Rain, Wrecks & New Winner at Daytona Set NASCAR Playoff Grid [VIDEO]

It was going to be a “Saturday Night Under the Lights” NASCAR Race at Daytona to end the 2022 Cup Series Regular Season. However, Mother Nature had other plans. Sunday both drivers and Mother Nature got aggressive to again change the plans for the post-season.

Saturday night (8/27) rain at Daytona International Speedway forced NASCAR to postpone the Coke Zero Sugar 400 to Sunday morning (8/28). When the race started, the drivers got to battling at around 200 mph. The first of four accidents to involve six or more cars took place just 32 laps into the race.

The action at the front of the field was exciting as well with 19 different drivers exchanging the lead 39 times. Chase Elliott led the most laps at 39. However, it was Joey Logano scoring the win in stage one and Kyle Busch winning stage two.

The final caution of the race took place with just 21 laps remaining in the race. It involved most of the leading cars essentially eliminating their chances to win. Austin Dillon was able to slip through the wrecking cars (all 13 of them), to emerge as the leader of the race for the first time. The cause of the wreck was rain starting on the track. The clouds opened up causing the race to be red flagged for 3 hours and 19 minutes.

When the race restarted Austin Dillon lost the lead to Austin Cindric for 13 laps. However, Dillon was able to bump Cindric, cause him to get loose and regain the lead. He held that lead for the final three laps to claim the win and earn a spot in the NASCAR Playoffs that start next week.

Tyler Reddick finished in second with Austin Cindric being relegated to a third-place finish. Landon Cassill and Noah Gragson rounded out the top five in fourth and fifth respectively. See the complete race results for the Coke Zero Sugar 400 here.

With a new winner for 2022 that left only one spot available in the post-season to be filled by points. Even though Ryan Blaney was involved the very first wreck of the race, he was able to earn enough points to beat Martin Truex Jr. by three points to claim the 16th spot in the 2022 Cup Series Playoffs.

Here are the 16 drivers that will have a shot at winning the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Championship listed in their ranked positions to start the Playoffs.

1 – Chase Elliott – 2,040 points
2 – Joey Logano – 2,025 points
3 – Ross Chastain – 2,020 points
4 – Kyle Larson – 2,019 points
5 – William Byron – 2,014 points
6 – Denny Hamlin – 2,013 points
7 – Ryan Blaney – 2,013 points
8 – Tyler Reddick – 2,012 points
9 – Kevin Harvick – 2,012 points
10 – Christopher Bell – 2,011 points
11 – Kyle Busch – 2,010 points
12 – Chase Briscoe – 2,009 points
13 – Daniel Suarez – 2,007 points
14 – Austin Cindric – 2,006 points
15 – Alex Bowman – 2,006 points
16 – Austin Dillon – 2,005 points

The 10-race NASCAR post-season begins with the Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway as the first race in the three-race Round of 16 Sunday evening, September 4th.

By: Buck Stevens

Buck Stevens