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Byron caps off dominant weekend with controlled COTA victory

William Byron proved untouchable at Circuit of The Americas as he capped off a dominant weekend with a victory Sunday afternoon.

The No. 24 Raptor Chevrolet of Hendrick Motorsports was the fastest in NASCAR Cup Series practice and qualifying, and Byron led the most laps in the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix (42 of 68). He crossed the finish line 0.69s ahead of Christopher Bell after leading the final 18 laps once cycling back to the race lead after green flag pit stops.

 

“I feel like I made a lot of mistakes in the last 10 laps — just little micro errors,” Byron said. “Christopher [Bell] was really fast there on the longer runs, but this sport is just so hard. It’s so difficult to week-in and week-out show up and have fast cars.

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“We’ve had a little bit of a rough stretch the last few weeks, but put a lot of prep work in this week and just thankful for the team I have around me, all the people back home as well. … It’s just a lot of fun to win races, and it’s really difficult. We’re going to enjoy this one.”

It’s Byron’s second victory after claiming the season-opening Daytona 500. He’s also won two of the last three road course races in the series.

Byron made his final green flag pit stop with 24 laps to go, giving up the race lead in doing so. Ty Gibbs and Ross Chastain followed Byron down pit road, and a fast pit stop from his Hendrick Motorsports pit crew kept him ahead of the competition.

The pit cycle ended with 18 laps to go when Martin Truex Jr. gave the race lead back to Byron. Once back out front, he had a gap of 1.8s on teammate Alex Bowman, followed by Gibbs in third place.

Bell cycled out sixth. The No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team called Bell to pit road for the final time with 20 laps to go, and he came from over 9s behind to hunt down Byron.