Who gained the Daytona 500? Full outcomes, 2021 NASCAR Season Inaugural Race Winner

The 2021 Daytona 500 winner was only in the lead at the end of the race after a heavy fall on the final lap opened the way for him to drive through.

Michael McDowell was chasing front runners (and Penske teammates) Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski on lap 200 of the 200-lap race when Logano and Keselowski collapsed and NASCAR subsequently turned on the warning lights. McDowell was a car’s length ahead of Chase Elliott at the time of caution, giving him the lead and race win. He crossed the start-finish line first after earning his first win in the Cup series in his 358th career start.

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

“What a great way to get a first win – in the Daytona 500!”

McDowell, who only led the final lap of the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway, is the eighth driver to claim his maiden cup win at the Great American Race. His win is the third for Front Row Motorsports – all in the # 34 Ford with three different drivers: David Ragan in Talladega, Chris Buescher in Pocono and McDowell in Daytona.

The win also qualified McDowell for the round of 16 of the playoffs of the Cup series.

Meanwhile, Keselowski threw his gloves and helmet in frustration after getting out of his badly damaged car.

“Had a big rebound, went to the pass to win the Daytona 500, and it ended really badly,” he told Fox Sports. “I don’t feel like I made a mistake, but I can’t drive everyone else’s car.” It was unclear whether Keselowski was referring to Logano, who seemed to be blocking him, or McDowell, who nudged him just before the wreck.

“The chaos struck,” Logano told Fox Sports. “The 2 (Keselowski) kept trying to secure themselves to get a run, (I) tried to secure with him to keep the run from getting too big. I think he got back on that 34 (McDowell) and It was a really big run coming my way and it seemed like we all just collided in one place.

McDowell said he could get through because his car and Keselowski were “separated” during the shock just before the wreck. “Otherwise I would have been right on 2,” he said.

“The way these runs work, sometimes when you hit a guy, you push him out a little and you break away from him,” McDowell continued. “Brad and I had a great run and I was on his bumper and then he pulled down and I got a bit detached from him and then he and 22 (Logano) got together.”

The wild end on early Monday crowned a marathon racing day bracketed by large wrecks.

Mother Nature reluctantly allowed NASCAR Cup Series drivers to start a new season. Bad weather loomed above the 500 on Sunday, and the rain over Daytona Beach, Florida caused nearly six hours of delay.

Sporting News followed live updates and lap-by-lap highlights of the Daytona 500. For the full results of the 2021 NASCAR season opener, please see below.

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

MORE: Watch NASCAR Races Live with fuboTV (7 Day Free Trial)

Daytona 500 results 2021

(Official order of completion)

Item driver
1. Michael McDowell
2. Chase Elliott
3. Austin Dillon
4th Kevin Harvick
5. Denny Hamlin
6. Ryan Preece
7th Ross Chastain
8th. Jamie McMurray
9. Corey LaJoie
10. Kyle Larson
11. Cole Custer
12th Joey Logano
13. Brad Keselowski
14th Kyle Busch
15th Austin Cindric
16. Christopher Bell
17th Bubba Wallace
18th Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
19th Chase Briscoe
20th Joey Gase
21. Cody ware
22nd Kurt Busch
23 BJ McLeod
24. Josh Bilicki
25th Martin Truex Jr.
26th William Byron
27 Tyler Reddick
28. Kaz Grala
29 Quin Houff
30th 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 live updates, highlights from the 2021 race

(All times east)

12:16 am – A huge, fiery fall in the final lap brings out front runners Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski and gives Michael McDowell the opportunity to win NASCAR’s most important event with caution.

00:10 am – Up to 10 laps remaining. It’s time to leave.

midnight – Unscheduled green flag stop for Bubba Wallace; Fox Sports reports that it told its crew that its car was vibrating. Right tire for the 23er who goes down a lap.

11:55 pm – The last stops of the night with the green flag begin in lap 170, with each manufacturer group pitting separately.

11:45 p.m. – The calm before the storm. Denny Hamlin is still leading, and everyone else is behind him.

11:35 pm – Denny Hamlin performs at 52 to go. The field runs a single file on the high side before the serious race begins.

11:20 pm – Denny Hamlin wins the second stage of the Daytona 500 and builds on his first stage win. The top 10 of the stage: Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Bubba Wallace, Chase Elliott, Austin Dillon, Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Ryan Preece and Austin Cindric.

There are only 70 laps left in this year’s Great American Race. It’s going to be wild soon.

11:05 pm – A frightening moment when the right rear end of Kaz Grala’s car catches fire in the pit lane. Security forces are there to put it out. Grala was one of the drivers involved in the wreck caused by Bell. Amazingly, Grala tried to keep racing before being told to stop for the night.

23 o’clock – – CAUTION NO. 5. Christopher Bell causes a multiple vehicle wreck when his rear left tire fails. Kyle Larson is one of the roughly half a dozen drivers. Bubba Wallace escapes and is ranked second at the time of the yellow.

