The regular season in NASCAR is officially over after Saturday night’s wild affair at Daytona International. After 26 rounds of racing, we are now done to 16 drivers vying to be crowned champion. Coming into the race, the big story line was whether or not Jimmie Johnson would be able to sneak into the playoffs. Battling his teammate, William Byron, for the final place appeared to be the main plot to watch for.
However, Johnson’s chances were cruelly taken away from him when he was caught up in ‘the big one.’ That left the door open to Byron, though the driver of the #24 had no plans to rest on his laurels. Rather than ride around and get in, he advanced to the playoffs with a statement by taking the checkered flag. It was the first win of his career, making it an extremely memorable night that he will surely not forget anytime soon. He was pushed to the line by teammate Chase Elliott, with Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex, Jr., and Bubba Wallace rounding out the top five finishers.