TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY (1.5-MILE OVAL)
LOCATION: FORT WORTH, TEXAS
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACE 34 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 3 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, NOV. 3 (NBCSN/PRN/SIRIUSXM)
William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media on Friday, Nov. 1, at 3:15 p.m. local time in the media center at Texas Motor Speedway.
SECOND-HALF SAVVY: William Byron has been successful during his sophomore NASCAR Cup Series season, but he has ramped up his efforts during the second half of the year. Not only did Byron collect his first Cup Series top-five finish in the July Daytona race, but he has collected four more top-five finishes since then. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native scored back-to-back top-five finishes for the first time in his Cup career with a fifth-place finish at Kansas Speedway and a second-place finish last weekend at Martinsville Speedway. In those same 16 races, only four other Cup drivers have more top-five finishes, and Byron has an average finish of 12.0, fifth-best across the field.
FRONT OF THE FIELD: Not only has Byron collected five pole awards in 2019, including being a part of all seven front row sweeps for Hendrick Motorsports, but he has also led 225 laps, almost four times more than he did his rookie season (61). The 21-year-old driver has also improved his number of laps running in the top five and top 10 throughout the season. Of the five races Byron has spent the most time running in the top 10, only one race occurred during 2018 and ranks third overall (spring Richmond with 263 laps) while the other four are all from his second Cup season (fall Martinsville, Charlotte 600, Chicagoland and fall Kansas). Of the five races Byron has spent the most time within the top five, all of them occurred this season (Daytona 500, spring Texas, fall Dover, Charlotte 600 and fall Martinsville).
MARTINSVILLE MERIT: While Martinsville Speedway hadn't been kind to Byron throughout his Cup Series career, this past weekend the driver of the No. 24 turned the page on his success at the 0.526-mile paved oval. Starting 11th Sunday afternoon, Byron moved his way through the field and found himself in contention for the lead throughout the entire race. In fact, of the 500 laps, Byron spent 499 of them running within the top 10, 352 laps racing within the top five, and 104 laps running second and battling for the lead – the most ever for Byron in a Cup Series race. Restarting on the outside row with 24 laps to go, he battled for the top spot remaining on the back bumper of the leader as the laps wound down. Hoping to secure his first Cup Series win, Byron ultimately crossed the finish line in second, collecting his fifth top-five finish of the season.
AT IT AGAIN WITH AXALTA: After a brief hiatus, Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will once again have the iconic Axalta flames back on board for this weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway. After this weekend, Axalta Coating Systems will appear one final time on the No. 24 in 2019 for the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
TOUGH TO BEAT AT TEXAS: Since the start of his NASCAR career, Texas Motor Speedway has statistically been one of Byron’s best tracks. He became the youngest driver to ever win a Truck Series race at Texas in June 2016. Across seven starts, Byron has finished inside the top-10 six times, with an average finish of 3.5 in Trucks and 8.0 in Xfinity. His average finish of 10.6 in Cup in the "Lone Star State" has him ranked seventh all-time at Texas.
KNAUS KNOWS: This weekend, No. 24 team crew chief Chad Knaus will call his 34th Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway from on top of the pit box. In his 33 previous races, Knaus has won seven times at the "No Limits" track, with the most recent win coming in the spring race of 2017. In his career as Cup crew chief, Knaus’ seven wins at Texas ranks fourth for tracks he has the most wins at behind Dover International Speedway (11), Martinsville Speedway (nine) and Charlotte Motor Speedway (eight).
HERTZ ULTIMATE RIDE SWEEPSTAKES: In conjunction with Hendrick Motorsports, Hertz is introducing a new “pace car” to its fleet with a limited-edition custom 2020 Camaro ZL1 and 2020 Camaro SS. Available to be reserved beginning mid-October 2019, customers have the opportunity to rent the custom Camaros fashioned in the signature Hertz yellow and black color scheme with custom wheels, interior badging and full performance upgrades outfitted by Hendrick Motorsports. In conjunction with the program rollout, customers can celebrate the debut of the limited-edition Camaros by participating in The Hertz Ultimate Ride Sweepstakes – beginning Sept. 18, through Nov. 15, 2019 – for a chance to win a 2020 Hertz-Hendrick Motorsports Camaro SS. Five finalists will also win an exclusive driving experience in Charlotte. Click here for more information on the Hertz-Hendrick custom Camaro program.
William Byron on the corners after the Texas repave:
“I think you can be good in both. Turns 1 and 2 was where more speed was made earlier this year and getting off Turn 2 was an important thing for a fast lap. I’ll be interested to see if Turns 3 and 4 have worn at all since we were there last though. It’s usually a pretty hot race, even in November. We had a great race there in the spring though. We weren’t position to win that early on in the season but we were in the top five most of the day before finishing sixth. I think this time we’ll have a great opportunity to go in there and have a great run.”