William Byron Wins Rattlesnake 400 In Texas And Earns His Second Victory Of 2016by Camille Jones June 11, 2016 0 comments
FORT WORTH, Tex. – William Byron prevailed in a thrilling battle for the lead before he took home the win in Friday night’s Rattlesnake 400 at Texas Motor Speedway.
This was Byron’s second win in only his eighth start in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He earned his first career win at Kansas Speedway back in May. Byron, driver of the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 9 Liberty University Toyota Tundra, led 6 laps on Friday and battled in the top-five for most of the evening, mainly racing door-to-door with a dominant Matt Crafton for the lead position. In the closing laps, after passing Crafton for the top spot, he found a hard-charging Rico Abreu at his back bumper.
“I found the top earlier in the race and it didn’t work very well lap 15 to 20 in the run,” Byron said. “Once I could get laps on the tires – it’s all about heart and you have to want it and my team wants it and I see that every day.”
Abreu was able to close on the leader, but ended up making contact with the wall with only a couple of laps remaining. He was able to continue, but after taking the white flag, his truck met the wall again, sending him back to a ninth-place finish.
“I got the top going in (turns) three and four there and I kept following and following and you can only follow for so long,” Abreu said. “We came to the white and you have to push it with the way they’ve built this Chase format you have to win and he’s (William Byron) has already won. I wasn’t going to do something too stupid and wreck him because I’ve done that before.”
After leading 133 of the 167 laps in Friday night’s race, Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Menards Chevrolet, had to settle for a second-place finish. With a tire down in the early laps of the race, Crafton’s hopes of a solid finish seemed to be ruined, but after restarting mired back in the pack, he quickly navigated through traffic to place himself back into the lead position. Crafton has earned six top-five finishes in the 2016 season.
“If I could have done it any differently, I would have,” Crafton said. “We just lost all drive off the corner for whatever reason there. We ran so hard at the beginning of that run that it had zero drive off. It says a lot about this team. If you look at the right side of this Tundra and how beat up this thing is, we led the most laps and should of, could of won this race. It’s all about these guys and never giving up.”
Taking home a third-place finish was Johnny Sauter, driver of the No. 21 Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff Chevrolet, held the lead position for nine laps on Friday night after starting on the pole. Out of 16 starts at Texas Motor Speedway, Sauter has finished in the top-10 on 12 occasions.
Rounding out the top-10 on Friday night was Ben Kennedy in fourth, followed by Tyler Reddick, Timothy Peters, John Hunter Nemechek, German Quiroga, Rico Abreu and Daniel Hemric.
Matt Crafton currently leads the championship point standings by 18 points over Timothy Peters. Crafton currently has two wins this season, while Peters has yet to claim a victory in 2016. William Byron is third in the standings, just 23 points out from the lead.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to competition at Iowa Speedway on Saturday, June 18 for the Speediatrics 200. Live race coverage will be found on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Pennington/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway