top of page

Byron Dominates at COTA to Score Second Win of 2024


RACE REPORT | CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS (3.41-mile road course)

MARCH 24, 2024

START 1st

FINISH 1st

WILLIAM BYRON ▪ NO. 24 RAPTOR CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1

SPEED READ

  • During Saturday’s practice session, William Byron was the fastest overall and then backed that up in qualifying, securing his second pole at the Circuit of the Americas in the No. 24 RAPTOR Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and setting a new track record.

  • The Charlotte, North Carolina, native jumped out to the lead early on, leading every lap until making a green-flag pit stop on lap 12 due to pit strategy but was still able to finish stage one in seventh

  • The No. 24 team played their pit strategy right re-taking the lead on lap 20 and once again remained out front until hitting pit road on lap 27, ultimately finishing stage two in eighth.

  • Restarting first in the final stage, Byron temporarily lost the lead but took back the top spot on lap 43 and then used pit strategy to lead the final 17 laps en route to the victory.

  • With Byron’s win on Sunday, he becomes the first driver since 2019 to be fastest in practice, securing the pole in qualifying and then capturing the win in one weekend.

  • This is the third straight season that Byron is the first driver to reach two wins – the last time that happened was Jeff Gordon from 1997 to 1999 – also in the No. 24

  • After the race at the Circuit of the Americas, Byron moves up to sixth in the driver point standings, 37 points behind the leader, but now sits first in the playoff system as the only driver with two wins


RECAPPING THE RACE

Since the NASCAR Cup Series utilized a new aero package this weekend, they had double the time in practice at the Circuit of the Americas. Once practice was complete, William Byron found himself the fastest overall and went on to back that up in qualifying, collecting his second pole award at the 20-turn track and once again setting another track record. When the field went green on Sunday for the 68-lap event, Byron jumped out to an early lead in the No. 24 RAPTOR Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and maintained that position as the run went on. Using pit strategy to flip the stage, crew chief Rudy Fugle called his driver down pit road under green on lap 12 for four tires and fuel with no adjustments. With the varying pit strategy playing out, the 26-year-old driver was still able to score stage points though, crossing the line in seventh at the end of stage one. During the stage break, Byron remained on track to keep in line with their pre-planned strategy.


For the start of stage two, Byron lined up in third but quickly took over second once the field went back green. The driver of the No. 24 RAPTOR Chevy continued his hunt to the front, re- taking the lead on lap 20. Once again building a substantial lead, Byron paced the field until he came down pit road under green on lap 27 for four tires and fuel with no adjustments since he liked the handling of his race car. Byron rejoined the field and ultimately ended the stage in eighth, once again collecting stage points despite the pit strategy the team was using. To once again keep with their strategy, Byron did not pit at the stage break and cycled back to the top spot.


Lining up on the front row for the start of the final stage, Byron unfortunately locked up the tires going into turn 1, dropping him back to third on the restart. He wasted no time though to make up track position by moving himself into second on lap 37. Determined to reclaim the top spot, Byron reeled in the leader and was able to re-take the lead on lap 43. Still liking the handling of his No.24 RAPTOR Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, Fugle called his driver down pit road under green on lap 44 for four tires and enough fuel to make it to the end of the race. With the field cycling through green-flag pit stops, Byron ultimately found himself as the leader once again, this time on lap 51. For the remaining 17 laps, Byron focused on hitting his marks consistently while maintaining his gap to those behind him. Despite a late charge by competitors in the closing laps, Byron held on to secure the win at the Circuit of the Americas – his second win of the 2024 Cup Series season and first at the 20-turn course.


Byron led his Hendrick Motorsports teammates to the checkered flag, securing his second win of the 2024 season. Alex Bowman also collected a top-five finish, crossing the stripe in fourth. Chase Elliott finished 16th after a late-race penalty with Kyle Larson in 17th after being involved in an on-track incident.


QUOTING THE No. 24 TEAM:

CONGRATULATIONS ON THE FLAMES YOU LEFT HERE ON YOUR BURNOUT.

“Oh yeah, it was fun for sure. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with a long front straightaway like this, but just super thankful for this team. Rudy, all the guys on this race team – it’s pretty amazing what we have been able to do the last couple of years, but we just have to keep working hard and keep it going. Nothing is guaranteed in this sport, and we just have to keep it going.”


WHAT WAS THAT LAST RUN LIKE FOR YOU WHEN YOU KNEW GUYS WERE CHASING YOU AND ESPECIALLY WITH CHRISTOPHER BELL CLOSING IN?“Yeah, he was really fast at the end. The Toyotas had the long run speed kind of all weekend, so for us, it was just trying to get a gap on the short run; manage our tires and just kind of keep our car in a good spot. I definitely gave up a lot of time the last five laps, so we still have work to do.”


WHEN YOU STARTED IN THIS SPORT, DID YOU THINK AT THIS POINT OF YOUR CAREER YOU WOULD ALREADY HAVE TWO ROAD COURSE WINS?“No, honestly the road courses were probably the most difficult thing for us starting out and

then we just continued to build on it. We had a lot of pole positions on road courses, but we weren’t able to close the deal. A lot of that was on me and knowing what I need in the car to push the whole race. It’s come a long way.”

Opmerkingen


WB Store only.png
bottom of page