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.
“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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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