Written by Adrian Beecher
Indianapolis, Indiana - For the third time in his young NASCAR career, 19 year old William Byron captured the checkered flag in the Xfinity Series. This time it was at one of the most historical track in all of Motorsports, Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Lilly Diabetes 250. The win marked the youngest driver in history to win in any stock car race ever held at the speedway.
Elliott Sadler in the #1 OneMain Financial Chevrolet started on the pole Saturday afternoon, however, it was William Byron collecting the stage 1 victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The first true caution of the day came out on lap 38 as Spencer Gallaghar in the #23 Allegiant Airlines Chevrolet moved up the track in turn four as the #42 of Tyler Riddick got into him and went sideways, which then collected a few more cars.
Lap 49 saw another caution with Mario Gosselin in the #90 BuckedUpApparel.com Chevrolet tried to come down the track to block Tommy Joe Martins in the #78 , however while doing so he clipped the right tail end of the #0 Garrett Smithley in the Indiana FAME/Vincennes University Chevrolet, causing the #0 to spinout.
Then on lap 59, Justin Allgair in the #7 Breyers Chevrolet took a green flag stop after being in the lead, that’s when disaster unfolded in the pits for Allgair. When he stopped in his pit stall he was on the line, so he needed to back up and re center in the box, however, his jack man had already lifted the car. Then the jack man put the car back down after a tire had already been changed. Then Allgair decided to pull off and unfortunately, the right front tire had no lugnuts on that would force him to stop around turn 1 ending his day with a tire not bolted in.
As the caution came out, Elliott Sadler captured the stage 2 victory. Shortly after the restart, Kyle Busch was back out in front with Erik Jones in the #20 Nerf Toyota having a sizeable lead over the pack. However, the two elected to come to pit road for concern over tires.
On the stop, Jones pit crew lost control of one of the tires, which gave him a penalty. Then No one else in the front of the pack decided to pit, which put Busch at the tail end of the lead lap and Jones went down a lap after serving his penalty. The rest if the race was won clean in a battle for the win between Byron, Joey Logano in the #22 Discount Tire Ford and Paul Menard in the #2 Richmond Menards Chevrolet.
In the final 5 laps the battle dwindled down to a battle between Menard and Byron, with Byron holding on to all he had as fear of a tire going down circled in his mind with him communicating the concern to his teammates over the radio. However, in the end the tires would hold up for Byron as he captured his 3rd win of his rookie season taking the checkered flag at Indianapolis.
After the race, Bryon expressed his elation for the tire situation, “Somehow it held on and that was the biggest key.”
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