Charlotte, N.C. (October 6, 2014) --- William Byron competed in the largest and most prestigious NASCAR Late Model race of the season, the MDCU 200 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Byron, in his first attempt and race at the historical track, started from the 11th position and was sitting 11th for the restart with 10 to go. Unfortunately, the car starting third was unable to get started and stacked up the field causing a multi-car wreck. The Liberty Chevrolet received extensive damage, but the JR Motorsports team repaired the car and Byron returned to the track to finish 18th.
“Martinsville is the first place that I ever attended a race, “ said Byron. “This weekend was a dream come true. I would call it a definite success and I am just proud of my entire team for their great effort. We were there all weekend. I’m looking forward to the next few races in the Fall with my JRM team.”
Byron and his No. 9 Liberty University Chevrolet were one of 78 entries attempting to qualify for the race. The starting order would be set by the top two in traditional qualifying, followed by the top 10 in each of four heat races. Byron qualified 11th during traditional qualifying and was placed in the third heat race. He drove the No. 9 car to a third-place finish and started the 200-lap race from the 11th position.
The 42-car field was a “who’s who” in Late Model racing. William competed against eight of the top-12 drivers in the National Late Model rankings including three of the top four: Anthony Anders, Lee Pulliam and Dillon Bassett. Byron, one of the youngest in the field, had a tight-handling car during the first 100 laps of the race and lost several spots on a restart prior to the lap 100. There was a mandatory 10-minute break at the midway point, and Byron and the No. 9 JR Motorsports crew went to work on adjustments to the car. The second half of the race was an entirely different race as Byron worked his way back up into the top 15 and was sitting 11th when the second mandatory caution flag waved at lap 190.
On the restart with 10 to go, the driver four cars ahead of William missed a shift when the green flag waved. This created a bottleneck going into the first corner and a four-car pile up ensued. Byron went to the high side to avoid it, but another competitor came back up the track and hit him in the door. The No. 9 Liberty University Chevrolet received damage but Byron was able to drive it to the pits for quick repairs. He lost two laps in the process but took the checkered flag in the 18th position.
Byron has six races remaining on his 2014 schedule. He heads to South Alabama Speedway in two weeks for the Pro Late Model race before returning to Hickory Motor Speedway on October 25 for the Fall Brawl.