Date: May 12, 2018
Race 12 of 36: Kansas Speedway
Track Specs: 1.5-mile oval / 267 laps / 400.5 miles
Standings (from leader): 19th (-274)
RECAPPING THE RACE:
Saturday night at Kansas Speedway, William Byron had the No. 24 Liberty University Camaro ZL1 inside the top 10 near the end of the 400-mile race, but he was involved in a multi-car incident that ended his night with 14 laps to go, relegating him to a 33rd-place finish.
Rolling off the grid 13th, Byron battled a tight handling condition on the No. 24 Liberty University Chevy in the opening part of the race. He still maintained his position in the top 15, running 15th at the Lap 30 competition caution. Crew chief Darian Grubb called for a two-tire stop during the caution to gain track position, but a tire violation forced Byron to visit pit road a second time, shuffling him back to 28th for the restart on Lap 35. Byron fought back and ultimately gained eight positions over the next 45 laps to finish Stage 1 in 20th.
In the middle segment, Byron continued to battle, keeping his position inside the top 20 for most of the stage. The driver of the No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 moved up to 15th midway through the stage as the handling of his race car improved. After a two-tire, green-flag stop, Byron advanced to 14th, but fell to 17th before the end of the segment.
In the closing stage, Byron continued to race near the top 15. When a caution occurred on Lap 237, he was running 14th when Grubb opted for another two-tire stop. The strategy put Byron fifth for the restart, and he maintained his position inside the top 10 during the short run that followed. When the next caution occurred on Lap 249, Byron – running seventh – visited pit road again for right-side tires and lined up seventh for the restart with 15 to go. Unfortunately, his night was cut short after a multi-car incident on the following lap, ending his race.
Chase Elliott led his Hendrick Motorsports teammates to the checkered flag with a 12th-place finish. Alex Bowman and Jimmie Johnson both took home top-20 finishes, crossing the finish line in 18th and 19th, respectively.
QUOTING WILLIAM BYRON:
“I’m fine. We took two tires there and it just wouldn’t turn. We were kind of a sitting duck. We were a pretty decent car before that, but a lot of guys were on different strategies, so a car got hung up on top, a couple of guys split the middle, and I think we were three or four wide and it was hard to tell or judge, really, how much room I had to my outside and so I just got sucked around there, I guess, and got loose and hit the wall.”