Race Weekend Central

William Byron Victorious at Watkins Glen for 5th Win of 2023

William Byron continued to be one of the hottest drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series as he picked up his fifth win of the season at the 2023 Go Bowling at The Glen from Watkins Glen International.

Byron won stage two and dominated from there, leading 66 laps all the way to the finish — his first-ever Cup Series victory on a road course. Byron’s win also makes five in a row for Hendrick Motorsports at the upstate New York track, starting back in 2018.

See also
Fire on Fridays: Which Bubble Driver Must Make the Playoffs?

“Feels really good man,” an elated Byron told NBC Sports, “just a huge credit to the race team behind me. I wanna thank Max Papis; it’s the first road course win and we worked years and years for this.

“It’s a great win, I don’t know what it means and all that, I don’t read into that but it shows that when we’re at our best, we can perform like this.”

The driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro now has a shot at the regular season championship and locked up the No. 1 seed when the playoffs begin.

Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell, AJ Allmendinger and Ty Gibbs rounded out the top five.

“I’m happy with my day,” Hamlin chuckled as he told NBC Sports about his day. “It just takes me awhile to get going. With McDowell there at the beginning he’s ready and he’s on kill and I’m kind of working my way in to it. I just hate I lost the lead because I just looked at the 24’s back bumper the rest of the day. It was a fun race.”

Martin Truex Jr., Chris Beuscher, Tyler Reddick, Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano rounded out the top 10. Truex has a 39-point lead in the regular season point standings.

Just like the previous week at Indianapolis, the race was very clean from a caution perspective, as there was only one yellow flag. That came when Chase Elliott ran out of fuel on lap 56 and stalled in the bus stop chicane. Elliott finished two laps down in 32nd place. That makes next week’s race at Daytona International Raceway the last stand for the No. 9 team, which will need a victory to make the playoffs.

Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick locked themselves into the playoffs today, which means only one spot on points remains if there is a repeat winner at Daytona next Saturday.

Much like last weekend, Michael McDowell had a car good enough to win. McDowell cruised to the win in stage one, but on the ensuing green flag pit stop, he drove through too many pit boxes coming to his stall. He managed to rally back up to the top 10, but another penalty on the next stop (crew member over the wall too early), put McDowell toward the back again. The caution flag got him back up into contention, but on lap 75, the engine let go in his No. 34 Ford Mustang. His day ended, and he was the only driver not to finish the race.

Defending race winner Kyle Larson was involved in an on-track scuffle with Austin Dillon on the final lap. Both got together and went for a slide off the final turn. The two had an animated conversation on pit road afterward that appeared to end with an agreement to disagree. Larson had a good run going early but picked up a pit road speeding penalty late, which put him way back in the field. Larson finished 26th.

Cup Results from Watkins Glen

The Cup Series returns to Daytona on Saturday (Aug. 26). Coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.

About the author

Garrett joined Frontstretch as a news writer in 2023, and became a fantasy racing and betting writer in 2024. Hailing from the heart of coal country in southern West Virginia,  he's a married father of three and currently enrolled in the Physical Therapy Assistant Program at New River Community Technical College in Beaver, WV. He has been a racing fan since 1998, primarily watching NASCAR, but branching out to F1 and IndyCar as his love for motorsports has grown.

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Mugrad

Not to worry… Saturday night, the 9 car “gets the call” for the win and his spot in the playoffs. NASCAR is the four wheel version of WWE

WJW Motorsports

I have heard NASCAR has made excellent progress on its weather control experiments.

Bill B

Hmmm, if they do that, they knock their poster boy for diversity out of the playoffs. Tough call.

Mugrad

But you’re ok with little perfect boy going in just as long as the lone black guy doesn’t… how quaint

Bill B

I don’t give a crap if Elliott gets in or not. He’s on my like driver’s list but I’m not really a big fan and he has sucked this year. The only good thing that he’s done in 2023 was purposely wreck Hamlin.

Bill B

And how did you deduce that I cared if one or the other got in from my comment?
I was just stating a fact and pointing out that if NASCAR did something like that there would be a down side.

