When it comes to the Super Late Model tour this season, William Byron’s partnership with Donnie Wilson Motorsports has been extremely successful, a pattern that continued on Tuesday as the NASCAR Cup Series driver claimed the victory in the 43rd Annual Slinger Nationals.
Nothing like that winning feeling 🙌@WilliamByron / @TeamHendrick pic.twitter.com/ufwlhQq0lR
— Racing America (@RacingAmerica) July 13, 2022
The 24-year-old, making his first start in the Slinger Nationals, was able to capitalize on a full-contact battler between two former winners of the prestigious Super Late Model event, Ty Majeski and Luke Fenhaus to secure the lead with 13 laps to go.
Said battle came to a boiling point when contact from Fenhaus to Majeski nearly spun the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver around. Somehow, Majeski caught himself by contacting the race’s defending winner.
This allowed Byron to sneak into the runner-up spot on the outside, and then further challenge Majeski for the lead using the outer lane, which saw the Hendrick Motorsports driver brush the outside wall and nearly lose control on multiple occasions.
After taking the lead, Byron would then have to face a hard-charging Luke Fenhaus, who looked to become the first back-to-back winner of the Slinger Nationals since Matt Kenseth did so in 2008 and 2009.
Ultimately, the gap would be too substantial for Fenhaus to close in the limited amount of laps remaining, forcing the 18-year-old to settle for a runner-up finish.
Derek Thorn, who became entangled in the four-car battle for the victory as the top two tussled for the lead, came home in third place. Austin Nason, who suffered a flat tire early on in the 200-lap event, finished in fourth.
Matt Kenseth, an eight-time winner of the Slinger Nationals, made his return to the Super Late Model event at Slinger Speedway, recording a top-five finish after having to take a promoter’s provisional to get into the race’s 26-car field.
Stephen Nasse, Jeremy Lepak, Casey Johnson, Jeff Storm, and Jacob Nottestad – the early-race dominator — rounded out the race’s top-10 finishers.
Ty Majeski, who was in the thick of the race-winning battle with Luke Fenhaus and William Byron came home in 13th-place, seven laps behind the leaders, after the No. 21 Toyota had to come to pit road.
Sammy Smith – a competitor in the ARCA Menards Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series — recorded an 18th-place finish for Donnie Wilson Motorsports after the front-end got smashed in on his No. 22 Toyota, forcing an early retirement from the event.
Derek Kraus – a full-time NASCAR Truck Series driver for McAnally-Hilgemann Racing — was gifted a promoter’s provisional to get into the 43rd Annual Slinger Nationals, but was black-flagged mid-race for an incident on-track, forcing him to finish 22nd, 108 laps down.
Kraus’ fellow NCWTS driver, Carson Hocevar, started the weekend competing to make the Slinger Nationals but withdrew after qualifying, saying that the event was too physical to be competing in with a broken tibia – following a last-lap crash at WWT Raceway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Not healthy/physically ready for this race yet, was struggling in practice during my 20 lap run, safe bet was to just learn for next year.
— Carson Hocevar (@CarsonHocevar) July 13, 2022