NASCAR: Ryan Blaney Wraps Up Season with Win at Daytona’s Coke Zero Sugar 400

by Jonathan Howard

The NASCAR Cup Series regular season is finally over. Speeding around the track to claim the checkered flag was Ryan Blaney.

This is the second straight win for Blaney! As one of the top-7 drivers in the series standings, he has capped off his great season with two wins at the end of the season. That has to boost his confidence going forward.

The five racers after Blaney was Chris Buescher, Bubba Wallace, Ryan Newman, and Ryan Preece.

Finishing out the top-10 were Justin Haley, Tyler Reddick, Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, and BJ McLeod. The top-10 was unpredictable to the finish.

With the Daytona Coke Zero Sugar 400 bringing an end to the season, drivers knew they had to bring their best. Playoff spots were up for grabs along all three stages of the race. That includes some good, solid drivers that had to fight to continue their seasons. With just 30 laps remaining, three of the top four HAD to win in order to make the playoffs. Daytona is a hell of a place to leave it all on the track.

The third stage brought all the drama it needed to bring. At one point halfway through the stage, three of the top four drivers HAD to take a win in order to move on to the playoffs. Bubba Wallace, Ross Chastain, and Rickey Stenhouse Jr made up those three drivers. They battled back and forth holding their positions against some of the season’s best drivers.

Ryan Blaney Survives Yellow and Red Flags

One thing was for sure, Bubba Wallace and Ross Chastain were battling for their lives. Over the second half of the final stage, they both fought tooth and nail for the win. Of course, Ryan Blaney came away with the win, these other drivers put their playoff hopes on the line and left it all out on the track.

However, heading into lap 40, the peace of the race would be thrown out, and many drivers’ playoffs hope as well. A yellow caution caused the race to shake up with just 15 laps to go when the green flag waved. Bubba Wallace, Ross Chastain, and others fell back pretty far. It ended up almost immediately going back to a yellow caution on lap 46. This caused such a headache in the latter stage for these valiant efforts.

Soon after this wreck, the race went to a red flag due to the incident.

However, for Austin Dillon, this wasn’t the worst news. He survived the wreck and survived to battle for his playoff dreams. His teammate, Tyler Reddick could not say the same, unfortunately. It is never fun to see caution flags on the track and even worse when it ends a racer’s season.

Finally, the race got back on track. The yellow caution went up and drivers slowly made their way around the track. With just three laps remaining, extra laps were added due to another yellow flag. That made way for Ryan Blaney to capture his second straight victory to close the regular season.