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Monday, September 27, 2021

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

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Ryan Blaney gained for the second consecutive week when the race Saturday evening at Daytona Worldwide Speedway ended underneath warning in time beyond regulation with a typical fiery end.

(Logan Riely/Getty Pictures)

Tyler Reddick took the sixteenth 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 have been each in competition to make a determined final gasp push for the win within the two-lap time beyond regulation 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.

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Daniel Suarez, one in every 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 Workforce Penske Ford.

“Yeah, we have good momentum,” Blaney mentioned. “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 have been claimed earlier than the beginning of the race. It meant solely a first-time race winner might 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,” mentioned crew 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 wanting incomes the automated berth into the playoffs he was searching for. Nevertheless it was a 1-2 end for Ford.

“To overlook that playoff spot by one spot, that’s a tricky ending to a day,” Buescher mentioned. “I’m certain I’ll play it again and discover one thing else completely 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 crew proprietor at 23XI Racing, was the closest Toyota driver to Wallace on the end — approach again in 14th.

“I’m a bit annoyed, I’m the one who will get known as out for not working with teammates and I’m the one which will get left hanging,” Wallace mentioned. “There’s a purpose why Ford’s in victory lane, trigger they all the time work collectively.”

MCDOWELL’S MISS

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

The shock Daytona 500 winner blew an engine underneath warning Saturday and was completed after 23 laps. McDowell clinched a spot within the playoffs along 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 twentieth or worse for the seventh consecutive race.

McDowell’s evening 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.

OVERDUE OVERTURE

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

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

Race officers found hours later that Scott was the precise winner and had lapped the whole discipline 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 one hundredth birthday.

OLYMPIC FLARE

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

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 mentioned 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 acquired an up-close take 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 tough yr wherein he went on and off antidepressants and struggled when his brother did not make the Olympic crew with him. Like gymnast Simone Biles and tennis star Naomi Osaka, Lyles was unapologetic as he broached the topic of psychological well being.

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UP NEXT

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



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