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Byron’s Las Vegas weekend derailed by a trash bag

Rudy Fugle said the big black piece of plastic stuck on the nose of William Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Sunday in Las Vegas was an oversized trash bag that wasn’t empty.

“That thing was like a 55-gallon trash bag for those big trash cans you see in the infield of the racetrack,” Fugle told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Monday. “It got loose and even worse than that or even funnier than that, I’m pretty positive it had a beer can in it because that beer can got stuck in our air filter. So, after the race, there was a silver bullet in our air filter somehow.

“I’ve never seen anything like that before, either. So, quite the day.”

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Byron was forced to pit under green flag conditions on lap 47 to get the plastic bag off his car. It was large enough to cover the grille and most of the nose of his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, causing the temperatures to spike. He had fallen to the 14th position from running inside the top 10 because of the debris changing the handling of his car and starting to overheat.

“It’s amazing,” Fugle said of the engine not expiring. “I was surprised as well. The water stayed in it, and… just a good engine shop. And a little bit of luck.”