Dillon drives 3 back to victory in Daytona 500

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 18: Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 DOW Chevrolet, celebrates winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 60th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2018 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Austin Dillon put the No. 3 back in victory lane at Daytona International Speedway. Dillon won in the car number made famous by Dale Earnhardt and won 17 years to the day that the Hall of the Fame driver was killed in a last-lap accident at NASCAR”s famed track.

Dillon also won in the 3 two decades after Earnhardt’s lone victory in the Daytona 500.

“It was so awesome to take the 3 car back to victory lane,” Dillon said. “This is for Dale Earnhardt Sr. and all those Senior fans.”

Dillon even replicated the slide Earnhardt did in 1998 and did a burnout in the shape of a 3 in the infield grass.

Darrell Wallace Jr. finished second, followed by Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Chris Buescher.

“The Big One”

“The Big One” happened late in the Daytona 500.

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 18: Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford, and Alex Bowman, driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, are involved in an on-track incident with several other cars during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 60th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2018 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

Ryan Blaney spun defending race winner Kurt Busch with two laps to go in regulation, settling off a 12-car melee that included several top contenders.

Pole-sitter Alex Bowman, defending series champion Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Darrell Wallace Jr., Brendan Gaughan, AJ Allmendinger, Jeffrey Earnhardt and Matt DiBenedetto also were caught up in the crash.