William Byron Wins First-Ever NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase Race In New Hampshireby Hunter Thomas September 24, 2016 0 comments
LOUDON, N.H. – William Byron led all but 14 laps en route to the victory in Saturday’s UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Byron started on the Keystone Light Pole and led the opening 54 laps of the race. On lap 69, the driver of the No. 9 Liberty University Toyota Tundra returned to the race lead after passing his Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate, Christopher Bell. In the closing laps of Saturday’s race, Bell was able to pull within a few truck lengths of Byron as the two drivers navigated through lapped traffic, but in the end, Byron took the checkered flag with Bell finishing just behind him in second.
“I was afraid the 4 (Christopher Bell) was going to catch us there at the end,” Byron said. “We started to get tight, but that’s what happens sometimes when you get out front. It was really good – just a great race for us. I can’t thank these guys enough. Everyone at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports), Liberty University – it’s just really cool to get a win here in the Chase. It feels awesome.”
The win came during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series first-ever Chase race. Byron has certainly been on a tear this year has he has visited Victory Lane on six occasions during his rookie season. With the win, Byron has now clinched a spot in the Round of 6 that begins at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, October 29.
“Well, we just try and win,” Byron said. “I mean, we just go out there and compete like we don’t have a win, so that’s our objective and we want to keep the momentum going throughout this Chase so we can make it to Homestead. That’s the ultimate goal.”
Finishing behind Byron and Bell was ThorSport Racing’s Matt Crafton, who is also a Chase contender. Tyler Reddick and Timothy Peters completed the top-five. Rounding out the top-10 was Cole Custer, Kaz Grala, Brett Moffitt, John Hunter Nemechek and Johnny Sauter.
Throughout the afternoon, there were eight cautions. The most notable caution came out on lap 26, when Chase contender, Daniel Hemric spun in Turn 1. The left rear tire went down on his Brad Keselowski Racing No. 19 Blue Gate Bank Ford F-150, and the truck spun around. As he limped back to pit road, a fire ignited underneath his truck. All of the chaos may be been due to left rear brake issues. Hemric finished a disappointing 28th and is now last in the Chase standings, 21 point back from Johnny Sauter, who holds the six and final transfer spot.
William Byron is currently the Chase leader. Matt Crafton is second, only 16 points back. Christopher Bell is just behind Crafton, 17 points back from Byron.
The second race of the Round of 8 will be the DC Solar 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Live broadcast of the race will begin at 8:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and the Motor Racing Network (MRN).
Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images