Austin Dillon honors Dale Earnhardt Sr. after 2018 Daytona 500 win
Austin Dillon took the No. 3 car back to victory lane Sunday at Daytona 20 years after Dale Earnhardt Sr. won the Great American Race.
Dillon, who is the grandson of Earnhardt's former car owner Richard Childress, paid tribute to The Man In Black with his last-lap pass and post-race celebration.
Dillon was trailing leader Aric Almirola in overtime with one lap remaining but like Senior did many times in his 76 career wins, Dillon moved the leader to take the win.
RT TO CONGRATULATE AUSTIN DILLON ON HIS DAYTONA 500 WIN! https://t.co/VmaGgYA312— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) February 18, 2018
Dillon, who was in victory lane for Earnhardt's lone Daytona 500 win in 1998, said after the race his win was for Earnhardt, who passed away after a wreck on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.
"We just had a run and I stayed on the gas," Dillon told Fox Sports after the race. "It's what it is when you're at Daytona. It is so awesome to take the 3 car back to victory lane, 20 years ago. This one's for Dale Earnhardt Senior and all those Senior fans. I love you guys. We're going to keep kicking butt the rest of the year."
Dillon did more than honor Earnhardt with his post-race comments, he also emulated the celebration slide through the grass Earnhardt used back in 1998.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., who retired at the end of last season, was glad to see the No. 3 back in victory lane at Daytona.
Almirola told Fox Sports after the race he wasn't mad Dillon moved him for the win.
“He’s not driving too aggressively, he’s trying to win the Daytona 500 just like I was," Almirola said. "I saw him come with the momentum and I pulled up to block and did exactly what I needed to do to try to win the Daytona 500.
"I wasn’t gonna just let him have it. I wasn’t gonna just stay on the bottom and let him rail the outside, so I blocked and he got to my bumper and pushed and I thought I was still gonna be OK and somehow I got hooked."