MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY (TWO-MILE OVAL)
LOCATION: BROOKLYN, MICHIGAN
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACE 15 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 2 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, JUNE 9 (FS1/MRN/SIRIUSXM)
POCONO PLAYBACK: Collecting back-to-back NASCAR Cup Series pole awards, William Byron led the field to the green flag once again last weekend, this time at Pocono Raceway. Leading the initial 21 laps, the driver of the No. 24 Hendrick Autoguard Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 finished Stage 1 in second place and Stage 2 in third, collecting crucial stage points. A minor dust up with the wall caused him to lose momentum in the final 50 laps, but Byron fought to work his way back through the traffic. He ultimately crossed the finish line in ninth, his fourth top-10 finish of the 2019 season.
STATS DON’T LIE: Continuing to make strides every race, Byron has added to his already impressive sophomore season stats. In the last five races, Byron has scored 163 points – fifth-highest of all Cup drivers – propelling him from 20th to 14th in the driver point standings. He’s started on the front row six times – the most of any driver this season so far – and is tied for the most pole awards this season with three. Aside from starting in the top three in each of the last four races, he’s led laps in the last four consecutive races, the best streak of his career so far. In the last two races, Byron has had an average running position of seventh and has scored stage points in seven of the last 10 races. He has also finished in the top 10 in three of the last four races this season.
HENDRICK AUTOGUARD RETURNS: After another strong showing this past weekend in the Hendrick Autoguard colors, Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet will once again carry the premier vehicle protection program on board this weekend at Michigan International Speedway. Available at Hendrick Automotive Group dealerships, Hendrick Autoguard includes additional individualized maintenance products like tire and wheel protection, paintless dent repair, an oil change program, a mechanical repair service contract, flexible maintenance, and others. The program affords customers numerous options to get the maximum value from their vehicle with the highest level of service in the industry. All Autoguard vehicle protection programs are available as single products or value-packaged for additional savings. For more, visit the Hendrick Autoguard website.
MICHIGAN MOTIVATION: Byron will return to the two-mile, D-shaped oval for the third time in his NASCAR Cup Series career this weekend. Looking to continue to improve off his previous starts, the driver has a best starting position of 14th at the venue and a track-best finish of 13th, both coming in the rain-shortened event last June. Byron also has one Xfinity Series start at Michigan, where he qualified fourth and ended the race in the runner-up position, as well as one Gander Outdoor Truck Series start in which he started third and finished fourth.
INDY TEST: Before heading to Michigan this weekend, Byron and the No. 24 team participated in a two-day tire test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 4-5. It is the first Goodyear tire test for the No. 24 team this year.
William Byron on speed at Michigan:
“With the new package we have I think the racing could be similar to Talladega or Daytona. If that’s the case, it’ll be a really, really wild race. I don’t really know what to expect otherwise. Michigan is always fast and you’re always on edge there because it’s so flat. It seems like you’re either on edge with the front or the back of the car and that makes it tough.”