Jimmie Johnson enthused at William Byron signing

William Byron (Getty Images)
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.

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.