Byron: Last Year Nashville Was “Learn As You Go”

24 WILLIAM BYRON

Age: 24 (Nov. 29, 1997)

Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina

Resides: Charlotte, North Carolina

Crew Chief: Rudy Fugle

Standings: 8th

No. 24 Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

I LIKE IT, I LOVE IT: Before the off weekend, the NASCAR Cup Series field took to the 1.99-mile road course of Sonoma Raceway on June 12. Despite qualifying 20th, William Byron and the No. 24 team worked diligently all race long to gain track position before ultimately crossing the finish line in the ninth position – a track-best finish at the Cup level for Byron at Sonoma.

RECORD YEAR: So far in the 2022 season, Byron has scored two wins, four top-five finishes, five top-10s and three stage wins. His 13 playoff points accumulated are tied with Ross Chastain for the most by any driver so far this season. He is also currently eighth in the driver point standings, locked into the Cup Series playoffs for a fourth consecutive season.

HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW?!: With 16 races complete in 2022, Byron has led laps in 11 of them – tied for the third-most with Kyle Busch and Joey Logano. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native’s 570 laps led are the most by a driver this season. He has also spent the fourth-most laps running in the top-10 (2,549) as well as the second-most laps running within the top-five (1,689).

THE RACE IS ON: This Sunday’s race at Nashville Superspeedway will mark Byron’s 32nd start on tracks 1-mile to 1.37-miles in length (Dover Motor Speedway, Darlington Raceway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Nashville, Phoenix Raceway and WWT Raceway). In his previous 31 starts, the 24-year-old driver has collected one pole award, five top-five finishes, 10 top-10s with 82 laps led.

THE SIGN SAYS NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE: In the first Cup race at the Nashville venue last year, Byron qualified fourth but was forced to start at the rear of the field for an unapproved adjustment pre-race. However, Byron wasted no time racing his way through the field, scoring a third-place finish. Byron has one other start at the 1.33-mile oval, also coming last season, in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series where he qualified 10th and was running up front before suffering a mechanical issue just past halfway.

HARD WORKIN’ MAN: Last year, crew chief Rudy Fugle scored a third-place finish with Byron and the No. 24 team in his Cup Series debut at Nashville. Aside from that Cup Series start, the Livonia, New York, native has three other starts at the Tennessee track, including two in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, both coming in 2010 where he recorded one top-10 finish and two top-15s, as well as a 16th-place result in Truck Series in 2011.

BLAME IT ALL ON MY ROOTS: Byron once again continued his winning ways, scoring the victory at Berlin Raceway on Thursday, June 9 – his fifth straight win in the No. 24 Super Late Model for Wilson Motorsports. He’s now collected two wins at New Smyrna Speedway, one at Hickory Motor Speedway, one at Berlin Raceway and one at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway – just under an hour away from Nashville Superspeedway.

YOU MAKE MY MOTOR RUN: Valvoline will make its second appearance as the primary sponsor of Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Nashville Superspeedway. This will be the second race that the Valvoline colors will be onboard Byron’s No. 24, with a third race coming at his hometown track for the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL. Valvoline Inc. (NYSE: VVV) is a leading worldwide marketer and supplier of premium branded lubricants and automotive services, with sales in more than 140 countries. Established in 1866, the company’s heritage spans more than 150 years, during which time it has developed powerful brand recognition across multiple product and service channels. To learn more, visit www.valvoline.com.

WHEN THE DEALIN’S DONE: In a new five-year agreement announced on Tuesday, Valvoline Inc. (NYSE: VVV) extended its relationship as the Official Lubricants Partner of Hendrick Motorsports. The deal includes a major associate sponsorship of the team’s four-car lineup in the NASCAR Cup Series as well as serving as the primary sponsor for Kyle Larson (three races) and William Byron (two races). For 2022, the company added a sixth primary race with Byron and the No. 24 team for this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway. The global leader in vehicle care and supplier of premium branded lubricants and automotive services will also remain the presenting sponsor of the annual Randy Dorton Hendrick Engines Builder Showdown, a competition that brings together engine builders from Hendrick Motorsports and master technicians from Hendrick Automotive Group. For more on the deal that runs through 2027, click here.

THAT’S SOMETHING TO BE PROUD OF: By leading the first 50 laps at Sonoma Raceway on June 12, Hendrick Motorsports became the first Cup Series organization to lead over 100,000 miles in the sport’s top series. Through 16 points-paying races in 2022, the team has led 1,548.91 miles.

ROAR OF A SUNDAY CROWD: Since its inception in 1984, Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins after an off weekend in the Cup Series. The organization has 37 wins coming off a weekend of rest – the next closest mark is 27 by Richard Childress Racing. Larson (2021, Watkins Glen International) and Chase Elliott (2019, Talladega Superspeedway spring race) are the two most recent winners for the team after a break.

HOME ON THE (CONCRETE) RANGE: Concrete tracks have been a boon for Hendrick Motorsports recently. Going back to Alex Bowman’s 2021 May win at Dover Motor Speedway, the organization has won four straight races on that track type. That stretch includes Larson’s wins at Nashville and Bristol Motor Speedway last year as well as Elliott’s win at Dover last month.

THE FUN IS JUST BEGINNING: The 2022 race at Nashville marks the second time the Cup Series has visited the 1.33-mile venue. In last year’s inaugural Ally 400, Larson scored the win. It was one of three new tracks that Hendrick Motorsports won on in 2021 – Elliott’s wins at Circuit of The Americas and Road America stand as the others in that category.

FOLLOW YOUR ARROW: Through the first 16 points-paying races of the season, Hendrick Motorsports has led the most laps in the Cup Series. The 1,332 circuits out front are 484 more than the next closest team and account for 31 percent of all the laps run this year.

WHEREVER IT POINTS: The Rick Hendrick-owned organization is the lone team to have its entire lineup inside the top 10 in the point standings. Elliott holds the lead, while Larson ranks seventh, Byron is eighth and Bowman stands in ninth.

WE’RE GONNA BE THE ONES THAT HAVE IT ALL: Hendrick Motorsports five wins this season are the most in the Cup Series by two over Trackhouse Racing. The four drivers have accounted for 20% of the top-five finishes (16) and top-10s (32) this season in the Cup Series.

William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on his thoughts for this weekend at Nashville: “I think last year’s race at Nashville (Superspeedway) was a ‘learn as you go’ type of situation. With so few people having experience there, and even my short stint in the (Camping World) Truck Series race that weekend, we still didn’t know a lot of what to expect. We ended up having a really solid run though and that does offer some extra confidence for this weekend. You don’t want to be overly confident, though. Just because you had a good finish, that was last year’s car, and the Next Gen car handles differently. We have a starting point, and we’ll use practice on Friday to really dial the race setup in. Nashville presents its own challenges though as it looks like a superspeedway but it’s more similar to a short track in how tight the corners are.”

Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on how he’s approaching this weekend at Nashville: “I think this will be another weekend that we have a good starting point to work from when we unload. We ran well in last year’s race at Nashville Superspeedway. We had to start at the rear and were still able to race our way back to the front. I’m not sure if there will be as much passing this year as there was last year, but between our notebook and our teammate’s notebook (No. 5 team, defending winner), we have a good starting point. Plus, a full 50-minute practice really allows us to try some different things and make longer runs. It’s going to be hot, which will make for a slick track and with the resin down, we’ll want to practice with that as much as we can ahead of Sunday to get the balance right over a run.”

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

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