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NASCAR: First Leg of Round of 16 This Weekend in Martinsville

Austin Dillon passed Austin Cindric with three laps to go after a 3 hour, 20 minute red flag rain delay season finale at Daytona and earned his way into the playoffs with his first victory in 79 races.


The race, moved from Saturday to Sunday because of rain, was stopped with 21 laps remaining after the rain came and produced a 15-car crash. 


Ryan Blaney earned the only spot in the playoffs for a non-race-winner by three points over Martin Truex Jr. 


Dillon was the 16th unique race winner of the season. But Kurt Busch, who won in May at Kansas, won’t contend in the playoffs after 23XI Racing withdrew the medical waiver that was holding his spot as he recovers from a concussion. 


Brad Keselowski’s string of making the playoffs nine straight years ended; it was the longest in the series. 


Only five of 37 cars at Daytona avoided crashing.


Denny Hamlin won after starting second in the playoff race last year. 


Practice and qualifying is at noon on Saturday and the green flag drops at 5 pm on Sunday evening. 


Jeremy Clements passed Austin Hill on the third and final overtime restart to win at rain- and crash-plagued Daytona, his first victory in five years and one that assured him a spot in the XFinity Series playoffs.


Clements only other career victory came on Aug. 27, 2017, or 164 starts ago. He became just the eighth series regular to win a race this season with three events remaining in the regular season. 


Eighteen of the 38 cars that started the race were already in the garage when the race, delayed nearly three hours at the start, ended around 1:30 a.m. 


With eight of the 12 playoff spots accounted for, the four non-winners in position to make the postseason are Riley Herbst, Sam Mayer, Daniel Hemric and Landon Cassill.


Noah Gragson won after starting eighth last year in the fall race. 


Practice and qualifying is at 9 am on Saturday morning and the green flag drops at 2 pm on Saturday afternoon. 


The Camping World Truck Series resumes it's playoffs next Friday night at Kansas.

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