William Byron survived a number of massive wrecks late and surged ahead in overtime to nab his first NASCAR Cup Series victory on Saturday night at the Coke Zero Sugar 400.
The 22-year-old could pick a lot worse venues to make his mark on the sport than Daytona International Speedway.
Joey Logano won each of the first two stages and Chase Elliott finished in second place, but Saturday's results were as much about who made it through to the playoffs as who didn't.
Jimmie Johnson will enter retirement without a chance to win an eighth Cup Series championship. Johnson's 2020 season ended much like his 2019 campaign did—falling victim to a late crash that knocked him out of the playoff race. At Daytona, the wreck came on lap 159, and while he took on severe damage to his car, his team still got him back on the track for the start of overtime.
It just wasn't enough to propel him past Matt DiBenedetto for the 16th and final spot in the playoff field.
Coke Zero Sugar 400 Results
1. William Byron
2. Chase Elliott
3. Denny Hamlin
4. Martin Truex Jr.
5. Bubba Wallace
6. Ryan Blaney
7. Alex Bowman
8. Brendan Gaughan
9. Chris Buescher
10. Brad Keselowski
Notables: 12. Matt DiBenedetto, 17. Jimmie Johnson, 19. Clint Boyer, 20. Kevin Harvick, 27. Joey Logano, 33. Kyle Busch.
Lap 159 at Daytona will go down as one of the season's most pivotal moments.
With Denny Hamlin leading, Logano pulled a move to the inside to grab first place at the same time Bubba Wallace went to the outside and passed both cars. Hamlin was too busy fighting off the No. 22 car to notice Wallace surging ahead. That led to a brief moment where the leaders went four wide into a turn and a boxed-in Logano kicked off the big one by spiraling back into the pack and knocking out 13 cars, including Johnson.
With a caution flag out, Johnson left for pit lane where his crew hacked away as much of the damage as they could to allow the driver to finish out the race.
The 44-year-old successfully made it back out onto the track but didn't have enough left to make any noise in overtime.
Instead it was Bryon who came out firing during the restart, holding onto the lead for the final two laps before pulling onto victory lane.
It's just the second time in Johnson's career that he won't take part in the playoffs. After nearly 20 decades on the Cup Series circuit, one of the all-time great drivers will instead end his career quietly.