Rolling off from the 14th position in Sunday night’s race at Darlington Raceway, William Byron showed speed early on in his No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. Byron was able to make his way up to the 11th position within the first 15 laps. However on Lap 17, Byron suffered right rear damage after being collected in an on-track incident with teammate Alex Bowman. Under the caution, the driver of the No. 24 came down pit road for four tires and damage repairs. Rejoining the field, Byron was able to stay on the lead lap until the competition caution came out seven laps later and the Axalta team was able to make further damage repairs. After restarting 34th, the caution came out once again just a lap later allowing Byron another chance to come down pit road for damage repairs. Once again lining up 34th for the restart, Byron began working his way through traffic reaching the 25th position when the yellow flag was displayed on Lap 48. Fighting a loose Axalta Chevy, Byron came down pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment before restarting from 23rd. As the rest of the stage went green, the handling on the No. 24 continued to become increasingly more loose forcing Byron to hold on as best his could until green-flag pit stops began. On Lap 81, crew chief Rudy Fugle called his driver down pit road for four tires, fuel and both and air pressure and chassis adjustment. As pit stops cycled through and the laps wound down in the opening stage, Byron finished Stage One in the 18th position. Under the stage break, Byron visited pit road for four tires, fuel, another round of both an air pressure and chassis adjustment as well as further damage repairs. Lining up 23rd for the start of Stage Two, Byron once again went to work making his way through traffic reaching the 13th position before green-flag pit stops began. On Lap 157, Fugle called the No. 24 down pit road for four tires, fuel and another round of adjustments. Unfortunately, before pit stops could fully cycle through, the caution flag came out, trapping Byron and most of the field one lap down. Electing to take the wave around, the 23-year-old driver was able to restart from eighth when the field went back green. Capturing the seventh position, Byron maintained his spot as the run continued until green-flag pit stops began again just past the halfway mark in the event. Fighting a tight Chevy at the start of a run that would swing lose, Byron came down pit road under green on Lap 196 for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment to the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. Shortly after his green-flag pit stop, Byron suffered a flat left front tire, ending his night early on at Darlington Raceway on Lap 201.
QUOTING WILLIAM BYRON
FIRST OF ALL, ARE YOU OKAY? DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT HAPPENED?
‘Yeah, I’m fine. That was a big hit. It looked like on that pit stop, it looked like we dropped the jack and the left front was still finishing up. I took off and everything felt okay. I went to pass the No. 00 (Quin Houff) or somebody down the front stretch; and was just about to turn into (Turn) 1 and the left front went down. There was nothing we could do. The guys did an awesome job to fix it. We were running like Top-12, I think, even with all the (earlier) right rear damage and it’s just terrible. I don’t know, man. That sucks.”
THE NEXT RACE
TRACK: RICHMOND RACEWAY
DATE: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2021
TIME: 7:30 P.M. ET
TUNE-IN: NBCSN, SIRIUSXM, MRN