CONCORD, N.C. – For former 2017 Xfinity Series Champion, 2016 Truck Series Rookie of the Year and 2015 K&N Pro Series Champion, rookie William Byron has had a lot to learn in his first Cup Series season.
But the 20-year-old has shown he can handle his new role.
“It’s like managing your own little business,” Byron said of the transition. “I’ve had to grow up really quick. I feel like this year I’ve had to grow up each week and learn one thing from another.”
The driver of the No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 has already gotten to know his new business well and has familiarized himself with the high level of competition the Cup Series presents every weekend.
While the margin of error in competition is slim – Byron noting that one mishap in a race can cost you 10 spots or more – strong preparation and being armed with data and information has helped the young driver on race day.
“I have more consistent feedback and more consistent watching of video and tapes than I did before,” Byron said. “I would say that my team gives me more information than I’ve ever had before in terms of actual data to look at or actual timing down pit road, pit road speeds, all of that stuff that we get access to, we use that right away.”
Byron doesn’t let pressure interfere with the No. 24 team’s progress. In fact, staying focused on what the team needs to work on and not worrying about about what other people think is something the 2018 Cup Series rookie of the year contender is concentrating on.
Something else Byron has been acclimating to this season is connecting with loyal No. 24 fans.
“It’s definitely flattering and it’s cool that people are following what we are doing,” Byron said. “I would say the biggest difference is the No. 24 fans that have come over. I was walking in the media center and there was a lady with her No. 24 forever shirt on. I’m trying to understand that and understand how I can make my own name in it and really be my own person.”
There’s been a lot the rookie has had to soak in in his first three races, but Byron remains committed to growing, learning and adjusting to reach the No. 24 team’s ultimate goal of winning races. At the end of the day, staying confident in himself is what’s most important.
“You just learn to be assertive with what you are feeling and really trust what you are feeling,” Byron said. “The biggest difference and the biggest thing you have to learn as a rookie is to trust yourself and not do anything different than what has gotten you here.”