Jimmie Johnson enthused at William Byron signing

William Byron (Getty Images)

William Byron (Getty Images)

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Hendrick Motorsports team owner Rick Hendrick pulled off a major coup earlier this week with the signing of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rookie William Byron, who is at the top of the standings on the strength of five victories in a Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota this season. The 18-year-old Byron used to go trick-or-treating at Hendrick’s house. As it turned out, Byron did the same at the house of Hendrick driver Jimmie Johnson, a six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, who welcomed the news of Byron’s signing.

“I’ve definitely been paying attention to him,” Johnson said in advance of Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops NRA  Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway (8 p.m. ET on NBCSN). “We live in the same neighborhood. And I can recall him trick-or-treating at my house in one of the rare opportunities we were home.

“I absolutely know who he is and have gotten to know him and have seen him around home. I think he’s an amazing talent with a great head on his shoulders, and I’m very excited that he’s under the Hendrick umbrella now. Hopefully, we can take advantage of his youth and great talent and give him a great run. I’m excited that he’s on the team.”

Byron will race in the NASCAR XFINITY Series next year in a Chevrolet fielded by JR Motorsports, co-owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kelly Earnhardt Miller and Hendrick.

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