BEST YEAR YET: Entering the back half of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, William Byron is having his best season yet at the highest level of competition in the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. So far, he has collected one win (Homestead-Miami Speedway), one pole (Road America), eight top-five finishes and 14 top-10s (tied for the most by a driver this season) all while leading 245 laps and collecting three stage wins. His eight top-five finishes are the most the 23-year-old driver has had in a season at the Cup level and his 14 top-10s tie his previous best in a season, as well.
20/20 VISION: After 20 races, Byron has been seen running in the front of the field consistently every week. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native has spent 3,854 laps running in the top 10 – the second-most in the series – and 2,147 laps in the top five – the third-most throughout the field. Byron maintains the second-best average running position in the Cup Series of 8.36 and an average finishing position of 11.05, allowing him to maintain third place in the point standings.
1.5-MILE MOMENTUM: With the Cup Series racing at five 1.5-mile tracks so far this year, Byron has finished inside the top 10 in each event, tied for the most this season with Kyle Busch. So far in 2021, the driver of the No. 24 has a 6.0 average-finishing position on tracks 1.5 miles long – the third-best behind Busch and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson. Even going back as far as the last nine races on 1.5-milers, Byron has secured seven top-10 finishes – tied for the second-most behind Busch and Martin Truex Jr (eight).
THE ATL ARCHIVE: With four previous Cup Series starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Byron had his best run at the 1.5-mile track earlier this season, starting ninth and racing to an eighth-place finish. Other than his four Cup Series starts, Byron has two other NASCAR starts at the 1.5-mile track, one in the NASCAR Xfinity Series where he finished seventh, the third-highest result of the Xfinity Series regulars. He also has one start at Atlanta in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, where he was running second before losing an engine, leaving him with a 32nd-place finish.
RUDY RUNS THE ATL: Returning to a track for the first time as a Cup Series crew chief, Rudy Fugle is ready to capitalize off the run the No. 24 team had in March earlier this year. Rolling off the grid in ninth, Byron and Fugle raced their way to a top-10 finish, crossing the finish line in eighth. Fugle also has six NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at Atlanta, including two pole awards and two wins. His drivers have collected four top-three finishes in six events, along with five top-10s. Fugle only has one finish worse than seventh coming with Byron in 2016 when the duo was running second before suffering an engine failure, resulting in a 32nd-place finish.
ALL ABOUT AXALTA: Returning to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the second time during the 2021 Cup Series season, Byron will climb behind the wheel of the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE for Sunday’s event. However, Byron’s No. 24 will also feature Axalta’s partner Maaco, America’s Body Shop and leader in the automotive pant and collision industry. For a better look at Byron’s No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE for Atlanta, click here.
WATCH MAACO GO: Earlier this week, Maaco announced their social media campaign “Watch Maaco Go” will run through Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. For the contest, fans can share a screenshot on social media with the hashtag #BetterGetMaaco every time they see the Maaco logo featured on the No. 24 Axalta Chevy throughout the week on social media or during on-track coverage on NBCSN. One lucky fan will be selected to win the ultimate race experience, including the TV panel off the No. 24 Chevy from the Atlanta race.
William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on returning to Atlanta: “Atlanta is typically a track where you’re always fighting loose with really limited rear grip. You’ll also have some front grip issues, as well, with the way tires wear. It’s really about managing it all throughout the run. You want to be able to wrap that white line and be good down low for as long as possible in a run. Hopefully for us, we have that grip in the car that we need.”
Byron on returning to a track in the Cup Series for the first time with crew chief Rudy Fugle: “I feel really good about going back to a track for the first time with Rudy in the Cup Series. We can really work on those little details this time that we wanted to work on before but opted to get a good baseline the first time around. So far, the things we have worked on in the simulator recently for Atlanta seem really good. I’m excited to get back there and I think we’ll run better than eighth like we did in the spring.”
Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on returning to Atlanta: “I’m excited to be going back to Atlanta this weekend. I enjoy the challenge that Atlanta brings and how weather sensitive it can be. I think I’m more excited that this will be the first racetrack we’re going back to that I now have experience with the Cup cars. We formed a good baseline in the March race, and while conditions won’t be the same as it was then, I think we’re going to be rolling off the truck a lot closer to where we want to be, setup-wise. Sunday’s race will be more about executing the small details and putting the ‘full package’ together, where last time we we’re just trying to learn as much as we could as a group and find what William wanted most out of the car. I think Sunday will be a good race to show just how far this No. 24 team has come so far this season.”