On the Atlanta Motor Speedway, William Byron was in the lead when the rain made its appearance and definitively stopped the race in the NASCAR Cup Series. The Hendrick Motorsports driver does double duty by taking control of the drivers’ championship.
Neither a spin at the start of the race, nor damage to his Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, could prevent William Byron from securing a fourth victory this season in NASCAR’s premier class.
As a thunderstorm approaches Atlanta Motor Speedway shortly after the end of the second segment of the race, Willaim Byron takes control of the race on lap 167 and leads the field until lap 178 and an accident involving Ricky Stenhouse Jr. , Ryan Preece and Bubba Wallace.
During the neutralization the rain made its appearance and the officials took out the red flag at 9:47 p.m. after 185 covered laps out of the 260 initially planned.
With weather conditions continuing to deteriorate, NASCAR had no choice but to ratify the result. William Byron thus won his fourth victory of the season in a race shortened by 75 laps in the rain. This is his eighth career and second at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Rudy Fugle, William Byron’s team manager, made the decision to refuel on lap 125 following an accident at turn 2 involving Erik Jones, Ross Chastain, Corey LaJoie, Tyler Reddick, Martin Truex Jr .and Ty Gibbs. Against the current of his opponents, William Byron will remain on track on lap 165 and will start from fourth place during the restart, while the majority of his opponents pit for the first time since lap 95.
After a spin on the front straight on lap 80 and a lost lap on entering the pits, William Byron did not have the head of a winner on this nineteenth stage of the 2023 NASCAR season. Cup Series, but the Hendrick Motorsports driver overcame adversity thanks in part to a spin from teammate Kyle Larson on lap 92.
That’s great. We’ve been through so much tonight. The spin destroyed the front of the car, there was no more front grip, which made things more complicated in traffic. Rudy made the right decision. Once in front everything was fine. It was a crazy night.
Under the checkered flag, William Byron leads Daniel Suárez, AJ Allmendinger, Michael McDowell, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, JJ Yeley, Justin Haley, Ryan Blaney and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for the top 10.
Daniel Suárez, AJ Allmendinger and Michael McDowell took points from Chase Elliott. The 2020 champion, although having missed seven races this season, is still chasing playoff qualification.
Chase Elliott will never have been a player in this race, the Hendrick Motorsports driver finished thirteenth in a home race during which he did not earn a single bonus point at the end of the first two segments.
Next week the NASCAR Premier Division will be at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.