William Byron, only 18, grabs third CWTS win of rookie season at Iowa
William Byron may be only 18 years old, but he's already making it a habit of winning races in the Camping World Truck Series while driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
In only his ninth career start, Byron won for the third time in his rookie season Saturday night, going to Victory Lane in the Speediatrics 200 at Iowa Speedway in his No. 9 Toyota. It was Byron's second win in a row, following his victory a week earlier at Texas.
Byron dominated the middle portion of the race, taking over the lead from pole-sitter John Hunter Nemechek on Lap 54 and holding it for the next 97 laps.
But when the caution came out on Lap 151 and Byron headed to pit road, five trucks gambled and took only two tires. Byron took four and had a slow stop that cost him several more spots, and he came out in 10th as Tyler Reddick inherited the lead.
Yet another caution came out when the truck being driven by Derek Scott Jr. wrecked the truck of Tommy Joe Martins from behind, setting up still another restart with 13 to go after the red flag came out to get the track cleaned up.
The top three trucks in the running order for that restart were Reddick, Ben Kennedy and Ben Rhodes, with Rhodes on the freshest tires. Cole Custer, on two fresh tires, restarted in fourth and Byron, on four fresh tires like Rhodes, restarted in sixth.
The next few laps were some of the most exciting the series has enjoyed all season.
First, Custer shot to the front and passed Reddick for the lead. Then Rhodes surged to challenge Custer -- and meanwhile, behind them, Byron was mounting a charge of his own.
With 10 laps to go, Byron went high and Rhodes low, putting Custer in the middle of a high-speed truck sandwich. After battling each other side-by-side-by-side for the better part of a lap, Byron regained the lead and pulled away.
Then another caution came out as the truck of Caleb Holman wrecked, setting up one final restart with three laps remaining. Byron surged to the lead again and finally was able to take the checkered flag after holding off the hard-charging Custer one last time.
Custer finished second, with Cameron Hayley, Rhodes and Reddick rounding out the top five.