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NASCAR at Daytona 2022 Results: Austin Dillon Clinches Playoff Spot with Win

Doric SamAugust 28, 2022

Sean Gardner/Getty Images

In the final NASCAR Cup Series race of the 2022 regular season, Austin Dillon emerged victorious in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday morning. It is Dillon's first win of the season, clinching one of the last two playoff spots.

NASCAR @NASCAR

CHECKERED FLAG: HE NEEDED A WIN. HE GOT A WIN.<a href="https://twitter.com/austindillon3?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@austindillon3</a> wins at <a href="https://twitter.com/DAYTONA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DAYTONA</a> and clinches a spot in the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NASCARPlayoffs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NASCARPlayoffs</a>! <a href="https://t.co/Q0nNofEgru">pic.twitter.com/Q0nNofEgru</a>

NASCAR on NBC @NASCARonNBC

RETWEET to congratulate <a href="https://twitter.com/austindillon3?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@austindillon3</a> on making the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NASCARPlayoffs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NASCARPlayoffs</a> with a WIN at <a href="https://twitter.com/DAYTONA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DAYTONA</a>! <a href="https://t.co/YJ1lgDmLx6">pic.twitter.com/YJ1lgDmLx6</a>

The drivers who finished on Sunday overcame multiple crashes and a lengthy weather delay. Dillon was followed by his Chevrolet teammate Tyler Reddick, who finished second. Austin Cindric was right behind him in third place.

The last playoff spot was clinched by Ryan Blaney, who finished 15th on Sunday, respectively. Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. were the two drivers with the most points who hadn't won a race this season. An extra playoff spot opened when it was announced Thursday that Kurt Busch will miss the start of the postseason because of his ongoing concussion-like symptoms.

NASCAR @NASCAR

HE'S IN! <a href="https://twitter.com/Blaney?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Blaney</a> will race for a title in the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NASCARPlayoffs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NASCARPlayoffs</a>! <a href="https://t.co/PWOxL15ou1">pic.twitter.com/PWOxL15ou1</a>

Here's a look at the top-10 finishers from Saturday's race, as well as a recap of the highlights.


Coke Zero Sugar 400 Results

1. Austin Dillon

2. Tyler Reddick

3. Austin Cindric

4. Landon Cassill

5. Noah Gragson

6. Cody Ware

7. BJ McLeod

8. Martin Truex Jr.

9. David Ragan

10. Kyle Busch

Full results available at NASCAR's official site


The race was originally scheduled to take place Saturday night, but it was postponed because of rain in the Central Florida area.

The action Sunday started early when Kyle Larson's day quickly came to an end because of engine issues. Larson had been hoping to earn more points heading into the playoffs, as the top 10 finishers in the regular season standings automatically receive playoff points.

Jeff Gluck @jeff_gluck

Larson to the garage with engine problems. He had really wanted to get second in the season standings to get those extra playoff points; in points as they run, Larson has now dropped to fourth.

Late in Stage 1, the first caution of the day came out when Denny Hamlin got loose and multiple cars wrecked behind him, including Ryan Blaney, who was fighting for one of the last two playoff spots as the driver with the most points who hasn't won a race this season.

NASCAR @NASCAR

Trouble on the backstretch ... and <a href="https://twitter.com/Blaney?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Blaney</a> is involved! <a href="https://t.co/pNnGqP4lKM">pic.twitter.com/pNnGqP4lKM</a>

After the one-lap restart, Joey Logano took the win in Stage 1 to bolster his playoff position.

Blaney's pit crew was able to take care of the damage before the six-minute time limit was up, allowing him to continue in the race. He later met the minimum speed requirement to continue and get another opportunity to pit for more repairs. The day ended for Christopher Bell and Brad Keselowski, the latter of whom needed a win to make the playoffs.

