Austin Dillon: “The last lap of the Daytona 500, you just don’t lift.”
Austin Dillon and Bubba Wallace created an ECR train down the back stretch on the final lap of the Daytona 500. Aric Almirola threw a block on that train.
The end result was Aric Almirola getting turned down the back stretch. Austin Dillon then went on to win the 60th running of the Daytona 500.
“When we caught the #10, he tried to block. I just had a lot of momentum. The last lap of the Daytona 500, you just don’t lift. Actually, the last couple laps. We’re lucky to get through there.”
Aric Almirola said he understood what Austin Dillon did in the final lap of the 2018 Daytona 500. However, people online and in the social media comments on this very website are pretty upset with the move.
Jeff Gluck asked a great question. What other options did you have?
“I guess I could have lifted and gave it to him. I guess that was my other option. Give up a Daytona 500 ring.”
“I’m glad he’s not mad. If he needs to do it to me at Talladega, for every body to feel good — I got a Daytona 500 championship trophy, I don’t care.”
“I got the #3 back in victory lane at Daytona. It feels pretty good.”
This race marked the 20th anniversary of Dale Earnhardt Sr’s first and only Daytona 500 victory.
Bob Pockrass asked, How close did you come to wrecking yourself on that last lap?
“I don’t even remember Bob. I just remember knowing that I wasn’t going to lift. It just happened, it worked out and we won the race.”
“I remember catching the wheel after it hit him. I just thought we were going to race back. I was looking in the mirror the whole time back.”
“Houston didn’t say that it was the checkered flag. He never does. We usually don’t count very well together.”
“I ask him every race, ‘How many laps to go?’ He gives me the wrong number. It’s kind of a running joke on our math skills.”
“I don’t know. I had such a run and I had to use it. If I lift right there, I get run over out the back too. It’s part of this place.”
Catch Fence crash
In 2015, Austin Dillon was brought to a halt at Daytona by a pole in the catch fence.
“I’ve been run over and in the catch fence and not mad after the race because it’s just part of it. Your eyes roll back in your head and you said, ‘Dont lift.’ Everybody does it.”
“You just hope you’re the one that comes out on the good part of it. Sometimes, you don’t. Aric and the #42 wrecked against the wall and it took me out in the Xfinity race.”
“This is crazy racing. That’s why people love to show up for it.”
Austin Dillon recalled the catch fence incident from Daytona. He said doesn’t understand how he can just walk away from an accident like that.
“This place makes you nervous. If it didn’t make you nervous, something would be wrong, I think.”
2018 DAYTONA 500 VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
FEBRUARY 18, 2018
NASCAR CUP SERIES
Related: 2018 Daytona 500 Results