William Byron Wins Daytona 500 on Landmark Day for Hendrick Motorsports

NASCAR began its 76th season on Monday, and Hendrick Motorsports began its 40th.

Both had reason to party.

The stock car racing organization celebrated another running of the Daytona 500 after rain pushed it back a day, and HMS driver William Byron captured the checkered flag on the four-decade anniversary of his company’s first race (Feb. 19, 1984).

“Thankful for the power under the hood,” the Charlotte, N.C., wheelman said of his No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. “I’m just a kid from racing on computers, and now winning the Daytona 500? I can’t believe it.”

The 26-year-old became the sixth Daytona 500 winner for Hendrick, the winningest all-time stable in NASCAR, joining Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Darrell Waltrip and Geoffrey Bodine.

Alex Bowman, also a Hendrick driver, took second in his No. 48, followed by Christopher Bell in the No. 20 Toyota Camry TRD of Joe Gibbs Racing in third, then Corey LaJoie for Spire Motorsports, 23XI Racing’s Bubba Wallace, Kaulig Racing’s AJ Allmendinger, Legacy Motor Club’s John Hunter Nemechek and Erik Jones, and Noah Gragson and Chase Briscoe of Stewart-Haas Racing as the rest of the top 10.

“The 500 begins a marathon season, so it’s great to start off on the right foot,” said LaJoie, who gained his first top-five finish on the 2.5-mile superspeedway.

Pole sitter Joey Logano, Panini America’s NASCAR Brand Ambassador, led 45 laps before being collected in a multi-car incident on Lap 192 that damaged more than half the field just eight laps from the finish. Defending race winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr and 2023 Cup Series champion Ryan Blaney also were casualties of the 23-vehicle event.

Zane Smith checked in as the highest-finishing rookie, in 13th for Spire Motorsports.

In the Xfinity Series, Austin Hill made it three in a row in season-opening wins, winning a race run on Monday night after the 500. On Friday night in the Truck Series, Nick Sanchez opened the year with his first career win.

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