FORT WORTH, Texas - After a late-race restart, William Byron passed 23XI Racing's Bubba Wallace with six laps remaining to win the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas Motor Speedway, advancing to the Round of 8.
This is Byron's sixth win of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season and 10th of his career. It was also the 300th win for Hendrick Motorsports in the Cup Series.
Issues for teammate Kyle Larson opened the door for Byron to claim the hardware in the Lone Star State.
"Man, that’s badass, I finally got a good restart at the end," Byron said. "Just ooh, it was hot today. I think it’s finally hitting me. But No. 300 for Hendrick Motorsports. Kyle really deserved this one, got to say. Those guys were really fast all day, and hate it for them at the end."
Larson was involved in an accident after being one of the most dominant performers all day long. He led 99 laps, won Stage 2 but ended up finishing 31st.
"I tried to open up and have my shape into one," Larson said. "With these cars, you normally don’t get sucked around like that, so I wasn’t really expecting that and thought that I would be fine. I just lost it and crashed."
The most dominant car on the track was the No. 23 Toyota. Wallace started on the pole, led a race and a career-high 111 laps, but ultimately had to settle for third.
"I just hate it," Wallace said. "I should have just kept my line into three, and forced William to get tight. But we’re so vulnerable in these cars, right. But just upset with myself.
"Really needed a win there, and it was a good showing. I don’t know where that puts us. I don’t really care. But I know what I did and I choked."
Wallace's result at Texas was his fourth top-four finish at an intermediate track in the last five races. His only finish outside the top four came at Kansas when he was running second before his tire blew.
The results from the 2023 Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas Motor Speedway are listed below.
Other Race Facts
The No. 1 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet of Ross Chastain has had a quiet start to the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs but finished second to William Byron at Texas.
"Early in the race I thought we were one of the best cars, and I wish we could have raced with those guys," Chastain said. "We just worked our way back with taking four tires a lot and some bad restarts on my side. But we had the speed and we showed it all weekend.
"We did everything we needed to do, and at this race, if you follow the chart for running position is everything that the 1 team is about, and I love it.”
A few playoff drivers took huge hits in the points after being involved in accidents that ended their respective days early.
After Texas, Ryan Blaney is 11th in the standings after finishing 28th. Meanwhile, Kyle Busch dropped to 12th, following a disappointing 34th-place finish.
Carson Hocevar earned another top 20 in the No. 42 Legacy Motor Club Chevrolet, who came home 16th in the Lone Star State.
"Overall, it was a solid day for the No. 42 Sunseeker Resorts Chevy team," Hocevar said. "We got a good result there at the end. We were a top-10 to top-15 car all day.
"We either had a loose wheel or just got really loose and I hit the fence. I just made a mistake on my end. I hit the fence and knocked the toe link in and bent a lot of stuff."
The 2023 GRID Ranking is the seventh year of the world's premier motorsport ranking and was initially released on Sunday, April 2.
Drivers in the seven racing series participating in the ranking (NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula 1, Formula E, World Rally Championship, Repco Supercars, MotoGP) have earned GRID Ratings, which helped determine their seeding during Week 25 of the 2023 GRID Ranking.
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The next race for the NASCAR Cup Series is the YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, Oct. 1. Coverage will get underway on NBC at 2 p.m. ET.
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