FORT WORTH, TEXAS — A milestone win nearly slipped away for Hendrick Motorsports until an unexpected player redeemed it for them with a few laps to go.
William Byron led just the final six laps and won the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas Motor Speedway.
More importantly, Byron claimed the 300th win for Hendrick Motorsports.
Byron won after fate dealt Kyle Larson a crushing loss despite having the best car all day.
On lap 143, Larson took the lead from Bubba Wallace. Larson then led 99 of the next 105 laps and only lost the lead during pit stops.
Wallace wasn’t done, though.
On lap 247, Bubba Wallace restarted to the outside of Kyle Larson. They dueled wheel-to-wheel until the third lap when Larson entered turn one too hard, spun and smacked the outside wall.
Larson’s crew tried repairing the car but the repair clock expired, ending his race in 31st – just 19 laps shy of the finish.
“He did a good job to stay with me through 3 & 4. I was trying to open up in turn 1. I thought I was going to be fine. Then I spun and wrecked. Congrats to my team, we had a super fast car. We’ve had a fast car every playoff race,” Larson said.
Wallace had the win stolen from Hendrick Motorsports until a caution for a multi-car wreck on lap 257 changed everything.
While running second in turn one on a restart four laps later, Chase Briscoe drifted up the track and into Wallace. They each lost their momentum, allowing William Byron to sneak underneath them and pass them, despite Wallace fiercely defending the lead.
Byron led the final six laps and claimed the big milestone win for Hendrick Motorsports.
“I don’t know if I can even put it into words. I was such a Hendrick Motorsports fan growing up as a kid, watching Jimmie Johnson, and became really fond of Jeff Gordon as I got to know him,” Byron said.
Johnson earned win No. 200 for Hendrick Motorsports, 415 races ago at Darlington in May 2012.
Gordon earned win No. 100 at Michigan in June 2001. Meanwhile, TRE’s Geoff Bodine earned the first win for HMS at Martinsville in April 1984.
“Just thankful for Mr. Hendrick for his investment in me and telling me at 17 years old that he was going to take me to Cup racing. Just appreciate everything he’s done for me, and this is awesome. We’re definitely going to enjoy this one,” Byron said.
HMS drivers Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman also finished 11th and 12th, respectively, Sunday at Texas.
Hendrick Motorsports’ NASCAR Cup Series points race winners
- Jeff Gordon – 93 wins
- Jimmie Johnson – 83 wins
- Chase Elliott – 18 wins
- Kyle Larson – 16 wins
- Terry Labonte – 12 wins
- William Byron – 10 wins
- Dale Earnhardt Jr. – 9 wins
- Darrell Waltrip – 9 wins
- Tim Richmond – 9 wins
- Geoff Bodine – 7 wins
- Alex Bowman – 7 wins
- Kasey Kahne – 6 wins
- Mark Martin – 5 wins
- Ken Schrader – 4 wins
- Kyle Busch – 4 wins
- Ricky Rudd – 4 wins
- Jerry Nadeau – 1 win
- Brian Vickers – 1 win
- Casey Mears – 1 win
- Joe Nemechek – 1 win