NASCAR: William Byron Scores a Win in Hickory Homecoming

by Quentin Blount
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NASCAR driver William Byron made his return to Hickory Motor Speedway over the weekend and in doing so, he picked up a victory.

William Byron, of course, competes full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series. He drives the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Hendrick Motorsports. However, just after completing Cup Series practice at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Byron made his way back to Hickory, a track that’s all too familiar to him.

There, the 24-year-old driver was able to pull out a win in the Easter Bunny 150s. The last time Byron competed at Hickory was seven years ago, so it wasn’t definitely special for him to win this one. He explained as much to Racing America in victory lane.

“It was pretty fun,” Byron said after the race. “It was a lot of hard racing. The 88 [of Brandon Barker] was really good on the restarts at the end. The 53 [of Cole Butcher] was great all day. I felt like he was right there with me. If I made any mistakes, I was in trouble.”

Meanwhile, William Byron thanked all the people who helped make his return to Hickory Speedway possible.

“Thanks to everybody that put this deal together, Bond [Suss], Donnie Wilson, all the fans for coming out at Hickory. It’s great to be back here. It’s been a long time, so it’s fun to be back. I raced here a ton back in ’14 and ’15. It’s great to be out here. Thanks to everyone for letting me do it. It was a pretty awesome car.”

Cole Butcher Was the Biggest Threat to William Byron at Hickory

You may not be able to tell by looking at the official results from Hickory Motor Speedway, but Cole Butcher was perhaps the biggest threat to William Byron on Saturday. In the end, however, Butcher’s race ended 19 laps early.

“I think a tire may have went down,” he told the outlet. “We must have gotten into some debris on the last caution. I could hear it bottoming it every lap. I thought maybe a packer had fallen out or something silly, I honestly don’t know. It just went straight into the turn three wall. It was a pretty hard hit, but we’ll come back next time.”

After Butcher’s day was cut short, the next closest driver to Byron was Brandon Barker. He wound up finishing second on the day, which was a welcome surprise considering how rough things went for him during Friday night’s race. They had to get an early-morning start on Saturday morning to make repairs to the car.

“We were ready to go home. We started on it this morning, 7’o’clock,” said Barker. “There’s a lot messed up on this thing, and I was ready to go home. I think most of us were. One of the guys was like, ‘Let’s stay.’ We unloaded it to see how it is and pieced this thing back together.”

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