In politics, there’s what’s known as the “October surprise” — when a candidate for public office drops a bombshell about his challenger just a few weeks before an election, in hopes of planting a seed of doubt in the minds of the voters and gaining the upper hand on election day. Of course, no such thing exists in NASCAR, but another type of October surprise could happen on Sunday at Martinsville Speedway if a driver who isn’t in the playoffs manages to steal some thunder from the playoff drivers by going to Victory Lane.
One driver outside the playoffs who is certainly capable of doing that is William Byron, who has finished sixth and second, respectively, the past two weekends after being eliminated from the playoffs in the previous round. “We have had so much speed this year,” Byron said on the heels of his strong result at Kansas Speedway last Sunday. “It’s just a bummer to not get more wins, but I feel like our time is coming. We just have to keep at it.”
Byron finished fourth earlier this year at Martinsville and came home second at the Virginia short track in the fall of 2019. “Martinsville is one of my favorite tracks,” the Hendrick Motorsports driver said. “I’ve really gotten into a flow and rhythm that you need for that racetrack to run consistent lap times for such a long period of time and be consistently successful. I’ve enjoyed it a lot for that reason, and it’s been fun.”