2022 SO FAR: So far in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season, William Byron has scored two wins, four top-five finishes, with 570 laps led across 11 of the 14 races, three stage wins and 13 playoff points accumulated. He is currently seventh in the driver point standings and is locked into the Cup Series playoffs for a fourth consecutive season.
LEADING THE FIELD: With 14 races complete in 2022, Byron has led laps in 11 of them – tied for the second-most with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson. His 570 laps led is the most by a driver this season and he is currently on a streak of three consecutive races with at least one lap led – tied for the fourth-longest active streak. He also continues to spend the most laps running in the top-10 (2,516) as well as the most laps running within the top-five (1,687).
SIMILAR IN STYLE: This Sunday’s race at WWTR will mark Byron’s 31st start on tracks 1 to 1.37 miles in length (Dover Motor Speedway, Darlington Raceway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Nashville Superspeedway and Phoenix Raceway). In his previous 30 starts, the 24-year-old driver has collected one pole award, five top-five finishes, 10 top-10s with 82 laps led.
GOING TO GATEWAY: While this weekend’s race will mark the first time that the Cup Series has raced at the track located just outside St. Louis, it will not be the first time that Byron has visited the Illinois-based facility. In 2016, Byron competed at this track in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. During that race, he started third and led 47 of the 160 laps before being collected in a late race on-track incident that resulted in a 17th-place finish.
THE RUDY RUNDOWN: While many in the Cup Series will be experiencing the venue for the first time, crew chief Rudy Fugle is one of a few that has prior experience at the 1.25-mile oval. The Livonia, New York, native has eight prior starts at the track, with six coming in the Truck Series and two in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. His drivers have collected two top-10 finishes – with a best finish of sixth – all while leading 258 laps. One of those six starts was with Byron, where the duo led almost one-third of the race before settling for a 17th-place finish from an on-track incident.
RAPTOR® TOUGH: Returning for this weekend, Byron will race the No. 24 RaptorTough.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Sunday’s event. RAPTOR® is a durable protective coating and bed liner that is designed to tolerate the toughest climatic conditions and can be applied to a wide range of substrates from steel, wood, concrete and plaster to plastics and composites. Resistant to common fuels, U.V., scratches and stains, RAPTOR® is available at local paint distributors, auto parts stores and can also be purchased from online retailers like Amazon.
William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on his thoughts for this weekend: "I don’t know what to expect this weekend really. I think Gateway will race similar to how Phoenix (Raceway) does. We had some speed there earlier this year so I think we have a good starting point, plus we have a full 50-minute practice this Friday to really feel things out. It’s been a few years since I’ve raced there, and when I did, we had a good race going and led a bunch of laps. The last few weeks we haven’t gotten the results we’ve wanted despite leading laps and running up front. This weekend is a good chance for us to turn that around heading into the summer stretch of the season.”
Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on what he thinks it will take to win on Sunday: "Gateway may be a mile-and-a-quarter long but it races more like a short track with long straightaways. So far this season with the Next Gen car, we have been fast on those style tracks so that gives us confidence heading into this weekend. It’s a unique track that’s tough to figure out and those are the challenges I enjoy as a crew chief. I think it’s safe to say that track position is going to be a major factor this weekend and that pit stops are going to be a major key to that. We’ve really improved on pit road the last few weeks, so that gives me confidence as well. You always go to the race track wanting to win, but with this being the first Cup Series race there, everyone wants to be able to say that they were the winner of a inaugural event."