CONCORD, N.C. – William Byron’s runner-up finish highlighted Hendrick Motorsports’ performance in the 2023 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. 

The Charlotte, North Carolina, native led 91 of the 400 laps run but couldn’t quite reel in race winner Ryan Blaney in the closing laps. Byron’s second-place finish is his best result at his home track. It also extends his streaks of top-five finishes and top-10s to four and five races, respectively. Byron picked up another playoff point with a stage one win. His seven stage wins, seven top-five finishes and 687 laps led are the most in the NASCAR Cup Series.

"I think we just needed a little bit more," Byron said. "Our No. 24 Liberty University Chevy was good. We could move around and get through the field. We could get to the top five, and then we would just kind of stay there and not have enough pace to really get further than that. That’s the way it goes sometimes, for sure. We’ll keep working."

Byron’s pit crew was clutch all day, routinely delivering pit stops of under 10 seconds to give their driver the lead. With qualifying rained out and the metric setting the lineup, Byron had the first pit stall closest to the exit of pit road. The No. 24 Liberty University Patriotic Chevy was the first car off pit road on eight occasions -- six of those instances put the 25-year-old driver in the lead for subsequent restarts. Over the race, the pit crew of Spencer Bishop (jackman), Jeff Cordero (front-tire changer), Orane Ossowski (rear-tire changer), Ryan Patton (tire carrier) and Landon Walker (fueler) gained Byron 24 spots, per Racing Insights data. 

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"Pit crew was phenomenal on pit road," Byron said. "Those guys are just high energy, and that pit stall helps."

After missing the past four weeks recovering from a fractured vertebra, Alex Bowman finished 12th in the 400-lap race. The 30-year-old driver started the race from the 31st position and the No. 48 Ally Racing team worked hard to improve the car over the course of the event. The result was a solid return to action for the Tucson, Arizona, native with crew chief Blake Harris. Coming out of Charlotte, Bowman is now four points above the provisional playoff cutline in 16th in the point standings. He has received a waiver that keeps him eligible to qualify for the playoffs.

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"Proud of my No. 48 Ally Chevy team," Bowman said. "We had a really fast long run car. Obviously, the short runs was what we needed, but we were just too tight for that. We got stuck on pit road – every stop. That wasn't on my guys, it was just pit stall selection."

Kyle Larson’s team seemingly threw the kitchen sink at fixing the tight condition on his No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. The crew went under-the-hood on two occasions to make significant adjustments to the ride for the 2021 Cup Series champion. By the latter half of stage three, the changes brought the car to life and he finished the stage in sixth. While running third with 25 laps to go, Larson spun off of turn two when the front end of his car took off and snapped loose. The incident collected several cars and the damage to Larson’s vehicle was too much for him to continue. The 30-year-old driver finished the event in 30th place. 

"It’s tough," Larson said of his Charlotte result. "We (the No. 5 team) were slow in the beginning of the race and struggled to gain track position. After many adjustments, we were finally able to find speed in stage three. Then, we ran most of our laps in the top five, were competitive enough to be in contingency for the win, and then couldn’t finish the race. It’s disappointing, but I’m proud of our team for being able to improve throughout the race."

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Chase Elliott finished 34th after being involved in an incident on the frontstretch near the end of stage two. While racing in the top 10, the driver of the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Patriotic Chevrolet made contact with Denny Hamlin after hitting the wall. The heavy damage on the right side of the 2020 Cup Series champion’s car proved to be too much for him to continue in the event. Prior to that, he led six laps on the day. The finish leaves him 81 points below the provisional playoff cutline and in 29th in the standings. 

"I thought our No. 9 NAPA Chevy was getting better," Elliott said. "It was nice to be making some gains there throughout the race. Our pit stops were really good. We had some pretty good fortune to get up towards the front there. It was just trying to get to mile 600 and have a shot. Unfortunately, failed to do that again."

The Coca-Cola 600 was originally supposed to be run on Sunday, May 28, but inclement weather moved the race to Memorial Day. A weather delay for rain on lap 157 brought out the red flag for approximately 30 minutes and 48 seconds. 

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Next up on the schedule is WWT Raceway, which the Cup Series will run at on Sunday, June 4, 3:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).