CONCORD, N.C. – Winning the DAYTONA 500 puts a driver into an exclusive club. It's the type of achievement that gets mentioned during driver introductions for the rest of a career. 

As a company, Hendrick Motorsports has eight wins in "The Great American Race," with the most recent coming in 2014 with Dale Earnhardt Jr. behind the wheel. The Hendrick Motorsports engine shop built the winning engine in last year’s DAYTONA 500 for fellow Chevrolet driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

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What would a win in the sport’s biggest race mean to the quartet of Alex Bowman, William Byron, Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson? sat down with all four to ask them that very question and how they would feel to be the driver to break the drought for the Concord, North Carolina-based team in this special race. 

Byron’s first NASCAR Cup Series win came at Daytona International Speedway in the 2020 summer race. It is one of three victories that the 26-year-old driver has had on drafting tracks. The DAYTONA 500 has been a tough one for the Charlotte, North Carolina, native to conquer. He has yet to finish in the top 10 in six tries. 

"It would be a huge deal," Byron said. I would love to see the checkered flag and I would love to have a chance at the win. I feel like our superspeedway performance has been hit or miss, but I feel like lately we’ve hit on something. My communication with my spotter Branden (Lines) and just our approach to the races. I thought Talladega (Superspeedway) in the fall was one of the best superspeedway races we’ve had as a group (finished second). If we can take that approach to Daytona (International Speedway), I think we can be successful."

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With a runner-up finish in the 2021 edition of the DAYTONA 500, Elliott has come the closest in the final running order of any of the Hendrick Motorsports drivers to win this race. A desire to help veteran crew chief Alan Gustafson attain something he has yet to in 19 years is a driving motivator. 

"It would be awesome to check that box," Elliott said. "We’ve had a couple of opportunities, but my biggest reason for really wanting to win the (DAYTONA) 500 is because Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) has never won it. He’s from down there (Ormond Beach) and I know it’s a big deal to him. Being a hometown guy like that and he’s come so close, so many times. When you work with a guy like that who has had a lot of success, it is kind of rare to be able to help him achieve something he has not already achieved. That would be a big one."

Elliott also has three wins on drafting tracks -- two at Talladega Superspeedway and one at Atlanta.

While Larson has yet to win a superspeedway race, he often finds himself in the mix late. The 31-year-old driver does have four top-10 finishes in the DAYTONA 500 and led coming to the white flag in 2017.

"That would be pretty special," Larson said. "For me, it would mean a lot to win just for how difficult superspeedway racing has been to me. The DAYTONA 500 is our biggest, most prestigious race of the year, so you want to win because of that."

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Bowman enters this year’s DAYTONA 500 with a record six straight front-row starts. He won the pole for the 2023 race and has also been on the pole on two other occasions (2018 and 2021). 

"It shows the hard work of everybody at Hendrick Motorsports, whether it’s the engine shop or the car shop," Bowman said. "DAYTONA 500 qualifying means a lot to Mr. H and we do our best to help it. Hopefully, we can do it again. Making it to the end of that race and winning would be really cool as well."

Bowman earned his best DAYTONA 500 finish of fifth in last year’s race and led 12 laps in the event. 

"Winning the DAYTONA 500 would be a dream come true," Bowman said.