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William Byron (Jason Reasin photo)

William Byron Hops To Hickory Score

HICKORY, N.C. — NASCAR Cup Series driver William Byron took a break from a busy weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway and drove Donnie Wilson’s No. 24 super late model to victory in the second of two Easter Bunny 150s at the historic track.

Byron, a former regular at the track, did not attend Friday night’s event or even race at Hickory for the past seven years.

Rust was a non-issue as he led 109 laps on his way to the victory by more than a half a second over Brandon Barker. 

Polesitter Gabe Brown led the first three laps before two-time Easter Bunny Winner Derek Griffith took over the top spot following a yellow flag for Kate Re. Thirteen laps later both Donnie Wilson Racing entries snuck under the Griffith, who fell to third.

Cole Butcher, who finished second Friday, led 14 laps Saturday before Byron charged to the lead. Griffith slowly made his way back to the front picking off both Butcher and Byron and led for another nine laps before a big moment in lapped traffic returned the lead to Byron in the Axalta No. 24. 

Barker was on the move. After extensive damage to his machine on Friday night, a crew member convinced him to stay and fix the car. It proved to be a wise idea as just over halfway through the 150-lap event Barker had gained 16 positions and was running inside the top five. 

In true Garett Hall fashion, the Norm’s Used Cars #94 quietly found his way to third shortly following the restart, putting himself in prime position to finally win at Hickory after two near misses. 

With 18 laps to go, Butcher’s race took a bad turn while running second, when his car veered into the turn-three wall.

Butcher’s elimination set Garret Hall up with an opportunity to contend with Byron for the late race restart. Byron powered away but with just two laps to go, Ben Rowe, Jake Matheson and Isaac Bevin spun, setting up a two-lap shootout. 

Byron took the victory over Barker, Hall, Griffith and Joey Polewarczyk.

Friday night’s winner Ryan Moore battled an ill handling race car and finished 11th.

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