CHEVROLET NCS: Byron Takes Hendrick Motorsports to 300 All-Time NASCAR Cup Series Wins at Texas Motor Speedway

NASCAR CUP SERIES
TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
AUTOTRADER ECHOPARK AUTOMOTIVE 400
TEAM CHEVY POST-RACE REPORT
SEPTEMBER 24, 2023

Byron Takes Hendrick Motorsports to 300 All-Time NASCAR Cup Series Wins at Texas Motor Speedway

Claims Berth to Round of Eight

William Byron won his sixth NASCAR Cup Series Race of the season to secure his spot in the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. Not only was it his sixth win of the season, it was Hendrick Motorsports’ 300th win overall. The victory secured a spot for Byron in the third round of the playoffs with two rounds to go.

Leading the final six circuits of the opening race of the Round of 12 at Texas Motor Speedway, William Byron took the No. 24 Liberty University Camaro ZL1 team to its series-leading sixth NASCAR Cup Series win of the season.

· The victory marked a milestone victory for Hendrick Motorsports with Byron delivering the organization its 300th all-time NASCAR Cup Series victory – all recorded with Chevrolet.

· Byron’s triumph extended Chevrolet’s series-leading win count to 15 trips to victory lane in NASCAR’s premier series this season.

· Chevrolet continues to lead the series with 17 NASCAR Cup Series victories at Texas Motor Speedway; and 848 all-time in NASCAR’s premier series.

· Chevrolet drivers have recorded back-to-back victories playoff opening races this season, with Byron’s victory securing his spot into the Round of Eight.

“On behalf of everyone at Chevrolet, congratulations to Rick Hendrick and the entire Hendrick Motorsports organization on reaching 300 wins in the NASCAR Cup Series,” said Jim Campbell, General Motors U.S. Vice President of Performance and Motorsports. “This milestone victory is a testament to the dedication and teamwork by everyone who has contributed to Hendrick Motorsports. As a longtime partner of the winningest organization in NASCAR Cup Series history, we are proud that all 300 Hendrick Motorsports wins have been in partnership with Chevrolet. We look forward to continuing to race together for wins in the NASCAR Cup series.”

TOP TEAM CHEVY UNOFFICIAL TOP-10 RESULTS:
POS. DRIVER

1st William Byron, No. 24 Liberty University Camaro ZL1

2nd Ross Chastain, No. 1 Worldwide Express Camaro ZL1

8th Daniel Suarez, No. 99 Kubota Camaro ZL1

9th Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 Kroger / NOS Energy Drink Camaro ZL1

TOP-FIVE UNOFFICIAL RESULTS:

POS. DRIVER

  1. William Byron (Chevrolet)
  2. Ross Chastain (Chevrolet)
  3. Bubba Wallace (Toyota)
  4. Christopher Bell (Toyota)
  5. Denny Hamlin (Toyota)

Race Two of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 12 will get underway at Talladega Superspeedway with the YellaWood 500 on Sunday, October 1, at 2 p.m. ET. Live coverage can be found on the NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.


TEAM CHEVY POST-RACE QUOTES:

Ross Chastain, No. 1 Worldwide Express Camaro ZL1

Finished: 2nd

A runner-up finish after what seemed like kind of a major issue. That throttle position sensor went bad, went dead. First of all, tell us what that was like in the car.

“It was terrible. You push the gas and it doesn’t have any gas. I noticed something on a few cautions like having the car off in third gear – clutching, dropped the clutch with the ignition on, and it kind of stumbled, but I thought I just had it too low of RPM.

Then I pitted and that pit stop is when it had already failed, and it wouldn’t go. I’m part throttle to get it fired, and it doesn’t think I’m doing anything.

From there, they walked me through it, and basically I just had to give it a lot of throttle. So the next pit stop for our final two-tire stop was just a whole lot of throttle. I’m sure the eardrums were blown out of everybody behind our pit box, but for our Worldwide Express Chevy, we were not fast enough to run second with two tires. We were with four.

