All day long, we saw William Byron leading the Pennzoil 400 and he was able to pull off the win in overtime over his Hendrick teammate. Kyle Larson gave a strong challenge, but the NASCAR overtime pit stop gave Byron the advantage and he was the one burning it down after the race.
This was not the most exciting race. We only had one true caution flag prior to the final stage. William Byron led 175 laps and at one point, didn’t think he’d be the winner of the race. Larson had the race won until Aric Almirola hit the wall and pulled out a late caution.
Thanks to a strong pit stop that had him coming off in the lead in overtime, Byron was able to close this race out. He led a lot of laps last season and didn’t have as many wins as he wanted to show for it.
Now, he’s got his first win of the season.
The Hendrick Motorsports team was 1-2-3 in the final finish. It was clear with performances from William Byron, Kyle Larson, and Alex Bowman that Hendrick knew what they were doing in Las Vegas.
This is the fifth career win for Byron and his first win in Las Vegas. After finishing second in qualifying, we knew that William Byron had speed. However, he and his teammates showed they had long run speed as well. Others drivers could not say the same about their cars.
Hometown hero Kyle Busch would have damage early and struggle to keep up with the leaders. He had a P14 finish in what may have been a disappointing weekend for Rowdy.
William Byron Takes Win From Kyle Larson
This was a race that Hendrick knew they were going to win. However, they didn’t know which car was going to do it. Between William Byron leading so many laps and Kyle Larson coming around at the end, it was in the bag.
The overtime restart was fun to watch. These early season races will have teams trying out things that they never would in the latter part of the season. So, it’s great to see them gamble in Las Vegas. Martin Truex Jr. didn’t take the pit stop at the end. Other drivers took just two tires over four.
However, Truex Jr. didn’t have any grip in the final lap. It was a good try, but it didn’t help at all. Instead, Byron got around the 19 and Larson was stuck behind trying to catch up.
When that last caution flew out, Kyle Larson knew what was coming. William Byron just had to execute and he did. His pit crew got him out front and he got the car to the finish line.