LIBERTY U PATRIOTIC SCHEME: Liberty University will be back on William Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE Sunday for the prestigious 600-mile event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. As part of NASCAR’s annual NASCAR Salutes and 600 Miles of Remembrance programs, the Liberty University Chevy will sport a special patriotic paint scheme to honor those who have served and continue to serve to defend our country. The special scheme includes an American flag Liberty University logo on the hood of Byron’s machine, as well as stars and stripes on the front and rear quarter panels. To see Byron’s scheme for this weekend’s race, click here.
STAFF SGT. COLE CONDIFF: As part of the No. 24 Liberty University patriotic paint scheme for this weekend’s race at Charlotte, Byron’s Chevrolet will feature a tribute to Air Force Staff Sgt. Cole Condiff. With skills that included static line jump master, air traffic control, military freefall parachutist and combat diver, Condiff was deployed to Africa in support of operation Juniper Shield, as well as to Afghanistan in support of operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Like Byron, Billings was a Liberty University student. He was enrolled in its online programs and pursuing a bachelor’s degree in history.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY: With 14 races completed in the 2021 Cup Series season, Byron and the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE continue to be consistent every week. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native currently has one win, five top-five finishes and 11 top-10s while leading 171 laps. With the third-best average running position in the series at 8.49 and an average finishing position of 9.36, Byron continues to rank second in the driver points standings following Circuit of The Americas – the highest ranking of his Cup career.
CUE CHARLOTTE: In his Cup Series career, Byron has four starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s 1.5-mile oval, with three of them being the 600-mile event on Memorial Day weekend. In fact, in just his second start at Charlotte in 2019, Byron became the youngest pole sitter for the 600 at the age of 21 years, 5 months, and 24 days. That 2019 race was his best showing at the 1.5-mile oval, leading 31 laps before crossing the finish line ninth. In addition to his four Cup Series starts, the 23-year-old driver has two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts and one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at the track.
RUDY RUNS CLT: While Sunday will mark crew chief Rudy Fugle’s first time on top of the pit box for the 600-mile event at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Livonia, New York, native is no stranger to success at the 1.5-mile oval. With eight starts on his résumé, all coming in the Camping World Truck Series, Fugle has collected two pole awards, two wins (2013 and 2019), four top-five finishes and six top-10s. In fact, out of the 1,077 laps run by his drivers at Charlotte, they have completed 100% of those laps with 310 laps led. One of those eight starts came with Byron in 2016, when the duo won the pole and led 25 laps en route to a 10th-place finish.
HOME SWEET HOME: Cutting his teeth in the racing world in Charlotte, Byron is one of only a handful of drivers who was born and raised in the “home of NASCAR.” 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. Winning 33 of the 69 legend car events he ran across the United States in 2013, Byron went on to lock up the U.S. Legend Young Lions National championship and the Thursday Thunder Young Lion championship at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Progressing to the Legend Car Pro Division the next season, Byron also signed with the JR Motorsports developmental program at the same time. From that point on, Byron hasn’t slowed down as he climbed the racing ranks before ultimately making it to the top level of NASCAR as a Cup Series rookie in 2018.
HOME TRACK FEEL: In addition to Charlotte Motor Speedway being the home track of Byron, a couple other members of the No. 24 team also claim the venue as their home track, including mechanic Jacob Bowman from Pilot Mountain, fueler Landon Walker from North Wilkesboro, and jackman Spencer Bishop from Pinehurst.
William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on his thoughts for Charlotte: “This is a big race for us, both Hendrick Motorsports and for myself, growing up in Charlotte. It’s technically a hometown race for all of us and this was always my favorite racetrack growing up. Regardless of how I’ve run the year before, it’s a great feeling pulling up to that track every time. With how we’re running right now, I feel like we have positive momentum on our side and I feel like we have a chance to win. We just need to keep building off of the things we’ve been working on this year and we’ll be in contention. It’s going to be a great race for us.”
Byron on wanting to break the all-time win tie for Hendrick Motorsports: “It would mean a lot to be the driver who breaks the all-time Cup Series win record for Hendrick Motorsports, especially if it happened at Charlotte. Not only is this race huge for me being my hometown, but it’s really where I became a fan of Hendrick Motorsports. I used to watch Jeff (Gordon) and Jimmie (Johnson) be so successful at Charlotte. To then be able to get win No. 269 would be historic for everyone involved but just a whole extra meaning at my hometown track. Charlotte is what gave me my love of racing and Hendrick Motorsports.”
Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE on the importance of securing win No. 269 for Hendrick Motorsports: “I think everyone in the organization, in the sport, and even outside the sport knows how important the overall win record is, in general. It’s been a goal that has been set since before I arrived at Hendrick Motorsports. To now be in a position with the organization where our team could be the ones to break that record, it’s monumental. I think I can speak for everyone when I say I’m pretty sure all four Hendrick Motorsports teams feel that way, especially heading into Charlotte race week. Charlotte is already a special place for all of us to race at because usually our friends and family are here and it’s a race that holds a lot of history, aside from it being within walking distance of the race shop. You could technically drive the race car over there without a hauler, it’s that close. It’s a special weekend with something even more special on the line, and I hope we get the job done.”