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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- This week, William Byron got the ride of a lifetime.

Before taking on media day, the rookie driver flew with the United States Air Force Thunderbirds.

"It was great to be up there with those guys and appreciate what they do," Byron said. "They're really good at it."

His Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott also took flight with the Thunderbirds back in 2016.

After the experience, Byron explained that the physical toll was higher than he expected when he first climbed into the cockpit.

"That was really cool -- I've never been in something that took that much out of me," he said, noting that even breathing steadily proved challenging.

Check out Byron's experience -- including footage from inside the cockpit -- in the video above.

And the fun's not about to end for Byron.

He's got another ride of a lifetime coming up this Sunday when he climbs in his No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to take on the Daytona 500 for the first time in his career. The Daytona 500 is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.