OH, SO CLOSE: On Saturday, William Byron climbed behind the wheel of the No. 24 Super Late Model at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. Taking the lead on lap 21, Byron commanded the field until a late race caution with 11 laps to go. Losing the lead on the restart, Byron was able to battle back and secure his fourth Super Late Model win of the year with Wilson Motorsports. The following day, Byron picked up where he left off, running up front for the majority of the NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway. Taking the lead on lap 268, Byron looked poised to pick up his third Cup Series win of the season until being moved out of the way prior to taking the white flag, sustaining right side damage that resulted in a 13th-place finish.
RACKING ‘EM UP: Byron is continuing to have a career-best year in the Cup Series. The 24-year-old has scored two wins, four top-five finishes, eight top-10s, three stage wins, led 544 laps and accumulated 13 playoff points. All of those statistics are his best marks through 12 races in his Cup Series career – except for top-five finishes which are tied for his most. He is currently tied for second in the driver point standings behind Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott and is locked into the Cup Series Playoffs for a fourth consecutive season.
LEADING THE FIELD: With 12 races complete in 2022, Byron has led laps in nine of them – tied for the second-most with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson and the most races that Byron has led through 12 races. His 544 laps led, 1,565 laps run within the top-five and 2,276 laps run within the top-10 are all the top marks in the series. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native’s 13 playoff points are also the most by any driver so far this season.
1.5-MILE MOMENTUM: Byron is no stranger to success on mile-and-a-half tracks during his Cup Series career. In 2021, he picked up the win at the third race of the year at Homestead-Miami Speedway – his first on that configuration. He went on to collect seven top-10 finishes across nine races on 1.5-mile tracks throughout the season. This season, the Cup Series has raced at two 1.5-mile tracks – Las Vegas Motor Speedway – where Byron scored a top-five finish and Atlanta Motor Speedway where Byron captured his first win of the 2022 season. He is one of five drivers to finish in the top-10 in both 1.5-mile races this season and only one of two drivers to finish in the top-five of both races. In fact, since the start of 2021, Byron has nine top-10 finishes on that track length – tied for the most with Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. – and has an average finish of 7.45. He also has led laps in five consecutive races on 1.5-milers – tied for the most with Larson – and has the second longest active streak of top-10 finishes on this configuration.
HOT START AT KANSAS: 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 his debut at the intermediate oval - just his fifth Truck Series start - Byron led 34 laps and collected his win which kickstarted the most successful season by a rookie in the history of the series.
MIDWEST MOJO: Byron has eight Cup Series starts at Kansas. While faced with 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 luck around. In his last five starts at the 1.5-mile track, Byron has collected one top-five finish and five top-10s. His five-consecutive top-10 finishes at Kansas are tied with Kevin Harvick and Truex Jr. for the longest active top-10 streak at the intermediate track. It is also the track where Byron has the longest top-10 streak in his Cup Series career. In 2021, Byron spent 403 laps running within the top 10 at Kansas – the fifth most among drivers – and 289 laps within the top five (the second-most) with 57 laps led (the third-most).
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE KANSAS: Looking to make his third start as a Cup Series crew chief at Kansas this Sunday, Rudy Fugle’s two Cup Series races at the Midwest track resulted in a ninth-place effort in the spring of 2021 and a sixth-place finish in the fall with the No. 24 team. Aside from those two Cup Series starts, the Livonia, New York, native has 12 previous starts at the 1.5-mile oval, with 10 coming in the Truck Series. At Kansas, Fugle’s drivers have started from the pole four times, led 396 laps, and collected two wins (2016 & 2018), five top-five finishes and six top-10s. In fact, his 2016 win came with Byron, who captured his first Truck Series win in just their fifth start together.
SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED: Last Thursday, Hendrick Motorsports announced a three-year contract extension for Byron and the 14-time championship organization. Per the agreement, Byron will remain behind the wheel of the No. 24 through the 2025 Cup Series season. To read more on the contract extension, click here.
RAPTOR® TOUGH: Returning for this weekend, Byron will race the No. 24 RaptorTough.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Sunday’s event at Kansas. 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.
William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 on what he expects this weekend at Kansas: "While most of these tracks this year we’ve had to re-learn because of the Next Gen car, I think I’m a bit more confident on what to expect heading to Kansas this weekend. Not all mile-and-a-half tracks are the same but I feel like Kansas and Las Vegas are the most similar to each other. We raced at Vegas earlier this year and ran really well. The only real difference is I feel like Kansas is a more temperature sensitive racetrack and has less grip. We’ve ran well at Kansas over the past couple years, so I think with the notebook we’ve built so far and our past experiences there, we should have a good shot at the win this weekend.”
Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on preparing for Kansas: "We’re continuing to build on our intermediate package as the season goes with the Next Gen car. Since the second Charlotte test, we’ve raced at Las Vegas and Atlanta and been able to add those notes in. I think we can really use some of our notes from Vegas for this weekend especially since we will be using the same right side tire we ran there. I also think some of our notes from the fall race at Kansas last season will correlate as well. With its progressive banking and with how sensitive it is to temperature, we’ll have to keep up with the track not only throughout the weekend but throughout the race on Sunday to be in contention at the end."