It was a special day for a multitude of reasons on Sunday afternoon in Atlanta. This was an event where Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron took home his first checkered flag in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series. It was also a special day for country music star Brantley Gilbert who was the grand marshal for the race.
Brantley Gilbert Grand Marshal for NASCAR Race
Gilbert took to his personal Twitter account to show his thanks for the honor at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He said, “Couldn’t have had a better Sunday than the one we had yesterday meeting all you folks at @atlantamotorspeedway for the @foldsofhonor @quicktrip 500… Thank y’all for letting this guy be the grand marshal @NASCAR.”
Gilbert also posted some awesome photos from the event in what was an extremely classy gesture.
William Byron Wins at Atlanta
Byron won a crazy race in Atlanta over the weekend. It was the first victory of the NASCAR Cup Series season for Byron who held off a hungry Bubba Wallace late to win. Hendrick Motorsports adds another win to their resume in 2022 with Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman also taking home victories at various points this season.
Byron said of the race, “As soon as it got double-file, I would say [going] into Turn 1, that really helped my cause to kind of be able to just manage the momentum.” He continued,”But single-file, surprisingly, [it] might have looked like we were staying single-file relatively easy, but it was hard to run single-file.
This was a hard-fought race, though. It was not easy. Byron concluded, “It was difficult to manage the lead in the front and not have somebody get a run on you to easily pass you. … I felt like single-file was my most vulnerable place to be, and then as soon as they would get kind of doubled-up throughout the field, that was probably a little bit easier to handle.”
Bubba Wallace Avoids Disaster Again
It was a great race once again by Wallace. However, it just did not work out in the end due to last-lap craziness. He said after the race, “So when the bottom [was] coming, I went down to block it and thought I had a good run to not let the 1 [of Ross Chastain] get inside, and he got inside, and it was all good because I knew they would stall out a little bit. And then it was just bad timing of when the 12 [of Blaney] and I got together. It looked like he hit the fence behind me, and I don’t know how I didn’t.”
However, he made it out OK and was still able to finish the race and place nicely. Wallace will look to rebound next week as he searches for his first 2022 NASCAR Cup Series victory.