XFINITY Championship to Byron

William Byron

"To think of all that's happened in my career at such a young age is overwhelming." (Photo: Getty Images)

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HOMESTEAD, Fla. – William Byron won the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series championship in Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
 
Byron survived an incredible battle with JR Motorsports teammate and fellow Championship 4 driver Elliott Sadler to take the title. His third-place finish in Saturday’s season finale earned the 19-year-old his first title of any kind.
 
“He raced me clean,” Byron said of Sadler. “We raced hard for it. I have to thank God for giving me this platform to perform. Thank you guys. What an incredible crowd.”
 
He joins Chase Elliott as the second teenager to win a series title and to do it in their rookie seasons.
 
Byron won four times in 2017 and gave JR Motorsports its second series title. His four wins were a series record for a freshman driver.
 
“I don’t know that I took a breath the last 20 laps,” Byron said. “That was incredible.  I just have to thank this team.  This is awesome. Elliott raced me clean and we just raced hard for it.  I just can’t believe this.  I’ve just got to thank God for giving me this platform to perform.  I can’t believe this.  I’m tired, whew.  Thanks to all the fans here this evening, this is an unbelievable crowd, I just can’t believe it.”
 
During the regular season, Byron’s high-water mark in points stood at second. But entering the playoffs on the strength three wins, Byron slid into the top seed for the Round of 12 and positioned himself in first place for the Round of 8.

Heading into the cutoff race for the Championship 4 at Phoenix Raceway, Byron sat second in the point standings, just five points out of first. He claimed his fourth victory of the season at the 1-mile track, propelling him into the championship hunt heading into the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway as the top seed.
 
He was able to turn in the drive of his career on Saturday night to outduel Sadler and claim the championship as he now gets ready to move to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series next year to run for Rookie of the Year with Hendrick Motorsports.

"To think of all that's happened in my career at such a young age is overwhelming," Byron said. "I can't thank everyone enough...my parents, Dale Jr., Mr. Hendrick. This is just a dream come true no doubt about it."

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