Sitting in ninth-place with 11 laps left in Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series event at Darlington Raceway, William Byron was realistically out of contention for his third victory of the year.
Granted, that would have required things to not fly off the handle in the race's closing laps, which considering the state of the series over the last month or so, appeared unlikely.
That was evident about eight seconds after the field crossed the start-finish line on the third-to-last restart of the day, when Martin Truex, Jr. crashed with seven other cars in the second corner.
Truex, who led 145 laps in the early portion of Sunday's 400-mile contest, would be forced to retire from the event due to the damage on his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, forcing him to finish 31st.
Byron, on the other hand, was the beneficiary of that multi-car accident, after slipping to the inside of the track from the fifth row on the restart to pick up six spots, placing him in third-place.
With a realistic chance to score the victory, now, Byron started on the inside of the second row, allowing him to pull the exact same move as before, when Ross Chastain and Kyle Larson made contact, crashing into the outside wall.
Chastain would retire from the event, after leading 93 laps, while Larson would live to see another five or so laps, coming home on the lead-lap in 20th-place, but stormed to his hauler post-race without comment.
Somehow, that left the 25-year-old driver leading the race, as the field approached NASCAR Overtime. More to his advantage, he was surrounded by wounded cars in Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, and Brad Keselowski.
The driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro blasted away from the pack with ease during the final two-lap dash to the finish, winning by nearly eighth-tenths of a second over Kevin Harvick.
Chase Elliott was able to limp his wounded No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro home to a third-place finish, his best result since returning to the series from a leg injury earlier this year.
Brad Keselowski and Bubba Wallace completed the top-five. Harrison Burton was sixth, while Kyle Busch, Justin Haley, Ryan Blaney, and Chris Buescher each scored top-10 finishes.
After 13 NASCAR Cup Series events in 2023, Ross Chastain continues to hold the points lead, by 27 markers over Christopher Bell. Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, and William Byron complete the top-five in standings.
Leaving Darlington, the NASCAR Cup Series will get a one-week break from points-paying events, but will instead face-off in one of the biggest events in a long time, the All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro.
Photo Credit: Chris Owens, HHP, Courtesy of Team Chevy