William Byron

NEWS

Race Report | Pocono #2

Race Report | Pocono #2

June 28, 2021

WILLIAM BYRON
NO. 24 AXALTA COLOR OF THE YEAR CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
RACE REPORT
 
DATE: JUNE 27, 2021
TRACK: POCONO RACEWAY
SPECS: 2.5-MILE TRIANGLE
START: 18th
FINISH: 12th
RANK: 3rd (-71 POINTS)
 

SPEED READ

  • William Byron started Sunday’s race from 18th due to the invert of yesterday’s top-20 finishers. 
  • Once again showing speed and racing his way through traffic, Byron and the No. 24 team opted for pit strategy in today’s event, leading a total of 22 laps and scoring the Stage Two win.
  • The 23-year-old driver crossed the finish line in the 12th position after coming up just short on fuel to make it to the end of the 140-lap race. 
  • Byron maintained the third position in the points standings, now 71 points behind the leader. 
RECAPPING THE RACE
With the top-20 finishers from Saturday’s race inverted for Sunday, Byron rolled off from the 18th position. Within the first two laps, Byron powered his No. 24 Axalta Color of the Year Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE up to 12th by the time the caution came out. Wanting to restart in the high lane, Byron opted to restart 16th but unfortunately got jammed up, dropping back to 20th. Working to regain his momentum, Byron began methodically working his way through traffic, reaching 13th with under 10 laps to go in Stage One. Electing to make a strategy call, crew chief Rudy Fugle called his driver down pit road under green on Lap 26 for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. Rejoining the field after his pit stop, Byron passed the leader coming to the stripe to get back on the lead lap, finishing Stage One in 33rd. 
 
Utilizing the pit strategy call to gain track position, Byron remained on track lining up fifth for the start of Stage Two. Despite fighting a loose No. 24 Axalta Chevy, Byron worked his way up to second with under 40 laps to go in the stage and maintained that position until his green-flag pit stops. Fugle brought the Axalta Chevy down pit road on Lap 65 for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Working his way back through the field, Byron made his way to the front of the field, taking over the lead on Lap 77. The driver of the No. 24 continued to pace the field until the green-checkered flag was displayed, scoring the win in Stage Two and a crucial Playoff point along with it. 
 
Electing not to pit under the stage break and maintain track position, Byron held onto the lead for the start of the final stage until the caution came out on Lap 94. Under the yellow, Fugle made the call for Byron to pit for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Restarting in the 23rd position, Byron powered his way through traffic, reaching eighth with 35 laps to go. Racing his way up to second with 22 laps remaining, the No. 24 team initially planned on hitting pit road for a splash of fuel to make it to the end. However, with numerous cars in conservation mode to make it to the end, Fugle made the call for Byron to go into “max save mode” as well. Still in fuel saving mode, Byron took over the lead again with eight laps to go. However, as he crossed the line with two laps to go, Byron reported that he had low fuel pressure and was forced to bring the No. 24 Axalta Color of the Year Chevy to pit road for a splash of gas. Rejoining the field in 16th, Byron was able to make up a few positions to cross the finish line in 12th. 
 
 
QUOTING WILLIAM BYRON
 
“DID YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE FUEL SAVE EARLIER ON?
“We definitely had the fastest car. The caution didn’t fit us perfectly. We had control of the race there and were right on our number to make it or not, but it just didn’t work out. We had a really fast car. The Axalta Chevrolet was awesome. It sucks to lose like that, but I feel like we had everything we needed in the car. We just couldn’t save enough fuel as far back as we were. It’s just part of it, but thanks to the guys.”
 
WHEN THE PLAN WAS FIRST PRESENTED TO YOU TO GO OUT AND RUN LIKE CRAZY AND GET A GAP THERE, DID THAT MAKE SENSE TO YOU?
“Yeah, I figured we were first on four tires. We can make it. I kind of thought we were closer on fuel than we were. I thought we could get up as far as we could, and a couple of guys would have to pit and we’d save and win. So that was kind of how it was looking to work out there with the No. 2 (Brad Keselowski) and then we had to go into max save. I thought for sure we’d make it because usually you’ve got a little bit of fudge factor there, but we ran out with three (laps) to go, so not even close.”
 
 
THE NEXT RACE
 
TRACK: ROAD AMERICA
DATE: SUNDAY, JULY 4, 2021
TIME: 2:30 P.M. ET
TUNE-IN: NBC, SIRIUSXM, MRN RADIO