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2024 Season Begins in Daytona

No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

DAYTONA DUELS: William Byron will make his seventh start in the Duel at Daytona qualifying races on Thursday, Feb. 15. In last year’s qualifying race, Byron lined up on the outside row for his duel race but with split pit strategy taking place late in the event, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native finished 10th. However, in 2020, Byron captured his first win in a NASCAR Cup Series event when he started fourth in his qualifying race before going on to score the checkered flag.

TWENTY FOUR TO THE FRONT: In five of the last nine DAYTONA 500 races, the No. 24 has started from the front row – in 2015 with Jeff Gordon and in consecutive seasons, 2016 and 2017, with Chase Elliott all from the pole position. Byron most recently added to that stat by becoming the second-youngest DAYTONA 500 pole winner in 2019 (at 21 years, two months and 12 days), which also marked his first pole in the Cup Series. He wound up back on the front row for the 2021 DAYTONA 500.

BACK AT THE BEACH: During his time in the Cup Series, Byron has 12 starts at Daytona International Speedway. In that time, he has collected one win, two top-five finishes, three top-10s and led 95 laps. However, his stats don’t accurately depict Byron’s success at the 2.5-mile oval. Not only is this the venue where he collected his first pole award (2019 DAYTONA 500) and his first Cup Series win (2020 summer race), but he also won the Duel qualifying race in 2020. Additionally, Byron was in position to capture the win during the summer race in 2019 before inclement weather ended the event early, leaving him with a runner-up finish. Byron’s success at Daytona doesn’t end there. During his 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship campaign, he qualified third in the July race and led 29 laps to score the victory, becoming the youngest driver with an Xfinity Series win at Daytona at 19 years, seven months and one day. 

SUPER ON SUPERSPEEDWAYS: When it comes to tracks that involve drafting, Byron is normally running upfront. He has three points-paying wins on these types of tracks – his first Cup Series win at Daytona in August of 2020 and at the reconfigured Atlanta Motor Speedway in March of 2022 and in July of 2023. Since the start of the 2022 season, he has led 226 laps at drafting tracks and also has four consecutive top-10 finishes on that style of track – the longest active streak in the series.

RUDY RETURNS: Crew chief Rudy Fugle enters his fourth season with Byron at the Cup level and will climb on top of the No. 24 pit box for his fourth DAYTONA 500 and his seventh Cup Series start at the 2.5-mile oval this Sunday. In 2021, the duo started both races at the Florida-based track from the front row. Despite running up front in every Daytona event they’ve raced at together in the Cup Series, misfortune has struck the No. 24 as they have been collected in on-track incidents before the checkered flag on five occasions. Aside from those six Cup starts, the Livonia, New York, native has nine other starts at Daytona, with seven coming in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series. Fugle has one runner-up result, one top-five finish and two top-10s across those seven races. One of those Truck Series starts was with Byron, where the duo qualified and finished 13th.

AT IT AGAIN WITH AXALTA: Once again, Axalta will be back onboard Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. This is Axalta’s 32nd year of partnership with Hendrick Motorsports and has been a primary partner for three of Byron’s 10 wins at the Cup Series level. Earlier this year, Axalta unveiled their new 2024 paint scheme that will be debuted at Daytona. For a closer look, click here.

BEACH BUMS: Kicking off Speedweeks in “The Sunshine State,” two crew members on the No. 24 team will be making their way back home for the first points-paying race of the 2024 season. Engineer Brandon McSwain grew up approximately 100 miles from the “World Center of Racing” in Auburndale, Florida. While just a few miles down the road from where McSwain grew up, engine tuner Ben Proctor calls Lakeland, Florida, home.  


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