DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY (ONE-MILE OVAL)
LOCATION: DOVER, DELAWARE
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACE 30 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 2:30 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, OCT. 6 (NBCSN/MRN/SIRIUSXM)
William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media on Friday, Oct. 4, at 2:45 p.m. local time in the media center at Dover International Speedway.
READY FOR THE ROUND OF 12: After locking himself into his first-ever NASCAR Cup Series playoff one month ago, driver William Byron has now raced his way through the first round and solidified his position in the Round of 12. Sitting 11th in the driver points standings after last weekend’s race, Byron is currently just five points below the cutoff line with three races to make up the ground (Dover International Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and Kansas Speedway). In the same three races earlier this season, the sophomore driver collected 79 points, ranking eighth among the current playoff drivers.
AT IT AGAIN WITH AXALTA: Last appearing on the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in July, the iconic Axalta flames paint scheme will return to Byron’s machine this weekend when the Cup Series returns to Dover International Speedway. After this weekend, Axalta Coating Systems will have three races left on Byron’s Chevy in 2019 – at Talladega next weekend and two more races in November (Texas and Homestead).
DOVER DIGEST: Set to make his fourth NASCAR Cup Series start at Dover, and second of the 2019 season, Byron is ready to get behind the wheel of the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 on the one-mile concrete oval. The 21-year-old qualified on the front row alongside Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott and led five laps in the rain-delayed race in May en route to a career track-best eighth-place finish. Before his previous Cup starts, Byron had four other starts at the “Monster Mile,” his first being in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East where he started on the pole, led 57 laps and finished ninth. Graduating to the top three national tiers of NASCAR starting in 2016, Byron once again captured the top spot in qualifying at Dover, this time in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series, leading 80 laps and finishing 11th. The next season, Byron would race at the concrete one-mile oval twice in the Xfinity Series, with the best of the two starts occurring in the fall when he qualified first, led 62 laps and finished third.
FRONT-ROW FAMILIARITY: Byron owns the most front-row starts of any driver in the NASCAR Cup Series this season with 10. He added to that total last weekend with his pole at the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course.
TIED FOR SECOND: Byron is one of four Cup Series drivers who have finished second in a race in 2019 but have yet to capture the checkered flag. He ranks third among the Cup field for most laps led (210) without a win.
KNAUS’ DOVER DOMINATION: Returning to Dover for a second time with veteran crew chief Chad Knaus on top of the box, Byron is hoping to build off his visit in the spring after qualifying on the front row and racing to an eighth-place finish. Aside from that solid showing earlier this season, as a Cup Series crew chief, Knaus has an impressive 11 wins, 17 top-five finishes and 24 top-10s at the one-mile oval in 36 starts. Knaus leads all active crew chiefs with 81 total career wins. The next closest crew chief owns 28 Cup Series wins.
‘ROVAL’ REDEMPTION: After securing his fifth pole of the 2019 season, Byron jumped out to an early lead during last Sunday’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s road course. Using strategy early on, he was able to score points in Stages 1 and 2, setting himself up for a run to the checkered flag while trying to solidify his position above the playoff cut line. Running within the top five until a handful of laps to go when competitors on fresher tires prevailed, Byron crossed the finish line in the sixth position, scoring his 11th top-10 finish in 2019 and securing his place in the Round of 12.
HERTZ ULTIMATE RIDE SWEEPSTAKES: In conjunction with Hendrick Motorsports, Hertz is introducing a new “pace car” to its fleet with a limited-edition custom 2020 Camaro ZL1 and 2020 Camaro SS. Available to be reserved beginning mid-October 2019, customers have the opportunity to rent the custom Camaros fashioned in the signature Hertz yellow and black color scheme with custom wheels, interior badging and full performance upgrades outfitted by Hendrick Motorsports. In conjunction with the program rollout, customers can celebrate the debut of the limited-edition Camaros by participating in The Hertz Ultimate Ride Sweepstakes – beginning Sept. 18, through Nov. 15, 2019 – for a chance to win a 2020 Hertz-Hendrick Motorsports Camaro SS. Five finalists will also win an exclusive driving experience in Charlotte. Click here for more information on the Hertz-Hendrick custom Camaro program.