William Byron maneuvered his way through a smoky crash late Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway and very narrowly avoided another pileup a few laps later. Those moves got him to Victory Lane for the first time in his young NASCAR Cup Series career and back in the playoffs for the second consecutive season. They also helped knock out Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson, a seven-time series champion whose final season won’t end with another title.
Chase Elliott finished second, followed by Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr. and Bubba Wallace. The playoffs begin next Sunday at Darlington Raceway.