NASCAR @NASCAR

It’s not over yet for <a href="https://twitter.com/Blaney?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Blaney</a>. <br><br>The 1️⃣2️⃣ is back out there following the Lap 31 crash. <a href="https://t.co/vJhATEGbos">pic.twitter.com/vJhATEGbos</a>

NASCAR @NASCAR

Just nothing he could do right there. <a href="https://t.co/rtgU4BliCy">https://t.co/rtgU4BliCy</a> <a href="https://t.co/f7Kvl7ZoWV">pic.twitter.com/f7Kvl7ZoWV</a>

Stage 2 was fairly uneventful. Kyle Busch took the win after a late battle for the lead. Truex finished second to gain more points and close the gap with Blaney.

Bob Pockrass @bobpockrass

KyBusch wins second stage .... Truex was second ... Truex is 10 points behind Blaney and would finish ahead of him in points if he finishes 11 spots ahead of Blaney. Truex only wins tiebreaker with Blaney if he (Truex) finishes second.

Dustin Albino @DustinAlbino

Stage points today:<br>Truex - 15<br>Blaney - 0<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NASCAR?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NASCAR</a>

As Stage 3 was set to begin, more rain and lightning started approaching in the area, so pit crews informed their drivers to up the aggression in case the race is stopped.

The fireworks started early in the final stage, as Tyler Reddick bumped Michael McDowell, which led to a multiple-car wreck. Truex was involved and had damage to his right front fender, putting his playoff hopes in jeopardy.

NASCAR on NBC @NASCARonNBC

CRASH.<br><br>Martin Truex Jr. is among the many involved in this one at <a href="https://twitter.com/DAYTONA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DAYTONA</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NASCAR?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NASCAR</a><br><br>📺 : <a href="https://twitter.com/CNBC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CNBC</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/peacockTV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@peacockTV</a> <a href="https://t.co/ltvvYdJ8sC">pic.twitter.com/ltvvYdJ8sC</a>

NASCAR @NASCAR

A great day goes bad in a hurry for <a href="https://twitter.com/MartinTruex_Jr?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MartinTruex_Jr</a>. <a href="https://t.co/dsW1xp7Vj7">pic.twitter.com/dsW1xp7Vj7</a>

Bob Pockrass @bobpockrass

Truex: "I knew we shouldn't have been up there dude." ... Small: "Shut up. We'll be fine."

Bob Pockrass @bobpockrass

also involved: Reddick, Wallace, Buescher. <a href="https://t.co/wIwlt9Idll">https://t.co/wIwlt9Idll</a>

Later in the race, Chase Briscoe made an aggressive move to briefly take the lead, but he lost control and another massive wreck occurred. Briscoe's car briefly went airborne. Multiple drivers had their playoff hopes come to an end with that crash.

NASCAR on NBC @NASCARonNBC

Another crash!<br><br>Chase Briscoe and more involved. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NASCAR?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NASCAR</a><br><br>📺 : <a href="https://twitter.com/CNBC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CNBC</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/peacockTV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@peacockTV</a> <a href="https://t.co/4YlyeNVIiK">pic.twitter.com/4YlyeNVIiK</a>

FOX: NASCAR @NASCARONFOX

<a href="https://t.co/F4Uti4WKai">https://t.co/F4Uti4WKai</a> <a href="https://t.co/11oVBB6KQA">pic.twitter.com/11oVBB6KQA</a>

Jeff Gluck @jeff_gluck

Briscoe was leading the top line and got turned by Bowman. Stenhouse got a piece, Wallace got a piece, looks like maybe Custer. Gilliland, too. Dillon got turned.<br><br>Who got through? Logano, Justin Haley and Erik Jones, to name a few.

Justin Haley emerged as the leader out of the restart, which didn't last long. Haley aggressively blocked Erik Jones, who then ran into Logano and brought out another caution.

