William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available in the Texas Motor Speedway media center on Friday, May 20, at 4 p.m. local time.
HALFWAY THERE: Halfway through the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series regular season, William Byron is continuing to have a career-best year. In 13 races, Byron has scored two wins, four top-five finishes with 569 laps led across 10 of the 13 races, three stage wins and 13 playoff points accumulated. The wins, laps led, stage wins and playoff point totals are the most for the driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 through 13 races in his Cup Series career. He is currently fourth in the driver point standings and is locked into the Cup Series playoffs for a fourth consecutive season.
1.5-MILE MOMENTUM: Byron is no stranger to success on mile-and-a-half tracks during his Cup Series career. In 2021, he picked up the win at the third race of the year at Homestead-Miami Speedway – his first on that configuration. He went on to collect seven top-10 finishes across nine races on 1.5-mile tracks throughout the season. This season, the Cup Series has raced at three 1.5-mile tracks: Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway. Byron scored a win at Atlanta and a top-five finish at Las Vegas. In the most recent race of the season at Kansas, he led 25 laps before a flat tire left him with a 16th-place finish. In fact, since the start of 2021, Byron has nine top-10 finishes on tracks of that length.
LOCKED IT IN: Sunday will mark Byron’s fourth start in the NASCAR All-Star Race but for the second time in his Cup Series career, Byron heads into the event already locked in due to his wins at Atlanta and Martinsville Speedway earlier this season as well as his Homestead-Miami win in 2021. Needing to race his way into the all-star event in the past, Byron has gotten the job done in the Open qualifier races in 2019 and 2020. Across his three All-Star Race starts, Byron has two top-10 finishes. His best showing came last year when he led the most laps (30), had the lowest cumulative finishing position across the first four rounds and scored his best finish of seventh after being shuffled from the front row for the final 10-lap dash.
TWO-FOUR: The No. 24 has scored a win in the All-Star Race three times – tied for the second-most wins by a car number in the exhibition event, all coming with Jeff Gordon. If Byron were to end up in victory lane this Sunday night, the No. 24 would be tied for the most wins in all-star history with the No. 48 at four victories.
TRUCKIN’ IT IN TEXAS: Byron’s success at Texas Motor Speedway started almost six years ago in his first start at the 1.5-mile oval with crew chief Rudy Fugle on the pit box. Starting from the sixth position, the then-NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rookie led six laps before capturing the checkered flag becoming the youngest to ever win a Truck Series race at Texas.
TEXAS TOUGH: Texas is a track that Byron has always ran well at throughout his entire NASCAR career, even if the statistics don’t always reflect that. In seven Cup Series starts at the Lone Star State track, Byron has three top-10 results, including a track-best finish of second last fall. Byron also has four other starts at the 1.5-mile oval, with an average finish of 3.5 in two Truck Series starts and 8.0 in two NASCAR Xfinity Series races.
FUGLE HAS 'NO LIMITS': While Sunday will mark crew chief Fugle’s second Cup Series all-star event, the Livonia, New York, native is no stranger to success at Texas. In last year’s race, Fugle led Byron and the No. 24 team to a seventh-place result after leading the most laps. Fugle also has one other Cup Series start at the 1.5-mile track, where the No. 24 team battled for the win in the final stage before crossing the finish line in the runner-up position last fall. The veteran crew chief has 18 other starts at Texas, with all but three of those coming in the Truck Series. He has visited victory lane at the "No Limits" track five times in the Truck Series – the most for him at any track on the circuit – most recently in 2019 where he swept both races. Of those five wins, one includes a victory with Byron in June 2016. In his 15 Truck Series starts, Fugle’s drivers have also racked up seven top-five finishes, 11 top-10s with 493 laps led.
TEXAS TWO-STEP: Byron is pulling double duty at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. In addition to Sunday’s race, he’ll drive the No. 88 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series race on Saturday afternoon. The 24-year-old driver earned his Xfinity Series championship with JR Motorsports in 2017 and garnered four wins with the team. Byron’s primary partner in the Cup Series, Axalta, will also serve as an associate partner on his Xfinity Series car.
LIBERTY U IS BACK: For Sunday’s All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway, Byron will climb behind the wheel of the No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Featuring a white base with navy flames and red accents, the Liberty University No. 24 will be sure to stand out on track. Liberty University has a long history with Byron starting back in 2014 in the late model ranks. Liberty University has been Training Champions for Christ since it was founded in 1971. Located in the mountains of Central Virginia, Liberty University is a liberal arts institution with 17 colleges and schools that offers more than 600 degree programs from the certificate to the doctoral level, on campus and online. Working on an undergraduate degree in strategic communication, Byron is now in his junior year at Liberty University through its online program.
William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 on how the NASCAR Xfinity Series race should help him for Sunday's All-Star Race: "Texas (Motor Speedway) is a track I found success at early on in my career in both trucks and Xfinity but I feel like I’ve struggled just a little bit to get the same results on the Cup side of things. That’s part of why I’m excited to get back in an Xfinity car this weekend and see how it races compared to when I was in one last a few years ago. I feel like those cars relate similarly to the Next Gen car and hopefully that will give us some extra notes that we can use not only for the All-Star Race on Sunday but also for when we go back to Texas in the fall.”
Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 on what challenges teams will face at Texas Motor Speedway: "I’m interested to see how the Next Gen car will race this weekend at Texas (Motor Speedway). In the past, we have ran high downforce packages for the All-Star Race but this year we will not only run lower downforce but the Next Gen car as well. Add in the fact that both ends of the track are so different from each other, it’s going to make it a challenge on your approach to setting the car up and changes you make throughout the weekend. With us using the same tire this weekend as we did last weekend in Kansas and at Las Vegas, I think that gives us a good starting place at least when it comes to what changes we can make with air pressure and the fine line on how the car reacts. That’s where practice is going to be the most help since the All-Star Race is broken up into mini races essentially and you don’t have a ton of chances to make big swings and recover by the end.”