CONCORD, N.C. – Following a fourth-place finish in the Brickyard 400 to cap the regular season, William Byron is headed to the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs for the first time in his career.
“There’s no better way to go in than a top-five finish,” said the driver of the No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. “That’s really good for our team. It kind of helps start our momentum and I hope we can carry that into next week.”
Though it’s his first appearance in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, Byron is no stranger to the postseason. He has competed in both the NASCAR Xfinity and Gander Outdoor Trucks Series playoffs, capturing an Xfinity championship in 2017.
“I think I had good success in both,” he said.
When the green flag drops at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to start the playoffs, the young driver knows from experience that the team will need to eliminate mistakes and post consistent results to make it through each elimination round.
“If you put together one really good race in each round, you’re in a good position, I think, especially in the first couple of rounds,” the driver said. “So, we’ve just got to put together one really good race or three really solid ones. There are a number of ways to do it. It just comes down to ultimately not making mistakes.”
This season, Byron has continued to improve his stats. In 2019, he has accumulated four poles, three top-five finishes and nine top-10s, compared to four top-10 finishes in his 2018 Rookie of the Year campaign. Now, he is looking to capitalize on that steady improvement as the season hits its final stretch.
While he said he sees tracks like the Charlotte Motor Speedway “roval” and Martinsville as challenges within the 10-race playoffs, he’s looking forward to heading back to tracks where the series has already raced this season.
“I think anywhere we’ve been and then go a second time, like Vegas and Richmond come to mind, and Texas and Kansas would be good, too,” Byron said. “Anywhere that (No. 24 team crew chief) Chad (Knaus) and I go for the second time is going to pay off.”
Byron enters the playoffs 13th in the standings with 2,001 points and will begin his championship hunt Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
“We’ve just got to take one race at a time, obviously,” he said, “and do the best we can.”