CONCORD, N.C. – Coming off a virtual victory in the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series at Bristol Dirt, William Byron is excited to head to Bristol Motor Speedway to take on the live version this Sunday.
“I thought the race was a lot of fun with it being all on dirt. It kind of gave me a new challenge and excited me to try something new,” Byron said. “I really enjoyed that aspect of it. It felt like the dirt guys exceled and learned some things, so hopefully we can do more of the same this weekend. That would be awesome.”
Byron now has a total of four wins in seven starts across the first two seasons in the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series, extending his lead in the total wins category to two races. Byron was able to secure the checkered flag by preparing before the scheduled practice time and running laps on his simulator.
“I spend a couple days beforehand just practicing a little bit,” Byron said. “I started Monday night a little bit, did it for an hour or so. Then I did an hour (Tuesday) and then, obviously, practiced as we got going (Wednesday). It’s been a lot of fun, I really enjoyed it. It’s a new challenge for me, so it’s been a blast.”
Byron used the race to gain knowledge of the track and how it wears as the drivers cut laps around the .533-mile dirt-covered venue. Sunday’s race will mark the first time in over 50 years Cup drivers will run on a dirt track, meaning the data for dirt racing with Cup cars is nonexistent.
“I thought the high lane, the top, definitely got narrower and narrower to hit, and became really difficult to kind of get any sort of grip in there,” Byron said. “It just became about trying to find a foot more on the cushion, and I feel like that’s going to be somewhat the same at the track if it really winds down and the track really slicks off. I’m excited for that.”
iRacing added a $5,000 prize for the feature race winner, which Byron donated to a charity that has had a significant impact on his life.
“I’m going to give that to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Charlotte,” Byron said. “I was a big brother myself in high school, which was awesome. I’m pretty excited to give back to them.”
Byron will switch gears and now focus all his preparation on the live race at Bristol this weekend. He has been gathering advice from his teammates with dirt experience. With a win already under his belt this season, Byron has a little more flexibility in getting acclimated with the dirt track.
“Honestly, I’m just trying to lean on (Kyle) Larson a little bit, watching things that he does and trying to learn from that,” Byron said. “I’m really excited for the weekend, and I think it’s going to be fun for us. We don’t have a lot to lose.”
Tune in to FOX this Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET to see the Byron and the rest of the Cup Series field take on Bristol Dirt.