Motorsport News

Of William Byron and Déjà Vu Moments – Motorsports Tribune

Of William Byron and Déjà Vu Moments – Motorsports Tribune

There was a little déjà vu in how William Byron won the NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix on Sunday.

For the second week in a row, Byron and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson were the class of the field, with pit stops and restarts dictating who led a majority of laps. For the record, it was Larson this week with 201.

And yet, the one difference from last weekend at Las Vegas was the increasing likelihood that neither Hendrick driver would win the race with a Kevin Harvick upset manifesting itself over the final stage. In fact, Harvick was driving away to what looked like his 10th career victory in the desert when Harrison Burton crashed with 10 laps to go and triggered a pivotal pit road decision.

Rodney Childers ordered a four tire stop for Harvick, with six others behind them taking two tires and getting out ahead, led by Larson and Byron. Propelled by the number one pit stall, Larson surged ahead of Byron on the final restart of regulation but another crash behind them set up overtime.

Byron nailed this restart, stalled his teammate out to the point he was forced to deal with Ryan Blaney behind them, and drove to his sixth win and first in back-to-back fashion early in his sixth Cup Series season.

“I had a really good launch,” Byron said. “No wheel spin. At that point I was just focusing how can I get through the gears (and) how can I side draft Kyle. When they all pulled down to the apron, the outside guys at a bit of a disadvantage because of the distance. Tried to stay as close as I could there.

“Then it’s who can beat each other to the corner without hitting the wall. We both got in there deep, both were up the track. He held me really tight there through the middle of one and two, off of two. There was just enough grip up there. I think I was just far enough up on him I was able to stay in it.

“We were obviously dragged back. I got that big push from Tyler (Reddick) down the backstretch. That was huge. He drilled me, but we’re not going that fast. It was nice. That kind of got me out in some clean air.”

The déjà vu was especially apparent in that it took one final caution to give Byron a chance to rectify a mistake that cost him track position, and once given that opportunity to make something happen from the front row, he just isn’t missing right now.

Not that he felt that way going into the final restart.

“I was thinking, ‘man, it went so good last week, so I’m probably going…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Motorsports Tribune…