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Who won the Daytona 500? Full results, winner from NASCAR’s 2021 season-opening race


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The winner of the 2021 Daytona 500 wasn’t in the lead till the very finish of the race after a fiery crash on the last lap opened a path for him to drive by.

Michael McDowell was monitoring leaders (and Penske teammates) Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski on Lap 200 of the 200-lap race when Logano and Keselowski wrecked and NASCAR subsequently turned on the warning lights. McDowell was forward of Chase Elliott by a automotive size at the time of the warning, giving him the lead and the race win. He crossed the start-finish line first for good measure after securing his first Cup Series victory in his 358th profession begin. 

“I can’t believe it,” McDowell stated. “I’ve got to thank God. So many years of just grinding it out, hoping for an opportunity like this. I’ve got to thank (team owner) Bob Jenkins for giving me this opportunity. I’m so thankful.

“What an effective way to get a primary victory — in the Daytona 500!”

McDowell, who led only the final lap at 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway, is the eighth driver to get his first Cup win in the Great American Race. His victory is the third for Front Row Motorsports — all coming in the No. 34 Ford with three different drivers: David Ragan at Talladega, Chris Buescher at Pocono and McDowell at Daytona.

The win also qualifies McDowell for the Cup Series playoffs Round of 16.

Keselowski, meanwhile, threw his gloves and helmet in frustration after he exited his heavily damaged car.

“Had an enormous run down the backstretch, went to make the cross to win the Daytona 500 and it ended up actually unhealthy,” he told Fox Sports. “I do not really feel like I made a mistake, however I can not drive all people else’s automotive.” It was unclear whether Keselowski was referring to Logano appearing to block him or McDowell bump-drafting him just prior to the wreck.


“Chaos struck,” Logano told Fox Sports. “The 2 (Keselowski) stored making an attempt to again up, making an attempt to get a run, (I) was making an attempt to again as much as him to maintain the run from being too huge. I suppose he acquired again as much as the 34 (McDowell) and it ended up being a extremely huge run coming at me and appeared like all of us simply collided in a single spot. Real bummer.”

McDowell said he was able to get by because his car and Keselowski’s got “disconnected” during the bump draft just before the wreck. “Otherwise, I’d have been proper on the 2,” he stated.

“The method that these runs work, typically whenever you hit a man, you type of push him out slightly bit and also you get indifferent from him,” McDowell continued. “Brad and I had a terrific run and I used to be on his bumper after which he pulled down and I acquired slightly bit indifferent from him after which him and the 22 (Logano) acquired collectively.”     

The wild finish early Monday capped a marathon race day that was bracketed by big wrecks.

Mother Nature grudgingly allowed NASCAR Cup Series drivers to kick off a brand new season. Inclement weather loomed over the 500 on Sunday, after which rain over Daytona Beach, Fla., induced virtually six hours of delays.

Sporting News tracked dwell updates and lap-by-lap highlights from the Daytona 500. Follow under for full outcomes from NASCAR’s 2021 season-opening race.

Contributing: Tom Gatto. Material from the NASCAR Wire Service also was used in this report.

MORE: Watch NASCAR racing live with fuboTV (7-day free trial)

Daytona 500 results 2021

(Official order of finish)


Pos. Driver
1. Michael McDowell
2. Chase Elliott
3. Austin Dillon
4. Kevin Harvick
5. Denny Hamlin
6. Ryan Preece
7. Ross Chastain
8. Jamie McMurray
9. Corey LaJoie
10. Kyle Larson
11. Cole Custer
12. Joey Logano
13. Brad Keselowski
14. Kyle Busch
15. Austin Cindric
16. Christopher Bell
17. Bubba Wallace
18. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
19. Chase Briscoe
20. Joey Gase
21. Cody Ware
22. Kurt Busch
23. BJ McLeod
24. Josh Bilicki
25. Martin Truex Jr.
26. William Byron
27. Tyler Reddick
28. Kaz Grala
29. Quin Houff
30. Ryan Blaney
31. Chris Buescher
32. Anthony Alfredo
33. Matt DiBenedetto
34. Aric Almirola
35. Alex Bowman
36. Daniel Suarez
37. David Ragan
38. Ryan Newman
39. Erik Jones
40. Derrike Cope

Daytona 500 dwell updates, highlights from 2021 race

(All occasions Eastern)

12:16 a.m.  — Huge, fiery crash on the final lap takes out leaders Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski and opens it up for Michael McDowell to win NASCAR’s premier occasion underneath warning. 

12:10 a.m.  — Down to 10 laps remaining. It’s go time.

Midnight  — Unscheduled green-flag cease for Bubba Wallace; Fox Sports studies he instructed his crew his automotive had a vibration. Right-side tires for the 23, who goes a lap down.

11:55 p.m. — The last green-flag stops of the evening start on Lap 170, with every producer group pitting individually.

11:45 p.m.  — The calm earlier than the storm. Denny Hamlin nonetheless leads the method, and everybody else is lined up behind him.

11:35 p.m. — Denny Hamlin leads with 52 to go. The subject is working single file on the excessive aspect earlier than the critical racing begins. 

