CONCORD, N.C. – William Byron is proud of what the No. 24 team accomplished in 2019.

“I think it was a really good year,” the driver said. “We put ourselves in contention in a lot of races. We took that next step as a team to continue to progress. We accomplished a lot of goals we had – not all of them, but a lot of them.”

One of those goals for the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year was to make the playoffs in 2019.

He accomplished that feat.

And in the process, he got a taste of what it takes to compete for a championship.

“The whole process of the playoffs really exposes the weaknesses in your team even if it makes you focus on the little things that make you successful,” he said. “I think we learned a lot about our team and our pit crew, and we learned a lot about our cars and how strong they are. We competed in really the top 10 for most of the playoffs and that was strong. We kind of learned some of our weaknesses, too, and I think we are going to address them for next year.”

Continuing to grow and improve in 2020 is what the driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE and the entire team have in mind as this season rapidly approaches.

Last year, Byron set new Cup career highs with five pole positions, five top-five finishes, 13 top-10s and 233 laps led.

“I think we made big gains with the speed we’ve had,” he said. “We were running consistently in the top five or the top 10, which was good. That’s what I noticed at the end of the year.”

Certainly, finding Victory Lane will be high on his priority list in 2020. And he knows it will take the whole team working together to make that happen.

"I think that going into next year we’ve got pretty much the same group of guys coming back, and that’s going to help a lot,” he said. “Definitely I was proud of our progress.”