AUSTIN, Texas—In a dominating performanceWilliam Byron won the NASCAR Cup Series race at Circuit of The Americas (COTA). 

Starting from the pole in the No. 24 RAPTOR Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, Byron led a race-high 42 laps to become the first multi-time winner in the 2024 season. The 26-year-old driver earned his 12th Cup Series win and a series-best 10th in the Next Gen era. The triumph also ties him with Terry Labonte for fifth on the wins list at Hendrick Motorsports.

"It was fun for sure," Byron said. "Super thankful for this team. Rudy (Fugle, crew chief) and all the race team. It's pretty amazing what we have been able to do the last couple of years, but we just have to keep working hard and keep it going."

PHOTOS: See the scenes from victory lane for Byron and the No. 24 team

Byron led the opening 12 laps before pitting with three laps to go in the opening stage. He took the lead back on lap 20 and pitted with two to go in the stage. After regaining the lead under yellow on lap 32, he lost the lead to Ross Chastain on lap 34. From there, Byron chased down Chastain and got the lead back on lap 44 before pitting. Clutch work from the five-person pit crew of Spencer Bishop (jackman), Jeff Cordero (front-tire changer), Orane Ossowski (rear-tire changer), Ryan Patton (tire carrier) and Landon Walker (fueler) with a pit stop of 10.38 seconds put Byron in position to take the lead back when the green-flag cycle was complete. On lap 51, the cycle was complete and Byron led the final 18 laps for the win. 

"What a weekend they put together," said team vice chairman Jeff Gordon. "The race car that Rudy (Fugle, crew chief) and the guys brought and the way that William drove it. Just watching him qualify, how smooth he was. Same thing throughout the race. Just seemed to put the car in all the right places. I never saw him make a mistake, which is what it was going to take to win today in the closing laps because (Christopher) Bell had the faster car with the fresher tires. 

"A lot of credit to William (Byron) in doing that great job. Takes the whole team, the pit crew, everybody. They’re truly on quite a run here to start this season off. Can’t wait to see where they take it next."

The Charlotte, North Carolina, native now has two road course wins and has finished in the top two in the last three races on serpentine layouts. Byron’s win also marked the 105th win for the No. 24 Chevrolet and the 304th in the Cup Series for Hendrick Motorsports. The 2024 season marks the 31st straight season in which the organization has won at least three races a year. 

PHOTOS: See every win for the No. 24 | Look back at every Byron win

"The road courses were probably the most difficult thing for us starting out and then we just continued to build on it," Byron said. "We had a lot of pole positions on road courses, but we weren’t able to close the deal. A lot of that was on me and knowing what I need in the car to push the whole race. It’s come a long way."

Alex Bowman finished fourth for his second straight fourth-place finish on the season. Starting 17th, the driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was battling a loose handling race car and reported needing more lateral turn. Pitting with three laps to go in stage two from the top 10, the team set itself to restart the final stage from the top five after those that stayed out pitted under caution. Bowman quickly got by Tyler Reddick for fourth when the race returned to green. Crew chief Blake Harris brought his driver to pit road the earliest among the top five. That play paid off as he was able to jump several contenders to cycle out to second behind Byron. Late in the run, Bowman had to save some fuel and gave up a few spots to cars with fresher rubber. 

In four starts at COTA, Bowman has never finished outside the top 10 and has finished inside the top five in the last three races. His 4.25 average finish is the second-best among all drivers and is his best at any track on the schedule. 

"I probably just got stuck out in traffic after our last pit stop," Bowman said of not being able to chase down his teammate. "It was a bad spot that I had to run too hard on low air and beat the rear tires up. Kind of inched in on William (Byron) for a bit, but then the rear tires just went away. 

"We had a good Ally Camaro. We just needed to hold on to rear grip longer. It’s been the same since we unloaded and we definitely made it better, but still kind of fighting the same thing. Blake (Harris, crew chief) and the guys called a good race. We had a good day. Just sucks to come up a couple short again."

RELATED: Key numbers to know in the Cup Series for Hendrick Motorsports

Chase Elliott started the 68-lap race from the ninth position in the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. He reported that the car was tighter through the center. The 2020 Cup Series champion ran in the top 10 for much of stage two and came down pit road with three laps left in the stage in a strategy play for track position to start the final stage.

The final 38-lap segment was eventful for Elliott, who got up to fifth on lap 38. He was penalized for missing the esses in turn four and had to serve a pass-thru penalty. The team and crew chief Alan Gustafson argued that Elliott got loose and didn’t gain any positions. However, NASCAR upheld the penalty and Elliott came down pit road on lap 40. He got back as high as 11th but spun in turn eight on lap 57. The six-time National Motorsports Press Association Most Popular Driver finished the race in 16th. 

RELATED: Elliott discusses throwback paint scheme with Dale Jr.

Kyle Larson took the green flag from the 15th spot in the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. He entered the top 10 on lap six and would short-pit the stage as a strategy play for the next stage. Restarting ninth on lap 19, Larson quickly moved to sixth. Running fifth on lap 22, the 2021 Cup Series champion spun when Christopher Bell got into the back of his car. That took Larson down to 36th in the running order. The Elk Grove, California, native finished the stage in 15th. Crew chief Cliff Daniels had his driver pit for fuel only not to lose as much track position as the rest, who pitted between stage two and the final stage. The play worked for the first few laps before fresher tires were too much to hold back. Larson took the checkered flag in 18th. Following the post-race disqualification of another competitor, Larson was credited with a 17th-place finish. 

RELATED: Larson rallies late to win NASCAR Xfinity Series race at COTA

Byron’s victory is the 28th road course win for Hendrick Motorsports, the most by any time in the Cup Series. The two closest teams in this statistic have combined for only 23 wins. Eight different drivers (the most by a Cup Series team on road courses) have accounted for the 28 road course wins: Gordon (nine), Elliott (seven), Larson (four), Tim Richmond (three), Byron (two), Geoff Bodine (one), Jimmie Johnson (one) and Ricky Rudd (one). The 2024 season is also the seventh straight campaign in which Hendrick Motorsports has won at least one road course race.

PHOTOS: See every road course win for Hendrick Motorsports

Sunday’s race marks the fourth straight event at the 20-turn, 3.41-mile track in Austin, Texas, where Hendrick Motorsports has had two drivers finish in the top five. Today, it was Byron (first) and Bowman (fourth). In 2023, Bowman ran third and Byron rounded out the top five. In 2022, Bowman was the runner-up finisher and Elliott placed fourth. In the inaugural event in 2021, Elliott and Larson finished 1-2. 

Following the race at COTA, Larson is fifth in the points standings and Byron is sixth. Elliott is in ninth and Bowman is up to 11th.

Next up for the quartet of Hendrick Motorsports drivers is an Easter Sunday night race at Richmond Raceway. The organization has 12 wins at the 0.75-mile track, with Bowman and Larson each earning victories for the team and Larson is the defending race winner. Tune in to watch 400 laps of short-track action on Sunday, March 31, at 7 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).