William Byron claims "humbling" NASCAR Xfinity win at Indianapolis

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William Byron claims
Jim Utter
By: Jim Utter
Jul 22, 2017, 10:08 PM

William Byron’s successful rookie NASCAR Xfinity Series season just got a whole lot better.

William Byron, JR Motorsports Chevrolet
William Byron, JR Motorsports Chevrolet takes the checkered flag
William Byron, JR Motorsports Chevrolet

Byron, a 19-year-old native of Charlotte, N.C., out-dueled veteran Paul Menard and hung on to win Saturday’s Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The win is Byron third of the season, all coming in the last five races.

“I’m just really thankful to be here,” Byron said on pit road after completing a victory burnout. “I have a lot of great people around me. It’s very humbling to be in Indianapolis and win.

“I can’t believe that tire held on. That was awesome.”

The final 20 laps, Byron complained of a growing vibration of right-front tire, likely a sign of extreme wear.

After he passed his JR Motorsports teammate, Elliott Sadler, for the lead with 16 of 100 laps remaining, had to fend off challenges from both Joey Logano and Menard.

“This is so cool. This is awesome,” Byron said. “I’ve never been to a Brickyard 400 or an Indy 500 but I watched it as kid. It takes a lot to win these races and to win here is so special.”

Byron’s victory came as part of a successful test of a new aero package at IMS, which included spoiler changes, the use of a 7/8-inch restrictor-plate and aero ducts on the front bumpers.

The race produced series track records in lead changes (16) and different leaders (eight).

Logano finished third, Sadler was fourth and Cole Custer completed the top-five.

“I thought I had a chance at catching William,” Menard said. “But he was better than me in Turn 1. Everywhere else we were pretty even.”

Stage 2

Sadler inherited the lead when several of the race leaders elected to pit with three laps left in the segment and claimed the Stage 2 victory when the race went under caution.

Justin Allgaier, who was leading, was one of the cars that pit before the Stage break but overshot his pit stall. His crew began work on the car before he corrected its position, then when Allgaier left the stall, he ran over the air hose.

Shortly after reaching the track, his right-front tire appeared to dislodge causing Allgaier to come to a rest in Turn 2, which brought out the caution.

“I think you are definitely seeing a lot closer racing out here than we’ve seen here the last couple of years,” Sadler said during the break.

Brennan Poole ended up second in Stage 2 followed by Daniel Hemric, Brendan Gaughan and Brandon Jones.

The first incident of the race occurred on Lap 39 when Ryan Sieg got into the back of Spencer Gallagher, which also collected the cars of Tyler Reddick and Blake Koch.

The race returned to green on Lap 45 with Busch in the lead followed by Logano and Custer.

Garrett Smithley spun after getting hit from behind by Mario Gosselin on Lap 50 to bring out the fourth caution of the race. Busch led on the restart on Lap 53.

Stage 1

Byron passed Busch on Lap 23 of the 30-lap first segment and held on to claim the Stage 1 victory. That was only the second Stage win by Byron this season.

Logano ended up third, Custer was fourth and Poole was fifth.

Sadler, who started from the pole, led the way until a competition caution was displayed on Lap 15 to allow teams to check tire wear.

During the round of pit stops, Erik Jones got spun by Poole and got his No. 20 Toyota stuck sideways. Jeb Burton was also penalized for speeding on pit road.  

Busch was the first off pit road, but Hemric – who had to pit early in the race due to debris on his grille – stayed out and took over the lead on Lap 21. Busch took over the lead almost immediately after the restart.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeLaps Led
1 9 united_states William Byron  Chevrolet 100   26
2 2 united_states Paul Menard  Chevrolet 100 0.108  
3 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 100 3.656  
4 1 united_states Elliott Sadler  Chevrolet 100 5.987 22
5 00 united_states Cole Custer  Ford 100 6.227  
6 16 united_states Ryan Reed  Ford 100 6.423  
7 48 united_states Brennan Poole  Chevrolet 100 11.415  
8 21 united_states Daniel Hemric  Chevrolet 100 14.294 1
9 33 united_states Brandon Jones  Chevrolet 100 16.348  
10 3 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 100 16.474  
11 19 united_states Matt Tifft  Toyota 100 28.695  
12 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 100 31.076 44
13 62 united_states Brendan Gaughan  Chevrolet 100 31.210  
14 39 united_states Ryan Sieg  Chevrolet 100 31.288  
15 14 united_states J.J. Yeley  Toyota 100 32.116  
16 4 united_states Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 100 34.213  
17 11 united_states Blake Koch  Chevrolet 100 34.923  
18 96 united_states Ben Kennedy  Chevrolet 100 43.162  
19 24 united_states Jeb Burton  Toyota 100 48.257  
20 28 united_states Dakoda Armstrong  Toyota 99 1 lap  
21 0 united_states Garrett Smithley  Chevrolet 99 1 lap 1
22 01 united_states Harrison Rhodes  Chevrolet 99 1 lap 1
23 20 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 99 1 lap  
24 07 united_states Ray Black Jr.  Chevrolet 99 1 lap  
25 5 united_states Michael Annett  Chevrolet 99 1 lap  
26 78 united_states Tommy Joe Martins  Chevrolet 99 1 lap  
27 90 canada Mario Gosselin  Chevrolet 99 1 lap  
28 23 united_states Spencer Gallagher  Chevrolet 99 1 lap  
29 99 united_states David Starr  Chevrolet 99 1 lap  
30 52 united_states Joey Gase  Chevrolet 98 2 laps  
31 51 united_states Jeremy Clements  Chevrolet 98 2 laps  
32 40 united_states Chad Finchum  Toyota 98 2 laps  
33 8 united_states B.J. McLeod  Chevrolet 93 7 laps  
34 74 united_states Mike Harmon  Dodge 90 10 laps  
35 7 united_states Justin Allgaier  Chevrolet 86 14 laps 4
36 13 united_states Timmy Hill  Dodge 40 60 laps  
37 42 united_states Tyler Reddick  Chevrolet 38 62 laps  
38 15 united_states Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 23 77 laps  
39 89 united_states Morgan Shepherd  Chevrolet 22 78 laps 1
40 93 united_states Jeff Green  Chevrolet 9 91 laps  

 Watch the race recap by clicking on image:

 

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About this article

Series NASCAR XFINITY
Event Indianapolis
Location Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Drivers William Byron
Teams JR Motorsports
Author Jim Utter
Article type Race report