CONCORD, N.C. – With a 2022 NASCAR Cup Series win in the bank and nearly a second one added to the tally last weekend at Richmond Raceway, William Byron plans to keep pushing as spring blooms. 

Byron won at Atlanta Motor Speedway last month and came within five laps of grabbing another victory last Sunday before the fresher tires of Denny Hamlin caught him. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native led a personal-best 122 laps before finishing third for his third top-five finish of the season. The strong Richmond result was aided by crew chief Rudy Fugle’s call to stay out following the second caution early in the final stage which saw Byron assume the lead on lap 260. 

"We are being an aggressive team this year because we got a win last year early in the season and didn’t get another win and that is never fun," Byron said during an appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "You feel like you are constantly trying to catch up with bonus points. 

"So this year, we are just trying to be a little more aggressive. Try to put ourselves in position to win a lot of races. I show up to the track with really one goal in mind. I don’t really go there to think about finishing a certain spot in the points. It’s nice to get stage points but at the end of the day, if we are in a position in the top five we are going to try and win the race. I think it’s a mentality shift for us early in the season knowing that those bonus points are so important."

The next stop for the Cup Series is Martinsville Speedway – one of Byron’s best tracks on the circuit. His three top fives at the .526-mile track are his most at any track and he was one of two drivers to score top-five finishes in both races there last year. (Martin Truex Jr. was the other.) He also enters the latest short-track race with three straight top-five finishes on that track type dating back to last September at Bristol Motor Speedway. 

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"With the shape of the corners and the rhythm it takes, I feel like I have an eye for what a car should look like to get around there just from coming to so many races growing up," Byron said regarding his Cup success at Martinsville. "I think some of that translates to inside the car when you’re thinking through what lines to take and how to pass somebody. Growing up short-track racing helps too. Similar to Denny (Hamlin), I grew up racing around the Southeast and running a lot of late model races. I’ve gone back and done some of that this year and that helps reaffirm how I race at tracks like this."

One way Byron will prepare is with some extra seat time by running the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Thursday night at Martinsville (8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). He will carry sponsorship from on his No. 7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet entry. Alex Bowman ran the Camping World Truck Series race for Spire at Circuit of The Americas two weekends ago. 

As the leader of the No. 24 team, Fugle loves seeing Byron jump in different racing opportunities not just for building the knowledge base but also for the joy it brings his driver.

"He’s hopping in anything he can and I love it," Fugle said during an appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "He’s having a whole lot of fun. Just really excited for him just because it’s building confidence and he’s just having fun racing no matter what it is. 

"That’s good just at a personal level and then from the Cup level and for our car and the 24 team, when he hops in on Friday for practice, he's just going to be so much more tuned in. Martinsville is a rhythm track. You have to feel when you cross the start-finish line you are getting into the braking zone and how you lift. All the things will be different from a Cup car to a truck but just where you need to be on the racetrack and that feel – you roll in the corner and then you pivot on the curb and you leave. All those things are going to be way better for him after running all the Truck (Series) laps. So super pumped for how it’s going to help us and just excited to watch him."

Tune in to watch Byron, Fugle and the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 do battle for 400 laps at Martinsville on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.