Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron had turned in too good of a race to finish second.
Byron won a two-lap shootout in NASCAR Cup Series overtime Sunday afternoon, notching his first victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the Pennzoil 400 in Las Vegas.
In a 271-lap race he dominated by leading 176 laps, Byron restarted second in the two-circuit run, worked his way past Martin Truex Jr. and held off teammate Kyle Larson to claim his fifth career victory in 183 starts.
Alex Bowman completed the Hendrick Motorsports top-three sweep. Bubba Wallace and Christopher Bell were fourth and fifth, respectively.
Truex’s No. 19 team gambled and stayed out for the top spot on the final restart. Meanwhile, Larson and Byron came in for two-tire service, but Byron’s team gained the second spot by winning the race with Larson off pit road.
“Honestly, the one pit stop that (we) had when we lost the lead, I slid through the box and slid long. That delayed the stop. That was on me,” said Byron, 25, who won for the fourth time in five career races when he led over 100 laps.
“I knew they could get it done at the end,” he added.
Byron’s last win was at Martinsville Speedway on April 9, 2022.
“I knew I was in trouble with (Truex) staying out. I felt William was going to get by him,” Larson said. “But William probably had a little bit better car than I did today, and their pit crew executed when they needed to.”
Kyle Busch, last week’s winner in Fontana, Calif., battled a tight condition and hit the wall on Lap 26 but managed to end up 14th.
With HMS standout Chase Elliott injuring his left leg in a snowboarding accident Friday and requiring surgery, Xfinity Series regular Josh Berry replaced the 2020 series champion and finished 29th in his third career Cup start.
Polesitter Joey Logano spun off Turn 4 on Lap 182 and retired his car in 36th.
An 11-2 betting favorite to claim his fourth win at LVMS, Logano led the 36-car field for the first 10 laps in the second event on the schedule’s three-race West Coast swing.
However, the hard-charging Byron moved his No. 24 Chevrolet to the lead at Lap 10 with Larson’s No. 5, which also passed Logano’s No. 22 Ford, in tow. With Byron at the point, the HMS pair finished 1-2 at the end of the 80-lap Stage 1.
In a second caution-free stage run, the same duo came to the checkers first and second in Stage 2. They were joined by third-place finisher Bowman, their Chevrolet-piloting teammate at HMS.
–Field Level Media
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