Feb 19, 2024; Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver William Byron (24) reacts after winning the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

William Byron Claims Dramatic Daytona 500 victory

William Byron made history Monday at the Daytona International Speedway, winning the race that started his NASCAR Cup Series career six years prior, the Daytona 500.

Byron enters superstar status by winning the 2024 edition of the “Great American Race.”

Back and Forth Action

Byron’s victory by no means tells the full story of this year’s Daytona 500.

The race, which was delayed from Sunday due to inclement weather, contained 41 leads changes across 20 different drivers. This included five unique leaders in the final 20 laps of the race.

Joey Logano, driving the No. 22 Ford car, led the race for 45 laps. However, he ended the night 33rd after a collision involving Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet car triggered a 23-car crash. After a chaotic push to the final lap left Byron ahead of the pack, he crossed the finish line under caution, waiting to be declared the winner.

Byron Breaks the Curse in the Daytona 500

Byron accomplished a feat that his sponsor, Hendrick Motorsports, had not seen from one of its drivers in a decade. Since Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s victory in the 2014 Daytona 500, no Hendrick Motorsports driver had won the race.

Now, Byron becomes the sixth driver to win the 500 for Rick Hendrick, the winningest team owner in NASCAR history.

Byron Becomes a Star

William Byron, a 26-year-old North Carolina native, did not get the early start on racing that most modern drivers do.

Instead, Byron started out on the iRacing simulator game as a teenager before his father introduced him to real-life stock car races in 2012.

Nonetheless, Byron has quickly ascended into the top-ranks of NASCAR. Holding 11 wins in 217 Cup Series starts, he is now immortalized as the 66th winner of the “Great American Race” on Monday.

Season Starts Now

Monday’s race was just the beginning of a long, rigorous season, as the 500 marks the start of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series.

Next in the series is the 2024 Ambetter Health 400, which will be held Sunday at 1 p.m.

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