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Austin Dillon emerges from crashes to win Daytona 500

21 February 2018

Bowman, who is on the pole for the Daytona 500, is just 24.

And Dillon finally brought it back to Victory Lane.

In a closing lap of the February 18 race that had all the drama we would expect, Austin Dillon took the No. 3 vehicle across the finish lane first, 17 years to the day from when Dale Earnhardt could not, losing his life in turn four of the Daytona 500 in a auto bearing the same number.

- Dale Earnhardt Jr. has an official role in his first Daytona 500 as a retired race-car driver.

In the end, 27-year-old Austin Dillon confounded the experts by taking the checkered flag for his first Daytona 500 victory and his second win in 159 races on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. His finish is the highest for a black driver; Wendell Scott finished 13th in 1966.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. took to social media earlier in the day to thank everyone for messages, and he explained why he had been silent for much of the day. As was the pre-race call from baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron and tweets from Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton. I see him over in the tool box, digging through drawers. He does so many great things in the F1 world. With the commercial set to the late Jim Croce's iconic song "I Got a Name" - fittingly covered by his son, A.J. Croce - the ad features Goodyear's history with the Earnhardt family.

"People are tuning in and hopefully noticing the new face and the new change that's coming to NASCAR", he said. Besides his engagement with Hendrick Motorsports, his full-time gig now involves working as part of NBC's NASCAR crew, which reunites him with former crew chief Steve Letarte. Coverage of last Thursday's Duels was also down, scoring a 1.1 rating on FOX Sports 1 compared with a 1.5 past year, SMW reports.

Still, NASCAR fans had some mixed reactions to the dab. This one is for Dale Earnhardt Sr. and all those (Dale) Sr. fans. They're the ones you're looking up to and they reach out to you and that's really cool.

Wallace edged out Hamlin for second by.002 seconds.

Austin Dillon survived a chaotic Daytona 500 and last-lap contact with Aric Almirola to win the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.

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Johnson was one of seven drivers caught up in a wreck on the final lap of the first stage.

Earnhardt retired a year ago after injuries and concussion-like symptoms for much of the season.

"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.

"Daytona has a way with just making memories", he said. "We were staying upfront and out of trouble, it just didn't work out". I'm in a good financial position. "My boss, Tony Stewart, came in the infield care center and he gave me a big hug and he said, 'The good news is we have a whole lot more of this to look forward to.' We'll move on and go to the next race".

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Austin Dillon emerges from crashes to win Daytona 500