HOMESTEAD, Fla. – William Byron had hoped to race for a championship on Friday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but a sour engine one week ago at Phoenix Int’l Raceway ended those dreams.
On Friday night at Homestead Byron put those bad memories behind him by winning the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 200, capturing the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Owner’s Championship for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the process.
The race was dominated by Kyle Larson, who led a race-high 76 laps, but a late-race caution period opened the door for Byron, who started from the pole, to earn his seventh victory of the season.
With 25 laps left the caution flag waved for the slow truck of Patrick Staropoli. All of the leaders came down pit road, with Byron getting off pit road in the eighth position while Tyler Reddick took the race lead.
During the restart Byron looked like he was shot out of a cannon, rocketing by several trucks as he marched toward the front. He went three-wide to pass championship contenders Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter with 17 laps left, then set his sights on catching Reddick for the race lead.
Byron chased Reddick down over the next seven laps, eventually slipping under Reddick with 10 laps left out of turn two to take the race lead for good. He eventually pulled away to a 2.175-second victory.
“It feels awesome. It is incredible. This team has worked so hard all year. We just had an unfortunate situation last week that we couldn’t control,” said Byron, who easily earned the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award this year despite not winning the championship.
By winning the race, Byron helped Kyle Busch Motorsports claim the Owner’s Championship for the fifth time. Friday’s race was the final one for Byron at KBM as the XX-year-old will move up to the NASCAR XFINITY Series next season to drive for JR Motorsports.
“I hate this team not being together next year. It is just insane how good they are,” Byron said. “So many talented people on this race team.”
Reddick finished third, followed by NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Sauter, Larson and Daniel Hemric.
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