In his first Xfinity Series start since claiming the 2017 championship with JR Motorsports, William Byron picked up with a second-place finish in Saturday's SRS Distribution 250 at Texas Motor Speedway with the No. 88 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet. Using a combination of early pit strategy coupled with long-run speed, Byron led once for seven laps and claimed the best effort on the day for JRM's five-car fleet. It also marks the best finish for the No. 88 team in three starts this season.
Byron's race began from the 15th starting spot. Making quick work of his competitors, he broke inside top 10 by lap 10 and continued to climb forward, finding the eighth spot prior to a caution flag around the halfway mark of Stage One.
Crew chief Jason Stockert called Byron to pit road under caution. By pitting earlier than many competitors, the stop was a strategic move for track position that would pay dividends when the bulk of the field pitted upon the conclusion of Stage One.
After taking on four tires, fuel and adjustments for a slight tight condition, Byron lined up in 16th for the ensuing restart. He ultimately retained the position for the conclusion of Stage One.
With most of the competitors now needing to pit under the stage-ending caution, Byron gained major ground as he cycled to fourth for the start of Stage Two. When the green-flag waved, he maintained a stranglehold on the top three and rounded out Stage Two in third.
Following another round of pit stops, Byron lined up in third for the final stage behind two of his JRM teammates in Josh Berry and Justin Allgaier. Narrowly avoiding a spinning Berry on the restart, Byron moved into second and followed closely in the tire tracks of Allgaier as the laps clicked off, finding his way around the No. 7 on lap 112. Byron would lead the next seven laps.
With a slew of cautions over the closing laps, and rarely having the preferred line on restarts, Byron slipped to fourth. The HendrickCars.com team's strength was on the long run, but with the laps slipping away under caution, their time was limited.
Byron managed to pick up two more positions before the checkered flag fell and claimed the second spot.
William Byron, driver the No. 88 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet
"Today was a lot of fun. We needed to be a bit better there at the end. We just struggled on restarts and could not take off. We seemed to give up ground restarting in the PJ1. Our long run pace was great, it just took a while to get there. It was fun; I enjoyed it. Thanks to Hendrick Cars, Chevrolet and JR Motorsports. It was a good learning experience."