William Byron
Hendrick Motorsports
2019 Fantasy Outlook
The Hendrick Motorsports youngster had a tough transition from winning the Xfinity Series championship in 2017 to becoming a Rookie of the Year candidate last season. Byron struggled to just four Top-10 finishes in 2018 while at the same time suffering through nine DNF's. The learning curve for the 21-year-old was steep and brutal. As the old saying goes, there's nowhere to go but up from here, and in many ways that's very true. Byron has big potential, but he's a raw talent at this point. Seven-time championship crew chief, Chad Knaus, is being brought in to head up the No. 24 team and to be mentor and teacher to Byron. It's likely a great move by the organization. We believe Byron has the most room to grow of any of the Top 20 drivers. That upside is great potential for speculation in 2019. Read Past Outlooks
Sixth-Place in O'Reilly Auto Parts 500
April 1, 2019
Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway, Jimmie Johnson led the way for Hendrick Motorsports, finishing fifth. Just behind him was Byron, who joined his teammate inside the Top 10 with a sixth-place result. It matched his career-best NASCAR Cup Series finish, hendrickmotorsports.com reports.
The Hendrick Chevys showed way more pop and speed this weekend than in recent intermediate oval races. Johnson won the pole, and Byron started on the outside pole. The driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet would spend 309 of the 334 laps racing inside the Top 15, which was the second highest total to Johnson's 317. By the end of the race the good track position would pay off with Byron's first Top 10 of the season, and career-best Cup Series finish.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
After winning the 2017 Xfinity Series championship, Byron makes the jump into NASCAR's top division. Byron is fresh off a four-win, 22 Top-10 finish campaign that led to the title in the Xfinity Series. The 20-year-old driver will now take over the No. 24 Chevrolet in Hendrick Motorsports' camp and pair with crew chief Darian Grubb. While there will be some lessons learned and some bumps along the way, but it's a great situation for Byron. He will be in a team that can help him win Rookie of the Year. Despite only 57-combined starts of experience between the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series, he has 11 victories in those starts. The level of talent is obvious, and Byron's ability to adapt to greater competition is clear. He'll have every chance to win the ROTY and to exceed expectations in 2018.
One of the biggest driver defections of last season was the move of Byron from the Toyota camp in the truck series to the Chevrolet camp of JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series. Byron signed a deal to make the move up in NASCAR and further his development. The young driver grabbed attention last season in the truck series with a stunning seven-win campaign and Rookie of the Year honors in that division. Before that Byron claimed the championship with a four-win campaign in the K&N Pro Series East in 2015. His trajectory through the world of stock car racing has been rocket-like. Now Byron will hope to take the next steps with this strong JR Motorsports team. He should be the top contender to win Rookie of the Year in 2017, and possibly surprise in the final driver standings.
The 2015 K&N Pro Series East champion gets a big promotion in 2016. Byron will take over the No. 4 Toyota Tundra that Erik Jones raced much of last season. The 18-year-old talent got a one-race audition with KBM last year and that was enough to secure him a ride for the upcoming season. It looks as though Byron will bring his own sponsorship to the ride in the way of Liberty University, and he'll be paired with crew chief Rudy Fugle. It's going to be an exciting opportunity for this young driver to flourish right away in his first full season of truck series racing. Byron won four races and led 740 laps last season in his championship campaign in the K&N Pro Series East, so there's little doubt about his driving ability.
More Fantasy News
Fails Inspection
March 24, 2019
The No. 24 Chevrolet of driver Byron failed pre-race inspection Sunday morning at Martinsville Speedway, dropping the car to the bottom of the starting lineup for Sunday's STP 500, NASCAR.com reports
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Hits Wall in Opening Practice
March 23, 2019
Byron hit the wall early in opening Martinsville practice, sustaining right-front fender damage on his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. He headed to the garage afterward, NASCAR.com reports.
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Wins Daytona 500 Pole Position
February 10, 2019
Byron won the pole for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway Sunday afternoon. He turned a fast lap of 194.305 mph.
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Top 10 at Phoenix
November 12, 2018
Sunday at ISM Raceway, Byron led the Hendrick Motorsports teammates to the checkered flag in ninth, capturing his fourth Top-10 finish of the season. In the process, he earned the Cup Series rookie of the year honors, hendrickmotorsports.com reports.
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Eighth at the Glen
August 6, 2018
After Chase Elliott's big win at Watkins Glen, Byron was the next Hendrick Motorsports teammate to the checkered flag on Sunday, finishing in eighth and earning his third Top-10 finish of the season, hendrickmotorsports.com reports.
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