Austin Dillon wins the Dayton 400, wins his 1st race of the season & clinches final playoff spot (8-28-22)

By: Becca Cottingham Quimby

Headline Photo Courtesy: NASCAR Twitter Page /NASCAR on NBC

We go racing at Daytona after racing was postponed on Saturday night, on Sunday morning. The cars are getting on the track for the first time all weekend. Since both practice and qualifying were canceled due to rain. Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott will bring us to the green flag. We see Kyle Larson get loose and drivers go four wide with rain in turns one and two. Kyle Larson continues to fall backward and then radios in about water temperatures. Austin Cindric did try to push him and did lose the draft some. The possibility of rain has drivers being extremely aggressive early, such as Erik Jones. Who goes to battle with Chase Elliott for the lead at Daytona? We will get a huge accident right at the end of stage two that will involve multiple drivers. Erik Jones was a little bit loose, and Ryan Blaney appears to have bumped Denny Hamlin which triggered multiple vehicle crashes. We will get a lap shootout and see Joey Logano win stage one.

Multiple teams are trying a different pit strategy as everyone will need fuel in stage two. Kyle Busch gets hit with a penalty during his pit stop and Martin Truex Jr came down for extra fuel. Ryan Blaney was able to get his car off the damaged vehicle clock but they are racing three wide. NASCAR has told Ryan Blaney that they have to fix the hood of his car since it is moving around. We do see green flag pit stops happening and the Toyotas showed their hand first and came to pit road. Almost all of the Fords and Chevrolets came together. Most are going for fuel only to be as quick as they can on pit road. With the wreck earlier there are fewer Toyotas on the track and they will blend out just as the Toyotas are right there with them. This will make the end of stage two very interesting. Multiple drivers will try to battle at the end of stage one against Kyle Busch, but Kyle Busch will win stage two.

We start stage three with the level of intensity rising. The possibility of rain is steadily increasing with the number of laps decreasing. Along with the possible chance of accidents going up, as drivers will be getting clear at some point for fuel. We will get the first wreck of stage three and it involves Martin Truex Jr. He does manage to stay on the lead lap and get off the damaged vehicle clock. We get back to racing while most everyone behaving. Drivers then get more aggressive and another accident happens. This one involves Chase Briscoe, Bubba Wallace, Alex Bowman, and Austin Dillion. We get back to green with Justin Hayley throwing an aggressive block and this will bring out another caution. Rain is quickly approaching the track from multiple angles that could end the race. They get back to racing and the rain happens and collects a large portion of the field. Austin Cindric will get out front and lead for multiple laps. Austin Dillion is told to wait to make his move until the white flag due to the possibility of another big one. Austin Dillon will get Austin Cindric loose and get around him. He then has a teammate right behind him to help block. Other Chevrolet drivers were there along with Austin Cindric trying to make moves. Austin Dillon will hold on with another close finish and will be our unofficial winner.