RICHMOND RACEWAY (0.75-MILE OVAL)
LOCATION: RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACE NINE OF 36)
TUNE IN: 7:30 P.M. ET, SATURDAY, APRIL 13 (FOX/MRN/SIRIUSXM)
William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media on Friday, April 12, at 4 p.m. local time in the Richmond Raceway media center.
FRONT ROW FEAT: After collecting his first career NASCAR Cup Series pole for the Daytona 500 this year, William Byron has followed up that effort by qualifying on the front row two additional times. In consecutive weekends, the 21-year-old driver has qualified the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 on the outside pole, marking track-best starting efforts at both Texas Motor Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway. Byron has now been a part of all three Hendrick Motorsports front-row sweeps in qualifying this season and his three front-row starts are the highest among the Cup field in 2019.
RETURN TO RICHMOND: Set to make his third Cup Series start at Richmond Raceway this weekend, Saturday will mark Byron’s sixth national series start at the 0.75-mile oval. Last season, Byron had one of his best races during the spring Richmond race, qualifying ninth and running within the top five most of Stage 1 and within the top 10 for over half of the event before ultimately finishing just outside the top 10 in the 12th position. Aside from his two Cup Series starts at the track, Byron has made two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Richmond, both in 2017, earning a best starting position of sixth and finish of seventh in the fall. He also has one other start under his belt at Richmond Raceway in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in 2015, winning the pole and finishing sixth.
LIBERTY IS BACK: After making its debut in 2019 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in February, Liberty University will return to Byron’s Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for this weekend’s race at Richmond Raceway. Returning as a primary sponsor of the No. 24 team in 2019 for a total of 12 races, Liberty University has a long history with Byron starting back in 2014 in the late-model ranks and embarks on its fifth season of sponsoring the 21-year-old driver. Liberty University has been Training Champions for Christ since it was founded in 1971. Located in the mountains of central Virginia, Liberty is a liberal arts institution with 17 colleges and schools that offer more than 600 degree programs from the certificate to the doctoral level, on campus and online. Working on an undergraduate degree in business communication, Byron is now in his junior year at Liberty University through its online program.
KNAUS’ KNACK: Continuing to make gains with Byron and the No. 24 team, crew chief Chad Knaus will return to Richmond Raceway to call the shots on top of the pit box for the 38th time in his career. With three previous wins at the short track, Knaus leads all active crew chiefs for most wins at Richmond. He also has collected two pole awards, seven top-five finishes and 15 top-10s at the 0.75-mile oval.
BATTLE AT BRISTOL: After qualifying a track-best second for consecutive weekends, an incident on Lap 3 changed the No. 24 team’s race strategy early on last Sunday. Having to fight through adversity for the entirety of the 500-lap race, Byron was able to capture a lead-lap finish and a track-best 16th-place finish at Bristol last weekend.
KNAUS IN THE BOOTH: For the first time in 2019, Knaus will make a quick transition after Cup Series qualifying Friday night from crew chief of the No. 24 team to on-air analyst when he joins Adam Alexander and Kevin Harvick in the FOX Sports booth for the NASCAR Xfinity race at Richmond Raceway. It was announced earlier this year that Knaus would join the FOX Sports booth for two races, and while originally slated for Talladega, his broadcast debut has been expedited by one weekend. To watch Knaus during his inaugural race broadcast, tune to FOX Sports 1 this Friday at 7 p.m. ET.
William Byron on Richmond:
“Richmond is a very slick track. I think that will still be the case even with a different downforce level from the new package we’re running. It’s just very slick overall. It doesn’t seem to really pick up that much grip, even at night as the race goes on, it doesn’t seem to pick up much. It’s just a very abrasive track that is just hard to get around.”