William Byron

NEWS

Race Report | Kansas

Race Report | Kansas

May 3, 2021

WILLIAM BYRON
NO. 24 AXALTA CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
RACE REPORT
 
DATE: MAY 2, 2021
TRACK: KANSAS SPEEDWAY
SPECS: 1.5-MILE OVAL
START: 2nd
FINISH: 9th
RANK: 3rd (-96 POINTS)
 
SPEED READ
  • William Byron started Sunday’s race in the second position due to the qualifying metric. 
  • The driver of the No. 24 Axalta Chevy scored stage points in the first stage with a fifth-place effort and came up just short of stage points in the second stage, crossing the stripe in 11th.   
  • Despite fighting handling woes throughout the 267-lap event, Byron persevered to score a ninth-place result Sunday afternoon.
  • With his ninth-place finish, Byron extended his current top-10 streak to nine consecutive races – becoming the youngest driver to hold that record.
  • The 23-year-old driver jumped one position in the driver points, now sitting third, only 96 points behind the points leader. 
 
RECAPPING THE RACE
Rolling off from the second position for Sunday afternoon’s race at Kansas Speedway, Byron battled for the top spot early on in the first stage before the handling of his No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet began to swing to the tight side. Fighting a temperamental race car throughout the rest of the 267-lap event, Byron and the No. 24 team never surrendered, rallying to a ninth-place finish when the checkered flag was displayed – securing their ninth-straight top-10 finish. 
 
Starting Sunday’s race from the second position, Byron showed speed right away, putting pressure on the leader up until the competition caution came out on Lap 26. Under the yellow, crew chief Rudy Fugle called the No. 24 down pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Restarting in second, Byron once again challenged for the lead until eventually settling into the second position. However, as the run went on, the handling of the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE began to fade, with Byron crossing the stripe in fifth for the end of Stage One. Coming down pit road to the attention of his crew, Byron got four tires, fuel and another air pressure adjustment. 
 
After slight issues on the pit stop, Byron lined up 10th for the start of the second stage. Initially grabbing a couple positions when the green flag dropped, Byron was forced to give them up due to how loose his Axalta Chevy was handling. Trying to hold on, Byron radioed to his team that he was an “eight out of 10 loose.” Slipping back to 11th, Fugle called Byron down pit road under green on Lap 120 for four tires, fuel and both an air pressure and chassis adjustment. Once green-flagged pit stops fully cycled through, Byron was scored in the 12th position, running laps good enough for the top five. Continuing to push forward, Byron was able to take the 11th position just before the green-checkered flag was displayed at the end of Stage Two. Still fighting the handling of his No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, Byron came down pit road for four tires, fuel and another round of adjustments before lining up 14th for the final stage. 
 
Continuing to fight the handling of his race car, Byron ran 16th for the start of the final stage, trying to stay as consistent as possible with his lap times. With the Axalta Chevy now on the tight side, Fugle made the call for the No. 24 to pit early in the green-flag pit stop sequence. Hitting pit road under green on Lap 206, Byron got four tires, fuel and both an air pressure and chassis adjustment before rejoining the field. As pit stops continued to cycle through, Byron worked his way up to the 11th position before the caution came out on Lap 230. The 23-year-old driver once again came down pit road under the yellow, this time for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Restarting 12th, Byron powered his way up inside the top-10, scored in ninth when the yellow flag came back out on Lap 246. Needing to fire off better on the restarts, Byron came down pit road for four tires, fuel and a slight air pressure adjustment. Lining up ninth, Byron survived a string of quick cautions to put himself 12th for a green-white checkered attempt at the finish. Avoiding chaos on the restart, Byron rallied to a hard-fought ninth-place finish at Kansas Speedway.
 
 
QUOTING WILLIAM BYRON
 
“We got a top-10 here at Kansas (Speedway). We fought all day. The first stage looked really good, but we were fighting the balance and just wasn’t very maneuverable in traffic. We were just kind of stuck to the top lane. I could run the bottom, but it just wasn’t fast enough. We kind of had a struggle of a day. I felt like we were on both sides. We got it way too tight, way too loose, and then somewhere in the middle by the end. We got it to take off ok on the restarts and picked up a top-10. We’ll take that.
 
“Really proud of the effort of the No. 24 Team. It shows the strength of our team to finish top-10 when we don’t have a good car. We’ll just keep fine-tuning those balance things and try to bring a little better package when we come back to one of these 1.5-mile tracks. We’ll work on it and definitely get better for the next one.”
 
THE NEXT RACE
 
TRACK: DARLINGTON RACEWAY
DATE: SUNDAY, MAY 9, 2021
TIME: 2:30 P.M. ET
TUNE-IN: FS1, SIRIUSXM, MRN RADIO