William Byron

NEWS

Watkins Glen Race Advance

Watkins Glen Race Advance

July 31, 2019

WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL (2.45-MILE ROAD COURSE)
LOCATION: WATKINS GLEN, NEW YORK
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACE 22 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 3 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, AUG. 4 (NBCSN/MRN/SIRIUSXM)

 


2019 Season Career Track Career
  • 12th in points
  • 57 starts
  • 1 start
  • 21 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 wins
  • 0 wins
  • 3 pole positions
  • 0 pole positions
  • 3 pole positions
  • 2 top-five finishes
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 2 top-five finishes
  • 11 top-10 finishes
  • 1 top-10 finish
  • 7 top-10 finishes
  • 241 laps led
  • 0 laps led
  • 180 laps led

William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Hendrick Autoguard Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media on Saturday, Aug. 3, at noon local time in the media center at Watkins Glen International.
 
HEATING UP IN THE SUMMER: Collecting his second NASCAR Cup Series career top-five finish this past weekend at Pocono Raceway, William Byron’s success in the summer months hasn’t slowed down. In the last five races, the sophomore driver has the second-best average finish in the Cup field, 8.8, which includes two top-five finishes, three top-10s and four top-15s. In those five races, he has continued to put ground between himself and the playoff bubble spot, now holding a 62-point gap in 12th in the point standings with only five races remaining before the playoffs begin.
 
HENDRICK AUTOGUARD RETURNS: Returning for the fourth time on board the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 during the 2019 season, the Hendrick Autoguard colors will adorn Byron's ride for this weekend’s road course race at Watkins Glen International. Available at Hendrick Automotive Group dealerships, Hendrick Autoguard includes additional individualized maintenance products like tire and wheel protection, paintless dent repair, an oil change program, a mechanical repair service contract, flexible maintenance and others. The program affords customers numerous options to get the maximum value from their vehicle with the highest level of service in the industry. All Autoguard vehicle protection programs are available as single products or value-packaged for additional savings. For more, visit the Hendrick Autoguard website.
 
WATKINS GLEN WHIZ: This weekend’s race will mark Byron’s second NASCAR Cup Series start at Watkins Glen and his fourth NASCAR national series start at the road course. In his three previous national starts at the 2.45-mile track, Byron has never finished outside the top-10 running order. Last year, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native had one of the best races of his Cup rookie season, qualifying 16th and racing to a solid eighth-place finish at Watkins Glen. Previous to his Cup start, he made his Watkins Glen debut in the 2015 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race, starting second and finishing seventh. He raced at the venue in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2017, qualifying 17th and crossing the line 10th.
 
KNAUS WANTS WATKINS GLEN WIN: This weekend’s race marks the third track of four this season where No. 24 team crew chief Chad Knaus has yet to claim a victory, with only the Charlotte Motor Speedway "roval" remaining this year. Calling the shots for 17 races at the 2.45-mile road course, third with Jimmie Johnson in 2012 is the closest Knaus has come to taking home a checkered flag. In those 17 starts, the veteran crew chief has two poles (2004 and 2009), three top-five finishes and seven top-10s. As an extra incentive, if Knaus is able to secure his first victory at The Glen this upcoming weekend, it will come the day before he celebrates his 48th birthday.
 
RUNNER-UP RESULT: Byron is one of four Cup Series drivers who have finished second in a race in 2019 but have yet to capture the checkered flag. He is also ranked third among the Cup field for most laps led (180) without a win.
 
HOME SWEET HOME: One member of the No. 24 team is excited to make the trip to Upstate New York this weekend – primary hauler driver Mark Ellis. Hailing from Utica, New York, which is less 150 miles from Watkins Glen International, Ellis graduated from Proctor High School before pursuing his racing career. Other than NASCAR, Ellis has also spent time working in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), where he was an engine builder on Tony Schumacher’s Top Fuel team, ultimately winning a world championship before heading back to the NASCAR circuit.
 
POCONO PLAYBACK: Despite starting from the 31st position due to issues in pre-race technical inspection, Byron began his march through the field last weekend at Pocono Raceway early on until the handling of his Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 swung to the extremely tight side and hindered his progress through traffic. Finding himself back within the top-10 running order at the start of the final stage, Knaus made the call for two right-side tires when the caution came out with fewer than 45 laps remaining. Told to save fuel aggressively to make it to the end of the race, Byron maintained his position within the top 10 until a caution with six laps to go changed the complexion of the race. Despite being close on fuel but restarting from the sixth position, Knaus gave Byron the green light to “go all out” for the final laps. Byron was able to move within the top five and crossed the finish line with a track-best fourth-place finish, running out of fuel as he crossed the finish line.
 

 
QUOTABLE / 
 
William Byron on Watkins Glen versus Sonoma:
“Sonoma was a good race for us, but Watkins Glen is really fast and narrow compared to that track. I think with this package, the track is going to be a lot faster. I’m excited to see what that’s all about. We can translate some stuff from our setup in Sonoma and I think it will really be strong for Watkins Glen. I’m excited about that, for sure.”
 
Byron on what he learned at Spring Mountain:
“Before Sonoma we got the chance to drive the Chevy cars out at Spring Mountain. It was helpful for me to work on hitting my marks and being consistent every lap, but it really helped us with overall communication. (No. 24 team crew chief) Chad (Knaus) could really understand better what I was talking about with the car and what I needed, and I think it paid off in Sonoma. We wanted to put a lot of importance into the road course races this year because it’s really like every other race. You can win the race and lock yourself into the playoffs just like the others. I don’t think a lot of guys really prepare completely for them since there’s so few road courses on the schedule, but I think that’s starting to change with the Charlotte 'roval' being added into the playoffs. There’s now more of an importance on road courses and we want to make sure we’re as ready as we can be."