William Byron

NEWS

JR Motorsports Race Report

JR Motorsports Race Report

June 17, 2017

JR Motorsports Race Report

Saturday, June 17, 2017

 

Race 13 of 33: Irish Hills 250 at Michigan International Speedway

Track Specs: 2-mile D-shaped oval / 125 laps

Weather: Partly Cloudy; 84 degrees

Race Winner: Denny Hamlin

Byron’s Finish: 2nd

 

William Byron and the No. 9 Liberty University team came home second in the Irish Hills 250 on Saturday afternoon in a photo finish after leading eight laps at the end of the event. This effort marks Byron’s best finish in his NASCAR Xfinity Series career and his third top-five finish overall this season.

 

The No. 9 Chevrolet rolled off the grid fourth for the 125-lap event. Byron maintained a position within the top five for the majority of the first 30-lap stage. At the conclusion of Stage One, Byron was scored in the fifth position and radioed to the team that he needed his car to be a little tighter. The team elected to bring Byron to pit road for four tires, fuel and an adjustment and Byron restarted 11th on lap 38.

 

During Stage Two, Byron remained quiet on the radio. With eight laps remaining in the stage, Byron radioed to the team that the overall balance was good on his Liberty University Chevrolet. When the caution was shown on lap 56, just four laps shy of the end of the stage, Byron told the team that he liked the car and didn’t want them to make any changes. The call from atop the box was for Byron to visit pit road on lap 58 for four tires and fuel, no adjustments. Stage Two ended under the yellow and Byron was scored in the 14th position.

 

After the front of the field made their pit stop under the continued caution, Byron was set to restart from the sixth position on lap 65. With 50 laps remaining, the No. 9 machine was running in the fourth position. The fifth caution was shown on lap 84 and Byron visited pit road for right-side tires, fuel and a small track-bar adjustment. The team restarted seventh on lap 88 and was up to the fifth position with 30 laps to go.

 

While running in the third position on lap 113, the yellow flag was shown on track. Byron reported that his Camaro got tight as he got into clean air, but the team elected to stay out on track in order to maintain their position. The Liberty University machine restarted third on lap 117, in the top lane, which was the preferred lane on the restart. Byron took the lead on lap 117, while battling with the No. 20 of Denny Hamlin.

 

A late-race caution was shown on lap 122, while Byron was leading. The green flag returned to the track just one lap later on lap 123 and Byron was set to lead the field to green, with teammate Elliott Sadler behind him to push. Hamlin and Byron battled through each corner of the track, when Byron took the white flag from the lead. The Liberty University Chevy had the advantage on the backstretch, but Hamlin ultimately got an advantage off Turn 4 and crossed the line first in a photo finish. Byron came home second, followed by Sadler, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch rounding out the top five.

 

Byron captured his best career NXS finish and was the highest finishing series regular at the conclusion of the event. The No. 9 team remains third in the NXS championship standings, now 62 points behind Sadler.

 

William Byron, driver No. 9 Liberty University Chevrolet team

“We were so close. It hurts to be that close and not win. He (Hamlin) got the side draft off of me in Turn 4 and that’s the run he needed. I just couldn’t get enough back to him to get to the line faster. Overall, this was a great job by my Liberty University team. It hurts, but we will get one soon. This is how we need to run and we will keep running like this.”

 

 

No. 9 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro

William Byron

Start

4th

Finish

2nd

Laps Completed (Led)

125 of 125 (8)

Points (Bonus)

41 (0)

Point Standings (from leader)

3rd (-62)

Status

Running