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William Byron Starts 2024 Off Right With 1st Daytona 500 Win

William Byron kicked off his 2024 NASCAR Cup Series in style by winning the 2024 Daytona 500.

It is his 11th Cup win and Hendrick Motorsports’ ninth in the Daytona 500, its first since Dale Earnhardt Jr. won in 2014.

The victory came after Ross Chastain and Austin Cindric connected coming to the white flag, bringing out a caution. Alex Bowman had a run past Byron moments before the yellow flew but just missed edging him out due to the timing of the yellow flag, per NASCAR timing and scoring.

“We obviously laid back and tried to save fuel for most of the race, and we would get up there at the end of the stages and make some moves,” Byron told FOX. “I’m just a kid from racing on computers and winning the Daytona 500. I can’t believe it.”

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Behind the two Hendrick cars, Christopher Bell managed to run strong after winning the second Bluegreen Vacations Duel race, finishing third.

A great run for Corey LaJoie saw him finish fourth, while Bubba Wallace rounded out the top five despite late-race fuel issues.

AJ Allmendinger, John Hunter Nemechek, Erik Jones, Noah Gragson and Chase Briscoe completed the top 10.

Stage one was won by Chase Elliott over Kyle Larson and Chastain, the Chevrolet presence foreshadowing Hendrick’s success. The stage win came after Elliott managed to take the lead during green flag pitstops and the Chevrolets implemented some aggressive blocking to ensure control over the lead.

Stage two saw reigning Cup champion Ryan Blaney take the victory after making a move past teammate Austin Cindric, not unlike how Cindric took the checkered at the end of the 2022 running of the 500. The Fords were very fast during stage two, with Briscoe, Josh Berry, Joey Logano, Chris Buescher and Ryan Preece maintaining control of the race alongside Blaney and Justin Haley.

The race was filled with intense two- and three-wide racing throughout, with only two cautions to speak of apart from stages and the final caution. Both came from crashes within 10 laps of the start and finish.

The first crash happened on lap six as a result of Brad Keselowski tapping Nemechek at just the wrong angle, sending him into Harrison Burton. The wreck claimed Carson Hocevar, Burton and Kaz Grala. Jimmie Johnson and Austin Dillon both sustained damage that put them multiple laps down and out of contention for the remainder of the event.

The second crash occurred with only nine laps to go. Almost every driver in the field outside of the top five was involved. Frontrunners Tyler Reddick, Ryan Blaney, Keselowski, Logano, Daniel Suarez, and reigning 500 winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr. were taken out of contention with many more sustaining major damage.

When the race resumed it was Chastain and Byron on the front row, followed by Bowman, Cindric, LaJoie and Elliott, the group of drivers that fought it out to the end.

Daytona 500 Results

The Cup Series continues its young season this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 25. TV coverage will be provided by FOX.

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8 Comments
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Echo

Nice guys do finish 1st. Charter teams hired top antitrust lawyer in the country this weekend.

kb

This is rich, the guy takes out half the field and the top driver(s) and he wins…..WTF!

Echo

Did you miss Brad turning Byron. Obviously you did. Byron didn’t know cause that wreck, pay attention.

Echo

Oops, I meant Bowman started this. Google is putting words in my mouth. Sorry.

Jeremy

I was going to say; Brad was on the yellow line, almost dipping below, and Byron received an untimely shot from Bowman at the same time that put both he and Brad in a bad position. Brad likely didn’t want to go into the corner below the line or on the seam, and Byron did his best to shoot the middle, but Brad came back up and made contact. It happened fast enough I doubt Brad knew he was there. All Byron could do is hold his line and hope for the best.

Drew

I’m not congratulating William Byron on his Daytona 500.

Drew

And I wish I’d never met him at the NASCAR hall of fame autograph session because I would have been very rude to him.

DoninAjax

Byron Hamlined the field. He took out all the contenders and won. Did he say “I deserved to win?”

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