Sunday’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway proved largely uneventful. Until the end.
William Byron nabbed the checkered flag when the dust settled, outlasting Hendrick Motorsports teammates Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman in overtime of the Pennzoil 400. It was the result Byron deserved, all things considered: the No. 24 driver swept the three stages and led for well over 100 laps. It was a much-improved showing after he failed to finish better than 25th in either of the first two races this season.
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While Byron ended the day on top, Larson could call himself unlucky. The No. 5 driver looked in good shape with four laps remaining as he held a sizable lead. But then Aric Almirola’s car clipped the wall, sending the race to extra time.
Byron overtook Larson in pit road, reaching the commitment line six-tenths of a second before his teammate. With Larson lined up behind Martin Truex Jr. on the restart, it was always going to be a tough ask for the 2020 Cup Series champion.
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The Sporting News tracked live updates from Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Follow below for the highlights and results as the action unfolded at the Diamond of the Desert.
Pennzoil 400 live updates, highlights from 2023 race
(All times Eastern)
6:44 p.m.: And it’s Byron who takes the checkered flag!
6:42 p.m.: Truex falls beyond Byron on the restart.
6:41 p.m.: Truex and Byron in the front row. This might get chaotic.
6:39 p.m.: Martin Truex Jr. taking a risk here. He’s the only lead-lap car to not go into the pit. High risk, high reward by his team. Let’s see if it works out for him.
6:37 p.m.: Larson, Hamlin, Byron and Bowman headed to pit road. Looks like Byron just pipped Larson at the line, meaning he’ll be in front of Larson on the restart.
6:36 p.m.: Overtime, here we go!
6:34 p.m.: CAUTION! With four laps to go, Almirola goes into the wall, prompting the yellow flag. This race restart is going to be explosive.
6:26 p.m.: Larson holds a five second edge over Byron. Just 18 laps to go. Difference between first and seventh is 9.4 seconds, so things are still fairly competitive, although it looks like there’s a good chance it will be a Hendrick Motorsports driver standing in victory lane come the end of the day.
6:15 p.m.: Third speeding violation for Gragson. Not a great display for the rookie.
6:11 p.m.: Hamlin pitting early. That will alert all the other top drivers to make the changes necessary to make a push for the trophy.
6:06 p.m.: Bell has been in the mix for much of the day. However, he’s telling his team that’s he’s dealing with vibration, forcing him toward the bottom of the lead lap.
6:00 p.m.: Reddick nearly gets into the wall. Looks like he pulled it together just on the cusp, but he’s back to ninth. 68 laps to go.
5:57 p.m.: Larson getting quite tight with Hamlin. Gave him a bit of a push on the bumper and nearly made Hamlin go loose. Now, it’s Larson out in front.
5:55 p.m.: We’re back to green with 78 laps left and it’s Hamlin who takes the lead. Strong play by the future Hall of Famer.
5:44 p.m.: CAUTION! Three wide in the middle of the pack and Logano ends up taking the biggest damage. He got caught up in a group with Busch and Keselowski, all of whom were hoping to get a spot in Turn 4. He won’t be happy about that. Looks like the toe link is in shambles.
A three-wide battle doesn’t end well for @joeylogano! pic.twitter.com/48QdHUix8P
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) March 5, 2023
5:43 p.m.: Wallace getting a push from Suarez, who is now making a play on that fifth spot. Looks like he got it.
5:41 p.m.: Green flag waved again at the Diamond in the Desert. Byron still with the lead. Looks like Bell and Wallace are battling for fifth. Could get testy between the two young talents.
5:27 p.m.: Byron sweeps the stages, claiming yet another green flag in the race’s second frame. He’s in the driver seat (sorry) for the checkered flag with about 100 laps to go.
5:17 p.m.: Masterful save by Busch on Turn 2, who pulled up just enough to avoid major contact with the inside barrier after getting loose out of the straightaway. Little debris flies out, but nothing more than cosmetic damage, it seems. He’s in eighth place, 16.37 seconds behind first-place Byron.
5:15 p.m.: Hasn’t been the best of runs for Logano, who just absorbed major contact from the wall. Seems like he got loose making his way through the turn at the top of the track and couldn’t keep himself away from the barrier. That’s unfortunate.
5:13 p.m.: Kyle Busch and his team have done an excellent job keeping up with the pack after taking hard contact earlier in the race. He currently sits in 10th place, posting a best lap time only .3 seconds off race leader Byron.
5:06 p.m.: Track leaders heading into pit road. A cascade of whips flying down the track at the moment.
5:02 p.m.: Looks like tight wheels are causing some issues in Stage 2. Blaney and Wallace indicate they’re having some difficulty with their wheels as they make their way down the turns.
Interestingly enough, the three drivers at the top to he board (Byron, Larson, Bowman) have done so with loose wheels. That might be the meta going forward.
4:55 p.m.: Contact galore at the moment. Gibbs, Berry and Chris Buescher all took nicks from the wall, all with varying degrees of damage. Berry is a lap behind, while Gibbs’ front right wheel is looking quite wobbly.
30 laps into Stage 2. Byron holds a 2.50 second lead over Larson for first.
