ROOKIE STANDINGS: After taking the lead in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings following the spring race at Texas Motor Speedway, William Byron will have a chance to clinch the title this weekend. The 20-year-old driver leads by 107 points in the standings over Bubba Wallace and would clinch if he finishes the race with a 121-point lead. Byron is on a roll of earning NASCAR rookie of the year titles to this point, going back-to-back-to-back with the honor in the Xfinity Series in 2017, the Camping World Truck Series in 2016 and the K&N Pro Series East in 2015.
AT TEXAS: Byron earned his first career NASCAR Cup Series top-10 finish at Texas Motor Speedway in the spring race, finishing 10th after starting at the rear of the field due to an engine change. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native also has four other national series starts at the Fort Worth, Texas, track, including a win in his first Truck Series start at the 1.5-mile oval on June 10, 2016. The win was his second of seven victories during the 2016 season and made him the youngest-ever Truck Series winner at Texas Motor Speedway. In five national series starts, Byron has never finished outside of the top 10 at Texas. He’s led laps in all three national series for a combined total of 41 laps and has an average finish of 3.5 in Truck, 8.0 in Xfinity and 10.0 in Cup. His one lap led during the Cup race in April made him the youngest driver to lead a lap at the 1.5-mile track in the Cup Series.
NOT BAD FOR A ROOKIE: The 1.5-mile track has been fairly kind to rookies in the last 17 years with eight of them earning top-five finishes there, which could be a good omen for Byron, especially given his past success in other series in the Lone Star State. However, only one rookie has ever won at Texas Motor Speedway – Dale Earnhardt Jr. in April 2000.
HENDRICK AUTOGUARD RETURNS: This weekend’s race at Texas marks the second and final race for the blue and black No. 24 Hendrick Autoguard Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Hendrick Autoguard is a premier extended, prepaid service agreement program available to Hendrick Automotive Group customers and beyond, which includes additional individualized maintenance products like Mechanical Repair Contract, Flexible Maintenance, Tire & Wheel Protection, Paint & Fabric Protection and others. The program affords customers numerous options to provide their automotive investment the maximum level of value with the highest level of service in the industry. All Autoguard vehicle protection programs are available as single products or value-packaged for additional savings. For more, visit the Hendrick Autoguard website.
ICYMI, LIBERTY PRODUCTION DAY: Last Wednesday, Oct. 24, Byron visited Liberty University’s campus for a 2019 production day, where his 2019 No. 24 Liberty University Camaro ZL1 was unveiled. The paint scheme remains consistent to the 2018 scheme. Byron, who is a junior in Liberty’s online program, visited with students and faculty as part of the day.
NO. 24 PIT CREW PARTICIPATED IN FIREFIGHTER TRAINING: Members of the No. 24 pit crew and a team engineer visited the York County Fire Training Center on Thursday, Oct. 25, to participate in a training session in the burn building, running through different scenarios with the Fort Mill Fire Department. Check out a photo gallery from their adventure.
William Byron on racing at Texas:
“Texas is fun. We finished in the top 10 there in the spring, so that was good. Going back there, I think it will be like the other mile-and-a-half tracks where we try to make sure we unload with good speed in the car. I’m sure it will be wild with the playoff battle ongoing too.”