Byron: Talladega Is Just Wide Open

William Byron & Ryan Blaney

William Byron
No. 24 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE

Driver William Byron

Hometown Charlotte, North Carolina
Age 22

Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2020 Season

16th in standings
30 starts

1 win

0 pole positions

3 top-five finishes

10 top-10 finishes

109 laps led

Career

102 starts
1 win
5 pole positions
8 top-five finishes
27 top-10 finishes
403 laps led

Track Career

5 starts
0 wins
0 pole positions
0 top-five finishes
0 top-10 finishes
43 laps led

NEW ROLE FOR KNAUS: Tuesday afternoon, Hendrick Motorsports announced veteran crew chief Chad Knaus would be elevated to a new leadership role following the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season – vice president of competition. Knaus will oversee the technical development of all Hendrick Motorsports teams, including the implementation of NASCAR’s 2022 “Next Gen” vehicle. While the Rockford, Illinois, native is looking forward to his new role, the 2020 season signals the end of an illustrious career as a Cup-level crew chief. The seven-time series champion, all with Jimmie Johnson, has captured 82 race wins at 20 different tracks – including most recently with William Byron at Daytona – which is the third-most victories of all time by a crew chief. He is the only crew chief to have made the playoffs in all 17 seasons since the format’s inception, winning an unprecedented 29 races, almost three times more than any other crew chief.

TALLADEGA TELL-ALL: Making his sixth Cup Series start this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, Byron is looking to change his luck at the 2.66-mile track. In his previous five Cup Series races there, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native has had solid runs, scoring a track-best finish of 11th (June 2020). The last time the NASCAR Cup Series raced at a superspeedway, Byron earned his first career Cup Series victory after he crossed the finish line first at Daytona International Speedway on Aug. 29.

KNAUS DIGS ‘DEGA: With a skill for superspeedway racing, Knaus is set to call his 40th NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega when the No. 24 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE hits the track Sunday. Racking up six pole awards at the 2.66-mile track, including a streak of four in a row in his first four races there as a Cup Series crew chief, Knaus has two wins, all coming with Johnson and the No. 48 team. Knaus kept that momentum going with Byron and the No. 24 team, putting them in contention for the win in their three Talladega starts together, despite late-race incidents.

WELCOME, HENDRICKCARS.COM: On Tuesday, Hendrick Motorsports unveiled Byron’s No. 24 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE for Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway. The blue and white scheme pays homage to Ricky Hendrick, son of car owner Rick Hendrick, who drove a similar scheme in both the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series and in the Xfinity Series. Brian Vickers also piloted the scheme when he won the 2003 Xfinity Series championship. Byron will don the HendrickCars.com colors in two more 2020 races: the Charlotte roval on Oct. 11 and Kansas Speedway on Oct. 18. Hendrick Automotive Group has more than 100 dealership locations in 14 states and 27,000 cars to choose from, which can be browsed at HendrickCars.com. It also offers same-day service and maintenance from factory-certified technicians, which can be scheduled online.

CLOSE TO HOME: Hailing from Pensacola, Florida, No. 24 team spotter Tab Boyd claims Talladega Superspeedway as his home track. Growing up a few hours away from the 2.66-mile superspeedway, Boyd has more than 20 years of experience in NASCAR in various roles, including an Xfinity Series tire changer as well as mechanical and fabrication positions before ending up in the spotter’s stand. When Boyd has time outside of the NASCAR schedule, he is usually still at the racetrack, but behind the steering wheel in the Street Stock Mid-Atlantic Series.

ALABAMA WINS: At Talladega Superspeedway, Hendrick Motorsports holds the track record for NASCAR Cup Series wins with 13. The team has scored at least one victory there with seven different drivers: Jeff Gordon (six wins), Jimmie Johnson (two), Chase Elliott, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brian Vickers, Terry Labonte and Ken Schrader.

DEGA DOMINANCE: In addition to holding the Talladega record for NASCAR Cup Series victories, Hendrick Motorsports is the track’s all-time leader in pole positions (13), runner-up finishes (14), top-fives (58), top-10s (89), and laps led (2,870).

SUPER ON SPEEDWAYS: Hendrick Motorsports is the all-time leader in combined superspeedway wins with 28. Eleven different drivers have gone to victory lane for car owner Rick Hendrick at the venues of Talladega and Daytona, which is the most superspeedway winners of any NASCAR Cup Series team.

DOZEN AND COUNTING: Hendrick Motorsports has placed at least one car inside the top 10 in the last 12 NASCAR Cup Series races, matching the team’s longest streak of 2020. The last time the team posted more than 12 straight top-10 finishes in a season was in 2016 when it ran off 15 in a row during a championship-winning year.

PLAYOFF WINS: 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.

MORE STATS: 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 (1,093), top-10s (1,886) and laps led (70,236) 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 past superspeedway success:

“The last few superspeedway races have been really good for us. I feel like we’ve done what we need to do at those type of races, such as winning and advancing into the playoffs at Daytona. Talladega is a whole different place, though. I feel like we can have a really great run there though and try build off of what we did at Daytona in terms of the speed and competitiveness that we had.”

Byron on the differences between Daytona and Talladega:

“I think in terms of comparing Daytona and Talladega that Daytona relies a little bit more on the handling of the car. Talladega is just so wide and there’s so much room to run that guys don’t really run as tight in terms of lane to lane. I feel like Talladega you can use a lot more bump drafting too. Your car doesn’t have to handle well to do that. It’s just a much different animal for sure.”

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

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