William Byron Dominates From Pole To Win In Austin At Circuit Of The Americas

William Byron Dominates From Pole To Win In Austin At Circuit Of The Americas

by March 24, 2024 0 comments

AUSTIN, Tex. – William Byron delivered a clutch performance on Sunday as he outran Christopher Bell to win the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas (COTA).

Byron entered Sunday’s race coming off not the best stretch of results. Ever since the driver of the Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet won the Daytona 500, he has only recorded one finish inside of the top-10 and it was a 10th-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“We’ve had a little bit of a rough stretch the last few weeks, but put a lot of prep work in this week, and just thankful for the team I have around me, all the people back home as well,” Byron said.

In Austin, Byron started the race on the pole and ran inside of the top-10 all day. He led a race high of 42 laps, but in the closing laps, his win was in great jeopardy as Bell was hot on his trail. Bell pitted off sequence of the leaders and as a result, he had to come through the field and came up just a few car lengths short of catching Byron. The win marked Byron’s second win of the season, first at COTA and 12th of his career.

“Yeah, I feel like I made a lot of mistakes in the last ten laps,” Byron said. “Just little micro errors. Christopher was really fast there on the longer runs. But this sport is just so hard. It’s so difficult to week in and week out show up and have fast cars.”

Bell had a faster car than Byron in the closing laps, but he needed more time to challenge for the win. Bell had been fast all day as he won Stage 1 and led nine laps.

“I mean, obviously once I got to him, it was going to be tough to pass him, but just needed a couple of mistakes,” Bell said. “William has been really, really good on the road courses, and he was flawless when it mattered today.”

Bell’s journey back to the front of the field wasn’t smooth. During the race, both Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch spun off the nose of his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota Camry. Following the checkered flag, Busch confronted Bell on pit road.

“Obviously, he is very upset, which he ended up turned around,” Bell said. “First off, I’m sorry to Larson and the 5 car. I got him earlier in the race and by no intention at all. I didn’t mean to do that.

“K.B. is frustrated about what happened in turn one. I don’t know. They were two-wide going in there. I haven’t obviously seen a replay yet, but I had no intentions of turning him. I’m sure we’ll talk it out before the next race.”

Ty Gibbs and Alex Bowman finished fourth and fifth respectively. Rounding out the top-10 was Tyler Reddick, AJ Allmendinger, Ross Chastain, Chris Buescher, Busch and Martin Truex Jr. who rebounded from an early accident.

There were no cautions for accidents during the 68-lap race, only two yellow flags for the conclusion of stages.

Truex leads his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Gibbs, by five points in the standings.

The NASCAR Cup Series will visit Richmond Raceway on Easter Weekend. Live coverage of the Toyota Owners 400 will broadcast on FOX at 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 31.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

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