After winning the NASCAR Cup race at Atlanta Speedway, William Byron becomes the third member of the Hendrick Motorsports crew to win a race this season.
At the repaved and freshly rebuilt Atlanta Motor Speedway, William Byron won the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. With his third career victory,
Byron joined teammates Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman as the sixth different winner through the first five races of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season.
William Byron led throuhout the 111 lap race to win his first race of the season and third of his career. Rick Hendrick’s No. 24 Chevrolet driver became the third member of his team to win a race this season. Late in the race, the 24-year-old held off a series of challengers, which was filled with caution flags and lead changes.
“It was so different… you know, honestly, the last few laps there, just trying to manage the gap to Bubba [Wallace] and trying to not get too far out front,” Byron said.
“My spotter Brandon [Lines], it’s his first win so congrats to him and just thanks to this whole team. They’ve done a great job this year.”
“There’s a lot of changes with the Next Gen car, the Liberty University Chevrolet was awesome there.”
“We had a pretty rough practice; worked hard on it and got it handling well… Like I told you, it was kind of an intermediate style with a little bit of superspeedway to it, so it was lot of fun.”
“Thanks to everyone at Hendrick Motorsports. Super exciting,” Byron concluded.
Hendrick Motorsports makes history by becoming the first team since 1956 to win a race with three different drivers in the first five races of the season.
Ross Chastain finished second for the second time in a row, and he finished in the top three for the third time in a row this season. The No. 1 Trackhouse Racing Team driver has been banging on the door for his first professional win all season.
Five of the top six finishing places were taken by Chevrolet drivers, with Kurt Busch finishing third for Toyota, which is still winless this season.
Daniel Suarez finished fourth in Atlanta, following his ninth-place performance in Phoenix last week. Trackhouse had a great day, and they’ll be in victory lane very soon.
Corey LaJoie rounded out the top five after an outstanding sprint from the 33rd starting place in the race. He was one of numerous drivers who collided with each other during the race.
On Lap 95, Chastain was leading when his right-rear tire failed, sending him into the wall. He recovered well, but several other drivers had the same problem throughout the race. Ricky Stenhouse Jr had the exact same thing happen to him just nine laps after Stage 2 ended.
Austin Cindric, Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones, and Christopher Bell were all involved in the collision with Stenhouse. Denny Hamlin was pushing Kyle Larson on the final lap of Stage 2, but the two became separated and crashed into the wall, ending their day.
The second stage was won by Ryan Blaney, while the first was won by Byron. Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon were involved in a similar incident at the end of the first stage, which resulted in both drivers being eliminated.
The most serious incident occurred in the second stage, when Tyler Reddick’s right-rear tire failed. Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch, Cindric, Hamlin, Michael McDowell, and LaJoie were among the drivers who were involved in the accident.
Some were able to go back to racing, but for the majority of them, including the driver of the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, he had to retire.
Chase Elliott is the lone Hendrick driver without a victory this season, but the 2020 Cup champion finished sixth in Atlanta. Chris Buescher earned a much-needed seventh place finish, but he crossed the finish line while crashing in the last pile-up.
With an eighth-place finish, Martin Truex Jr had a strong afternoon, while Logano managed a ninth-place finish. Alex Bowman rounded out the top ten, capping off a successful day for the Hendrick company.
On Sunday, there were a few drivers that did not receive the finish they deserved. Bell finished in second position, but was disqualified for crossing the finish line below the red line on the final lap. He was assigned to the 23rd position on the lead lap, which was the final position.
Bubba Wallace was riding in second position in the final laps when he was caught up in the chaos. When all was said and done, the 23XI Racing driver finished 13th.
Chase Briscoe, the pole sitter and last week’s race winner, was also in the lead group in the final laps, but was pushed out of position and plummeted through the field. Today, the Stewart Haas Racing driver finished 15th. Blaney was in third place at the time of the finish, but he was driven back by a contact, and he finished 17th.
The race’s rate was exceptionally high, with 11 cautions covering 65 laps. Last month’s Daytona 500 had more than that. There were also 46 lead changes among 20 drivers, breaking the previous Atlanta record. Twelve vehicles failed to finish the race, and a large number of others were damaged on the penultimate lap.
The race was every bit as crazy as some had imagined. The front-row fights were thrilling to watch, with drivers jockeying for position all day. Byron was able to hold off rivals in the end while mastering both lanes. The Hendrick crew has not missed a beat since last year, despite the fact that this is a season of new and different things.
It’s time to get back on the road. As teams prepare to compete at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas next weekend, the narrative intensifies. The EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix airs on FOX at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.