William Byron wins 2024 Daytona 500

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William Byron was declared the winner of the 2024 Daytona 500 on Monday night as a wreck occurred just as the No. 24 received the white flag.

It’s the first Daytona 500 win for Byron. He made it across the line as Austin Cindric got into Ross Chastain at the start-finish line. The two drivers slid across the grass and up into traffic. NASCAR determined that Byron was in front when the yellow flag came out on the final lap.

“It sounds really damn good,” he said when asked by FOX Sports’ Jamie Little how Daytona 500 champion sounded to him. “… Just extremely blessed and thankful for all the opportunities. We just want to keep it going. We have a lot of prove this year. And this is a good start.

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William Byron celebrates after winning the Daytona 500 on Feb. 19, 2024, in Daytona Beach, Florida. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

“And Daytona 500 … it’s frickin’ awesome!”

The drivers were racing particularly hard with a few laps remaining and Chastain out in front. Somehow, Byron avoided the massive wreck.

The energy was high and Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer in the FOX booth feared “the big one” was coming. And it happened.

Alex Bowman, who ended up finishing in second place, got into the back of Byron who then caught Brad Keselowski as he got loose. Keselowski caught pole-sitter Joey Logano, and it started a chain reaction that also caught defending NASCAR champion Ryan Blaney.

“Obviously, I hate what happened on the backstretch. I got pushed and got sideways,” Byron told Little.

2024 DAYTONA 500: EARLY WRECK RUINS DAY FOR SEVERAL DRIVERS

Massive wreck takes out 18 cars

Eighteen cars were involved in a wreck during the Daytona 500 on Monday. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Blaney said he was OK after the wreck as a replay showed he may have hurt his wrist when grabbing his steering wheel.

Bowman made it through the pile-up unscathed and moved into second place behind Chastain. Byron, somehow, avoided the wreckage after he spun out Keselowski.

Additionally, Kyle Larson, Noah Gragson, Denny Hamlin, Chase Briscoe, Chris Buescher, Martin Truex Jr., Todd Gilliland, Ryan Preece, Erik Jones, Tyler Reddick, Ty Gibbs, Anthony Alfredo, Daniel Suarez and last year’s Daytona 500 winner Rickey Stenhouse Jr. were among those involved in the wreck.

Keselowski said he was happy to just be in contention for the lead.

“It just didn’t work out,” he said.

Luckily, not everyone was out for good as some were able to make it back to pit road to possibly compete for a win.

The race restarted with five laps to go and Chastain in first with Byron, Bowman, Cindric and Chase Elliott behind him. Elliott picked up a Stage 1 victory and Blaney won Stage 2 earlier in the race.

Joey Logano in the pits

Joey Logano stops for fuel during the Daytona 500. (AP Photo/David Graham)

Christopher Bell finished in third place, Corey LaJoie in fourth and A.J. Allmendinger in fifth.

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The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Georgia next week for the Ambetter Health 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

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