Austin Dillon Wins 60th Daytona 500

during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 60th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2018 in Daytona Beach, Florida.(Getty images)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The wait is over. It’s finally race day as the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season has kicked with the 60th running of the Daytona 500. Now that the green flag has flown drivers are racing for 200 laps in hopes of cementing their place in auto NASCAR history.

2017 Daytona 500 winner Kurt Busch took the first green-and-white checkered as a massive pile up involving William Byron, Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones, Jimmie Johnson, Ty Dillon, Kyle Larson and others out to finish Stage 1 of Sunday’s race.

Can-Am Duel winner Ryan Blaney showed off his restrictor-plate skills, winning Stage 2 after leading an impressive 46 laps. Paul Menard was a surprising second-place finisher in the second stage, ironically driving Blaney’s No. 21 from last season. Blaney’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano finished third.