William Byron Is Ready To Let The Rough Side Drag At Eldora

William Byron

William Byron has raced at many new tracks this year during his rookie season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS), but this Wednesday’s race may be his biggest challenge yet. He has quickly adapted to racing on bigger tracks, as three of his four wins this season have come on mile-and-a-half tracks, but adapting to dirt is a whole different story.Wednesday night will be Byron’s first start on a dirt track and he’ll be doing it at one of the most legendary dirt tracks in the country, Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
Until a few weeks ago, Byron had never even driven on dirt. He spent a day practicing in a dirt late model at Boyd’s Speedway in Ringgold, Ga., on his way home after winning at Kentucky Speedway. After a few laps he was hooked and is looking forward to racing his No. 9 Liberty University Tundra at Eldora. He also has a Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) teammate with quite a bit of dirt experience to call on for advice. Christopher Bell spent his entire racing career driving open-wheel cars on dirt tracks around the country until joining KBM and making the move to paved tracks. Bell won the NCWTS race at Eldora last year and the half-mile dirt oval ranks among his favorite tracks.
KBM teams have won twice at the half-mile clay oval across eight starts. In addition to Bell’s win last year, Darrell Wallace Jr., claimed the Golden Shovel in 2014. KBM Tundras have paced the field for 227 laps and have four top-five finishes. For the Aspen Dental Eldora Dirt Derby, Byron will be racing the same Tundra which Erik Jones drove to a fourth-place finish last year after starting 19th.
Although the 18-year-old rookie has never raced on dirt before, it would be a mistake to count him out of competing for the win Wednesdaynight. Byron has shown a knack for picking up on new tracks pretty quickly, and with the help of his crew and teammates, he may be able to make the dirt fly on his way to Victory Lane.
William Byron, Driver of the No. 9 NCWTS Liberty University Tundra:
Talk about your first time on dirt last week in a late model:
“My first time on dirt in a late model was awesome last weekend. It was so different sliding around, and a lot of the techniques are the opposite of asphalt racing, but I had a lot of fun and am really looking forward to trying it in a truck at Eldora this week.”
Have you asked your KBM teammate Christopher Bell for advice since he’s got so much experience on dirt?
“I’ve been able to get a lot of advice from Christopher lately. He’s been so helpful and I got the chance to go to Eldora and watch him Fridayin the sprint car. Since I was racing the KBM late model in Anderson, Ind., we decided to drive over and check it out. It was really cool to watch him in a sprint car.”
What is your goal for the Eldora race since it’s your first dirt race?
“Honestly, our goal every time we go to the race track is to win, so Eldora will be no different. I won’t put the pressure on myself like I do at our other tracks, but I still would love to get the Golden Shovel.”
Rudy Fugle, Crew Chief of the No. 9 NCWTS Liberty University Tundra:
What is your strategy for Eldora since it will be William’s first race on dirt?
“Eldora is more like a low-grip asphalt race than a dirt race with the way the trucks drive and the tires are, so I; think William will do fine. We’ll just go slow and steady in practice, kind of like we’ve been doing at these new tracks, and by the time we get to the middle of the race he knows what he’s doing. Hopefully the same thing will work out. Either way we’re just going to go have some fun and be competitive.”
William Byron’s No. 9 Liberty University Tundra:
KBM-X134: The No. 9 Liberty University team will race KBM-X134, for Wednesday’s Dirt Derby at Eldora. This is the same Tundra Erik Jones drove to a fourth-place finish at Eldora last year.
KBM-X134 Performance Profile:
Date
Site
Driver
Start
Finish
Laps
Laps Led
Status
7/22/2015
Eldora
Jones
19
4
154/154
0
running
Notes of Interest:
William Byron 2016:
  • Earned first career win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Kansas Speedway in just his fifth series start (5/6/16) and followed that up with wins at Texas Motor Speedway (6/10/16), Iowa Speedway (6/18/16) & Kentucky Speedway (7/7/16)
  • After 10 races leads the NCWTS Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings by 20 points and is currently leading the NCWTS driver standings with four wins which locks in him the inaugural NCWTS Chase
  • Started and finished second in the ARCA Racing Series at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in February (2/13/16)
Series
Races
Win
Top 5
Top 10
Pole
Laps
Led
AvSt
AvFn
NCWTS
10
4
5
6
0
1595
369
5.6
9.0
ARCA
2
0
1
2
0
160
3
2.5
5.0
Totals
12
4
6
8
0
1,755
372
4.5
7.0
William Byron 2015:
  • Made first career NASCAR Camping World Series start at Phoenix International Raceway in November
