NASCAR at Daytona 2021 Results: Ryan Blaney Earns 2nd Consecutive Win

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIAugust 29, 2021

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA - AUGUST 28: Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 BodyArmor Ford, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, race during the NASCAR Cup Series Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway on August 28, 2021 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Ryan Blaney is a back-to-back winner after outlasting the Coke Zero Sugar 400 field at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, on Saturday evening.

A caution-filled race went into overtime, and Blaney simply survived down the stretch as a horde of drivers crashed behind him with one lap remaining. The final caution ended the race, giving the 27-year-old the victory.


Take a look at the incident that brought out the caution on the final lap of the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CokeZeroSugar400?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CokeZeroSugar400</a>. <a href="https://t.co/zA7a6LVpKm">pic.twitter.com/zA7a6LVpKm</a>

Blaney, who won the FireKeepers Casino 400 last Sunday, has now won seven times on the NASCAR Cup Series.

He also moved to a tie for second with Martin Truex Jr. in the playoff standings with the win. Kyle Larson is still in first, and Tyler Reddick grabbed the 16th and final available playoff spot after Saturday's race.


Meet the 2021 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NASCARPlayoffs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NASCARPlayoffs</a> field! <a href="https://t.co/hd30W3dxNa">pic.twitter.com/hd30W3dxNa</a>

Here's a look at how it all went down from Daytona.

Stage 1

Three-wide racing permeated the entire field in Stage 1.


No room for error. <br><br>Three-wide racing throughout the pack 😳.<br><br>📺: NBC 📲: <a href="https://t.co/r61CT6B6jq">https://t.co/r61CT6B6jq</a> <a href="https://t.co/CZI7KoFSrM">pic.twitter.com/CZI7KoFSrM</a>

Another hairy moment occurred when Ross Chastain brushed against the fence, but he remained unscathed.


MY GOODNESS.<br><br>Ross Chastain brushes the fence right in front of the field, but hangs on!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CokeZeroSugar400?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CokeZeroSugar400</a> x NBC <a href="https://t.co/jm9zWyXbKs">pic.twitter.com/jm9zWyXbKs</a>

Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell was not as lucky, as his motor blew up, ending his night early:


No repeat at <a href="https://twitter.com/DAYTONA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Daytona</a> for <a href="https://twitter.com/Mc_Driver?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Mc_Driver</a>.<br><br>Michael McDowell's motor blows up. We'll see the Daytona 500 winner next weekend at <a href="https://twitter.com/TooToughToTame?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TooToughToTame</a> as he gets ready for the playoffs. <a href="https://t.co/sz3JIduTLj">pic.twitter.com/sz3JIduTLj</a>

Ultimately, this stage belonged to Chase Elliott, who surged ahead of the field and also got rid of some trash along the way.


SCIENCE IS FUN.<br><br>A little aerodynamics in action as Chase Elliott gets some trash removed from his grille. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CokeZeroSugar400?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CokeZeroSugar400</a> x <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NASCAR?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NASCAR</a> x <a href="https://twitter.com/DAYTONA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Daytona</a> <a href="https://t.co/JGuyMyFqYv">pic.twitter.com/JGuyMyFqYv</a>


Ol Clyde looked like he got launched out of a canon!<a href="https://twitter.com/chaseelliott?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@chaseelliott</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/DAYTONA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DAYTONA</a> <a href="https://t.co/L2D6gfug64">pic.twitter.com/L2D6gfug64</a>

Credit to Kyle Busch for the incredible save, though.


KYLE BUSCH.<br><br>WHAT. A. SAVE. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CokeZeroSugar400?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CokeZeroSugar400</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NASCAR?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NASCAR</a> <a href="https://t.co/IpDDyFj6it">pic.twitter.com/IpDDyFj6it</a>


No, the car nearly pointing in the wrong direction did NOT crash. <a href="https://t.co/f6w0rYn0Zg">pic.twitter.com/f6w0rYn0Zg</a>

The victory marked Elliott's third stage win of the 2021 season.

Stage 2

The back of the pack saw a crash as Aric Almirola and Alex Bowman both went spinning.


Synchronized spinning.<br><br>Aric Almirola and Alex Bowman go for a ride at <a href="https://twitter.com/DAYTONA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Daytona</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CokeZeroSugar400?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CokeZeroSugar400</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NASCAR?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NASCAR</a><br><br>TV: NBC <a href="https://t.co/OqYiptMYGJ">pic.twitter.com/OqYiptMYGJ</a>

There wasn't too much action for the rest of the stage, which Joey Logano ended up winning:


Huge runs and big pushes. <br><br>That's how you know the end of Stage 2 is near. <a href="https://t.co/VdQYoiEcw9">pic.twitter.com/VdQYoiEcw9</a>

Stage 3

A very eventful third stage took place. Of note, Logano, Elliott and Kevin Harvick each took the lead in the span of a single lap.

Three cars on the Rick Ware Racing team were involved in a single crash, with Garrett Smithley, Joey Gase and Cody Ware sustaining damage.


