Teammates Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman led the field to green at the 64th running of the Daytona 500, but the Chevy show didn’t last for long. Several of the NASCAR Next Gen Camaros struggled throughout the 500-mile race, and Austin Cindric in the No. 2 Ford Mustang ultimately earned the victory.
Brad Keselowski, fresh off his Duel qualifying race victory in his No. 6 Ford, quickly assumed the lead as the Camaros got shuffled back. Eventually, rookie Harrison Burton in the No. 21 Ford ended up in front of Keselowski. For a few laps, the two locked bumpers, and Keselowski gave Burton a shove going down the Daytona Superstretch. The No. 21 broke loose and rolled over, triggering a dramatic crash that damaged quite a few dominant cars, including the Chevys of William Byron and outside polesitter Alex Bowman. Burton was unharmed, but walked away disappointed from his first Daytona 500.
Martin Truex Jr. in the No. 19 Toyota showed the way to the first and second stage wins. Meanwhile, Keselowski and the Fords showed muscle throughout the race while the Chevys continued to struggle. Chase Elliott in the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro had an issue exiting his pit stall and ended up at the tail end of the field. Larson also experienced a similar issue, putting him deep in the pack and dashing his hopes of winning the Daytona 500 from the pole position.
With 49 laps left, Tyler Reddick’s No. 8 Camaro spun in front of the field, collecting Truex and several other cars. When the race restarted, Keselowski reassumed control, but quickly found himself under fire from the No. 2 of Austin Cindric and No. 42 of Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Larson clawed his way back through the field, but contact with Kevin Harvick sent the No. 4 Ford spinning, causing damage to Larson’s No. 5 and Elliott’s No. 9. The red flag was flown, halting the field with 10 laps to go. When the race restarted, Keselowski shoved Stenhouse to the front of the field and turned the No. 42, causing yet another large crash in the Daytona 500.
It all came down to the finish line – Cindric barely edged past the No. 23 of Bubba Wallace for his first Cup win in his first series start in the No. 2 at the Daytona 500. The best finishing Chevrolet was the No. 9 of Chase Elliott, who somehow managed to land 10th place with a damaged race car.