BEST YEAR YET: Entering the back half of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, William Byron is having his best year yet at the highest level of competition in the No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. So far, he has collected one win (Homestead-Miami Speedway), one pole (Road America), eight top-five finishes and 14 top-10s (tied for the most by a driver this season) all while leading 245 laps and earning three stage wins. Byron’s eight top-five finishes are the most the 23-year-old driver has had in a season at the Cup level and his 14 top-10s tie his previous best in a season, as well.
21 IN 21: After 21 races, Byron has been seen running in the front of the field consistently every week. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native has spent 3,983 laps running in the top 10 – the second-most in the series – and 2,149 laps in the top five – the third-most throughout the field. In the last nine races, Byron has run within the top five for 1,047 laps – the second most behind Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson. He maintains the second-best average running position in the Cup Series of 8.57 and an average finishing position of 11.48, placing Byron in fourth in the driver points standings.
LOVIN’ LOUDON: Of all the tracks on the NASCAR circuit, New Hampshire Motor Speedway has always been a good one for Byron. He has three previous Cup Series starts under his belt at the 1.058-mile oval, all resulting in top-15 finishes. In fact, with an average finish of 12.33, NHMS is Byron’s second-best track based on average finishes.
DOMINATING FASHION: While he has always ran well at New Hampshire, Byron got off to an unbeatable start at “The Magic Mile” early on. Making his debut at the 1.058-mile oval in 2015 in the ARCA Menards Series East, Byron qualified on the pole and led 68 of 70 laps before taking home the checkered flag. He followed that performance the next year by dominating the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race where he started from the pole and led 161 of 175 laps en route to his sixth of seven victories in 2016. Moving up to the Xfinity Series in 2017, Byron earned a top-five finish after starting seventh and placing third.
RUDY PUTS THE MAGIC IN ‘MAGIC MILE’: Byron isn’t the only one who enjoys racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway; his crew chief does, as well. With three starts at the 1.058-mile oval all coming in the Camping World Truck Series, ¬¬Rudy Fugle has one pole award and two wins, including a win with Byron in 2016. In fact, Fugle’s drivers have an average starting position of 2.3 and an average finishing position of 3.0 at NHMS.
LIBERTY U IS BACK: Byron will climb behind the wheel of the No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE this weekend when the Cup Series takes on New Hampshire Motor Speedway Sunday. Redesigned for the 2021 season, the new paint scheme features a white base with navy flames and red accents, allowing the Liberty University No. 24 to stand out on track. Liberty University has a long history with Byron starting back in 2014 in the late model ranks. The school 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 communications, Byron is in his junior year at Liberty University through its online program.
HEADING HOME: Traveling to New England for this Sunday’s Cup Series race, one crew member of the No. 24 team calls New Hampshire Motor Speedway his home track. Car chief Tyler Jones, who has been a member of the No. 24 crew since 2019, hails from South Royalton, Vermont, less than 100 miles northwest of “The Magic Mile.”
William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on returning to New Hampshire: “New Hampshire is fairly difficult. I feel like it’s a track that, historically, the veteran drivers do really well at with their experience there. It’s just a tough racetrack. You have to have a lot of grip in your car to run well. And honestly, this is one of the tracks that Rudy (Fugle) and I have done the best at in our careers. We have some testing notes there and know what works well and what the car needs to do. I’m honestly pretty excited about going to New Hampshire this weekend. It’s a track that Rudy and I have been looking forward to going to all season long.”
Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on heading to New Hampshire: "This race at New Hampshire has been circled on my calendar since I started the job at Hendrick Motorsports. That’s how much I enjoy going there. It’s a track that I’ve just taken to, honestly, and I don’t know exactly why that’s the case, but I’ve been able to figure it out early on. I enjoy the challenge it brings with how crucial grip is, and like most short tracks, how important it is to have drive off to set yourself up on entry for the next set of corners. It’s a fine line. I feel like we have a good idea what want to have in the car when we unload. Plus, I feel like Hendrick Motorsports has made quite a few gains with its short track program which only helps heading to a track like this.”