Rookie William Byron takes record-breaking fifth win
William Byron continues to rack up victories and records in his rookie season in the Camping World Truck Series.
Byron held off Cameron Hayley on a restart with four of 60 laps remaining to win Saturday’s Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway, his fifth win through the season’s first 12 races.
Byron broke the series record of wins by a rookie, set in the 2000 by now Sprint Cup Series driver Kurt Busch.
Brett Moffitt finished third, Timothy Peters was fourth and Cole Custer came back from a spin early in the race to finish fifth.
The race was marred by a track record nine cautions, which covered 27 of the 60 laps.
“Honestly, this is a credit to this team. This team is a great group of guys. Rudy Fugle leads them all. The pit crew’s great – we just all have great chemistry,” Byron said in Victory Lane.
“We show up and do our jobs. These things don’t come easy at all. It’s a good just to win one of these.”
Byron, who graduated from high school in Charlotte, N.C., in May, is clearly a favorite to win the series championship and there seems little doubt he will own the No. 1 seed when the Chase begins in less than two months.
“Last week was a struggle,” Byron said of his 14th place finish on the dirt at Eldora Speedway. “I was looking forward to getting back on asphalt and get back to something that I’m familiar with.
“It’s just a credit to this team to come back this week and get another win.”
Hayley’s runner-up finish tied for his best finish of the season (at Atlanta) but he never got an opportunity to attempt a pass for the lead down the stretch.
“We were good but (Byron) was fast – he was just driving away,” Hayley said. “We ran out (of gas) coming off the track but he still had enough for a (victory) burnout. They’re doing something.
“I couldn’t be happier, though. Everyone on this team worked their butts off. After the fire a month ago (at ThorSport Racing), to come back and run this strong in July is awesome.”
Byron’s teammate at Kyle Busch Motorsports, Christopher Bell, also set a record in the race.
After losing several laps with extensive repairs on pit road from a wreck early in the race, five times Bell was the recipient of the free pass (a series record) which allowed him to return to the lead lap and he ended up 10th.
|9||8||John Hunter Nemechek||Chevrolet||60||8.757||--||24|
|10||4||Christopher Bell||Toyota||60||9.129||--||23 |
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