- Saturday’s qualifying at Atlanta Motor Speedway was canceled due to rain with the lineup being set by the performance metric. William Byron lined up 13th for the start of Sunday’s race in No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
- Byron showed speed early on, racing his way to a fifth-place result in stage one. Having to start further back for the start of stage two due to varying pit strategy, Byron once again maneuvered his way to the front, ultimately taking over the lead on lap 106. Byron led 41 laps before ending stage two in the eighth position.
- Once again having to restart mid-pack due to varying pit strategies, Byron was working his way back through the field but was collected in an on-track incident on lap 170 that ended his race early.
- After the race at Atlanta, Byron is tenth in the driver point standings, 179 points behind the leader.
RECAPPING THE RACE
Weather cancelled all on-track activity Saturday for the NASCAR Cup Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Because of that, William Byron started Sunday’s race from the 13th position due to the performance metric. Byron showed speed early on maneuvering his No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 up to ninth by the time the competition caution came out on lap 25. Crew chief Rudy Fugle made the call for his driver to stay out under the caution to pick up track position, allowing Byron to restart sixth halfway through the opening stage. After being shuffled to the low lane and having to regain some track position, Byron was able to race his way back up to fifth at the end of stage one. Needing some help with grip from the right rear tire, Byron came down pit road under the stage break for four tires, fuel and both an air pressure and chassis adjustment. Unfortunately, Byron was blocked into his pit stall from the car in front of him, costing him track position in the process.
With varying pit strategy taking place, Byron lined up 16th for the start of stage two. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native was able to make his way back up to 12th by the time the caution came out on lap 79. Under the yellow, Fugle made the call for Byron to come down pit road for two right side tires and to top off on fuel. Restarting 15th, the 24-year-old driver began working his way through the field again, almost reaching the top-10 before narrowly avoiding a major on-track incident just in front of him. Scored sixth at the time of the yellow, Fugle made the strategy call to pit to top off on fuel to be able to make it to the end of the stage. The Axalta team picked up five positions for their driver on pit road, lining up in third for the ensuing restart. Making a power move, Byron took the lead on lap 106 and continued to lead until the caution came out with 18 laps remaining in stage two. On the restart, Byron maintained his lead but unfortunately was shuffled from the top spot with under 10 laps remaining in the stage. Byron battled to make up lost ground but was unable to get much help to regain momentum, ending stage two in the eighth position. Fighting a now tight Axalta Chevy, Byron came down pit road under the stage break for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment.
Once again, varying pit strategy took place throughout the field, lining Byron up 15th for the restart with 95 laps remaining. Trying to once again regain track position, Byron was racing his way through the field but unfortunately was caught up in an on-track incident on lap 170 that ended his race early.
QUOTING WILLIAM BYRON
“The racing was fine. I thought the track had a little bit less grip. Our No. 24 Axalta Chevy was good out front. We could hang around the top-five. We struggled a little bit there on the pit stop sequence. We took four tires and we started way back, and we just got into someone else’s mess.
“We were eighth to finish the stage. Thinking that in the final stage some guys would stay out, we just seemed to net out further back than we thought we would. We ended up like 18th or 19th and had to restart there, and that’s where the wreck happened. It was just unfortunate that we were back there. I don’t know if there is anything we could have really done because we had taken right side tires before then and our tires were pretty old.
“We kind of hovered around the top-eight all day and unfortunately we’re out. Thank you to Axalta, Chevrolet and everybody at Hendrick Motorsports. We’ll keep working hard and it will change soon.”
THE NEXT RACE
TRACK: NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
DATE: SUNDAY, JULY 17, 2022
TIME: 3:00 P.M. ET
TUNE-IN: USA, SIRIUSXM, PRN