South Boston, VA (April 23, 2015) -- It was a wild night of racing in the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at South Boston (Va.) Speedway on Thursday night. William Byron finished second after competing with the top Late Model drivers in the country, NASCAR Xfinity Champion Chase Elliott, NASCAR Sprint Cup driver and host Denny Hamlin and Sprint Cup regular David Ragan in front of a packed crowd.
“It was a great race,” said Byron. “It was hard racing from the drop of the green flag. I raced around Chase (Elliott) and David (Ragan) most of the race; it was cool to race against those guys. It was really tight racing, but really clean racing. Denny (Sprint Cup driver Hamlin) put on a great event.”
Byron was quickest in practice twice over the two-day Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown event. He qualified third in his JR Motorsports (JRM) Late Model and started the scheduled 200-lap race in the ninth position. The Liberty University Chevrolet was a little loose for the first part of the race, but Byron continued to battle hard and race in the top 10. During the mandatory break at lap 150 while running ninth, the JRM crew made a few adjustments to the No. 91 Chevrolet for the 50-lap shootout to the checkered flag.
When the green flag waved at lap 151, Byron continued to be competitive and smart on the track. The top 10 cars in the field were often battling side-by-side and sometimes three wide including Byron. He avoided a late-race accident that set up a green-white-checker flag finish in overtime. The final green-flag waved on lap 208 and the leaders tangled on the final lap. Byron’s quick maneuvering around the incident allowed him to clear the cars and take the checkered flag in the second position behind race winner Timothy Peters.
“We had a great car at the end and made the most of the night,” said Byron. “That was key. This second-place finish continues the momentum I’ve had over the last several races. The JR Motorsports team prepared a great car for the event, we were fast and competitive through every practice, qualifying and the race.”
Byron has podium finishes in his last five race starts (three Late Model and two NASCAR K&N events) including one win, three runner-up finishes and one third-place finish. Byron will compete again on Saturday, May 2 at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va., in his JR Motorsports Late Model.
Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown Results
|4||19||Tommy Lemons, Jr.||210|