Dale Earnhardt Jr. is grand marshall for Daytona 500

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers watches new girlfriend Danica Patrick race in the Daytona 500

Attrition remains undefeated in the Daytona 500. He wrecked Kurt Busch, the defending race victor, trying to reclaim his lead and the contact damaged Blaney's Ford.

Almirola, who was credited with an 11th-place finish, was in a backup auto after he wrecked in his qualifying race on Thursday. "I'll be taking pictures with Daytona 500 champions for the rest of my life or get together with that group".

Despite being "heart broken" and "devastated" he didn't win, let alone finish the "Great American Race", Almirola held no hard feelings for Dillon afterwards. Dillon slid by and drove onto to victory.

"He got to my back bumper and he was pushing", Almirola said.

"If that was Lap 5, I probably wouldn't have pulled that block, but it was the last lap of the Daytona 500 and I was doing everything I could to try and win", Almirola said.

"I look up to him. [My wife] Whitney is probably the only one that is going to see it for a while".

With two laps left, a big crash knocked Ryan Blaney, Kurt Busch and others out of contention.

"I said my first win (the 2017 Coca-Cola 600) I couldn't beat it, but this does", Dillon said. "I thought we could do it again. It brought us to Victory Lane and I'll never forget that". I just got caught in a Bermuda Triangle it seemed like when Hamlin blocked us. I hate it for the No. 10 (Aric Almirola) guys. "We were close to going back-to-back in the Daytona 500, but I don't have anything to show for it". "It is disappointing for this Lowes team and everyone at Hendrick Motorsports for all the work they put into it", Johnson said.

As for the aggressive move that wrecked Almirola?

Especially for Earnhardt, who recalled how much relief he felt when he first won the Daytona 500 in 2004.

Rounding out the top five after Dillon was Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr., Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Chris Buescher. McDowell and Marks are both one-car-team wonders that about made their season with their strong finishes.

Now its legacy has been lifted even higher with only the third 500 victory for Childress - one by Earnhardt, one by his replacement, Kevin Harvick, and now one by Childress' grandson.

Earnhardt made his first career Cup Series start on May 30, 1999, at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

On Monday, Dillon's auto will be inducted at the track as the Daytona 500 victor. "I don't care. I've got the 3 back in victory lane at Daytona". He was a Daytona 500 threat all the way to the point he ran out of fuel with just less than three laps to go. "This one definitely stings, but hopefully we can get another shot at it one day".



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