Hickory, N.C. (April 13, 2014)---William Byron drove his No. 9 Liberty University car to his third-consecutive runner-up finish in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series race at Hickory (N.C) Motor Speedway on Saturday night. Byron started from the sixth position in the 100-lap race and battled his way up into the second spot on lap 40. He was able to hold off his competitors behind him, and after several fierce side-by-side battles for the lead finished second behind eventual race winner Dillon Bassett.
“I’m really happy with how our team performed today,” said Byron. “To come back from last week’s race at South Boston (Va.) Speedway with a solid qualifying effort and a strong second-place finish feels amazing. Also, to have three second-place finishes in my first four late model races are all I could ask for. Thanks to Liberty University and JR Motorsports (JRM) for all of their support.”
Byron qualified his JRM car sixth in the 26-car field despite the loose-handling condition. His teammate Josh Berry captured the pole for the feature event. The green flag waved in front of a packed crowd and Byron maneuvered his way up to fourth by lap 25 before first caution waved on lap 31 for the No. 7 car.
Despite cautions that plagued the mid-part of the race, Byron cleanly passed cars and took over the second position on lap 40. A multi-car incident occurred on lap 45 that included teammate Berry but Byron had positioned himself toward the front of the field and avoided the trouble.
Byron continued his second-place run and was in several side-by-side battles with the leader on restarts. On lap 49 the Liberty University car got a little too tight when the toe was knocked out following door-to-door contact on the front stretch with the race leader. Byron never gave up his position to the hard charging cars behind him and maintained second place.
Byron and Bassett not only pulled away from their competitors, they began passing the cars at the tail end of the field on lap 83. Byron maneuvered his way through the lapped traffic and cut the deficit to the race leader to just two car lengths before the checkered flag waved.
Byron has four career starts in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and three second-place finishes to his credit. Byron and his JR Motorsports team will take next weekend off from competition before returning to the track April 26.