Hickory, N.C. (September 6, 2014) --- William Byron’s consistent season continued with a big victory and a podium finish in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model races on Saturday night at Hickory Motor Speedway (HMS). The 16-year-old rookie started from the pole in the first feature and drove his No. 9 Liberty University Chevrolet for JR Motorsports to victory lane. Byron earned a pole and a third-place finish in the second race of the doubleheader increasing his tally to seven poles and 10 top-threes for the season.
“I am beyond excited to get the late model win and a third-place finish,” said Byron. “We have all worked so hard for this. I’m thrilled to get my JR Motorsports team a victory against some of the top late model drivers in the country. Everything fell into place today and we have worked hard all year to be consistent and put ourselves in position to win.”
The field Saturday night for the Twin features was filled with top competition including teammate Josh Berry, the current points leader at Hickory, and Dillon Bassett, who is ranked fourth in the country in the Division 1 Late Model standings. Byron led the field to the green flag in the first feature alongside the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Christopher Bell on the outside. Byron was able to clear the No. 51 car and maintain the top position. At the midpoint of the race, Byron had an eight-car length lead on the rest of the field. He took the checkered flag for the win ahead of Basset and Berry who rounded out the podium.
Byron started from the pole in the second feature race and led for several laps before getting passed by Berry and eventually Bassett.
“The car was too loose in the second race,” said Byron. “We thought about making a change after the first race but the car was so good in the first race. It’s a tough call to make coming off the win.”
Berry captured the win in the second race, making it a JR Motorsports sweep of the Late Model features. It was the first time in the team’s 13 years of Late Model competition that it scored wins with two different drivers in one night.
The two podium finishes locked up second-place for Byron in the overall points standings at Hickory Motor Speedway as well as the rookie of the year honors, a goal the team set at the start of the season.
Byron and the team finish out the Hickory Motor Speedway season next Saturday night in the Cargo Transporters Championship Night race.