10:55 p.m. – Kyle Larson is the leader after all pit stops. Less than 20 laps in phase 2.

10:45 p.m. – In the second half of the 2nd stage pit stops with a green flag are imminent. (Oh, by the way, the race is official now after we left lap 100 behind.)

10:30 p.m. – The worst of the rain seems to be behind us, but there are some concerns about the fog.

10:10 p.m. – Denny Hamlin reaches the first stage of the Daytona 500. The rest of the top 10:

Top 10 in stage 1 at the # Daytona500:

1. Hamlin
2. Preece
3. Dillon
4. Larson
5. Cindric
6. Bell
7. Wallace
8. Logano
9. Chastain
10. Custer

– Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) February 15, 2021

9:55 pm – OK, turn off yellow for green. Can we be careful guys please?

9:45 p.m. – And the yellow flag is back on lap 38. Quin Houff is out of the race.

9:35 pm – Waving green flag. On lap 30 we are in full swing.

9:20 pm – Well that seems problematic. At the moment still under the yellow flag.

Truex says there are puddles on the wall in areas where water leaks under the barrier.

– Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) February 15, 2021

“It will take a while, the track is still wet. You don’t need to hear it from me, everyone else is probably yelling at you. But I see moisture in different places ”- Ross Chastain | #NASCAR

– Kelly Crandall (@KellyCrandall) February 15, 2021

9:05 pm – A quick look back at where we will be as the reboot approaches:

15/200

Currently out of the race:

Derrike Cope, Aric Almirola, David Ragan, Ryan Blaney, Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones, Alex Bowman and Ryan Newman

– Matt Weaver (@MattWeaverAW) February 15, 2021

8:20 pm – Hey, it’s a restart time! This could actually happen.

7:55 pm – Trend in the right direction …

“Only one light scatters through 3 and 4,” reports a truck from the tower.

– Matt Weaver (@MattWeaverAW) February 15, 2021

“Light scatters all around, but we are not losing progress,” reports a truck to the tower.

– Matt Weaver (@MattWeaverAW) February 15, 2021

6:50 pm – The Air Titans are back on track, but NASCAR hasn’t released any additional details about a possible restart time.

6:20 pm – Good news: there might be a window between the rain waves to dry the track. Bad news: this second wave could be ugly.

5:15 pm – OK, this rain really needs to cool off for a minute.

NASCAR’s “Lufttitanen” track drying system began to blow water off the track. A few minutes later, the rain returned and NASCAR stopped drying the track. pic.twitter.com/fGAgCR5IYA

– Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) February 14, 2021

4:55 pm – Chase Briscoe hits the Panda Express drive-through while delayed. A real movement of strength.

4:10 p.m. – So that’s not ideal.

3:55 pm – After only 15 laps, the Air Titans are on the road with the Daytona 500 under the red flag. Kevin Harvick is the current leader.

3:40 pm – Here is a full list of drivers who were involved in the crash on lap 14, according to 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 pm – And now a red flag because of a light strike. What a wild start.

RED FLAG: Lightning strike nearby. The race is interrupted for at least 30 minutes. #NASCAR

– Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) February 14, 2021

3:25 pm – Whoa. We have a major accident involving at least a dozen cars.

3:10 p.m. – The warning flag goes high after Derrike Cope hits the wall on round 3. He’s ready for the day.

3 pm – A new season. Daytona 500th Pit Bull. Here we go.

2.40 p.m. – Let’s hope these rain clouds are floating right next to the track.

When does the Daytona 500 start?

The Daytona 500 will start broadcasting on Sunday, February 14th at 2:30 p.m. (CET), but the race itself may not start until around 3:00 p.m. (CET). It will take place at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.

MORE: I remember Dale Earnhardt’s fatal crash in Daytona 20 years later

Daytona 500 starting grid 2021

Wednesday’s pole qualifying was the front row for the Daytona 500, with Alex Bowman winning and William Byron setting the second-fastest lap. The results of Thursday’s duel races won by Aric Almirola and Austin Dillon made up the rest of the field.

Start pos. driver
1. Alex Bowman
2. William Byron
3. Aric Almirola
4th Austin Dillon
5. Christopher Bell
6. Bubba Wallace
7th Ryan Newman
8th. Kevin Harvick
9. Joey Logano
10. Kyle Busch
11. Ryan Preece
12th Chase Elliott
13. Kyle Larson
14th David Ragan
15th Daniel Suarez
16. Corey LaJoie
17th Michael McDowell
18th David Regan
19th Jamie McMurray
20th Kurt Busch
21. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
22nd Chris Buescher
23 Matt DiBenedetto
24. Brad Keselowski
25th Denny Hamlin
26th Martin Truex Jr.
27 Cole Custer
28. Joey Gase
29 Tyler Reddick
30th 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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