Daniel Suarez took the win at Atlanta Motor Speedway in a three-wide finish at the line.

On the last lap, Ryan Blaney was out front with Kyle Busch and Suarez side by side in his mirrors. Busch and Suarez moved to the outside of Blaney simultaneously, creating a three car drag race around the final two corners and down the front straightaway.

Suarez held his line on the outside and beat Blaney on the bottom by .003 seconds. Busch, who was the middle car, finished just .007 seconds behind Suarez.

It goes down as one of the closest finishes in NASCAR history, capping off a race that was messy from the start.

The crashes got started early, with a 14 car pileup on lap two damaging top contenders. More crashes followed, primarily in the final stage. Four cautions for crashes were called in the final 60 laps, one of them turning into a red flag.

The onslaught of incidents put a damper on an otherwise action-packed race, especially considering the historically close finish. 

For Suarez, it’s the second victory of his career, and an unlikely one considering he was caught up in the lap two incident. This season is crucial for Suarez to keep his ride at Trackhouse Racing, and he’s gotten it off to a good start.

“What a job. We wrecked lap two, and the guys did an amazing job fixing this car. I can’t thank everyone enough,” Suarez said.

For Blaney, he felt there was not much else he could have done to take the win. The reigning champion has been in a fair share of photo finishes during his career, seeing both ends of the spectrum. Unfortunately for him Sunday at Atlanta, he saw the bad end of the spectrum.

I’ve won them by very, very little, too,” Blaney said. “So I can’t complain too much when I lose them by that much.”

After two weeks of superspeedway style racing, NASCAR will finally head to a more normal race track in Las Vegas. For many drivers who have gotten caught up in the carnage at both Daytona and Atlanta, that race cannot come soon enough.


Tagline – “The Cooldown Lap,” written by Jon Wenger, takes you through the world of motorsports each week. Wenger discusses the recent events in various racing divisions.