Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

Australia Australia

Byron: Iowa runner-up finish "a good start" in regaining momentum

William Byron seemed to have taken a safe bet to pull out a win Sunday night at Iowa Speedway, but fortune favored the bold.

When Chris Buescher hit the wall to bring out a caution in the final stage, the pit window was open to make it to end of the 350-lap race on fuel.

Three teams – including eventual race winner Ryan Blaney – elected to take on just two new right-side tires while Byron and most of the rest of the lead-lap cars took four.

With several teams experiencing issues with blown tires throughout the weekend, it seemed risky to run left-side sides more than 130 laps to the end of the inaugural NASCAR Cup race at the .875-mile short track.

As expected, Byron and his Hendrick Motorsports team-mate Chase Elliott both drove into contention with the fresh rubber but as the race remained caution-free the rest of the way, Byron could never get close enough to Blaney to seriously challenge for the lead.

Byron, however, said he wasn’t surprised he wasn’t about to catch the reigning series champion.

“He had a really good car, so he was up front and contending a lot, and him and [Kyle Larson] were really good. So, we were just a step off of that, you know?” Byron said. “I feel like I just needed to turn the center just a hair better and still kind of maintain the long run.

“I think I had a little bit fresher tires. Was able to work the bottom (lane) through lap traffic okay. Feel like I was making marginal gains through (Turns) 1 and 2. My tires were getting hot down there and I would start sliding the rears around a little bit on entry.

“Proud of this team. We need to put together some consistent runs. This is a good start. Would love to be winning tonight, but Ryan and those guys were really good.”

Although the speeds got faster as the race went from daylight to night, the tire issues became less prominent as the race went on.

The two-tire gamble paid off well for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Joey Logano as well, as they finished fifth and sixth, respectively.

“I will have to look back at our adjustments. I wasn’t sure if it was our adjustments or what, but it definitely gained a little bit of grip and it just seemed like you were running hard for longer,” Byron said of the end of the race.

“Not that at the beginning you weren’t, but I think the cars just got closer together at night. I wasn’t really sure what happened.”

Byron gained two spots in the series standings to fourth and trails Elliott – now the leader – by 54 points with nine races remaining in the regular season.

Read Also:

Be part of Motorsport community

Join the conversation
Previous article NASCAR Cup Iowa: Reigning champ Ryan Blaney earns first win of 2024
Next article Larson says he could have been 'more patient' to avoid Iowa crash

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

Australia Australia