NASHVILLE, Tenn :: Donnie Wilson may have dominated the North/South Super Late Model Challenge at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville this past Saturday, but William Byron provided the drama, charging from 16th to finish fifth in the non-points 75-lap main event.
The top five comes on the heels of an eighth-place result in a points-paying Southern Super Series 50-lapper at the Fairgrounds on Friday, and a fourth last month during the Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway.
“The car was strong, we made a few adjustments overnight that definitely made it better,” said Byron, the 2015 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion and full-time driver for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series. “We needed a little bit more for sure, but definitely to get a top five keeps the momentum rolling and shows that we can get back through the field.”
Byron’s race got off to an inauspicious start; he was involved in a crash before even reaching turn one. When the green flag dropped a missed shift mid-pack stacked up the back half of the 31-car field as it was getting up to speed, forcing Byron into the rear of Dalton Sargeant’s machine. The chaos took out several contenders and caused some cosmetic damage to Byron’s ride.
“The nose was kind of caved in a little bit, but you know stuff like that happens so it’s no big deal,” he said.
The damage clearly didn’t affect his Toyota’s speed as he methodically picked off competitors throughout the course of the event, which never saw another caution flag.
Byron has a total of eight Super Late Model events on his busy 2016 schedule. It is a discipline he believes aids him in the Truck Series, where he is fresh off a podium finish at Martinsville Speedway.
“These Late Models are hard and there’s a lot to them,” he said. “You really have to drive hard so it definitely helps me.”
Byron will next be behind the wheel of a Super Late Model when the Southern Super Series hits Five Flags Speedway later this month.