William Byron Battles to Win Rain-Shortened NASCAR Quaker State 400 in Atlanta [VIDEO]

The NASCAR drivers and teams ended up battling the track and the other drivers in the Quaker State 400 to beat the rain coming to the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

When the green flag waived radar indicated that weather was heading to the track. It was just a matter of when it would get there. Most crew chiefs were betting that the race would reach the halfway point before the rain hit the track. That would mean the race would be official if the NASCAR officials determined they would not be able to re-start the race Sunday evening.

The impending weather created a sense of urgency from the start of the race. Drivers were battling side-by-side two and even three wide almost nonstop. The drivers knew they needed to be in the best possible position when the rain came.

Early on it looked as though the Ford drivers would be dominating this race. Among those it appeared that Aric Almirola, Chris Buescher and Ryan Blaney were going to be the cars to beat. Aric led a race high 46 laps after starting from the pole. He was also the winner of stage one. Fellow Ford driver Brad Keselowski was able to claim the win in stage two.

When the third and final stage began it was obvious that the rain could reach the track any lap. Some stayed out on the track instead of pitting in hopes the rain would come and they would be up front. Others pitted so they could stay out if the rain held off a little longer. The gamble by the group that pitted paid off.

When other cars had to pit for fuel, the cars that had already pitted moved to the front. That included William Byron. He battled to take the lead on lap 167. He then battled to keep the lead for the next 20 laps. That is when an accident happened to freeze the field and put them under caution. During that caution period the rain began to fall. NASCAR brought the cars to pit road to determine what the weather was going to do.

When the rain began falling harder and NASCAR officials could see on the radar that it would only increase, they made the decision to call the race compete.

That gave William Byron his second career NASCAR Cup Series win at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It also gave him his fourth win of the 2023 season (the most of any driver this season) and his eighth career win.

Fords started the day looking to dominate. However, it was Chevy’s claiming the top three positions as Daniel Su├írez claimed second and AJ Almendinger finished in third. See the complete race results for the Quaker State 400 here.

William Byron moves up to take over as the leader in the point standings. Martin Truex Jr. slips back to second-place. Kyle Busch moves up to third. See the complete NASCAR Cup Series point standings here.

Next up for the NASCAR Cup Series is the Crayon 301 on the “Magic Mile” of New Hampshire Motor Speedway Sunday, 16th.

(Feature photo credit: YouTube)

By: Buck Stevens

Buck Stevens