HALFWAY THERE: Halfway through the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series regular season, William Byron is continuing to have a career-best year. In 13 races, Byron has scored two wins, four top-five finishes with 569 laps led, three stage wins and 13 playoff points accumulated. The wins, laps led, stage wins and playoff point totals are his most through 13 races in his Cup Series career. He is currently fourth in the driver point standings and is locked into the Cup Series playoffs for a fourth consecutive season.
LEADING THE FIELD: With 13 races complete in 2022, Byron has led laps in 10 of them – tied for the second-most with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson. His 569 laps led are the most by a driver this season. He has also spent the most laps running in the top-10 (2,379) as well as the most laps running within the top-five (1,610). The Charlotte, North Carolina, native has also picked up 13 playoff points – the most by any driver so far this season.
1.5-MILE MOMENTUM: Byron is no stranger to success on mile-and-a-half tracks during his Cup Series career. Since the start of the 2021 season, Byron has two wins, one runner-up finish, five top-fives, and nine top-10s on 1.5-mile tracks. He also has three stage wins with 411 laps led on tracks of that length and an average finish of 8.17.
HOME SWEET HOME: Cutting his teeth in the racing world in Charlotte, North Carolina, Byron is one of only a handful of drivers who was born and raised in the "home of NASCAR." After visiting 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 Car 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 JR Motorsports' developmental program at the same time. From that point on, Byron hasn’t slowed down any as he climbed the racing ranks before ultimately making it to the top level of NASCAR as a Cup Series rookie in 2018.
CUE CHARLOTTE: In his Cup Series career, Byron has five starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway's 1.5-mile oval, with four of them being the 600-mile event on Memorial Day weekend. 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. In his five total Cup Series starts, Byron has one pole award, one top-five finish and two top-10s with 61 laps led at his hometown track, including a track-best finish of fourth in last year's race. Other than his five Cup Series starts at Charlotte, the 24-year-old driver has two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts as well as one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start.
RUDY RUNS CLT: Sunday will mark crew chief Rudy Fugle’s second time on top of the pit box for the 600-mile event at Charlotte. In last year’s race, Fugle led the No. 24 team to a fourth-place finish after running within the top-five for 372 of the 400 laps. Aside from his one Cup Series start, Fugle has 10 other starts at Charlotte on his résumé, with all but two of those coming in the Truck Series. The Livonia, New York, native has collected two wins (2013 and 2019), four top-five finishes, and six top-10s. In fact, his Truck Series drivers completed all 1,077 laps run in those races with 310 laps led. One of those truck starts came with Byron in 2016, when the duo led 25 laps en route to a 10th-place finish.
LIBERTY U PATRIOTIC SCHEME: Liberty University will be back on William Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 this weekend for the prestigious 600-mile event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. However, as a part of NASCAR’s annual NASCAR Salutes program, the Liberty University Chevy will sport a special patriotic paint scheme as a part of the 600 Miles of Remembrance 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.
HONORING ARMY SFC RONALD A. GRIDER: As a part of the No. 24 Liberty University patriotic paint scheme for this weekend’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Byron’s Chevrolet will feature a tribute to U.S. Army Sergeant First Class (Sgt. 1st Class) Ronald "Aaron" Grider. He was a Purple Heart recipient as well as three-time Bronze Star Medal recipient. Grider was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as well as to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Like Byron, who is in his junior year at Liberty University, Grider was a Liberty student as well, enrolled in its online program, pursuing a B.S. in Multidisciplinary Studies.
HOME TRACK FEEL: In addition to this weekend’s race being Byron’s at home track, a couple other members of the No. 24 team also claim this 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, on what racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway means to him: "Racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway is always special for me. I grew up watching races here as a fan, I raced Legend cars on the quarter-mile and have raced there in every series of NASCAR for the most part. It’s a hometown race for Mr. (Rick) Hendrick and Hendrick Motorsports as well. You always want to run good when the shop is literally across the street. Winning the 600 would already mean so much given the history of this race, but it would carry even more meaning for myself. We ran well in last year’s 600, the biggest difference will be with the Next Gen car. I think we have some good notes on mile-and-a-half tracks so far this year, and with how long the race is, it gives us time to adjust throughout the race if we need to."
Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on what he expects for the race at Charlotte: "Even though we have raced at two mile-and-a-half track in a row now, I think we can take the most away from the race at Kansas (Speedway). We had a fast car that weekend and I think with how the race played out, we could have had a shot to be there in the end, or at least finish top five. About the only thing we can apply from last weekend’s race at Texas (Motor Speedway) is that they applied the resin in the upper lanes. That will effect the handling of the car throughout a run, especially going from day to night like we will during the 600. It’s a long race though and you want to make sure you keep up with how the track changes so you don’t fall behind early on."