- After setting the overall fastest lap in practice Saturday, William Byron went on to qualify a NASCAR Cup Series best of sixth at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for Sunday’s race.
- Fighting the handling of his No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 early on, Byron was able to score a ninth-place finish in stage one and rally to eighth in stage two.
- Trying to regain and maintain track position in the final stage, crew chief Rudy Fugle made the call for two right tires during the final pit stop but unfortunately Byron wasn’t able to hold off fresher tires late in the run, resulting in a 11th-place effort – tying his previous Cup Series best finish (2020).
- After the race at NHMS, Byron is tenth in the driver point standings, 198 points behind the leader.
RECAPPING THE RACE
On Saturday, William Byron finished practice fastest overall and then went on to secure a sixth-place starting position – a track-best qualifying effort in the NASCAR Cup Series at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. After a brief delay on Sunday for rain, the field finally took the green flag for the 301-lap event and Byron maintained a top-five position early on in the run. However, as the run continued, the handling of Byron’s No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 became hard to manage. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native reported that he was loose to start the run but as the tires would wear, the ride quality of the car was “violent” over the bumps. Managing as best he could through the opening stage, Byron crossed the line in ninth at the end of stage one. Wanting major adjustments, Byron came down pit road during the stage break where crew chief Rudy Fugle made the call for four tires, fuel and both a chassis and air pressure adjustment.
Lining up 12th for the start of stage two, Byron maintained his position until the caution came out on lap 90. Liking the direction of the last set of adjustments, Fugle called his driver down pit road for two right side tires, fuel and another round of both chassis and air pressure adjustments. With strategy varying throughout the field under the yellow, the 24-year-old driver restarted 15th but made quick work to start regaining positions. As the run continued, Byron inched his way forward through the field, reaching just outside the top 10 by lap 145 when the caution came out. Needing help with the entry to the corners, Byron came down pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment before lining up 16th for the ensuing restart. Using the high lane to his advantage, Byron powered his way to 11th by time the yellow flag was displayed again. Electing not to pit and once again restarting from the high line, Byron maneuvered his way to inside the top-10. Reaching the eighth position in the closing laps of the second stage, Byron maintained his position until the green-checkered flag was displayed. With the handling of the Liberty University Chev now firing off tight and swinging to the loose side the longer the run went on, Fugle made the call for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment under the stage break.
With pit strategy playing out again, Byron restarted 12th but wasted no time making his way back inside the top-10 as soon as the field went back racing. Just eight laps after the start of the final stage, the caution came back out allowing Fugle to call the No. 24 down pit road for two right side tires and enough fuel to make it to the end of the race. With the field split on strategy calls, Byron lined up eighth for the restart on lap 209, with only 92 laps remaining. Early on, the driver of the No. 24 Liberty University Chevy jumped back inside the top-five running order but the handling of his car was just too loose to maintain it. Byron slid back to 11th but was able to regain a couple positions as the run continued to go long. With just under 20 laps to go, Byron made his way back up to eighth. Unfortunately, as the run continued, those with fresher tires began to catch Byron. Trying to hold on to score his first top-10 finish in the Cup Series at NHMS, Byron was passed on the final lap by a car with much fresher tires, resulting in an 11th-place finish – tying his previous Cup best at New Hampshire (2020).
THE NEXT RACE
TRACK: POCONO RACEWAY
DATE: SUNDAY, JULY 24, 2022
TIME: 3:00 P.M. ET
TUNE-IN: USA, SIRIUSXM, MRN