Byron gives NASCAR another surprise winner at Homestead

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William Byron adjusts his cap as he celebrates after winning a NASCAR Cup Series auto race, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021, in Homestead, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

HOMESTEAD, Fla. – After years of seeing a handful of drivers — the same guys, really — dominate NASCAR's top level nearly every week, the Cup Series is experiencing a little parity to start the season.

It's a welcome sight for some. Others hope it's a fleeting moment.

William Byron was the third surprise winner through three races this season with his victory Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Byron joined Michael McDowell and Christopher Bell as unlikely winners to start this season.

Byron controlled most of the final two stages at Homestead to win for the second time in 111 Cup starts. His first one came at Daytona last August and landed him one of the final spots in the playoffs.

No one saw that one coming.

Few had this one on the radar, either.

Byron entered the weekend as a 28-1 shot to win a race many expected would provide a return to normal for the racing series. Instead, McDowell and Bell have company in the relatively odd group of 2021 winners and drivers who have locked up postseason spots.

“A lot of people obviously made some good decisions on how to get better," said 2017 series champion Martin Truex Jr., who finished third. “The box we have to work is so small ... the rules are the rules and they haven't changed in a while. The smaller teams get to catch up."