William Byron avoids last-lap crash, wins first Truck series race of career

(Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

William Byron, only five races into his Camping World Truck Series career, earned his first series win Friday night at Kansas Speedway after avoiding a last-lap crash in Turn 4 between leaders Johnny Sauter and Ben Rhodes.

Byron, 18,  took the checkered flag driving the No. 9 Liberty University Toyota to claim the win in the Toyota Tundra 250.

“This is a dream come true,” Byron told Fox Sports 1. “I was 6 years old watching Truck races and didn’t start racing until I was 14. To be in a Toyota Tundra like this is amazing.”

The Kyle Busch Motorsports driver had never led any laps in a Truck race until the 34 he led Friday.

On Lap 165 of a scheduled 168, Tyler Reddick spun while racing Clint Bowyer, bringing out the 10th caution of the night and eliminating Byron’s large lead.

Byron got shuffled back a few spots on the restart as Sauter and Rhodes took off. When their wreck unfolded, Byron, who was third, dove to the apron and out of harm’s way.

“It was crazy the last couple of restarts,” Byron said. “I had the lead there on the green-flag run. I was really just praying for no cautions, but you have to earn it. My crew chief, Rudy Fugle, really told me that on all the restarts, ‘This is how you earn it.'”

Byron, a member of the NASCAR Next class, won the 2015 K&N Pro Series East championship after earning four wins. But the teenager from Charlotte, North Carolina, didn’t even know how to execute a burnout.

“I just kind of found the gears and watched the smoke in the back,” Byron said. “I visualized this for a bit, but never thought it would come like this.

Byron was followed by Matt Crafton, Daniel Hemric, Christopher Bell and Clint Bowyer.

MORE: Race results for Toyota Tundra 250

MORE: Truck series points standings

HOW WILLIAM BYRON WON: After a bad restart in overtime, Byron stayed with the leaders, who wrecked on the last lap in Turn 4. Byron avoided the incident and raced to the finish.

WHO HAD A GOOD NIGHT: Matt Crafton started 13th and led 57 laps. He got loose racing for the lead on a late restart, which sent him back to around 15th. Crafton drove his No. 88 truck back to second thanks to the last-lap crash … Tyler Reddick started from the pole and led 56 laps, but Reddick caused the 10th caution of the night while running in fourth with three laps to go. Reddick avoided hitting anything and finished 13th … Daniel Hemric finished third for his best finish in 30 Truck series starts … Ryan Truex finished sixth to give him a top-10 finish in all four races this season.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: After starting from the rear, rookie Rico Abreu brought out a caution on the first lap after hitting the wall in Turn 2, causing significant damage to his truck bed. He finished 22nd … During a Lap 50 restart, pole-sitter John Wes Townley, points leader John Hunter Nemechek and Parker Kligerman were involved in a crash in Turn 3. After Townley saved his truck from spinning, he clipped Kligerman, who went head-on into the outside wall. Kligerman was able to walk to the ambulance. Townley would finish 26th, 21 laps down… Nemechek could bring out another caution on Lap 66 after hitting the wall and finished 28th … Johnny Sauter had to start from the rear after unapproved changes and was called for speeding in the middle of the race. The Daytona winner battled back to lead in overtime but finished 15th getting tangled with Rhodes coming to the checkered flag.

NOTABLE: A truck series regular has qualified for the series’ Chase playoff with a win in three of four races … The caution clock was used twice in a race that featured 11 cautions.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “I just got ran over by a bozo. I don’t know if the kid’s brain dead or he can’t see.” – Johnny Sauter on Ben Rhodes after they wrecked on the final lap.

WHAT’S NEXT: Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway at 5:30 p.m. ET on May 13 on Fox Sports 1.

NASCAR Power Rankings: William Byron, Kyle Busch rank 1-2


Kyle Busch moved closer to the top spot after his win Sunday at WWT Raceway, but William Byron keeps hold of No. 1 after another top-10 run.

The series heads to Sonoma Raceway this weekend, the second race of the season on a road course.


(Previous ranking in parenthesis)

1. William Byron (1) — He goes into Sonoma with six consecutive top-10 finishes after his eighth-place result at WWT Raceway. Byron has led a series-high 717 laps this season.

2. Kyle Busch (4) — Recorded his third win of the season Sunday. He is tied with Byron for most wins this year. Busch scored 59 of a maximum 60 points and won his first stage of the year Sunday. He has 16 playoff points. Only Byron has more with 17 this season.

3. Kyle Larson (3) — His fourth-place finish continued his up-and-down season. In the last nine races, Larson has two wins, four top fives, a 20th-place result and four finishes of 30th or worse. He has led 588 laps this season, which ranks second this year to Byron.

4. Martin Truex Jr. (2) — His fifth-place finish is his sixth top 10 in the last eight races. He ranks third in laps led this year with 383.

