No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
Driver William Byron
Hometown Charlotte, North Carolina
Age 22 Resides Charlotte, North Carolina
14th in standings
0 pole positions
3 top-five finishes
10 top-10 finishes
97 laps led
5 pole positions
8 top-five finishes
27 top-10 finishes
391 laps led
0 pole positions
0 top-five finishes
1 top-10 finish
27 laps led
STILL FIGHTING: While William Byron’s NASCAR Cup Series playoff run came to an unfortunate early close after an on-track incident at Bristol Motor Speedway, there are still seven races left in the 2020 season. With points resetting after the Round of 16, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native now sits 14th in the standings with the opportunity to gain additional positions in the remaining events.
LOOKING FOR LUCK: When the No. 24 Axalta Chevy ZL1 1LE unloads for Sunday’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, it will mark Byron’s sixth Cup Series start at the 1.5-mile speedway. Out of those five previous starts, Byron has a best qualifying effort of 11th in the February race earlier this year and a track-best finish of seventh in September 2019. However, the 22-year-old driver’s stats at Las Vegas don’t accurately represent the strength the No. 24 team has displayed there. For example, in February, Byron finished sixth in Stage 1, fourth in Stage 2 and restarted second for the two-lap shootout to the end. Unfortunately, contact with another competitor on the restart left him with a tire rub and a 22nd-place finish, despite running inside or near the top five all race.
KNAUS’ KNACK: Sunday’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will be veteran crew chief Chad Knaus’ 22nd race on top of the pit box at the west coast track. In his previous 21 starts at the 1.5-mile track, Knaus has three wins, all coming with Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team, ranking him second for most victories to crew chief Paul Wolfe, who has four.
AT IT AGAIN WITH AXALTA: Making their return since the doubleheader weekend at Dover International Speedway in August, Axalta will be on board Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE for Sunday’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. After this weekend’s race, Axalta will have one more race with Byron in 2020 at the season finale at Phoenix Raceway. In 2020, Axalta is the 22-race majority partner of the No. 24 team. The company’s relationship with Hendrick Motorsports was recently extended, taking one of the most enduring partnerships in sports through 2027.
REMEMBERING DAVID OLIVER: Earlier this month, the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation and the NASCAR Foundation partnered together to recognize those who have battled cancer and support Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month by auctioning off the space above the driver-side door to honor a cancer hero. For this weekend’s race, Byron will have David Oliver riding on board his No. 24 Chevy, who was nominated by Kelley Earnhardt-Miller. Working in motorsports early on, Oliver began his career racing at local dirt tracks before pursuing his dream career in NASCAR. For over 30 years, Oliver worked as a mechanic at championship-caliber teams, including Richard Petty Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing and Hendrick Motorsports. He was a part of the championship teams of Kurt Busch and Matt Kenseth. Unfortunately, Oliver lost his battle to Synovial Sarcoma in June of this year.
HIGH ROLLERS: Hendrick Motorsports heads into Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with good odds of success. The team has hit the jackpot with five wins there, which ties it for the second-most in the series. Its six runner-up finishes, 22 top-fives and 1,455 laps led are all “Sin City” track records. The organization’s 40 top-10 results are tied for the most ever at the 1.5-mile venue.
50-50 ODDS: Sunday’s race at Las Vegas will fall on Sept. 27, which historically has been good time to bet on Hendrick Motorsports. Since its inception in 1984, the team has competed in four NASCAR Cup Series events held on the date with victories in two of them. Driving for Hendrick Motorsports, Darrell Waltrip won at Martinsville on Sept. 27, 1987, and Jimmie Johnson won at Dover on Sept. 27, 2009. In the other two Sept. 27 races, Jeff Gordon finished second at Martinsville in 1998 and Hendrick Motorsports place three cars in the top 10 at New Hampshire in 2015.
STRAIGHT FLUSH: Hendrick Motorsports has placed at least one car inside the top 10 in the last 11 NASCAR Cup Series races, which is one away from matching the team’s longest streak of 2020. Its Chevrolet race cars have also led laps in seven straight races, the best active streak by any organization.
HOT HAND: Since the inception of the format in 2004, Hendrick Motorsports has 44 NASCAR Cup Series playoff wins – 16 more than any other team. The organization has scored at least one playoff victory in a record 15 different seasons, missing only 2017. A series-topping seven different drivers have won a playoff race for Hendrick Motorsports.
ALL IN: Since its inception in 1984, Hendrick Motorsports has earned 260 race victories and holds the all-time records for championships (12), pole positions (226), top-five finishes (1,092), top-10s (1,885) and laps led (70,146) in points-paying NASCAR Cup Series competition. Including 2020, the organization has won at least one race in 35 consecutive seasons, the longest-ever streak. Hendrick Motorsports is eight wins away from tying Petty Enterprises’ all-time Cup record of 268.
Driver William Byron on returning to Vegas since the pandemic:
“It’s crazy to think how far things have evolved since we went to Vegas earlier this year. It was just the second race of the year and before everything changed with the pandemic. That race, we had a lot of speed even though everything was still new and fresh for the year. We had a fast car and we just have to continue that when we get Vegas this weekend.”
Byron on how the track can change this time of year:
“The track definitely does change, even with a slight change in temperature. We’re used to going to Vegas at the beginning of September when it’s still really hot. I think being closer to the end of September it will have started to cool off a bit. That will make it unique for us, especially with the late start time Sunday. This race is going to have some different elements that everyone will need to overcome.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!