By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
Although the victory streak has come to an end, William Byron’s streak of Top 10 finishes continues. The onslaught of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers proved to be too much of a disadvantage for the JR Motorsports rookie in the Alsco 300 at Kentucky Speedway. None of the NASCAR Xfinity Series regulars managed to lead a single lap in the rain-delayed race.
Despite slapping the wall in both qualifying and the race, Byron still found a way to earn a seventh-place finish in his No. 9 Axalta / Mansea Metal Chevrolet Camaro. He was not only the Sunoco Rookie of the Race, but also best of the NASCAR Xfinity Series regulars.
Byron ran inside the Top 10 all race long. The moment of the race came with just under 30 laps to go when Ray Black, Jr.’s No 07 Chevrolet Camaro spun exiting pit road. Byron’s crew chief, Dave Elenz, brought his driver onto pit road, as did the rest of the field. Only race leader Kyle Busch and second place Kevin Harvick stayed on the race track.
Unfortunately for Byron, tires did not prove to be the difference as Busch went on to win. He restarted in the seventh position and remained there for the rest of the race.
Byron took to Twitter to thank his crew and sponsor,
— William Byron (@WilliamByron) July 8, 2017
Byron was also the best of the NASCAR Xfinity Series regulars in qualifying on Friday. Despite bouncing off the wall exiting turn two in Round 2, he still advanced to Round 3 where he put down the fifth fastest lap of the session.
A seventh-place finish in Stage 1 and a sixth-place finish in Stage 2 netted Byron an extra nine Championship Points. He sits second in the point standings, just 45 points behind his JR Motorsports teammate, Elliott Sadler.
Now Byron, Elenz, and the entire JR Motorsports team will look ahead to the Overton’s 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway where they will look to extend their streak of Top 10 finishes.