous by Dale Earnhardt and won 17 years to the day that the Hall of the Fame driver was killed in a last-lap accident at NASCAR " s famed track. Blaney was in front for more than half of the race, as he led 114 laps, but he couldn't finish off the victory because of the cautions that brought the field back together.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. made peace with Daytona International Speedway long ago.

For the first time since 2000, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will not have a steering wheel in his hands for the Daytona 500. Earnhardt was behind the wheel of No. 3 when he won his only Daytona 500 in 1998, and when he was killed in an accident on the final lap of the race three years later.

For the sake of transparency, Earnhardt owns both of those cars at JR Motorsports, but he believes that rule has been inconsistently enforced over the years too and he made that opinion known as well. "I still haven't seen the replay, so I don't know what happened, but I'm just devastated". In a pre-race interview in the media room, it struck me that NASCAR will miss Junior as a spokesperson as much as they will miss him as a driver.

Dillon was fast all week, but until the final lap of the race he just hung around and avoided wrecks.

"Honestly, I wish I could say I knew I timed it exactly how I wanted it", Tyler told "USA Today" in an interview after the race. And it's amusing, we were talking about it in practice, and a little bit today how much more effective side-drafting was. Dillon challenged Almirola and he tried to block the No. 3 Chevy. "We were driving around 7, and there was still a little bit of sky, and everything just kind of came back to me, just a lot of memories from being here - great memories".

In a sport that has been starving for diversity throughout its history, a Wallace victory at the Daytona 500 would transcend sports and become a major news story. If he needs to do it to (retaliate) at Talladega for everybody to feel good, I've got a Daytona 500 championship trophy, ring, whatever.

The two-time Daytona 500 victor retired last season and was back at the track in a much different role.

"My heart is broken".

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But, "I finished the Daytona 500".

If you are a fan of NASCAR, the name Earnhardt has special meaning. Finishing one-two with ECR (Earnhardt-Childress Racing) engines.

Five of the top eight drivers on the 500 starting grid are 24 or younger.

Wallace, from Mobile, Alabama, received a telephone call from Hank Aaron before the race and Lewis Hamilton, the four-time Formula One world champion and only black driver in that series, tweeted his support to Wallace. Denny Hamlin, who won the 2016 race, will start second. Ryan Blaney held the lead for most of the second stage and ultimately held on for the stage win. In fact, Roger Penske appears to have three entries all capable of winning the race.

"It's a shame you don't close it out, but you try to just learn from your mistakes and try to do better next time", Blaney said. "But I think we would have gotten in anyway". "Roger expects us to race for wins", Logano said. "That's all you can do", added Patrick, who was watched by her National Football League star boyfriend Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers.

Never before has one race displayed NASCAR's rapidly changing look more than this year's Daytona 500.

"He said his last Daytona didn't go well, either, and I was like 'Oh wow, I don't remember that". Her average career finish at the track was 25th.

Twice the age and a gracious plenty more than the Daytona 500 victor, Austin Dillon (27), Thompson may have started at the rear of the field.

A penny on the dash. I turned and. walked over to him and he was like, 'Hey, I got this for you.' It was a lucky penny.

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