For William Byron it’s like Christmas

FORT WORTH, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 22: William Byron, driver of the #24 Liberty University Chevrolet, drives during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas Motor Speedway on September 22, 2023 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

William Byron’s NASCAR Cup Series-leading five victories in 2023 are a career high – as are his series best 877 laps led this season in the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. With seven races remaining on the schedule he is tied for the most top-five finishes (10) which is only two off his career season high mark set in 2021.

The 25-year old Charlotte resident has bettered himself statistically in each of his six seasons at NASCAR’s elite level. And this year, he concedes, that would mean advancing to the Championship 4 for the first time. With his statistically achievements and the powerful, multi-championship Hendrick organization behind him, Byron is optimistic he could be vying for this NASCAR Cup Series championship come November.

Although he stopped short of predicting a trophy Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway, he remarked that his crew chief Rudy Fugle “was working on Christmas Eve” to prepare for the 2023 season. And it appears that kind of team effort is paying off.

“Trying to enjoy what we’ve accomplished doesn’t work for me,’’ Byron said. “I haven’t thought about how good a season it’s been or anything like that. Definitely not where my mind is. In November I might look back and reflect and say it was a good year, but there’s still so much to accomplish and we’re just starting to get into the meat of the season.

“I feel like each year has been that steady progression, that steady learning curve so I just want to keep that going and make that next step,” he added. “I think there’s a great opportunity and that our team is the best it’s ever been, so we’re definitely really capable.”