AVONDALE, Ariz. – A few days after the nail-biting experience of advancing through to the Championship 4, William Byron feels like the pressure is off. 

"We got new life for our team," Byron said during Championship 4 Media Day at Phoenix Raceway. "This is what our goal was (at the start of the year) to make the Championship 4. I think any team would say that. Now, we feel like we have nothing to lose."

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The 25-year-old driver acknowledged that he felt the pressure in last weekend’s elimination race at Martinsville Speedway, given how strong of a season the No. 24 has enjoyed leading the NASCAR Cup Series in wins (six), average finish (11.17) and top-10 finishes (20). He is also tied for the lead in top-five finishes (14) and stage wins (eight). 

One of his six wins this year came at the site of the championship, 1-mile Phoenix. A key call ahead of the overtime finish by crew chief Rudy Fugle for two tires put Byron in position to restart on the front row and his driver did the rest, taking the lead away from teammate (fellow Championship 4 competitor) Kyle Larson and scoring the victory. Of note, all four Championship 4 drivers finished in the top six in that race (Byron won, Ryan Blaney finished second, Larson was fourth and Christopher Bell placed sixth).

Byron’s pit crew has been stellar all season with the fastest average four-tire pit stop time in the series  10.963 seconds. The crew consists of Spencer Bishop (jackman), Jeff Cordero (front-tire changer), Orane Ossowski (rear-tire changer), Ryan Patton (tire carrier) and Landon Walker (fueler). 

"They’re the best, in my opinion," Byron said. "They’ve done a great job this year. They work really well under pressure. They’re ready for this moment."

RELATED: How Byron and Larson stack up for the Phoenix title race

The six wins are tied as the sixth-highest single-season total for the No. 24 team and the most wins for the iconic car number since 2007. Byron has been behind the wheel of the No. 24 since 2018 when he was brought to the sport’s top series at the age of 20. His first of 10 victories in the ride to date came in 2020 at Daytona International Speedway. 

"The 24 – we had some pretty rough days there," Byron said of his initial days driving the car. "I remember a lot of people on YouTube questioning me driving the car and saying ‘I don’t know about this kid. He makes a lot of mistakes.’ I read all that stuff and I heard of it. It took a while for the 24 to get back to prominence in the Cup Series, but it’s back now. We are winning six races a year hopefully next year and the years to come. Hopefully, a lot more final fours."

Byron is in his third season paired with Fugle at the Cup level. The duo worked together for a full season in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series ranks in 2016, where they won seven races together. Fugle has been instrumental in Byron’s big year. 

"If you just look at the progression of William’s career, every year he just seems to get better and better," team vice chairman Jeff Gordon told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio last month. "To see how he’s progressed and then to see when Rudy (Fugle, crew chief) came onboard at Hendrick (Motorsports), how those two clicked. The chemistry is very strong and every year I see William’s confidence growing. This year, getting the first win early in the season, the confidence was there right away and it just continued throughout the whole season."

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Byron’s steady 6.33 average finish over the first nine races this postseason, which ranks as the fifth-best average finish in the elimination-style playoffs, has been a strong demonstration of the consistency he’s shown all season long. Hendrick Motorsports team owner Rick Hendrick believes that Byron has flown under the radar this postseason. 

Earlier this week during a teleconference to discuss the upcoming championship race, Hendrick shared one of the first times he met his future driver and the growth he has since seen firsthand from him.  

RELATED: Look back at the Phoenix wins for Hendrick Motorsports

"When I looked at him, watched him, remember what he did at JRM (JR Motorsports) and how confident he was when he walked up to me one day when he was 15 and said, 'I'm going to drive for you one day,'" Hendrick recalled.

"He just had the whole package. You put him in the right spot, give him time and he's going to develop into something special because he's a special guy. He has got a drive and determination. 

"You think he's a mild-mannered little guy, but he's got a killer instinct. His determination to succeed, his willingness to work hard and his willingness to put in the extra hours. His work ethic is so impressive. I just felt like if he was in the right spot with the right people, he was going to do great things. It's turned out to be that way."

Tune in to watch the championship race on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 3 p.m. ET on NBC, Peacock, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).