Auto racing roundup: Ryan Blaney, Austin Dillon earn last two spots in Cup Series playoffs

AP photo by Phelan M. Ebenhack / Richard Childress Racing driver Austin Dillon, right, celebrates by sliding on the infield grass with some of his crew members after winning Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway.


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Austin Dillon's wife was doing a rain dance during a lengthy weather delay in hopes of getting the skies to open up again and wash out the rest of the race.

"I got upset," Dillon said. "I said, 'Don't be doing that.'"

There was no jinxing this one.

Dillon avoided a massive wreck in the rain to take the lead before a red flag, then returned more than three hours later to finish off an improbable victory at Daytona International Speedway and snag a playoff spot in the NASCAR Cup Series regular-season finale Sunday.

He passed Team Penske's Austin Cindric with three laps to go, and the Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Chevrolet was unchallenged down the stretch. It was an aggressive move that capped a drama-filled race and set off a wild celebration for a team that's usually a factor at Daytona.

"It's