Week 32 GFT NASCAR AI Driver Rankings: Byron wins Texas, Locks into Round of 8

Bob Francis - Go Full Throttle
3 min readSep 29, 2023

24 September 2023
By Bob Francis, Managing Editor
Go Full Throttle Racing News

FORT WORTH, TX — The saying here is everything is bigger in Texas and William Byron’s win brought out the iconic “big hats” to celebrate Byron’s win and the 300th Cup series win for Hendrick Motorsports at Sunday‘s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs race at Texas Motor Speedway. Byron’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson dominated much of the race and looked to be headed to Victory Lane when he spun into the wall on a late restart. Byron took control on the following restart with six laps remaining and drove away from the field for the win. Ross Chastain finished 2nd, Bubba Wallace 3rd.

NASCAR Hall of Famer Rick Hendrick, team owner of Hendrick Motorsports (L) and William Byron, driver of the №24 Liberty University Chevrolet, celebrate Hendrick Motorsports’ 300th NASCAR Cup Series win after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas Motor Speedway. (Image Credit: Chris Graythen | Getty Images)
Rick Hendrick embraces William Byron following the latter’s milestone win for Hendrick Motorsports at Texas Motor Speedway. (Image Credit: Brittney Wilbur | NASCAR Studios)

“I finally got a good restart at the end and number 300 for Hendrick Motorsports, but Kyle [Larson] really deserved this one, I‘ve got to say, those guys were really fast all day, and I hate it for them in the end,” Byron said, noting his teammate Larson‘s crash.

“But man, it was awesome getting this car to the front. My car loved clean air. We just fought through traffic all day. My Liberty University Chevrolet was just tight back in traffic but had good pace. … it was a grind-it-out day, and our team was there at the end, and I‘m really proud of this one as hot as it was, it was tough. We‘ll take it and go on to the next round.”

William Byron, driver of the №24 Liberty University Chevrolet, takes the checkered flag to win the NASCAR Cup Series Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas Motor Speedway. (Image Credit: Jonathan Bachman | Getty Images)

With the victory, Byron earned the automatic ticket into the Round of 8. Hamlin now ranks second in the playoff standings by 37 points over the provisional elimination line. Buescher (plus-22), Bell (plus-20), Truex (plus-19), Chastain (plus-12), Keselowski (plus-8) and Larson (plus-2) round out the top eight.

UPDATED GFT NASCAR AI DRIVER RANKINGS

Week 312— Updated after the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs race at Texas Motor Speedway — GFT NASCAR AI Driver Rankings (Image Credit: Go Full Throttle Digital)

Reminder: Our Go Full Throttle AI rankings are more than just the point standings. Our algorithms use the NASCAR Driver Points and Playoff Points as inputs, but our data includes 7 other parameters into the predictive models. Byron, with the win, is now an even stronger P1, followed by Hamlin, Larson, Buescher, Truex, Busch, Bell and Reddick.

UP NEXT:
NASCAR Playoffs are heading to the always unpredictable Talladega Superspeedway next week for the YellaWood 500 (2 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, NBC Sports App). Chase Elliott is the defending race winner.

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Bob Francis - Go Full Throttle

Go Full Throttle editors and reporters bring you news & commentary on NASCAR, F1, IndyCar, and World of Outlaws. Member: National Motorsports Press Association