CONCORD, N.C. – William Byron is currently 15th in the NASCAR Cup Series playoff standings as the No. 24 team heads to Bristol Motor Speedway for the first elimination race of the 2021 post-season schedule.
Byron is 18 markers away from 12th place, which represents the final spot in the next round. To advance, he either needs a win or a few different points scenarios to play out. Either way, the 23-year-old driver is ready to run well with his back against the wall.
“Bristol is always tough,” Byron said. “I feel like you’ve just got to score as many points as possible. There is obviously a lot of opportunity with that with the stages and the race being as long as it is. I feel like we’ll kind of know where we stack up by the end of things and have a lot of time to make a difference.”
Byron will lean on his past experience racing at the Bristol track, knowing the energy and pressure is going to be heightened, to help stay focused on the task at hand. He and Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24, will look back at some of Byron’s past appearances at the .533-mile circuit to develop a successful strategy for Saturday’s playoff race.
“The same as normal. We try to show up with the best race car and the best preparation every week,” Byron said of the team’s approach. “So it’s not any different. … I feel like we’re doing a good job preparing on the No. 24 team, and I feel like we’ll have a fast race car and just do our jobs.”
This season, Byron has racked up one win at Homestead-Miami Speedway in February, nine top-five finishes, 16 top-10s, and three stage wins. He recorded two top-10s in his last three appearances at Bristol: sixth on dirt earlier this season and eighth in May 2020.
“We just have to perform and execute a good race and let other guys have whatever happens to them,” Byron said. “All we can do is focus on trying to win the race, and I feel like we’re doing a good job preparing for it.”
Tune in this Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN to see Byron fight to advance to the Round of 12 at “The Last Great Colosseum.”