The Daytona 500 ended in a fiery crash on the final lap of the race, setting up an upset win by driver Michael McDowell.
McDowell was a 100-1 underdog to win heading into the race after going 0-for in his other 357 career NASCAR Cup Series starts. McDowell was fortunate enough to come out of the crash without getting involved. Brad Keselowski started the crash by tapping leader and teammate Joey Logano as Logano tried to block.
McDowell barely avoided contact to move into first place, and came away as the winner.
“My plan was to stick to the 2 car,” McDowell said after the race. “I knew he would go for a race-winning move, and my plan was to let him make that move and then coming off of 4 to try to get to his outside or inside. I knew I didn’t want to make my move too early, so I was committed to the 2 car’s bumper, and when he made the move, the hole opened up. It’s just unbelievable.”
The win occurred after a 5-hour, 40-minute rain delay following a 16-car crash on Lap 14. By the time the final stretch of the race began there were already 11 cars out of contention.
As for the final crash, Fox’s NASCAR broadcast had a solid breakdown of everything that happened.
It appeared for a moment as if Chase Elliott had taken the lead from McDowell, but Fox freeze-framed the “moment of caution” and it showed McDowell clearly was in the lead when the caution flag was waved.
Photos of the crash show a fiery scene, but thankfully everyone involved came out safely.
Here’s one final look at the wreck and damage in slow motion.