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William Byron Holds Off Christopher Bell, Wins in Austin

2024 Cup COTA William Byron, No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet (Credit: NKP)

William Byron won Sunday’s (March 24) EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas from the pole for his 12th NASCAR Cup Series win.

Byron had his work cut out for him at the end, conserving fuel while keeping a hard charging Christopher Bell at a distance.

“(Bell) was really fast at the end,” Byron said. “The Toyotas had the long-run speed kind of all weekend, so for us, it was just trying to get a gap on the short run; manage our tires and just kind of keep our car in a good spot. I definitely gave up a lot of time the last five laps, so we still have work to do.”

Bell finished second while Ty Gibbs, Alex Bowman, Tyler Reddick, AJ Allmendinger, Ross Chastain, Chris Buescher, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. completed the top 10.

“It seems another lap I would’ve got there for sure,” Bell told PRN.

Stage 1 ran caution-free with a strategic win by Bell, who elected to stay on track while the leaders pitted. Although it lacked cautions, stage one still resulted in plenty of calamity. On lap 1, Corey LaJoie made hard contact with Truex and Bubba Wallace after merging back onto the track after a wide-arching corner.

On lap 2, Harrison Burton spun after contact with Josh Berry.

Daniel Suárez, Michael McDowell, Austin Cindric, Austin Dillion, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Byron, Gibbs, Reddick and Chastain rounded out the top 10 in the stage.

Stage 2 also ran caution free, with Denny Hamlin staying out while others pitted to take the stage win. Ryan Blaney, Truex, Todd Gilliland, Ryan Preece, Brad Keselowski, John Hunter Nemechek, Byron, Daniel Hemric and Berry also collected stage points.

Stage 2 saw more spins from contact. Wallace spun off contact from Keselowski, Kyle Larson off Bell and Kamui Kobayashi off Stenhouse.

“The Kyle Larson incident was totally my fault and I take ownership of,” Bell further told PRN.

The NASCAR Cup Series’ first visit to a road course for the 2024 season ran without a single caution for cause. Although full of various strategies that jumbled the field throughout the race, ultimately Byron, Gibbs, Chastain and Bell showed the most strength among the field.

Circuit of The Americas Race Results, Lineup | Official Site Of NASCAR

Next Sunday (March 31) the Cup Series returns to short track racing at Richmond Raceway for the Toyota Owners 400. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. E.T. on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM.

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