Mugrad

Bbbbuuuttttt bubba… that’s the weakness in your argument… you had to bring bubba into the discussion… pathetic..

Bill B

That’s not a weakness to my argument, that’s a weakness to your ability to understand and think beyond your political narrative.
The only reason Bubba got brought up is because he is the last driver in the playoffs as things stand now and therefore he has the most to lose if there is a new winner next week. The fact that I just had to explain that to you proves just what a stupid MF-er you are. If you had an ounce of intelligence you could have seen that and you wouldn’t have made such a feeble comment.

Mugrad

And you must be the smartedt mfer in the room which isn’t saying much. I didn’t know pointing out how YOU had to bring up the only black racer in the field was NOT political but me throwing it back in your face is.

But, we all know chase gets the call Saturday night.

Bill B

Still don’t get it? He is on the bubble. That’s the ONLY reason he was brought up. If Elliott or any other driver wins it knocks him out. Right now he is the ONLY driver that wishes Watkins Glen was the 26th race and the playoff field was set in stone. He is the ONLY driver that has something to lose at Daytona.
I think you are more upset that I called him NASCAR’s “poster boy for diversity”, and if you can’t see that it has nothing to do with your intelligence. That’s just your snowflake ass being offended. Too bad, deal with it.

Carl D.

”Some people you just can’t reach…” – Strother Martin in Cool Hand Luke

Mugrad

Yes, why don’t you and Bill B go have a laying of the hands on yourselves while watching Patrick Swayze movies…. Make yourselves feel good

Mugrad

Get it, I don’t frickin’ care if Bubba, chase, Donald trump’s girlfriend or the wicked witch of the north makes the playoffs… it’s a stupid format.

I love that you call anyone perjoratives… it shows how small and closed minded you are and speaks far more about the quality of person you are than any of your pathetic insult attempts say about me…

Bill B

I don’t care either. But if you actually read my original comment I was just pointing out that NASCAR has a reason to want both driver’s in the playoffs. The one that currently holds the spot and the one that needs a win to get in. I didn’t pick Bubba because he was black, I picked him because he holds the final spot in the stupid playoffs. It had nothing to do with “him being the lone black guy” as you quickly assumed. If he didn’t hold the final spot on the bubble my comment wouldn’t even make sense.

Mugrad

Sure, “poster boy for diversity” wasn’t an inflammatory statement… if that helps you sleep at night, go for it…. Another little thing…. When you’re confronted with opposing points of view, you resort to pathetic name calling… when you do that, you aren’t doing anything but making yourself look small…

Bill B

I wasn’t calling you names because I had a differing point of view, I called you a name because you were too dense to see that my mentioning Bubba had nothing to do with race but the fact that he was the driver on the bubble and the only driver with something to lose at Daytona.

In fact in today’s article “A Modern Era Record Falls At Watkins Glen” by Stephen Stumpf, he singles Bubba out for the same reason:
“And in a regular season finale where it’s essentially Bubba Wallace versus the rest of the field for the 16th and final playoff spot,”

The “poster boy for diversity” while true, was added just to piss you off and I see it worked. Mission accomplished. Haw Haw.

WJW Motorsports

It’s really not even arguable. Just look at Fox’s graphic earlier in the year where he was literally the poster boy. 4 of the 5 drivers were former Cup champs and likely HOFs. And then there’s Bubba. Please.

Mugrad

So, what? Have you ever thought, for even one single second, Fox is a business and they’re trying to market the product to a wider variety of consumers other than mullet wearing white guys??? Pathetic

WJW Motorsports

I did actually, for more like 4 or 5 seconds. I concluded that Fox was using Bubba for their own benefit. If it results in a wider audience – great – but either way definitely helps calm the mob when it comes time to determine which boxes have been checked on the woke check-list. No riots required here thanks!

Bill B

LOL
Exactly! You just proved the point I was making. NASCAR and FOX are using Bubba to prove they are no longer just for mullet wearing white guys. That was my whole point. He IS the poster boy for the “new” NASCAR, or that’s what they want you to believe.
I think Bubba doesn’t even like being cast in that role. All he wants to do is drive.

