The Month of May Might be Byron’s New Favorite Month
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 10, 2016) – So far the month of May is turning out quite well for William Byron. He knew it would be a milestone month with his upcoming high school graduation on May 27, but another milestone happened along the way last weekend at Kansas Speedway when he earned his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) win in only his fifth start. Now this weekend he returns to Dover (Del.) International Speedway, where he captured the 2015 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship last September.
Byron won the Toyota Tundra 250 at Kansas Speedway last weekend in dramatic fashion. He led 33 laps and had pulled away from the field until a caution came out with three laps to go. He was shuffled back to third on the green-white-checkered restart, but as the top-two trucks tangled coming off turn four, Byron drove by them for the win. Although he wasn’t quite sure how to do a celebratory burnout, he quickly learned that as well, as smoke filled the area around his Liberty University Tundra.
Heading to Dover this weekend also holds fond memories for him. Last fall he captured the K&N Pro Series East championship with a ninth-place finish in the race. Just like he did with the Kansas burnout, he learned on the fly at Dover last year as well. The first lap he turned on the track was the first lap of the race. Mother Nature washed out all practice and qualifying for the K&N Series. Starting from the pole (based on points), Byron led 57 laps of the 125-lap race. Although he did not win, the top-10 finish was all he needed to clinch the title.
So what is more intimidating for Byron: attempting your first burnout in front of thousands of fans, facing down the Monster Mile or walking across the stage to get your high school diploma? Byron will know by the end of May after he accomplishes all the above.
William Byron, Driver of the No. 9 NCWTS Liberty University Tundra:
What were the last few days like after your first NCWTS win at Kansas?
“The last few days have definitely been different and exciting to have people congratulating me on the race, whether from school or in the racing community. I’ve just kind of been living on cloud nine for a little bit. Now that I’ve experienced that, I want to win again this week at Dover!”
You won the K&N Pro Series East Championship at Dover last year. Are you excited to go back?
“Dover is a pretty cool place. When I went there last year, my first time on the race track was the first lap of the race. So going back and being able to have practice to wrap my hands around the race track a little bit more will be helpful, but also to have that instant experience I did last year. We had 125 laps of pretty intense racing as I was going for a championship, so I’ll be able to relax a bit more this time and see what we can do.”
Has Kyle (Busch) given you any advice on racing at Dover?
“Kyle reminded us in our competition meeting this week that it will be really aero-sensitive and it’s a tough track to pass. You have to keep your head in the game and be ready for the green-flag runs and restarts, and get those things figured out as best you can so you are in a good position at the end.”
Rudy Fugle, Crew Chief of the No. 9 NCWTS Liberty University Tundra:
How does your strategy change now that William has won a race?
“I’m excited since William ran at Dover last year without any practice, but he led a bunch of laps and won the K&N championship. Now we’re in the Chase, so that changes our strategy a bit for the upcoming races. We want to learn as much as we can before the Chase starts, and we can go out there and be a little more aggressive at times to maximize our learning to put ourselves in a good place to win more races.”
William Byron’s No. 9 Liberty University Tundra:
KBM-031: The No. 9 Liberty University team will race KBM-031, for Friday’s NCWTS 200 at Dover. William Byron raced this truck last month at Martinsville to a third-place finish.
