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Byron Reached Out to Chastain Following Texas Crash; Drivers Haven’t Spoken Yet

William Byron Ross Chastain beef Texas 2024 NASCAR Cup Series Talladega

Photo Credit: Tim Parks, HHP for Chevy Racing

William Byron has yet to speak to Ross Chastain following a last-lap dust-up between the two drivers last weekend in the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas Motor Speedway. At a media availability on Tuesday, Byron stated that he has reached out to the driver of the No. 1 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, and expects that the two will talk later this week.

“We haven’t spoken yet,” Byron admitted. “I reached out to him, but I’m sure we’ll get connected later this week.”

Byron says once he does speak to Chastain, he doesn’t feel that his view of what happened will change at all. A couple of days after Chastain went spinning from the runner-up spot on the backstretch on the final lap of Sunday’s race at Texas, Byron has yet to see a replay that shows him any indications that he did anything wrong.

“Nothing really changes for me. [From] My perspective, we just came together in a spot there. He was coming down the track there to try to cover my run, and I was just making a corner exit like I anticipated him being where he would be on the exit,” Byron explained. “Yeah, it’s unfortunate, but it’s racing on the last lap. And I just kind of do that 10 out of 10 times, probably. Stay in that spot.”

Here is a video of the incident that broke out between the two drivers:

Ultimately, Byron had the inside line, and he saw Chastain sliding down the track. He had two options; lift, and potentially finish worse than third, or stay in the gas and have a shot at second.

Byron, who ultimately finished third, feels he made the right move and says if the shoe were on the other foot that Chastain should make that same move on the final lap of a race.

“I would,” Byron said when asked if he would expect Chastain to do the same in that same position. “Yeah. I think probably the timing and the momentum that I had was probably like maybe a little bit different than what he thought or something. I haven’t talked to him, so, once we talk, we’ll discuss it and go from there.”

For those who felt the move at the end of Sunday’s race at Texas was uncharacteristically aggressive for Byron, the driver of the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet dispells that notion.

“I mean, I’ve been aggressive when it comes to being in contention so I don’t feel like I try to be any more aggressive, no.”

Regardless if he feels like he was right or wrong, it will be imperative for Byron to mend fences with Chastain heading into this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, where drafting help is crucial to your chances at reaching victory lane.

Byron, 26, won the season-opening Daytona 500, and is now up to four victories on drafting-style tracks throughout his young NASCAR Cup Series career. Byron, who has become a threat seemingly everywhere he races, has emerged as one of the rising stars on Superspeedways.

But even with how good he has elevated his game at the superspeedways, Byron admits he doesn’t feel he’s the best at that particular style of racing.

“I think Ryan [Blaney] is really good there. Denny [Hamlin] is really good. Those two guys do a really good job of just positioning themselves throughout the entire race,” Byron said. “We, it just seems like, for us, we have to go into it with a good mindset, and then it seems like the rest kind of takes care of itself. You can’t worry about the things you can’t control. The times I go there stressed out or worried about crashing because of a points situation or whatever, it just doesn’t work.”

With three wins in his back pocket, Byron definitely won’t be coming into Sunday’s GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway worried about his points situation. Can he snag his first career win at the 2.66-mile oval in Alabama? That remains to be seen, but if he can make good with Chastain, a fellow Chevy racer, it’ll go a long way toward boosting his chances.

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