William Byron Makes His Chicagoland Debut This Weekend

William Byron

Friday’s race at Chicagoland Speedway in Jolliet, Ill., marks the end of the regular season for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) before starting the seven-race Chase next week. Although William Byron has never raced at Chicagoland before, he is hoping to get his sixth win of the season in the , and he has good reason to believe it will happen.

Two of Byron’s five wins in 2016 have come on mile-and-a-half tracks where he has never raced before. His very first win came in May at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, a track where he had never driven a lap until the first practice the day before the race. He led 34 laps en route to his first victory in the NCWTS. He earned his second win at Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth, another 1.5-mile oval, in his first appearance there. He only led six laps in that race, but one of the them was the final lap, the only one that counts.

Byron will also be driving the same Liberty University Tundra which has taken him to Victory Lane three times already this year. Chassis KBM-023 was the Tundra the Kyle Busch Motorsports team brought to both Kansas and Texas, and most recently the site of his fifth win at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway in August.

Many things are working in Bryon’s favor this weekend to blow away the competition in the Windy City. The 18-year-old rookie would like to get one more win under his firesuit belt before heading into the Chase next weekend to build momentum before going into the most important seven races of his young racing career.

William Byron, Driver of the No. 9 NCWTS Liberty University Tundra:

Based on your past success this season, are you excited to get back to a 1.5-mile track again?

“Based on our success on the intermediate race tracks, I feel really confident that we can have a good run this weekend. I’m just really happy to get back to some normality in the schedule when it comes to the race tracks being more like the ones in the Chase.  I think this will be a really important tune up for places like Las Vegas and Texas in a few weeks. There is just something about these type of race tracks that works with Rudy and my driving style, so we are both eager to unload at Chicago.”

Will you race any differently next weekend when the Chase begins than you will at Chicago?

“I don’t think I will race any differently in the Chase, because if I did I might take unnecessary risks that will hurt my chances. Luckily we’ve had a good amount of success this year and I know that if I look back at those races and how we operated, that attitude will be the best way to approach the Chase races. If we do have an off day, solid finishes will be very important, and that’s what we have been trying to put together the last few weeks.”

How have your first two weeks of college been?

“My first couple weeks of college have been exciting and also a bit stressful and new at the same time. Fortunately, I’ve had a little bit more time than normal to get settled in and accustomed to everything before the racing schedule picks back up again this weekend. I was able to go to my first Liberty football game and really see what campus life is like from a hands-on perspective.”

Rudy Fugle, Crew Chief of the No. 9 NCWTS Liberty University Tundra:

Is this race business as usual, or a last chance to experiment before the Chase begins?

“In my opinion, this is like a prep race for the Chase. We will approach it like it’s a Chase race, but it’s one final throwaway if we need it. Everybody is prepared mentally as if this is a Chase race. We’re going for a win, to get maximum points and maximize the best finish we can every weekend. It should be a fun race. Chicago races well, there is a lot of drafting and you have to make your truck drive well, so it should be a good race for us.”

William Byron’s No. 9 Liberty University Tundra:

KBM-023: The No. 9 Liberty University team will race KBM-023 for Friday’s American Ethanol E15 225. This is the same truck Byron has won with three times this season at Kansas, Texas and Pocono.

KBM-023 Performance Profile:
Date
Site
Driver
Start
Finish
Laps
Laps Led
Status
7/30/2016
Pocono
Byron
1
1
60/60
44
running
6/10/2016
Texas
Byron
6
1
167/167
6
running
5/6/2016
Kansas
Byron
2
1
170/170
34
running
8/15/2015
Michigan
Jones
7
3
100/100
16
running
8/1/2015
Pocono
Jones
1
10
69/69
9
running
5/8/2015
Kansas
Jones
1
11
166/167
151
running
2/28/2015
Atlanta
Jones
2
7
130/130
39
running
11/14/2014
Homestead
Busch
5
4
134/134
6
running
Totals
8 starts, 3 Wins
3.1
4.8
305
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) & Pocono Raceway (7/30/16)
  • After 15 races leads the NCWTS Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings by 31 points and is currently leading the NCWTS driver standings with five wins which locks in him the inaugural NCWTS Chase
Series
Races
Win
Top 5
Top 10
Pole
Laps
Led
AvSt
AvFn
NCWTS
15
5
8
10
0
2171
423
5.9
9.6
ARCA
2
0
1
2
0
160
3
2.5
5.0
Totals
16
5
9
12
0
2331
426
4.2
7.3
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 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 five wins, eight top-five and 10 top-10 finishes in 15 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 (52), most wins in a single season (14 in 2014) and mostOwner’s championships (four)
  • Erik Jones earned the organization its first-ever NCWTS Driver’s championship in 2015
  • Has collected 52 wins, 25 poles, 123 top-five and 192 top-10 finishes across 320 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, William Byron and Darrell Wallace Jr., each have five wins, 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 @ Chicagoland Speedway
  • KBM drivers have collected three wins, 262 laps led, five top-five and nine top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 6.8 across 11 starts
  • Kyle Busch has claimed all three wins for KBM (2010, 2013 & 2014) at the 1.5-mile oval and has led 249 of the team’s 262 laps

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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