  • Captured the 2015 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Championship and Rookie of the Year honors after producing four wins, three poles, 740 laps led, five top-five and 11 top-10 finishes across 14 starts
  • Made two ARCA Racing Series starts where he led a race-high 120 laps in his series debut at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis before settling for a runner-up finish when the race was decided by tire strategy. Also won the pole at Kentucky Speedway
Series
Races
Win
Top 5
Top 10
Pole
Laps
Led
AvSt
AvFn
NCWTS
1
0
0
0
0
6
0
5.0
31.0
K&N East
14
4
5
11
3
1729
740
3.8
6.8
CARS Super LM
3
1
3
3
0
400
156
5.3
2.3
ARCA
2
0
1
1
1
200
120
1.5
17.0
K&N West
1
0
1
1
0
68
0
2.0
5.0
Totals
21
5
10
16
4
2,403
1,016
3.5
12.42
William Byron 2014
  • Named the N.C. NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Rookie of the Year with seven poles, 10 podium finishes and 15 top-five finishes in 30 starts
  • Won six of six races at Winter Nationals in Auburndale, Fla., and crowned Pro Legend Champion
  • Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Winter Heat Series Champion in the Legend Car Pro division
  • Two wins and seven podium finishes in Charlotte’s Summer Shootout Series Legend Car Pro division
William Byron 2013
  • Competed in the U.S. Legend Car Young Lion Division where he earned 33 wins, 59 top-five and 64 top-10 finishes in 69 starts to become the U.S. Legend Champion
  • Won first-career feature at Concord (N.C.) Speedway
  • Won pole and feature at Caraway (N.C.) Speedway – first time on a track over a quarter mile
  • Won Legends All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway
  • Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway Thursday Thunder Champion
Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 9 Tundra:
  • The No. 9 team has earned four wins, five top-five and six top-10 finishes in 10 starts this season.
  • Ten members of this year’s No. 9 Tundra team were a part of last year’s No. 4 Tundra team which collected three wins, five poles, 925 laps led, 11 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes across 23 starts last season and captured the 2015 NCWTS Driver’s and Owner’s Championship
KBM NCWTS Program
  • Holds the NCWTS records for most career wins (51), most wins in a single season (14 in 2014) and most Owner’s championships (four)
  • Erik Jones earned the organization its first-ever NCWTS Driver’s championship in 2015
  • Has collected 51 wins, 25 poles, 118 top-five and 184 top-10 finishes across 305 starts since originating in 2010
  • Eight different drivers have won a race for KBM, led by owner-driver Kyle Busch with 29. Erik Jones has collected seven victories, Darrell Wallace Jr., has five wins, William Byron earned four trophies, Christopher Bell and Denny Hamlin produced two victories while Kasey Kahne and Brian Scott both collected one triumph
  • Has collected victories at 20 of the 21 tracks on the 2016 schedule, excluding Atlanta Motor Speedway
KBM NCWTS @ Eldora
  • KBM drivers have collected two wins, 227 laps led, four top-five and five top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 11.5 across eight starts at Eldora
  • KBM has won the last two events at the half-mile dirt oval; Christopher Bell led 106 of 154 laps in last year’s event en route to his first-career NCWTS victory last year and Darrell Wallace Jr., led a race-high 97 laps en route to victory in the 2014 event
The Fugle File:
Fugle begins his third season as a crew chief at KBM and fifth overall with the team. Under his tutelage last season, Erik Jones posted three wins, five poles, 925 laps led, 11 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes en route to becoming the youngest champion in Truck Series history and the first driver to collect both the Rookie of the Year and the series title in the same year. The duo also nabbed KBM its record-breaking fourth Truck Series Owner’s championship last season, which was the second with Fugle calling the shots. In 2013, he led KBM’s No. 51 Tundra team to a series-leading six wins and an Owner’s Championship. Entering 2016, the New York native’s Truck Series drivers have totaled nine wins, six poles, 21 top-five and 35 top-10 finishes across his 44 races atop the pit box for KBM.
Fugle has one top-five finish as a crew chief in two starts at Eldora in the Truck Series. Erik Jones finished fourth last year after starting back in 19th place.
Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 9 Liberty University Toyota Tundra 2016 NCWTS Box Score:
Date
Site
Driver
Start
Finish
Laps
Laps Led
Status
Driver Pts./Pos.
2/19
Daytona
Byron
13
13
100/100
0
Running
20/11th
2/27
Atlanta
Byron
15
32
59/130
0
Engine
21/26th
4/2
Martinsville
Byron
7
3
255/255
0
Running
51/12th
5/6
Kansas
Byron
2
1
170/170
34
Running
87/7th
5/13
Dover
Byron
1 (rain)
11
200/200
80
Running
111/6th
5/20
Charlotte
Byron
1 (rain)
10
134/134
25
Running
135/5th
6/10
Texas
Byron
6
1
167/167
6
Running
171/3rd
6/18
Iowa
Byron
5
1
200/200
107
Running
208/2nd
6/25
Gateway
Byron

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