Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Jim Utter

NASCAR Cup Texas: Byron passes Wallace late to secure Hendrick's 300th win

After watching his Hendrick Motorsports team-mate Kyle Larson – who dominated most of the race – wreck out late, Byron got around Bubba Wallace and Chase Briscoe on a restart with five of 267 laps remaining to take the lead for the first time.

Erstwhile leader Wallace had chosen the outside lane for the final restart and got side-by-side with Briscoe, with Byron lined up behind the Stewart-Haas Ford. Briscoe edging Wallace's 23XI Toyota deeper to the outside opened the inside lane, which Byron exploited to pass both for the lead.

Byron then held off a late charge by Ross Chastain (Trackhouse Chevrolet), ultimately clearing him by 1.863 seconds to take his sixth win of the season and secure the milestone win for Hendrick, whose first Cup victory came in 1984 with Geoffrey Bodine.

The 25-year-old therefore advances to the semi-final round of the playoffs regardless of how he finishes in the next two races at Talladega and the Charlotte Roval, with seven more spots up for grabs.

Byron admitted that Larson "really deserved this one" and explained afterwards that he had found life tough in the cockpit in the heat.

He said: "It was awesome to get our car to the front, I loved clean air. We just fought through traffic all day and our [car] was just tight back in traffic but had good pace.

“This was one of those hot days, it felt like I was playing football and went through two-a-days, just wanted to quit.

"It was a grind it out day and our team was there at the end. I'm really proud of this one as hot as it was and as tough as it was.”

Bubba Wallace, 23XI Racing, McDonald's Toyota Camry Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro (Photo by: Rachel Schuoler / NKP / Motorsport Images)

Second for Chastain marked a strong recovery after he'd stalled on pitroad, attributed to a throttle position sensor issue he'd already been struggling with, forcing him to fight back from being mired in the midfield.

Wallace ended up third, ahead of the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas of Christopher Bell and Denny Hamlin.

Completing the top 10 were Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Daniel Suarez, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Briscoe.

Larson was classified 31st after his crash while duelling for the lead with Wallace. The 2021 Cup champion had led the field to the green following a caution caused by J.J. Yeley's crash at Turn 2 but Wallace drew alongside and raced him side-by-side when the back end of Larson’s car got loose, and he slammed into the Turn 1 wall.

While Larson was able to get his car back to pit road, the damage was not repairable, and he retired.

“With these cars, you normally don’t get sucked around like that, so I wasn’t really expecting that and thought that I would be fine,” he said after a result that dropped him to eighth in points. “I just lost it and crashed.”

With two races left in the Round of 12, the four drivers lowest in points without a win and in danger of elimination from the playoffs are Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, Tyler Reddick and Wallace, who is just two points behind the cutline.

“I just hate it,” lamented Wallace afterwards. “I should have just kept my line into (Turn) 3 and forced William to get tight. But we’re so vulnerable in these cars, right? Just upset with myself.

“Really needed a win there, and it was a good showing. I don’t know where that puts us. I don’t really care. But I know what I did, and I choked.”

Bubba Wallace, 23XI Racing, McDonald's Toyota Camry, Chase Briscoe, Stewart-Haas Racing, Rush Truck Centers / Cummins Ford Mustang, Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet Camaro, William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro, and Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang (Photo by: Rusty Jarrett / NKP / Motorsport Images)

Reddick had won an eventful Stage 1 after a late caution triggered when Busch spun and hit the wall with enough force to put him out of the race.

But Reddick and Erik Jones, who had finished second to Larson in Stage 2, hit the wall at the penultimate restart following Larson's crash, triggering a multi-car wreck that also collected A.J. Allmendinger, Blaney, Austin Cindric and Zane Smith.

