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This came out of nowhere.

On Tuesday night, Hendrick Motorsports announced numbers changes that would place William Byron in the iconic No. 24 and Chase Elliott in the No. 9, the same number his father drove.


The riders are pumped.

The No. 24 has races in NASCAR since the 1950s and was made famous by Jeff Gordon, when he won an astounding 93 races during his 23-year career.

Elliott will stay with Hendrick but drive the No. 9. That has some significance since his father, Bill, had38 of his 44 career wins in the No. 9, according to NASCAR.

It’s really special for me just because of how much it means to Hendrick Motorsports and the legacy that Jeff Gordon and everybody on that team left behind,” NASCAR quoted Byron as saying. “It’s a really neat connection for me, something that I will take a lot of pride in running the number and hopefully be able to make my own name with it and be able to keep the legacy alive.

And Elliot said:

It’s a huge deal to my family and everyone back home (in Georgia),” he said, “and I hope all of our fans will be pumped to see it back on the race track. There’s a legacy attached to that number, and I want to carry it on. I think it’s awesome that Hendrick Motorsports and NAPA wanted to do this. It’s impossible not to be excited.

Seems like a win for everyone.

Driver’s react following Hendrick’s late-night, stunning announcement Robert Laberge / Getty Images
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