I LIKE IT, I LOVE IT: Before the off weekend, the NASCAR Cup Series field took to the 1.99-mile road course of Sonoma Raceway on June 12. Despite qualifying 20th, William Byron and the No. 24 team worked diligently all race long to gain track position before ultimately crossing the finish line in the ninth position – a track-best finish at the Cup level for Byron at Sonoma.
RECORD YEAR: So far in the 2022 season, Byron has scored two wins, four top-five finishes, five top-10s and three stage wins. His 13 playoff points accumulated are tied with Ross Chastain for the most by any driver so far this season. He is also currently eighth in the driver point standings, locked into the Cup Series playoffs for a fourth consecutive season.
HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW?!: With 16 races complete in 2022, Byron has led laps in 11 of them – tied for the third-most with Kyle Busch and Joey Logano. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native's 570 laps led are the most by a driver this season. He has also spent the fourth-most laps running in the top-10 (2,549) as well as the second-most laps running within the top-five (1,689).
THE RACE IS ON: This Sunday’s race at Nashville Superspeedway will mark Byron’s 32nd start on tracks 1-mile to 1.37-miles in length (Dover Motor Speedway, Darlington Raceway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Nashville, Phoenix Raceway and WWT Raceway). In his previous 31 starts, the 24-year-old driver has collected one pole award, five top-five finishes, 10 top-10s with 82 laps led.
THE SIGN SAYS NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE: In the first Cup race at the Nashville venue last year, Byron qualified fourth but was forced to start at the rear of the field for an unapproved adjustment pre-race. However, Byron wasted no time racing his way through the field, scoring a third-place finish. Byron has one other start at the 1.33-mile oval, also coming last season, in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series where he qualified 10th and was running up front before suffering a mechanical issue just past halfway.
HARD WORKIN’ MAN: Last year, crew chief Rudy Fugle scored a third-place finish with Byron and the No. 24 team in his Cup Series debut at Nashville. Aside from that Cup Series start, the Livonia, New York, native has three other starts at the Tennessee track, including two in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, both coming in 2010 where he recorded one top-10 finish and two top-15s, as well as a 16th-place result in Truck Series in 2011.
BLAME IT ALL ON MY ROOTS: Byron once again continued his winning ways, scoring the victory at Berlin Raceway on Thursday, June 9 – his fifth straight win in the No. 24 Super Late Model for Wilson Motorsports. He’s now collected two wins at New Smyrna Speedway, one at Hickory Motor Speedway, one at Berlin Raceway and one at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway – just under an hour away from Nashville Superspeedway.
YOU MAKE MY MOTOR RUN: Valvoline will make its second appearance as the primary sponsor of Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Nashville Superspeedway. This will be the second race that the Valvoline colors will be onboard Byron’s No. 24, with a third race coming at his hometown track for the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL. Valvoline Inc. (NYSE: VVV) is a leading worldwide marketer and supplier of premium branded lubricants and automotive services, with sales in more than 140 countries. Established in 1866, the company’s heritage spans more than 150 years, during which time it has developed powerful brand recognition across multiple product and service channels. To learn more, visit www.valvoline.com. For a closer look at Byron’s No. 24 Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, click here.
William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on his thoughts for this weekend at Nashville: "I think last year’s race at Nashville (Superspeedway) was a 'learn as you go' type of situation. With so few people having experience there, and even my short stint in the (Camping World) Truck Series race that weekend, we still didn’t know a lot of what to expect. We ended up having a really solid run though and that does offer some extra confidence for this weekend. You don’t want to be overly confident, though. Just because you had a good finish, that was last year’s car, and the Next Gen car handles differently. We have a starting point, and we’ll use practice on Friday to really dial the race setup in. Nashville presents its own challenges though as it looks like a superspeedway but it’s more similar to a short track in how tight the corners are."
Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on how he’s approaching this weekend at Nashville: "I think this will be another weekend that we have a good starting point to work from when we unload. We ran well in last year’s race at Nashville Superspeedway. We had to start at the rear and were still able to race our way back to the front. I’m not sure if there will be as much passing this year as there was last year, but between our notebook and our teammate’s notebook (No. 5 team, defending winner), we have a good starting point. Plus, a full 50-minute practice really allows us to try some different things and make longer runs. It’s going to be hot, which will make for a slick track and with the resin down, we’ll want to practice with that as much as we can ahead of Sunday to get the balance right over a run."