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Quaker State 400: William Byron Wins Rain-Shortened Atlanta Race


William Byron celebrated his fourth win of the season with a big hat at Atlanta. (Photo: Chris Graythen | Getty Images)

HAMPTON, Ga. - William Byron earned his fourth win of the 2023 campaign at Atlanta Motor Speedway after NASCAR made the decision to end the Quaker State 400 prematurely after 185 laps, due to a slow-moving weather system producing rain and lightning.


This marks Byron's second win at Atlanta in the last two seasons, as the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet found Victory Lane during the first race on the newest version of the 1.5-mile, high-banked track in March 2022.


The win didn't come easy for Byron, who spun on Lap 81 of the race, which put him in the back of the pack. However, the weather arrived at the right time, allowing Byron to complete the spin-and-win.


"Honestly, I don’t completely understand this one... it’s a really good feeling," Byron said in a post-race interview. "I’ve never had a rain victory like this.


"We went through so much throughout the night, spinning through the infield, destroyed the bottom of the car dragging it around the apron trying to stay on the lead lap. At that point, you just don’t have the grip, so I was real edgy back in traffic."


After watching Trackhouse Racing teammates, Ross Chastain win at Nashville and Shane van Gisbergen claim the inaugural Chicago Street Course race, Daniel Suárez responded by taking the No. 99 Quaker State Chevrolet to a second-place finish in the Quaker State 400.


“I feel like I have mixed feelings, but overall, very proud of my No. 99 Quaker State Chevy team," Suárez said. "It’s been a little bit rough lately because we’ve had the speed, but we haven’t had the results, so this feels good.”


This top-five finish for Suárez is only his second this season. He previously finished fourth in Fontana during the second week of the 2023 season.


Michael McDowell was one of the biggest surprises toward the front, finishing fourth after stretching his fuel for nearly 90 laps. McDowell was also involved in an earlier incident, so his ability to keep a damaged car inside the top five while running low on fuel was impressive.


After the strong run for the No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford in Georgia, McDowell currently holds the 16th and final playoff spot, with seven races remaining until the postseason.


"Our FR8 Auctions Ford Mustang was pretty fast, even after that little bit of damage, so I think we maximized what we could right there, but we were pretty close to winning the race, too," McDowell said. "I’m a little bit disappointed that we couldn’t hold those guys off for a couple more laps.”


Results from the 2023 Quaker State 400 are listed below.

Other Race Facts

Kevin Harvick made his final career start at Atlanta Motor Speedway in his NASCAR career. Harvick's final race at the Georgia track ended with a 30th-place finish, more than 22 years after he picked up his iconic first career Cup Series victory in his third career start in the premier series.


Before the race, Harvick ran side-by-side at the front of the field during the pace laps with his former car owner, Richard Childress, who drove the same No. 29 car that Harvick won in only weeks after Dale Earnhardt was killed on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.

Kaulig Racing's AJ Allmendinger finished in third place, which is the best finish of the 2023 season for the driver of the No. 16 Chevrolet. After clicking off good finishes and building momentum in recent weeks, Allmendinger is currently 13 points out of the playoff spot.


“At the end of the day, I am proud of everyone at Kaulig Racing," Allmendinger said. "We brought a really, really good Nutrien Ag Solutions FARMSMART Chevy. We didn’t quite have the speed, but it really handled well and I could maneuver it like it needed to.


"We didn’t have enough speed to lead, but it was a lot of fun to drive. I’m proud walking away from this one. We had a good points day, top-five finish, our best finish of year. We rebounded after the disappointment last week and we moved on to the next one.”


JJ Yeley finished in seventh driving for Rick Ware Racing. This marks Yeley's best finish since New Hampshire in 2008, where he also finished seventh, due to the race being called early by rain on that day, according to @nascarman_rr on Twitter.


Ryan Blaney won Stage 1 and earned a race-high 47 points, while Brad Keselowski won Stage 2 and earned 41 points.


GRID Ranking

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 14 of the 2023 GRID Ranking.

DRIVER

OLD RATING

PREVIOUS RANKING

MOST RECENT FINISH

NEW RATING

NEW RANKING

William Byron

11.84

17th

1st

13.11

12th

Kyle Busch

11.36

19th

5th

11.52

18th

Kyle Larson

10.88

21st

36th

10.31

22nd

Martin Truex Jr.

9.92

25th

29th

9.40

29th

Joey Logano

8.80

31st

17th

8.34

34th

Week 15 of the GRID Ranking:

The next race for the NASCAR Cup Series is on Sunday, July 16 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Coverage of the Crayon 301 begins at 2:30 p.m. ET on USA Network.


GRID NETWORK

GRID Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/GRIDRanking

GRID Ranking: https://twitter.com/GridRanking

GRID TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@gridnetwork

GRID Buy Me A Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/gridnetwork

GRID Website: https://www.gridranking.com/

GRID History: https://twitter.com/Grid_History

GRID YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@gridranking

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