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Monday, October 3, 2022
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William Byron Holds Off Multiple Runs, Wins First Race at Newly Reconfigured Atlanta

PC: Jonathan McCoy | TobyChristie.com

There aren’t many people that can say they won the first race on a newly-reconfigured track, much less with an entirely never-before-seen style of racing.

After Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, William Byron can, though.

The Hendrick Motorsports driver captured his third victory in the NASCAR Cup Series, becoming the organization’s third driver to win a race within the first five races of the 2022 season.

However, the win didn’t come with ease, as the track’s new hybrid style of intermediate and superspeedway racing, didn’t allow the leader to sustain a gap on the field, subjecting the driver out front to many advances from competitors.

“It was so different,” Byron said in a post-race interview. “You know honestly the last few laps there, just trying to manage the gap to Bubba (Wallace) and trying to not get too far out front. My spotter Brandon (Lines), it’s his first win so congrats to him, and just thanks to this whole team. They’ve done a great job this year. There are a lot of changes with the Next Gen car.”

Despite that, and the race’s record-smashing number of lead changes, the Charlotte, North Carolina-native led a race-high 111 laps, including 61 of the final 64 laps.

“It’s so cool. I think these fans saw one heck of a race. It was certainly long from my seat. It was mentally taxing. Just thanks to all the fans for coming out. Been an awesome weekend. I got the win last night in the Late Model too, so it’s been a lot of fun.”

Christopher Bell – who entered the event 30th in point standings — crossed the line in second place, but will be credited with a 23rd-place finish after NASCAR determined that the No. 20 went below the double-white line to make a pass.

Therefore, Ross Chastain was credited with a second-place result for the second event in a row, continuing a streak of top-five finishes for Trackhouse Racing, that dates back to the second race of the season at Auto Club Speedway.

Kurt Busch finished in third-place, scoring back-to-back top-five finishes for the first time in 23XI Racing’s history. Daniel Suarez – a teammate to Ross Chastain — finished fourth, marking the first double top-five for the second-year organization.

Finishing in fifth, was Corey LaJoie, who notched his first career top-five finish in NASCAR Cup Series competition, driving the No. 7 Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevrolet Camaro for Spire Motorsports.

In fact, according to the #TobyTracker – the TobyChristie.com incident counter — each of the drivers that finished inside the top-five, with the exception of race-winner William Byron, were involved in incidents throughout the 500-mile contest.

Chase Elliott, Chris Buescher, Martin Truex Jr, Joey Logano, and Alex Bowman rounded out the top-10 in a chaos-filled event that only saw 25 vehicles running at the finish.

The final lap of the event, featured quite a bit of chaos, first will wall contact for Ryan Blaney and Chase Briscoe in turn one, and then a multi-car accident entering turn four, that involved Bubba Wallace, Justin Haley, and Chris Buescher.

 

Exiting Atlanta, Chase Elliott holds a seven-point lead over Joey Logano in the regular-season point standings. Chase Briscoe sits third in points, with William Byron, and Kurt Busch rounding out the top-five.

Joseph Srigley
Joseph Srigleyhttp://tobychristie.com
University of Windsor | Business Administration - Supply Chain & Data Analytics Editor at TobyChristie.com

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