Multi-car pileup in closing laps of Daytona 500

With the laps winding down in the Daytona 500, the pushing, shoving and tight-quarter action that defines restrictor plate racing led to the inevitable big one.

“Speedway racing again,” Joey Logano said. “It’s a lot of fun until this happens.”

As the field zoomed down the backstretch at Daytona International Speedway, Brad Keselowski moved from the outside line to the bottom to overtake race leader Ross Chastain. Meanwhile, Alex Bowman and William Byron, who spent the previous laps on the bottom line, got shuffled up to the middle line and worked their way up to the front. The last bump wasn’t squared up and Byron’s car wiggled, hooked Keselowski and triggered a 23-car pileup at the entrance of Turn 3.

It capped off a miserable Speedweeks for the reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion who wrecked his primary car, Thursday, in the Bluegreen Vacations Duels.

“You’re kind of always watching when you’re in there and especially if you’re on top you can kind of watch and see how well their pushes are and it just looked like the 48 kind of got the 24 out of shape and just happened to get the 6 in the right-rear and unfortunately we were in the top lane,” Blaney said.

After the initial hit, he grabbed his wrist.

“I had my initial wreck and then my wheel grabbed something,” he said. “I usually let go of the wheel, but I didn’t think I needed to and it just tweaked it a little bit. It’s all good.”

He and Logano led a combined 57 of 200 laps and were in position to deliver Team Penske its second Daytona 500 victory. On the back of a ninth-month stretch of marquee victories for Roger Penske.

“It’s part of it,” Logano said. “You’re pushing and shoving there at the end. We had the cars that could take it and were doing really well. I had Blaney behind me. I thought, ‘Man, if I could pick one, that’s the one I want. I’m in a great position here’ and just had to find the right opportunity to slip the 1 again because the 6 wasn’t working with us, so I felt if I could keep the 12 with me I’m gonna be in a decent spot, but it just didn’t work out.

For Keselowski, the winningest active plate racer in the Cup Series (seven), he remains winless in his 15th attempt to win NASCAR’s crown jewel.

“It’s just one of those deals,” he said. “We were mixed up in the middle of the soup most of the race. We executed really well in the final stage and put ourselves in position, but that’s just the way Daytona goes.”

Byron and Bowman, whose drafting triggered the wreck, finished first and second.

“Yeah, I feel really bad about that because I feel like that was — things were getting really intense with the pushes, and I felt like it was getting to the point where I couldn’t handle all the pushes, and you just try to get through those moments,” he said.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Tucker White
Tucker White
I've followed NASCAR for well over 20 years of my life, both as a fan and now as a member of the media. As of 2024, I'm on my ninth season as a traveling NASCAR beat writer. For all its flaws and dumb moments, NASCAR at its best produces some of the best action you'll ever see in the sport of auto racing. Case in point: Kyle Larson's threading the needle pass at Darlington Raceway on May 9, 2021. On used-up tires, racing on a worn surface and an aero package that put his car on the razor's edge of control, Larson demonstrated why he's a generational talent. Those are the stories I want to capture and break down. In addition to NASCAR, I also follow IndyCar and Formula 1. As a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, and a graduate of the University of Tennessee, I'm a diehard Tennessee Volunteers fan (especially in regards to Tennessee football). If covering NASCAR doesn't kill me, down the road, watching Tennessee football will. I'm also a diehard fan of the Atlanta Braves, and I lived long enough to see them win a World Series for the first time since 1995 (when I was just a year old). I've also sworn my fan allegiance to the Nashville Predators, though that's not paid out as much as the Braves. Furthermore, as a massive sports dork, I follow the NFL on a weekly basis. Though it's more out of an obligation than genuine passion (for sports dorks, following the NFL is basically an unwritten rule). Outside of sports, I'm a major cinema buff and a weeb. My favorite film is "Blazing Saddles" and my favorite anime is "Black Lagoon."


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