CONCORD, N.C. – William Byron’s win at Texas Motor Speedway locked the driver of the No. 24 into the Round of 8 of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.
Byron’s sixth victory of the season sets him up to not worry about the results at the wild-card venues left in the round – Talladega Superspeedway and the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL. In addition, the win was also the 300th for Hendrick Motorsports in the Cup Series.
PHOTOS: See the scenes from victory lane | Key numbers to know among 300 wins
Kyle Larson picked up his fifth stage win of the season and led 99 laps on the day. Unfortunately, he was caught up in an incident in turn one with 18 laps to go and went on to finish 31st. Larson currently holds the final transfer to advance to the Round of 8 by just two points.
Chase Elliott and the No. 9 team picked up an 11th-place finish at Texas. That result jumped the group from 12th in the owner standings to ninth. With two races left in the round, the No. 9 team is two points below the cutline to advance.
Shifting to Talladega Superspeedway, Hendrick Motorsports has 14 wins at the 2.66-mile track. Elliott is the only active driver on the team with a victory there. He is the defending race winner with a win in last year’s playoff race and he also won there in April 2019.
Get the lowdown on how each of the Hendrick Motorsports drivers and teams are positioned for the middle race in the Round of 12. Be sure to tune in to catch the action from Talladega on Sunday, Oct. 1, at 2 p.m. ET on NBC, NBC Sports App, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).
William Byron, No. 24
POINTS POSITION: First with 3,083 points.
POSITION TO ELIMINATION LINE: Locked in with win at Texas.
PREVIOUS RACE RESULT: First at Texas.
TALLADEGA OUTLOOK: In 11 starts at Talladega, Byron has two top-five finishes and three top-10s. His best result at the biggest track on the circuit came in the spring 2021 race when he finished second. Byron is no stranger to success on drafting tracks with three wins on that track type – two at Atlanta Motor Speedway (with one of those coming in July) and one at Daytona International Speedway. The 25-year-old driver is looking to continue his solid start to the postseason. In four races, he has one win, two top-five finishes and three top-10s.
SPRING TALLADEGA RESULT: Finished seventh.
Kyle Larson, No. 5
POINTS POSITION: Eighth at 3,039 points.
POSITION TO ELIMINATION LINE: +2
PREVIOUS RACE RESULT: 31st at Texas.
TALLADEGA OUTLOOK: In 17 starts at Talladega, Larson has one top-five finish, three top-10s, 53 laps led and a 23.4 average finish. His best finish at the Alabama track came in the spring 2022 race when he finished fourth and led 32 laps. Drafting tracks are the lone type of venue that Larson has yet to win at in the Cup Series (0 wins in 40 tries at Daytona International Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway since 2022 and Talladega). That said, in the 2023 playoffs, Larson has had speed at nearly every track and if not for an incident with 18 laps to go at Texas (while battling for the lead), he’d have four top-five finishes to open the playoffs.
SPRING TALLADEGA RESULT: Finished 33rd following a late-race crash.
No. 9 team
POINTS POSITION: Ninth at 3,037 points in the owner standings.
POSITION TO ELIMINATION LINE: -2
PREVIOUS RACE RESULT: 11th at Texas.
TALLADEGA OUTLOOK: In 15 starts at Talladega, Elliott has two wins, five top-five finishes, seven top-10s, 201 laps led, two pole positions and an average finish of 14.1, which is best among full-time drivers. Both of those victories have come with crew chief Alan Gustafson. Over the past three races at the 2.66-mile track, he has scored the most points (146) and has the third-best average finish (6.67). Elliott has four top-10 finishes in the past five races this season, with the first of those coming at a drafting track (fourth-place finish at Daytona International Speedway). The lone finish outside of the top 10 came at Texas, where he was 11th.
SPRING TALLADEGA RESULT: Finished 12th and won a stage.
OVERALL DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP PICTURE
1-Byron: 3,083 points (LOCKED IN TO ROUND OF 8)
2-Denny Hamlin: 3,074 points
3-Chris Buescher: 3,059 points
4-Christopher Bell: 3,057 points
5-Martin Truex Jr.: 3,056 points
6-Ross Chastain: 3,049 points
7-Brad Keselowski: 3,045 points
8-Larson: 3,039 points
9-Bubba Wallace: 3,037 points
10-Tyler Reddick: 3,036 points
11-Ryan Blaney: 3,028 points
12-Kyle Busch: 3,022 points
OVERALL OWNER CHAMPIONSHIP PICTURE
1-No. 24 team: 3,083 points (LOCKED IN TO ROUND OF 8)
2-No. 11 team: 3,074 points
3-No. 17 team: 3,059 points
4-No. 20 team: 3,057 points
5-No. 19 team: 3,056 points
6-No. 1 team: 3,049 points
7-No. 6 team: 3,045 points
8-No. 5 team: 3,039 points
9-No. 9 team: 3,037 points
10-No. 45 team: 3,036 points
11-No. 12 team: 3,028 points
12-No. 8 team: 3,022 points