William Byron


Race Report | Phoenix

Race Report | Phoenix

November 9, 2020


Date: November 8, 2020
Race #36: Phoenix Raceway
Track Specs: 1-mile oval / 312 laps / 312 miles 
Start: 25th
Finish: 9th
Standings (from leader): 14th (-2793)


Lining up 25th for the season finale at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday afternoon, driver William Byron used the entirety of the 312-lap event to methodically work his way through traffic. Racing his way to as high as the sixth position at the start of the final stage, Byron settled into ninth for the final 40 laps before crossing the finish line, scoring a season-high 14th top-10 finish to close out the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season. 

Starting 25th for Sunday’s race at Phoenix Raceway, Byron quickly went to work making up track position, finding himself 15th by the time the competition caution came out on lap 30. Reporting that he was slightly loose, the 22-year-old driver brought the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE down pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Lining up 16th for the restart, he raced his way up to as high as the 12th position, however as the run continued, the handling of Byron’s Chevy swung to the tight side. Fighting an ill-handling race car, Byron held on to finish Stage One in the 18th position before coming down pit road for four tires, fuel and both an air pressure and chassis adjustment. 

Restarting 15th for Stage Two, Byron methodically raced his way through traffic, reaching the top 10 with just over 50 laps to go in the stage. With green-flag pit stops beginning, crew chief Chad Knaus called the driver of the No. 24 down pit road on lap 141 for four tires and fuel. Rejoining the field in 21st one lap down as pit stops continued to cycle through, Byron utilized the remining 40 laps of the stage to make up ground. The caution came out though with 29 laps left in the stage allowing Byron to pit from the 15th position for four tires, fuel and both a chassis and air pressure adjustment. Lining up 13th, Byron got a great restart, propelling himself to the eighth position. As the laps wound down in Stage Two, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native slipped back to 10th once the green-checkered flag fell. Still fighting a tight No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, Byron came down pit road for four tires, fuel and another round of chassis and air pressure adjustments. 

After the pit stop, Byron restarted from the seventh position for the final stage and quickly snagged the sixth position when the field went back green. As the run continued, Byron fell back to the ninth spot before coming down pit road under green with 50 laps to go. After green-flag pit stops finally cycled through, Byron was scored ninth. With 40 laps remining in the event, the driver of the No. 24 continued to maintain his top-10 running position until the checkered flag flew at Phoenix Raceway, scoring his 14th top-10 finish in 2020 – a season high for Byron.

Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott captured the win Sunday at Phoenix Raceway en route to his first NASCAR Cup Series championship – and 13th championship for the organization. 


“Finished 2020 with a good top 10 finish today. We struggled a bit at the beginning, but we kept working on it and made up ground throughout the race. It was good to get a top 10 for Chad’s last race with us and as a crew chief. Great job to Chase (Elliott) and the No. 9 guys on the championship as well. They did a phenomenal job the last two races. I’m looking forward to the off season and then getting after it in 2021. Hopefully we’ll be fighting alongside those boys a lot.”