William Byron

NEWS

Race Report | Watkins Glen

Race Report | Watkins Glen

August 9, 2021

WILLIAM BYRON
NO. 24 AXALTA CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
RACE REPORT
 
DATE: AUGUST 8, 2021
TRACK: WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL
SPECS: 2.45-MILE ROAD COURSE
START: 15th
FINISH: 6th
RANK: 3rd (-131 POINTS)
 

SPEED READ

  • William Byron started Sunday’s race at Watkins Glen International in 15th per NASCAR’s qualifying metrics formula.
  • Utilizing varying pit strategy during the Cup Series race, Byron scored stage points with a fifth-place effort in Stage One, and came up one position short of points in Stage Two with an 11th-place finish.
  • Continuing to show speed throughout the entire 90-lap event, Byron went on to score a track-best finish of sixth at the 2.45-mile road course. 
  • Byron maintained the third position in the driver points standings,131 points behind the leader. 
 
RECAPPING THE RACE
Starting Sunday’s race from the 15th position, William Byron went to work early on trying to make up track position at Watkins Glen International. By the time the competition caution came out on Lap 10, Byron had already made his way up to eighth place. Reporting that his No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE was a little on the loose side, but that’s how he wanted it, Byron remained on track during the yellow, lining up seventh for the restart with seven laps to go in the opening stage. With teams electing to pursue various pit strategy options, Byron remained on track, moving up to fifth when the yellow was displayed once again at the stage break. Now fighting an Axalta Chevy that was tight into the righthand corners but loose off, crew chief Rudy Fugle called his driver down pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. 
 
Once again fighting differing pit strategies, Byron lined up 22nd for the start of Stage Two. Needing to make up lost track position, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native began methodically working his way through traffic. As the laps wound down in Stage Two, Byron fought his way to just outside the top-10 running order, finishing the stage in the eleventh position. Continuing to use fuel strategy, Fugle once again made the call for his driver to stay out, this time during the stage break. 
 
Lining up to go back green from the 10th position just before the halfway point, the 23-year-old driver picked up two positions early on, moving up to eighth, before fighting a tight No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE from being trapped in dirty air. Sticking to their strategy, Fugle called the driver of the No. 24 down pit road under green on Lap 57 for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Once green-flag pit stops fully cycled through, Byron found himself running inside the top five just 10 laps later with 23 laps to go. Needing to hold off those with fresher tires towards the end of the run, Byron persevered to hang on to the fifth position up until one lap remaining at Watkins Glen International. Unfortunately, while coming to the white flag, Byron was unable to hold on to the top five, but still captured a track-best finish of sixth at the road course. 
 
Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson captured his fifth win of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season during Sunday’s race at Watkins Glen International. Chase Elliott tried to track Larson down in the closing laps, but ultimately scored a runner-up finish at the New York-based road course. Byron scored a solid sixth-place finish while Alex Bowman came home in the 20th position.
 
QUOTING WILLIAM BYRON
 
“We had a solid run and ended up sixth in the No. 24 Axalta Camaro ZL1 1LE. Lost the fifth spot on the last lap, unfortunately. We had a good car and it was a good run for us. We started mid-pack and worked our way forward, so I’m happy with that. Definitely a solid road course finish for us and we’ll keep moving forward.”
 
THE NEXT RACE
 
TRACK: INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY ROAD COURSE
DATE: SUNDAY, AUGUST 15, 2021
TIME: 1 P.M. ET
TUNE-IN: NBC, SIRIUSXM, IMS RADIO