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today is Dec 07, 2022

William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

William Byron was unable to turn his first career round of 8 appearance into his first career NASCAR Cup Series Championship 4 berth.

Entering the round of 8 of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, Hendrick Motorsports’ William Byron had earned the most recent victory at two of the three tracks on the schedule.

He won the February 2021 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and he won the April 2022 race at Martinsville Speedway. His victory at the latter made him the first driver to win two races this season, as he had also won the March race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Since NASCAR introduced the current Championship 4 playoff format in 2014, every driver who had been the first to win two races in a season had advanced to the final round.

So when Byron earned his first career round of 8 berth and entered the round as the most recent winner at two of its three tracks, it looked as though this streak may reach a perfect nine for nine.

He even entered Sunday’s round of 8 finale at Martinsville Speedway above the Championship 4 cut line.

But things didn’t go according to plan, and he was never a factor in the 500-lap race around the four-turn, 0.526-mile (0.847-kilometer) Ridgeway, Virginia oval.

While he finished the race in a respectable seventh place, he did not score any stage points and ultimately ended up 21 points below the final cut line.

He is the first driver to fail to qualify for the Championship 4 after becoming a season’s first multi-race winner.

Let’s have a look at each season’s first multi-race winner from 2014 to 2022.

  • 2014 – Kevin Harvick (Champion)
  • 2015 – Kevin Harvick (eliminated in Championship 4)
  • 2016 – Jimmie Johnson (Champion)
  • 2017 – Brad Keselowski (eliminated in Championship 4)
  • 2018 – Kevin Harvick (eliminated in Championship 4)
  • 2019 – Kyle Busch (Champion)
  • 2020 – Joey Logano (eliminated in Championship 4)
  • 2021 – Martin Truex Jr. (eliminated in Championship 4)
  • 2022 – William Byron (eliminated in round of 8)

The NASCAR Cup Series Championship 4 is set to be broadcast live on NBC from Phoenix Raceway beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET this Sunday, November 6. Begin a free trial of FuboTV now if you haven’t already done so!