NASCAR @NASCAR

This one could've been a lot worse! <a href="https://twitter.com/Erik_Jones?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Erik_Jones</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/joeylogano?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@joeylogano</a> <a href="https://t.co/2Awcbmt6KQ">pic.twitter.com/2Awcbmt6KQ</a>

Haley remained in the lead coming out of the next restart, but he faced a battle from Daniel Suarez and Aric Almirola and quickly fell behind both of them. Hamlin made a move to the front of the pack, passing Suarez.

Soon after the thrilling bit of racing, another huge wreck basically took out the entire field. It appears that rain had just got started and caused the drivers battling for the lead to lose control. Austin Dillon somehow managed to escape the crash by staying at the bottom of the track and sneaking out for the lead.

NASCAR on NBC @NASCARonNBC

BIG CRASH in Turns 1 and 2 and Daytona!<a href="https://twitter.com/austindillon3?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@austindillon3</a> SOMEHOW avoids all the mayhem and comes out in the lead! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NASCAR?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NASCAR</a><br><br>📺 : <a href="https://twitter.com/CNBC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CNBC</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/peacockTV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@peacockTV</a> <a href="https://t.co/aYYdF1hp6l">pic.twitter.com/aYYdF1hp6l</a>

FOX: NASCAR @NASCARONFOX

AUSTIN DILLON MAKE IT THROUGH ... and the rain hits. 🤯 <a href="https://t.co/psFcxCKsvo">https://t.co/psFcxCKsvo</a> <a href="https://t.co/f1m8EKyiBx">pic.twitter.com/f1m8EKyiBx</a>

NASCAR on NBC @NASCARonNBC

How did race leader <a href="https://twitter.com/austindillon3?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@austindillon3</a> make it through that big wreck?<br><br>Ride on-board the No. 3 car. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NASCAR?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NASCAR</a><br><br>📺 : <a href="https://twitter.com/CNBC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CNBC</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/peacockTV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@peacockTV</a> <a href="https://t.co/SuOOmYdUAV">pic.twitter.com/SuOOmYdUAV</a>

Jeff Gluck @jeff_gluck

Replay sure makes it show like the leaders both got loose at the same time when they hit possible rain. Oh no. What a disaster.

Davey Segal @DaveyCenter

💭 "WHAT THE F*CK WAS THAT?! IT WAS F*CKING POURING! WHAT THE F*CK WAS THAT?" - <a href="https://twitter.com/Justin_Haley_?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Justin_Haley_</a>

The rain caused the race to be red-flagged with 21 laps to go, creating a likely anticlimactic end to the battle for the last two playoff spots.

Bob Pockrass @bobpockrass

Truex got through the wreck so it looks like Truex is sixth should get in and Blaney likely would be out if race is stopped.

Jeff Gluck @jeff_gluck

That is the most deflating and depressing way to decide the playoff race. It was raining. Destroyed the field. Absolute shame. Such a bummer.

After a lengthy delay that lasted nearly three-and-a-half hours, the track was finally dried and the race restarted with 16 laps to go. Austin Cindric quickly moved into the lead over Dillon, which changed Truex's approach as a repeat winner would've pushed him into the playoffs. But Truex later fell back to ninth place with five laps to go, effectively ruining his postseason chances.

Jeff Gluck @jeff_gluck

Truex: "Sorry. There's nothing I can do." All he can really do is hope for a repeat winner now.

Cindric held the lead for a while, but Dillon made his move with three laps remaining and bumped him out of the way for the lead. Dillon had some help blocking from his Chevy teammate Reddick, and he was able to earn his first win of the year. Truex missed the playoffs by three points.

NASCAR @NASCAR

AUSTIN DILLON TO THE LEAD! <br><br>THREE TO GO AT <a href="https://twitter.com/DAYTONA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DAYTONA</a>! <a href="https://t.co/jpFyzDaA3s">pic.twitter.com/jpFyzDaA3s</a>

The Cup Series playoffs round of 16 will begin on Sunday, Sept. 4, with the Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina.

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