William Byron Wins Daytona 500 Pole

Rex Christensen
February 13, 2019

Hopefully, it goes well next Sunday.

Following the race, Johnson claimed that he saw that it was raining and wanted to take advantage of what he believed was his opportunity to take the race lead and earn the victory, which is what ended up happening. The Duel consists of two 150-mile races that determine positions 3-40 in the DAYTONA 500 field.

It's a 75-lap exhibition race with a competition caution 25 laps in (unless a caution happens sooner) with 20 drivers in the field.

"Becki and I could not be prouder of William's successes, and we are excited to watch the No. 24 in action in the Daytona 500 next weekend", said Liberty President Jerry Falwell.

It's been a good start for Hendrick Motorsports as NASCAR opens the race season. The No. 97 team has worked very hard through the winter to prepare cars and to secure funding for the 2019 season, and things did not come together as quickly as hoped or needed. With rain imminent, Johnson got a run on Paul Menard and the two made contact.

Menard wasn't happy that he got bumped out of the race. "This is really special for me". The last time I came here with a new driver, we sat on the pole. "Jimmie does that a lot at these tracks".

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Johnson said he knew he had to make a move with the rain on the horizon. "I made a move and got to the inside and was side drafting him, and his auto started wobbling".

Ironically, the day's big winners - Byron and Johnson - were also involved in two major personnel moves in the offseason that Hendrick referred to post-race. I got that move inside of him and was hopeful the 1 (of Kurt Busch) was gonna be following me through. "I don't crash people to win races". "They were our teammates, but I think we showed that we've got plenty of speed, which will help us in the 500". Even his daughter said she was praying for her dad to enter victory lane. "I didn't drive through Paul", Johnson said.

For Johnson, the seven-time champion was paired with rookie Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series crew chief Kevin Meendering. Prior to the Lucas Oil 200, the series announced a multi-year extension of its long-running sponsorship contract with the home improvement chain Menards.

Richard Childress Racing's Austin Dillon, Hendrick Motorsports' Chase Elliott, Stewart-Haas Racing's Aric Almirola, Roush Fenway Racing's Ryan Newman and Stewart-Haas Racing's Daniel Suarez rounded out the top 10 by finishing in sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th place in their #3 Chevrolet, #9 Chevrolet, #10 Ford, #6 Ford and #41 Ford, respectively.

"As we talk about money and saving team owners money, Joe Gibbs wrecked five cars", said Harvick, who crashed in Clash practice and then again at the end of the race. Chad needed a new challenge and so did Jimmie. "You just can't keep going back again and again and again trying to hold it together".

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