CONCORD, N.C. – Over the weekend, William Byron took his home track of Charlotte Motor Speedway by storm. He began by capturing the pole on Friday evening, which allowed him to lead the opening laps of Sunday’s race.
The driver of the No. 24 UniFirst Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 accumulated stage points with top-10 finishes in Stages 1 and 2 en route to a sixth-place result at the checkered flag.
“It was good I think for a top-five, and to finish sixth was great,” Byron said of his car.
Prior to Sunday’s race, Byron sat on the playoff bubble, on the edge of advancing to the Round of 12 as the 12th-place driver in the standings. With that in mind, the driver and the No. 24 team knew they needed a solid finish – but most of all they needed to finish the race – in order to give themselves a chance to advance.
"I was a little bit conservative trying to keep our points position,” Byron said. “So, to come out of here sixth was great. The pole was an awesome feeling and to lead laps was great. Just got to make that next step. I think going into this round we've got to be aggressive.”
Ultimately, the driver’s finishing spot secured him a spot in the next round of the playoffs alongside his two teammates Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman. Next up in the Round of 12 are three tracks Byron hopes will bring success for the No. 24 team.
"I think they're great for us,” the driver said of the tracks. “Kansas was a struggle toward the end of the race in the spring, but Dover was awesome. (No. 24 team crew chief) Chad (Knaus) has got a good setup for that place; he's won there so many times with Jimmie (Johnson). So hopefully we can have a great run there and be a little more aggressive than this round, for sure."
After a strong performance at his home track, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native felt a sense of accomplishment after the “roval” weekend.
“It feels awesome,” Byron said. “It was a goal accomplished. We had a good car and we could have gone for more, for sure. But I just wanted to finish the race. I knew we were close on points, so just to finish the race was a goal accomplished. A sixth-place finish is good and we’ll go onto Dover. I know it’s a good track for us.”