William Byron scores Chase win in New Hampshire

Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
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William Byron led all but 14 laps to win Saturday’s UNOH 175 Camping World Truck Series Chase-opening race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

His win advances him to the second round of the playoffs and he won’t have to worry about needing a strong finish at Talladega Superspeedway in two weeks to advance.

“We’re definitely relieved,” said Byron, who has made one career restrictor-plate start. “I felt like going into this race, it wasn’t a must-win by any means, but if we had a chance to win like today we were going to take it.”

The victory is his sixth of the season. He is the fifth consecutive pole-winner to go on and win the series race at New Hampshire.

Christopher Bell, who is in the Chase, finished second. He closed on Byron in the final laps but was unable to make a move. Chase driver Matt Crafton placed third. Tyler Reddick, who is not eligible for the title was fourth. Chase driver Timothy Peters placed fifth.

MORE: Race results

MORE: Points standings

HOW WILLIAM BYRON WON: He had the fastest truck and avoided any mistakes or issues. Simple as that.

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Christopher Bell placed second, earning his third consecutive top-five finish. … Two-time series champion Matt Crafton was the best of the rest, placing third behind the two Kyle Busch Motorsports trucks. … Tyler Reddick’s fourth-place result was his third consecutive top-10 finish. … Kaz Grala‘s seventh-place finish was a career-best result. 

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Chase driver Daniel Hemric brought out the caution on Lap 26 for an incident after his left rear tire went down. He lost several laps for repairs and finished 28th. … Chase driver John Hunter Nemechek finished ninth. He tried to get underneath Kaz Grala’s truck and spun while running 13th. Nemechek had a left rear tire rub at the end after contact with Ben Rhodes’ truck.

NOTABLE: Israeli driver Alon Day, making his first series start, finished 24th.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “(William Byron) was the best truck today. He deserved to win,’’ runner-up Christopher Bell said of his Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Camping World Truck Series races Oct. 1 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.