18-year old NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rookie William Byron has been stellar this season. The Liberty University freshman has led the points standings for most of the year as he’s won an impressive six times already. That earned him the No. 1 seed in this year’s inaugural Chase, as with finishes of first, fifth and 10th in the opening round, he easily was the top seed for the second round too.
But, with an eighth place effort last Saturday at the Martinsville Speedway, coupled not just Johnny Sauter winning, but with top five finishes for Christopher Bell and Timothy Peters too, that leaves Byron with no room for error now in the final two races of the second round of the Chase.
If, Byron wants to be a part of the final four at Homestead in the next round, he can’t afford to have any bad finishes over the next two races at Texas and Phoenix.
Chasing Byron is veteran Matt Crafton as the two-time Truck Series champion is nine points out of the final transfer spot to Homestead. Byron, is that final spot right now. The wiley old veteran in Crafton knows he can win at either Texas or Phoenix and he’s in. That in turn takes a spot away, one that could cost Byron.
Reality is, Byron is three points behind Peters and four behind his Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate of Bell and he’d like to get in front of them to at least secure a wildcard spot in the final round if needed. The good news is though that the series heads to Texas this weekend and despite Byron only making one career start at the 1.5-mile track, he won there.
Byron, only led six total laps that night in June but it was enough to earn him the victory. But, Crafton led a race-high 133 of the 167 laps that night too in finishing second.
If Crafton does that again and this time wins, and if Byron can’t get in front of either Bell or Peters, then he’d be left on the outside looking in heading to Phoenix.
That’s how important it is for Byron to have a top five this weekend at Texas.