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Daytona 500: William Byron Earns Record-Tying Win For Hendrick Motorsports


William Byron celebrates his Daytona 500 win.
William Byron earned the biggest win of his career in the 66th Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen | Getty Images)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - William Byron earned his first career Daytona 500 win in the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, giving the organization its ninth win in the "Great American Race," tying Petty Enterprises at Daytona International Speedway.


After rain postponed the race on Sunday, the 66th running of the Daytona 500 took place on Monday afternoon, which also happens to be 40 years to the day when Hendrick Motorsports made its NASCAR Cup Series debut.


None of the current HMS drivers were alive when this happened, but the team's youngest driver, Byron (26 years old), was the one to find Victory Lane in the Daytona 500 for the first time since Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s win an entire decade ago in 2014.


"So proud of this team, whole AXALTA team, 40th anniversary to the day, on Monday," Byron said. "Just extremely blessed and thankful for all the opportunities, and we just want to keep it going. We have a lot to prove this year, and this is a good start, obviously. Daytona 500, it’s freaking awesome. Let’s go."

The caution flag came out soon after the white flag waved. If the caution came out just a few seconds later, Byron's teammate Alex Bowman would have been in Victory Lane at the "World Center of Racing."


"Proud of William and his team - they deserved it there at the end," Bowman said. "They did all the right things, and I feel like we did too there at the end. Just proud of everybody on this No. 48 Ally Chevy team. Super pumped for everybody at Hendrick Motorsports."


For the first time in his Hendrick Motorsports tenure, Bowman did not start on the front row for the "Great American Race." The driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet started the previous six Daytona 500s from either first or second place.


Ironically, this is only the second time since 2014 that HMS did not have a car starting on the front row. However, Rick Hendrick's powerhouse organization still won both of those races.


Joe Gibbs Racing's Christopher Bell, Spire Motorsports' Corey LaJoie and 23XI Racing's Bubba Wallace rounded out the top five in the 500-mile crown jewel race.


Official results from the 66th Daytona 500 are listed below:

Daytona 500 results.

OTHER RACE FACTS

The 2024 Daytona 500 had five cautions, which is the least number of cautions the race has seen since 2004. Two of the five cautions were stage breaks.


2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott won Stage 1, while the defending series champion Ryan Blaney won Stage 2.


The top-10 finishers consisted of four Chevrolets, four Toyotas and two Fords.


AJ Allmendinger has quietly been one of the best finishers in the Daytona 500 each year. According to statistician Trey Ryan, Allmendinger has finished all 11 Daytona 500 races he competed in. His 11 starts without a DNF puts the Kaulig Racing driver past Rick Mast for the most all time.


Half of the field (20 of 40 drivers) led at least one lap during the Daytona 500. Polesitter Joey Logano led the most laps (45) but wound up 32nd after a late-race wreck that involved 23 cars ended his night.


After a wreck on Lap 5, Harrison Burton, Kaz Grala and Carson Hocevar had their days end 12.5 miles into the 500-mile race.


GRID Ranking

The 2024 GRID Ranking will be the eighth year of the premier motorsport ranking in the world, and it will be released during the week of April 7.


Before the official ranking releases on the first Sunday of April, drivers in the seven racing series that participate in the ranking (NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula 1, Formula E, World Rally Championship, Repco Supercars, MotoGP) earn GRID Ratings, which help determine their initial seeding when the GRID Ranking releases.


For NASCAR, William Byron will be at the top of the GRID Rating after the Daytona 500. Byron won the NASCAR GRID Rating in 2023 after winning six races. The rest of the NASCAR GRID Rating is currently being calculated.


The next race for the NASCAR Cup Series will take place on Sunday, Feb. 25 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Coverage for the Ambetter Health 400 will begin at 3 p.m. ET on FOX.


GRID NETWORK

GRID YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@gridranking

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