TALLADEGA RECAP: While William Byron ended up entangled in “The Big One,” a multiple-car incident with less than 25 laps to go at Talladega Superspeedway last Sunday, the NASCAR Cup Series rookie had a solid race up to that point, leading 14 laps in his first Cup race at the 2.66-mile oval and earning stage points in the second segment. So far this season, Byron has led 31 laps across four different venues ranging from short tracks to superspeedways, which ranks him fourth among Chevrolet drivers and 14th among Cup drivers overall.
AXALTA RETURNS: Axalta returns as the primary partner of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 this weekend at Dover International Speedway. Following Dover, the bright Axalta flames, designed by well-known motor sports artist Sam Bass, will next appear as the primary on the No. 24 Chevy at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July. In 2018, Axalta will be a primary partner on the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro for a total of 10 races.
MONSTER MILE STATS: While Byron will make his first Cup start at Dover International Speedway this weekend, the 20-year-old driver has experienced success at the one-mile oval in the other NASCAR national series. In his first NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the track nicknamed the “Monster Mile,” Byron finished sixth and scored an Xfinity Dash 4 Cash win. Last fall, he earned the pole for the Xfinity race and led 62 laps before finishing third. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native also has one start at the concrete oval in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2016, where he won the pole, led 80 laps and finished 11th.
TOUGH TRACK: Byron’s past success at the "Monster Mile" will help, but winning a race there is no easy feat – there have only been two first-time winners at Dover in Cup Series history – Martin Truex Jr. (2007) and Jody Ridley (1981), although Jimmie Johnson won twice at the one-mile oval during his rookie season in 2002. However, three Hendrick Motorsports drivers finished in the top three in both Dover races in their rookie seasons – Johnson (2002), Kyle Busch (2005) and Chase Elliott (2016).
ALL-STAR RACE VOTING: Voting is now open for the 2018 All-Star Race. As a Cup rookie, Byron isn’t locked into the All-Star Race…yet. He has three chances to race his way in from the Open qualifying race by winning one of the three stages, and another opportunity by receiving the fan vote. Fans can vote once per day and votes shared via Facebook or Twitter count double, making sharing on social media a key component. Fans can vote for Byron at NASCAR.com/fanvote until 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, May 18. The winner will be announced immediately following the conclusion of the Open qualifying race on Saturday, May 19.
William Byron on racing at Dover:
“I like Dover; it’s been a good track for me. I ran really well there last year (in the NASCAR Xfinity Series) – we won the Dash 4 Cash in the spring, and then qualified on the pole and finished third in the playoff race. I think I led most of the (NASCAR Camping World) Truck race there as well. Dover’s been a good track for Hendrick Motorsports too with Jimmie (Johnson) winning as many times as he has there. It’s a very abrasive, very physical track, but it seems like it’s always fun because you can move around and really be aggressive. It’s similar to Bristol in that way, but you can drive the car even harder at Dover. I’ll just try to trust my instincts there and go do what I’ve always done.”