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      How it happened: William Byron comes from the back to win in Florida

      © 2021 Danny Hansen / NKP

      Start: 31st
      Finish: 1st

      Starting from the 31st position for Sunday’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway due to the qualifying metric system, William Byron went to work quickly getting his No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE to front of the field before the end of Stage 1. Continuing to run up front for the majority of the race, Byron won Stage 2 before going on to lead the final 57 laps of the 267-lap event, scoring his second NASCAR Cup Series win.

      Rolling off from 31st, Byron raced his way through traffic early on to make it to the 12th position by the time the competition caution came out on Lap 25. Fighting an Axalta Chevy that was a little free in the center of Turns 3 and 4, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native came down pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Choosing the high lane for the restart, Byron lined up 10th and continued his march to the front of the field, reaching the top five in under 40 laps. Keeping his forward momentum going, Byron made his way to second place by the time the caution came out on Lap 65. Needing a little bit of help with corner exit, Byron came back down pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. Electing to restart in the high line once again, Byron was scored eighth when the field went back green with eight laps left in the first stage. With another good restart, Byron picked up four positions, finishing fourth in Stage 1. Under the stage break, Byron brought the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE down pit road for another routine four-tire pit stop with fuel.

      © 2021 Andrew Coppley / NKP

      Lining up sixth for the start of Stage 2, Byron once again picked up positions early on in the run, making it to third. Byron maintained his third-place effort until crew chief Rudy Fugle called him down pit road under green on Lap 122 for four tires, fuel and both a chassis and air pressure adjustment to the Axalta Chevy. Once green-flag pit stops cycled through, Byron remained in the third position until the caution came out on Lap 155. Trying to keep up with the changing track conditions, the 23-year-old driver came down pit road for four tires, fuel and another round of minor adjustments. Restarting third for a one-lap dash to the end of Stage 2, Byron put himself in position to take over the lead coming out of Turn 4, scoring his first stage victory in the 2021 season.

      Electing not to pit under the stage break, Byron chose the low lane and maintained the top spot for the start of the final stage. Stretching his lead throughout the long green-flag run, Byron continued to pace the field until the yellow flag came out on Lap 201. Liking the handling of his No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1 LE, Byron came down pit road for four tires and fuel before lining up sixth for the upcoming restart. Going back green with 60 laps remaining, Byron powered his way back to the lead on Lap 210 and never slowed down. With the remaining laps going green, Byron continued to pull away from the field and went on to become the youngest winner at Homestead-Miami Speedway when he crossed the finish line Sunday night.

      Byron led the Hendrick Motorsports contingent to the checkered flag at Homestead-Miami Speedway, scoring his second NASCAR Cup Series win. Teammate Kyle Larson scored a top-five finish, crossing the finish line in fourth while Alex Bowman scored a top-10 finish in ninth place. Chase Elliott finished the night in the 14th.

      Via Hendrick Motorsports