CONCORD, North Carolina — William Byron entered the week 11 points below the cutline. That’s because he was docked 25 points and fined $50k for his role in purposely spinning Denny Hamlin under caution of the opening race of the Round of 12 at Texas. However, their appeal would be heard on Thursday and an independent arbitrator sided with them by giving Byron 25 points back in exchange for another $50k tacked onto their fine.
It was a price they’d be willing to pay. $100k fine for a shot at a drivers championship. Instead of being 11 points down, Byron entered Sunday’s Bank of America ROVAL 400 14 points up. Tahat completely changed the way they’d approach this race now.
Instead of chasing points, they just had to maintain.
“Stage 1 was pretty good for us,” Bryon said on Sunday. “We got second-place stage points, and try to go for the stage points in Stage 2, missed out. Just both times had to restart in the 30s. Really difficult to get through there and try to pace it with (Briscoe). Just try to keep all four tires on the ground and between the curbs at the end.”
With several other playoff drivers’ troubles, Byron wasn’t penalized with a 16th place finish. Ironically enough, he advanced to the Round of 8 by 11 points, the same deficit he was set to enter.
“Certainly, just not how you want to race there at the end, but it was just crazy racing with the green-white-checkered and the way that guys are able to get into each other, make contact, guys spin out and the track gets blocked,” he said of the ending. “It just gets wild there at the end. But we did what we needed to do, which was to get some stage points and finish the race. We’ll move on and get ready for Las Vegas.”
Byron now has to be considered as a sleeper this round. The last time we visited 2 of these 3 tracks, he won at. Byron also has 4 top 8 results in the last 6 races too.