KNEast: William Byron Grabs Win No. 3 With Force at Langley Speedway
Hampton, VA – He came, he saw, he conquered! William Byron came into Langley Speedway as the points leader of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East division and he left with an even bigger lead! Those kinds of things happen when you lead 174 of the advertised 175 laps. Byron started the race in the second position after teammate Rico Abreu won not only his first pole at Langley Speedway, but his first Coors Light Pole Award of his K&N Career – posting a time of 15.96 seconds, just a bit over 89 MPH.
It didn’t take long for Byron to get by Abreu, on the outside mind you to take the lead and hold onto it for just about the entire night! Dalton Sargeant was the only driver to ruin the “perfect game,” if you may, for Byron by leading just one lap through the entire event. Sargeant would eventually have to settle for a third place finish after a very strong late race push from Kyle Benjamin! Not a bad deal when you stop and think about it, top three finishers all from the same camp!
The win did not come all that easy for Byron, who had come to Langley Speedway the week prior along with JR Motorsports teammate Josh Berry to get some seat time at the all but flat short track, has he had his work cut out for him navigating through some of the slower traffic. When you pile 25 of these machines on a 4/10th mile flat track its much like the cup cars at Bristol, does not take long for the leaders to catch the back of the back. It was no “easy” task by any means, a few harder to get around than others but Byron was able to work around them while holding onto a steady lead!
Hooked up on rails as we say in the racing community was that #9 Liberty University Chevy, stretching just about a full straightaway lead over second place driver Dalton Sargeant by the time NASCAR has thrown the cross flags in the air. I will put it this way; he had such a commanding lead he spent a good amount of laps just cruising behind teammate Scott Heckert to avoid putting him a lap down. Honestly the best racing of the night, besides the drive from Gray Gaulding, was the third through about sixth place!
Nick Drake and Kyle Benjamin spent a very good portion of the race hooked up nose to tail. “I was trying to pass him but not spin the tires while doing it,” Benjamin said after the race. “He was slipping a little bit too so I figured about ten to twenty laps of that I would be able to roll under him and I did. I tried a few times and back off, had to wait patiently but finally got the position.” Drake and Benjamin however were not the only ones putting on a show, Rev Racing driver Jay Beasley and local Late Model driver Justin Carroll would spend most of the night together racing. Beasley would ultimately hang on for a top five finish, Carroll coming home P7 in his K&N debut!
The win marked Byron’s third of the season and continuing his pattern of winning every other race on the circuit. We caught up with Byron after the race to talk about his day here at the track giving a ton of credit to his guys. “Just really excited for this race team they really deserve it,” Byron told us after the race. “The car was about the same as we were during the day and we were able to bring it home in one piece and obviously get the win.” Byron went on to tell us the entire team including himself have been working really hard and doing their homework to get ready for these racing and it has been more than paying off.
Of course we had to ask if his trip in the Late Model the week prior helped, granted the cars are so different. The moral of the story was seat time, “Yea I think so, just having a feel for a couple [of] laps on the race track helps you,” Byron said. “The cars are very different and they [LMSC] don’t have near as much motor, its different but I am just glad to be apart of all three race teams I am apart of this year.”
Patients seemed to be the talk of the town on pit road, especially from the #9 crew who had a lot of cars to pass in his own right setting the pace he did. “It was tough,” Byron said. “We just had to be really patient, I got in a couple tough situations going three wide but I couldn’t wait, the second place guy was coming, I just picked a lane, it was a little frustrating you know. Some of the guys did their best job getting out of the, some of them not so much. It just wasn’t their day and I have had tough races like that so it’s a tough deal but they are just doing the best they can.
The series will return to action in two weeks on July 4th at Columbus Motor Speedway for the Napa 150. Can William Byron make it two in a row or will we see a new face in victory lane?
Visit Hampton VA 175 Results;
- #9 William Byron; 175
- #27 Kyle Benjamin; 175
- #51 Dalton Sargeant; 175
- #12 Gray Gaulding; 175
- #42 Jay Beasley; 175
- #34 Scott Heckert; 175
- #91 Justin Carroll; 175
- #15 Nick Drake; 175
- #98 Rico Abreu; 175
- #22 Austin Hill; 175
- #04 Ronnie Bassett Jr.; 174
- 4 Kenzie Ruston; 174
- #44 Dillon Bassett; 174
- #6 Devon Amos; 174
- #2 Collin Cabre; 174
- #08 Tyler Hughes; 173
- #3 Kaz Grala; 173
- #23 J.P. Morgan; 172
- #31 David Garbo Jr.; 172
- #5 J.J. Haley; 171
- #18 Sam Hunt; 170
- #45 Christian Celaya; 168
- #19 Chuck Buchanan Jr.; 152
- 24. #94 Dylan Hoffman; 61
Fastest Qualifier: Rico Abreu *, Time: 15.96 Seconds, Speed: 89.323 mph
Time of Race: 58 mins, 43 secs Average Speed: 70.815 mph Margin of Victory: 1.217 Seconds
Caution Flags: Laps 9-14 (Spin in Turn 2 – #18 & #19 – No FP); 24-32 (Backstretch #5 – FP #94); 125-130 (Frontstretch #5 – FP #04). 3 for 21 laps.
Lap Leaders: William Byron * 1-32, Dalton Sargeant * 33, William Byron * 34-175.
Total Laps Led: William Byron * 174, Dalton Sargeant * 1. 2 changes involving 2 drivers.