Byron has chance to make NASCAR history
By Dominic Aragon
February 18, 2018
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.—If he finds Victory Lane in the Daytona 500 Sunday, William Byron will become the seventh driver in the history of NASCAR’s premier series to win in their debut.
According to research across two racing databases, six drivers have won in their Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut.
The feat was accomplished five times across NASCAR’s first three seasons; twice in 1949 and 1950, and once in 1951.
The last driver to record a victory in their debut was Johnny Rutherford in February of 1963, winning in a Daytona 500 qualifier race.
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The 20-year-old Byron is the only driver making their MENCS debut in the Daytona 500 this year.
The last driver to make their MENCS debut in the Daytona 500 was Daniel Suarez in 2017, who crashed out and finished 29th.
Byron will start 33rd in the Daytona 500, taking over the No. 24 Chevrolet at Hendrick Motorsports.
“My goal is to go out there and be myself and hopefully gather some fans based on our results and what we can do on the racetrack,” Byron said earlier in the week during a media availability.
“Hopefully, those fans can be excited about how we’re approaching each weekend. I’m just looking forward to being in that race car.”