William Byron

NEWS

Bristol Race Advance

Bristol Race Advance

September 16, 2022

WILLIAM BYRON
No. 24 Acronis Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY: (.533-MILE OVAL)
LOCATION: BRISTOL, TN
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (29 of 36)
TUNE IN: 7:30 P.M. ET, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 (USA/SIRIUSXM)

2022 Season Career Track Career
  • 2nd in points
  • 172 starts
  • 7 starts
  • 28 starts
  • 4 wins
  • 0 wins
  • 2 wins
  • 7 pole positions
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 pole positions
  • 25 top-five finishes
  • 1 top-five finishes
  • 4 top-five finishes
  • 58 top-10 finishes
  • 2 top-10 finishes
  • 7 top-10 finishes
  • 1530 laps led
  • 0 laps led
  • 671 laps led
 

COVERING THE POINT SPREAD: With two races complete and one to go in the Round of 16 of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, William Byron sits second in the standings and is 48 points above the cutoff line heading into Bristol Motor Speedway. His sixth-place effort at Kansas Speedway saw him gain 16 points on the elimination line. No matter what other playoff drivers do, the 24-year-old will advance to the Round of 12 if he scores at least eight points in Saturday night's race.

DRIVING THE FIELD: Byron continues to hold the statistic of leading the second-most laps so far this season with 671 behind Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott, who has led 719. Those 671 laps led by Byron are not only his most in a single Cup Series season but have come across 15 races.

SECOND AND TEN: In the first two playoff races, only five drivers have finished in the top 10 in both races. Byron is one of those five drivers with an eighth-place finish at Darlington Raceway and a sixth-place effort in Kansas. The others to accomplish this are his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman as well as Christopher Bell, Denny Hamlin and Bubba Wallace.

ALL-PRO: With the Cup Series taking on its fourth paved short track of the 2022 season, Byron has momentum on his side. In the three previous paved short-track races this year, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native has collected 133 points – the most of any driver. In the last five short-track races, Byron has one win, four top-five finishes with 334 laps led – the second-most laps led in the last five races on that track type behind teammate Elliott. In fact, Byron is the only driver to finish in the top five in four of the last five short-track races. 

BATTLE IN THE TRENCHES: This weekend, Byron will make his eighth Cup Series start at Bristol Motor Speedway. He has a best qualifying effort of second at "The Last Great Colosseum," lining up alongside teammate Elliott in April 2019. In his seven starts at Bristol, the fifth-year Cup Series driver has a track-best finish of third coming in last year’s fall race which helped lock him into the next round of the playoffs. 

CALLING AN AUDIBLE: Saturday night’s race will mark crew chief Rudy Fugle’s second Cup Series start on pavement at the "World’s Fastest Half-Mile." In last year’s showing, Fugle and the No. 24 team qualified 14th and went on to score a third-place finish in the playoff elimination race. In nine other NASCAR national series starts (seven in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and two in the NASCAR Xfinity Series), Fugle has one win at the .533-mile track, coming in the summer of 2013 with Kyle Busch. His drivers have collected three top-five finishes, along with six top-10s in his Truck Series starts atop the pit box. 

DEFENSE! DEFENSE!: Earlier this year it was announced that Acronis would extend its partnership with Hendrick Motorsports through 2025. The extension included two primary races with Byron and the No. 24 team, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course earlier this season as well as Saturday night’s race at Bristol. With its unique combination of automation and integration, Acronis offers complete cyber protection. Its solutions safeguard data, applications, systems and productivity against loss, theft and downtime – from cyberattacks and hardware failures to natural disasters and human error. Hendrick Motorsports protects its data, applications, systems and overall racing operations by utilizing Acronis for cyber protection, security, backup, anti-ransomware and disaster recovery.


QUOTABLE //

William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on what it will take to continue momentum through the final race of the Round of 16: "I think we need just one more solid, smooth race to say that we’ve turned things around from the summer. We’ve had two good races so far to open this round. It’s really about continuing to limit the damage and mistakes in the first round especially with how a lot of things are different this year. The competition seems to fluctuate more at different style tracks. It’s more about racing your own race and not the competition. You need to be the best version of yourself and can’t overthink too much. It’s race the way we know how and definitely not do anything too crazy right now to jeopardize that. We just need to make sure we continue to have all the little details buttoned up so we don’t cost us our own race and we’ll advance on."

Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on the strategy involved for Saturday’s race: "This weekend is a little bit of an unknown since we haven’t race at Bristol (Motor Speedway) yet with the Next Gen car, not on dirt. We have a good short-track package from previous races this season that gives us a good starting point. I think historically this race, similar to the first two races of the playoffs, have more of a strategy element to them. You have a chance of long green-flag runs and having to manage lap traffic. That brings up the decision on when to pit or when not to pit. Those types of races are the ones we live for. If a caution comes out at the right time, you can’t control that. Once and awhile you have a straight forward race where everything lines up and you consistently pit within the same five-lap window. Those races are nice but it doesn’t happen often. We get paid to make those decisions on what to do when. It makes it interesting to watch especially with points on the line. Saturday night’s race could come down to who made the right calls when."