William Byron's car had beer can 'stuck' in air filter at Las Vegas, crew chief says


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William Byron finished 10th in the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, but he might have had a play for first if it was not for a bizarre issue early in the race.

Byron was forced to pit on Lap 47 after a trash bag blew onto the front of his car, and his engine overheated as high winds were an added obstacle for drivers.

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William Byron in Pennzoil 400

William Byron, driver of the #24 Z HP Chevrolet, waves to fans as he walks onstage during driver intros prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 3, 2024 in Las Vegas. (Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

On Monday, Byron’s crew chief Rudy Fugle said on SiriusXM Radio’s “The Morning Drive” he was sure the trash bag had a beer can in it.

“The thing was like a 55-gallon trash bag, you know, for those big trash cans you see at the infield of the racetracks,” Fugle said.

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Rich Eisen in Las Vegas

William Byron, #24 Z HP Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, during the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube NASCAR Cup Series race on March 3, 2024 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas. (Jeff Speer/LVMS/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“Even worse than that, or even funnier than that, I’m pretty positive it had a beer can in it because that beer can got stuck in our air filter. So after the race, there was a Silver Bullet in our air filter somehow.”

Byron may have been in a position to pick up his second win of the season after coming in first place at Daytona, but the incident was a sour note on a tough day. Kyle Larson eventually won the race, though, giving him a win for the Hendrick Motorsports team.

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William Byron

NASCAR Cup Series driver William Byron, #24, during the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas on March 3, 2024. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

“It was huge. It seemed to get stuck somewhere underneath,” Byron told FOX Sports after the race. “I just know my temps went from 250 (degrees) to 350 in like 10 seconds. I never had that happen.”

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