Last year’s dramatic last-lap win of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500 produced one of the most talked about finishes in recent memory. Driving the iconic No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for his grandfather Richard Childress – the same car that the late Dale Earnhardt won the 500 with in 1998 – Austin Dillon maneuvered past final-lap contact to take the checkered flag.
This year he will try to become only the fourth driver in history to win back-to-back Daytona 500s. The last time it happened was 1994-95 with Sterling Marlin – the first two Cup Series victories of Marlin’s career. Only three drivers in history have won back-to-back Daytona 500s – joining Marlin are Richard Petty (1973-74) and Cale Yarborough (1983-84).
This year marks the 50th season of NASCAR competition for Childress. He’d like to start the anniversary celebration with a second straight Daytona win. He’s fielding cars for Dillon and Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Daniel Hemric, as well as reigning NASCAR Xfinity Series champion and Xfinity Series full-time driver Tyler Reddick, who is scheduled to make a few Cup starts in 2019. The last team owner to win consecutive Daytona 500s was Rick Hendrick with drivers Jimmie Johnson (2013) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2014). (NASCAR PR)