- During Saturday’s qualifying session at WWTR, William Byron qualified 24th in the No. 24 RaptorTough.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
- Methodically making his way through the field early on, Byron was able to reach the 18th position by the end of stage one. However, after having to avoid an on-track incident in stage two, Byron was mired back in traffic for the remainder of the stage before using pit strategy to score an 11th-place result. Having to start the final stage deep in the pack due to differing strategies, the handling of the No. 24 hindered Byron from making much progress before he was able to rally to a 19th-place finish in overtime.
- After the race at WWTR, Byron is now in the ninth position in the driver point standings, still just 69 points behind the leader.
RECAPPING THE RACE
Visiting the Illinois-based venue for the first time in the NASCAR Cup Series, William Byron showed consistent speed during Friday’s lone practice session. Byron went on to qualify 24th for Sunday afternoon’s race at the 1.25-mile facility. As the field went green for the race, Byron began to methodically work his way through traffic, racing inside the top-20 within the first 11 laps. Continuing to pick up positions, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native radioed that his No. 24 RaptorTough.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 needed more rear grip, but he was able to race his way to the 18th position by the time stage one came to a close. During the stage break, crew chief Rudy Fugle made the call for his driver to come down pit road for four tires, fuel, and an air pressure adjustment before returning to the track.
Picking up valuable positions on pit road, Byron lined up in the 11th position for the start of stage two. Still needing more grip out of the front tires, when the caution came out on lap 64, Fugle made the strategy call for Byron to get two right side tires and to top off on fuel. Restarting in the 12th position, Byron’s Chevy fired off well but ultimately fell back to 16th by the time the yellow flag was displayed again, this time on lap 94. Needing to be able to load the rear tires better, Byron came down pit road for four tires, fuel, and an air pressure adjustment before lining up in 23rd with varying pit strategy taking place. Just as the field went back green, Byron had to take action to avoid an on-track incident in front of him. While the 24-year-old driver didn’t suffer any damage, he did have to come down pit road again for four tires, as he had flat-spotted the previous set trying to avoid the incident. Restarting in the 28th position, Byron picked up three positions before the caution flag came back out with only a handful of laps remaining in the stage. Making a strategy call, Fugle kept his driver on track, lining up fifth with six laps to go. Unfortunately, Byron was put three-wide on the restart by those with fresher tires, killing his momentum. He did his best to fight in the closing laps before ending stage two in 11th. Still lacking grip, Byron came down pit road to the attention of his pit crew for four tires, fuel, and an air pressure adjustment.
On a differing pit strategy from the majority of the field, Byron started the final stage from the 25th position. Reaching as high as 19th early on in the stage, he ultimately slipped back to 23rd by the time the caution came out on lap 182. Under the yellow, Byron came down pit road for four tires, fuel and both a chassis and air pressure adjustment. Unfortunately, he had to swing wide around another car before he could receive service, resulting in lost track position. Restarting 25th with 51 laps to go, Byron once again tried to make up ground, racing his way to 23rd before slipping back to 28th when the caution came out on lap 221. Needing a major adjustment, Byron brought his No. 24 RaptorTough.com Chevy down pit road one final time for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment before lining up 27th with 13 laps to go. As the laps wound down, Byron raced his way back to the 17th spot before the caution came out, sending the race into overtime. Electing to remain on track, Byron lined up in 17th for the green-white-checkered attempt before ultimately crossing the finish line in the 19th position.
THE NEXT RACE
TRACK: SONOMA RACEWAY
DATE: SUNDAY, JUNE 12, 2022
TIME: 4:00 P.M. ET
TUNE-IN: FS1, SIRIUSXM, PRN