Early in the race I thought we were one of the best cars, and I wish we could have raced with those guys. We just worked our way back with taking four tires a lot and some bad restarts on my side. But we had the speed and we showed it all weekend.

We did everything we needed to do, and at this race, if you follow the chart for running position is everything that the 1 team is about, and I love it.”

You feel confident headed to the next two races?

“I don’t know about those. I only care about here, and I just want to run good at the track I’m at. When we go to Talladega and the Roval, we’ll just go try to perform like we did today. If it’s not looking good, just what does the next lap take – what does the next breath take. And whenever we do the right things, those races, they give out the same amount of points as this one, and we’ll go and race them the same way.”

Austin Dillon, No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Camaro ZL1

Finished: 36th

“Yeah, we had a loose wheel. It stinks.. it’s kind of been the way our year has gone. Coming off of turn two, it’s a little slick there getting up to speed. I didn’t really think it was a loose wheel, but it was really loose, which could have given me a little bit of a hint. But I got down into turns three and four, you can just see the wheel comes off. It’s unfortunate. We’ll go back to work – try to stay positive through the rest of the year and try to get a win for this No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevy team.”

Was there any warning?

“Coming off the flat and getting up to speed, I was a little free. I didn’t know what it was and then halfway down the backstretch, I was a little worried and then it just blew off when we got to the center of the corner.”

Kyle Larson, No. 5 HendrickCars.com Camaro ZL1

Finished: 31st

Tell us about that hard racing with Bubba (Wallace) in turn two.

“Yeah, he did a good job to stay with me during the restart between three and four and all that. I tried to open up and have my shape into one. With these cars, you normally don’t get sucked around like that, so I wasn’t really expecting that and thought that I would be fine. I just lost it and crashed.

Pretty bummed, but happy for William (Byron) and happy for Mr. Hendrick for 300 wins, which is incredible. So, great night overall for our organization, and great for William and our team, too. We had a super-fast Chevy today. We have had a fast car for every race in the playoffs to start, so we will go to Talladega and try to have a good day and have some good fortune.”

Kyle Busch, No. 8 3CHI Camaro ZL1

Sidelined by damage sustained in an accident at the end of Stage One.

Finished: 34th

For a moment, did you just feel like it was debris on your tires that you were feeling?

“I have no idea. It felt really good when we came off of pit road after that green-flag stop. The car had good grip in it. We had those couple of yellows back-to-back and we restarted on the outside. I felt like I had a flat right front (tire) and I was going to come to pit road. I second-guessed it and said ‘I don’t think so, man. It’s just something is wrong.. something isn’t right, but it’s not a flat’. And just all on its own, just turned into the bottom of the race track in turn one and it just swapped ends on me. That’s the rear, not the front, not having grip.. so I just don’t know.

I hate it for everyone on this No. 8 3CHI Chevrolet team. I felt like our car was for sure a top-five or top-10 car today. That right there, I just said it two laps before that – I got up on the high-side and was like, you know what, I just need to stop and just run the bottom.. make laps here, just finish the stage and it swaps ends on me.”

William Byron, No. 24 Liberty University Camaro ZL1 – Race Winner Quotes

How did you steal that one on that final restart?

“Man, that’s badass. I finally got a good restart at the end. It was hot today. I think it’s finally hitting me. But No. 300 for Hendrick Motorsports. Kyle (Larson) really deserved this one. Those guys were really fast all day, and hate it for them at the end.

Man, it was awesome to get our car to the front. I loved clean air. We just fought through traffic all day and our No. 24 Liberty University Chevy was just tight back in traffic but had good pace.

This was one of those hot days. It felt like I was playing football and went through two-a-days, just wanted to quit. It was a grind all day and our team was there at the end. I’m really proud of this one as hot as it was and as tough as it was. We’ll take it and go on to the next round.”

Rick Hendrick gave you a shot as a young driver. What does bringing him win No. 300 mean for Hendrick Motorsports?

“I don’t know if I can even put it into words. I was such a Hendrick Motorsports fan growing up as a kid – watching Jimmie Johnson and became really fond of Jeff Gordon as I got to know him.