KBM-031 Performance Profile:
|Totals||4 Starts, 0 Wins||10.0||8.8||19|
Notes of Interest:
William Byron 2016:
• Earned first career win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Kansas Speedway in just his fifth series start (5/6/16)
• Started and finished second in the ARCA Racing Series at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in February (2/13/16)
William Byron 2015:
• Made first career NASCAR Camping World Series start at Phoenix International Raceway in November
• Captured the 2015 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Championship and Rookie of the Year honors after producing four wins, three poles, 740 laps led, five top-five and 11 top-10 finishes across 14 starts
• Picked up a victory at Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway in just his second career K&N Pro Series East start, earned the championship lead after a runner-up finish at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in the third race of the season and stayed at the top of the standings for the remainder of the season
• Made two ARCA Racing Series starts where he led a race-high 120 laps in his series debut at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis before settling for a runner-up finish when the race was decided by tire strategy. Also won the pole at Kentucky Speedway
|Series||Races||Win||Top 5||Top 10||Pole||Laps||Led||AvSt||AvFn|
|CARS Super LM||3||1||3||3||0||400||156||5.3||2.3|
William Byron 2014
• Named the N.C. NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Rookie of the Year with seven poles, 10 podium finishes and 15 top-five finishes in 30 starts
• Won six of six races at Winter Nationals in Auburndale, Fla., and crowned Pro Legend Champion
• Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Winter Heat Series Champion in the Legend Car Pro division
• Two wins and seven podium finishes in Charlotte’s Summer Shootout Series Legend Car Pro division
William Byron 2013
• Competed in the U.S. Legend Car Young Lion Division where he earned 33 wins, 59 top-five and 64 top-10 finishes in 69 starts to become the U.S. Legend Champion
? Won first-career feature at Concord (N.C.) Speedway
? Won pole and feature at Caraway (N.C.) Speedway – first time on a track over a quarter mile
? Won Legends All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway
? Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway Thursday Thunder Champion
Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 9 Tundra:
• The No. 9 team has earned one win and two top-five finishes in four starts this season.
• Ten members of this year’s No. 9 Tundra team were a part of last year’s No. 4 Tundra team which collected three wins, five poles, 925 laps led, 11 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes across 23 starts last season and captured the 2015 NCWTS Driver’s and Owner’s Championship. They have one top five so far in 2016.
KBM NCWTS Program
• Has collected one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Driver’s Championship, four Owner’s Championships, 47 Truck Series victories and 24 poles across 285 starts since originating in 2010
• 47 career Truck Series victories as an organization ranks second all-time behind Roush Fenway (50)
• 14 victories as an organization during the 2014 season broke the Truck Series record of 12 set by Ultra Motorsports in 2001
• Eight different drivers have won a race for KBM, led by owner-driver Kyle Busch with 29. Erik Jones has collected seven victories, Darrell Wallace Jr., has five wins, Denny Hamlin produced two victories and Christopher Bell, William Byron, Kasey Kahne and Brian Scott all collected one triumph
• Has collected victories at 20 of the 21 tracks on the 2016 schedule, excluding Atlanta Motor Speedway
KBM NCWTS @ Dover
• KBM drivers have collected three wins, two poles, 680 laps led, five top-five and seven top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 9.7 across 12 starts at the Monster Mile
• Owner-driver Kyle Busch has collected all three of his team’s wins at the one-mile track (2011, 2013 & 2014)
• KBM drivers have led more laps at Dover (680) than at any other track on the circuit
The Fugle File:
Fugle begins his third season as a crew chief at KBM and fifth overall with the team. Under his tutelage last season, Erik Jones posted three wins, five poles, 925 laps led, 11 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes en route to becoming the youngest champion in Truck Series history and the first driver to collect both the Rookie of the Year and the series title in the same year. The duo also nabbed KBM its record-breaking fourth Truck Series Owner’s championship last season, which was the second with Fugle calling the shots. In 2013, he led KBM’s No. 51 Tundra team to a series-leading six wins and an Owner’s Championship. Entering 2016, the New York native’s Truck Series drivers have totaled nine wins, six poles, 21 top-five and 35 top-10 finishes across his 44 races atop the pit box for KBM.
Fugle has one win (Kyle Busch, 2013) and two top-five finishes, as a crew chief in three starts at Dover. Erik Jones finished third last year. Fugle’s Tundras have led 100 laps (Busch 50 in 2013 and Jones 50 in 2015).
Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 9 Liberty University Toyota Tundra 2016 NCWTS Box Score:
|Date||Site||Driver||Start||Finish||Laps||Laps Led||Status||Driver Pts/Pos.|