Race Weekend Central

William Byron Victorious in Overtime, Wins in Martinsville

William Byron led teammates Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott to a one-two-three finish for Hendrick Motorsports in an exciting overtime finish Sunday afternoon (April 7). The win is Byron’s 13th and Hendrick Motorsports’ 305th, coming during its 40th anniversary celebration.

With less than five laps to go in the 400-lap race, John Hunter Nemechek blew a tire, sending him into the wall and bringing out the caution flag.

Byron was leading Elliott, Larson and Hamlin at the time, but Hamlin’s team elected to gamble and pit for tires ahead of overtime. After choosing the inside lane for the subsequent restart, Byron pulled clear of Elliott off the second turn and survived contact to drive off to the win.

“So, just uh, so proud of everyone at Hendrick Motorsports, um, grew up a big Hendrick fan and, uh, to be here for the 40th anniversary and all that goes into, uh, just this organization,” Byron told FOX Sports. “All the people, it’s all about the people. And just want to thank Mr. Hendrick and Linda and everyone involved.”

Larson snuck under Elliott on the final lap to take second, with Elliott narrowly holding onto third. It marked the first 1-2-3 finish for any team at Martinsville in Cup Series history.

Bubba Wallace and Ryan Blaney completed the top five, with Joey Logano, Tyler Reddick, Alex Bowman, Ryan Preece and Chase Briscoe rounding out the top 10.

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Larson held off a hard-charging Wallace to lead all 80 laps of stage one. Elliott, Briscoe, Martin Truex Jr., Logano, Hamlin, Byron, Josh Berry, and Kyle Busch collected the remaining points from third through 10th.

Although there were a few instances of three-wide racing, stage one ran incident-free.

Stage two birthed an expected tire strategy, with Logano opting for two fresh Goodyears while the rest of the leaders took four. The move allowed Logano to jump from sixth to first for the start of the stage.

Christopher Bell suffered a flat tire and busted wheel during the stage, effectively ending his day.

Quickly after Bell’s stop, the caution flag flew for debris.

In the end, Hamlin was able to perform a bump-and-run on the No. 22 Ford for the stage win while Logano dropped back to fifth after losing the lead. Wallace, Larson, Elliott split the pair in the top-five, with Bowman, Briscoe, Byron, Ross Chastain and Berry completing stage two’s top 10.

Martinsville Cup Race Results

Next Sunday (April 14), the NASCAR Cup Series returns to Texas for the AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas Motor Speedway. Coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. E.T. on FS1, PRN, and SiriusXM.

About the author

Contributor (Sunday News)

Ty joined the Frontstretch team in February of 2024 as a Contributor covering Sunday news. He is an avid NASCAR and NHL fan - go Blues! Outside of sports, Ty enjoys playing guitar and writing horror fiction. He has two novels available on Amazon: A Perfect Sundae and Chartreuse: Crime & Horror Short Stories.

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