Notching his third victory of 2023 and the 7th of his career, William Byron capitalized on a late race mistake by Ross Chastain to take his first win at “The Lady in Black”, winning his third race of the 2023 season and giving the number 24 car its 100th victory in NASCAR. Jeff Gordon, now retired and holding his role as Vice Chairman of Hendrick Motorsports, piloted the #24 machine to 93 of it’s 100 wins before handing over the reigns to Byron in 2018 and was onsite to witness the historic day as NASCAR celebrates its 75 Greatest Drivers at the famed “egg” shaped track.
Running a throwback scheme that paid tribute to Gordon’s 1998 NASCAR 50th Anniversary ride, Byron was able to stay out of trouble during several late race restarts and was positioned in the lower lane behind leader Ross Chastain as they took off for the second to last time. As the field approached turn 1, Chastain squeezed Byron’s teammate Kyle Larson, putting both cars into the wall as Byron ducked low to avoid the carnage and eventually took the win ahead of Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott.
Byron, emotional after the win, finally claimed victory at a track where he nearly won in 2022 when Joey Logano pushed him into the wall for the win in the closing laps.
“Yeah, it’s pretty amazing…My granddad passed away on Thursday, and just, man, I wish my family could be here. Just things have a way of working out, honestly. It just worked out that way today. We didn’t have the best third stage. We just kept battling, and things just kind of come back around. Definitely didn’t expect this. But just thankful for a great team, and, yeah, just things have a way of working out, and to come back here to Darlington and have it go exactly the other way.”
Highlights from the Goodyear 400 at Darlington are below, catch up on the action before NASCAR celebrates their annual All-Star Weekend at the newly remodeled and renovated North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Wilkesboro, NC. The track, last used by NASCAR in 1996, has long been a favorite of drivers for it’s short length and wide racing line. Thanks to efforts by Speedway Motors and funding from the State of North Carolina, the track was brought back to life after much prodding from former fan favorite, Dale Earnhardt Jr., to host the 2023 All-Star Race.