"Rick Ware Racing just had a bad yellow."<br><br>Three RWR cars involved in this one. Less than 20 laps remain in the final race of the regular season on NBC!<br><br>TV: NBC<br>Stream: <a href="https://t.co/wKDI0aNMYn">https://t.co/wKDI0aNMYn</a><br>NBC Sports App <a href="https://t.co/DDAOPG1k9p">pic.twitter.com/DDAOPG1k9p</a>

Bubba Wallace, who would have made the playoffs with a win, took the lead at one point:


A push makes the No. 23 light, but <a href="https://twitter.com/BubbaWallace?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BubbaWallace</a> hangs on and takes the lead at <a href="https://twitter.com/DAYTONA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DAYTONA</a>! <a href="https://t.co/pAujqDtPmZ">pic.twitter.com/pAujqDtPmZ</a>

However, all hell broke loose with a late crash that brought out a red flag. Truex Jr., William Byron and Tyler Reddick were notably involved.


BIG CRASH. Tyler Reddick involved!<br><br>Huge implications for the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NASCARPlayoffs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NASCARPlayoffs</a> with less than 15 laps remaining!<br><br>TV: NBC<br>Stream: <a href="https://t.co/wKDI0aNMYn">https://t.co/wKDI0aNMYn</a><br>NBC Sports App <a href="https://t.co/P39PGsZ04w">pic.twitter.com/P39PGsZ04w</a>


Take another look at what happened to Martin Truex Jr., Tyler Reddick, and more.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NASCAR?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NASCAR</a> x <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CokeZeroSugar400?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CokeZeroSugar400</a> x NBC <a href="https://t.co/W38tCq2zSk">pic.twitter.com/W38tCq2zSk</a>

Jeff Gluck of The Athletic gave some insight.

Jeff Gluck @jeff_gluck

Replay shows Truex had to check up and got turned and then clobberd byron. Reddick then got into him. Bowman got a piece of it too.

Somehow, Austin Dillon escaped the wreckage.


.<a href="https://twitter.com/austindillon3?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@austindillon3</a>'s crash avoidance sliders are maxed out. 🤯 <a href="https://t.co/un42vqvCYJ">pic.twitter.com/un42vqvCYJ</a>

Reddick possessed the 16th and final playoff spot entering the night, and he held onto that as he was able to meet the minimum speed and get back on the track.

The aforementioned crash happened with under 13 laps left. Eventually, red turned to yellow and then green, leading to a frenetic finish.

First, Chris Buescher briefly took the lead:


.<a href="https://twitter.com/Chris_Buescher?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Chris_Buescher</a> TO THE LEAD! <a href="https://t.co/8PqXP3wCYO">pic.twitter.com/8PqXP3wCYO</a>

However, Elliott soon took the lead right afterward.


.<a href="https://twitter.com/Chris_Buescher?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Chris_Buescher</a> gets shuffled out of the lead.<a href="https://twitter.com/chaseelliott?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@chaseelliott</a> takes the point! <a href="https://t.co/uNIffIE9Xl">pic.twitter.com/uNIffIE9Xl</a>

Logano then slammed into the wall but somehow was able to avoid the other cars and make it to pit road:


NEAR DISASTER!<a href="https://twitter.com/joeylogano?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@joeylogano</a> keeps going and we stay green! <a href="https://t.co/XlIKszIItJ">pic.twitter.com/XlIKszIItJ</a>

And then, all hell broke loose once again.


A huge wreck at the front of the field with only three laps remaining changes everything! <a href="https://t.co/ObFtG6xYju">pic.twitter.com/ObFtG6xYju</a>


Take another look at the wreck that changed the complexion of the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CokeZeroSugar400?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CokeZeroSugar400</a>. <a href="https://t.co/103eiIaNRn">pic.twitter.com/103eiIaNRn</a>


IT'S THE BIG ONE!<br><br>OVERTIME IS COMING UP ON NBC. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CokeZeroSugar400?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CokeZeroSugar400</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NASCAR?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NASCAR</a> <a href="https://t.co/l03vIcHpnU">pic.twitter.com/l03vIcHpnU</a>

Gluck gave more context into how this one went down and who was involved.

Jeff Gluck @jeff_gluck

Looks like Elliott made one extra move too late and it cost him. Triggered a big wreck. Custer, Bell, Hamlin, KyBusch, DiBenedetto, Keselowski, Bell, Preece, Bowman, even more.

Davey Segal of Sirius XM Radio provided insight from Matt DiBenedetto's team on the matter, especially in regards to Elliott's role.

Davey Segal @DaveyCenter

💭 "He double moved. On him. Good job," <a href="https://twitter.com/mattdracing?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@mattdracing</a> is told re: <a href="https://twitter.com/chaseelliott?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@chaseelliott</a>'s blocking of him.<br><br>"Yeah, that was his fault," he adds.

When all was said and done, the field went into overtime. Kelly Crandall of RACER provided the lineup, which featured a whole host of drivers looking for a win to clinch that 16th playoff spot.

Kelly Crandall @KellyCrandall

Overtime lineup: Buescher, Blaney, LaJoie, Dillon, Harvick, Chastain, Larson, Suarez, Wallace, Kurt Busch, Newman, Haley, Bowman, Briscoe, Reddick <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NASCAR?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NASCAR</a>

In the end, Blaney outlasted the field following the crash and earned back-to-back wins.