‘DEGA DETERMINATION: Despite starting from the 21st position in Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway, William Byron kept his No. 24 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE out of trouble, putting himself in contention to capture his second career NASCAR Cup Series win. Lining up fifth for the third attempt at NASCAR overtime, Byron maneuvered his way through traffic and made a pass for the lead coming out of turn four. However, the No. 21 car forced him below the yellow line, halting Byron’s momentum. He ultimately crossed the finish line in the fourth position – a personal-best Cup Series finish at the track.
ROAD-COURSE RINGER?: With two previous appearances at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s roval, Byron is prepared for his third start at the 2.28-mile course. In his last two showings there, the 22-year-old driver had strong runs. While a flat tire derailed his race in 2018, Byron rebounded to capture the pole in 2019 and raced to a sixth-place finish. However, Byron’s road-course success extends further than just at his hometown track. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native is tied for the third-longest streak of top-10 finishes on road courses with two: the Charlotte roval in 2019 and the DAYTONA Road Course in 2020. He has also led the fifth-most laps (44) on a road course since the beginning of 2018.
HOMETOWN FAVORITE: Byron is the only active NASCAR Cup Series driver who calls Charlotte his hometown. After visiting the U.S. Legend Cars International headquarters in Harrisburg, North Carolina, with his father in 2012, Byron found himself behind the wheel for the first time the next year competing in the Young Lion Division. He won an incredible 33 of his 69 legend car events in 2013 and went on to lock up the U.S. Legend Young Lions National championship and the Thursday Thunder Young Lion championship at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In 2014, he progressed to the Legend Car Pro Division and signed with the JR Motorsports developmental program. From that point on, Byron hasn’t slowed down, quickly climbing the NASCAR national series ranks before making his Cup Series debut in 2018.
IT’S A CAROLINA THING: In addition to Byron, four other members of the No. 24 team are North Carolina natives who claim Charlotte Motor Speedway as their NASCAR Cup Series home track. Growing up just minutes from the venue, rear-tire changer Orane Ossowski was raised in Concord. Interior specialist Jacob Bowman (Pilot Mountain), fueler Landon Walker (North Wilkesboro) and jackman Spencer Bishop (Pinehurst) all grew up within a 100-mile radius of the Charlotte-based track.
CHECKING THE BOXES: Sunday’s race at the Charlotte roval marks the final track of five where crew chief Chad Knaus has yet to claim a victory on the current NASCAR Cup Series schedule. While Sunday marks only the third Cup Series race at the 2.28-mile course, Knaus came close to capturing the win in the inaugural event in 2018 with Jimmie Johnson, but a next-to-last corner move for the win by the No. 48 car resulted in a spin, ultimately leaving the team with an eighth-place finish. Knaus followed up in 2019 with Byron and the No. 24 team by sitting on the pole and racing to a sixth-place finish.
HENDRICKCARS.COM TAKE TWO: After a near-win last Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, HendrickCars.com will once again be on board Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE for the Charlotte roval. The blue and white scheme pays homage to Ricky Hendrick, son of car owner Rick Hendrick, who drove a similar design in both the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series and in the Xfinity Series. Brian Vickers also piloted the scheme when he won the 2003 Xfinity Series championship. Byron will don the HendrickCars.com colors in one more race in 2020: Kansas Speedway on Oct. 18. Hendrick Automotive Group has more than 100 dealership locations in 14 states and 27,000 cars to choose from, which can be browsed at HendrickCars.com. It also offers same-day service and maintenance from factory-certified technicians, which can be scheduled online.
Driver William Byron on the No. 24 team at road courses:
“With road-course racing, we’ve been a solid top-10 team every time we’ve gone to those races. We really just have to figure out that gap between us and guys like Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch. How they run at the road courses is phenomenal. I think really trying to close that gap to the top three is key, as we’re about a fourth- to seventh-place team on road courses right now. We just have to figure out those little things to take it to the next level.”
Byron on what he studies to prepare for a road-course race:
“I think I pay attention mainly to the way the other guys use the brakes and small details like how they approach each corner. I like to know what they’re looking for to make speed out of those corners. I think, for me, road courses have been good overall. I’m honestly probably better in qualifying than in race trim right now. It’s just about me figuring out those details to make me better and have a shot of winning.”