William Bryon wins EcoBoost 200 Trucks race, as Sauter claims title
William Byron put the cap on an incredible rookie season in the Camping World Truck Series Friday night, winning the EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
It was Byron's series-high seventh win of the year, although he was not one of the four drivers eligible to compete for the 2016 series championship in the race.
That battle was won by Johnny Sauter, who finished third in the race but four spots ahead of his nearest Chase playoff competitor, Matt Crafton, who faded to seventh by the finish. The other two Championship 4 drivers, Christopher Bell and Timothy Peters, finished right behind Crafton in seventh and eighth, respectively.
Byron started from the pole and led 31 laps en route to the victory in his No. 9 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota. It was an important win because it clinched the owners' championship for KBM, the company owned and led by defending Sprint Cup driving champion Kyle Busch. It was KBM's fifth such title.
Tyler Reddick finished second, with Sauter, Kyle Larson and Daniel Hemric rounding out the top five.
Larson led a race-high 76 laps and Reddick led 16 late, before Byron wrested the lead from him for good.
For Byron, winning the race was a measure of redemption after he had been leading at Phoenix a week earlier when his engine blew with 32 laps to go. Had he won that Chase elimination race, he would have advanced from the Round of 8 to the Championship 4 and had an opportunity to race for the title.
“It feels awesome. It’s just incredible,” Byron said. “I mean, this team has worked so hard all year. We just had an unfortunate situation last week that we couldn’t control, but, man, they brought a good truck (to Homestead) and we qualified on the pole. These guys just are awesome.”
The 18-year-old Byron said it was a great way to go out at KBM, as he's moving onto a new job driving in the XFINITY Series for Hendrick Motorsports next season. But he also said it was bittersweet.
“God, I hate leaving this,” he said. “I just hate this team not being together next year. It’s just insane how good they are and there are so many talented people on this race team. I can’t thank KBM enough, Toyota, (owners) Kyle and Samantha (Busch), everyone at KBM, (sponsor) Liberty University. It’s just amazing.”