Mugrad

So, calling someone names is a way to make your point valid? It sounds to me like someone (aka Bill) was the school bully. Well, I guess that’s one way to make one’s self feel better

Bill B

No calling someone names is what happens when someone refuses to acknowledge reality and you lose all patience. I knew you knew I was right but you wouldn’t admit it, until you said “they’re trying to market the product to a wider variety of consumers other than mullet wearing white guys”. You just didn’t like the politically incorrect way I stated it, calling him “the poster boy for the “new” diverse NASCAR”.
Sorry, I don’t do politically correct.

Mugrad

And that’s just another of the many things you don’t do. You’re all about being right. I’m all about doing the right thing…. I am under no obligation to accept your reality… so, pound sand, junior

Bill B

Doing the right thing,,, even if it means lying through your teeth. Even if you know something is true, like NASCAR is using Bubba as their poster boy for diversity, it is more important to place your left wing veneer over it than admit that is the case. Bite me douche bag.

Mugrad

Awwww… poor whittle billy wants sooooo badly for everyone to genuflect at his feet because HE and only HE knows everything about everything…

Bill B

I don’t want anyone to do anything, I just wanted to prove what a lying sack of crap you were. Now your lashing out like a child because you realized I did. Don’t include “everyone”, this was just me and you, no one else. This was just about me and you.

Mugrad

Oh, big tough Billy… I’m so frickin’ intimidated by a keyboard tough guy. Your opinion is no more right than mine, fat boy. WTF are you to determine what is absolutely right? WTF are you to bully people whose opinion differs from you. You’re nothing more than the schoolyard bully who probably got the crap kicked out of him in school… I’m done with you and your little maga attitude…

Mugrad

I don’t care if NASCAR, NASA, Major League Baseball, the United States Marine Corps or anyone else is using him as “their poster boy for diversity.” That seems to matter more to you than anyone else. It’s an unnecessary pejorative and only further goes to reveal the lack of character you possess. Why does it matter to you if he’s being used as “their poster boy for diversity?” Does that, somehow, impact your life or are you just looking for something else to bitch about? You’re acting like the schoolyard bully who wants to shove your fast ass around…. Admit your trump humping life…

Oh, so I can humor your need to “be right”

Oh, yes, Bill B, you’re absolutely right. How could I possibly be so blind as to not see the rightness in your wise musings? No one else but you, Bill B, is entitled to have an opinion due to the rightness of your opinion. Oh, please, Bill B, can you ever forgive my so obvious shortcomings?

Bill B

None of it mattered to me. The only thing that mattered to me was proving you were lying. I wasn’t proving I was right, I was proving you were lying. LIAR.

Mugrad

And you’re a pathetic little man who gets his sexual satisfaction by bullying people who don’t agree with your pontifications…

Bill B

Wow. I must have really got to you good. Look at all the bile erupting from your enlightened mind. LOL Keep going, it’s starting to get entertaining. Speaking of bullying, name calling and general insanity, look at your last five posts.
You’re killing me..

Carl D.

“Dealing with stupid people is like playing chess with a pigeon. The pigeon will just knock over all the pieces, crap all over the board, and then fly home and tell his friends that he won.” – Unknown

Mugrad

Carl, how is that mutual self love fest going with you and Bill??

Ronald Thornton

Yeah. Pretty sure we know who’s getting the over bored restrictor plate.

WJW Motorsports

Impossible! NASCAR told me restrictor plates were temporary – you know, like inflation and the Johnstown flood tax.

DoninAjax

Why does the driver with the most wins NOT have the most POINTS despite the NA$CAR brain trust’s best effort so far? There will be more tweaking!

Charlie

Without the penalty on the 24 team earlier in the year they would have the points lead

DoninAjax

And without the penalty Mark Martin would have a championship and Ironhead would only have six!

Ronald Thornton

That one still pisses me off!

Carl D.

Great to see that both RFK cars will be in the playoffs. How long has it been since they placed two cars in playoffs?

Bill B

Agree, but man, I really wanted to see Keselowski break the “win barrier” this year.

Carl D.

Me too. He still has 11 races this year to do it. The last two races being on road courses, I didn’t expect much. It would be great if he gets hot during the playoffs.

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