William Byron

NEWS

Byron Goes for Three in a Row at Gateway

Byron Goes for Three in a Row at Gateway

June 22, 2016

From KBM Release:

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (June 21, 2016) – The Gateway Arch in St. Louis was built as a monument to the westward expansion of the United States. The arch is visible from Gateway Motorsport Park in Madison, Ill., where rookie driver William Byron looks to expand his current winning streak in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS). Byron, who graduated from high school less than a month ago, has won three of the last five races and the last two consecutive races at Texas Motor Speedway and Iowa Speedway. This weekend Byron goes for three.

The 18-year-old has impressed and surprised many people by finding success so quickly, not just in the NCWTS, but in nearly every division in which he’s raced. In his first season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in 2015, he won Rookie of the Year and more importantly the series’ championship. With three wins in the first eight races and a sizeable lead in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings, Byron may be on track to accomplish that feat again.

Byron has no experience at Gateway, but that does not seem to make a difference. He had never raced at Kansas Speedway, where he claimed his first win this season, or Texas where he roped his second win. He seems to have no trouble adapting to new tracks, thanks in part to his crew chief, Rudy Fugle, who led Erik Jones to the driver’s championship last year. Fugle has a knack for working with young rookies and helping them realize their full potential in the Truck Series.

This weekend Byron and Fugle both have their sights set on the trophy at Gateway. Byron wants his third-consecutive win and Fugle wants to make up for a few wins that got away from Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) in previous years. Last year Jones won the pole and led 84 laps in the same Tundra the team has prepared for this weekend, but was taken out of contention late in the race. A similar incident occurred in 2014 making Fugle and the KBM team even more hungry for a win at Gateway.

Based on their momentum and perseverance, the No. 9 Liberty University Tundra may very well end up in Victory Lane Saturday night at Gateway, expanding Byron’s rookie lead and his experience leading up to the inaugural Chase races later this season.

William Byron, Driver of the No. 9 NCWTS Liberty University Tundra:

Do you believe in momentum after winning three of the last five races?

“I’ve always believed in that just from watching races on television and seeing how drivers take that focus to the next weekend, but I think it’s really a confidence thing. It’s knowing that you can do it, and knowing when it comes down to a final restart you’ve got it under control. Last weekend when the caution came out with eight laps to go, I had to be ready for the final restart. Back at Kansas I wouldn’t have had that confidence in myself that I could get a good restart and hold on for the win, but now I do. I’ve learned a lot, but it’s also a mental thing and how you approach it.”

How have your goals changed since winning three races so early in the season?

“We have exceeded what we thought we’d do, but I don’t think we set a goal for a certain number of wins. Based on the last couple of years I didn’t know how long it would take to get that first win. I thought maybe it would take 10-15 races, or more just based on how long it’s taken other guys. I only had that one race at Phoenix to base it off of and that didn’t go great, so I was in a vulnerable position. I just wanted to finish races at first, so to now have the wins allows us to focus on more opportunities and goals and get ready for the Chase which will be so intense.”

Rudy Fugle, Crew Chief of the No. 9 NCWTS Liberty University Tundra:

Talk about the Toyota Tundra you are bringing to Gateway this weekend:

“Since our win in Iowa, every Tundra in our fleet has won a race at some point over the years. The truck we are taking to Gateway is what I think is our best short-track truck. Gateway has eluded us the last two years. We’ve had the best truck with Erik (Jones) but something has happened the last couple laps the last two years and we’ve lost it. It’s a pretty big deal for us to go try to win this one.

William Byron’s No. 9 Liberty University Tundra:

KBM-024: The No. 9 Liberty University team will race KBM-024, for Saturday’s Drivin’ for Linemen 200 at Gateway. Erik Jones drove this Tundra to victory lane at Phoenix in 2014. Byron has not raced this truck yet in 2016.

