Race Weekend Central

William Byron Wins Rain-Shortened Cup Race at Atlanta

William Byron became the latest NASCAR Cup Series driver to pull off a spin-and-win, as he spun on lap 80 and was out front when rain ended the Quaker State 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on lap 185. Sunday night (July 9) marked Byron’s fourth win of the 2023 Cup season, and he now stands on top of the regular season points standings with seven races remaining before the playoffs.

Byron was one of the drivers that cycled to the front after the majority of the field pitted for fuel at the end of stage two. He made the pass for the win on lap 167 and led the final 19 laps before the race was called.

“It’s cool man, we went through so much throughout the night.” Byron told NBC Sports. “Spinning through the infield, destroyed the bottom of the car dragging it on the apron trying to stay on the lead lap. At that point you just don’t have the grip, so I was real edgy back in traffic. Rudy [Fugle] made a good call to pit there and then stay out, and once we got to the front it was ok.”

See also
Xfinity Breakdown: Nemechek Comes Through in the Clutch at Atlanta

Daniel Suarez finished second, while AJ Allmendinger, Michael McDowell and Kyle Busch rounded out the top five.

Brad Keselowski finished sixth, while JJ Yeley finished seventh for his first top 10 since 2013. Justin Haley, Ryan Blaney and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. completed the top 10.

Aric Almirola and Blaney led the field to the green flag, with Almirola leading the first 39 laps. Joey Logano was the first driver to pass Almirola on lap 40, but Almirola took the lead back one lap later. With 12 laps to go in stage one, Logano made the pass for good and took the lead with help from his teammate Blaney.

Blaney made a move past Logano with three laps to go in the stage and would hold off a huge run from Kyle Larson to win stage one in a side-by-side finish. After pit stops, Blaney and Larson led the field to the green flag for stage two with Blaney taking the lead.

Byron brought out the third caution on lap 80 after contact with Corey LaJoie. Byron spun into the frontstretch infield and was able to continue. Most of the field came to pit road, and Bubba Wallace and Martin Truex Jr. restarted on the front row on lap 86 after staying out. Truex Jr. was able to take the lead on the restart.

Larson, Austin Hill and Chase Briscoe spun on lap 93, bringing out the fourth caution. Some leaders decided to pit, leaving Chris Buescher and Haley to lead on the restart at lap 99. Buescher took over the point from there.

On lap 124, LaJoie, Ty Gibbs and Ross Chastain wrecked off of turn 2 bringing out the fifth caution. Some of the field came to pit road, others stayed out as rain became a factor and halfway near (lap 130). Buescher and Logano restarted the race on lap 129 with Buscher regaining the lead.

Austin Cindric took the lead on lap 132 from Buescher. Cindric led until 17 laps to go in stage two, when Brad Keselowski took the lead. With five laps to go in stage two, Alex Bowman got loose and made contact with Denny Hamlin in turn 4, bringing out the sixth caution.

Most of the leaders pitted for fuel while the drivers that more gas in the tank elected to stay out. McDowell and Allmendinger restarted the race on the front row on lap 163, and Allmendinger took the lead for two laps before Byron grabbed the lead for good on lap 167.

The seventh caution waved with 83 laps to go for Wallace and Ryan Preece spinning in turn 3. The field stayed under caution until 75 laps to go when NASCAR red flagged the race for rain and brought the cars down pit road. The race was called shortly after with Byron the winner.

Quaker State 400 Available at Walmart Results

The NASCAR Cup Series is on track next week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. You can see the race on Sunday (July 16) at 2:30 p.m. ET on USA Network.

About the author

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

4 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
MizzouGrad

Let me be the first to say, this isn’t a REAL race win… just using the same criteria you Bubba Wallace haters use

kb

Tis’ used for ALL drivers since forever winning this way! Fact, it really isn’t a “win” but it is because NASCAR called it. The nature of the race WAS NOT played out and they anointed this guy the winner, just like the guy you are talking about, But, as they say, no matter what…Wee Willy is declared the winner, car passed inspection, case closed! Sadly, imo. Wee Willy and your boy are of the same opinion of many, many NASCAR fans…just saying. NOT LEGIT, but it is what it is. Record books, closed. Most fans hate, despise this short of finish, it gives legitimately on the record books that do not support the claim of a true winner. In other words…NOBODY likes this finish and feels the same way about most drivers who benefit, unless there was a dominance to begin with!

Last edited 9 months ago by kb
MizzouGrad

First, to say Bubba is, “your boy” is using a racially charged term and, additionally, it’s inaccurate. I was simply pointing out people who see things through the same prism as you are hypocrites. Secondly, you claim any rain shortened win is not “legit” but, unfortunately for people like you, that’s inaccurate as well because the win came as a result of previously posted rules implemented by NASCAR. It’s pathetic the lengths some people (like you) go to to show just how short sighted they are

babydufus

i’m so glad i took the time to live my life and not spend the time to watch that bs farce of a race other than the you tube “highlights.” I’d much rather spend time on something like the stafford feed on flo. nascrap… the fat lady has sung.

Share via