DAYTONA BEACH, Fla — The “Big One” strikes again. The first 182 laps of the rain delayed Daytona 500 went without a hitch. The race on Sunday was rain delayed by an hour before getting only 20 laps in prior to a couple of more rain showers ended the day early.
For just the second time in the 62 year history of the Great American Race, the event was raced on a Monday. In this race, we only saw five cautions in the first 182 laps, two for stage breaks, one of rain and two more for incidents.
But, as the laps clicked off in the final stage, you could tell the “Big One” was brewing. On the 182nd lap all hell unleashed when Joey Logano was bump drafting Aric Almirola in front too hard and Almirola got into the back of Logano’s Team Penske teammate of Brad Keselowski was a result.
Eight days ago in the Busch Clash, Keselowski was furious with Logano when he made unnecessary and “dumb, dumb” blocks towards the end of the 18 car, 75-Lap preseason all-star event.
Keselowski, said that he wouldn’t be speaking to Logano any time soon as he was going to Disney World for a couple of days before coming back to Daytona for Media Day on Wednesday. During Media Day, Keselowski and Logano did admit that they did speak and let bygones be bygones.
Now, Logano sparks another crash that takes out Keselowski.
Since Keselowski’s 2018 Clash win, he’s finished 16th or worse in 13 of his last 14 superspeedway starts. In the Daytona 500, the Michigan native will now be 0-for-11 with eight of them being 20th or worse.
Also, this would be Johnson’s final start in the annual season opener as he announced last November that the 2020 season would be his last full time effort. Johnson, was credited with a place finish as this was his fourth finish of 16th or worse in his last five starts in Daytona.
Johnson, hasn’t won a Daytona 500 since 2013 as it was his second career ‘500 triumph (2006). He likely ends his Daytona 500 career with 19 starts, seven top five finishes and eight top 10’s.
The California native started his Daytona 500 career with four top five finishes in his first five tries but has only three in his last 14th.
That wasn’t it. From Laps 183 through the final lap on 209, we’d see five crashes and two red flags.
A few laps later, we’d see a two-car crash on the backstretch between Reed Sorenson and Timmy Hill. Then, six laps after that, we’d see a nine car crash on Lap 198 that was sparked by Ross Chastain in Turn 1.
On the Lap 203 restart Clint Bowyer, Michael McDowell and Justin Haley were involved in an incident in the tri-oval. After that, the final crash involving Ryan Newman on the last lap gave us the fifth crash in the final 29 laps.