William Byron holds off Logano for Stage 1 win at Talladega
William Byron passed Joey Logano in the tri-oval on the last lap to take the Stage 1 win at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
Byron had gotten to the lead on Lap 51 of 55 with the help of his Hendrick Motorsports teammates only to see Logano pull ahead on Lap 54.
Byron powered around him as the field came to the checkered flag. Logano ended up second, Alex Bowman was third, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was fourth and Brad Keselowski completed the top-five.
Rain began coming down hard at the end of the stage and the race was placed under the red flag.
Chase Elliott started on the pole but Keselowski, with the help of some fellow Ford drivers, powered to the lead off the exit of Turn 4 on Lap 1 to take the lead.
On Lap 5, Kyle Busch, with a push from Denny Hamlin, took the lead for the first time in the race.
Austin Dillon fended off Kurt Busch to grab the lead on Lap 8. Kurt Busch got his own push to the lead on Lap 9.
After 15 laps, Kurt Busch continued to lead the way followed by his brother Kyle and Austin Dillon in third.
Ryan Blaney got a shove from Kevin Harvick on the outside lane past Kurt Busch and into the lead on Lap 20.
With 30 laps remaining in the first stage, Blaney continued to lead the way with Harvick and Logano close behind. Team were beginning to think about strategies for a green-flag pit stop for fuel.
The first group of cars elected to pit on Lap 34 but as Blaney came down pit road he spun out and ended up in the infield grass. He was able to re-fire his No. 12 and continue on but was also penalized for speeding on pit road.
Caution was displayed on Lap 37 when Spencer Boyd’s No. 52 Chevrolet came to a stop on the track coming out of Turn 3. There were about nine cars that had not yet made their stop when the caution came out.
On the restart on Lap 41, Keselowski led the way followed by Aric Alrmiola and Ryan Newman.
Newman went to the lead on Lap 42 with the help of a push from Logano.
Elliott went three-wide on Lap 46 and came out with the lead as Kurt Busch ran second and Daniel Hemric third.
Hemric powered into the lead on Lap 50 as Erik Jones fell off the pace and appeared to be dragging something under his No. 20 Toyota.
Byron, with help from his Hendrick teammates, moved into the lead on Lap 51.
Hamlin had to start the race from the rear of the field after his team made an engine change in his No. 11 Toyota.
The other side of Alex Bowman - Part 9
NASCAR Cup race at Talladega postponed to Monday