Just thankful for all the people and men and women back at Hendrick Motorsports, and Mr. Hendrick for his investment in me and telling me at 17 years old that he was going to take me to Cup racing. Just appreciate everything he’s done for me. This is awesome. We’re definitely going to enjoy this one.”

Now you and the No. 24 team are one step from a potential championship run. You don’t have to worry about Talladega and the Roval; how cool is that?

“Yeah, it’s cool. We’ve just been kind of ‘Steady Eddie’ through the first three, four races, and we haven’t shown any flashes. But today I thought we had a good car if we could have just gotten to the front, and at the end there we were really fast.”

How about these Texas fans who stood out here in 100-degree heat this afternoon?

“Yeah, they’re better than I would be. Appreciate all you guys coming out. It was a really good crowd for as hot as it was. We’ve got some of the best fans in Texas. I love it here. Look forward to coming back next year.”

Justin Haley, No. 31 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Camaro ZL1

Finished: 13th

“We brought a fast No. 31 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Camaro ZL1 to Texas. I was super happy with the handling from the start; we just started getting a little tight on the shorter runs. Once we overcame a pit-road penalty and had a longer run, we were so fast running similar times to the leader. It’s not quite the finish we had here last year, but it was still a really good day.”

Carson Hocevar, No. 42 Sunseeker Resorts Camaro ZL1

Finished: 16th

“Overall, it was a solid day for the No. 42 Sunseeker Resorts Chevy team. We got a good result there at the end. We were a top-10 to top-15 car all day. We either had a loose wheel or just got really loose and I hit the fence. I just made a mistake on my end. I hit the fence and knocked the toe link in and bent a lot of stuff. I was in survival mode and started to figure out how to drive it with everything broken and moving around in the rear-end. On the last restart, we gained a lot of spots that we really shouldn’t have on paper. But I’m really proud of this group. We had a really fast Chevy. Finishing 16th was better than we probably should have ended it with how torn up this thing is.”

Erik Jones, No. 43 vseverybody.com Camaro ZL1

Finished: 30th

“We had a fast Chevy all weekend. The No. 5 (Kyle Larson) was really checked out and running second to him based on what happened. So, we pitted there and it obviously put us pretty far back. I was just aggressive there to try and get some positions back, and just got high and out of the groove and into the wall. It’s a narrow groove up there – I was forcing the issue and I just used too much of it.

It was unfortunate. The car has been fast week in and week out for us, and we just have to keep working and we will have days like this. At the end of the day, it’s just racing and it doesn’t always work out. We had a quick car, and I appreciate that. We will keep working at it.”

Daniel Suarez, No. 99 Kubota Camaro ZL1

Finished: 8th

“It was an up-and-down kind of day for the No. 99 Kubota Chevy team. I felt like the car had potential, but we just continued to work on the balance and try to make it a little bit better. We had a couple of issues on pit road. I made a mistake coming onto pit road on a green-flag stop. I felt like the car was a top-10 car, and overall, it was a good day for our team.”


TEAM CHEVY RACE NOTES:

STAGE ONE

· The Round of 12 for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs got underway at Texas Motor Speedway with the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400. Four Team Chevy drivers took the green-flag from a top-10 position in the starting lineup, including two of the manufacturer’s playoff contenders – Ross Chastain (fifth) and Kyle Busch (seventh).

· The first caution of the day came at lap 43 for Team Chevy’s Austin Dillon, who lost the right-rear wheel on his Camaro ZL1 as the driver was entering turn three, with damage forcing the team’s early departure from the race.

· Trouble continued for the Richard Childress Racing stable when a caution on lap 74 involved Dillon’s teammate Kyle Busch. The Team Chevy driver brought his No. 8 3CHI Camaro ZL1 to pit road as the team went to work, but with heavy damage deemed unrepairable, the team took their Chevrolet to the garage to retire from the race.

