Byron Finishes 25th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
William Byron had a roller-coaster of a night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday. Byron’s night ended with another disappointment, finishing 25th with 12 laps led – the second week in a row he finished outside of the top 20.
William Byron rocketed up from his starting slot to 20th before the competition caution on lap 25. However, a speeding penalty pushed Byron back to 32nd, restarting at the back of the field. Byron responded by methodically working his way through the field up to the 17th position by the time stage one was complete.
Byron continued his charge to the front in stage two. Restarting 18th, Byron then settled into the 15th position throughout the first half of the stage.
Crew Chief Chad Knaus made the call to keep Byron out a few laps to see if he could gain some track position. Byron led for 12 laps before being pitted, using the fresher tires to move his way up to the 10th position. He would finish stage two there, earning one stage point.
In stage three, Byron gradually settled around the back third of the top 10 between seventh and 10th. Byron pitted with the leaders under green with 35 laps to go, putting them one lap down. However, Byron’s teammate Jimmie Johnson blew a tire with 31 laps to go, catching Byron and all those who pitted with him a lap down.
Byron was able to take the wave-around right before the restart to get his lap back, but he lined up for the restart back in 19th. Another caution flew with 16 laps to go for an Erik Jones spin in turn four.
Byron and many of the other drivers at the tail of the lead lap opted to pit for fresh tires, and Byron would restart in 14th. However, with seven laps to go after the restart, Byron hit the wall and spun down the front straightaway. As he limped to pit road for repairs, his tire blew, ripping apart his right fender and summing up his evening.
Byron would restart in 24th to stumble home for a 25th-place finish. He will compete next in the YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway Sunday at 2 p.m. on NBC. Byron led 11 laps and finished 11th at Talladega back in May.
Joshua Lipowski is a Sports reporter. Follow him on Twitter at @jlipowski18.