5. Denny Hamlin (7) — Runner-up result at WWT Raceway is his fourth top 10 in the last seven races.

6. Ryan Blaney (10) — Followed Coca-Cola 600 win with a sixth-place run at WWT Raceway. He had an average running position of 2.6 on Sunday, second only to winner Kyle Busch’s average running position of 1.9.

7. Joey Logano (9) — Third-place finish is his second top 10 in the last four races.

8. Kevin Harvick (NR) — His 10th-place finish is his fourth consecutive finish of 11th or better.

9. Ross Chastain (6) — Lost the points lead after placing 22nd, his third consecutive finish outside the top 20.

10. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (NR) — Headed for his eighth top 15 in a row until he was collected in a crash after the contact between Austin Cindric and Austin Dillon late in Sunday’s race.

Dropped out: Chase Elliott (5th), Tyler Reddick (8th)

NASCAR will not penalize Austin Cindric for incident with Austin Dillon


Despite Richard Childress and Austin Dillon saying that Austin Cindric intentionally wrecked Dillon late in Sunday’s Cup race at WWT Raceway, NASCAR will not penalize Cindric.

Elton Sawyer, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, said Tuesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that there would be no penalty to Cindric after reviewing the contact.

Dillon and Childress were upset about the incident, which brought out the caution on Lap 220 of the 243-lap race. Dillon said NASCAR should suspend Cindric for the contact, just as NASCAR suspended Chase Elliott one race for hooking Denny Hamlin in the Coca-Cola 600.

Contact between the left front of Cindric’s car and the right rear of Dillon’s car sent Dillon up the track into Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Dillon finished 31st. Cindric continued and placed 13th.

Dillon told Frontstretch.com: “I was wrecked intentionally by (Cindric), hooked right just like Chase and Denny and Bubba’s deal (in wrecking Kyle Larson at Las Vegas in 2022). He better be suspended next week.”

Childress said: “(Dillon) had drove up to about 10th until (Cindric) wrecked him in there on purpose, sort of a payback.”

Sawyer said a review of the incident included viewing video and data.

“We didn’t see anything — and haven’t seen anything — that really would rise to a level that would be a suspension or a penalty,” Sawyer said. “It looked like hard racing. One car coming up a little bit and another car going down.

“As we said last week, we take these incidents very serious when we see cars that are turned head-on into another car or head-on into the wall. I spent a lot of time (Monday) looking at that, looking at all the data, looking at TV footage and just deemed this one really hard racing.”

Sawyer said NASCAR plans to talk to both Cindric and Dillon “to make sure we’re all in a good place as we move forward to Sonoma.”



Seven Cup drivers entered in Xfinity race at Sonoma


Kyle Larson is among seven Cup drivers entered in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Sonoma Raceway.

The race marks the first time the Xfinity Series has competed at the California road course. Teams will get 50 minutes of practice Friday because this is a new event on the schedule. That additional time will give those Cup drivers more laps on the 1.99-mile road course.

MORE: Sonoma Xfinity entry list

Here is a look at what Xfinity rides the Cup drivers will pilot this weekend:

The race is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET Saturday.

The ARCA Menards Series West also is competing this weekend at Sonoma Raceway. Cup driver Ryan Preece is entered in that event. Xfinity drivers Cole Custer, Riley Herbst, Sammy Smith and Parker Retzlaff also are entered in that race, which will be held at 6:30 p.m. ET Friday.


Winners and losers at WWT Raceway


Winners and losers from Sunday’s Cup race at WWT Raceway:


Kyle BuschWins the pole, leads the most laps and holds the field off over the last five restarts to win the race. He scored six playoff points, giving him 16 on the season, second only to William Byron’s 17. Busch left Joe Gibbs Racing after last season for Richard Childress Racing. Busch’s three wins this year equals what JGR has done so far.

Ryan BlaneyHis sixth-place finish moved him into the points lead. He last led the points after the spring 2022 Richmond race. Blaney also won a stage Sunday to collect another playoff point. He has seven this season.

Kyle LarsonFourth-place finish was a big turnaround after struggles earlier in the race. It has not been easy for this team the last few weeks. He has three top-five finishes and four finishes of 20th or worse in the last seven races.

Daniel SuarezHis seventh-place finish moved him up two spots to 16th in the standings, the final playoff transfer spot at this time.


Ross ChastainHe finished 22nd for his third consecutive result outside the top 20. He entered the weekend leading the points and fell to fifth afterward. He is 29 points behind new series leader Ryan Blaney with 11 races left in the regular season.

Tyler ReddickRebounded from an early spin to lead but had his race end after a brake rotor failed. He was one of four drivers eliminated by brake rotor failures. The others were Carson Hocevar, Bubba Wallace and Noah Gragson.