William Byron, who won his fourth NASCAR victory and second in Atlanta over the past two years at the Atlanta Motor Speedway after the race was shortened by rain on Sunday night, is the winner of the HAMPTON (Ga.) NASCAR race.
Rain was a threat to the race, and drivers were battling for position in order to avoid weather delays or ending the race.
NASCAR sent cars to the pits on lap 185 with 75 laps remaining due to rain or lightning. The cars were covered as officials waited for the rain to stop. Six minutes later, the fans were warned that severe weather was expected within eight miles from the track. They were encouraged to evacuate the stadium.
After 130 laps, the race was declared official.
Daniel Suarez was second, and he is looking to win his first race of 2023. Michael McDowell came in third.
McDowell stated that he knew rain was on its way. We wanted to have the best possible chance of winning the race.
Kevin Harvick, three-time Atlanta champion, spun with 89 laps left. Harvick managed to get to pit road with no caution but his chances of winning his final Atlanta race were all but over.
It is possible that the increased rain threat pushed drivers to race for the top positions in the second phase, which may have contributed to two crashes involving Ross Chastain and Kyle Larson.
Denny Hamlin, Alex Bowlin, and Brad Keselowski were all involved in a second crash in the late stages of the second race. This left Brad Keselowski (and Ryan Blaney) at the head of the field. The stage was ended under caution.
Keselowski had to make a decision despite winning the stage. He talked to his crew about the rain threat and whether he could stay on the track. He decided to stop for fuel.
The collision between Bubba Wallace, Ryan Preece and Bubba Wallace caused a caution in the final stages, putting Byron ahead of Suarez.
Joe Logano, the newcomer, passed Aric Almirola for the first time after he won the pole. Blaney beat Larson in the first stage.
Chase Elliott, who is still searching for his first victory of the season, came in 13th. Elliott won the 2022 Atlanta summer race, his first race on his home track.
HARVICK RETURNS 29 TIMES TO AMS
Harvick won his first NASCAR race on March 12, 2001 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, driving a No. The 29 Chevrolet was originally built for Dale Earnhardt Sr. Earnhardt had died weeks earlier in a Daytona 500 crash.
Richard Childress (77), grand marshal and former team owner of Harvick's in 2001, drove the 29 back to AMS. Harvick drove the No. Childress drove the No. 4 Ford alongside him to the green-flag finish of the race on Sunday night. Childress raised three fingers as a tribute for Earnhardt when he entered pit road. Harvick had done the same after winning in 2001. Childress was answered by some fans who paid their own tribute to Earnhardt with three fingers.
Harvick stated that he was ecstatic to see the car lead the field into the green. He also said, "I know how excited Richard must be." I'm also excited, but Richard is super-excited to drive it. That makes me happy too.
BELL SENT BACK OF FIELD
Chris Sherwood is the car chief of Christopher Bell's no. Bell's No. 20 Toyota was ejected from the race due to unapproved modifications made to the car on Sunday afternoon. Bell was not hurt too badly as he qualified in 34th place out of 37 cars.
Bell finished the first stage in sixth place, but was 23rd overall.