Since 1992 US Legends has been building safe and affordable race cars for those who have the passion and desire to race but might not have the mechanical talent to maintain them. The cars are manufactured in their spacious facility located in Harrisburg, NC and in the summer of 2012 one young man with a passion to get behind the wheel travelled to the sales and manufacturing facility to learn about one of the hottest types of race cars in the United States.
That racer was a then 15 year old native of Charlotte, NC who had caught the bug for racing when his father took him to his first race in 2006 at the Martinsville Speedway. His name is William Byron and his rise to becoming a national champion in his first year of racing although improbable is a story that needs to be told.
Byron and his father Bill travelled to US Legends to see if the 1940’s looking race car with a Yamaha FJ1200 engine was the solution to William’s desire to get behind the wheel. “To say we were a fish out of water is an understatement,” stated Bill Byron. “When William and I walked in it was quite obvious to everyone that if we were going to race we would need direction.”
The father and son duo after being impressed at the facility decided to take in a race at the nearby Concord Speedway which featured the Legends Cars as the main class. Five minutes after arriving at the racetrack William knew the path that he wanted to take, to race a Legends Car.
The next step for the rookie was to attend a Legends racing school at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The only nerve racking part for William was the fact that he had never driven a clutch or anything more exotic than a bicycle. It only took William once to get the hang of the clutch and after that the now sophomore at Charlotte Country Day School showed a natural talent for driving to the tune of one second faster than anyone else in the school.
After deliberation it was now back to US Legends to purchase a race car. The most difficult part was going to be how would they maintain the car and get it back and forth to the race track? “What impressed me a great deal was how the team at US Legends had the answers we needed to figure out how to make this work,” explained Byron. “They gave us the names of a few people who actually maintain and carry the race car back and forth to the track and we found Dennis Lambert who turned out to be one of the best decisions we made.”
In the fall of 2012 it was time for Byron to make his debut. After a few practice sessions William ventured to the Rockingham Speedway on November 11, 2012. The day set the tone for what was coming in the future…the second fast qualifier and a fourth place finish in the feature.
2013 was a dream season for William Byron. He won his first race in March and once he found his winning ways it was hard to keep him out of victory lane the remainder of the year.
William Byron did not take the traditional approach to becoming a racer. Many young racers start in karting or quarter midgets. For William it was on his computer iRacing. He used the skills he developed on iRacing to develop a natural driving style that helped him have his incredible year.
“Racing a Legends car can be tricky at first,” added William. “It took me a few months to really get the hang of things but once I caught on it all made sense to me. The cars are great to drive and they really teach you many of the techniques you need if you want to move in up your racing career.”
“I think the support that US Legends provided made a huge difference for William when he first got started,” added Bill Byron. “They give you the tools you need to race locally or if you want to run for a national championship. “
In 2013 William Byron ran 69 races at eight different race tracks in six states on his way to 33 wins. When you are 15 and racing as much as William did it sometimes is about the all of the friendships he developed in his travels.
“I will never forget the 2013 season for a number of reasons,” beamed Byron. “For me I know that I have found friendships that I will enjoy for a long time. We spend so much time at the track and Legends racing gave me the platform to meet so many new people.”
On September 27, 2013 William Byron clinched the US Legends Young Lions National Points Championship when he won the 25 lap main event at the Concord Speedway, the same race track that he and his Dad had visited in the fall of 2012 to see if racing was in his future. His journey saw him capture the Thursday Thunder Points Championship at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, the Legends All-Star race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, US Legends Young Lions Race of Champions at Lake Erie Speedway in PA and Legendstock in Bethel, NY.
“I can’t thank US Legends enough for the great race car and awesome series. I am sure that without US Legends I would probably still be on my computer iRacing wondering what if.