I hate that that happened

I hate that that happened


As Sunday’s wreck-marred race drew to a close, the battle for the win shaped up with Chase Elliott trying to fend off challengers Denny Hamlin, Byron and Ross Chastain.

Hamlin spun out while battling Elliott for the lead with two laps remaining in the originally scheduled 267-lap race. On two more ensuing restarts in overtime, Byron and Chastain both tried to overtake Elliott for the lead.

Elliott pulled out to a sizeable advantage on the final restart, and on the final lap, Byron gained considerable ground on Chastain as both exited Turn 2 and moved to the backstretch.

The two ended up making contact, which sent Chastain’s No. 1 Chevrolet into the wall and brought out the caution that sealed Elliott’s 19th career win.

Byron was able to get back to the checkered flag and grab third, but Chastain went from a contender for the win to 32nd place as he was unable to finish.

“I just had a big run. Ross and I race really well, and I didn’t want to wreck him there, but he blocked me late, which is understood,” Byron said. “It’s racing at the end, but I was already there and unfortunately, we made enough contact to where it got him squirrelly, and it happened.

“So, I hate that that happened, but it’s the last lap and I had the run so I am going to just take the run. I didn’t expect it, but I don’t want to do that to a fellow Chevy guy, and we always race really well.”


Chastain, who has his share of run-ins with other drivers in his Cup career, declined to take questions after being evaluated and released from the track’s infield care center.

Elliott became the third different Hendrick Motorsports driver to win in the first nine races of the 2024 season. Byron earned his third win of the year last weekend at Martinsville, which came on the 40th anniversary of HMS’ first Cup win at the iconic short track.

“Happy for Chase and those guys. They did a great job; executed really well and had a good car,” Byron said. “Our No. 24 Chevy, we struggled all day and had to fight tooth and nail all day just to keep our track position.

“We just had a few restarts go our way at the end.”

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