RECAPPING THE RACE
After practice on Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway, William Byron went on to qualify 16th in the No. 24 Acronis Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Able to pick up a few positions at the start of the race, Byron made his way up to 12th by the time first caution came out on lap 43. Under the yellow, crew chief Rudy Fugle made the call for his driver to come down pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Restarting in the 18th position, Byron once again picked up positions quickly, making his way up to 12th by the time the caution came out again, this time on lap 91. Electing to stay out this time, Byron restarted from 10th with 26 laps remaining in the opening stage. Trying to pick up as many points as possible, Byron reached eighth but dropped back to ninth by the time the green-checkered flag was displayed. Byron collected enough points in stage one to automatically lock himself into the next round of the playoffs. Knowing they were locked in, Fugle called the No. 24 Acronis Chevy down pit road under the stage break for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment.
With varying pit strategy taking place, the 24-year-old driver started the second stage from 20th. Byron dealt with heavy traffic early on in the run but was able to reach 16th by the time the yellow came out on lap 195. Fighting a tight No. 24 Acronis Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, Byron came down pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. Once again restarting from the 20th position, Byron got a great restart that propelled him inside the top-15 running order. As the laps wound down in the second stage, Byron continued to work his way through traffic, making it up to 12th by the time the caution came out on lap 233. Wanting to pick up track position and potentially more stage points, Fugle kept his driver on track, allowing him to restart from the fifth position for a 10-lap shootout to the stage end. Still a little tight, Byron slipped back to seventh on the restart and maintained that position until the end of stage two. Wanting to maintain track position, Fugle elected for the Acronis Chevy to remain on track under the stage break.
With the pit strategy call, Byron lined up fourth for the start of the final stage. Byron moved up to third just as the caution came out early on in the run. Electing to start on the front row for the ensuing restart on lap 277, Byron couldn’t get his momentum built up fast enough, dropping back to fourth. As a long green-flag run continued and still on old tires, Byron slid back to eighth by the time the caution came out on lap 353. Just too tight in traffic, Byron came down pit road under the yellow for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Lining up 10th for the restart, Byron jumped up to seventh pretty quickly before taking over sixth-place with 84 laps to go. Just 20 laps later the caution came out allowing Byron to come back down pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Once again able to line up on the front row for the restart, Byron tried to make a pass for the lead but ended up losing momentum and slipping to third. As the remaining laps continued to tick off, Byron maintained his running position. Ultimately Byron was able to hold off those behind him, scoring a third-place finish Saturday evening.
QUOTING THE NO. 24 TEAM
“Honestly, with this Next Gen car, the pace is so fast around here and I didn’t really have a chance to see what was going on around me. I would see guys up in the wall, having flat tire issues or blowing up, so I just tried to avoid it.
Our No. 24 Acronis Chevrolet team did a great job tonight. We were a little bit timid early and didn’t really quite have the car in stage one. We wanted to get those points so we could advance. And then they told me after stage one that we were locked-in. We were a little bit freer after that. We really didn’t change much, but we got the car better and had a good second and final stage.
I’m really proud of this team. This whole round, we’ve been getting better each race. Just really proud of the effort. After a rough summer, this is really good to see how we brought ourselves to the playoffs. Thank you to all of our partners and supporters back home. We’re really excited.”
THE NEXT RACE
TRACK: TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
DATE: SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2022
TIME: 3:30 P.M. ET
TUNE-IN: USA, SIRIUSXM, PRN