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William Byron Leaves Pennzoil 400 Field Windy

Photo by Joe Laracuente/TRE

LAS VEGAS — William Byron left the field windy Sunday after a dominant performance in the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Byron led a 1-2-3 finish for Hendrick Motorsports with sweeping the stages and 176 of 271 laps led.

On Lap 9, the driver of the No. 24 HMS Chevrolet took the lead from polesitter Joey Logano.

Logano didn’t earn stage points and was one of two drivers who didn’t finish. Strong winds caused him to hit the wall at least twice.

The second hit knocked the defending champion out of the race after the DVP clock expired under caution on Lap 184.

Under that caution, Byron lost the lead to Denny Hamlin. However, on Lap 196, Kyle Larson reassumed HMS’s command and led 63 of the next 70 laps.

Then, with two laps to go, Almirola wrecked in turn four and provoked an overtime restart.

Under caution, Byron was first off of pit road but was behind Martin Truex Jr., who stayed out for overtime.

Truex fought Byron until turn three, coming to the white flag, when Byron took final command of the lead and the win Sunday.

Martin Truex Jr. finished seventh. The full top-10 finishers were as follows:

  1. William Byron
  2. Kyle Larson
  3. Alex Bowman
  4. Bubba Wallace
  5. Christopher Bell
  6. Austin Cindric
  7. Martin Truex Jr.
  8. Justin Haley
  9. Kevin Harvick
  10. Daniel Suarez
Photo by Joe Laracuente/TRE

Just outside of the top-10, A.J. Allmendinger spun exiting turn 2 on the final lap. Allmendinger was hit by Preece and sparked a wreck that collected Erik Jones, Michael McDowell, Chase Briscoe, Brad Keselowski and Austin Dillon.

Jones failed to finish, while Allmendinger limped home as William Byron did burnouts. Allmendinger and Jones finished 18th and 19th, each one lap down.

All drivers were checked and released from the care center after the wreck.

Josh Berry filled in for Chase Elliott and finished 29th, two laps down. Berry was plagued by a throttle issue toward the end of the race.

MORE: Josh Berry nets quiet finish filling in for Chase Elliott

Tyler Reddick started 34th after an engine issue in practice and finished 15th.

Reddick moved to 11th in the 80-lap stage one but lost 10 spots on pit road during the break. He hung around in 11th-20th for much of Sunday and finished 15th overall.

Photo by Joe Laracuente/TRE

Harrison Burton started 35th after a wreck in practice and BJ McLeod started 36th after the team replaced a transaxle.

Burton struggled during the race, as he finished 28th and 30th in the stages and 26th overall.

“Not a good race obviously. We didn’t have the speed we wanted and were out of the track all race. They did a good job getting the backup car ready. There’s a lot of things I could say but I have to go back and evaluate the race,” Burton said.

McLeod also struggled, as he finished 35th and 33rd in the stages and 32nd overall.

Stage One Top 10: William Byron, Kyle Larson, Ross Chastain, Christopher Bell, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Alex Bowman, Bubba Wallace, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski

Stage Two Top 10: Byron, Larson, Bowman, Truex Jr., Bell, Wallace, Chastain, Hamlin, Keselowski, Kevin Harvick

The only cautions in the first two stages were for the stage breaks at lap 80 and lap 160.

Overall, there were four cautions for 26 laps and 13 lead changes among eight drivers.

William Byron will look for his sixth career NASCAR Cup Series win next Sunday, March 12, at Phoenix Raceway. The Ruoff Mortgage 500(k) goes green just after 3:30 p.m. ET (TV: FOX; Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Ch. 90).

Chase Briscoe is the defending winner of the Ruoff Mortgage 500(k).

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