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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.
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.
Here’s a look at how it all went down from Daytona.
Three-wide racing permeated the entire field in Stage 1.
Another hairy moment occurred when Ross Chastain brushed against the fence, but he remained unscathed.
Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell was not as lucky, as his motor blew up, ending his night early:
Ultimately, this stage belonged to Chase Elliott, who surged ahead of the field and also got rid of some trash along the way.
Credit to Kyle Busch for the incredible save, though.
No, the car nearly pointing in the wrong direction did NOT crash. pic.twitter.com/f6w0rYn0Zg
The victory marked Elliott’s third stage win of the 2021 season.
The back of the pack saw a crash as Aric Almirola and Alex Bowman both went spinning.
There wasn’t too much action for the rest of the stage, which Joey Logano ended up winning:
Huge runs and big pushes.
That’s how you know the end of Stage 2 is near. pic.twitter.com/VdQYoiEcw9
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.
Bubba Wallace, who would have made the playoffs with a win, took the lead at one point:
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.
Jeff Gluck of The Athletic gave some insight.
Somehow, Austin Dillon escaped the wreckage.
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:
However, Elliott soon took the lead right afterward.
Logano then slammed into the wall but somehow was able to avoid the other cars and make it to pit road:
And then, all hell broke loose once again.
A huge wreck at the front of the field with only three laps remaining changes everything! pic.twitter.com/ObFtG6xYju
Gluck gave more context into how this one went down and who was involved.
Davey Segal of Sirius XM Radio provided insight from Matt DiBenedetto’s team on the matter, especially in regards to Elliott’s role.
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 #NASCAR
In the end, Blaney outlasted the field following the crash and earned back-to-back wins.