William Byron, driver of the No. 24 RaptorTough.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media at the Martinsville Speedway media center on Friday, April 8, at 3:45 p.m. local time.
REVVED-UP RICHMOND: Qualifying second for last Sunday’s race at Richmond Raceway, Byron maintained that position until the end of stage one. With issues on the right rear during the stage break pit stop, Byron restarted deeper in the field for the start of stage two. Crew chief Rudy Fugle was able to use pit strategy later in the run to get Byron back to the front of the field. In the final stage, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native took the lead and commanded the field for 122 laps – the most he has led in a single race – and was poised to take home his second win of the season. However, with varying pit strategy taking place, two cars with fresher tires were able to catch him with five laps to go, leaving Byron with a third-place finish – a personal best for him at Richmond.
POINTS, POINTS, POINTS: So far in 2022, Byron has captured two stage wins, both coming in stage one of the races at Phoenix Raceway and Atlanta Motor Speedway. His two stage wins are tied for the third-most this season. Byron has collected the most playoff points (7), most stage points in the opening stage of races (46) and the second-most stage points overall (64).
SUCCESS AT SHORT TRACKS: With the Cup Series taking on its second short track of the 2022 season, Byron has momentum on his side after his third-place finish in last weekend’s short-track race at Richmond. In his last three short-track starts, he has collected three top-five finishes – the longest active streak in the Cup Series and his longest streak on short tracks. He and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman are tied for second with the longest active streak of top-10 finishes (three) on short tracks behind only Martin Truex Jr., who has six.
MARTINSVILLE MINUTES: Despite his young age, Byron’s time at Martinsville goes back to when he attended his first Cup Series race at the paperclip-shaped track in 2006 as a fan. Since then, the 24-year-old driver has moved through the NASCAR ranks and is now poised to make his ninth Cup start at the half-mile venue. Of his eight Cup Series starts there, Byron has a personal-best finish of second in the fall of 2019 when he came within car lengths of scoring the win. Last season, Byron raced to back-to-back top-five finishes – one of only two drivers (Truex) to do that at Martinsville in 2021. He has three top-five finishes total at Martinsville – the most at any track in his Cup career.
NIGHT MOVES: In eight night races in 2021, Byron battled to three top-five finishes – tied for the sixth-most. In those events, he ranked fourth with 140 laps led.
THE FUGLE FILES: Sunday’s race will mark Fugle’s third in the Cup Series at Martinsville. Last season, he and the No. 24 team raced to two top-five finishes, a fourth in the spring and fifth in the fall at the Virginia track. Aside from his Cup starts, the Livonia, New York, native has 14 races at the paperclip-shaped track already under his belt, all in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. In those 14 races, Fugle has accumulated one win (May 2019), six top-five finishes and 12 top-10s. Two of those previous starts were with Byron, both in 2016, where the duo grabbed a top-five finish and two top-10s.
TWO-FOUR: The No. 24 has won at Martinsville nine times – tied for the fourth-most Cup Series wins by a car number at the venue, all coming with Jeff Gordon. If Byron were to end up in victory lane Saturday night, the No. 24 would tie the No. 48 for the third-most wins at Martinsville.
TRUCKIN': In addition to his full-time driving duties in the Cup Series behind the wheel of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, Byron will compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Thursday night at Martinsville for Spire Motorsports. Byron will wheel the No. 7 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Silverado with Axalta highlighted in Thursday night’s race. Byron has two Martinsville starts on his résumé in the Truck Series, both coming in 2016 when he qualified seventh for both events and raced to one top-five finish and two top-10s.
RAPTOR® TOUGH: Unveiled earlier this season, Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet will sport the RAPTOR® brand this weekend at Martinsville. Making its debut for 2022 at Circuit of The Americas, RAPTOR® will return in 2022 for multiple races with Byron and the No. 24 team. 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, click here.
William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on how he approaches racing at Martinsville: "I think Martinsville has always been a good track for us especially with two top-five finishes last year. We just need to hit on the things that are crucial there and work on it. With the shape of the corners and the rhythm it takes, I feel like I have an eye for what a car should look like to get around there just from coming to so many races growing up. I think some of that translates to inside the car when you’re thinking through what lines to take and how to pass somebody. Growing up short-track racing helps too. Similar to Denny (Hamlin), I grew up racing around the Southeast and running a lot of late model races. I’ve gone back and done some of that this year and that helps reaffirm how I race at tracks like this."
Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on his thoughts of racing 400 miles at Martinsville: "I’m excited to race under the lights this weekend at Martinsville, especially for 400 laps. I’m excited to have a little bit of a shorter race honestly. I like that style. It’s a bit more up my alley of racing from the other series. You really have to try to get all the work done early. You won’t have as much time to recover from mistakes now, so you really have to minimize those. Realistically the way we race these races is we race to the end of stage one, we race to the end of stage two and then to the race end. It makes them all shorter races essentially. With every call you make, and even how you start the race, you can’t be as far off and need to make better decisions early on. I like those situations and the pressure it brings. I welcome that challenge."