Charlotte’s William Byron grabbed early control of the NASCAR Truck Series Chase on Saturday, winning the UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Byron, a rookie who graduated from Charlotte Country Day in the spring, led 161 of 175 laps. It was his sixth victory of the season, extending a rookie record in the Truck series he had already set.
The victory cements a spot in the second round of the eight-race Chase for Byron, 18. It also comes one week after he had his second-worst finish of the season, a 30th at Chicagoland Speedway, where he wrecked twice.
“I got redemption from last week,” said Byron. “I was so down on myself from then.”
Christopher Bell, Byron’s teammate at Kyle Busch Motorsports, finished second, less than a half-second the winner. Nobody else was close, with defending Truck series champ Matt Crafton finishing 4.5 seconds behind Byron.
When the green flag was waved. Byron, starting from the pole, only trailed after coming out of the pits and quickly re-assumed command each time.
3 who mattered
William Byron: The victory means he’s automatically qualified for the next round of the Chase, which begins Oct. 29 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Christopher Bell: Narrowed the gap substantially near the end on Byron, his Kyle Busch Racing teammate, but it wasn’t enough.
Daniel Hemric: Dropped to the bottom of the Chase standings after he spun on Lap 24 and eventually finished 28th.
▪ Jordan Anderson, who nearly didn’t make the trip to New Hampshire until he found sponsorship help from his fans, finished 22nd.
▪ Mooresville’s John Hunter Nemechek also had problems, spinning early in the race. Nemechek rallied to finish eighth. He’s fourth in the points standings.
“Go fast and turn left.” -- Kyle Busch, team owner of Kyle Busch Motorsports, on his pre-race advice to Byron.
DC Solar 350
Where: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
When: 8:30 p.m., Saturday
TV: Fox Sports One.