William Byron Gets First Xfinity Win at Iowa Speedway

Jeff Curry/Getty Images

NEWTON, IA – RIS – Redemption is sweet.  Last week, in a NASCAR Xfinity race at Michigan, William Byron watched Denny Hamlin almost pass his Chevrolet and beat him by about 12 inches.  Later in post-race inspections, Hamlin’s car was found to be illegal and his win was “encumbered.”  That’s NASCAR’s way of saying you get the win, but we won’t pay you and you get to keep the trophy. This week it was different as he prevailed to win the Ethanol E-15 250 at Iowa Speedway.

It was Byron’s first career Xfinity race win and probably locks him into the season-ending playoffs at the same time.

“I think we had a first- or second-place car,” said Byron. “We got a little bit loose one run, then we got back on cycle there at the end and we were able to take off. It’s really cool.”

Christopher Bell dominated the race, leading 152 of the 250 laps in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. But that all changed with 30 laps to go in the final stage when Bell slammed into the Turn 1 wall trying to avoid Ryan Reed and Brennan Poole after the two made contact.

Following the caution for Bell and Reed, Byron pitted for tires and fuel, restarting second alongside Dylan Lupton. Byron passed Lupton quickly to take the lead and never looked back.

Bell put on a clinic in the first stage, leading every lap for the stage victory, but lost the lead to JR Motorsports rookie William Byron during pit stops prior to the second stage.

But Bell made quick work of Byron, regaining the lead as the two young drivers battled hard for the top spot throughout Stage 2.

In his first XFINITY race since Kentucky Speedway in September of 2016, Sam Hornish Jr. was running toward the front when he and Bell made contact, sending his No. 22 Team Penske Ford spinning hard into the Turn 2 wall.

Stage racing went as follows.  Bell won the first stage and Brendan Gaughan went on to win Stage 2 and earn his first playoff point of the season after he and multiple other drivers elected to stay out following the caution for Benjamin and Majeski.

The rest of the top five after winner Byron consisted of drivers who scored their career-best XFINITY finish, as Ryan Sieg finished second, followed by Tyler Reddick, Ross Chastain and Dakoda Armstrong.

Unofficial Race Results for the Seventh Annual American Ethanol E15 250 Presented By Enogen - Iowa Speedway

