William Byron surges late at Texas, Briscoe finishes 10th

FORTH WORTH, TX. – William Byron took the lead on a restart with six laps remaining and held off the field to claim Sunday’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 victory.

William Byron wins at Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400

It marks a historic 300th victory for the championship Hendrick Motorsports organization – the most in NASCAR history for a Cup Series team – and is the series-best, personal-high single-season sixth victory of the year for the 25-year-old Charlotte native Byron. His victory claims an automatic berth in the Round of 8, which starts in three weeks.

His margin over second-place Ross Chastain was 1.863 seconds.

There were 11 caution periods for a total of 55 laps. Twenty-five of the 36 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.

This was the first race in the Round of 12 of the NASCAR Playoffs. Byron secured his spot in the Round of 8 via his win while Bubba Wallace, Tyler Reddick, Ryan Blaney, and Kyle Busch are currently below the top-eight cutline with two races remaining before the Round of 8 begins Oct. 15 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Stage 1 Winner:  Tyler Reddick of 23XI Racing (Toyota)

Stage 2 Winner:  Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

SHR Race Finish:            

  • Kevin Harvick (Started 22nd, Finished 6th / Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)
  • Chase Briscoe (Started 31st, Finished 10th / Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)  
  • Aric Almirola (Started 21st, Finished 18th / Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)
  • Ryan Preece (Started 25th, Finished 23rd / Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)

SHR Points:

  • Kevin Harvick (13th with 2,102 points)
  • Aric Almirola (22nd with 529 points)
  • Ryan Preece (25th with 498 points)
  • Chase Briscoe (30th with 413 points)

Harvick earned his 13th top-10 of the season and his 25th top-10 in 39 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Texas.

Harvick’s 39 starts at Texas are the most among all NASCAR Cup Series drivers, past and present, in Texas’ 26-year history.

“I just struggled a little on the restarts getting the car pointed quick enough to really make ground, and didn’t do a very good job of putting the car in the right spots,” said Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang. “We lost a couple on the restarts and probably should’ve finished third or fourth, but it was still a great day.” 

Harvick’s 25 top-10s at Texas are the most among all NASCAR Cup Series drivers, past and present. The next best on this list is Kurt Busch with 23 top-10s and Jimmie Johnson with 22 top-10s. The closest active driver to Harvick is Kyle Busch with 18 top-10s.

Chase Briscoe earned his seventh top-10 of the season.

This was Briscoe’s second top-10 at Texas and his third straight top-15 in three career NASCAR Cup Series starts at the 1.5-mile oval.

“From where we started, 31st, to being on the front row with six to go, I thought our team did a really good job of making our car better all weekend. I guess we got damage on the nose there,” Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Cummins Ford Mustang. “I pushed Bubba (Wallace) to the lead the restart before and hit him super hard to get him out there and it split the nose. There at the end, I was so tight, just hanging on. I would’ve loved to have another shot at it without the damage because I feel like it would’ve been really close. We’ve been struggling all year long on mile-and-a-halves, so to be as fast as we were today and run with the Hendrick cars and Gibbs cars says a lot. I’m proud of our effort at Stewart-Haas. We just still have to get better and go to Talladega and see if we can win there.” – 

Briscoe finished eighth in Stage 1 to earn three bonus points.

This was Almirola’s fifth straight result of 18th or better. He finished third on August 26 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, 14th Sept. 3 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, 17th Sept. 10 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City and 18th last week at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

Next Up:

The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the YellaWood 500 on Sunday, Oct. 1 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The fifth race in the 10-race NASCAR Playoffs starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.