CONCORD, N.C. – Heading to Talladega Superspeedway for Sunday’s playoff race, William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet, is confident in his ability to have a good race and collect enough playoff points to make his way into the bubble for the Round of 8.
Byron’s first win in the NASCAR Cup Series came at a superspeedway, taking the checkered flag in first at Daytona International Speedway in August 2020, where he punched his ticket to the 2020 playoffs. In addition to his Daytona win, the 23-year-old driver has captured four top-five finishes, four top-10s, and has led 148 laps in his 15 starts at superspeedways in the Cup Series.
Going into Sunday’s race, Byron is ranked ninth in the playoff points race, just four markers outside of the bubble. A good finish at the 2.66-mile venue could see Byron move above the cutline heading to the elimination race at Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL.
“We’ll be aware of the point situation this weekend, but we can’t focus on it since it’s not the final race of the round,” Byron said. “My first Cup Series win came on a superspeedway. I know Rudy (Fugle) and the guys will bring a fast Axalta Chevy – it will just be about execution and getting as many points as we can. That’s what our goal has always been.”
Rudy Fugle, crew chief for the No. 24 team, will prepare for the race at Talladega with the same process that has produced a career-best year for the duo. In their first season together on the No. 24 team, Byron and Fugle have tallied one win at Homestead-Miami Speedway in February, two pole positions, 10 top-five finishes and 17 top-10s through 30 races.
“We’re still going to prepare the best car we can to go out there and get the most amount of points we can and, hopefully, the win,” said Fugle. “Superspeedway racing is known to be a wildcard, so if you secure stage points early on, you’re in a better position. But we’re also not going to put William in a position where we’d be risking not being around at the end of the race, either.
“It’s a fine balance, but this style of races has been a strong point of not only William and the No. 24 team, but also Hendrick Motorsports. We’ll be ready.”
Tune in this Sunday, Oct. 3 at 2 p.m. ET on NBC to see Byron, Fugle, and the rest of the Hendrick Motorsports teams take on Talladega in the second race in the Round of 12.