11:20 p.m.  — Denny Hamlin wins Stage 2 of the Daytona 500, constructing on his Stage 1 victory. The high 10 in the stage: Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Bubba Wallace, Chase Elliott, Austin Dillon, Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Ryan Preece and Austin Cindric.

Just 70 laps stay on this 12 months’s Great American Race. It’s about to get wild. 

11:05 p.m.  — Scary-looking second as the proper rear of Kaz Grala’s automotive catches hearth on pit street. Safety crews are there to extinguish it. Grala was considered one of the drivers concerned in the wreck that Bell triggered. Amazingly, Grala tried to maintain racing earlier than being instructed to name it quits for the evening. 


11 p.m.  — CAUTION NO. 5. Christopher Bell causes a multi-vehicle wreck as his left rear tire goes down. Kyle Larson is considered one of the half-dozen drivers caught up in it. Bubba Wallace escapes and is scored in second at the time of the yellow.

10:55 p.m.  — Kyle Larson is the chief in spite of everything the pit stops. Fewer than 20 laps to go in Stage 2.

10:45 p.m.  — Green-flag pit stops are close to in the second half of Stage 2. (Oh, by the method, the race is now official after shifting previous Lap 100.)

10:30 p.m. — The worst of the rain seems to be behind us, however there are some issues about fog.

10:10 p.m. — Denny Hamlin takes Stage 1 of the Daytona 500. The remainder of the high 10:

9:55 p.m. — OK, switching out yellow for inexperienced. Can we please watch out, guys?

9:45 p.m. — And the yellow flag is again on Lap 38. Quin Houff is out of the race.

9:35 p.m. — Green flag is waving. We are a full go on Lap 30.

9:20 p.m. — Well, this appears problematic. Still underneath a yellow flag at the second.

9:05 p.m. — A fast recap of the place we stand as the restart approaches:

8:20 p.m. — Hey, a restart time! This may truly occur.

7:55 p.m. —  Trending in the proper route…

6:50 p.m. — The Air Titans are again on the monitor, however NASCAR has not supplied any further particulars on a attainable restart time.

6:20 p.m. —  Good information: There might be a window to dry the monitor in between waves of rain. Bad information: That second wave might be ugly.

5:15 p.m. — OK, this rain actually wants to sit back out for a minute.

4:55 p.m. — Chase Briscoe simply hitting the Panda Express drive-thru throughout the delay. An actual energy transfer.

4:10 p.m. — So, uh, this is not excellent.

3:55 p.m. — After simply 15 laps, the Air Titans are out with the Daytona 500 underneath a pink flag. Kevin Harvick is the present chief.

3:40 p.m. — Here’s a full listing of the drivers concerned in the crash on Lap 14, per the FOX broadcast: Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, Tyler Reddick, Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney, Chris Buescher, Martin Truex Jr., Christopher Bell, Matt DiBenedetto, William Byron, David Ragan, Anthony Alfredo, Erik Jones, Alex Bowman, Jamie McMurray and Daniel Suarez. 

3:35 p.m. — And now a pink flag due to a lighting strike. What a wild begin.

3:25 p.m. — Whoa. We’ve acquired large crash involving no less than a dozen vehicles.

3:10 p.m. —  The warning flag goes up after Derrike Cope hits the wall on Lap 3. He’s accomplished for the day.

3 p.m. — A brand new season. Daytona 500. Pitbull. Here we go.

2:40 p.m. — Let’s hope these rain clouds float proper on by the monitor.

What time does the Daytona 500 begin?

The Daytona 500 broadcast will start at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 14, however the race itself might not begin till nearer to three p.m. ET. It will probably be held at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.

MORE:  Remembering Dale Earnhardt’s deadly crash at Daytona 20 years later

Daytona 500 beginning lineup 2021

Wednesday’s pole qualifying set the front row for the Daytona 500 with Alex Bowman incomes the nod and William Byron recording the second-fastest lap. The results of Thursday’s Duels races won by Aric Almirola and Austin Dillon set the the rest of the subject. 

Starting pos. Driver
1. Alex Bowman
2. William Byron
3. Aric Almirola
4. Austin Dillon
5. Christopher Bell
6. Bubba Wallace
7. Ryan Newman
8. Kevin Harvick
9. Joey Logano
10. Kyle Busch
11. Ryan Preece
12. Chase Elliott
13. Kyle Larson
14. David Ragan
15. Daniel Suarez
16. Corey LaJoie
17. Michael McDowell
18. David Regan
19. Jamie McMurray
20. Kurt Busch
21. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
22. Chris Buescher
23. Matt DiBenedetto
24. Brad Keselowski
25. Denny Hamlin
26. Martin Truex Jr.
27. Cole Custer
28. Joey Gase
29. Tyler Reddick
30. Chase Briscoe
31. Erik Jones
32. Derrike Cope
33. Quin Houff
34. Ross Chastain
35. Cody Ware
36. Anthony Alfredo
37. Josh Bilicki
38. BJ McLeod
39. Austin Cindric
40. Kaz Grala



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