Crew members run onto the track to congratulate Austin Dillon (3) after he won the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Daytona Beach, Fla. And as recently reported by Rare Country, Dale Sr. also won the 1998 Daytona 500 with a penny given to him by a fan glued onto his dashboard. Dillon spun Almirola then whizzed on by to give Childress, his grandfather, an iconic victory in that beloved No. 3. There had been much hand-wringing over the retirements of Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick, but it may have been unnecessary worry. Eventually, after the guy lost it and was so close so many times, hell, even the people that didn't like him wanted to see him win the Daytona 500. (17), AJ Allmendinger (47), Darrell Wallace Jr (43), Alex Bowman (88) and Ryan Newman (31) collide between Turns 1 and 2 during Sunday's Daytona 500.
"I said my first win (the 2017 Coca-Cola 600) I couldn't beat it, but this does", Dillon said.
"It was the last lap and we're all trying to win the Daytona 500", he said. I knew what he was going through.
In an interview after the race, Austin spoke about a penny that he was given by a new fan, a penny that made its way onto the dashboard of his winning vehicle today.
McReynolds: I did not even know until later that this receiving line on pit road had even formed to congratulate him.
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Chris Buescher of JTG Daugherty Racing was fifth, Michael McDowell of Front Row Motorsports was ninth and Justin Marks of Rick Ware Racing finished 12th. Dale Earnhardt was killed in a last-lap crash in the 2001 Daytona 500.
CHOCOLATE MYERS (Gas man for the No. 3 team that won) - "So, we finally do our celebration and our Victory Lane and our high-fives and we've got to go home".
"I got so many emotions right now", Wallace said.
"I really try to stick with things that are told in a way that I am celebrating him, and Goodyear and his relationship with Goodyear was really strong when he was racing", Earnhardt Jr. said. He met Miller through the Make-A-Wish Foundation following the final practice for the race. "So it's more meaningful to me personally, than maybe a lot of other competitors, as the cornerstone of our series and the birthplace of racing", he said. After 200 grueling laps, it was Austin Dillon who claimed the checkered flag and the win! I thought that was really cool.
NASCAR continues to have two stages to a race before the final finish after deeming it a success previous year, and with playoff points on the line, drivers race aggressively near the end of them. The lucky penny the little girl gave him is still on the dash of the auto at the RCR museum.