NASCAR Cup Series

William Byron leads Hendrick podium sweep for Elliott

2 Mins read
Credit: Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

With Chase Elliott out as he begins his recovery from a broken left tibia, his Hendrick Motorsports team-mates decided to give him a get-well-soon present in the form of a 1–2–3 finish in Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. William Byron led Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman in overtime to his fifth career NASCAR Cup Series win.

Byron dominated on Sunday as he led 176 of 271 laps, the most of his career on an intermediate track, and won both stages with either Larson or Bowman in tow. The win nearly slipped away for him in the final stage as pit strategies meant the lead traded hands between multiple drivers before settling on Larson. Things took a turn when Aric Almirola hit the wall with two laps remaining to trigger overtime, from which Martin Truex Jr. elected to gamble by staying out on older tyres.

The move seemed to work at first for Truex before Byron and his team-mates quickly coasted ahead to lead both overtime laps.

“If you can somehow get a good restart, get to the white flag and they crash, then you win the thing,” Truex explained. “It almost happened. We were second at the white, we were second going into turn one on the last lap and just got tight and got in a bad spot coming off of turn two and lost momentum down the back.”

The Hendrick podium sweep marked the team’s strongest outing since all four cars were atop the leaderboard in the 2021 Drydene 400. Elliott’s substitute driver Josh Berry led 1–2–3 finishes for Hendrick affiliate JR Motorsports in his two Xfinity Series wins at Las Vegas in 2021 and 2022. Hendrick also notched a 1–2 with Bowman and Larson in last year’s Pennzoil 400.

“I think I speak for everyone in the fact that we miss Chase out here,” said Byron. “He’s a big contributor to feedback and our debriefs and he’s a great race car driver. Has a lot to offer there. I think there was a void there, but I think we were able to fill it with just kind of coming together as a team, and having Josh come on board, he’s obviously a great race car driver, too, and I know him from the past.”

Berry finished twenty-ninth in Elliott’s #9 after struggling with throttle problems. Hendrick president Jeff Andrews stated afterwards that “Josh did an amazing job for us given the circumstances, and given the fact he’s not ever been in one of these Next Gen cars before, really happy with what he did for us today.”

Pole winner Joey Logano was the lone retirement after contact with former Penske team-mate Brad Keselowski on lap 184 sent him through the grass and caused him to briefly go airbourne. It is the first Las Vegas Cup race with just one non-finisher since Kurt Busch crashed out of the 2019 fall race.

Race results

1224William ByronHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet271Running
265Kyle LarsonHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet271Running
31148Alex BowmanHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet271Running
41323Bubba Wallace23XI RacingToyota271Running
51020Christopher BellJoe Gibbs RacingToyota271Running
692Austin CindricTeam PenskeFord271Running
71519Martin Truex Jr.Joe Gibbs RacingToyota271Running
82731Justin HaleyKaulig RacingChevrolet271Running
9144Kevin HarvickStewart-Haas RacingFord271Running
102499Daniel SuárezTrackhouse Racing TeamChevrolet271Running
111211Denny HamlinJoe Gibbs RacingToyota271Running
1281Ross ChastainTrackhouse Racing TeamChevrolet271Running
13312Ryan BlaneyTeam PenskeFord271Running
1458Kyle BuschRichard Childress RacingChevrolet271Running
153445Tyler Reddick23XI RacingToyota271Running
162110Aric AlmirolaStewart-Haas RacingFord271Running
1776Brad KeselowskiRFK RacingFord271Running
182316A.J. AllmendingerKaulig RacingChevrolet271Running
192243Erik JonesLegacy Motor ClubChevrolet270Accident
20197Corey LaJoieSpire MotorsportsChevrolet270Running
211817Chris BuescherRFK RacingFord270Running
22454Ty GibbsJoe Gibbs RacingToyota270Running
233141Ryan PreeceStewart-Haas RacingFord270Running
241647Ricky Stenhouse Jr.JTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet270Running
251734Michael McDowellFront Row MotorsportsFord270Running
263521Harrison BurtonWood Brothers RacingFord269Running
27263Austin DillonRichard Childress RacingChevrolet269Running
282014Chase BriscoeStewart-Haas RacingFord269Running
29329Josh Berry*Hendrick MotorsportsChevrolet269Running
302542Noah GragsonLegacy Motor ClubChevrolet269Running
312838Todd GillilandFront Row MotorsportsFord268Running
323678B.J. McLeodLive Fast MotorsportsChevrolet266Running
332915J.J. YeleyRick Ware RacingFord265Running
343377Ty DillonSpire MotorsportsChevrolet265Running
353051Cody WareRick Ware RacingFord259Running
36122Joey LoganoTeam PenskeFord183DVP
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for points
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