For a young driver like William Byron, Saturday night’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona was a big race for him for multiple reasons as both a fan and a driver.
Byron scored his first win in the NASCAR Cup Series in his 98th start, driving the famed #24 car. The win locked Byron into the playoffs and gave car #24 its first win since November 2015, when Jeff Gordon won his 93rd and final career win at Martinsville.
Byron now has the distinction of being only one of two drivers in he 72-year history of the Cup Series to win in the #24 car. The other driver to win in the #24 car is Gordon, whom Byron has received mentoring from and looked up to a young age.
Byron’s first win marks the third consecutive Coke Zero Sugar 400 where a driver earned their first career win. It also marks the third consecutive season where Hendrick Motorsports has had a driver get their first win with the organization.
In 2018, Chase Elliott earned his first win with HMS and, in 2019, Alex Bowman earned his first win with them.
Byron starts the playoffs as the no. 9 seed with 2007 points, three points ahead of Clint Bowyer, who would currently be the driver out after Bristol, the last race in the Round of 16.