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      William Byron notches third straight top-10 finish

      Start: 11th
      Finish: 5th

      Rolling off from the 11th position for Sunday’s race at Martinsville Speedway, William Byron went to work right away on making his way through traffic in the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. Racing his way to seventh by the time the competition caution waved on lap 60, crew chief Rudy Fugle made the call for his driver to come down pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment before lining up in sixth for the restart. Byron once again went to work trying to make his way through traffic once the field went back to green-flag racing, this time reaching fourth by the time the green-checkered flag was displayed, signaling the end of Stage 1. Fighting a Chevy that was a little loose on the entry of the corners, Byron came down pit road under the stage break for four tires, fuel and another chassis adjustment.

      Lining up in fifth for the start of the second stage, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native picked up two more positions, settling into third until the caution came out on lap 197. Byron came back down pit road under the yellow flag condition, this time for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Restarting third with 57 laps to go in the second stage, Byron maintained that position throughout the ensuing laps until the green-checkered flag was displayed once again at the end of Stage 2 just past the halfway point in the race. Needing a little bit more turn in the corners, Fugle made the call for the No. 24 to pit for four tires, fuel and a combination of chassis adjustments.

      Electing to restart in the low lane from fifth for the start of the final stage, Byron quickly picked up two positions during the ensuing green-flag run before the caution would be displayed on lap 311. Nearing their fuel window, Byron came down pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. With a string of back-to-back cautions occurring in the next handful of laps, Byron came back down pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment before lining up in sixth for the restart. Racing up to the fourth position by the time the caution came back out on lap 378, Byron reported that his No. 24 Chevy was too snug but that he liked what he had to work with. Utilizing that feedback, Fugle called Byron down pit road for four tires and fuel before he lined up in seventh with 116 laps to go. With cautions breeding cautions, Byron tried to regain lost track position from the ensuing restarts, and eventually was able to move himself back to the top-five running order with 50 laps to go. With a string of late-race cautions, Byron was able to miss sustaining any damage, and maintain running within the top five. Even with a green-white-checkered situation to end the race, Byron was able to power his way to score a fifth-place finish at Martinsville Speedway – his third top-five finish at the short track.

      Alex Bowman scored his fourth win of the 2021 season, leading the Hendrick Motorsports cars to the finish line Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Byron was close behind, scoring a fifth-place finish at the short track. After being collected in late-race on-track incidents, Kyle Larson crossed the stripe in the 14th position as well as Chase Elliott in 16th.

      Via Hendrick Motorsports