- William Byron started Saturday’s race from the 14th position at Richmond Raceway due to the qualifying metric.
- Fighting an ill-handling No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE throughout the 400-lap event, Byron raced his way to as high as the 10th position during Stage Two.
- After the second race in the Round of 16, Byron is in the 15th position in the driver points standings, 116 points behind the leader.
RECAPPING THE RACE
Rolling off in the 14th position for Saturday night’s race at Richmond Raceway, Byron started the 400-lap event in the 14th position. Byron quickly picked up two positions early on and maintained 12th until the competition caution came out on Lap 30. Fighting a tight No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, Byron came down pit road under the yellow for four tires, fuel and a round of chassis and air pressure adjustment. Restarting in 14th, Byron made it through unscathed when the caution was displayed just a handful of laps later. Electing to take the low lane for the upcoming restart, Byron got trapped in the high lane, dropping him back to the 19th position by the end of the stage. Under the stage break, Byron reported that his No. 24 didn’t fire off like he wanted, allowing him to pit for four fresh tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment for the start of the second stage.
During Stage Two Byron began his march back through traffic reaching 12th by the time green-flag pit stops began to cycle through. Crew chief Rudy Fugle called the driver of the No. 24 down pit road on Lap 134 for four tires, fuel and both an air pressure and chassis adjustment. Continuing to run within the top-15, now 13th, Byron knocked on the door of the top-10 just before another round of green-flag pit stops began. Coming down pit road on Lap 181, Byron got four fresh tires, fuel and another round of adjustments. By the time pit stops fully cycled through again, Byron found himself within the top-10 but ultimately slipped back a couple positions as the run went on, scoring a 14th result in Stage Two. Electing to once again come down pit road, Byron came to the attention of his pit crew for four tires, fuel and another round of chassis and air pressure adjustments.
Picking the low lane for the start of the final stage, Byron battled to maintained his position early in the run. However, as the green-flag run ensued, Byron battled an ill-handling No. 24 Liberty University Chevy, until green-flag pit stops once again began to cycle through. Coming down pit road on Lap 292, the No. 24 team went to work servicing the car with four tires, fuel and a round of air pressure and chassis adjustments. Byron cycled through to 19th by the time pit stops concluded, and he continued to maintain that position until green-flag pit stops started again with 60 laps remaining. Once again coming down pit road for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments, Byron left pit road in 20th, but was able to make up one position as the laps wound down, scoring a 19th-place finish.
QUOTING WILLIAM BYRON
FIRST OF ALL, ARE YOU OKAY? DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT HAPPENED?
“We were just really bad. We finished seventh here in the spring and felt like we had something decent. We tweaked some stuff to try and get a little better. I think the best we got was we got to eleventh one time.”
“We just had a lack of grip. Some runs I could run with the 2 (Brad Keselowski) and the 12 (Ryan Blaney). Some runs I was way off the pace. I don’t know. I fought both; tight center at the start of the race. I thought we got some more drive in the car. I thought that was kind of making us faster, but that kind of ran out too.”
HOW DO YOU APPROACH BRISTOL?
“Just try to race hard and see if we can win it. That’s pretty much what we probably have to do.”
“Bristol is an OK track for me. I feel like we’ll have a much better car there. We just have to get there and race as hard as we can.”
DO YOU HAVE TO GO IN WITH THE MINDSET THAT YOU HAVE TO WIN?
“We just have to race as hard as we can, try to get as many stage points and see where we’re at.”
THE NEXT RACE
TRACK: BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY
DATE: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2021
TIME: 7:30 P.M. ET
TUNE-IN: NBCSN, SIRIUSXM, PRN