· With a one-lap dash to the end of the stage, a handful of teams at the top of the leaderboard elected a pit strategy to stay out during the caution, including Team Chevy playoff contender William Byron. Choosing the low lane, Byron took the restart in the third position, ultimately taking the green-white checkered flag in the fourth position to lead Chevrolet to the end of Stage One.

· Choosing a similar pit strategy, Byron’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott also took a top-10 finish in the stage – driving his No. 9 Kelley Blue Book Camaro ZL1 to a sixth-place finish in the stage.

STAGE TWO

· Collecting top-five points in Stage One, Crew Chief Rudy Fugle called Byron down pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Rejoining the field behind the cars that opted to pit prior to the stage end, Byron took the green-flag for the start of Stage Two from the 29th position.

· On a different pit strategy than his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Larson visited pit road under the caution just before the end of Stage One – taking four tires, fuel and a round of adjustments. After an 11th-place finish in the stage, Larson remained out when pit road opened under the stage break. Electing the inside lane at the choose cone, the Team Chevy driver took the green-flag for the start of Stage Two from the ninth position.

· The 85-lap stage saw only one caution, coming on lap 111 for Team Chevy’s Corey LaJoie. Running in the third position at the time of the caution, Larson reported to his team that he was battling loose-handling conditions on his No. 5 HendrickCars.com Camaro ZL1. Crew Chief Cliff Daniels called Larson to pit road under the caution period for four tires, fuel and a round of adjustments – rejoining the field in the seventh position with 47 laps to go in the stage.

· Running the fastest laps in the second-half of the stage, Larson progressively closed the gap to the leaders – taking the lead with 23 laps to go in the stage. Never looking back, the former champion led the field to the conclusion of Stage Two for the team’s fifth stage win of the season.

· Team Chevy Stage Two: Top-10

1st Kyle Larson, No. 5 HendrickCars.com Camaro ZL1

2nd Erik Jones, No. 43 vs.everybody Camaro ZL1

6th Chase Elliott, No. 9 Kelley Blue Book Camaro ZL1

8th Ross Chastain, No. 1 Worldwide Express Camaro ZL1

10th Daniel Suarez, No. 99 Kubota Camaro ZL1

FINAL STAGE / POST-RACE NOTES

· Leading Chevrolet with a one-two finish at the end of Stage Two, Kyle Larson and Erik Jones brought their Camaro ZL1’s to pit road for a scheduled stop under the stage break. The race off pit road saw Larson and Jones in the top-two positions – taking the front-row for the start of the final stage.

· The Team Chevy drivers quickly defended the top-two positions in the opening lap of the final stage, with Larson driving his No. 5 HendrickCars.com Camaro ZL1 to a three-second lead with 75 laps to go.

· With Larson continuing to pace the field by a strong margin, the eighth caution of the day came out with 59 laps to go. With the majority of the field coming to pit road, a repeat performance by Larson and Jones’ pit crews put the Team Chevy drivers back out front – leading the field to the green with 53 laps to go in the event.

· Again taking advantage of a front-row starting spot for the restart, Larson took his Chevrolet to the lead at the drop of the green-flag. Continuing to pace the field, Larson continued to build the gap back to fellow Team Chevy driver Jones in the runner-up position – holding nearing a five-second lead with 32 laps to go.

· Continuing in the top position, a caution came out with 25 circuits remaining. With pit road open, Larson made a quick call to forgo a visit to pit road with a strong presence behind him opting to make a stop. Running in the second position at the time of the caution, Crew Chief Dave Elenz called for a four-tire and fuel stop for the No. 43 vseverybody.com Camaro ZL1, with the team taking the 15th position for the restart with 20 laps to go.

· Battling for the lead on the restart, Larson got loose entering turn one, forcing the No. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM Camaro ZL1 into the wall. With too much damage to repair, Larson’s strong day came to a close.

· Choosing the low lane for the restart with six laps to go, Byron made a power move from the third position – taking the lead with five laps to go. Quickly pulling to more than an one-second lead, Byron continued to pace the field to the checkered flag – collecting his series-leading sixth NASCAR Cup Series win of the season.


About Chevrolet

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands. Chevrolet models include electric and fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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