Austin Dillon on "staying in the moment" to clinch vital win


 As a sports fan, Austin Dillon knows every athlete lives for that clutch moment. Dillon had his Sunday at Daytona International Speedway while giving NASCAR everything it could have hoped when the superspeedway was made the playoff-deciding race.

Dillon rose to the occasion with a walk-off win, in a must-win situation, to earn a spot in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. But it couldn’t have come in any less dramatic fashion.

It wasn’t enough that Daytona was the last chance race, it was that Sunday ended up being one of the most chaotic races in recent memory. Dillon went from spinning down pit road on lap 125 when a crash broke out off of Turn 4 to missing a lap 138 crash in Turn 1 when it started raining.

With Dillon joining his teammate in the playoffs, each organization competing for the championship does so with multiple drivers. Dillon and 10 others will be looking for his first Cup Series championship.

“This is a big win,” he said. “It’s, obviously, awesome, and I’m going to enjoy it and celebrate it and enjoy the fact that we’re going to get to go compete with the top 16 drivers.

“But it’s the next moment, right? You have to look forward to that next one to really see where the company is at because this is a sport. You just level yourself off of everyone constantly. You’re constantly being judged against the guy next to you.

“So, right now it feels really good. We came out on top. But we got 10 more weeks of this.

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