William Bryon made the opening stage of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 look like a Sunday drive as he claimed his maiden Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series stage win.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series sophomore passed race polesitter Kyle Larson in Turn 2 of the opening lap. Larson then fell into the clutches of Bryon’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott and Joey Logano. Larson surrendered the spots as Byron motored ahead.

Byron grew his lead over his teammate to 2.8 seconds after ten laps as Martin Truex, Jr moved into third ahead of Logano and Denny Hamlin.

Hamlin passed Logano on Lap 15 to take over fourth as Bryon’s lead swelled out to five seconds.

Matt DiBenedetto short pitted on Lap 17 while running deep in the field which set off a chain reaction as many drivers gave up stage points.

Elliott pitted on Lap 18 from second place with Truex and Kyle Busch joining him. The trio had three clean pitstops and rejoined the race 13th, 14th and 15th respectively.

Bryon never faltered and took the stage win with nine seconds in the bag over Denny Hamlin. Logano held on to finish third ahead of Larson and Aric Almirola.

Chris Buescher ended up sixth in front of Alex Bowman in seventh, Kevin Harvick in eighth, Paul Menard in ninth and Jimmie Johnson ended up tenth.

 

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