Byron Takes Runner-Up At Talladega Superspeedway

William Byron made an incredible comeback on Sunday afternoon, recovering from a spin at the end of stage two to muscle a second-place finish after leading 12 laps in the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday afternoon. 

On lap 119 toward the end of stage two, Denny Hamlin, who was a lap down at the time, slammed into the outside wall near the front of the field. Byron, a couple cars behind, spun out as the field accordioned back, collecting teammates Alex Bowman and Chase Elliot. Byron luckily escaped with only minor damage to his racecar. 

Under the ensuing caution, crew chief Rudy Fugle brought Byron down pit road to make the necessary repairs to the car. Thanks to quick work by the crew, Byron stayed on the lead lap. 

Byron patiently worked his way up into the top 10 by the time the final restart of the day came in overtime on lap 190. On the final lap, Byron was still in the back half of the top 10, but coming down the fast lane on the inside allowed him to gain multiple spots before passing Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell for second in the tri-oval. Byron also added a fifth-place finish in stage one to round out a chaotic day at Talladega. 

William Byron keeps his top-10 streak alive with his eighth straight top 10 finish and his second top five in the last three races. This was also Byron’s best career finish at Talladega and his second-straight top five there. 

Thirteen races into the season, Byron is currently sitting fourth in the points standing, behind Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano. Byron has one win on the season so far, from a February race at Homestead-Miami. 

Statistically, this is the best season of Byron’s career.

Byron’s next race will be at the Kansas Speedway on Sunday at 3 p.m. on FS1. Kansas is an interesting track for Byron as he has a decent average finish there of 13.8, including a third-place run in 2019 and 10th last October. However, this track was also the site of arguably his most vicious NASCAR accident which occurred May 2018.

Kansas Speedway is one of the newest tracks in NASCAR, having opened in 2001. It traditionally has hosted a race weekend in the fall, but it has hosted a second race in the spring since 2011. The area around the track includes a baseball stadium and a soccer stadium just outside of turns three and four. 

Joshua Lipowski is a Sports Reporter. Follow him on Instagram at @j_lipowski23.

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