William Byron is heading to the playoffs for the second time in his career.
Byron took the lead on a green-white-checker restart and held off multiple challenges over the final two laps to get the first Cup Series win of his career at Daytona on Saturday night.
Byron found himself mired deep in the field with less than 20 laps to go after he pitted for fresh tires during a caution. That turned out to be a great call. Byron was third before the pit stop and the team decided that fresh tires were worth the track position he had given up.
They were right.
Clint Bowyer also qualified for the playoffs Saturday night. Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson and Erik Jones both missed as they were involved in crashes.” data-reactid=”24″ type=”text”>Matt DiBenedetto and Clint Bowyer also qualified for the playoffs Saturday night. Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson and Erik Jones both missed as they were involved in crashes.
Kyle Busch for the lead. Reddick tried to move up in front of Busch and, well, he might not have been clear. Busch tried to check up to allow Reddick to get in front of him and ended up in the wall and chaos happened behind. Jones was running third at the time to Busch and Reddick when the wreck happened.” data-reactid=”29″ type=”text”>Jones crashed out of the race on lap 151 when Tyler Reddick passed Kyle Busch for the lead. Reddick tried to move up in front of Busch and, well, he might not have been clear. Busch tried to check up to allow Reddick to get in front of him and ended up in the wall and chaos happened behind. Jones was running third at the time to Busch and Reddick when the wreck happened.
Joey Logano passed Denny Hamlin for the lead with two scheduled laps to go. As Logano got in front of Hamlin, Bubba Wallace made a move for the lead on the outside. Hamlin bumped Logano’s car into Wallace’s and the field continued into turn 1 unscathed for a few seconds before all hell broke loose.” data-reactid=”30″ type=”text”>Johnson made it a few more laps. Joey Logano passed Denny Hamlin for the lead with two scheduled laps to go. As Logano got in front of Hamlin, Bubba Wallace made a move for the lead on the outside. Hamlin bumped Logano’s car into Wallace’s and the field continued into turn 1 unscathed for a few seconds before all hell broke loose.
Johnson was in the middle of that hell. He was positioned to make the playoffs without the crash, but he ended up finishing 17th as Byron got an automatic playoff berth with the win and DiBenedetto finished 12th.
Byron escaped that crash and restarted second when the race resumed. He pulled ahead of Denny Hamlin and then kept everyone else at bay.
Seven-time champ is out
If Jimmie Johnson scored points in all 26 regular season races he would have easily made the playoffs.
However, he did not. He missed out on the playoffs by six points.
Johnson was disqualified from the Coca-Cola 600 in May after his car failed inspection after the race. He then missed the Brickyard 400 in July after testing positive for COVID-19. Had Johnson earned 30 points — conservatively — from those two races, he makes the playoffs over DiBenedetto. Easily.
Instead, he finds himself out of the playoffs for the second-straight season.
Johnson finished 18th a year ago after missing the playoffs for the first time in his career. Now, in his final full-time Cup Series season, he can do no better than 17th. Johnson hasn’t won a race since June of 2017 and is mired in the longest winless streak of his career. It should would be great to see him cap off his legendary career with a win in the last 10 races of the season. But it also doesn’t seem too likely either.
Johnson was asymptomatic when he got a COVID-19 test after his wife Chandra tested positive for the virus. Had Johnson decided his title pursuit was worth more than being truthful he could have easily not decided to get a test and attempt to keep racing. After all, NASCAR isn’t testing its participants for coronavirus.
Instead, Johnson was a good human and got a test. It came back positive. And he missed a race that helped cost him a playoff berth.
Ryan Newman not thrilled with Tyler Reddick
Ryan Newman was caught up in the crash that started when Reddick tried to block Busch. And he was not happy.
“The 8 car obviously just ran out of talent,” Newman said of the two-time Xfinity Series champion. “It seems like you can win a couple of Xfinity championships and still stick your head where the sun don’t shine when the time comes right.”
Newman needed to win on Saturday night to make the playoffs. He missed three races before NASCAR shut down in March because of the coronavirus pandemic after his horrific crash at the Daytona 500 in February. Saturday night’s race was the first on the Daytona oval layout since the 500.
Newman wasn’t near the front for much of the race but that’s how he tends to race at Daytona and Talladega anyway. He likes to bide his time before trying to go towards the front.
