2021 IN THE REARVIEW: Embarking on his fifth season in the NASCAR Cup Series, William Byron is coming off a personal-best year at the highest level of stock-car competition. He started 2021 by capturing his second career Cup win with a strong performance at Homestead-Miami Speedway in February. From there, Byron went on an 11-race streak of top-10 results to become the youngest driver in history (23 years, 1 month and 17 days) to post a top-10 streak of 10 or more races. Locking himself into the Cup Series playoffs for the third consecutive time, he fought through adversity to make it to the Round of 12 and finish the season a career-best 10th in points with one win, two pole awards, 12 top-five finishes, 20 top-10s, and 425 laps led.
COMING FOR THE CLASH: The 2022 season will once again kick off with the Clash exhibition race -- but this year at an exciting new venue: the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. It will mark Byron’s third consecutive start in the Clash with all three occurring at different venues. In last year’s event held on the DAYTONA Road Course, Byron started fifth and finished the night in fifth despite suffering a late-race flat tire.
STADIUM STYLE: While the L.A. Coliseum is a new venue on the Cup Series schedule, Byron has experience on a similar track: Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He competed at Bowman Gray with the NASCAR ARCA Series East in 2015 when he started fourth and finished in the 15th position.
RUDY, RUDY, RUDY: In 2021, Rudy Fugle wasted no time immersing himself at Hendrick Motorsports for his debut season as a NASCAR Cup Series crew chief. After starting the year with a trip to victory lane in just his third race with the No. 24 team, Fugle posted 11 consecutive top-10 results and cemented the No. 24 team firmly in the playoffs before finishing 10th in points. He is looking to build off of his successful first season at the Cup level and propel Byron into championship contention.
WELCOME BACK VALVOLINE: Valvoline will open 2022 as the primary sponsor of Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Sunday's Clash at the Coliseum. It will be the first of two races that the Valvoline colors will be on board the No. 24, with the second race being at Byron's hometown track for the Charlotte ROVAL. Valvoline Inc. (NYSE: VVV) is a leading worldwide marketer and supplier of premium branded lubricants and automotive services, with sales in more than 140 countries. Established in 1866, the company’s heritage spans more than 150 years, during which time it has developed powerful brand recognition across multiple product and service channels. Valvoline ranks as the No. 3 passenger car motor oil brand in the DIY market by volume. To learn more, visit valvoline.com. For a closer look at Byron’s No. 24 Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, click here.
William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on preparing for racing at the Los Angeles Coliseum: “I’m excited to get to L.A. and see what the track is like in person. When the idea came out to potentially race there, I was one of the drivers who was able to experience it on iRacing early on and give some feedback on how it raced. Other than that, there’s not much other preparation we can do before we get in our race cars and on track for practice Saturday. I’m interested to see how different the track races from that first time on iRacing. I think we can expect it to be tight racing with maintaining track position as the key. It should be interesting for sure as there’s no room for error.”
Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on racing at the Los Angeles Coliseum for the first time: “I’m not sure many of us know what to expect this weekend in Los Angeles. The nice thing is that everyone is in that same situation. We’ve had a lot of time testing the new car in the off-season, which is nice, but also none of those tests were on tracks similar to L.A. Thankfully we have some practice time prior to qualifying and the race, but with three short-timed sessions, it’s not a ton of time. Most of that time will be used to get drivers adjusted to the track, learning braking points, things like that. It should be exciting though as a lot of us on the team grew up racing at short tracks like this and it brings us back to where we started.”