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NASCAR Cup Series

William Byron Nets Fourth Place at Dover

William Byron was in position to score his second Dover Cup race win. (Photo: Josh Jones | The Podium Finish)

William Byron was in position to score his second Dover Cup race win. (Photo: Josh Jones | The Podium Finish)

DOVER, Del. – For a majority of Monday’s Würth 400 at Dover Motor Speedway, William Byron looked like the man to beat.

In fact, the driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro, prepared by Hendrick Motorsports, was on track to smash his average finish of 14.0. Moreover, he was on pace to top his best finish of fourth, a result he tallied in 2020 and 2021.

Qualifying eighth due to the metric scoring utilized ahead of Sunday’s 400-lap race, Byron charged to the lead on Lap 27. Winning Stage 1, the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year winner kept himself in the mix in Stage 2, tallying a runner-up result.

Despite the changing conditions at the concrete, 1-mile oval, the sixth-year racer and his crew chief, Rudy Fugle, kept working ardently on the No. 24 car.

While Byron was stout in the first half of the race, it was a bit of a different story in the closing moments at Dover. With 21 laps remaining, the Charlotte, North Carolina native dropped to eighth place, seemingly clinging on to a top 10 finish, at best.

Byron caught a bit of a break when Joey Logano crashed in Turn 4, prompting the caution on Lap 388.

Restarting in the sixth position, the steady leadfooter settled for a fourth place result, a decent rally considering the Stage 3 struggles.

“The middle section – I don’t know, I need to maybe do a little better job on the feedback, and then just us communicating the adjustments there,” Byron said. “We took off, had clean air and the car was just too loose.

“I couldn’t load the rear tires and we were just hanging on. That run was obviously really bad – we fell from first to seventh. We just had to work our way up from there.”

Although the second half of the 400-lap race was not as strong as the opening stanza for Byron and his No. 24 team, he counts his blessings in terms of the respectable result.

Sunny skies seemed to suit Byron's ride while overcast conditions were another story. (Photo: Josh Jones | The Podium Finish)

Sunny skies seemed to suit Byron’s ride while overcast conditions were another story. (Photo: Josh Jones | The Podium Finish)

“Proud of the effort,” he said. “Getting a top-five is great. The No. 24 Chevy was really good today. Definitely needed some more, but we’re having speed at all different kinds of tracks.”

Namely, Byron observed how he could have played a bigger and better role with improving the No. 24 car’s handling. Regardless, he was proud of the effort and hustle by his team.

“Honestly, Stages 1 and 2, we had a really good balance on our car,” he said. “In Stage 3, we just got too loose. We couldn’t load the rear tires. We just fell back that one run. Just a little bit of communication and working together on the radio to figure out what we need. I should’ve done a little better job on communicating that. We kind of went from clean air to dirty air.

“That sequence just changed the balance of the car. So, overall, it was a good day for us. We all worked hard to make this track better for us. And we had some good runs here in the past. It’s nice to get it close to right this year.”

Versatility and resiliency still count in the ever competitive premier division of NASCAR. Moreover, Byron has less than a week to pursue his third win of the 2023 season, a remarkable feat given the tight, close competition thus far.

“In our history, this hasn’t been our best track,” Byron said. “We came with something a little bit different to try and help that. I think it did for the majority of the race, but just got too loose.”

Editor’s Notes

Marty Czekala of RSN Trackside on ROC Sports Network contributed to this article directly on-site from Dover Motor Speedway in Dover, Delaware.

Rob Tiongson is a sports writer and editor originally from the Boston area and resides in the Austin, Texas, area. Tiongson has covered motorsports series like NASCAR and INDYCAR since 2008 and NHRA since 2013. Most recently, Tiongson is covering professional basketball, mainly the WNBA, and women's college basketball. While writing and editing for The Podium Finish, Tiongson currently seeks for a long-term sportswriting and sports content creating career. Tiongson enjoys editing and writing articles and features, as well as photography. Moreover, he enjoys time with his family and friends, traveling, cooking, working out and being a fun uncle or "funcle" to his nephew, niece and cat. Tiongson is an alum of Southern New Hampshire University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and St. Bonaventure University's renowned Jandoli School of Communication with a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism.

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