William Byron

NEWS

Kansas Race Advance

Kansas Race Advance

October 21, 2021

WILLIAM BYRON
No. 24 RAPTORTough.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE


KANSAS SPEEDWAY: (1.5-MILE OVAL)
LOCATION: KANSAS CITY,  KANSAS
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (34 of 36)
TUNE IN: 3 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, OCTOBER 24 (NBCSN/MRN/SIRIUSXM)

2021 Season Career Track Career
  • 13th in points
  • 141 starts
  • 7 starts
  • 33 starts
  • 2 wins
  • 0 wins
  • 1 win
  • 7 pole positions
  • 0 pole position
  • 2 pole positions
  • 20 top-five finishes
  • 1 top-five finishes
  • 11 top-five finishes
  • 49 top-10 finishes
  • 4 top-10 finishes
  • 18 top-10 finishes
  • 802 laps led
  • 35 laps led
  • 368 laps led

TEXAS TWO-STEPPED: Starting 12th Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway, William Byron powered his No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE to the front and remained there for almost the entirety of the race. Finishing stage one in fifth after a pit strategy call and leading 55 laps in stage two before crossing the stripe in second to end the second stage, Byron continued to run second as the laps wound down. With a string of late-race restarts to end the race, Byron ultimately crossed the finish line in second behind Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson – a track-best finish for Byron.

LOOKIN’ AT THE TOP TWO: After his runner-up result at Texas last Sunday, Byron has now finished in the top-two positions four times in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season. That feat ties him for the third-most in the field behind Hendrick Motorsports teammates Larson (14) and Chase Elliott (eight). This is also the most times in a season that the 23-year-old driver has finished in the top-two positions, doubling his previous best of two in 2019.

CONTINUING THE TREND: Down to the last three races in the 2021 Cup Series season, Byron continues to post career-best stats this year at the highest level of competition in the No. 24 RAPTORTough.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. So far, Byron has collected one win (Homestead-Miami Speedway), two pole awards (Road America and Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course – most by a driver this season), 11 top-five finishes and 18 top-10s all while leading 368 laps and collecting three stage wins. In his Cup career, these are the most top-five finishes, top-10s, laps led, and stage wins the Charlotte, North Carolina, native has collected in a single season.

1.5-MILE MOMENTUM: With the Cup Series racing at eight mile-and-a-half tracks so far this year, Byron has finished inside the top 10 in six of those events – tied for the second-most behind Kyle Busch (eight). Even going back as far as the last 12 races on 1.5-milers, Byron has secured eight top-10 finishes on that configuration of track.

HOT START AT KANSAS: Right out of the gate Byron found success at Kansas Speedway in just his first two NASCAR national series starts at the 1.5-mile track. With one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start in 2016 and one NASCAR Xfinity Series start in 2017, Byron finished no worse than fourth in both events. In fact, in his debut at the intermediate oval in 2016 - just his fifth Truck Series start - Byron started from the top spot, led 34 laps and collected his first Truck Series win. That kickstarted the most successful season by a rookie in the history of the series.

MIDWEST MOJO: Aside from those first two starts, Byron has seven Cup Series starts at Kansas Speedway. While Byron faced bad luck in his first three races, including a mechanical failure, a late-race on-track incident and a pit road penalty, he has since turned that luck around. In his last four starts at the 1.5-mile track, Byron has collected one top-five finish and four top-10s. His four-consecutive top-10 finishes at Kansas is tied for the longest active top-10 streak at the intermediate track. Byron has the longest top-10 streak in his Cup Series career at Kansas (four) ahead of Phoenix Raceway (three) and Pocono Raceway (three).

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE KANSAS: Looking to make his second start as a Cup Series crew chief at Kansas Speedway this Sunday, Rudy Fugle’s first race at the Midwestern track earlier this year resulted in a ninth-place effort with the No. 24 team. Aside from that one Cup Series start, the Livonia, New York, native has 10 previous starts at the 1.5-mile oval, all coming in the Truck Series. In those 10 events, Fugle’s drivers have started from the pole four times, led 391 laps, collected two wins (2016 and 2018), earned five top-five finishes and six top-10s. In fact, Fugle’s 2016 win came with Byron, who captured his first Truck Series victory in just their fifth start together.

RAPTOR® TOUGH: Earlier this week, Axalta Racing unveiled a special paint scheme for the Byron and the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE featuring their newest acquisition, U-POL, and its RAPTOR® brand. The new paint scheme has a charcoal base with bright green accents and will be on board Byron’s Chevy this Sunday at Kansas as well as at the season finale at Phoenix. RAPTOR® is a durable protective coating and bed liner that is designed to tolerate the toughest climatic conditions and can be applied to a wide range of substrates from steel, wood, concrete and plaster to plastics and composites. Resistant to common fuels, U.V., scratches and stains, RAPTOR® is available at local paint distributors, auto parts stores and can also be purchased from online retailers like Amazon. For a better look at Byron’s No. 24 RAPTORTough.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, click here.

HONORING KEITH COOPER: The Martin Truex Jr. Foundation and the NASCAR Foundation have partnered together for the second time to recognize those who have battled cancer by auctioning off the space above the driver-side door to honor a cancer hero. For this Sunday’s race, Byron will have Keith Cooper riding on board his No. 24 Chevy, who was nominated by his son, Brian Cooper. Working at General Motors for 36 years, Cooper was known as one of the hardest workers by his family, friends and coworkers. He spent every Sunday watching NASCAR with his son and was a diehard Jimmie Johnson fan until his retirement from the Cup Series. Once Johnson retired, Cooper began cheering for Byron and the No. 24 team. Unfortunately, Cooper lost his battle to lung cancer in August of this year.



QUOTABLE /

William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on the difference between racing at Kansas in the fall versus the spring: “The fall is usually always cooler than when we go there earlier in the year. It creates a lot of more wide-open throttle time because of that. You still move around the racetrack just as much and the restarts are just as crazy, but your on-throttle time is probably the biggest difference between the two races. It makes it a little bit easier to race but it’s still a tough track because I feel like the surface is pretty hard on tires. It sets it up to be a fun race to be in and I’m sure it’s a fun race to watch for fans. Something about that place clicked early on for me in Trucks and Xfinity. I struggled a bit there when I first got to Cup, but I think I’ve learned a lot over the years and it’s become one of my best tracks now.”

Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on why Kansas is one of his favorite racetracks: “Kansas is a really cool track. I like the progressive banking, the speed and the handling that comes with that track. I like when you have to have all the facets of the car together, and the crew chief has a major part to do with that. The first time we went there this year, we ran up front for most of the first stage and I just didn’t do a good job adjusting on it during the second stage, putting us back in traffic. We’ve made a lot of changes since then and our 550 horsepower package is way better since then. I’m just super, super excited to get there. It’s a track where drivers can go bottom, middle or top. Not only can we make a lot of adjustments as needed, but William can as well with his driving style because of that. It reminds me of Homestead at a young state before it aged and got really abrasive. If we can hit on everything we need to, we can definitely go win.”