JR Motorsports Race Report
July 29, 2017
JR Motorsports Race Report
Saturday, July 29, 2017
Race 19 of 33: U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway
Track Specs: .875-mile oval / 250 laps
Weather: Mostly sunny; 79 degrees
Race Winner: Ryan Preece
Byron’s Finish: 9th
William Byron brought home his seventh top-10 finish in the past seven weeks on Saturday afternoon by finishing ninth at Iowa Speedway. The 19-year-old remains second in the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship standings, now 54 markers behind Elliott Sadler.
After qualifying 17th for the U.S. Cellular 250, the Liberty University team knew they had some ground to make up during the race. The field was three-wide on lap 2 and just 10 laps later, Byron found himself battling for the 18th position with Brennan Gaughan. On lap 31, Byron radioed to the team that something felt off in the front end. At the conclusion of Stage One, the Charlotte native had worked his way up to the 15th position and was reporting free conditions.
The Liberty University machine came down pit road on lap 63 for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment to help tighten it up. Byron restarted in the 11th position and just five laps later a caution was shown. The driver radioed to the team that his car was a lot better than the previous run and the team elected to stay out. Byron was scored in the ninth position on lap 84, but by lap 102 was reporting free conditions once again. The No. 9 machine was in the 11th position at the end of Stage Two and the team came to pit road for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment.
Byron restarted 11th and radioed to the team on lap 149 to explain that his car was tighter overall. The caution was shown on lap 171 and the team visited pit road for four fresh tires, fuel, and wedge and track-bar adjustments. Byron restarted 12th and had worked his way into the ninth position with 40 laps remaining. Three more cautions were shown before the conclusion of the 250-lap event and crew chief Dave Elenz kept Byron out on track under each of these cautions. With five laps remaining, Byron was scored in the 11th position and advanced two positions to finish ninth. This finish marks Byron’s 13th top-10 finish in 19 NXS events this season.
Ryan Preece crossed the line first and was followed by Kyle Benjamin, Brian Scott, Brennan Poole and Cole Custer rounding out the top five.
William Byron's Thoughts:
"We had a decent day overall. I think we made improvements to our Liberty University Chevrolet as the race went on. Hopefully going to Watkins Glen, we can have a little fun at the road courses. I think we will be able to get some more stage points and get ready for the playoffs."
No. 9 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro
Laps Completed (Led): 254 of 254 (0)
Points (Bonus): 28 (0)
Point Standings (from leader): 2nd (-54)