CONCORD, N.C. – The No. 24 team started the 2019 season off with a sophomore driver and a seven-time champion crew chief. William Byron and his new crew chief Chad Knaus were ready to capitalize on a fresh start.
So far this season, Byron has already claimed six top-10 finishes, three pole positions and 180 laps led. As the driver-crew chief relationship continues to grow, Knaus believes a win is on the horizon for the 21-year-old driver.
After 19 races, Byron sits 12th in the NASCAR standings, currently in position to make the 16-driver NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.
“Of course, you have to be cognizant of what’s going on around you and paying attention to the players who are in the same vicinity of you in points,” Knaus told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “We’ve been fortunate enough to get a little bit of a spread. It allows us to race a little more, well, I don’t want to say aggressive, but put ourselves in a position to go for a win.”
Knaus and Byron were encouraged by their teammate Alex Bowman finding Victory Lane just three weeks ago at Chicagoland Speedway. It was the first Cup Series win for the driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, one year after Chase Elliott captured his first career Cup Series victory. Now, Byron wants to join that list of first-time winners for the organization.
“Obviously, a huge congratulations to the No. 88 team and pulling off their win a few weeks ago,” Knaus said. “We’ve had a bunch of good qualifying efforts and a bunch of good top-10 finishing positions for all the teams. We’re working really hard at Hendrick Motorsports. We are just trying to get the whole company where it needs to be. We’re making good, solid gains.”
The next opportunity to continue to build on that progress comes this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Byron, Knaus and the No. 24 team – like the rest of the organization – have their eyes firmly set on Victory Lane.
“We’re making some good headway but we’re not where we want to be by any means yet,” Knaus said of Hendrick Motorsports. “We like to rack up the wins like all the other teams and we don’t do it as often as we would like but we’re working hard at it. All we’re worried about is getting trophies."