Austin Dillon Relieved to Avoid the Bubba Wallace-Talladega Narrative After his Playoff Sealing Win at Daytona

Published 08/30/2022, 2:10 PM EDT
Aug 28, 2022; Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Austin Dillon (3) celebrate in victory lane after winning the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

On Sunday, the final regular season race concluded with Austin Dillon winning. In the process, he snatched one of two available Playoff berths, with Ryan Blaney grabbing the other one.

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However, this race was a bit controversial because the heavens opened suddenly and chaos ensued.

In the end though, Dillon survived the melee and eventually emerged victorious. Just like how Bubba Wallace won at Talladega last year.

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When asked if there is extra satisfaction in winning the race straight up, the driver said, “For sure. I’ve got four wins in the Cup Series. Each one of them mean something different to me for different reasons.”

“The Texas one where I had multiple restarts and had to win and cross the chequered flag was probably, one from the driver’s standpoint, one of the most important ones to me.”

“Now this one too, to go through all that, to be able to be clutch in the moment that mattered, is important. To deliver when you’ve got the opportunity to deliver.”

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The Austin Dillon win could have been like Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win

Admittedly, the two scenarios nearly mirrored each other due to the circumstances. Both races were halted due to inclement weather and forced a delay. Additionally, there was also a massive wreck in both races, and both Wallace and Dillon survived long enough to snatch the lead. The only difference was that the Coke Zero Sugar 400 was eventually resumed for the final few laps.

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Aug 28, 2022; Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Austin Dillon (3) celebrate performs a burnout after winning the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

For Dillon, it was a double delight because he led a Richard Childress Racing 1-2. To make matters even better, Dillon also joined his teammate Tyler Reddick in the Playoffs.

The win was impressive, considering that he started all the way down in 21st place. Of course, one can argue that he got lucky because the crash wiped out many top competitors.

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In the end, what’s done is done, and he is in the Playoffs for the fifth time in his career. At the same time, the win is his fourth career triumph in the NASCAR Cup Series. It comes after his maiden career win at Charlotte in 2017, the 2018 Daytona 500 and at the Texas Motor Speedway in 2020.

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Dhruv George

13604 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Motorsports author for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

Edited By: Ranvijay Singh

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