William Byron seems to be working on the nickname “The Capitalizer.” For a second week in a row William has been able capitalize on a late race caution to score the win.
In Las Vegas a week earlier Kyle Larson seemed to be cruising to a victory when a caution with just four laps remaining. Then, a spin caused a caution. That allowed William Byron to make the calls and moves to score the win in a NASCAR overtime finish in Las Vegas.
Yesterday at Phoenix Raceway, it seemed like either William or Kyle would be the winner of the race for most of the day. William was able to win stage one with Kyle winning stage two. Kyle was really the car to beat as he led a race high 201 laps.
However, as the race was winding down, the Phenom of Phoenix, Kevin Harvick, made his way to the front. If he could win, it would extend his all-time win record for the track to 10 victories. Kevin took the lead and stretched it out to nearly six seconds with just 11 laps to go. The, the #21 car driven by Harrison Burton spun bringing out a caution.
That led to a decision to be made by crew chiefs and drivers. Would they change two tires or four? Kevin Harvick’s team decided to go with four. William Byron, Kyle Larson and several other teams went with a two-tire change. Kyle was able to come out of the pit stop with the lead. Kevin Harvick came out back a few rows for the re-start.
Kyle held the lead on the re-start until there was another spin, crash and caution. That would create the second NASCAR overtime of a green-white-checkered finish in the second week in a row.
This time it would be William Byron that would take the lead when the green flag waived. The #45 car driven by Tyler Reddick gave William a bump from behind that would send him out to the front. William was able to maintain the lead through the final lap and a half of the race. It was his first win at Phoenix Raceway in his Cup Series career. (Actually, it was even his first top five at the track.) That gives William six career victories in the Cup Series. As mentioned earlier, it is his second win in a row in the 2023 season. It makes him the only driver this season with two wins.
Ryan Blaney finished in second-place and third went to Tyler Reddick. See the complete race results for the United Rentals Work United 500 race here.
After the race in Phoenix, Alex Bowman takes over the lead in the point standings. Kevin Harvick is in second with Ross Chastain in third. See the NASCAR Cup Series point standings here.
Next up for the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Ambetter Health 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway Sunday, March 19th.
By: Buck Stevens