TAKING THE WHITE FLAG: Down to the final race in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, William Byron has one more chance to improve his already career-best stats this year at the highest level of competition in the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. So far, Byron has collected one win (Homestead-Miami Speedway), two pole awards (Road America and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course – most by a driver this season), four top-two finishes, 12 top-fives and 20 top-10s all while leading 425 laps and collecting four stage wins. In his Cup career, these are the most top-two finishes, top-fives, top-10s, laps led and stage wins the Charlotte, North Carolina, native has collected in a single season.
VENTURING TO THE VALLEY OF THE SUN: Heading to a place where he has found success in every level of NASCAR competition, Byron will return to Phoenix Raceway for the eighth time in his Cup career. Across his seven Cup Series starts at the 1-mile oval, Byron has a track-best finish of eighth from March of this season. In fact, Byron currently holds a three-race top-10 streak at Phoenix. The 23-year-old driver also has two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Phoenix on his résumé, both coming in 2017, when he started on the front row and finished in the top four in both races, including a win in November. With that victory, he became the youngest winner ever at Phoenix in the Xfinity Series at 19 years, 11 months and 13 days.
DYNAMIC DUO OUT WEST: In 2016, Byron was behind the wheel for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at the 1-mile oval with crew chief Rudy Fugle atop the pit box. The duo won the pole and went on to lead 112 laps. Unfortunately, an engine failure while Byron was leading with 10 laps to go ended his night early and his chances to advance on to the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway – where they ended up finding redemption and winning.
RUDY’S PHOENIX PERFORMANCE: Heading to Phoenix Raceway for the second time in his Cup Series crew chief career, Fugle’s first outing earlier this season resulted in an eighth-place effort with the No. 24 team. Aside from that lone Cup Series start, Fugle has eight Truck Series starts under his belt at the 1-mile oval. In those eight races, Fugle has four pole awards and his drivers have led a total of 471 laps. While Fugle has only one win Phoenix (Erik Jones, 2013), he also has two runner-up results, three top-five finishes and six top-10s. In fact, Fugle’s drivers have finished worse than ninth only two times, including the race with Byron that they dominated before an engines failure resulted in a 27th-place finish.
RAPTOR® TOUGH: After making its debut a couple weeks ago at Kansas Speedway, the No. 24 RaptorTough.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE will once again hit the track, this time for this weekend’s race at Phoenix Raceway. 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 1LE, click here.
HOMETOWN HYPE: Phoenix Raceway holds a special meaning for one member of the No. 24 team. Michael “Too Tall” Madill, the rear suspension mechanic for the No. 24 team, hails from Glendale, Arizona, approximately 30 minutes from Phoenix Raceway. At the age of 16, he made the move to North Carolina to begin his career in NASCAR. Now 32 years old, Madill is embarking on his 12th season in the sport and his third with the No. 24 crew.
William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on what to expect returning to Phoenix Raceway this season: “When we went to Phoenix earlier this season, it was a good experimental race for us. It was still early on in the year, and we were still getting Rudy (Fugle) up to speed in the Cup Series. I think we learned a lot that race, but unfortunately not a ton will apply when we go back this weekend. With everything we’ve learned throughout the year, the car will be set up completely different and the track will handle differently, as well. The good thing is we will have practice this time around. With this being the final race, you know everyone will bring their best equipment, but we will have the time to really dial it in before the race. You just don’t want to cross the fine line of dialing yourself in or dialing yourself out.”
Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on what the team has accomplished this season: “It’s crazy to think that this is the last race of the season and that my ‘rookie’ year is coming to a close. I couldn’t be more proud of what we have accomplished as a team this year. I had a lot to learn coming in and everyone helped to get me up to speed. We won a race so early on and showed consistency throughout the rest of the year. This team as a whole, William included, has grown so much in just a short time to have a career-best year. There will be more to come; our chance will come. We would love to be heading to Phoenix in the hunt for a championship but we’re glad to have two teammates in the hunt representing Hendrick Motorsports, as well. We’ll all four be strong Sunday.”