It felt like nearly ever car with four wheels and a seat got caught up in the massive wreck at Daytona International Speedway with 23 laps to go in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 Sunday. Denny Hamlin, Daniel Suarez and Chase Elliott are just a few of the drivers going home early. Austin Dillon, meanwhile, is perhaps on his way to the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Austin Dillon’s No. 3 car made it through the carnage and was in the lead at the time of the caution.
With the Red Flag out due to inclement weather, Dillon would be the official winner if the race is called. His first victory of the season would punch his ticket to the playoffs and knock the winless Ryan Blaney out.
But to put himself in that position, he had to avoid the accident in front of him. He revealed how he managed to do just that while speaking with NASCAR reporter Alex Weaver.
“The good Lord just parted the seas for us there,” Dillon said. “Fortunate I got to the apron and I really thought and was hoping no one would come across that apron. And I got down on it pretty quick, was able to catch a down-shift about midway through the corner and that slowed me up enough to miss the 21 [Harrison Burton] and that was pretty much the big part of it for us is when the 21 checked there — trying to get that right front corner by him and we just squeezed by and got back on the track.”
Austin Dillon Looking to Get Back Into Playoffs
Austin Dillon, 32, is looking to clinch his first playoff berth since 2020. The win would be the fourth of his nine-year tenure in the Cup Series. He’s recorded three top fives and seven top 10s this season, but hasn’t found himself in front often. He led just eight laps coming into Daytona — but his latest will by far be the most important of his season.