Byron Punches Ticket to Truck Chase Second Round with Win at NHMS

by John Harlow On Sat, Sep. 24, 2016

Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images

LOUDON, N.H — Dominating doesn’t begin to describe the performance of William Byron at the UNOH 175 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The 18-year-old rookie from Charlotte led 161 of the 175 laps on the way to his sixth Camping World Truck Series win of the season. With the victory in the first race of the Truck Series Chase, Byron advances to the second round.

The only laps that Byron didn’t lead came after a caution for John Hunter Nemechek’s spin on lap 52. A different pit strategy put Byron, who took four tires, in sixth place for the restart behind the leader Cody Coughlin who stayed on the track to inherit the lead. Coughlin held the lead for three laps before Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate Christopher Bell overtook him for the top spot. Eleven laps later, Byron recaptured the lead and held it throughout the rest of the race.

Bell mounted a charge as Byron was negotiating lap traffic and cut the lead to a half second when they received the white flag, but Byron held on for the victory.

Byron, Bell and Coughlin all drive for Kyle Busch Motorsports.

“We had a great truck all weekend,” said Byron. “We were fortunate enough to test here a couple months ago and came with the right mindset on what changes to make. Practice¬†was really important to us. We executed well today and I’m just proud of this KBM team and Liberty University.”

Team Owner Kyle Busch shared his advice for Byron as he headed into the first Truck Series Chase.

“Go fast and turn left,” Busch joked in the media center. “William has done a good job with all the different obstacles that have been put in front of him. This is win number six, so it’s not anything new for this team to go to victory lane. ”

Matt Crafton finished third, Tyler Reddick took home fourth and Timothy Peters rounded out the top-five.

“Everyone at KBM did an awesome job this weekend,” Bell said after his second place finish. “The test we did here proved very helpful and I am proud of that. We tested at three racetracks that we have raced at so far and all three of them the KBM trucks have been excellent at. We were the second best truck here, but we needed a lot more to race for the win.”

Crafton isn’t focusing on the Chase.

“I raced this race like it was any other race,” said Crafton, a two-time Camping World Truck Series Champion. “If you go out there and do your job and all the ducks line up you have a shot. You can’t over-analyze it and over think it and make mistakes. We’re trying to take it one race at a time.”

Cole Custer brought home sixth, Kaz Grala was seventh, Brett Moffitt came in eighth, John Hunter Nemechek was ninth and Johnny Sauter rounded out the top-1o.

The Truck Chaser who had the worst day was Daniel Hemric who blew a tire on lap 25 which broke the brake line and put the Brad Keselowski Racing driver 48 laps down in 28th place.

The Chase Standings after the UNOH 175

  1. William Byron
  2. Matt Crafton -16
  3. Christopher Bell -17
  4. John Hunter Nemechek -22
  5. Timothy Peters -24
  6. Johnny Sauter –26
  7. Ben Kennedy -27
  8. Daniel Hemric -47

Following the race, the truck of John Hunter Nemechek failed post-race inspection for height requirements. Any penalties will probably be announced on Wednesday.

The Camping World Truck Series heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the DC Solar 350 Saturday, Oct. 1.

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