William Byron: “During the last laps, “there was nothing I could do”

William Byron

William Byron felt fending off Martin Truex Jr. would be enough to clinch the Richmond championship, but an unexpected challenge proved too much for him in the closing moments.

William Byron

At the end of the competition, Byron tried a bold one-stop strategy, stretching the tyres approximately 100 laps to the finish line.

As Byron battled to be the next season’s first multi-time champion, the strategy came close to working. Although he managed to keep Truex at bay, he was powerless to stop Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick from pursuing him. After choosing for a two-stop approach to finish the race, both drivers had significantly more fresh tyres.

Byron finished third after leading for 122 laps but relinquishing the lead with only five laps to go.

“Thought we probably did the best job we could,” he said post-race. “It didn’t quite work out. I thought there at the end they told me I was just racing the 19 (Truex). I’m like ok I got him, but then the 4 (Harvick) and the 11 (Hamlin) were on a totally different planet. That’s just part of it.

“There wasn’t anything I could do about them, so it was probably four or five to go and Brandon (Lines) was coaching me on keeping the tires underneath it and having good exits and entries. Especially making those guys go around me on the top was definitely better. The times that guys would get underneath me was really, really hard to get back connected and get a good lap put together. The middle of the race we were terrible and we just couldn’t get in the corner at all and if you can’t get into the corner you can’t put consistent laps together. It’s nice to have a run like we had today.”

On Sunday, Byron was the highest-finishing Chevrolet and the only member of Team Chevy to dominate all laps. After 2 DNFs to begin the year, the Hendrick Motorsports racer has now placed in the top 5 in 3 during the last five races.

After seven races, he is in fourth place in the regular season rankings.

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Daytona 500, Grand Prix, IndyCar, Nascar, NASCAR Cup Series, William Byron, XFinity, Martin Truex Jr.

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