William Byron’s promising postseason run ended in smoke at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday night.
After finishing the first stage in eighth place to gain enough points to put himself in position to advance as the final driver above the 12-team cutoff, Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet was engulfed with smoke and he parked on pit road with severe engine damage.
Byron exited the car with 16 laps left in Stage 2. His team took his ride to the garage in an attempt to make repairs, but the damage was done.
Byron said on NBCSN that Joey Gase’s lapped car slowed on the straightaway, causing Byron to check up and hit the No. 95 of Christopher Bell.
“You can’t stop in the middle of the straightaway,” a frustrated Byron said on NBCSN.
After Byron secured his spot in the playoffs in the final race of the regular season with a win at Daytona, the driver called his playoff-ending accident “super disappointing.”
“I have to go back and watch that because it’s kind of ridiculous,” Byron said.
He was running in 10th when the accident occurred. Byron entered the first cutoff race three points behind Clint Bowyer in the final transfer spot, but he will not advance to the Round of 12 after Bristol.