JR Motorsports Race Report
Saturday, May 6, 2017
Race 9 of 33: Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway
Track Specs: 2.66-mile tri-oval / 113 laps
Weather: Sunny; 75 degrees
Race Winner: Aric Almirola
Byron’s Finish: 36th
William Byron and the No. 9 Liberty University Chevrolet were relegated to a 36th-place finish in Saturday's NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Talladega Superspeedway, after receiving front-end damage early into the 113-lap race. Byron remains third in the NXS championship standings, now 78 points behind the leader.
The Liberty University team qualified ninth for the 300-mile race on Saturday morning. Byron was running on the inside lane of the lead pack when the first caution of the day was shown on lap 9 for fluid on the racing surface. The driver radioed to his team that his machine was pretty good in the draft and the team elected to stay out and maintain their position. Running in the 14th position on lap 13, Byron began moving lanes in the draft in an attempt to advance his position. While running in the middle lane on lap 22, the 19-year-old was involved in an on-track incident in Turn 3 that collected nine cars.
Byron radioed to the team that his No. 9 machine had a lot of front-end damage and the team called him to pit road. As the car entered the pit stall, the red flag was shown which allowed the team to survey the damage and formulate a plan. When the red flag was lifted, the team began making repairs to the front end. As the five-minute clock ran down, the team finished up the repairs and sent Byron back out on track. When the driver got back on track, he relayed to the team that his machine wasn't reading any of the temperature gauges. Unfortunately, this ended Byron's day on track and the team was scored with a 36th-place finish at the conclusion of the race.
Aric Almirola captured the victory in Talladega and was followed by Elliott Sadler, Joey Logano, Ben Kennedy and Erik Jones rounding out the top-five.
William Byron's Thoughts:
"We were involved in an incident there about 20 laps in. I think the No. 48 got into the outside lane and we just didn’t have anywhere to go. It's unfortunate and not how we wanted things to go, but that’s part of Talladega. That's part of restrictor-plate racing and we will come back strong in Charlotte."
No. 9 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro
Laps Completed (Led)- 32 of 113 (0)
Points (Bonus)- 1 (0)
Point Standings (from leader)- 3rd (-78)