William Byron, the Hendricks Motorsports driver, had an eventful outing at the NASCAR Cup Series race at COTA. Byron started the race from the top spot on the grid, led quite a few laps, and even was able to win a stage, however, at the end of a hard day’s work, he was only able to manage a P5 finish in his number 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
Tyler Reddick was the show’s ultimate star as he dominated the whole race and came away with a comfortable victory. Things could have gone in William Byron’s favor if the event’s closing stages were not filled with total chaos. The race officials threw out six cautions as there were quite a few incidents that derailed the whole flow of the race.
Byron being amongst all the action, had the opportunity of witnessing everything firsthand, and while sharing his thoughts on the race, after the event, he said, “It was hard as hell,” Byron said, “It was the hardest I’ve worked in a race car, I think. Honestly, not the hardest I’ve worked but just the amount of heat and the amount of (carbon monoxide) or whatever it is in the cars.“
“It was definitely tough to deal with. By lap 25 I was just praying for a second wind. Luckily it came. That’s why you train, I guess. I don’t know if I’m that much better than everybody else, but I feel fine.” The 25-year-old has admitted that the conditions during the race were incredibly tough. He is very much right in his assessment as, looking from the outside, many pundits deemed the race tough for the drivers.
However, despite all the challenges, that were thrown by the event, there was one driver who looked in a class of his own, and that driver was none other than Tyler Reddick. He had an answer for everything thrown at him during the race by the officials, the other drivers, etc. He was the main hurdle that no other driver could cross, Reddick was in a league of his own at COTA.
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William Byron’s take on ending up P5 in COTA
At the start of the NASCAR Cup Series race at COTA, there was a lot of interest in the race for many reasons. Moreover, as the race got going, the interest of the onlookers only kept on increasing. William triumphed in the first stage, Tyle won the second stage, and an intense battle for the lead ensued during the final stage.
However, the chances of William Byron winning the race were put to bed when he lost the lead with 22 laps remaining. Heading into the final overtime attempt of the event, he lined up fifth but was unable to make his up to Reddick to have a go at securing the race win. While talking further, he added, “He just had the lead and I didn’t. He was better, when we got that run with nine laps to go, he was able to pass me clean and gap me. I did a lot of blocking, a lot of protecting under braking, but he was just better.“
“I think he had a little more grip than us, a little bit more lateral grip, and that’s what it takes on the road courses – being able to hustle the car a little bit more. He was still free and sideways but had grip doing it. So that’s part of racing. Good to come home top five here at COTA; we had a great weekend. We’ll take it.”
While William Byron has sounded a bit disappointed with how his outing at the Circuit of the Americas panned out, he has admitted that he will accept the result, as P5 brings a lot of strong points for his team. There are still several races left in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series campaign, and considering this fact, Byron would get quite a few opportunities to do better.
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