Kyle Busch Motorsports driver William Byron was made available to the media at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
WILLIAM BYRON, No. 9 Liberty University Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports
How does it feel to be the number one seed for the inaugural NCWTS Chase for the Championship?
“Well, I think it’s really exciting to get the Chase started this weekend in New Hampshire. This is a place I like coming to and I think it’s going to be a solid weekend. Ultimately, you just want to have good, solid fishes this first round hopefully, but if you can go for a win definitely go for it. We’re planning on going for a win and seeing what speed we have in our Liberty University Tundra this weekend.”
Do you think the Chase will be more intense than the regular season?
“Definitely so. I think the competition and intensity is going to ramp up here in the last seven races. We’ve seen that in the Cup Series and so now we’re going to be able to experience that here in the Truck Series, so I’m looking forward to it. I think our team is ready for it. We have the right trucks lined up and we’re going to race tracks that we really enjoy coming to, so I’m looking forward to it.”
What nerves do you have entering this weekend and the Chase?
“I think a little bit of nerves just with the unexpected of what this format is going to be like for us, but honestly it’s exciting and it’s something new and it’s the new era of the playoff-type format, so I’m looking forward to it. It’s something that we’ve been preparing for and I think we’re going to see what happens here in the next seven races.”
Did last week’s adversity help you learn anything entering the Chase?
“I definitely think so. I mean, it’s always a learning experience – even going into the Chase, even throughout the Chase – so with me being a rookie, there’s definitely things to learn every week and that wasn’t something I wanted to learn last week, but it is something that sometimes happens. Now you kind of move on from that, you put the good and the bad together, and we have a good game plan going to this race track and knowing what – how the mentality needs to be for the next seven races. I think we’ve turned the page.”
Do you have a different perspective on the Chase having not competed in the previous format?
“Well, I think just – I think I saw in the first year when it came along in the Cup Series, there was the enticement to win to get to the next round and Ryan Newman was able to consistently get to the final round based on solid finishes, so there’s different ways to get there. There’s not one single way, but we’re going to look at those notes from what we’ve seen happen in the last couple years and I think that’s an advantage in itself seeing how it’s played out and now being in a Chase ourselves. So, yeah, it is I think a little bit of an advantage to see that, but it’s also a disadvantage not knowing how the intensity ramps up in a playoff-type format, but we’re looking forward to it.”
What is your perspective on what’s going on in Charlotte as a young adult?
“Well, I mean it’s a difficult situation. With it being my hometown, it hits home for sure, so those are streets that I go walk down or drive down and go to eat or go to a Panthers game on a given Sunday. It’s important to me that something’s being done, that it’s being cleaned up because I don’t like to see the city in that situation, but – so we’ve really just kind of – we’ve been able to go to the race track this weekend. My parents are visiting my sister at college, so we’re not necessarily in Charlotte this weekend, so that I think is a good way to kind of avoid it right now.”