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Michael McDowell Celebration Highlights, Reaction After 2021 Daytona 500 Win

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2021

Michael McDowell celebrates after winning the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

Michael McDowell picked the ideal place to earn his first NASCAR Cup Series victory.  

Thanks to a wreck that took out Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski, McDowell earned the checkered flag in the 2021 Daytona 500. He had been running third before Keselowski bumped Logano to trigger a massive domino effect on the final lap.

FOX: NASCAR @NASCARONFOX

Retweet to congratulate Michael McDowell on his #DAYTONA500 WIN after a huge crash coming to the finish! @Mc_Driver | @Team_FRM https://t.co/lTsyYF7Gxq

There was an initial wait as NASCAR officials double-checked to make sure McDowell was the lead car when the caution flag waved. That didn't stop his crew from celebrating on pit road.

Once the result was confirmed, it was time for the driver to bask in the glory:

NASCAR @NASCAR

THIS IS HIS MOMENT! Retweet to congratulate @Mc_Driver on winning The Great American Race! #DAYTONA500 https://t.co/gX0f2TO78L

FOX: NASCAR @NASCARONFOX

Michael McDowell is your 2021 #DAYTONA500 Champion! This is his first career Cup win in his 358th start. https://t.co/h8K5NlOfwS

McDowell apparently celebrated so hard he created a bit of a problem for himself:

Kelly Crandall @KellyCrandall

McDowell got his car stuck in the grass celebrating and Ross Chastain and Tyler Reddick just came and helped push him out | #NASCAR

As the Daytona 500 winner, McDowell will have a bullseye on his back since he's all but through to the 16-man playoff. In addition, he might face some blowback for his role in the final crash.

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Upon first viewing, it looked as though Keselowski was at fault for sending Logano spinning. However, the No. 2 car only hit the No. 22 after taking contact from McDowell:

Steve Benko @SteveBenko

I’d say Joey and Brad should get retribution next race buts it’s gonna be tough when McDowell is in 25th place the rest of the season https://t.co/Ij9vdI7xZd

David Gravel @DavidGravel

So is Keslowski mad at Logano or McDowell?

For his part, Logano remained magnanimous:

FOX: NASCAR @NASCARONFOX

"Chaos struck ... If we couldn't win, I'm really happy to see McDowell win this thing."- Joey Logano #DAYTONA500 | @Team_Penske https://t.co/bUjqgOLKpq

McDowell should go out of his way to frame the current season standings. No matter what happens going forward, he's the top driver in the NASCAR Cup Series for at least one week.

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