William Byron won the 66th Daytona 500 Monday night, putting the No. 24 back in victory lane for the 500 for the first time since Jeff Gordon back in 2005.

Byron was second to Ross Chastain on the final restart with four laps to go. Holding the inside line, Byron eventually cleared the outside line and was leading coming to the white flag. Chastain made a move underneath Byron just as they crossed the line, but was clipped by Austin Cindric, sending both cars spinning.

The crash resulted in a caution being called after Byron crossed the start/finish line in the lead. Byron was the leader at the time of the caution, and was declared the winner.

This win marks the 11th and biggest victory of his career, as Byron will be locked into NASCAR immortality as a Daytona 500 champion.

Byron’s win also marks the first time Hendrick Motorsports has won the 500 since 2014, when Dale Earnhardt Jr. took his second Daytona 500 victory. 

Alex Bowman finished second, making it a one-two finish for Hendrick. After the Chastain-Cindric incident, Bowman made a move to the outside of Byron to take the lead. However, the caution came out before Bowman got ahead of Byron, keeping the No. 48 car in second.

The race went incident free for much of the 500 miles, barring a minor incident triggered by Brad Keselowski on lap six. However, a massive crash occurred with just under ten laps remaining, taking out many of the top contenders.

After getting a push from Bowman down the back straight, Byron lost control and clipped Keselowski in the right rear who was making a move on Chastain for the lead. Keselowski spun back into the pack, collecting Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin, and many others.

Byron managed to regain control of his car, giving him the opportunity to get the win.

This year’s Daytona 500 was originally scheduled to be run on Sunday, but rain forced NASCAR to postpone it until Monday. Considering this year’s 500 features the largest purse in motorsports history, it was surely worth the wait for Hendrick Motorsports.


Tagline: “The Cooldown Lap,” written by Jon Wenger, takes you through the world of motorsports each week. Wenger discusses the recent events in various racing divisions.