William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media at the Martinsville Speedway media center on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 11:15 a.m. local time.
FINAL CHANCE: Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway marked the second race in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs Round of 8. Following a 12th-place finish, driver William Byron is now seeded fourth, five points above the cutline to advance to the Championship 4. Heading into the final race of the round at Martinsville Speedway, Byron is the defending winner at the track with his victory there earlier this season.
PLAYOFF POWER: Across the first eight races of the 2022 playoffs, Byron has accumulated 294 points – the most of any driver in that span. He also has an average finish of 9.63 – second-best behind Denny Hamlin (6.63).
PIT ROAD PROWESS: In the first eight races of the 2022 Cup Series playoffs, the No. 24 pit crew had an average four-tire pit stop time of 10.995 seconds – the best average in the field. The over-the-wall crew consists of Spencer Bishop (jackman), Landon Walker (fueler), Ryan Patton (tire carrier), Jeff Cordero (front-tire changer) and Orane Ossowski (rear-tire changer).
SHORT-TRACK SUCCESS: With the Cup Series entering its fifth paved short-track race of the season, Byron has momentum on his side. In the four previous races this year, he has collected 173 points – the most of any driver. On paved short tracks in 2022, Byron has one win, three top-five finishes and three top-10s. He has also led 334 laps and posted an average starting position of 6.75 and an average finish of 4.5. His top-five finishes, laps led, and average starting and finishing positions are the best of any driver in 2022. Byron’s totals for wins and top-10 finishes are tied for the best of the field this season.
DOUBLED UP: In April, Byron pulled double duty by racing in both the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Cup Series events at Martinsville. Not only did he collect the win in the truck event, but the driver went on to pick up a second grandfather clock in Sunday’s main event, representing his first career victories at the paperclip-shaped track.
MARTINSVILLE MINUTES: Despite his young age, Byron’s time at Martinsville Speedway goes back to 2006 when he attended his first Cup Series race as a fan. Since then, the 24-year-old driver has moved through the NASCAR ranks and is now poised to make his 10th Cup Series start at the half-mile track. Of his nine Cup starts there, Byron has one win (April 2022), four top-five finishes and five top-10s with 221 laps led. In fact, in the last six races at Martinsville, Byron has five top-10 finishes – tied for the second-most behind Joey Logano (six). Martinsville Speedway also marks the track where Byron has the most top-five finishes and the highest laps-led total of his Cup Series career.
THE FUGLE FILES: Sunday’s race will mark Rudy Fugle’s fourth at Martinsville Speedway as a Cup Series crew chief. In his first three starts, Fugle has one win (April 2022) and three top-five finishes with the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team. Aside from his Cup Series starts, the Livonia, New York, native has 14 races at the paperclip-shaped track already under his belt, all in the Camping World Truck Series. In those events, Fugle has accumulated one win (May 2019), six top-five finishes and 12 top-10s. Two of those appearances came with Byron in 2016 when the duo started seventh in both races and earned a third-place result in the spring and an eighth-place finish in the fall.
TWO-FOUR HISTORY: With his win earlier this year, Byron added his name to the already hefty history of the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team at Martinsville. With 10 combined victories at the half-mile track, including nine by Jeff Gordon, the No. 24 is tied with the No. 48 for the third-most wins there by a car number. The No. 24 ranks fourth in Cup Series history with 97 combined wins. The Nos. 2 and 3 are currently tied for third with 101 victories apiece.
LIBERTY U IS BACK: For Sunday’s race at Martinsville Speedway, Byron will climb behind the wheel of the No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for the final time in the 2022 season. Featuring a white base with navy flames and red accents, the Liberty University No. 24 will be sure to stand out on track. Liberty University has a long history with Byron starting back in 2014 in the late model ranks. Liberty University has been Training Champions for Christ since it was founded in 1971. Located in the mountains of Central Virginia, Liberty is a liberal arts institution with 17 colleges and schools that offers more than 600 degree programs from the certificate to the doctoral level, on campus and online. Working on an undergraduate degree in strategic communication, Byron is now in his junior year at Liberty University through its online program.
William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on how he will approach Sunday’s race at Martinsville: “I think there’s a little we can apply this weekend from our win there in April. We had a good test at Martinsville (Speedway) a couple months ago that helped us be able to refine some things since we’ve raced there last. This weekend is going to be a bigger challenge, though, than usual given it’s the final playoff cutoff race. Everyone will be bringing their ‘A game’ and everything they’ve got. We just need to approach it how we have been so far. You can’t go in thinking about points because that (the points situation) changes every lap. You have to go in with the mindset of needing to win, and that’s what we will do this weekend to hopefully ensure our spot in the final four.”
Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on preparing for Martinsville: “A lot has changed since the last time we raced at Martinsville (Speedway) but having the test a few months ago is really going to help us prepare for this weekend. We’re using a new tire than we did in the April race. We tested with it, so at least we have some idea of what falloff will look like, but there’s still some unknowns until you’re running 80 to 90 laps at a time in race conditions. This race is longer than the spring was as well, so that changes your strategy some. We saw in April that track position was a major key, and I think that will be the same this time. We need to have a good Saturday to really set us up well for Sunday and to hopefully maximize points and contend for the win.”