CONCORD, N.C. - The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season proved to be another step in William Byron's journey to the top of the sport. The 24-year-old driver doubled his premier series win total to four and advanced to the Round of 8 in the Cup Series playoffs for the first time in his five years with Hendrick Motorsports.
The No. 24 team found success early in 2022. With victories at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Martinsville Speedway, Byron sat atop the projected playoff standings in April. Byron and crew chief Rudy Fugle developed into a consistent threat to take the checkered flag each week.
Looking to gain more seat time, Byron made several starts in the support divisions of the Cup Series. At Martinsville, he claimed his first victory in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series since 2016. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native made starts with JR Motorsports as well at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway while also jumping in Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 17 entry at Watkins Glen International. He also was victorious in several late model races through the year.
Despite the early season Cup Series success, the summer months proved to be rough patch for the No. 24 team. That said, Byron's two wins in the regular season allowed him to enter the playoffs above the cutoff line. As the Round of 16 got underway, Byron and his team resembled the group that was so dominate earlier in the year. Consistent performances saw Byron advance to the next round on points as he earned four consecutive top-10s to open the playoffs. A strong pit crew with the sixth fastest four-tire stop time on the season also made a major difference in the postseason.
While Byron missed out on making the Championship 4, his sixth-place points finish is the highest of his career in the Cup Series. During the 10 playoff races, Byron notched six finishes inside the top 10 and earned an average finish of 9.0. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native stepped up their game when the pressure was the highest.
Off the track, Byron also hosted a charity golf tournament benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters of America of Central Carolinas at The Peninsula Club in Cornelius, North Carolina. The event raised over $247,638 for the youth mentoring organization.
2022 SEASON STATS
Top fives: 5
Top 10s: 11
Laps Led: 746
Average finish: 15.6
Standings position: Sixth
VICTORY IN 'THE PEACH STATE': With Atlanta Motor Speedway’s reconfiguration, competitors entered the 1.5-mile facility with little knowledge of what to expect. By the end of the race, Byron had paced the field for 111 laps on his way to victory lane for his first win of the season.
DOMINATE AT ‘THE PAPERCLIP’: Fresh off a near victory at Richmond Raceway, Byron put on a clinic at Martinsville. With victories in both the Truck and Cup Series races that weekend, the 24-year-old driver left "The Paperclip" with two additional grandfather clocks. Of the 603 laps he completed across both events, Byron led the field for 306 circuits or 50.7%.
SIGNED. SEALED. DELIVERED: Following his fast start to the 2022 season, Byron inked a three-year contract extension. That pact keeps him behind the wheel of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 through the 2025 season.
PLAYOFF TURNAROUND: Headed into the playoffs, the No. 24 team had been in a summer swoon. The playoff opener at Darlington Raceway proved to be just the spark that was needed as Byron claimed the stage one victory, finished as second in stage two and battled back from an ill-timed caution flag to finish in eighth. That race kicked off a run of four straight top-10 finishes to open the playoffs.
A DEEP POSTSEASON RUN: Byron continued his run of good form and advanced into the Round of 8 for the first time in his career. The year served as a huge step for Byron as he notched career-best single-season totals in wins (two), laps led (746) and the final standings (sixth).
PHOTOS: See all of Byron's wins at Hendrick Motorsports
As the 2023 season grows closer, Byron will look to capitalize on his deep playoff run and earn multiple victories in back-to-back seasons for the first time in his Cup Series career. One area in particular the driver of the No. 24 will look at as an area to improve upon will be the road courses. Despite his track record of qualifying well on tracks turning left and right, Byron only managed one top-10 finish in the six road course races this past season.
Coming off a season with multiple career-best statistics, Byron will look at '23 as a chance to take the next step in his rising career by reaching his first ever Championship 4. With Fugle atop the pit box, the pair have earned three victories together and will target the upcoming season to increase that total as they look to bring a 15th championship to Hendrick Motorsports.
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