After sweeping the stage wins and leading a race-high 176 laps, William Byron and the No. 24 RaptorTough.com Camaro ZL1 team captured their first win of 2023 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
· The win is Byron’s fifth victory in 183 career starts in NASCAR’S premier series.
· The win marked Byron’s first NASCAR Cup Series victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
· Hendrick Motorsports recorded a one-two-three finish with Byron leading teammates Kyle Larson (second) and Alex Bowman (third).
· Chevrolet is now three-for-three in NASCAR Cup Series points-paying races in 2023, with Byron becoming the third driver from the third different Chevrolet team to claim a victory and a playoff berth.
· Byron’s victory marked Chevrolet’s 11th NASCAR Cup Series win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the manufacturer’s fourth win in the series’ past six races at the 1.5-mile Nevada oval.
· For the second consecutive NASCAR Cup Series race, Chevrolet drivers have swept the top-three finishing positions.
· The winningest brand in NASCAR Cup Series history, Chevrolet now has 836 all-time NASCAR Cup Series victories.
· Chevrolet earned victories in all three NASCAR national series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend: William Byron (NASCAR Cup Series), Austin Hill (NASCAR Xfinity Series) and Kyle Busch (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series).
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 RAPTORTOUGH.COM CAMARO ZL1 – RACE WINNER
“I’ve been really confident about this group of guys on the 24 team. They work extremely hard. We spent a lot of time int he offseason just going through and running at the sim with Chevy and running on iRacing and just trying to get better as a racecar driver and as a team. It’s all about the team. It’s a great pit crew. We’re also thinking of Chase (Elliott) back home. We wish he was out here. He’s a great racecar driver and great teammate. I wish he was out there. Thanks to Mr. H (Rick Hendrick) and Jeff Gordon. I know he’s watching. This RaptorTough.com Chevy was awesome. When we got back in traffic, it was a little tight but we knew we had speed so just had to have the right things play out. Rudy (Fugle, crew chief) made a good call, so it was good.”
ON THE FINAL PIT STOP: “The one pit stop they had where we lost the lead, I slid through the box or slid long so that delayed the stop. That was on me and I knew they could get it done in the end. Rudy has been under the weather all day so he’s been really quiet on the radio. Luckily, it worked out there. Just thanks to all the fans for coming out. I always love racing at Vegas and how you move around. I’m excited for the year.”
MORE ON THE WIN AND PIT CREW: “It was awesome. They did a great job all day. The one pit stop that I messed up, I slid long and we lost the lead. So they just did an amazing job all day. We wanted to bring this thing out (oversized victory hat), too. It was something I saw in the NFL and wanted to do it. It’s pretty cool. It’s got all our sponsors nice and big.”
HOW BADLY DID YOU NEED THIS RACE? “It’s been tough. Honestly, we started out and speed in the first two races but we just didn’t put it all together. We had speed at the (Daytona) 500 and had speed at California and had some issues. So it just worked out. It’s awesome.”
THOUGHTS ON THE FINAL RESTART: “I was focused on getting a good launch and launch with the 19 and see what happened from there. I’m fortunate that it worked out the way it did. Rudy made a great call, and we were able to put a little bit of a block on the 11 to keep him behind us. It worked out.”
TEAM CHEVY POST-RACE QUOTES:
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1
IT LOOKED LIKE YOU HAD IT IN HAND. WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS WHEN THE CAUTION CAME OUT?
“Damn. It’s just part of Cup racing. It seems like you count the laps down lap by lap, and then sure enough the yellow lights come on. You just have to get over that and try to execute a good pit stop. I thought I did a really good job getting to my sign and getting to the commitment line. I had a gap to William behind me, so their pit crew must have done a really good job and got him out in front of us. So that gave up the front row to us. I knew I was in trouble with the 19 staying out. I felt like William was going to get by him. It’s a bummer that we didn’t end up the winner, but all in all William probably had a little better car than I had today and their pit crew executed when they needed to at the end.”
MORE ON LATE CAUTION:
“You can’t fuss about it too much. You just try to get focused on the pit stop and try to execute and do a good job. I felt like I did everything on my end good. I had a gap to the 24 behind me when we got the commitment line. I got to my sign good and got to pit-road speed good and all that. Their pit crew must have done a really good job. He edged us out there on pit road, and that was the race. It’s part of Cup racing. These are really, really tough to win and you have to execute from top to bottom. We did a good job today but their pit crew was a little faster on the last stop. A bummer but all in all I’m happy and proud of the effort from our Hendrick team. I’m looking forward to getting to Phoenix next week.”
