Ecstatic William Byron Claims He “Blacked Out” for the Last Few Laps at Daytona

Published 02/21/2024, 5:42 AM EST

Follow Us

USA Today via Reuters

In the center of Daytona’s thunderous arena, William Byron has emerged as an intimidating rival. Fresh off his momentous victory at the 2024 Daytona 500, Byron wrote his name in history books, duplicating Hendrick Motorsports’ debut in the NASCAR Cup Series exactly 40 years earlier. Byron’s victory not only guaranteed his maiden win at the crown-jewel race win but also his 11th Cup Series victory, propelling him into the limelight of racing fame. But what was going through Byron’s mind as he was inching toward victory? The HMS driver recently recounted the electrifying moments when he pushed himself to the limit.

William Byron acknowledges the unpredictable nature of Daytona races

Following his Daytona 500 triumph, William Byron mused on the odd experience of winning the race. He revealed how the last few laps were a blur, with feelings of amazement and wonder. Byron even admitted to “blacking out” during the concluding laps of the race, overcome by the stress of the circumstances.


Article continues below this ad

“I feel like, as the hours go by, the more it sets in, honestly I’ve never had a win feel like that where it feels surreal, you know. Like you just felt like being out there on the front stretch. I wasn’t, sure what, you know, the words to say. And just how I felt was just amazing. It’s pretty amazing. I think, you know, just kind of blacked out honestly in the last three-four laps of that race. So I don’t remember much of what happened,” revealed the #24 driver. “It’s kind of a blur to think about the last few laps,” he further said.

When it comes to the Daytona International Speedway, the racetrack is as unpredictable as it can be. Couple that with wrecks, cautions and strategic mishaps and it’s a minefield out there. Reflecting on that very uncertainty that the races bring, Byron recalled the lineup change after a red flag this year at the Daytona 500 and the crucial role of teamwork in securing the win. He emphasized on the strategic decisions made during the race, acknowledging, “You just don’t know how these races are going to end.” The driver also praised his team’s efforts, noting, “Our team did a great job all day… putting ourselves in position.”

And it wasn’t just William’s Byron sole victory in Monday’s race. Hendrick Motorsports also achieved a milestone of its own. 

40 Years of Speed: A memorable victory for Hendrick Motorsports


Get instantly notified of the hottest NASCAR stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

William Byron won the Daytona International Speedway race, waving the white flag. But in an instant, mayhem ensued when two automobiles collided, causing a sequence of spins across the infield. This pivotal moment signaled the start of the race’s third crash. The second collision of the race, identified as “The Big One,” occurred with only nine laps remaining. The resulting pileup involving a startling 21 cars forced race officials to immediately flash the red flag, halting proceedings.

Despite the chaos, Hendrick Motorsports demonstrated their superiority by securing the top two slots, with Alex Bowman finishing second. Despite adversity, including a flat tire, Kyle Larson persevered, keeping three of the team’s four cars in competition. As the race approached its finale, Byron, Bowman, and Larson established a powerful presence at the front, skillfully positioning themselves for victory.

Byron’s success, his second at Daytona, is a noteworthy achievement for Hendrick Motorsports, which now sits atop tying with Petty Enterprises for the most Daytona 500 wins. Furthermore, it also emphasized the team’s extraordinary record: Being the only team to date to win the “The Great American Race” in five different decades.

And it’s safe to say that HMS vice-chairman Jeff Gordon was ecstatic with the accomplishment. “What today has reminded me of, it’s been a decade since Hendrick Motorsports has won the Daytona 500. Through those years, I think what we’ve gained an appreciation more so than ever is how difficult this race is to win and all the different things that have to line up for you to win it. Then, also how exciting, fun and amazing it is to win it. To see these guys celebrate, that’s what it’s all about,” he said, as per an official statement by the team.


Article continues below this ad

Read More: William Byron Ends Rick Hendrick’s Daytona 500 Championship Drought With a Perfect Tribute on HMS’ 40th Anniversary

William Byron’s achievement not only cements his place in history but also drives Hendrick Motorsports to new heights. With their 40th anniversary celebration coinciding with this victory, the team’s legacy is brighter than ever. Byron’s triumph, amid the chaos and excitement, solidifies his reputation as an opponent to be dealt with in NASCAR’s top ranks.

Watch This Story: Joey Logano shares the most frustrating and heartbreaking aspect of collaborating with Netflix


Article continues below this ad


Written by:

Susamay Dey


One take at a time

Susamay Dey is a NASCAR Author at EssentiallySports. Combining his passion for writing and motorsports, he has gone on to pen down numerous articles on Stock Car Racing's fan favorites, like Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, and Bubba Wallace. While his strength lies in Core Sport reporting, he can also cover lifestyle pieces, enlightening fans about the lesser-known facts about NASCAR stars and their personal lives.
Show More>

Edited by:

Ariva Debnath