William Byron Builds Momentum for NASCAR Playoffs at Watkins Glen [VIDEO]

William Byron took a step forward as the front-runner in the NASCAR Playoffs with his dominating win on the road course at Watkins Glen International.

Sunday’s (8/20) Go Bowling at The Glen was the second road course race in a row in the NASCAR Cup Series. Just like the previous week’s road course race in Indianapolis, there was only a single caution during the race. That meant it would be the driver, the car and the strategy that would win the race. William Byron had all three it would turn out.

The race started with the previous week’s winner Michael McDowell looking like he could challenge for a second road course win in a row. He took the lead on lap four and held it for 17 laps to win stage one of the race.

William Byron’s crew chief decided to leave him out a lap longer than the rest of the leaders when they pitted. This allowed William to race a fast lap with no other cars around him. When the pit cycle completed that fast lap put William in the lead. He won stage two of the race and went on to build a comfortable lead over the field.

Chase Elliott ran out of fuel on lap 55 prompting William and the other leaders to hit pit road before the caution flag flew. It allowed William to get tires and fuel for the remainder of the race and restart the race as the leader.

When the race did restart William not only held his spot as the leader, he again raced out to a bit of a cushion on the field. William led a race high 66 laps in the 90-lap race. That included the final lap giving him his fifth win of the 2023 Cup Series season, a series high.

Denny Hamlin finished in second-place with Christopher Bell in third. See the complete race results for the Go Bowling at The Glenn here.

The top three in the Cup Series Point standings remain the same for another week. Martin Truex Jr. is the leader followed by Denny Hamlin in second and William Byron in third. While Martin was not able to clinch the regular season title at Watkins Glen, he does head to the final race of the regular season with a 39-point lead. That means baring a complete disaster of race this week he will likely win the regular season title. See the complete NASCAR Point Standings here.

Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick were able to clinch their spots in the NASCAR Playoffs by points at Watkins Glen. That leaves Bubba Wallace as the only driver on the bubble for the last race of the regular season. He is 32 points above the cut line in 16th place. He will have to protect that lead in points while hoping that a new winner does not happen this week.

The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series regular season will be completed this Saturday night, August 26th in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway. That is also when the 16-driver NASCAR Playoffs field will be confirmed.

(Feature photo credit: YouTube)

By: Buck Stevens

Buck Stevens