William Byron


Race Report | Phoenix

Race Report | Phoenix

November 11, 2019


Date: November 10, 2019
Race #35: ISM Raceway
Track Specs: 1-mile oval/ 312 laps / 312 miles
Start: 18th
Finish: 17th
Standings (from leader): 9th (-2730)

RECAPPING THE RACE: Qualifying 18th for Sunday afternoon’s race at ISM Raceway, William Byron was on pace for a top-10 finish when a loose wheel late in the race forced the No. 24 Hertz Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 down pit road under green for a second time. Fighting to make up lost ground, Byron was able to battle back from outside the top 20 to score a 17th-place finish in the closing laps.

Lining up 18th for the 312-lap event in the desert, Byron methodically began working his way through the field and made it to just outside the top 10, in the 12th position, before the first yellow of the race came out on Lap 68. Under the caution, crew chief Chad Knaus made the call for Byron to not pit, lining him up in the second position for the restart. With a three-lap dash to the end of Stage One, fresher tires ultimately prevailed, but Byron was able to still secure stage point, crossing the line in eighth when the green-checkered flag was displayed. Fighting a Hertz Chevy that was a bit loose, Byron came to pit road under the stage break for four tires and fuel. 

Restarting in the 18th position, Byron was able to use fresher tires to his advantage, making his way back through the field during Stage Two. As the sophomore driver reached 11th with 30 laps to go until the final stage break, Byron reported that the No. 24 Hertz Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 needed help turning in the center and exit of the corners. Slipping back to 12th as the run continued, Byron was able to maintain that position until the stage concluded on Lap 152. Under the caution, Byron came to pit road for four tires, fuel and a small chassis adjustment to help aid in the handling of his Chevy. 

Picking up a couple positions on pit road, the 21-year-old restarted 10th, but the high lane stacked up and Byron was scored 13th when the caution came out seven laps later. Gaining a couple position under the yellow, Byron lined up 11th and was able to work himself inside the top 10 just a few laps later. As a long green-flag run ensued and the fuel window for the final pit stop of the race opened, Byron reported a slight vibration and came to pit road under green on Lap 241. During the pit stop Byron got four tires and fuel, but as the No. 24 Hertz Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 returned to the track Byron quickly reported that he felt like he had a loose wheel. Coming back down pit road under green, the Hertz team tightened the lug nuts on the left side tires before Byron was able to rejoin the field. As green-flag pit stops cycled through Byron was scored 23rd, close to two laps down to the leaders. Trying to regain lost track position, Byron worked his way up to the 17th position but was scored two laps down when the caution came out on Lap 304. Electing to not pit and to take the wave around to get one lap back instead, Byron was scored 17th, only one lap down, when the field went back to green for the final three laps. Maintaining his position on the chaotic restart, Byron ultimately took the checkered flag in the 17th position at ISM Raceway.