William Byron


Race Report | Martinsville

Race Report | Martinsville

April 12, 2021

DATE: APRIL 11, 2021
START: 3rd
RANK: 6th (-109 POINTS)
  • William Byron started Saturday’s race in the third position. However, after rain postponed the event to Sunday afternoon after 42 laps, Byron restarted in the seventh position for the remainder of the 500-lap race. 
  • The driver of the No. 24 Liberty University Chevy scored stage points in both stages finishing sixth in Stage One and seventh in Stage Two.  
  • Byron fought through handling issues early on in the race to score a fourth-place finish at Martinsville Speedway. 
  • With his fourth-place effort, Byron extended his current top-10 streak to six consecutive races.
  • The 23-year-old driver maintained the sixth position in the driver points standings, the highest he’s ever been in his Cup career.  

Byron started third for Saturday night’s race at Martinsville Speedway due to the qualifying metric. However, rain ultimately postponed the event to Sunday afternoon after only 42 laps. Once the race resumed, Byron fought handling issues early on with the No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, but rallied to score points in both stages. Continuing to improve throughout the 500-lap race, Byron surged to the front of the field as the laps wound down, scoring a fourth-place finish at the Virginia-based track.  

With rain delaying the start of Saturday night’s race, Byron lined up third when the field finally got the green flag. Moving to second in the opening laps, Byron got loose on Lap 6, losing a handful of positions, dropping back to seventh. Still fighting moisture on the track, the caution came out on Lap 38 allowing Byron to come down pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment. However, the rain picked up and brought out the red flag before ultimately postponing the race to Sunday afternoon. Once the race resumed Sunday, Byron restarted in the seventh position. Fighting a No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE that was a little bit snug, Byron ran just outside the top-five running order throughout the remainder of the opening stage – crossing the finish line in sixth at the end of Stage One. Still fighting handling woes, Byron came down pit road under the stage break for four tires, fuel and both an air pressure and chassis adjustment. 

Picking the low lane to restart from the fifth position, Byron’s Liberty University Chevy fired off on the tight side, forcing him to drop back to 10th. Byron continued to maintain his position inside the top 10 until the caution came out on Lap 242. Under the yellow, crew chief Rudy Fugle called the No. 24 down pit road, this time for four tires, fuel and another round of air pressure and chassis adjustments. Restarting 11th, Byron was able to gain one position before the caution came back out 10 laps later. With a two-lap dash to the end of Stage Two, Byron lined up 10th but maneuvered his way through traffic to finish the stage in the seventh position. Looking to pick up additional track position, Fugle elected to keep his driver on track under the stage break giving Byron the third position for the start of the final stage. 

Byron maintained his top-five running position until the caution came out on Lap 290 allowing the field to come down pit road once again. Coming to the attention of the Liberty University team for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment, Byron lined up 10th for the ensuing restart after varying pit strategies took place. Getting a great restart, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native quickly jumped back inside the top-five before ultimately taking over the lead on Lap 315. Byron maintained the top spot until the yellow flag was displayed nine laps later. Under the caution, Fugle called the No. 24 down pit road four tires and fuel before returning to the field in second. After a spree of cautions, Byron was shuffled into the high lane, dropping back to sixth before coming back down pit road under yellow on Lap 372 for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. Choosing to start in the high lane from 10th, Byron was able to make it to eighth, narrowly avoiding a major on-track incident in the process that led to a brief red flag. Once the red flag was lifted, Byron brought the No. 24 back down pit road, this time for four tires, fuel and for minor repairs to the right side of the Liberty University Chevy. Restating 12th with under 100 laps remaining, Byron raced his way back to the eighth position by the time the caution came out on Lap 453. Coming down pit road for the final time for four tires, fuel and another round of air pressure and chassis adjustments, Byron lined up eighth for the restart. Continuing his march back to the front of the field, Byron made his way back inside the top five with 20 laps to go before ultimately reaching fourth-place by the time the checkered flag was displayed at Martinsville Speedway – extending his consecutive finishes within the top-10 to six races.

“It was a hard-fought day for us. We had handling issues early on and then once we got back further in the pack - it was just crazy. We had fresh tires and the speed but had to manage traffic. Once we got track position back we were making up ground but got held up a couple times which hurt us. Overall though we had a fast Liberty University Chevy. It was a good day and we learned a lot. On to Richmond next weekend.”