Rudy Fugle said the big black piece of plastic stuck on the nose of William Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Sunday in Las Vegas was an oversized trash bag that wasn’t empty.

“That thing was like a 55-gallon trash bag for those big trash cans you see in the infield of the racetrack,” Fugle told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Monday. “It got loose and even worse than that or even funnier than that, I’m pretty positive it had a beer can in it because that beer can got stuck in our air filter. So, after the race, there was a silver bullet in our air filter somehow.

“I’ve never seen anything like that before, either. So, quite the day.”

Byron was forced to pit under green flag conditions on lap 47 to get the plastic bag off his car. It was large enough to cover the grille and most of the nose of his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, causing the temperatures to spike. He had fallen to the 14th position from running inside the top 10 because of the debris changing the handling of his car and starting to overheat.

“It’s amazing,” Fugle said of the engine not expir ing. “I was surprised as well. The water stayed in it, and… just a good engine shop. And a little bit of luck.”

The temperatures returned to normal once Byron pitted to remove the plastic bag. However, he fell off the lead lap into the 35th position and needed to the free pass at the end of the first stage to get back into contention.

Byron fought the rest of the afternoon to regain his lost track position and slid up and down the leaderboard. Before the plastic bag flew onto his car, Byron had led 15 laps after starting fourth. He finished the day in the 10th position.

“I hate it didn’t give us a chance to show really how strong a car I think we could have had all day long, and you leave there with a couple of questions,” Fugle said. “We fought all day and go up there toward the top 10, but we slid through the (pit) box on the last green flag stop and lost some spots and just weren’t as good on the restarts as we needed to be. If we could have kept the track position and had clean air on our nose for the restarts, I think we would have been better.

“It’s a shame that happened, but something happens to everybody once in a while. So, we get it out of our system now and just keep fighting as a team. It’s a character builder.”

As for the plastic bag, Fugle revealed it ended up with one of their team’s sponsors after it was removed from the car.

“I saw them after the race with it,” Fugle said. “So I’m like, OK that’s a souvenir for them.”