In his first race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, William Byron outdueled Paul Menard in the closing laps to win the Xfinity Series’ Lilly Diabetes 250.
The 19-year-old is the youngest NASCAR driver to win at the 2.5-mile track. It is the rookie’s third win.
Fighting a tire vibration, Byron led the final 16 laps. He beat Menard, Joey Logano, Elliott Sadler and Cole Custer to the win.
The victory comes three weeks after Byron also won at Daytona International Speedway.
“I just have to thank God, it’s amazing to be here,” Byron told NBCSN at the start-finish line. “I got a lot of great people around me. This is very humbling to be at Indianapolis and win. I can’t believe that tire held on.”
Byron led 26 laps in a race that saw a track-record 16 lead changes among eight drivers, the result of a new package that includes restrictor plates.
“We had vibrations for probably the last 20 laps or so, and it kind of leveled off,” Byron said. “I’m not a tire expert, so I was just trying to think about what it would do. It held on, and I’m thankful for that.”
Stage 1 winner: William Byron
Stage 2 winner: Elliott Sadler
MORE: Race results
MORE: Points standings
WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Paul Menard finished second for his best result of the year. His previous best in five starts was seventh at Michigan … Elliott Sadler led 22 laps from the pole and finished fourth for his eighth top five of the season … Cole Custer finished fifth for his third top five … Kyle Busch, who won the last two Indy Xfinity races, finished 12th after leading 44 laps. He pitted from the lead with 18 to go because of concern for tire wear.
WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Tyler Reddick was eliminated on Lap 38 after plowing through the grass in Turn 4 to avoid an accident with Ryan Sieg and Spencer Gallagher. Reddick finished 37th with his second DNF of the year. … Justin Allgaier finished 35th after multiple mishaps on pit road, including hitting his jack man (who was uninjured) and later leaving his pit box while his right-front tire was being removed, which caused severe damage to his No. 7 car.
NOTABLE: Byron’s win snaps Busch’s streak of four straight NASCAR wins at Indianapolis over the Xfinity and Cup series … Erik Jones‘ No. 20 Toyota had one unsecured lug nut following the race.
QUOTE OF HE DAY: “They wanted to slow down the fastest guy here so the rest of the field could keep up and they did.’’ – Kyle Busch
WHAT’S NEXT: U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC on July 29.