NASCAR at Watkins Glen race results, highlights: William Byron breezes to first career road course win

William Byron had been waiting a long time for this one.

The Hendrick Motorsports starlet has been on a romp in 2023, showcasing both the speed and intuition to establish himself as one of the favorites to capture the title of Cup Series.

He entered Sunday’s race at the Glen with a circuit-high four wins. Vehicles cowered in his presence, unable to compare with the beautiful chaos that emanated from under Byron’s hood.

And yet, he had never won on a road course. Until now, that is.

Byron cruised to victory at Watkins Glen, taking advantage of a heady pit stop towards the end of Stage 1 to hold off Denny Hamlin. Byron’s win, as well as his Stage 2 victory, simply fills up his bucket of playoff points. No complaints there.

Further down the field, things were similarly rosy. Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick clinched spots in the postseason by way of points. Perhaps they should get the Hendrick man a fruit basket.

Bubba Wallace also enjoyed a good day at the Glen (really!). Wallace earned stage points in each of the opening two stages and strolled in at P12 once he crossed the finish. That will keep him just above the likes of Ty Gibbs and Daniel Suarez, both of whom need winning runs at Daytona next week for a chance at the Cup Series crown.

In all, it was a smooth day at the course. Byron did what Byron has done time and time again this year. For that, Keselowski, Harvick and Wallace are grateful.

MORE: Watch the Bowling at the Glen live with Fubo (free trial)

The Sporting News tracked live updates from Sunday’s race at Watkins Glen. Below are the highlights and live results as they happened from a fairly chill day at the Glen.

NASCAR at Watkins Glen results

(Results are unofficial)

Place Driver Car No. Team
1 William Byron 24 Hendrick Motorsports
2 Denny Hamlin 11 Joe Gibbs Racing
3 Christopher Bell 20 Joe Gibbs Racing
4 A.J. Allmendinger 16 Kaulig Racing
5 Ty Gibbs 54 Joe Gibbs Racing
6 Martin Truex Jr. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing
7 Chris Buescher 17 Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing
8 Tyler Reddick 45 23XI Racing
9 Ryan Blaney 12 Team Penske
10 Joey Logano 22 Team Penske

NASCAR at Watkins Glen live updates, highlights from 2023 race

(All times Eastern)

5:21 p.m.: Byron wins! That’s his first career Cup Series road win! What a dominant display by the Hendrick Motorsports star!

5:20 p.m.: Byron in great shape with two laps left. Looks like he’ll claim win No. 5 on the year. That should get Keselowski and Kevin Harvick into the postseason on points. As for Wallace, he looks in good stead to stay above the cut line.

5:06 p.m.: Engine issue for McDowell! He had climbed into the top-ten, but it’s looking like he’ll finish in the back as today’s race nears its close.

5:02 p.m.: Aric Almirola goes spinning! Looks like he lost his rear grip heading around the bend and started twirling like a top. Fortunately for him, he was able to stop the bleeding and get himself back on course. No caution will be issued.

4:58 p.m.: 20 laps remaining. Byron holds firm in front, about 1.5 seconds in front of Hamlin. Allmendinger the closest playoff outsider in the picture, still residing in the fourth slot. Lots of race to run. But Byron is making a crappy day for HMS a little more bearable with his showcase at the Glen.

4:46 p.m.: Back to green at the Glen! Byron up front, followed by Hamlin. Allmendinger pushing hard in P4.

4:38 p.m.: It looks like the faux pas came from crew chief Alan Gustafson; he informed Elliott that he had three laps of fuel left. However, it seems that data was faulty. And now, his chances for a playoff appearance are vanishing into the abyss.

4:31 p.m: CAUTION! First canary pennant flies for the day…and it’s Elliott. He ran out of fuel. He will need a sudden-death win at Daytona. It goes from bad to worse for HMS, as Larson — who raced into the top-three — was penalized for exiting pit road too fast.

4:22 p.m.: Wallace has had a wonderfully steady day so far. There’s just one problem: Gibbs, Elliott and Allmendinger all sit in front of him. The No. 23 just needs Byron, Hamlin, Kyle Larson or another playoff driver to win and he should be in solid position heading into Daytona, a place that he’s finished second at on three separate occasions.

4:19 p.m.: Lapped car causing some issues for Hamlin, who is facing serious pressure from his JGR teammate Gibbs. Looks like the No. 54 might have more speed than his compatriot. He’ll need to make a move sooner rather than later if he wants that all-important win.

4:12 p.m.: Byron takes Stage 2! That’s his eighth stage win of the season! 

4:06 p.m.: Gibbs is cooking with gas. He sits in third, 1.5 seconds behind the leader, Byron. Win and he’s in; that’s all the No. 54 car is focusing on. Five laps remaining in the second stage.

3:58 p.m.: Byron has the lead, about a second in front of Hamlin. However, it’s another Hendrick Motorsports star that’s making waves down the track: Chase Elliott. He’s up to seventh, bursting past Keselowski, who has yet to pit through 30 laps.

