NASCAR takeaways: William Byron wins second in a row; Kevin Harvick not bitter

AVONDALE, Ariz. — William Byron did not dominate the NASCAR Cup Series race Sunday, however the end result was the identical for the second consecutive week as he celebrated in victory lane.

Every week after passing Martin Truex Jr. in an extra time restart at Las Vegas, Byron snagged the lead from Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson on an extra time restart to seize the win at Phoenix Raceway.

“We’ve done a good job to put ourselves in those positions on the front row with a shot at the end,” Byron stated.

Hendrick drivers led 265 of the 317 laps Sunday however it appeared Kevin Harvick was going to win earlier than a late warning for Harrison Burton. Harvick took 4 contemporary tires on the following pit cease whereas six drivers took two, leaving Larson and Byron to just about struggle for the win.

Looking for extra NASCAR content material? Sign up for the FOX Sports NASCAR Newsletter with Bob Pockrass!

Takeaways from Phoenix the place Ryan Blaney completed second, adopted by Tyler Reddick, Larson and Harvick:

Byron Celebrates

William Byron went winless for 30 races earlier than his back-to-back victories. The 25-year-old Byron — now in his sixth season as a Cup driver — would not have a championship as his teammates Larson and Chase Elliott do, however he is proven he can carry out within the clutch the final two weeks.

“I see a progression with William ever since he came to Hendrick,” stated workforce co-owner Jeff Gordon, the four-time Cup champion. “You’ve got to remember how young he was coming into the Cup Series, so much to learn, young in racing in so many ways.”

Read also  Rams GM calls Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald, Cooper Kupp 'pillars'

He did not have the very best automotive Sunday, however he made essentially the most out of his alternative by making a considerably daring transfer on the surface to get by Larson.

Byron celebrates Phoenix win

Byron celebrates Phoenix win

William Byron was victorious in Phoenix for his second straight Cup collection win.

“When you have that level of commitment that you know you have on a green-white-checkered [in overtime] to come out the other side, it’s either going to go really good or not,” Byron stated.

Larson had one other week of what-could-have-been and was just a little annoyed in getting beat.

“I ran William up pretty high,” Larson stated. “I was expecting him to lose some grip. But he did a really good job of holding it to my outside, clearing me down the back.”

Byron was not too involved on whether or not they would wreck one another as they battle.

“My situation having a win, him not having a win yet — I assumed he would be more aggressive,” Byron stated concerning the dynamic of a win being an computerized qualifier into the NASCAR playoffs. “But my counter was that I got a win, I’m going to do whatever I can, too. It was a game of chicken a little bit.

“I’ve numerous belief in Kyle. He’s an incredible driver. We’ve gotten to know one another off the monitor. I really feel like we at all times talk properly.”

Harvick Not Bitter

Kevin Harvick is a driver who likes to take four tires and rarely has good outcomes when he takes two. So he wouldn’t argue the call by his crew chief Rodney Childers.

Harvick could only work his way up to fifth after two restarts that followed the Burton caution.

Read also  About 19 million staff might miss work Monday after Super Bowl

“It’s what I might have completed,” Harvick said. “I’d at all times relatively be on offense. I simply did not get [past] a pair automobiles when that first warning got here out. … That’s the best way it goes.

“[We] just smoked them up until the caution.”

‘That’s the best way it goes’

'That's the way it goes'

Kevin Harvick spoke on the late race warning that brought on him to lose his late lead.

Childers stated he had hoped there could be extra green-flag laps after their pit stops however the race did not restart till simply three laps remained in regulation. The warning got here out once more for a wreck, however Harvick could not achieve many spots in extra time as properly.

“I just didn’t feel like we could win on two,” Childers stated. “We’ve just never been able to do that. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe we would have won. But you look at that last lap — it was kind of a logjam and the 45 [of Reddick] had a better restart and I thought he was going to win.

“We simply wanted some issues to go higher.”

Hendrick Banner Day

Hendrick Motorsports needed to have a good day as it faces possible points penalties and crew chief suspensions after NASCAR confiscated louvers from all four of the team cars Friday.

Louvers are coverings that direct air from the radiator ducts through the hood, and there have been issues with the way those fit and what teams can do, if anything, to them that wouldn’t be considered illegal modifications.

Any penalties will be announced Tuesday or Wednesday.

Read also  Lakers have larger expectations than play-in match

Hendrick Motorsports responded by putting all four cars in the top 10, with Alex Bowman in ninth and Josh Berry, who is filling in for the injured Chase Elliott, placing 10th.

Larson speaks about Byron’s win

Larson speaks about Byron's win

Kyle Larson stated William Byron simply executed properly on the ultimate restart in Phoenix.

“That really solidified some of the hype and things that were being focused on Friday,” Gordon stated. “These guys have velocity within the automotive.

“There was nothing, not final week, not this week, that was getting them to Victory Lane aside from numerous onerous work and nice teamwork.”

For Berry, it was big improvement over last week’s 29th-place finish at Las Vegas, his first race subbing for Elliott.

 “We clearly improved so much from final week,” Berry said. “I knew we’d. Just having every week to work on it and speak about issues [and] I feel it is a fairly good race monitor for me.

 “We were able to just build on what we did before.”

Bob Pockrass covers NASCAR for FOX Sports. He has spent a long time protecting motorsports, together with the previous 30 Daytona 500s, with stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene journal and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bobpockrass, and join the FOX Sports NASCAR Newsletter with Bob Pockrass.

Top NASCAR tales from FOX Sports:

FOLLOW Follow your favorites to personalize your FOX Sports expertise

NASCAR Cup Series

William Byron

Kyle Larson

Get extra from NASCAR Cup Series Follow your favorites to get details about video games, information and extra