There's still plenty of racing to go in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, but as it stands now, William Byron has proven himself to be Hendrick Motorsports' most dominant driver. Though, getting to that point definitely has required a little bit of extra legwork for the 25-year-old driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet.
Byron is coming off back-to-back Cup wins, having won the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the United Rentals Work United 500 at Phoenix Raceway. Those wins haven't come easily, as they both were secured due to Byron taking advantage of late restarts.
"I don't love winning races that way, it's very stressful," Byron told Associated Press after his Phoenix win. "A lot of tactics going on with the restarts."
WATCH: William Byron Wins Phoenix Raceway Race in Overtime
Overall, it was a solid showing for Hendrick drivers, with all four locking in top-10 finishes (Kyle Larson finished fourth, Alex Bowman placed ninth, and Josh Berry, Chase Elliott's replacement, was 10th). Still, Larson found himself in a frustrating deja vu situation, as the driver of the No. 5 Chevy was yet again overtaken by his teammate during overtime laps.
"Restarts are just tough," Larson said. "I felt like I ran William up pretty high and was expecting him to lose some grip. But he did a really good job of holding and cleared me down the backstretch."
As for Byron, while he would probably prefer to secure his wins in a more dominating fashion, he's been seemingly starting to get a hang of this whole late-restart thing. If that's what it takes to get a victory, that's what it takes. So long as he and his team have a solid strategy coming into the weekend, Byron will take those wins anyway he can.
"We've been on the good side of (restarts) for a couple of weeks," Byron said in a post-race interview. "This team has been working really hard. We didn't want to stop last week, and we just wanted to keep it going. We have more work to do, but hopefully this week is a little bit calmer and we can relax a little bit."
"I feel like now it's strength on strength. It feels different. It feels like we're more consistently toward the front and we're leading laps. We just want to focus on our processes during the week."
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