Almirola went from first to 11th as Dillon sailed off to the win in the No. 3 Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway.
20 years after the late Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s victory at the Daytona 500, the No. 3 vehicle was No. 1 once again. The win also comes during the 20th anniversary celebration of Earnhardt's only victory in "The Great American Race".
Coming through Turn 3, race victor Austin Dillon got a run-and ran into the back of the No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford.
The two-time Daytona 500 victor is the grand marshal for Sunday's season-opening race, and once his duties are complete, Earnhardt plans to watch "The Great American Race" from atop the pit box of pole-sitter Alex Bowman.
Dillon was 7 when Earnhardt won his Daytona 500 and was photographed alongside his brother with The Intimidator on that victorious day in 1998.
Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. finished in second place.
"We were sitting in Dad's office in DEI and he said 'You are going to see Ralph Earnhardt talk, and you are going to hear him talk and this is the only footage that exists.' So me and Dad sat there and watched it". We've got a lot of things racked up for the morning with the grand marshal opportunity that I have, and looking forward to that.
"It was the last lap and we're all trying to win the Daytona 500", he said.
Blaney was the runner-up in the Daytona 500 a year ago and came back with a vehicle capable of winning.
"I'm doing everything I can to win the Daytona 500", Almirola said. I know this sounds stupid and I know this sounds corny ... But the significance of everything, I was just kind of celebrating with everybody.
Keselowski has won three of the last eight races at Daytona and Talladega with a stellar 102.4 driver rating.
I Got a Name was originally made famous by Jim Croce and used in the 1973 biopic about the life of legendary Nascar driver, Junior Johnson.
"I thought we could control pretty well from the lead", he said.
When the noise filled the cavern of the Daytona speedway at race's end, you just knew they were giving it up for the good ol' No. 3 leading the one and only lap that mattered - the last one. "I think my teammate, Ryan Blaney, is becoming really good".
Before the race, the Braves legend phoned Wallace to wish him luck. "We're going to keep kicking butt the rest of the year".
Busch appeared to have the advantage after a restart with seven laps remaining, as he pushed past Blaney, but the final crash of the race ended his quest for a repeat.
The final lap was the only one Dillon led the entire race, just as Kurt Busch did in 2017. The lucky penny the little girl gave him is still on the dash of the vehicle at the RCR museum.