Austin Cindric won his first-ever NASCAR Cup Series race in only his eighth career start and second in the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20 by barely nipping out 23XI Racing driver Bubba Wallace by a nose. Following him to the line were Chase Briscoe, Ryan Blaney and Aric Almirola, who earned a top-five finish in his last Daytona 500 as a full-time driver.
Cindric is the first rookie to win the Daytona 500 since Trevor Bayne in 2011.
One year ago, Brad Keselowski’s frustration was visible.
As the final laps of the Daytona 500 ticked away, Keselowski made a bold move to set himself up for a last-lap pass for the lead on his Team Penske teammate Joey Logano. But when Logano blocked Keselowski’s path forward, Keselowski got hit from behind by Michael McDowell, triggering a frightening crash that knocked out both Penske cars. McDowell went on to win the race, leaving Keselowski without a Harley J. Earl Trophy for at least one more year.
With the field splintering into small packs during the Daytona 500 qualifying races and the only major Duels incident on the final lap of the night, how much will the main event reflect the twin 150-mile races from Thursday? Were hosts Bryan Nolen and Adam Cheek surprised by Kaz Grala and Greg Biffle securing the final transfer spots among unchartered teams? And who has the edge among the top drivers entering Sunday’s Great American Race?
The duo discuss these topics and more in a pre-Daytona 500 edition of Stock Car Scoop.