May 15, 2021

by a NASCAR fanatic - not affiliated with NASCAR

After losing to Monster Energy Series driver Denny Hamlin by a matter of inches last week at Michigan, William Byron was able to finally seal the deal at Iowa Speedway.

Byron scored his first career NASCAR XFINITY Series win in Saturday night’s American Ethanol 250 at the 7/8th-mile short track, leading 78 laps on his way to the milestone victory.

“I think we had a first- or second-place car,” said Byron. “We got a little bit loose one run, then we got back on cycle there at the end and we were able to take off. It’s really cool.”

Christopher Bell dominated the race, leading 152 of the 250 laps in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. But that all changed with 30 laps to go in the final stage when Bell slammed into the Turn 1 wall trying to avoid Ryan Reed and Brennan Poole after the two made contact.

Following the caution for Bell and Reed, Byron pitted for tires and fuel, restarting second alongside Dylan Lupton. Byron passed Lupton quickly to take the lead and never looked back.

Bell put on a clinic in the first stage, leading every lap for the stage victory, but lost the lead to JR Motorsports rookie William Byron during pit stops prior to the second stage.

But Bell made quick work of Byron, regaining the lead as the two young drivers battled hard for the top spot throughout Stage 2.

In his first XFINITY race since Kentucky Speedway in September of 2016, Sam Hornish Jr. was running toward the front when he and Bell made contact, sending his No. 22 Team Penske Ford spinning hard into the Turn 2 wall.

After finishing 6th in the Stage 1, Kyle Benjamin was subjected to the back of the field following a costly pit-road penalty. Benjamin tried to claw his way back to the front until he spun his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in Turns 3 and 4 with eight laps remaining in Stage 2, colliding with Ty Majeski as his efforts to regain control failed.

Brendan Gaughan went on to win Stage 2 and earn his first playoff point of the season after he and multiple other drivers elected to stay out following the caution for Benjamin and Majeski.

The rest of the top five consisted of drivers who scored their career-best XFINITY finish, as Ryan Sieg finished second, followed by Tyler Reddick, Ross Chastain and Dakoda Armstrong.

For full results from Saturday night’s race, click here.

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