Kevin Harvick, 2,057″ data-reactid=”66″ type=”text”>1. Kevin Harvick, 2,057
2. Denny Hamlin, 2,047
Brad Keselowski, 2,029″ data-reactid=”68″ type=”text”>3. Brad Keselowski, 2,029
4. Joey Logano, 2,022
5. Chase Elliott, 2,020
6. Martin Truex Jr., 2,014
7. Ryan Blaney, 2,013
8. Alex Bowman, 2,009
9. William Byron, 2,007
10. Austin Dillon, 2,005
11. Cole Custer, 2,005
12. Aric Almirola, 2,005
13. Clint Bowyer, 2,004
14. Kyle Busch, 2,003
15. Kurt Busch, 2,001
The claim is being made in the upcoming bombshell book “Finding Freedom,” written by royal reporters Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand. Numerous palace insiders came forward to the two journalists and detailed what led to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s departure as senior members of the British royal family.
The couple currently resides in Markle’s native Los Angeles with their son Archie.
The Hollywood Reporter shared on Monday that Harry was “angered” by “what he perceived as William’s snobby tone in a discussion about the American actress when they were dating.” According to the outlet, Scobie and Durand wrote that Harry wasn’t pleased with William’s advice to “take as much time as you need to get to know this girl.”
Britain’s Prince Harry (left) and older brother Prince William.
(Photo by Tolga Akmen – WPA Pool / Getty Images)
A source close to William, who is second in line to the throne, told the outlets that he feared Harry was “blindsided by lust” during his whirlwind romance with the former “Suits” star. The Hollywood Reporter noted that according to the writers, Harry “no longer felt as though he needed looking after” and took William’s advice badly.
“In those last two words, ‘this girl,’ Harry heard the tone of snobbishness that was anathema to his approach to the world,” claimed an excerpt from the book, adding Harry spent 10 years in the military and “outside the royal bubble.”
“Also, to remove Meghan from the equation, Harry was tired of the dynamic that had become established between him and his older brother,” the authors share.
William apparently wasn’t the only one who was attempting to make sense of Harry’s relationship with the Hollywood actress. One senior courtier allegedly told one colleague: “There’s just something about [Meghan] I don’t trust.” Another referred to her as “Harry’s showgirl.”
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend an Anzac Day service at Westminster Abbey on April 25, 2018, in London, England.
(Photo by Eddie Mulholland – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
As for William’s wife, Kate Middleton, the excerpt claimed the Duchess of Cambridge allegedly did little to roll out the red carpet for Markle, who wasn’t familiar with the ins and outs of “The Firm.”
“Though it was not necessarily her responsibility, Kate did little to bridge the divide,” the authors wrote. “She was fiercely loyal to her husband and his family. Once Harry and Meghan were married, the gap between the brothers only widened.”
“William and Kate’s feelings seemed obvious to the Sussexes that summer and beyond,” the authors continued. “Among all the friends and family Harry and Meghan hosted at their house in Oxfordshire between May 2018 and March 2019, the Cambridges failed to visit.”
While it was initially reported that Harry and Markle cooperated with the authors, the outlet noted the couple released their own statement denying taking part in the publication.
Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle (left) and Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton
(Photo by Getty)
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to ‘Finding Freedom,’” said the statement. “This book is based on the authors’ own experiences as members of the royal press corps and heir own independent reporting.”
According to the book’s description, “Finding Freedom” aims to set the record straight about the royal couple.
“For the very first time, ‘Finding Freedom’ goes beyond the headlines to reveal unknown details of Harry and Meghan’s life together, dispelling the many rumors and misconceptions that plague the couple on both sides of the pond,” read the book’s description. “As members of the select group of reporters that cover the British Royal Family and their engagements, Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand have witnessed the young couple’s lives as few outsiders can.”
“With unique access and written with the participation of those closest to the couple, ‘Finding Freedom’ is an honest, up-close, and disarming portrait of a confident, influential, and forward-thinking couple who are unafraid to break with tradition, determined to create a new path away from the spotlight, and dedicate to building a humanitarian legacy that will make a profound difference in the world,” the description added.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be splitting their time between the U.K. and North America.
(Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty)
In a statement sent to Fox News, the book publisher revealed Scobie is a London-based writer, royal editor for Harper’s Bazaar, an ABC News contributor, “Good Morning America” regular and host of ABC’s popular royal podcast, “The Heir Pod.” Durand is an Emmy Award-winning producer and writer who has spent nearly two decades working in London covering Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, Clarence House and other major international events. During that time, she produced multiple interviews with members of the royal family including Harry. She contributes to O, The Oprah Magazine, Elle magazine and other American and British news outlets.
“The aim of this book is to portray the real Harry and Meghan, a couple who continue to inspire many around the world through their humanitarian and charitable work but are often inaccurately portrayed,” they wrote in a statement. “Our mission has been motivated by a desire to tell an accurate version of their journey and finally present the truth of misreported stories that have become gospel simply because of the amount of times they have been repeated. It is thanks to our sources that we have been able to share the definitive story of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.”
“Finding Freedom” is set to be released by Dey Street Books on August 11.