William Byron Wins Pennzoil 400 after late-race pit stop gamble by Hendrick Motorsports
NASCAR driver, Martin Truex Jr., was leading the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with old tires, but crew chief James Small chose not to bring in the driver for new tires. As the field prepared for overtime spin by making pit stops, Truex remained on the 1.5-mile track. His gamble didn’t pay off, and he was passed by William Byron, the eventual winner.
Byron propelled past Truex in Turn 3, followed by Kyle Larson, who would have won the race without the overtime spin. Alex Bowman finished third to give Hendrick Motorsports the top three spots in a Cup event for the third time since 1984.
Byron captured both Stage 1 and 2 points for the first time in his career, and his outside run next to Truex allowed his tread to take over. After passing Truex, he avoided the last-lap mele and cruised to his fifth Cup career victory.
Hendrick Motorsports rookie, Josh Berry, filled in for the injured Chase Elliott and placed 29th.
Larson credited his 2021 pit team for executing an 11.8-second pit stop at Phoenix Raceway, which helped him win the race. On Sunday, Larson was disappointed when the overtime period was announced after Aric Almirola spun out with two laps to go, causing a violent crash. Larson led Byron by 4.39 seconds with 26 laps to go and around three seconds when the overtime was announced. He admitted after the race that Byron had a better car on the day.