William Byron

NEWS

Circuit of the Americas (COTA) Race Advance

Circuit of the Americas (COTA) Race Advance

May 20, 2021

WILLIAM BYRON
No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE


CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS (3.41-MILE ROAD COURSE)
LOCATION: AUSTIN, TEXAS
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACE 14 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 2:30 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, MAY, 23 (FS1/PRN/SIRIUSXM)

2021 Season Career Track Career
  • 2nd in points
  • 121 starts
  • 0 starts
  • 13 starts
  • 2 wins
  • 0 wins
  • 1 win
  • 5 pole positions
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 pole positions
  • 14 top-five finishes
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 5 top-five finishes
  • 42 top-10 finishes
  • 0 top-10 finishes
  • 11 top-10 finishes
  • 605 laps led
  • 0 laps led
  • 171 laps led

STILL STREAKING: After another top-five finish during Sunday’s race at Dover International Speedway, William Byron extended his consecutive top-10 finishes to 11 races. Dating back to his win at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Feb. 28, the 23-year-old driver’s top-10 streak is the longest active streak in the NASCAR Cup Series and is the most top-10 results by a Cup driver so far this season. Not only is Byron the youngest driver to hold a top-10 streak of 10 races or more, but his 11 consecutive top 10s are the longest streak by a Hendrick Motorsports driver since Jimmie Johnson’s 13-race streak from 2004-2005.

MAKING A POINT: With just over a third of the 2021 Cup Series season in the books, Byron and the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE continue to be consistent every week. After 13 races, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native has collected one win, five top-five finishes and 11 top-10s all while leading 171 laps. With the third-best average running position throughout the Cup field of 8.35 and an average finishing position of 9.23, Byron moved up to second in the driver points standings following Dover – the highest ranking of his Cup career.

READY, PLAYER 24: After its inception last year during the pandemic, the iRacing NASCAR Pro Invitational Series resumes this Wednesday night for the fourth race of 10 in 2021 at the virtual Circuit of The Americas. Picking up where he left off last season, Byron raced to the win in the first Pro Invitational Series event this year on March 24 at the virtual Bristol dirt track. In his nine total Pro Invitational Series starts, Byron leads the field with four wins and is the only driver to win consecutive races. The driver of the No. 24 has paced the field in eight of his nine starts, leading a total of 477 out of 1178 laps – the most of all drivers.

ROAD RESULTS: This weekend will mark a new challenge for Cup Series drivers as they take on COTA for the first time. While it may be an unfamiliar track to most, Byron has stepped up his road course racing skills in the last two years, finishing in the top 10 in three of the last four races. While in the last six road course events, he has led at least 20 laps in three of those races, including leading the most laps during last year’s race at the Charlotte ROVAL. In fact, Byron led the second-most laps on road courses during the 2020 season.

FUGLE FILES: With a more even playing field across the Cup Series for this weekend’s inaugural event at COTA, crew chief Rudy Fugle is no stranger to success on road courses. Already in 2021, Fugle and Byron have two road course starts together, both coming at the DAYTONA Road Course. For the Clash exhibition race, the No. 24 raced to a solid fifth-place result, but bad luck struck the team for their return trip two weeks later, resulting in a 33rd-place finish after Byron suffered a flat tire and with two laps to go. However, aside from those two road course starts in the Cup Series, Fugle has seven other road races under his belt, all coming in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. In those seven starts, the Livonia, New York, native has one win (Erik Jones in 2015), three top-five finishes and five top-10s. One of those seven truck starts was also with Byron and the duo raced to a 10th-place finish at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in 2016.

LIBERTY U ONBOARD: Still riding a hot streak of consecutive top-10 finishes, Byron will look to extend that stat when he arrives to COTA for this weekend’s event in the No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. Redesigned for the 2021 season, the new paint scheme features a white base with navy flames and red accents, the Liberty University No. 24 will be sure to stand out on track. Liberty University has a long history with Byron starting back in 2014 in the late model ranks. Liberty University has been Training Champions for Christ since it was founded in 1971. Located in the mountains of Central Virginia, Liberty is a liberal arts institution with 17 colleges and schools that offers more than 600 degree programs from the certificate to the doctoral level, on campus and online. Working on an undergraduate degree in communications, Byron is in his junior year at Liberty University through its online program. For a better look at Byron’s new Liberty University paint scheme, click here.


QUOTABLE / 

William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on his thoughts for COTA and upcoming road course races: “I’ve been to COTA to test in a Trans Am car but I feel like the Cup car will be a totally different beast there. This race means we’re getting close to starting a swing of road courses soon. That is really going change how teams prep to go to the racetrack versus prepping for an oval race. While I don’t really know what to expect this weekend, I think with this being the first road course in a short stretch, it’s important to get a good baseline to be able to use and build off of moving forward for the other road courses. I also think having practice and qualifying is going to help us not only better prepare for Sunday’s race but prepping for the other road course races moving forward.”

Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on the challenges at COTA: “This weekend at COTA is going to bring a lot of unknowns but at least that’s the general feeling across the board for everyone. We’ve spent a lot of time going over notes from when the No. 9 team did the Goodyear test earlier this year, as well as time in the Chevy simulator with William. While we do have practice this weekend, the issue will be how much time we will actually get on track and be able to make adjustments. With the course as long as it is and only one hour of practice, the hope is any adjustments that need to be made will be minor enough to allow you to make a couple decent-length runs, at least. I think we have a good baseline to go off of, though. Hendrick Motorsports has a good road course package and we showed that speed earlier this year at the DAYTONA Road Course. The only factor we can’t control this weekend will be the weather but once again, that evens the playing field across the board. We just need to try minimize our mistakes and capitalize off of others’ mistakes.”