Fin, Str, Driver, Car, , Laps, Stage 1 Pos, Stage 2 Pos, Pts, Status, Tms, Laps, Playoff Pts
1) 6, William Byron #, No. 9 AXALTA/WINDSOR Window & Doors Chevrolet, 250, 3, 2, 57, Running, 5, 78, 5
2) 22, Ryan Sieg, No. 39 Ritchie Chevrolet, 250, , 7, 39, Running, , , 
3) 15, Tyler Reddick, No. 42 BBR/Jason Aldean Chevrolet, 250, , , 34, Running, , , 
4) 14, Ross Chastain, No. 4 Georgia Watermelon Association Chevrolet, 250, , , 33, Running, , , 
5) 7, Dakoda Armstrong, No. 28 WinField United Toyota, 250, , 10, 33, Running, , , 
6) 20, Michael Annett, No. 5 Northland Oil Chevrolet, 250, , , 31, Running, , , 
7) 18, Jeremy Clements, No. 51 RepairableVehicles.com Chevrolet, 250, , 5, 36, Running, , , 
8) 4, Elliott Sadler, No. 1 Chevrolet Accessories Chevrolet, 250, 5, 4, 42, Running, , , 
9) 5, Justin Allgaier, No. 7 BRANDT Chevrolet, 250, 4, 8, 38, Running, 1, 5, 
10) 31, Garrett Smithley, No. 0 Adapt 2k Chevrolet, 250, , , 27, Running, , , 
11) 30, Tommy Joe Martins, No. 78 Diamond Gusset Jeans Chevrolet, 250, , , 26, Running, , , 
12) 27, Quin Houff, No. 46 beatincancerwithduke.org Chevrolet, 250, , , 25, Running, , , 
13) 25, JJ Yeley, No. 14 Toyota, 250, 7, , 28, Running, , , 
14) 32, David Starr, No. 99 Victory Lane Quick Oil Change Chevrolet, 250, , , 23, Running, , , 
15) 28, Dylan Lupton, No. 24 Nut Up Toyota, 250, , , 22, Running, 1, 5, 
16) 1, Christopher Bell(i), No. 20 ToyotaCare Toyota, 250, 1, 3, 0, Running, 3, 152, 
17) 26, BJ McLeod, No. 8 Chevrolet, 250, , , 20, Running, , , 
18) 37, Joey Gase, No. 52 Jerry K. Ask Investments/Iowa Donar Network Chevrolet, 250, , , 19, Running, , , 
19) 17, Ryan Reed, No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford, 250, 9, 9, 22, Running, , , 
20) 21, Ben Kennedy #, No. 2 Rheem Chevrolet, 249, , 6, 22, Running, , , 
21) 11, Daniel Hemric #, No. 21 Blue Gate Bank Chevrolet, 249, 10, , 17, Running, , , 
22) 9, Matt Tifft #, No. 19 Tunity Toyota, 249, , , 15, Running, , , 
23) 23, Brandon Jones, No. 33 Jeld-Wen/Menards Chevrolet, 249, , , 14, Running, , , 
24) 24, Cole Custer #, No. 00 Haas Automation Ford, 249, , , 13, Running, , , 
25) 13, Blake Koch, No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet, 249, , , 12, Running, , , 
26) 16, Brendan Gaughan, No. 62 American Ethanol/Kum & Go Chevrolet, 249, , 1, 21, Running, 1, 9, 1
27) 8, Brennan Poole, No. 48 DC Solar Chevrolet, 249, , , 10, Running, , , 
28) 38, Timmy Hill, No. 40 CrashClaimsR.us Dodge, 247, , , 9, Running, , , 
29) 34, Ray Black II, No. 07 Scuba Life Chevrolet, 246, , , 8, Running, 1, 1, 
30) 19, Spencer Gallagher #, No. 23 Allegiant Airlines Chevrolet, 244, , , 7, Running, , , 
31) 2, Kyle Benjamin, No. 18 SportClips Toyota, 241, 6, , 11, Running, , , 
32) 12, Scott Lagasse Jr., No. 3 ScreenYourMachine/AmericanCancerSociety Chev, 236, 8, , 8, Running, , , 
33) 33, Dexter Bean, No. 90 CrashClaimsR.us Chevrolet, 161, , , 4, Accident, , , 
34) 10, Ty Majeski, No. 60 iRacing.com Ford, 143, , , 3, Accident, , , 
35) 40, Mike Harmon, No. 74 Veterans Motorsports Dodge, 121, , , 2, Engine, , , 
36) 29, Harrison Rhodes, No. 01 Schwarze Industries Chevrolet, 118, , , 1, Engine, , , 
37) 3, Sam Hornish Jr., No. 22 Discount Tire Ford, 78, 2, , 10, Accident, , , 
38) 39, Carl Long, No. 13 O.C.R. Gaz Bar Toyota, 18, , , 1, Brakes, , , 
39) 36, Morgan Shepherd, No. 89 Chevrolet, 16, , , 1, Vibration, , , 
40) 35, Jeff Green, No. 93 RSS Racing Chevrolet, 6, , , 1, Electrical, , , 
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (#) Rookie

Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 32 Mins, 52 Secs.
Average Speed: 85.859 MPH
Margin of Victory: 1.140 Seconds
Race Comments: William Byron won the American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen at Iowa Speedway, his first victory in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Prior to the start of the race, the following cars dropped to the rear of the field for the reasons indicated: Nos. 00, 28 (tire change) and 1 (unapproved adjustments).
Caution Flags: 9 for 65 laps: Laps: 26-30 (No.90 Spin Turn 2 [52]); 62-69 (Stage 1 Conclusion [8]); 80-86 (No.20, 22 Incident Turn 2 [24]); 114-118 (No.18, 60 Incident Turn 4 [23]); 122-129 (Stage 2 Conclusion. [60]); 146-153 (No.60 Incident Turn 1 [52]); 163-169 (No.23, 90 Incident Turn 2 [40]); 219-229 (No.16, 20, 48 Incident Backstretch [52]); 235-240 (No.16 Incident Turn 1 [7]).
 Lead Changes: 11 among 6 drivers: C. Bell(i) 1-64; R. Black II 65; W. Byron Laps 66-86; J. Allgaier 87-91; W. Byron Laps 92-103; C. Bell(i) 104-114; B. Gaughan 115-123; W. Byron Laps 124-142; C. Bell(i) 143-219; W. Byron Laps 220-224; D. Lupton 225-229; W. Byron Laps 230-250.
Coors Light Pole Award: Christopher Bell, No.20 133.305 mph
Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race: Hendrick Engines, No.9 
Mobil 1 Driver of the Race: Ryan Sieg, No.39 
Sunoco Rookie of the Race: William Byron, No.9

Ron Fleshman with John Davison

RIS NASCAR Editor.  Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.

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Volume 2017, Issue 6, Posted 12:07 PM, 06.25.2017