William Byron

NEWS

Race Report | Charlotte

Race Report | Charlotte

May 31, 2021

WILLIAM BYRON
NO. 24 PATRIOTIC LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
RACE REPORT
 
DATE: MAY 30, 2021
TRACK: CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
SPECS: 1.5-MILE OVAL
START: 4th
FINISH: 4th
RANK: 3rd (-76 POINTS)
 

SPEED READ

  • With qualifying Sunday morning, William Byron secured a fourth-place starting position for Sunday’s race.
  • With top-five results in the first three stages, the driver of the No. 24 Patriotic Liberty University Chevy scored stage points in every stage of the 600-mile event. 
  • Despite fighting handling woes throughout the 400-lap race, Byron battled to a score a track-best finish of fourth at his hometown track.
  • The 23-year-old is now third in the driver points standings, but is only 76 points behind the leader. 


RECAPPING THE RACE

Qualifying fourth for Sunday’s marquee race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Memorial Day weekend, William Byron battled all race long for a win at his home town track. Despite running within the top-three positions and leading 19 laps, Byron crossed the finish line in the fourth position – his sixth top-five finish of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season.
 
Rolling off fourth for the 600-mile event at his home track, Byron slipped back to fifth on the initial start but quickly moved up to the third position after a few laps. Fighting a loose No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE early on, Byron continued to change his lines around the track, before ultimately taking over the lead on Lap 48. Two laps later, crew chief Rudy Fugle called his driver down pit road under green for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Once pit stops cycled through, Byron was scored third, but still fighting a loose-handling Chevy as the sun began to set. Maintaining his position throughout the remainder of the opening stage, Byron crossed under the green-checkered flag in third to signal the end of Stage One. Under the stage break, Byron came down pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment to aid in his loose condition.
 
Electing to restart in the fourth position for the start of Stage Two, Byron was in a tight battle within the top five before ultimately taking over third on Lap 129. Like the handling of his Liberty University Chevy, Fugle called the No. 24 down pit road for his green-flag pit stop 20 laps later for four tires, fuel and a minor air pressure adjustment. Cycling through to the second position once everyone made their scheduled stops, Byron was closing in on the leader when the caution came out on Lap 172. Coming down pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment, Byron restarted eighth with varying pit strategy taking place throughout the field. However, in the remaining laps of Stage Two, Byron maneuvered his way through traffic to score a third-place result in the stage. Once again coming down pit road under the stage break, Byron received four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment to his No. 24.
 
Moving into second at the start of Stage Three, Byron kept the leader within his sights before ultimately taking over the top spot on Lap 230. Liking the handling of the No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, Fugle called Byron down pit road from the lead under green for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Returning to the track in second once pit stops cycled through, Byron was catching the leader as the laps wound down. However, a caution with five laps left in Stage Three ended the segment early, leaving Byron with a second-place result. Needing more help to turn in the corners, Byron came down pit road during the stage break for four tires, fuel and both an air pressure and chassis adjustment.
 
Restarting third for the final stage of the 600-mile race, Byron settled into third, still fighting a loose No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. With one final pit stop in the event, Fugle called his driver down pit road under green on Lap 345 for four tires, fuel and another round of air pressure and chassis adjustments. Once pit stop cycled through, Byron was shown in the third position but was working to track down second-place in the closing laps. However, with heavy traffic, Byron lost momentum while trying to make the pass for second, allowing the competitor behind him to take over third. With 10 laps to go, Byron remained in a heated battle to try regain third, but ultimately came up a couple laps short, crossing the finish line in fourth – a track-best finish for the driver of the No. 24.
 
Teammate Kyle Larson captured the record-breaking victory to make Hendrick Motorsports the all-time winner in the NASCAR Cup Series. All of the Hendrick Motorsports drivers finished within the top five, with Chase Elliott in second, Byron in fourth, and Alex Bowman in fifth.
 
QUOTING WILLIAM BYRON
 
“It was hard racing. I was trying to get second there and cost myself third. With this package, you just have to get the side draft at the perfect spot. I feel like we just missed where that was. We just didn’t have quite enough. Congrats to the No. 5 (Kyle Larson, race winner) guys. They were lights out. We’ll go to work and try to get that.”
 
TALK ABOUT THE HENDRICK MILESTONE. WHAT’S IT LIKE TO BE PART OF THE HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS ORGANIZATION. 
“It’s awesome. We are bringing really fast cars right now and I feel like it’s really fun to be at Hendrick Motorsports right now. We’ve just got to work, on the No. 24 team, just a little harder to get the little bit more than we need. But we’re really close. We can do it at times during the race. We just can’t put it all together. I feel like we probably should have finished third tonight. We finished fourth, but we’ll take that.
“I thought we were really good. It’s just hard to get the lead and I feel like if we could have kept the lead, we could have maybe won. We just never did. We were good enough to win but it just didn’t quite happen.”
 
 
THE NEXT RACE
 
TRACK: SONOMA RACEWAY
DATE: SUNDAY, JUNE 6, 2021
TIME: 4:00 P.M. ET
TUNE-IN: FS1, SIRIUSXM, PRN RADIO