Saturday, November 11, 2017
Race 32 of 33: Ticket Galaxy 200 at Phoenix Raceway
Track Specs: 1-mile oval / 200 laps
Weather: Sunny; 86 degrees
Race Winner: William Byron
For the fourth time this season, William Byron brought home the NASCAR Xfinity Series race victory on Saturday afternoon in the Ticket Galaxy 200. This win gives Byron the most wins in a single season by a JR Motorsports rookie, besting Chase Elliott's previous record of three. The Charlotte-native secured his spot in the Championship 4 and will compete for the NXS championship next weekend in Miami.
The Liberty University Chevrolet was fast off the truck in practice on Friday afternoon and the team knew they would have a good car come race day. Byron qualified second for the 200-lap event after a fast qualifying lap. The No. 9 machine was running in second when the No. 22 of Ryan Blaney got by him on lap 17. Byron radioed to the team that his car was good in Turns 1 and 2, but a little tight off in Turns 3 and 4. When the caution flag waved on lap 24, the driver reported that he was a little free during the first five laps and the team elected to stay out on track.
Byron restarted from the third position on lap 30 and just seven laps later relayed to the team that his car was too tight overall. At the conclusion of Stage One, Byron was scored in the sixth position and he asked the team to free up his machine. The team brought the Liberty University Chevy to pit road for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment. After a slight delay on the left side, Byron restarted 14th on lap 68.
Within 15 laps, Byron was scored in the seventh position and told the team he needed some help on the exit of the corners. Stage Two went caution free and Byron was able to pick off one additional position to finish the stage sixth. Following the stage, the driver reported that his Chevrolet was building tighter and he needed to get off the corner better. The team came to pit road for four tires and fuel and restarted eighth on lap 128.
Byron worked his way up to the third position by lap 146 and on lap 152 the team relayed that they were going to be approximately three laps short on fuel. While running third on lap 182, the caution was shown giving the Liberty University team the break they needed. The team came to pit road for right-side tires and fuel. After a quick two-tire stop, the team was set to restart from the first position on lap 188. Byron would continue to lead the field until taking the checkered flag on lap 200.
This was the second NXS win at Phoenix Raceway for JR Motorsports this season with Justin Allgaier bringing home the victory in the spring race. This is Byron's first NXS victory at Phoenix Raceway and his fourth overall victory this season. He was followed to the line by Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones, Christopher Bell and Daniel Hemric rounding out the top five.
William Byron's Thoughts:
"We have been building on the year and we had a great summer. This Liberty University team has been working non-stop and we are extremely lucky to be able to go after a championship next week in Homestead. Dave (Elenz, crew chief) made a gutsy call at the end, but it was exactly what we needed to be able to get out front. This victory definitely gives our team some good momentum going into the championship race next weekend and hopefully we can bring home a victory for JR Motorsports."
No. 9 Liberty University Camaro
Laps Completed (Led): 200 of 200 (17)
Points (Bonus): 50 (0)
Point Standings (from leader): 1st (+0)