William Byron won the Daytona 500 under caution after a crash at the white flag.

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Written By Vikas Jangid

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William Byron won the Daytona 500

William Byron won the Daytona 500 under caution after Ross Chastain and Austin Cindric crashed as the white flag waved.

Byron passed Chastain with less than three laps remaining and was leading when the wreck occurred. Although the crash began before the final lap officially started, the caution came out after Byron had already begun his last lap.

Chastain attempted to pass for the lead on the high side while Cindric was in second ahead of Corey LaJoie when they made contact. Cindric seemed to lose control and moved up the track as Chastain moved down to make his pass.

                                           Source: Youtube/NASCAR on Fox

Massive Crash Alters Daytona 500 Landscape

The group of drivers Byron outpaced to the finish line was significantly reduced due to a 22-car pileup with less than nine laps remaining.

It all began when William Byron bumped into Brad Keselowski while both were among the top five racers. This collision eliminated several contenders for the victory behind the race leader, Chastain.

The chaos unfolded as William Byron's teammate from Hendrick Motorsports, Alex Bowman, was pushing him toward the front. William Byron lost control coming off Bowman's bumper and made contact with the left rear of Keselowski's car.

This caused Keselowski to spin into Joey Logano, triggering a chain reaction that involved numerous drivers, including Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., 2023 Cup Series champion Ryan Blaney, and others.

look at how close Keselowski came to hitting the back of Chastain's car.

Source: NASCAR 

Bowman ended up in second place behind Byron. Christopher Bell was tentatively ranked third, followed by LaJoie and Bubba Wallace.

Byron marks the sixth Daytona 500 victory for Hendrick Motorsports.

William Byron, at 26 years old, joins an elite group of Daytona 500 winners for Hendrick Motorsports, alongside Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Darrell Waltrip, and Geoffrey Bodine.

His victory, the team's first since Dale Jr.'s 2014 win, came after a rain-delayed race that started more than 24 hours later than planned due to persistent rain at Daytona International Speedway.

This win also ties Hendrick with Petty Enterprises for the most Daytona 500 victories, with both teams boasting nine wins. Petty Enterprises secured their wins from 1959 to 1981, while Hendrick's first victory came in 1986 with Bodine.

William Byron's triumph secures his spot in the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs as he pursues his first Cup Series title. In the previous season, he was the most successful driver in the Cup Series, winning six races and earning 15 top-five finishes out of 36 races.

Despite finishing third in the Cup Series points standings, behind Blaney and teammate Kyle Larson in the season finale, William Byron remains a strong contender for the Cup Series title this season.

Why Byron won under caution

If you were a bit confused about how Byron won, you're not alone. When the caution came out, Fox didn't provide a clear replay. Bowman had a surge due to the crash and passed Byron as the caution was called. There's no indication that Bowman was ahead of Byron when the caution happened, suggesting NASCAR made the right call.

Source: NASCAR

But having a clear shot of the field's position at the caution would've helped viewers understand the close finish. The Fox broadcast team also seemed unsure of the winner, with the final call lacking energy. Analyzing the moment of caution frame by frame with Harvick and Bowyer could've clarified things.

Unfortunately, TV viewers didn't get a clear picture of the finish. Fox ended coverage quickly for "America's Most Wanted," and Fox Sports 1 didn't have post-race coverage, airing taped poker instead. NASCAR took almost an hour to share a picture of the winning margin at the caution on social media.

Unofficial results

1. William Byron

2. Alex Bowman

3. Christopher Bell

4. Corey LaJoie

5. Bubba Wallace

6. AJ Allmendinger

7. John Hunter Nemechek

8. Erik Jones

9. Noah Gragson

10. Chase Briscoe

11. Kyle Larson

12. Kyle Busch

13. Zane Smith

14. Chase Elliott

15. Martin Truex Jr.

16. Daniel Hemric

17. Ty Gibbs

18. Chris Buescher

19. Denny Hamlin

20. David Ragan

21. Ross Chastain

22. Austin Cindric

23. Ryan Preece

24. Riley Herbst

25. Josh Berry

26. Justin Haley

27. Anthony Alfredo

28. Jimmie Johnson

29. Tyler Reddick

30. Ryan Blaney

31. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

32. Joey Logano

33. Brad Keselowski

34. Daniel Suarez

35. Todd Gilliland

36. Michael McDowell

37. Austin Dillon

38. Kaz Grala

39. Harrison Burton

40. Carson Hocevar

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