William Byron Pulls Through for Top-Five Finish in Kansas

Credit: Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

October 21, 2017

Summer Bedgood, Managing Editor

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Rookie William Byron has been turning heads in the XFINITY Series this season, winning three races and making a legitimate, realistic run towards the 2017 championship. Moving up to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2018 to drive for Hendrick Motorsports, this may be Byron’s one and only chance to go for the title in this series.  

As the competitors began their Round of 8 Saturday afternoon at Kansas Speedway, Byron had his eye on the prize. He won at Kansas in the Truck Series last season and, in general, he tends to run well at intermediates.

His fourth-place finish may look like a solid day, but it didn’t come easy. Byron had to start at the rear of the field due to unapproved adjustments and fought a loose condition early in the race. The handling caused the rookie to hit the wall a couple of times, but the contact wasn’t enough to cause any significant damage.

Despite the obstacles, Byron was able to work his way up into the top five. Though he never led a lap, he was able to earn his 10th top-five finish of the season, which gained him some valuable ground in the championship hunt.

“It was hard to get up there the first stage,” said Byron post-race. “We tried our best. We started really loose and just had to kinda battle that for the first run and then after probably 25 laps or so, it got a lot better. We could kinda run the top and neutral out a little bit. I think we got up to 11th or 12th and from there had a good pit stop. Gained, I think we restarted 10th and got up to sixth, and then after that it was just about running really good laps and trying to be precise and not make too many mistakes. It worked out. We finished fourth, which is good, and we can carry that momentum to the next racetrack which is Texas in a couple weeks.”

As Byron said, the series heads to Texas Motor Speedway for the second of three races in the Round of 8, which determines the Championship 4 in Homestead. Byron is currently second in points, two points behind leader Justin Allgaier. He has a nine-point cushion over third-place driver Elliott Sadler and a 31-point gap over fifth-place Matt Tifft.

The O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge will begin at 8:30PM ET on November 4th, 2017.

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