Slick Willy B Readies For The USA Today 301

William Byron - 2024-06-21T143436.476

24 WILLIAM BYRON

Age: 26 (Nov. 29, 1997)

Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina

Resides: Charlotte, North Carolina

Crew Chief: Rudy Fugle

Standings: 4th

No. 24 Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

IOWA INSIGHT: Heading to Iowa Speedway for the first time with the NASCAR Cup Series, William Byron led Hendrick Motorsports with a strong second-place finish. After starting fourth, he initially lost a few spots but rallied to complete stage one in fourth. He remained in the top-five running order during stage two, but on a late restart he made contact with a competitor and finished the stage in 11th. Despite the stage two result, Byron and the No. 24 team went to work making up lost track position. He moved himself into the second position with under 100 laps to go and did his best to reel in the leader before ultimately crossing the finish line in the runner-up position.

SIMILAR IN SIZE: Sunday’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway will mark Byron’s 48th start on a track 1 to 1.37 miles in length. In his previous 47 appearances, the 26-year-old driver has collected two pole awards, two wins, 10 top-five finishes, 20 top-10s and led 537 laps.

LOVIN’ LOUDON: Since 2018, Byron has six Cup Series starts at NHMS, all resulting in top-15 finishes with a best of 11th (2020 and 2022). He’s been a threat at “The Magic Mile” from day one, making his track debut in the ARCA Series East in 2015 when he qualified on the pole and led 68 of 70 laps before taking home the checkered flag. He followed it up in dominant fashion by starting from the pole and leading 161 of 175 laps en route to his sixth of seven NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series victories in 2016. Moving up to the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2017, Byron earned a top-five finish after starting seventh and finishing third.

NEW HAMPSHIRE WIZARD: Byron isn’t the only one who enjoys racing at New Hampshire. Crew chief Rudy Fugle has three Cup Series starts under his belt with a best showing of 11th coming in the 2022 race with the No. 24 team. The Livonia, New York, native also has three Truck Series starts at the 1.058-mile oval with one pole award and two victories, including Byron’s 2016 win. In fact, Fugle’s Truck Series drivers average a starting position of 2.3 and finishing position of 3.0 at NHMS.

HEADING HOME: Traveling to New England for Sunday’s race, two crew members of the No. 24 team call New Hampshire Motor Speedway their home track. Part of the team since 2019, car chief Tyler Jones hails from South Royalton, Vermont, less than 100 miles northwest of “The Magic Mile.” Front-tire changer Jeff Cordero grew up in Salem, Connecticut, which is less than 200 miles south of NHMS.

PIT ROAD PROWESS: After 17 races in 2024, the No. 24 pit crew ranks second in the Cup Series for the fastest average four-tire pit stop (10.751 seconds). The No. 24 pit crew consists of Spencer Bishop (jackman), Cordero (front-tire changer), Orane Ossowski (rear-tire changer), Ryan Patton (tire carrier) and Landon Walker (fueler).

24 IN ‘24: Byron’s 2024 Cup Series campaign started off hot with three wins (currently tied for the most), including the season-opening DAYTONA 500. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native has six top-five finishes (tied for fifth in the series) and 10 top-10s (tied for the most). He has the best average starting position (9.65) and is tied for the second-best average finish (12.47). After 17 races, he is up to fourth in the 2024 standings and holds 16 playoff points.

VALVOLINE RETURNS: Valvoline will make its second appearance of 2024 as the primary sponsor of Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Sunday’s race at New Hampshire. 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. Valvoline ranks as the No. 3 passenger car motor oil brand in the DIY market by volume.

THREE LEADERS: Following his third-place finish Sunday at Iowa Speedway, Chase Elliott became the third Hendrick Motorsports driver to lead the 2024 NASCAR Cup regular season standings. Teammates William Byron (one week) and Kyle Larson (nine weeks) previously sat atop the series, which has completed 17 of 36 points-paying events.

THIRD TIME: 2024 is the third time Hendrick Motorsports has placed three different drivers atop the standings in a single season. The team first accomplished it in 2009 with the Hall of Fame trio of Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin. The second came last year with Alex Bowman, Byron and Larson.

POINT MADE: Going into the 18th points-paying race of 2024 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers are within the top 12 in the Cup standings. Elliott (first), Larson (second) and Byron (fourth) occupy three of the top-four spots, while Bowman, who is tied for the most top-10 finishes in the series, is 12th overall.

DROUGHT BUSTER: Although Hendrick Motorsports has won nine Cup Series races at New Hampshire, its most recent victory at “The Magic Mile” dates to July 2012. Following that performance by driver Kasey Kahne, the team has earned four Cup championships and 104 points-paying victories on 26 other racetracks. Since then, Hendrick Motorsports has finished in every position inside the top 12 at New Hampshire – except first place.

CELEBRATING 40: In 2024, Hendrick Motorsports is celebrating its 40th anniversary. The team holds the all-time NASCAR Cup Series records in every major statistical category, including championships (14), wins (308), pole positions (251) and laps led (80,891). This season, it leads all Cup organizations with seven points-paying victories through 17 races.

William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on his thoughts about New Hampshire Motor Speedway: “I don’t really know why we haven’t gotten the finishes we want at New Hampshire. I had a lot of success there leading up to the Cup Series. And then even my first two years in Cup, relative to where I was running at other tracks, I thought I ran pretty well there. It just seems like with our current team, we just haven’t really been very good there. We just have to figure out what that is. We’ll go through a lot of notes this week and kind of have something comparable to go run there. Last year, we had some damage on the car. I believe the right-front splitter was caved in based on a pit road issue. Up until then, we had led some laps. And then we had an issue in practice – the steering rack was locked up. Just not a clean weekend last year, so I think that’s a track that, last year, we probably could have run top seven at. But this year going back, obviously it’s a big focus to try and get better. Based on how Phoenix (Raceway) and Gateway (WWT Raceway) were to start this year, there’s definitely some work to do.”

Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on what he expects at New Hampshire Motor Speedway: “I love going to New Hampshire. It’s a great racing culture up there, but it’s also always been one of the toughest tracks on the circuit in my opinion. Especially with this car and the bumps on the track, I think this is one of the most difficult places, period, to get the handling right. You have to run into the corner with a lot of speed, go over those bumps and then put a little bit of wheel to finish the corner, but the bumps shift the car the other way. It’s just a really hard track for the teams and the drivers. That usually makes a good show. When the difficulty is high for us it usually creates disparity, especially from short run to long run. It puts on a good show. I’m looking forward to that challenge and to see if we can repeat some of what we found last weekend at Iowa (Speedway) and make it a little better.”

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.