3:50 p.m.: Drive-through penalty for McDowell! He trekked through five different boxes before getting into his pit stop; he’s only allowed to go through four. Byron takes the lead as the No. 34 rides down pit road at pace speed.

3:48 p.m.: McDowell takes Stage 1 and secures that all-important playoff point. Gibbs, Wallace and A.J. Allmendinger also secure stage points, vital as all three compete for playoff qualification.

3:44 p.m.: Green flag pit stops starting to kick off. Suarez, Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Blaney coasting into pit road for tire changes and additional fuel. Just three laps left in the first stage. Remember: no stage breaks at Watkins Glen. So, strategy will be imperative as playoff hopefuls look to net as many stage points as possible.

3:30 p.m.: Daniel Suarez spins! Looks like. he went over a curb, sending dust all along the  track. He just avoided serious contact with the inside wall. However, that’s going to place him firmly in the 20s.

3:28 p.m.: McDowell takes the lead! The No. 34 car puts the pressure as they rolled through the Esses before making a pass through Turn 1. William Byron swept past the No. 11 shortly thereafter, dropping Hamlin to third. If not for a block on Ty Gibbs, he could’ve fallen even further down the order.

3:23 p.m.: We are green from Watkins Mill! Denny Hamlin and Michael McDowell competing for that top spot as we get through the back straightaway!

3:05 p.m.: Canadian and American national anthems being sang. We’re about 15 minutes away from the waving of the green flag. Western propaganda finds a home on NASCAR racetracks.

2:40 p.m.: Uh oh! Brad Keselowski and Corey LaJoie among those starting from the back after NASCAR found that their cars had made unapproved changes prior to the race. Big blow for LaJoie in particular, who was initially slated to start in 10th.

2:20 p.m.: All quiet on the Western front as we prepare for Sunday’s race. Looks like it’ll be a clear day at Watkins Glen.

What channel is the NASCAR race on today?

  • TV channel: USA Network (U.S.) | TSN5 (Canada)
  • Live stream: Peacock, Fubo

Sunday’s race will be broadcast on USA Network in the United States. Canadian viewers can find the action on TSN5.

This week’s iteration of the the Cup Series will be headlined by USA Network’s “Radio Style” broadcast. Veteran broadcaster Rick Allen and Steve Letarte will carry the reins from the main booth. They’ll be joined on the call by longtime MRN radio announcer Mike Bagley, who will offer musings from “The Estes.” Former Cup Series stars Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Burton will also feature, manning the stations at Turn 6,  “The Inner Loop” and “The Carousel”, respectively.

Cord-cutters can follow the action on Peacock, as well as with Fubo, which offers a free trial.

NASCAR start time today

  • Date: Sunday, Aug. 20
  • Start time: 2:30 p.m. ET

Go Bowling at the Glen has a listed start time of 3 p.m. ET., but pre-race festivities are expected to push the waving of the green flag closer to 3:15 p.m. ET.

MORE: Updated points, scenarios as drivers chase Cup Series championship

NASCAR at Watkins Glen starting lineup 2023

Starting pos. Driver Car No. Team
1 Denny Hamlin 11 Joe Gibbs Racing
2 William Byron 24 Hendrick Motorsports
3 Michael McDowell 34 Live Fast Motorsports
4 Ty Gibbs 54 Joe Gibbs Racing
5 Kyle Larson 5 Hendrick Motorsports
6 A.J. Allmendinger 16 Kaulig Racing
7 Christopher Bell 20 Joe Gibbs Racing
8 Tyler Reddick 45 23XI Racing
9 Kyle Busch 8 Richard Childress Racing
10 Corey LaJoie 7 Spire Motorsports
11 Joey Logano 22 Team Penske
12 Bubba Wallace 23 23XI Racing
13 Chris Buescher 17 Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing
14 Daniel Suarez 99 Trackhouse Racing
15 Chase Elliott 9 Hendrick Motorsports
16 Austin Dillon 3 Richard Childress Racing
17 Austin Cindric 2 Team Penske
18 Alex Bowman 48 Hendrick Motorsports
19 Martin Truex Jr. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing
20 Justin Haley 31 Kaulig Racing
21 Mike Rockenfeller 42 Legacy Motor Club
22 Ross Chastain 1 Trackhouse Racing
23 Ryan Blaney 12 Team Penske
24 Brad Keselowski 6 Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing
25 Todd Gilliland 38 Front Row Motorsports
26 Chase Briscoe 14 Stewart-Haas Racing
27 Aric Almirola 10 Stewart-Haas Racing
28 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 47 JTG-Daugherty Racing
29 Andy Lally 15 Rick Ware Racing
30 Ryan Preece 41 Stewart-Haas Racing
31 Erik Jones 43 Legacy Motor Club
32 Harrison Burton 21 Wood Brothers Racing
33 Kevin Harvick 4 Stewart-Haas Racing
34 Cole Custer 51 Rick Ware Racing
35 Josh Bilicki 78 Live Fast Racing
36 Ty Dillon 77 Spire Motorsports

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