NASCAR Cup Series at Daytona results: William Byron wins, clinches playoff spot along with Bowyer, DiBenedetto


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    William Byron won his first career NASCAR Cup Series race in overtime at Daytona, clinching a playoff spot in the process. Byron was on the playoff bubble entering the race alongside teammate Jimmie Johnson, who missed the playoffs in his final season. 

    There were three playoff spots open entering the race. Clint Bowyer earned the first won simply by finishing Stage 1, Matt DiBenedetto got another by finishing ahead of Johnson and Byron clinched via his race win.

    Johnson won seven titles with crew chief Chad Knaus, who is now in charge of Byron’s team. Knaus has never missed the playoffs in his NASCAR career. 

    « I feel awful, » Knaus said after knocking Johnson out of the playoffs. « He shouldn’t be in this position. If it hadn’t been for COVID and him missing a race he should have been solid in the playoffs and that hurts. I hate it for Jimmie. He’s one of my best friends. »

    « 10 races left. 10 trophies to go chase. »The journey to the @NASCAR Playoffs ends at @DISUpdates for @JimmieJohnson, but he’s looking to go out on top #OneFinalTime.

    The 22-year-old Byron joins Jeff Gordon as the only drivers to win in the famed No. 24 car. Byron is now the 21st different driver to win his first career Cup Series race at Daytona and 11th to do so in the summer race. 

    « It’s just a shot of adrenaline right into your arm, » Byron said after the race. « It’s just an incredible feeling. I can’t describe winning a race in NASCAR. It’s been a while and so it’s just an awesome feeling. »

    Joey Logano, who earned two playoff points by sweeping the stages, was attempting to hold onto the lead in the final moments but could not stop a massive pile-up from ensuing. Johnson was collected in ‘The Big One’ and actually had a chance to make the playoffs if he finished ahead of Byron or DiBenedetto. Byron of course went on to win while DiBenedetto finished 12th.

    The wreck that forced overtime was the second big caution of the race. It was a relatively quiet night at Daytona until Tyler Reddick made a move for the lead with less than 20 laps to go. Reddick, in a must-win situation, tried to get in front of Kyle Busch, but didn’t have enough room to make the move, which caused a pile-up.

    What a wild wreck late at @DISupdates.Tyler Reddick goes to block, but it doesn’t work. #NASCAR

    « The 8 car ran out of talent, » said Ryan Newman on NBC, after being involved in the pile-up.Newman was shown getting out of his car safely following the incident as he was involved in a fiery last lap crash at Daytona in February which left him hospitalized. All drivers were released from the infield care center following cautions on Saturday night.

    « The No. 8 car ran out of talent. »Ryan Newman has some words for Tyler Reddick. #NASCAR

    Reddick’s move drew criticism from multiple drivers, not just Newman, after the race. Kyle Busch called it a « slide job gone bad » while Erik Jones implied that Reddick, a rookie, has a history of making moves that don’t work out.

    « It was aggressive for sure but the same guys who complain about aggression are the ones who are rooting and shoving you out of the way at the next plate race, » Chase Elliott said after finishing second. « They’ll be the ones doing it to you and taking advantage of you if you don’t give it back to them. »

    Chase Elliott said Tyler Reddick’s wreck-causing move inside of 20 to go was aggressive but notes some of the drivers that called Reddick out are guilty of making aggressive moves themselves. #NASCAR

    Following Elliott in the finishing order was Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin in third. His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. finished fourth and Bubba Wallace rounded out the top five. Wallace’s fifth-place finish is his best of the season. He had previously finished a career-best second at Daytona in 2018. 

    Wallace was the highest-finishing non-playoff driver in the field. Here’s a list of all 16 NASCAR Playoff drivers, and the points entering the playoffs. Each driver enters with 2,000 points, and any playoff points collected during the regular season are added to that initial total. 

    #NASCAR: After missing playoffs, @JimmieJohnson says the goal is simple: « There are 10 more chances to take a trophy home. »

    PLAYOFFS!? You kidding me?Yes, we’ve made it to the postseason. Here’s a look at the standings as we head to @TooToughToTame. #NASCARPlayoffs

    The last time we saw the No. 24 in victory lane, @JeffGordonWeb was [email protected] joins Gordon as the ONLY @NASCAR Cup Series drivers to win in the 2️⃣4️⃣.

    [email protected] is now the second driver to park the No. 24 Chevrolet in #NASCAR Cup Series Victory Lane!

    « 10 races left. 10 trophies to go chase. »The journey to the @NASCAR Playoffs ends at @DISUpdates for @JimmieJohnson, but he’s looking to go out on top #OneFinalTime.

    #NASCAR: Win and you are in – @WilliamByron scores his first career Cup win and earns playoff spot at @DISupdates

    [email protected] is a winner in the @NASCAR Cup Series!He’s in the #NASCARPlayoffs with a win at @DISupdates!

    CHECKERED FLAG: @WILLIAMBYRON DOES IT!He gets his first win in a thriller during the #CokeZeroSugar400 at @DISupdates!

    William Byron WINS to make the NASCAR Playoffs! His first career win!Credit One Lap To Go presented by @CreditOneBank.

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