ON A ROLL: Dating back to his win at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Feb. 28, William Byron has been on a hot streak of top-10 finishes. The 23-year-old driver has now extended his consecutive top-10 results to eight races – the longest active streak in the NASCAR Cup Series. Byron’s eight total top-10s in 10 races is tied for the most by a driver this year. In fact, Byron has the longest top-10 streak by a Hendrick Motorsports driver since Dale Earnhardt Jr. between 2013 and 2014. He is also the third-youngest driver of all time to reach an eight-race top-10 streak in his Cup career behind only Richard Petty and Ricky Rudd. If Byron collects a top-10 finish at Kansas Speedway on Sunday, he will become the youngest driver to reach a nine-race top-10 streak – a record currently held by Jeff Gordon.
FIRST 10: So far in the 2021 Cup Series season, Byron and the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE team have been a model of consistency. After 10 races, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native has spent 2,186 laps running inside the top 10 – the second-most in the field behind only points leader Denny Hamlin (2,407). Of those top-10 laps, 879 have been inside the top five, which is the sixth-most of all drivers. Currently, Byron has led 150 laps across five races, also good for sixth in the Cup Series. He has the fourth-best average running position of 8.99 so far in 2021.
1.5-MILE MOMENTUM: With three races on 1.5-milers so far in the 2021 season, Byron is one of four drivers who have finished in the top 10 for all three. He captured the win at Homestead-Miami Speedway, finished eighth at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and scored an eighth-place result at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In those three 1.5-mile races, Byron has led the second-most laps (129) behind only Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson (377).
HOT START AT KANSAS: Right out of the gate, Byron found success at Kansas Speedway in his first two NASCAR national series starts. With one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start in 2016 and one NASCAR Xfinity Series start in 2017, Byron started from the pole position in the Truck Series race and sixth in the Xfinity Series race, finishing no worse than fourth in both events. In fact, in his debut at the intermediate oval in 2016 – just his fifth truck race - Byron started from the top spot, led 34 laps and collected his first win, kickstarting the most successful season by a rookie in the history of the series.
MIDWEST MOJO: Byron has six Cup Series starts at Kansas Speedway. While he faced bad luck in his first three races, which included a mechanical failure, a late-race on-track incident and a pit road penalty, he has since turned that bad fortune around. In his last three starts at the 1.5-mile track, Byron has collected one top-five finish and three top-10s. His three-consecutive top-10 results at Kansas are tied for the longest active top-10 streak at the intermediate venue. Kansas Speedway is also tied for second of the tracks where Byron has the most top-10 finishes behind Phoenix Raceway and Pocono Raceway, where he has four top-10 results.
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE KANSAS: Heading to Kansas Speedway for his first start as a Cup Series crew chief, Rudy Fugle has 10 previous appearances at the 1.5-mile oval, all coming in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. In those events, Fugle’s drivers have started from the pole four times, led 391 laps, and collected two wins (2016 and 2018), five top-five finishes and six top-10s. His 2016 win came with Byron, who captured his first truck victory in the duo’s fifth start together.
ALL ABOUT AXALTA: Returning for this Sunday’s race at Kansas, Byron will have Axalta on board his No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. Now in its 29th year of partnership with Hendrick Motorsports, Axalta returns as primary partner on Byron’s No. 24 for 14 races in 2021. For a better look at Byron’s new No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, click here.
WELCOME VALVOLINE: On Tuesday, long-time partner Valvoline expanded its partnership with Hendrick Motorsports to add primary sponsorship of the Nos. 5 and 24 teams for a combined five races. The Valvoline colors will be on board Byron’s Chevy for the upcoming race at Darlington Raceway on May 9 and will return in the playoffs for his hometown race at the Charlotte Roval on Oct. 10. In conjunction with the announcement, Valvoline also unveiled its Darlington throwback scheme that Byron will pilot, which pays tribute to legendary driver Neil Bonnett.
William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on the racing at Kansas: “All 1.5-mile tracks are definitely not the same. Kansas is probably the most similar to Las Vegas but, even in that aspect, Kansas has less grip. It’s a very temperature-sensitive racetrack. You have to be able to run the bottom effectively but then be able to run the top lane just as strong the longer the race goes along. I think we were good in both races last year, but I think the June race was the best shot we have had at winning there. I’m excited to get back and see what we can do this time.”
Byron on his connection and success with crew chief Rudy Fugle: “Everyone talks about the drivers being the stars, but it takes more than just us to be successful. If you look at the top five or six teams, they’ve all been together with their crew chiefs and having success for multiple years now. It’s important to find those guys that can really click for you and that you can have success with long term. I feel like Rudy and I are just building the foundation for what is next to come when it comes to us working together. We’re in a really good place right now. We’re just starting to get our rhythm which is definitely a good thing for us. We have started the year strong and we’re only going to continue to build momentum from here.”