William Byron Wins At COTA, Grabs Win #2 For The Season (3-24-24)

By: Becca Cottingham Quimby

All Photo Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA Today

We head to Texas for Circuits of America and the first road course of the season. We have an issue on lap one with multiple drivers getting into trouble in the first turn. William Byron will lead us through almost all of stage one. We have seen the long run speed in the Toyotas but we have not been able to see it in the Chevy’s yet. William Byron will keep a decent lead over Tyler Reddick and everyone else. With stage breaks returning we will see pit road close when the leader passes the start finish line. There are a couple of options. Teams can go with a two-pit stop run or a different option. William Byron decided to hit the pit road before the close of the pit road. Christopher Bell stays out and will win stage one.

Christopher Bell will bring us to the green for stage two after winning stage one. We see a couple of issues with Bubba Wallace being spun with contact with Brad Keselowski and then Kyle Larson off of Christopher Bell’s front end. Christopher Bell will pit during this stage as he is going for the two stops. This will mix things up again as pit strategies are changing. We also see issues between Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Kamui Kobayashi. Denny Hamlin will close out stage two as the stage two winner.

We head into the third and final stage and we enter turn one three wide. This sends William Byron wide and allows Ross Chastain to take on the lead. With this being the longest stage of the race, this allows more time for drivers to make mistakes. Williams Byron was shuffled back to third place. He makes his way around the second-place car of Ty Gibbs. He will set his sights on Ross Chastain. It takes time but William Byron will get around Ross Chastain when a small mistake happens. When this happens we also see those who are on the two pit stop strategy start to pit as well. We continue to see people spin out that does not bring out full caution. William Byron has taken a decent lead. As pit stops come to complete we see Christopher Bell flying through the field. He gets around Ty Gibbs for a second and proceeds to go after William Byron. William was in save mode, but now that Christopher Bell has made his way to second. William will hold off Christopher Bell to get the unofficial win.