Date: June 25, 2016
Event: Drivin’ for Linemen 200 (Race 9 of 23)
Series: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Location: Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill. (1.25-mile)
Start/Finish: 3rd / 17th (Running, completed 160 of 160 laps)
Winner: Christopher Bell, Kyle Busch Motorsports (Toyota)
William Byron came to Gateway Motorsports Park hoping to get his third-consecutive win. He led the most laps of the race and was second with less than 40 laps to go, but contact late in the race ended his chances of returning to Victory Lane. Instead he ended up with a 17th-place finish.
Byron started the race from third place based on average practice speeds since qualifying was rained out earlier in the afternoon. He ran in the top five early in the race until a fast pit stop by the Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) team on lap 67, which got him off pit road first and into the lead.
Once Byron took the lead he remained out front until his next pit stop on lap 115 when he was beat out of the pits on a two-tire stop. He was able to maintain second place until the next caution. During the restart on lap 149, Byron was nudged out of the groove by Tyler Reddick, who then wrecked in front of Byron. When Reddick came back down the track he hit Byron’s Tundra.
Byron was forced to pit several times under caution for the team to pull out the fenders to make sure they were not rubbing on the tires. He returned to the track in 20th place for the final restart with two laps to go. He was able to gain three positions in the final laps to finish in 17th place.
“We led laps which was good and we had a really good Liberty University Tundra,” Byron said. “I was in second or third for most of the time at the end, but I kind of got moved out of the way on a restart. I knew it was coming sometime or another, I guess, but it’s good how we fought at the end to get the truck fixed. We’ll just move on to Kentucky in a couple weeks.
“Congratulations to my teammate Christopher Bell. It was great to see him in Victory Lane and I’m glad he’s in the Chase with me now.”
KBM’s Christopher Bell won his first race of the season and the 50th win for KBM, which is tied for most wins in the series. Bell was followed by Ben Rhodes, Daniel Hemric, Johnny Sauter and defending NCWTS champion Erik Jones rounded out the top five.
The Truck Series returns to action for a mid-week race on Thursday, July 7 at Kentucky Speedway. Live coverage of the Truck Series race will air on Fox Sports 1 at 8:30p.m. ET.