CONCORD, N.C. -- It was the Hendrick Motorsports show Sunday at Kansas Speedway after Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott and William Byron all battled for the lead at the 1.5-mile track.
Larson took the checkered flag for his third NASCAR Cup Series playoff win in a row while Elliott followed with a runner-up finish. After several restarts, Byron finished sixth after he had to return to pit road in stage three to tighten loose lug nuts, which forced him to rally for his top-10 position.
“I feel like we were executing a really good race and probably had the best car,” Byron said. “We just had that issue and it took us out. We will rebound. This RaptorTough.com Chevrolet looked really good and we have had so much speed this year. It’s just a bummer to not get more wins, but I feel like our time is coming. We just have to keep at it.”
Byron has been on the cusp of winning the last three races, leading laps at the Charlotte ROVAL, Texas Motor Speedway and at Kansas. Larson took the checkered flag at all these events and Elliott was in the mix to win in each of these races, as well. In fact, Byron and Elliott combined for 99 laps led in the 267-lap event. Toward the end of the race, it was Elliott chasing down Larson for the win.
“Our entire NAPA Chevrolet team did a great job today and I felt like we had something for Kyle there,” Elliott said. “It’s so hard to get up to him when you are running the fence like that. It’s just tough because every few feet you get closer, the harder it gets.
“It was a lot of fun. I’m really proud of the way we ran (Sunday). I feel like it was a really nice step in the right direction.”
Overall, both Elliott and Byron are looking for another chance to win when they head to Martinsville Speedway this weekend for the final race of the Round of 8. Elliott took home the famed Martinsville grandfather clock last season right before he won the 2020 Cup Series championship. Elliott has one win and three top-five finishes in his last three Martinsville appearances while Byron has a top-five result and two top-10s in his last three visits to the half-mile track.
The strong finishes the Nos. 9 and 24 teams have showcased over the last three races indicate that the two Hendrick Motorsports drivers will be in the mix to win at the Virginia track.
“We are putting ourselves in position in the final stage to win the race and that is really all you can do,” Byron said. “It’s really hard to put yourself in that position, but I felt like we have done that multiple times. We just have to keep at it.”