After the dust settled at Daytona, Ryan Blaney came away victorious in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 Saturday night.
Blaney survived five laps of NASCAR Overtime to claim his third NASCAR Cup Series win of 2021 at Daytona International Speedway and second consecutive victory.
“It was a very eventful race,” Blaney said. “It’s so cool to be here in victory lane in Daytona.
“Maybe we’re on a roll right now and we’ve got everything going our way. Hopefully, we keep it up.,” Blaney said.
Chris Buescher, who led twice for eight laps, finished second, earning his first Top-5 finish of the season. However, the Roush Fenway Racing driver was in a must-win situation to make the NASCAR Playoffs.
“It hurts, honestly, ” Buescher said. “I guess at the end of the day on one side I’m glad to see another Ford in victory lane, but it hurts that it wasn’t us.”
Bubba Wallace led four times for eight laps, netting a third-place finish and his second Top-5 finish of 2021.
“You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do and I came out third,” Wallace said. “I was happy with that, but we needed to win to get in. Up and down regular season for us. Thankful for opportunity. ”
Ryan Newman picked up a fourth-place finish, earning his highest finish of the season and second Top-5 of the year.
Rounding out the Top-5 was Ryan Preece, earning his highest finish of the season and first Top-5 finish since 2019.
THROUGH THE FIELD
Tyler Reddick, Justin Haley, Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott and B.J. McLeod — earning the first Top-10 of his NASCAR national touring series career — rounded out the Top-10 finishers.
Josh Bilicki finished 11th — a career high in the Cup Series.
Polesitter Kyle Larson crashed out on the last lap and finished 21st.
Joey Logano, who won Stage 2 and led the most laps (65), finished 24th, one lap down.
In his first Cup Series start since 2019, Landon Cassill finished 37th after crashing out of the race on lap 145.
Defending Daytona summer race winner William Byron, who led five times for 12 laps, crashed out of the race on lap 145 and finished 38th.
Daytona 500 champion Michael McDowell finished last (40th) after engine issues on lap 23.
The playoff field is set for the NASCAR Cup Series.
Kyle Larson will enter the first race of the playoffs as the points leader (2,052), followed by Ryan Blaney (2,024), Martin Truex Jr. (2,024), Kyle Busch (2,022) and Chase Elliott (2.021).
The opening playoff race is at Darlington Raceway, scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 5.
I am a co-owner and reporter for TheRacingExperts.com.