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      William Byron leads 44 laps at Daytona 500 before his day ends early

      Phil Cavali Photography

      After starting the Daytona 500 on the pole, William Byron led 44 laps at “The Great American Race” and finished runner-up in Stage 2 before getting caught in a wreck with two laps to go. The season-opening race saw a number of multi-car incidents in the closing laps with Byron able to avoid serious damage until Lap 198. Byron, who was the second-youngest Daytona 500 pole-sitter in history, was scored 21st.

      Byron’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman, who took green flag on the front row in the outside pole, finished 11th.

      Denny Hamlin won in overtime to capture his second Daytona 500.