Sunday March 20, 2022 by Julie Bouchard
In a typical super oval event, with several collisions, multiple changes of leader and nearly 4 hours of competition, William Byron withstood the onslaught of his opponents, including Christopher Bell, Ross Chastain and Bubba Wallace (before this one pushes himself into the wall on the last lap) to win the NASCAR Cup race this Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Georgia.
Byron led the last 10 laps after a neutralization on lap 307 of the race comprising 325 laps once again regrouped the field, this following a collision which eliminated Aric Almirola.
Byron, at the controls of his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, took the lead on the restart, facing Bubba Wallace (Toyota 23XI Racing), who had until then proved to be a serious contender for victory. Stage 2 winner Blaney and Wallace then made contact in Turns 1 and 2, sending both drivers into the wall and creating a multi-car pile-up as they crossed the finish line.
The incident between Blaney and Wallace opened the door for Ross Chastain and Christopher Bell to try to beat Byron to the wire, but neither driver could take advantage of the situation and it’s a Byron-Bell-Chastain trio who crossed the line together.
However, Christopher Bell (Toyota/Joe Gibbs Racing) crossed the double yellow line marking the track to cross the finish line, so NASCAR officials penalized him and reclassified last of the drivers on the winner’s lap. , i.e. 23rd.
This propelled Chastain (Chevrolet/Trackhouse Racing) to second in the final standings, followed by Kurt Busch (Toyota/23XI Racing), Daniel Suarez (Chevrolet/Trackhouse Racing) and Corey Lajoie (Chevrolet/Spire Motorsports). This is Lajoie’s first Top 5 in the NASCAR Cup series. Chase Elliott, Chris Buescher, Martin Truex Jr, Joey Logano and Alex Bowman complete the Top 10.
Besides the overall victory, William Byron also won Stage 1. It was his third career victory in the series. For the complete ranking of this race, click here. And for the video of the best moments, see the bottom of this news.
The newly repaved and reconfigured 1.54 mile Georgian track offered more action than ever during Sunday’s race. She didn’t smile at either Kyle or Austin Dillon, however, who collided on the straight on the opening leg. Busch and Dillon did not finish the race, being placed 33rd and 35th.
The next NASCAR Cup race is next Sunday at the Austin Road Course in Texas. Stage of the United States Formula 1 Grand Prix, the Circuit of the Americas will present for the second time in its history an event with the three main NASCAR series on the track. The Cup race will start around 4 p.m. on Sunday 27 March.
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