4:48 p.m.: Green flag waved to start Stage 2. Byron still out in front but it’s Denny Hamlin who is making the biggest assault up the leaderboard. He’s in third, two wide with Chastain. Just got blocked off by Larson trying to swap for second.
4:33 p.m.: Byron takes Stage 1! He’s followed by Larson and Ross Chastain in the top-three.
4:31 p.m.: Logano slipping down the field as we approach the end of Stage 1. He’s all the way down to 14th place.
4:25 p.m.: Bubba Wallace sitting in seventh place at the moment. He’s ran well so far this year, but it’s yet to be reflected in his finishes. About as good a time as any to pair the two together.
4:20 p.m.: 27 laps remaining in Stage 1. Byron had held the lead for 40 laps, a new career-best total at Las Vegas Motors Speedway. Things going smoothly for the No. 24.
4:14 p.m.: Noah Gragson struggling to get into pit road. He’s been dealt back-to-back entry penalties after coming into the pits too fast. That’s got to be frustrating for the hometown kid.
4:09 p.m.: Cars headed to pit road after 30 or so laps. Looks like Byron and Kyle Larson, the two front cars, are waiting to see just how things go in terms of caution flags.
4:02 p.m.: Conversely, Ty Gibbs has struggled so far. 21 laps in and the Cup Series rookie is already back in the 20s. Not ideal.
4:01 p.m.: Tyler Reddick surging up the field early. He’s already up 16 spots on his starting position. Strong run for the No. 45 driver.
3:57 p.m.: Ten laps down and it’s Byron out in front. The No. 24 car seeking its first sub-25 finish of the year.
3:52 p.m.: The Pennzoil 400 is underway! Joey Logano and William Byron leading the line.
3:50 p.m.: Josh Berry the name to look out for ahead of today’s race. With Chase Elliott sidelined with a fractured tibia, this could be the perfect opportunity for the Xfinity Series veteran to showcase his abilities.
3:38 p.m.: Two-time NL MVP (and Sin City export) Bryce Harper with the most famous words in racing:
I was certainly not expecting to see Bryce Harper at the NASCAR race today lol pic.twitter.com/9YmAVY6Dll
— The Diamond (@TheDiamondOnYT) March 5, 2023
Green flag in about 10 minutes.
Pennzoil 400 2023 starting lineup
|Starting pos.||Driver||Car No.||Team|
|1.||Joey Logano||22||Team Penske|
|2.||William Byron||24||Hendrick Motorsports|
|3.||Ryan Blaney||12||Team Penske|
|4.||Ty Gibbs||54||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|5.||Kyle Busch||8||Richard Childress Racing|
|6.||Kyle Larson||5||Hendrick Motorsports|
|7.||Brad Keselowski||6||RFK Racing|
|8.||Ross Chastain||1||Trackhouse Racing|
|9.||Austin Cindric||2||Team Penske|
|10.||Christopher Bell||20||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|11.||Alex Bowman||48||Hendrick Motorsports|
|12.||Denny Hamlin||11||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|13.||Bubba Wallace||23||23XI Racing|
|14.||Kevin Harvick||4||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|15.||Martin Truex Jr.||19||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|16.||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|17.||Michael McDowell||34||Front Row Motorsports|
|18.||Chris Buescher||17||RFK Racing|
|19.||Corey LaJoie||7||Spire Motorsports|
|20.||Chase Briscoe||14||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|21.||Aric Almirola||10||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|22.||Erik Jones||43||Legacy Motor Club|
|23.||AJ Allmendinger||16||Kaulig Racing|
|24.||Daniel Suarez||99||Trackhouse Racing|
|25.||Noah Gragson||42||Legacy Motor Club|
|26.||Austin Dillon||3||Richard Childress Racing|
|27.||Justin Haley||31||Kaulig Racing|
|28.||Todd Gilliland||38||Front Row Motorsports|
|29||JJ Yeley||15||Rick Ware Racing|
|30.||Cody Ware||51||Rick Ware Racing|
|31.||Ryan Preece||41||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|32.||Josh Berry||9||Hendrick Motorsports|
|33.||Ty Dillon||77||Spire Motorsports|
|34.||Tyler Reddick||45||23XI Racing|
|35.||Harrison Burton||21||Wood Brothers Racing|
|36.||BJ McLeod||78||Live Fast Motorsports|
Pennzoil 400 start time
- Start time: 3:30 p.m. ET
The Pennzoil 400 is listed to start at 3:30 p.m. ET (12:30 p.m. PT) in Las Vegas, but with pre-race activities, the green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:49 p.m. ET (12:49 p.m. PT).
What channel is the Pennzoil 400 on today?
- TV channel: Fox (U.S.) | TSN5 (Canada)
- Live stream: FoxSports.com, fuboTV
This year’s Pennzoil 400 will be broadcast on Fox in the United States. Canadian viewers can follow the action from Las Vegas on TSN5.
Mike Joy will lead Sunday’s broadcast, serving as the race’s lap-by-lap announcer. He’ll be joined in the booth by a pair of ex-Cup Series luminaries: Clint Bowyer and Danica Patrick will offer analysis.
Cord-cutters can find Sunday’s race on FoxSports.com (with a cable subscription) or fuboTV, which offers a free trial.