William Byron Is Looking Forward To Darlington Raceway’s Bojangles’ Southern 500by Hunter Thomas August 26, 2019 0 comments
DARLINGTON, S.C. – William Byron enters the 70th running of the Bojangles’ Southern 500 above the NASCAR Playoff cutline, but a solid finish at Darlington Raceway will help the Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet team find more momentum before the regular season concludes.
The 21-year-old Charlotte, North Carolina native is in his second full-time season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. He kicked off the year by earning the pole for the Daytona 500, and since then, he has qualified well for most events, but he hasn’t been able to piece together the finishes to reflect those efforts. Byron’s average starting spot this season is 12th, and has started on the front row on eight occasions.
As for finishing races this season, Byron currently sits 12th in the standings, well above the NASCAR Playoff cutline; however, lately, the finishes have been across the board. In the past five races, he has finished 12th at New Hampshire, fourth at Pocono, 21st at Watkins Glen, eighth at Michigan and 21st at Bristol. Byron only has one Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start at Darlington. He finished 35th last year due to an issue with the engine, but he’s looking for redemption, because during his lone NASCAR Xfinity Series start at the track in 2017, he brought the car home in fifth, so he knows hos way around the egg-shaped track.
“It’s tough every week getting around the racetrack,” Byron said. “Darlington is just no exception, it’s definitely a little tougher to keep it off the wall and all that. You go there with that expectation and you know it’s going to be a difficult race. It’s 500 miles, it’s a long race with a day to night transition that makes it difficult as well. You just kind of factor all of those things in. The more prepared you are, the better you’re going to do.”
Despite what the statistics say, Byron feels confident about the upcoming race at Darlington Raceway. Lately, he has been in the simulation working on his performance at the track, Too Tough To Tame.
“I feel good,” Byron said at Bristol Motor Speedway. “We did some simulator work for Darlington this past week. I don’t think you’re going to be wide open there. I think in Turns 1 and 2, we will be lifting a bit and in Turns 3 and 4, it’s going to be pretty normal. It hasn’t really changed that much there, just the shape of the corner. Just same old Darlington stuff; try to keep it off the wall, try to make sure that you are getting in a rhythm by the fence because that is where it’s fast. It’s just a fun place to go to. I really enjoy that race and having a throwback is even more special. I look forward to it. I think with our points situation, we are going to go there and be pretty aggressive.”
Byron will be piloting the No. 24 Hendrick Autoguard/City Chevrolet on Labor Day weekend at Darlington Raceway. The bright green and yellow scheme is a throwback to Cole Trickle’s car in the movie, “Days of Thunder” that came out in 1990.
The Bojangles’ Southern 500 will broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network (NBSCN) and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, September 1.
Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com