JOSH BERRY, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1
“It was a lot of fun. Really I thought the first half of the race went pretty well. We were really close, right on the edge of staying on the lead lap or not. We just needed a couple more cautions to just give ourselves a better chance.
The second half of the race, we had an issue going on with the throttle or something because every time I was letting off, it was hanging wide-open. I was just trying to nurse it home and keep it out of trouble.”
They told you to have, so did you have fun?
“Yeah, it was a lot of fun. I learned a lot, especially in the first two stages. I think we definitely saw at times we were running some pretty good lap times. Just struggled with dirty air; knowing where to put the car and how to do that. There’s a lot of learning to be done, but all-in-all, it was still a pretty good time.”
JUSTIN HALEY, NO. 31 LEAFFILTER GUTTER PROTECTION CAMARO ZL1
“We had a really good long run car today and this is our Fontana car. We’re one of like three teams, three individual cars that repaired our stuff and brought it this week. I’m proud of the effort and the grind. They hung a body in this thing in the snow in Fontana a few days ago. That’s pretty awesome for our little team. I appreciate Matt, Chris, and everyone at Leaf Filter. This was a good run for us, especially with the start of season we’ve had.”
ERIK JONES, NO. 43 ALLEGIANT CAMARO ZL1
“Not the finish we deserved today. The guys gave me a fast Allegiant Chevy and we were running really well, even made our way to the top 10. Unfortunately, we got behind and made some adjustments to free up our car in traffic, but ended up making ourselves too loose for when we were on clean air. We had some tire issues late and that put us in the back and wrecked on the last lap. We just need to clean things up and come back stronger next week at Phoenix.”
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1
YOU HAD A GOOD DAY AND DROVE YOUR WAY FORWARD. WHAT MORE DID YOU NEED TO DRIVE TO VICTORY LANE AGAIN?
“We were really fast in Stage Two. I was a little indecisive with what I wanted in the racecar. There were times I was a little free and times where I was a little snug. I hedged us to securing the back of the racecar a little bit and got us too tight for Stage Three, so that’s on me. Every change I wanted, I got. I just got us a little bit too tight. I’m really proud of the 48 team. I’m really pumped for HMS to be 1-2-3. I’ve been on the good side of those consecutive finishes so now I’m on the other side. But it was a fun race with our teammates. I’m glad we were able to get a 1-2-3 on the last restart. Rudy is a little under the weather so hopefully that gets him feeling a little better than he was this morning.”
YOU MAY HAVE HAD A CHANCE:
“I just got us too tight in Stage Three and tried to be really aggressive to make up for it on that last restart. I had a shot at it but was a couple of rows too far back to start. I’m really proud of Hendrick Motorsports. To be 1-2-3 is really awesome. Our Ally Camaro was really good, especially in Stage Two. I just asked for the wrong adjustments probably. I’m excited with the way the year has started and hopefully we keep the momentum rolling next week at Phoenix.”
DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 TOOTSIES ORCHID LOUNGE CAMARO ZL1
“It was a roller coaster. We had a fast car all day. Some runs were better than others. I felt like at times that we had a car capable of fighting for the win. For some reason, I felt like we had a set of tires that was a little weird there and we lost some track position. Then we had a bad stop on the last one and lost another few seconds. It was a little difficult because we had to overcome a lot. But overall the car had speed and the car was capable of running in the top-five. That is very promising.”
THREE TOP-10s IN THREE RACES. IS THAT THE EXPECTATION NOW?
“No. It’s to win.”
NOAH GRAGSON, NO. 42 SUNSEEKER RESORT CAMARO ZL1
“An up-and-down day. I felt like we had good speed, just lost a couple of laps on the first pit stop speeding on pit road, making mistakes and speeding again on my pass-through penalty during the first green-flag pit stop, and that put us behind all day. Proud of this Sunseeker Resorts LEGACY Motor Club team for not quitting all race. I felt like we had good speed, just a couple of laps down at the end. We’ll keep working on it.”
Inside Track Communications PR