NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
Date: April 13, 2019
Race #9: Richmond Raceway
Track Specs: 0.75-mile oval / 400 laps / 300 miles
Standings (from leader): 20th (-202)
RECAPPING THE RACE:
With weather in the mix throughout most of Friday, William Byron and the No. 24 Liberty University team were able to get on track for one practice session and qualifying later that night, tentatively holding a 19th-place starting position before technical inspection. However with other teams having issues clearing tech Saturday morning, Byron’s starting position improved to 13th, which he was able to maintain during a solid run in Saturday night’s race at Richmond Raceway.
When the green flag dropped for the 400-lap event, Byron jumped up to the 11th position before settling back in 13th, fighting a Chevrolet Camaro that was tight in the center of the corners. Coming to pit road during the competition caution on Lap 40 and then again during the Stage One break on Lap 100, both times the No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 got four tires, fuel and adjustments with Byron ultimately lining up 12th for the start of Stage Two.
Running just outside the top 10 but still fighting a car that wouldn’t turn the way he needed it to, Byron was able to come to pit road for further adjustments and another four tire stop on Lap 129 when the caution came out. Going back green with 65 laps left in the stage, Byron continued to hold strong and finish Stage Two in the 12th position but let crew chief Chad Knaus that he got even tighter on that green-flag run. Under the stage break, Byron came to pit road for four fresh tires and more adjustments, but issues at the front of the car slowed the stop and faced Byron with restarting in 16th.
Moving back within the top 15 running order immediately on the restart, Byron’s forward momentum was halted when his Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 got even tighter than in the previous runs. However, when the caution came out on Lap 244, the No. 24 pit crew was able to redeem themselves, picking up three spots on pit road for Byron, lining him up 12th for the restart. As the laps began to wind down and pit strategy began to pick up with 100 laps remaining, crew chief Chad Knaus made the call shortly thereafter for Byron to hit pit road under green on Lap 317 for what would be his final pit stop of the night. Once green-flag pit stops cycled through and air pressure was starting to come in from his four fresh tires, Byron was able to maintain his 13th position and continued to do so for the rest for the race Saturday night.
Leading the Hendrick Motorsports brigade this weekend at Richmond Raceway was Jimmie Johnson crossing the finish line in 12th, followed by Byron in 13th, Chase Elliott in 15th and Alex Bowman in 17th.
QUOTING WILLIAM BYRON:
“Tonight’s race was a decent race for us. We really needed to have a night like that though, no real mistakes, no battling back from issues, just a consistent night. We were just too tight all race though for the most part to really make up much more ground like we would have liked, but with the limited track time, we’ll take these kind of races. Now it’s time for the off weekend and then back at it for Talladega.”