William Byron Back in Victory Lane at Hickory Homecoming

The Hendrick Motorsports Cup driver won Saturday's Easter Bunny 150.


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Welcome back to Hickory Motor Speedway, William Byron.

Just hours after taking part in the first NASCAR Cup Series practice at the newly-repaved Atlanta Motor Speedway, Byron was winning in a Super Late Model at one of his old home tracks.

Byron piloted the No. 24 Donnie Wilson Motorsports entry to victory on the second day of racing in the Easter Bunny 150s at Hickory, enjoying a return to the site of some of his earliest Late Model triumphs.

“It was pretty fun,” said Byron in victory lane. “It was a lot of hard racing. The 88 [of Brandon Barker] was really good on the restarts at the end. The 53 [of Cole Butcher] was great all day. I felt like he was right there with me. If I made any mistakes, I was in trouble.

“Thanks to everybody that puts this deal together, Bond [Suss], Donnie Wilson, all the fans for coming out at Hickory.”

It had been seven years since Byron last competed at Hickory Motor Speedway, but he has plenty of fond memories at the North Carolina facility. Byron was once a runner-up in Hickory’s Late Model Stock track championship, as well as a former winner in both Late Model Stock and Super Late Model competition there.

Now, Byron can add another Hickory trophy to his collection.

“It’s great to be back here. It’s been a long time, so it’s fun to be back. I raced here a ton back in ’14 and ’15. It’s great to be out here. Thanks to everyone for letting me do it. It was a pretty awesome car.”

Cole Butcher, in another entry from the Donnie Wilson stable, may have been Byron’s greatest threat on Saturday afternoon. However, his race ended 19 laps early.

While running second, Butcher’s car went straight into the turn three wall on lap 131. Butcher couldn’t say for certain what happened to put him in the wall, but it was a surprising and disappointing end to the weekend after claiming a runner-up finish one night ago.

“I think a tire may have went down. We must have gotten into some debris on the last caution. I could hear it bottoming it every lap. I thought maybe a packer had fallen out or something silly.

“I honestly don’t know. It just went straight into the turn three wall. It was a pretty hard hit, but we’ll come back next time.”

After Butcher’s misfortune, Brandon Barker was the closest contender, ultimately finishing second ahead of Garrett Hall in a battle to the finish. Barker could hardly believe he and his team were able to even compete on Saturday after a rough-and-tumble 150 laps on Friday night and an early start to Saturday effecting repairs.

“We’re ready to go home. We started on it this morning, 7 o’clock,” said Barker. “There’s a lot messed up on this thing, and I was ready to go home. I think most of us were. One of the guys was like, ‘Let’s stay.’ We unloaded it to see how it is and pieced this thing back together.”

“To finish second in this thing, there’s nothing like a FURY car. I don’t know. This is pretty cool. It’s not a win, but it sure as hell feels like it.”

Hall tallied a third-place finish on a strong weekend for the Maine native, backing up an eighth-place finish on Friday night’s portion of the twin 150s.

“We had a great time this weekend, a lot of fun. I can’t thank my crew and sponsors enough. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to come down here and be competitive like this.”

“I honestly think, if circumstances went the right way last night, we would have had an average finish on the weekend of 1.5.”


1. William Byron
2. Brandon Barker
3. Garrett Hall
4. Derek Griffith
5. Joey Polewarczyk, Jr.
6. Austin MacDonald
7. D.J. Shaw
8. Gabe Brown
9. Trevor Sanborn
10. Ben Rowe
11. Ryan Moore
12. Jake Matheson
13. Isaac Bevin
14. Ryan Kuhn
15. Treyten Lapcevich
16. Jeremy Davis
17. Kyle DeSouza
18. Rodney Brooks
19. Cole Butcher
20. Wyatt Alexander
21. John Peters
22. Nick Loden
23. Kyle Reid
24. Eddie MacDonald
25. Joshua King
26. Jason Corliss
27. Tyler Church
28. Cory Hall
29. Cory Casagrande
30. Michael Scorzelli
31. Kate Re
32. J.P. Josiasse
DNS. Nick Jenkins