William Byron

NEWS

Darlington Race Advance

Darlington Race Advance

May 14, 2020

WILLIAM BYRON
No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE


DARLINGTON RACEWAY (1.366-MILE OVAL)
LOCATION: DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACES FIVE AND SIX OF 36)
TUNE IN:  3:30 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, MAY 17 (FOX/MRN/SIRIUSXM)
          7:30 P.M. ET, WEDNESDAY, MAY 20 (FS1/MRN/SIRIUSXM)

2020 Season Career Track Career
  • 19th in points
  • 76 starts
  • 2 starts
  • 4 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 wins
  • 0 wins
  • 5 pole positions
  • 1 pole positions
  • 0 pole positions
  • 5 top-five finishes
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 18 top-10 finishes
  • 0 top-10 finishes
  • 1 top-10 finishes
  • 295 laps led
  • 0 laps led
  • 1 lap led

PICKING UP THE PACE: With four races completed in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season, William Byron and the No. 24 team have picked up where they left off in 2019 and continued to improve with every event on the track. Scoring a win in the Duel at Daytona and picked as one of the favorites to contend for the win during the DAYTONA 500, Byron unfortunately saw his day end early. Since then, the 22-year-old driver's next three results have showed an upward trajectory, most recently with a 10th-place finish at Phoenix Raceway. Despite the time away from the track, Byron is optimistic that the positive trend will continue for him and his team.

IRACING INFLUENCE: While waiting to climb back in his No. 24 race car, Byron was one of many drivers who spent time virtually racing in the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series. While iRacing was new to some, Byron is a seasoned veteran. He credits the platform, which helped get him started in racing, as one of the building blocks of his career. Across the five Pro Invitational races he competed in, Byron won three and led 407 laps of the 758 laps run, more than the rest of the field combined.

AT IT AGAIN WITH AXALTA: Switching from virtual racing back to the real-life track, Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE will return with the iconic Axalta flames for both Cup Series events at Darlington Raceway. Earlier this year, Hendrick Motorsports announced a seven-year extension with longtime partner Axalta Coating Systems. As a leading global company focused solely on coatings and providing customers with innovative, colorful, beautiful and sustainable solutions, Axalta is continuing its 28-year partnership with Hendrick Motorsports as a primary partner for the No. 24. The company sponsored Jeff Gordon and the No. 24 team for 23 years beginning in November 1992 before moving to the No. 88 team in 2016 and sharing primary sponsorship with the No. 24 starting in 2018. This year, Axalta returned as primary partner on the No. 24 Chevrolet for 22 races. Through 2027, Axalta will adorn the No. 24 as the primary sponsor for 14 races per season. For more information on the Axalta extension, click here.

DARLINGTON DEETS: With two Cup Series starts at “The Lady in Black” and one Xfinity Series start there, Byron is looking to capitalize on his prior strong showings at Darlington Raceway for the next two events. Last year in a "Days of Thunder" throwback car, Byron channeled his inner Cole Trickle and captured the pole for the Southern 500, becoming the youngest pole winner in Darlington history at 21 years, 9 months and 2 days. Running within the top five for the majority of the rain-delayed race, Byron was caught up in a late incident that relegated him to a 21st-place finish despite his strong run. During his rookie year, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native ran solidly inside the top 10 before mechanical issues ended his race early, as well.

KNAUS DIGS DARLINGTON: For the 23rd and 24th times as a NASCAR Cup Series crew chief, Chad Knaus will sit atop the pit box at Darlington Raceway on Sunday and Wednesday. With three wins at the 1.366-mile oval, all coming with Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team, Knaus also has one pole award at Darlington from last year with Byron and the No. 24 team.

SOUTH CAROLINA STATE OF MIND: While No. 24 team fueler Landon Walker hails from North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, he has significant ties to the southernmost Carolina state, having played football at Clemson University. The former offensive tackle earned a scholarship to Clemson in 2007 after being named an All-American offensive lineman at East Wilkes High School. While playing at Clemson, Walker recorded 3,131 snaps with 49 starts at tackle through four seasons. In 2011, Walker was named team captain, the same season Clemson went on to win the Atlantic Coast Conference championship. The college football standout was recruited by Hendrick Motorsports in 2012 and earned a position as starting fueler in 2015.


QUOTABLE / 
 
William Byron on how he's ready to get back to racing:

“I’m excited to get back on track this week. While being able to spend some time at home to regroup has been nice, I’m ready to get back behind the wheel and keep the momentum going that the No. 24 team had been working on this year. It will be different not having any practice or qualifying before we race, but everyone is in the same position. Darlington (Raceway) is a track that relies on car setup and tire management. You’re constantly on the wheel it feels like, so you try to work the grip limit while not over taxing it. I’ve had good runs going my last two races there, but we’ve just had bad luck. Hopefully that changes this time.”