Byron sets rookie record with 5th Truck Series victory
LONG POND, Pa. (AP) Just 18, William Byron already has a slice of NASCAR history.
Byron, the promising young driver for Kyle Busch Motorsports, continued his dominance in the NASCAR Truck Series and won Saturday at Pocono Raceway for a rookie-record fifth time this season.
''These things don't come easy at all,'' Byron said. ''It's a good thing when you get one.''
One? Try five.
Byron added the Pocono victory to wins at Kansas, Texas, Iowa and Kentucky. He surpassed Kurt Busch, the 2004 Sprint Cup champion, who had four wins as a rookie in 2000.
Byron survived a race that saw nearly half of its 60 laps run under caution. Cameron Hayley was second, followed by Brett Moffitt, Timothy Peters and Cole Custer.
''The No. 9 is really so fast,'' Hayley said. ''We have to go back and look at things. He's definitely a step above us.''
At least Hayley was running up front at the end of the wreck-marred race. There were a whopping nine cautions - that kind of number not even usually found in the Sprint Cup race at Pocono - that allowed Christopher Bell to finish 10th, though he was five laps down at one point.
The race never ran more than eight laps without a caution.
Even with the slower pace, no driver could catch Byron.
''He's got so many wins, I don't know why he just didn't pull over and let me go,'' Hayley said, smiling. ''Those Joe Gibbs motors must have some good fuel economy.''
Byron led a race-high 44 laps and added one more win in the No. 9 Toyota for team owner and 2015 Cup champion Kyle Busch. Byron, a recent high school graduate, also has seven top-10 finishes.
''We just show up with so much focus that we never get off track,'' he said.
Byron leads the points standings and is locked into the Truck version of the Chase. He expected to become a championship contender in his rookie season.
''I think our team is really in good position for that,'' he said. ''Nothing from the outside has really thrown us off our game.''
How high can his win total go?
''I don't look at a number,'' he said. ''If we continue to build like this, who knows what the bar is for our team.''