Earnhardt wins as Dillon flips into fence at Daytona

Dillon walks away after violent wreck involving at least 13 cars.

The Coke Zero 400 went into overtime with one of the most spectacular finishes at the “Birthplace of Speed” early Monday morning.

Sam Hornish Jr.’s wreck on the backstretch led to a green-white-checkered finish with Dale Earnhardt Jr. at the point. As the No. 88 crossed the finish line, Kevin Harvick plowed into the back of Denny Hamlin, sent the No. 11 spinning backwards into the No. 3 Chevy and launched Austin Dillon into the fence on the front stretch. 

“Oh my god, holy (crap),” said Earnhardt, watching the melee in his rearview mirror. “Oh my god, did you see that (crap)? Damn, that was awful.”

Dillon ended up on the lid — of what was left of the No. 3 Chevy. He was able to climb from his car as his engine burned in the grass. Dillon, who finished seventh, was released from the infield care center with a bruised tailbone. 

I’m shocked that Austin Dillon is even alive after what he went through.

Jimmie Johnson

“I’m shocked that Austin Dillon is even alive after what he went through,” said Jimmie Johnson who finished second. "Just a frightening moment.  I saw it in the mirror, and man, I expected the worst when I came back around."

Hamlin, Harvick and Kurt Busch rounded out the top five finishers. CLICK HERE for view of accident from the stands.

For Earnhardt, it was his second win of  2015 and his fourth victory at Daytona International Speedway. Earnhardt led 96 of 161 laps on the way to his 25th career Sprint Cup victory.

The race was slowed by nine cautions for 43 laps. There were 22 lead changes among 12 drivers. 

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Event Daytona II
Track Daytona International Speedway
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Kevin Harvick , Jimmie Johnson , Austin Dillon
Teams Hendrick Motorsports , Richard Childress Racing
Article type Race report