|William Byron is 60/1 to win at Atlanta.|
“I’m looking forward to going to Atlanta where we can show some of our strength as a team. We expect the track to be pretty slick because of the older pavement. The biggest key is going to be trying to get our car to handle well and make sure we can keep the long-run speed in it. Qualifying is going to be a different animal with the tires falling off so quickly. You’re probably only going to get one run each round, so you have to make sure that run counts. We want to qualify well so that we don’t have to pass as many cars on Sunday.”
Driver William Byron
Hometown Charlotte, North Carolina
Resides Charlotte, North Carolina
DAYTONA 500 RECAP: Last Sunday at Daytona International Speedway, William Byron persevered to finish with a 23rd-place result in the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Starting 33rd after being forced to a backup car following last Thursday's Duel qualifier race, Byron ran a race-high 11th prior to a multiple-car incident on Lap 59. The No. 24 team was able to keep Byron on the lead lap and he worked his way back up to 11th. However, a tire issue triggered Byron to bring out a caution on Lap 93, which caused him to lose a lap undergoing repairs on pit road. He later raced his way back onto the lead lap in the final stage, but another flat tire caused further damage to the No. 24 car and required Byron to spend several laps on pit road for repairs.
AT ATLANTA: While superspeedway racing is known to be unpredictable, Atlanta Motor Speedway marks the first real opportunity to see where drivers and teams stack up on the intermediate tracks that comprise the bulk of the NASCAR Cup Series schedule. This weekend marks Byron’s first Cup start at the 1.54-mile oval in Hampton, Georgia, but he has two starts at the track in other series. In last year’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race, Byron finished seventh and was the third-highest finishing Xfinity regular. In the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, Byron was running second when he lost an engine, relegating him to a 32nd-place finish. Atlanta historically has been a good track for the No. 24 team, as Jeff Gordon earned five wins at the track in the iconic No. 24 Chevrolet. Even more promising, Hendrick Motorsports has had at least two drivers finish in the top five in each of the last four races at Atlanta.
FIRST CUP PRIMARY FOR LIBERTY U: The new blue, red and white No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will make its 2018 debut this weekend at Atlanta. Liberty University will be the primary sponsor of Byron and the No. 24 team for 12 races in both 2018 and 2019. The school began its support of Byron in 2014 when he drove late models for Hendrick Motorsports affiliate JR Motorsports and is now in its fourth season sponsoring the 20-year-old driver. Founded in 1971, it is the largest private, nonprofit university in the United States, the largest university in Virginia and the largest Christian university in the world. Byron is currently a sophomore working toward an undergraduate business communications degree through the school’s online program.
XFINITY CHAMP APPEARANCES: On Thursday, Feb. 22, Byron will visit an Xfinity store in downtown Atlanta to sign autographs for customers and employees. The 2017 Xfinity Series champion will be at the store (945 Battery Ave. SE, Atlanta, GA 30339) from 6:30-7:30 p.m. local time as part of a store event that begins at 4:30 p.m. Byron will also make an appearance at the Xfinity Zone stage at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday at 11:10 a.m.
CHEVY STAGE: Byron will visit the Team Chevy stage at Atlanta Motor Speedway for a question-and-answer session on Sunday, Feb. 25, at 11:05 a.m. local time.
THUNDERBIRDS FLIGHT RECAP: On Tuesday, Feb. 13, Byron experienced the ride of a lifetime when he got the chance to fly with the United States Air Force Thunderbirds in Daytona Beach, Florida. He explained afterward how powerful the G-forces were on his body as he experienced a variety of aerial maneuvers in the F-16 aircraft, including a turn where he experienced forces up to nine Gs, over the course of the one-hour flight. Byron even got an opportunity to take the controls and fly the plane himself. Check out his experience – including footage from inside the cockpit – in the link here.
FYI....VEGAS TESTING THREE WEEKS AGO (1.5-MILE TRACK)
In the Las Vegas testing rookie William Byron was fastest in one of the four sessions Larson wasn't. One driver represented each team to share data gained on being fast on these types of tracks this season. What the No. 24 learned in the test will help find speed this weekend.