Michael McDowell got through the traffic of a massive crash on the last lap unscathed, and he is the winner of the 2021 Daytona 500.
It’s the first win of Michael McDowell’s NASCAR career in 357 career starts. He had three career Top 3’s finishes, and only 88 laps led in 13 years and one start of NASCAR Cup racing.
McDowell was 80-1 at DraftKings Sportsbook to win the race as the green flag dropped.
Take a look at the accident that brought out the caution flag at the end of the #DAYTONA500. pic.twitter.com/M7AUZJ1c1C— NASCAR (@NASCAR) February 15, 2021
NASCAR rules state that when the caution flag comes out when there’s a wreck on the last lap, the car that’s in front when the caution comes out is the winner. McDowell in the #34 was in third place on the final lap, but his fellow Ford drivers Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano in front of him wrecked, leaving McDowell to win the race.
In a race where single file racing was mostly the norm, drivers weren’t able to find a groove outside the high line of the track. It made passing on the low side more difficult, and kept the racing from truly being open. While Denny Hamlin led 82 laps and seemed to have the best car all day, he fell back after his final pit stop and was unable to find the track position to recover.