RIDGEWAY, Va. - Sunday’s race at Martinsville Speedway saw No. 24 driver William Byron take home a runner-up result.
It tied his best career NASCAR Cup Series finish and gave him top-five finishes in consecutive races for the first time in his career.
As he looked to track down eventual race-winner Martin Truex Jr., he put together perhaps the best race of his Cup career, spending 142 laps inside the top two, 352 laps in the top five and 499 of the 500 laps run inside the top 10, all of which are career-highs in a single race.
“Such a good effort by everyone,” Byron tweeted after the race. “Loved coming here as a kid, but it hasn’t been fun yet as a driver. Today felt different.”
In the last eight races, the sophomore has finished in the top 10 five times, including three top-five finishes, and led laps in six of those events. All five of Byron’s career Cup Series top-five finishes have come in the last 16 races.
With all that recent success, Byron feels good about the No. 24 team’s direction as the group looks to track down the one stat that’s still missing: a win.
The trip to Victory Lane was just out of reach this past weekend as Truex was able to clinch the win.
“It was close,” Byron said. “I could work my brake bias a little bit in the car and gain a little bit and then I’d get to him (Truex) and I’d heat them up a lot and kind of fall back. So, I don’t really know. He was super strong. Our car bounced a little bit on the short run, which was tough to kind of get around, but overall it was a really good day.”
Although he came just short of the victory, the driver is as optimistic as ever in his first-win chances. With three races left in the 2019 campaign, as Byron said after the Martinsville checkered flag, “we’ll try to get one spot better next time.”
Up next is a trip to Texas Motor Speedway, where he has finished inside the top 10 in two of his three visits, including a sixth-place result earlier this season.
“I’m really hungry for my first win,” Byron said. “So, whatever it takes.”
Be sure to catch Byron and the No. 24 team in action as they take on the 1.44-mile oval at Texas this Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN.