William Byron’s plans for a top place finish, or even victory, at the Indianapolis Road Course were dashed by an unfortunate late contact with Hendrick teammate Chase Elliott that plummeted him to the back of the field.
Driving the No. 24 Acronis Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 days after the global leaders in cyber security renewed is partnership with the team, Byron went on an impressive charge through the field after starting 23rd on the grid.
By only lap 10 of the opening stage, Byron had navigated his way through early spinners to move to 12th and would finish the stage in third after staying out on track, winning eight stage points.
Electing to stay out at the start of stage two, Byron rolled off the line in second with a clear two stop strategy. And after pitting for fresh tires and fuel, he ended the stage an impressive 13th.
In a chaotic road race littered with cautions, Byron worked his way past Denny Hamlin, Chase Briscoe and Bubba Wallace on fresher tires to progress to fourth before pitting on lap 51. Re-joining in 15th, the race strategy appeared to paying handsome dividends, Byron up to fourth on lap 65 before losing a place to Elliott.
Following yet another caution, Byron was still running a strong fifth on lap 80 and with his sights set on a strong finish before being collected by a spinning Elliott off of turn one and sending him to the back of the field before a broken toe link forced his retirement.
Regardless, it was still a fine run for a man who still harbours title ambitions coming towards the tail end of another long season. The pace is certainly there, and Byron will be hoping for a little more fortune to go his way when reacing resumes at Michigan International Speedway this coming weekend.
Car was fast, but had bad luck. Ready to get back to an oval. pic.twitter.com/53tDUfBHf4
— William Byron (@WilliamByron) July 31, 2022
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