TC Daily Pit Stop: Byron Wins After Chaos at Darlington; Chastain and Larson Crash; Hendrick Miffed at Chastain
TC Daily Pit Stop: Monday, May 15th, 2023
William Byron Emerges from Late-Race Chaos with Third Win of 2023
PC: Jacy Norgaard / HHP for Chevy Racing
William Byron was ninth with 11 laps left in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Goodyear 400. He wound up winning the race. That should give you an idea of how hectic the closing laps were at Darlington.
On a restart with 11 laps remaining all hell broke loose, when Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano collided to spark an eight-car melee near the front of the field. Byron snuck through unscathed, and now found himself third.
On the ensuing restart, the top-two cars of the race — Ross Chastain and Kyle Larson — crashed battling for the win. This handed control of the race to Byron, and he took it home from there. This marks Byron’s third win of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season and his seventh-career win.
Video: Ross Chastain, Kyle Larson Crash Battling for Lead With Six to Go at Darlington
Rick Hendrick Frustrated With Ross Chastain; Allegiance to Chevrolet Will Not Stop Hendrick Drivers From Retaliating
While Rick Hendrick was elated for the driver of his No. 24 entry — William Byron — winning Sunday’s race, his heart hurt for Kyle Larson, who was battling Ross Chastain for the lead when he was crashed with six laps left. It’s the third time in the last two months that Larson has been crashed by Larson on track.
In his post-race press conference, it became clear that Hendrick has had enough of Chastain’s driving style.
“I think you can ask any driver in here that he’s wrecked or been involved with, and he doesn’t have to be that aggressive,” Hendrick said. “At this point in the race, maybe, you’re super aggressive. But you don’t just don’t run people up into the fence. He’s going to make a lot of enemies, and it’s hard to win a championship when you have a lot of paybacks out there.”
Hendrick also says his loyalty to Chevrolet will not cause him to stop his drivers from paying Chastain back.
“I don’t care if he’s driving a Chevrolet if he wrecks our cars. I don’t care, and I told Chevrolet that. If you wreck us, you’re going to get it back,” Hendrick pointed sharply. “And if you don’t do it, they’ll run all over you. I’m loyal to Chevrolet, but when somebody runs over us, then I expect our guys to hold their ground. I don’t expect them to yield because of Chevrolet.”
OTHER VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
Video: Martin Truex Jr. Spins Out Battling Ross Chastain For Stage 2 Win at Darlington
Video: Erik Jones Loses Right-Rear Wheel; Triggers 10-Car Accident at Darlington
Video: Martin Truex, Jr., Joey Logano Trigger Eight-Car Accident Late at Darlington
Ryan Newman Records 28th-Place Finish in ‘Fun’ Return to Cup Series Competition
PC: David Rosenblum, NKP, Courtesy of Ford Performance
Ryan Newman hadn’t competed in the NASCAR Cup Series in more than a year. And in a couple of areas, it showed, as he was involved in two incidents during Sunday’s Goodyear 400 at Darlington, and in the fact that his seat wasn’t quite set to his comfort level.
But at the end of the day, Newman recorded a 28th-place finish in his return to the sport in the No. 51 Rick Ware Racing entry, and more importantly, he had fun.
“I had fun today, there’s no doubt about that. Not the finish that I think our team deserved, and was capable of, but ultimately we had some decent speed in the car, my first experience with the car,” Newman said.
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