SPORTSCASTER 1: You know, Saturday night at Kansas was pretty quiet. We had the competition caution at lap 30, yellow flags to end stage 1 and stage 2. Then we went green for this long period of the race until 30 laps remaining, when we saw caution after caution. Most notably 14 to go, when we didn’t just get the yellow. We got the red. Rookie William Byron bottom of the track, on two tires. Get sucked around by the 14 to Clint Bowyer. He rides on the hood of Ryan Newman. Several cars involved. Luckily, everybody OK. And the most scary of them all, Byron in the 24. Here’s what he said post-race.
WILLIAM BYRON: I’m fine. Just we took two tires there, and just didn’t have the really couldn’t get it turned on the bottom, and then got sucked around at the last minute. Just should have been lower than that. Just couldn’t rotate, couldn’t cut. So I think overall, we were trying to kind of push some things there, and just didn’t work out. But, you know, we’re going to wherever is next. And that one definitely hardest hit I’ve been in, but thankful to be walking. So that’s good.
SPORTSCASTER 1: You’ve heard from William Byron. Now we go next level with that crash that brought out the red flag 14 laps to go at Kansas on Saturday night. First off, amazing that Byron walked away. Cause that was a wicked hit into the wall.
SPORTSCASTER 2: Yeah when you make a hard right like that, and then you get center punched by a car, obviously, William got really high in the air. Just to see him get out was a testament to how safe these cars are.
SPORTSCASTER 1: And once again, riding on the hood of Ryan Newman, who appears to be a magnet when a car goes through the air in NASCAR.
Here’s the setup. Harvick on the outside. There’s Newman. You’ve got Bowyer. And of course, on the bottom, William Byron.
SPORTSCASTER 2: So as we see here, William Byron had two tires. Clint Bowyer had four tires. At this point, Ryan Newman had stayed out. He had five laps on his tires, and Kevin Harvick had four tires. So Clint and Kevin are trying to get all they can on this restart, thinking that it’s probably going to be the final restart. William, right here, you can see, the wheels are already turned right. He’s loose. When you’re four wide, especially being on the bottom, the track got freer as the night went on. He gets loose. He’s trying to save it. And he as the clip rolls here, he can’t save it. It snaps on him quick. And then this accident happens.
SPORTSCASTER 1: And it turns Bowyer as well. Newman nowhere to go. And you can see Kurt Busch coming into the screen, somehow is going to be able to sneak by with little or no damage at all. I’m not sure that he got touched. But as you roll it through, look at Bowyer. He slides back down across the track, the same from Byron. Here comes your teammate, Chris Buescher, who thinks he’s good. McMurray slams him in the side.
SPORTSCASTER 2: Yeah, and at that point, it’s just there’s so much smoke and debris flying. But this is what I really want to point out. You get William Byron right here. He’s on the white line. It’s not too low, but he’s right on the edge. But the bigger deal is Clint Bowyer right against the right side of his car. At this point, there is no air setting on the right side of William Byron’s car. And also, being on two tires, he had really no chance to save it here. It’s almost a little bit like Talladega.
SPORTSCASTER 1: This is tough, because he’s right there on that right rear. You know it’s going to suck you around a little. You add to that two tires. Byron doesn’t have a chance here. And what’s amazing is Harvick, who wins the race, somehow gets by unscathed.
SPORTSCASTER 2: Yeah, this is the– you could call this being the race winning move.
SPORTSCASTER 1: I can’t believe it!
SPORTSCASTER 2: I mean, how the fact that Clint Bowyer doesn’t, A, touch Kevin Harvick and get him loose. And then the mere fact that Kevin stays in throttle, and doesn’t hit the wall to save the right side of his car is so impressive.
SPORTSCASTER 1: Well, and I was pointing out the fact that Kurt drives by on the bottom and he’s able to make it through as well.
SPORTSCASTER 2: You see Alex Bowman get there through the grass. Jimmy’s coming through the grass. At that point, you’re nervous about it messing up the splitter of your race car. But at that point, you’re just trying to miss the wreck.
SPORTSCASTER 1: Let’s look at it one more time. At this point, Newman’s already backed out. There goes Byron up into the 14 of Clint Bowyer. Newman is there. There’s Brad Keselowski. But there’s another driver that gets through that a solid finish, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
SPORTSCASTER 2: Yeah, he finishes the 11. Barely gets through. You can see that Brad got through. Jamie back here, there’s so much debris. There’s pieces of hood flying. There’s debris everywhere. As he comes back down, you can see my teammate, Chris Busch thinking he’s clear. Got a clear line of sight– well, unfortunately, Jamie’s coming to meet him right in the middle of the grass.
SPORTSCASTER 1: In all, you had five or six drivers that had their night come to a close in this particular crash, among them Matt Kenseth, who had already had a rough night. And here’s what’s interesting. We reset the lineup after the red flag. This is what it looked like on the restart. Here’s the finishing order. Kevin Harvick goes from six to the win. The one thing I notice, drivers are in even positions over here.
SPORTSCASTER 2: Yeah.
SPORTSCASTER 1: Bettered themselves because they restarted outside lane.
SPORTSCASTER 2: Outside line was so critical. And you can see, Kevin Harvick started outside both times. It made his race. Because starting sixth on that final restart, he had a clear path with fresher tires than everybody in front of him to get to the outside. We see Kyle Busch start in seventh. He doesn’t even– he barely makes the top 10. It was just so critical and luck of the draw if you were on the outside.