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via Imago

via Imago

William Byron cemented his superior stance at COTA from the get-go. He snatched the pole at the qualifying race with immense vigor. Then when the Cup race was flagged off, he set his priority straight- to never lose sight of the lead. Byron led 42 of the 68 laps but had one wild competitor trailing behind him.

When you talk about amazing racers of JGR, the usual suspects are Denny Hamlin or Christopher Bell. Yet recently Joe Gibbs’ own blood is fast conquering the spotlight. He gave a hard time to Byron at COTA, although the latter prevailed in the end.

Kevin Harvick thought Ty Gibbs’ car was the one to beat

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At 21 years old, Ty Gibbs is catching up to seasoned veterans with leaps and bounds. He holds the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship and the 2023 Sunoco Rookie of the Year to his name. Until COTA he has five top-ten finishes, which are half as many as he had in the entire 36-race 2023 season. It won’t be long until his Cup win breakthrough, as Tyler Reddick agreed before the COTA race.

Kevin Harvick recently heaped praises on the young Gibbs. “He’s been a great road course racer since the first time that we’ve seen him on the race track. When you listen to the things that he’s done in the past with the Trans Am car, ARCA races, whatever they call it now…it doesn’t surprise me. I think their cars are really good on road courses. He spent a lot of time trying to be good at road courses. He was right at the pole, and he was actually at the lift, way before the finish line because he got way too wide.”

Ty Gibbs almost gave William Byron a run for his money, but the Hendrick driver showed who’s who. Harvick observed this, “I honestly thought that he was the car to beat, when we got down with practice. And William Byron just didn’t want anything to do with that conversation, cuz he showed from the drop of the green flag that ‘I’m the car to beat’.”

Ty Gibbs is earning respect from all corners of the NASCAR community for his racing prowess. He has been the most consistent driver this season, claiming a series-best average finish of 7.8. Among six races, his only bad finish was 17th place at Daytona International Speedway. After COTA, Gibbs occupied the top spot in the NASCAR Power Rankings.

However, William Byron’s speed is what wrecked the young Gibbs’ plans. The spirited Hendrick driver seized his second race win of the season after a lot of hard work.

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Byron owns up to drawbacks despite owning the COTA trophy

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William Byron was fastest in practice, securing the pole on Saturday. However, the Cup race presented difficulties. Ross Chastain was a big thorn in his side. Byron lost the lead to him twice, at the start of the final stage and during a final round of green flag pit stops. Yet eventually Byron prevailed with a whole lot of resilience, holding off a late charge from Christopher Bell and Ty Gibbs.

Byron admitted to mistakes on the track: “I feel like I made a lot of mistakes in the last 10 laps. Just little micro-errors.” He further credited his pit team. “We’ve had a little bit of a rough stretch the last few weeks but put a lot of prep work in this week, and just thankful for the team I have around me, all the people back home as well.”

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William Byron’s team is indeed doing a remarkable job, bringing their driver his second-season victory with efficient pit strategies.

Read More: Despite COTA Redemption, Rick Hendrick’s Superstar Professes William Byron’s Superiority in 7 Words