Byron, who had not completed higher than 14th up to now 5 races, left little doubt in Sunday’s race, main 66 of the 90 laps.
The victory for the #24 Hendrick Motorsports driver is a series-leading fifth triumph of the season and the ninth of his profession. It’s additionally his first highway course victory within the Cup collection.
Hamlin, simply forward of Byron within the common season standings, needed to accept second place forward of fellow playoff contender Christopher Bell.
A.J. Allmendinger and Ty Gibbs, who nonetheless maintain an out of doors shot of the playoffs, may solely handle fourth and fifth respectively.
Subsequent Saturday night time’s race at Daytona Worldwide Speedway is the ultimate race wherein a driver can win his means into the playoffs.
“Simply an enormous credit score to the race group behind me. I need to thank Max Papis. This primary highway course win – we have labored years and years for this,” Byron stated. “Because of him. I do know he is watching again house.
William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro
Picture by: John Harrelson / NKP / Motorsport Images
“I suppose it reveals that after we’re at our greatest, we will carry out like this. We appear to undergo that summer season hunch in July and August, and for some motive we simply cannot fairly put the races collectively. I believe it is the race tracks itself.
“Highway programs have been robust, so it is enjoyable to get a win.”
Elliott’s season continued to underdeliver as he stopped on monitor on lap 53 when he ran out of gasoline in his #9 Hendricks Motorsport Chevrolet, which brought on a three-lap warning interval.
It meant the 2020 NASCAR Cup champion should now win the ultimate race of the common season to make the playoffs.
NASCAR Cup – Watkins Glen race outcomes