William Byron makes history with Hendrick Motorsports after winning chaotic Daytona 500

William Byron makes history with Hendrick Motorsports after winning chaotic Daytona 500

William Byron kicked off Hendrick Motorsports’ 40th anniversary season with a victory in Monday’s rain-delayed Daytona 500 Cup race ending the team’s nine-year winless record in the “Great American Race.”

William Byron prevailed in the four-lap shootout under caution following a series of chaotic events in the lead-up to the race as the Daytona 500 was postponed due to rain but finally, the 66th running of the Great American Race took place on Monday in Daytona Beach, Florida.

The last few laps of the historic Daytona 500 were marred by a major incident that had 23 cars crashing into each other resulting in a chaotic mess. Despite the chaos, underdog William Byron managed to win in the culmination of the race.

This came after William Byron took a bump from behind and shoved Brad Keselowski’s car aside, eliminating most of the field with only nine laps remaining. Ross Chastain led the field at the time of the collision, with several cars packed in tight behind.

Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet managed to avoid another collision during the final lap after the last caution was sounded and his car led the pack. He secured the victory because his car had driven past the white flag, signaling the end of the race.

Alex Bowman trailed his teammate closely at the moment of caution as Hendrick secured a one-two finish marking the organization’s first win in the Great American Race since 2013. The race included five cautions and 41 lead changes, with 20 different drivers leading the field.

Early on, Logano traded the lead with fellow Ford driver Michael McDowell, who had started second. Chase Elliott won the opening stage after several other drivers made a dash to the top. The second stage was claimed by Ryan Blaney.

Before the big crash, which sent rubber and metal flying across the road and clouds of smoke billowing into the air, several of the top drivers were still in the running for Daytona 500 victory.

Following a close call with the multi-car crash, Chastain and Bowman joined Byron in the final battle. Byron was leading as the cars raced towards the white flag with only two laps remaining. Austin Cindric attempted to hold off LaJoie, but the field went three wide behind the race leader and crashed into each other.

As the pack neared the start-finish line, Chastain attempted to capitalize on the attention created by the Cindric-LaJoie clash to his left by slipping through a tiny gap. However, Cindric’s closeout was overly violent and he gave Chastain a tap, which caused both cars to drift through the grass.

Christopher Bell ran third, followed by Corey LaJoie, Bubba Wallace and AJ Allmendinger.

The 2024 Cup Series will continue with the Ambetter Health 400 on Sunday in Hampton, Ga. The race, held at Atlanta Motor Speedway, will air at 2:30 p.m. EST on Fox.

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