Notes of Interest:

William Byron 2016:

·  Earned first career win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Kansas Speedway in just his fifth series start (5/6/16) and followed that up with wins at Texas Motor Speedway (6/10/16) and Iowa Speedway (6/18/16)

·  After eight races leads the NCWTS Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings and is currently second in the NCWTS driver standings with three wins which locks in him the inaugural NCWTS Chase

·  Started and finished second in the ARCA Racing Series at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in February (2/13/16)

Series

Races

Win

Top 5

Top 10

Pole

Laps

Led

AvSt

AvFn

NCWTS

8

3

4

5

0

1285

252

6.2

9.0

ARCA

2

0

1

2

0

160

3

2.5

5.0

Totals

10

3

5

7

0

1,445

255

4.3

7.0

William Byron 2015:

  • Made first career NASCAR Camping World Series start at Phoenix International Raceway in November
  • Captured the 2015 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Championship and Rookie of the Year honors after producing four wins, three poles, 740 laps led, five top-five and 11 top-10 finishes across 14 starts
  • Made two ARCA Racing Series starts where he led a race-high 120 laps in his series debut at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis before settling for a runner-up finish when the race was decided by tire strategy. Also won the pole at Kentucky Speedway

Series

Races

Win

Top 5

Top 10

Pole

Laps

Led

AvSt

AvFn

NCWTS

1

0

0

0

0

6

0

5.0

31.0

K&N East

14

4

5

11

3

1729

740

3.8

6.8

CARS Super LM

3

1

3

3

0

400

156

5.3

2.3

ARCA

2

0

1

1

1

200

120

1.5

17.0

K&N West

1

0

1

1

0

68

0

2.0

5.0

Totals

21

5

10

16

4

2,403

1,016

3.5

12.42

Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 9 Tundra:

  • The No. 9 team has earned three wins, four top-five and five top-10 finishes in eight starts this season.
  • Ten members of this year’s No. 9 Tundra team were a part of last year’s No. 4 Tundra team which collected three wins, five poles, 925 laps led, 11 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes across 23 starts last season and captured the 2015 NCWTS Driver’s and Owner’s Championship

KBM NCWTS @ Gateway

·       KBM drivers have collected one win, 173 laps led, one top-five and two top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 18.0 across six starts at Gateway

·       Darrell Wallace Jr., led a race-high 85 laps en route to victory in the 2014 event

The Fugle File:

Fugle begins his third season as a crew chief at KBM and fifth overall with the team. Under his tutelage last season, Erik Jones posted three wins, five poles, 925 laps led, 11 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes en route to becoming the youngest champion in Truck Series history and the first driver to collect both the Rookie of the Year and the series title in the same year. The duo also nabbed KBM its record-breaking fourth Truck Series Owner’s championship last season, which was the second with Fugle calling the shots. In 2013, he led KBM’s No. 51 Tundra team to a series-leading six wins and an Owner’s Championship. Entering 2016, the New York native’s Truck Series drivers have totaled nine wins, six poles, 21 top-five and 35 top-10 finishes across his 44 races atop the pit box for KBM.

Fugle has one pole (Erik Jones, 2015) as a crew chief in only one start at Gateway in the Truck Series. Fugle’s team led 84 laps in last year’s race before being forced out of competition early with electrical issues.

Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 9 Liberty University Toyota Tundra 2016 NCWTS Box Score:

Date

Site

Driver

          Start

            Finish

          Laps

             Laps Led

       Status

             Driver Pts./Pos.

        2/19

Daytona

Byron

          13

13

           100/100

        0

          Running

         20/11th

        2/27

Atlanta

Byron

         15

32

           59/130

       0

         Engine

        21/26th

        4/2

Martinsville

Byron

          7

3

          255/255

      0

         Running

        51/12th

        5/6

Kansas

Byron

           2

1

           170/170

       34

            Running

          87/7th

        5/13

Dover

Byron

            1 (rain)

11

            200/200

       80

          Running

        111/6th

        5/20

Charlotte

Byron

           1 (rain)

10

            134/134

        25

         Running

        135/5th

        6/10

Texas

Byron

            6

1

            167/167

         6

           Running

           171/3rd

         6/18

Iowa

Byron

5

1

200/200

107

Running

208/2nd