NASCAR Cup Texas Race Results:

Driver Info
Cla Driver # Manufacturer Laps Time Interval Pits Points Retirement
1 United States W. Byron Hendrick Motorsports 24 Chevrolet 267 3:14'28.098   7 47  
2 United States R. Chastain TrackHouse Racing 1 Chevrolet 267 +1.863 1.863 8 38  
3 United States B. Wallace 23XI Racing 23 Toyota 267 +2.196 0.333 8 37  
4 United States C. Bell Joe Gibbs Racing 20 Toyota 267 +2.468 0.272 8 41  
5 United States D. Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing 11 Toyota 267 +3.668 1.200 9 42  
6 United States K. Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing 4 Ford 267 +3.943 0.275 8 31  
7 United States B. Keselowski RFK Racing 6 Ford 267 +4.318 0.375 9 34  
8 Mexico D. Suarez TrackHouse Racing 99 Chevrolet 267 +4.510 0.192 9 30  
9 United States R. Stenhouse Jr. JTG Daugherty Racing 47 Chevrolet 267 +5.144 0.634 13 28  
10 United States C. Briscoe Stewart-Haas Racing 14 Ford 267 +5.658 0.514 7 30  
11 United States C. Elliott Hendrick Motorsports 9 Chevrolet 267 +5.835 0.177 7 36  
12 United States A. Bowman Hendrick Motorsports 48 Chevrolet 267 +5.916 0.081 11 25  
13 United States J. Haley Kaulig Racing 31 Chevrolet 267 +6.112 0.196 10 24  
14 United States C. Buescher RFK Racing 17 Ford 267 +6.302 0.190 8 38  
15 United States M. McDowell Front Row Motorsports 34 Ford 267 +6.382 0.080 7 28  
C. Hocevar Legacy Motor Club
42 Chevrolet 267 +6.522 0.140 10    
17 United States M. Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing 19 Toyota 267 +6.548 0.026 12 20  
18 United States A. Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing 10 Ford 267 +6.695 0.147 13 19  
19 United States T. Dillon Spire Motorsports 77 Chevrolet 267 +6.731 0.036 9 18  
20 United States H. Burton Wood Brothers Racing 21 Ford 267 +7.101 0.370 9 17  
21 United States J. Logano Team Penske 22 Ford 267 +7.212 0.111 11 16  
22 United States B. McLeod Live Fast Motorsports 78 Chevrolet 267 +7.463 0.251 10    
23 United States R. Preece Stewart-Haas Racing 41 Ford 267 +8.582 1.119 9 14  
Z. Smith Front Row Motorsports
38 Ford 267 +11.057 2.475 13    
25 United States T. Reddick 23XI Racing 45 Toyota 267 +21.824 10.767 9 22  
26 United States C. Lajoie Spire Motorsports 7 Chevrolet 262 +5 Laps 5 Laps 10 11  
27 United States A. Cindric Team Penske 2 Ford 261 +6 Laps 1 Lap 10 10 Accident
28 United States R. Blaney Team Penske 12 Ford 258 +9 Laps 3 Laps 9 20 Accident
29 United States A. Allmendinger Kaulig Racing 16 Chevrolet 255 +12 Laps 3 Laps 8 8 Accident
30 United States E. Jones Legacy Motor Club 43 Chevrolet 255 +12 Laps 1.705 8 16 Accident
31 United States K. Larson Hendrick Motorsports 5 Chevrolet 248 +19 Laps 7 Laps 9 16 DVP
32 United States J. Yeley Rick Ware Racing 15 Ford 241 +26 Laps 7 Laps 9   Accident
T. Gibbs Joe Gibbs Racing
54 Toyota 77 +190 Laps 164 Laps 10 4 Accident
34 United States K. Busch Richard Childress Racing 8 Chevrolet 73 +194 Laps 4 Laps 4 3 DVP
35 United States T. Gilliland Rick Ware Racing 51 Ford 52 +215 Laps 21 Laps 3 2 Accident
36 United States A. Dillon Richard Childress Racing 3 Chevrolet 40 +227 Laps 12 Laps 3 1 Accident

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.