TALLADEGA, Ala. – William Byron is racing with the facts at hand for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Round of 12 playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway.
A 25-point penalty following the race at Texas Motor Speedway took the driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 from third place in the standings and +17 on the cutoff line to 10th place and -8 on the cutoff line.
"I race eight (points) behind," Byron said of his points situation entering the middle race of the Round of 12. "I don’t think about the hypotheticals. I race like it’s there and it happened. Just move forward with it. Go after the stage points and I feel like we’re capable of running really well at superspeedways. I’ve had a couple wins on superspeedway-type tracks, so feel good about that."
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The penalty, which included a $50,000 fine, has been appealed by Hendrick Motorsports.
"Out of respect for the process that we are going to go through next week, I don’t want to get into too many specifics but there is a different perspective that we have on what happened and what the intent of that was meant to be," team president and general manager Jeff Andrews said. "I’ll just leave it at that."
Byron enters the Talladega race as one of two drivers – Denny Hamlin being the other – to earn top-10 finishes in all four playoff races to date.
Two of the 24-year-old’s Cup Series wins have come on drafting tracks. His first Cup Series victory came at Daytona International Speedway in August 2020. Earlier this year, Byron won on the reconfigured Atlanta Motor Speedway, which utilized the superspeedway rules package for its two races in 2022.
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In the spring race at Talladega, Byron led a race-high 38 laps and won stage two. He had the second-best average running position in that race despite finishing 15th. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native has two top-five finishes – including a track-best result of second in April 2021 – in his last four starts at the 2.66-mile venue.
"We just take what we’re given," Byron said. "We’re glad to be on this stage. Glad to be in the playoffs. Still have an opportunity to win the next two weeks. We are not really that far out."