Back-to-back for Byron in Phoenix

William Byron took the win in Phoenix during NASCAR overtime

William Byron took the win in Phoenix during NASCAR overtime

William Byron has gone back-to-back, taking his second win of 2023 at Phoenix Raceway in another NASCAR overtime overtake for the #24 car.

The Hendrick Motorsport driver led from Ryan Blaney and Tyler Reddick for a Chevrolet-, Ford- and Toyota-lined podium.

Byron took the lead early after passing team-mate and pole-sitter Kyle Larson to win Stage 1.

Larson then took back the lead and the Stage 2 victory after marching down pit road and taking the front spot from Byron at the beginning of Stage 2.

The #5 led 201 laps of the afternoon but was not able to hang on, being overtaken by Kevin Harvick in the closing stages of the race.

Harvick was pulling away with the lead and Byron seemed to have lost all his earlier momentum, but a yellow flag set up the dramatic finale in Phoenix.

An incident including Noah Gragson, Ty Gibbs and AJ Allmendinger brought out the Caution late into the race, causing a late dash for most of the top 10 into pit road to change tyres.

Byron’s crew chief Rudy Fugle elected to change only the right-front tyres on the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 which gave Byron a time advantage whilst re-enacted his late NASCAR Overtime surge from last week in Las Vegas to take the win from Larson.

“Yeah, I just owe the last couple of weeks to him [Fugle],” said Byron.

“He’s done a really good job strategy wise and execution wise, we’ve done a good job to put ourselves in those positions on the front row with a shot at the end.”

“So, thanks to everyone back at Hendrick Motorsports for putting together a great car.”

Larson and Harvick finished in fourth and fifth respectively.

Josh Berry, who replaces an injured Chase Elliott for the oval rounds in the #9 Chevrolet, finished in his career best spot of 10th and Alex Bowman finished ninth, bringing home a top 10 result for all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers in Phoenix.

NASCAR will leave the West Coast Swing and head for Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 19 (local time).

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