TICK TOCK TIMES TWO: Last Thursday night, William Byron climbed behind the wheel of the No. 7 HendrickCars.com Chevy Silverado for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway. Leading the final 84 laps of the 200-lap event, Byron captured his first win at the .526-mile track. His dominance didn’t stop there. On Saturday night, Byron ran second during stage one and stage two in the NASCAR Cup Series race before taking the lead off pit road for the start of the final stage. Byron paced the field for 212 laps before securing his second victory of the weekend and leaving Martinsville Speedway with two of the coveted grandfather clocks.
LAST FOUR: In the last four races, Byron has scored two wins – the first time he has scored multiple wins in a Cup season. He is also the first multi-time Cup Series winner this season. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native has three top-five finishes which ties a previous best for him in a four-race span in the Cup Series. With 445 laps led in this stretch, that already eclipses Byron’s season-best mark in that category. The 24-year-old driver also has an average finish of 4.25 – his best-ever in a four-race stretch.
TO THE POINT: Byron has captured the most stage points this year in the opening stage of races (55), is tied for the second-most stage points overall (82) and has the most playoff points as well (12). In fact, over the last six races, Byron has earned the most total points overall (262).
TWO-FOUR HISTORY: With Byron’s win at Martinsville, he has now added his name to the already hefty history the No. 24 has at the half-mile paperclip. The No. 24 now has 10 wins at Martinsville – nine with Jeff Gordon and one with Byron – tied for the third-most wins there by a car number with the No. 48. Byron’s win also brings the No. 24 closer to the total win mark set by a car number in the Cup Series – currently fifth with 97 wins behind the No. 3 in fourth with 100 and the No. 2 in third with 101 wins.
SLINGIN’ DIRT: This weekend’s event at Bristol Motor Speedway will mark the second consecutive year that the Cup Series will race on dirt. Last season, Byron started eighth for the dirt event and raced his way to a sixth-place result. In fact, Byron spent 239 laps running within the top 10 and 169 laps run inside the top five – both marks were the fourth most by any driver in the race. He does have one other start on dirt at the national level of NASCAR. In 2016, Byron competed in the Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway. After finishing fourth in his heat race, Byron went on to score a top-15 finish, crossing the finish line in 14th.
FUGLE, DIRT SPECIALIST: Crew chief Rudy Fugle was on the pit box to guide Byron to a sixth-place finish in last year’s inaugural dirt race at Bristol. However, what most don’t know is that Fugle has an extensive background in dirt racing. Growing up in Livonia, New York, Fugle got his start in the dirt racing world competing in a 600cc micro sprint and worked on a friend’s dirt modified at the local track level. Other than the one Cup Series race on dirt last year, Fugle has six Truck Series starts at Eldora Speedway collecting a track-best finish of fourth in 2015 with Erik Jones.
FIRST TIMER: This Thursday night, Byron is going to try his hand at a dirt Super Late Model, competing in teammate Kyle Larson’s Late Model Challenge at Volunteer Speedway. For the race, Byron will run a Valvoline-sponsored late model for Mike Nuchols Warrior Chassis. While this will be the first time he has raced a dirt late model in competition, Byron was able to get some laps behind the wheel of a dirt late model last week in a test session at Carolina Speedway in preparation.
LIBERTY U IS BACK: Returning for the third time in 2022, Byron will climb behind the wheel of his No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for the dirt race at Bristol. 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.
SEE THE 24 FOR $24: For this weekend’s race at Bristol, Liberty University and the track teamed up to offer fans the opportunity to attend Sunday’s race for $24 to cheer on the No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on his thoughts racing on dirt this weekend: "Even though we raced there last year, this weekend’s race is still a pretty big unknown with the Next Gen car. We ran well last year, but other than watching the videos from the test that NASCAR had a little while ago, it’s hard to know how this new car will race on dirt. I know NASCAR looked at making some changes to the car, but I’m not biased either way. We’ll all be in the same situation when we get there and it will be all about how you manage the heat races to set you up for the actual race on Sunday. My hope is that the dirt late model race on Thursday may help me get up to speed a little bit faster so we can start fine tuning during practice at Bristol on Friday.”
Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on how the team will prepare to race on dirt this weekend: "I’m really excited to get back to Bristol. William (Byron) did a good job there last year, especially for not having much experience on dirt. I grew up around it, so we tried to lean on that a bit more last year. Now we’re going to try a blend of last year’s car and the Next Gen car. We have some notes from the NASCAR test that they did last week. The difference with dirt racing, though, is how fast the track conditions change. They change just about every lap. How much rain that comes through this week will play a factor and then how the track is prepped plus how they handle all 36 trucks being there before our race. Those are things that simulation can’t predict, you just have to go off of history and experience. It’s a little old school, which I like.”