William Byron has done many things in his very short racing career. He’s won Super Late Model races, he’s won six NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races as a rookie (a new series record), he’s leading the points standings in NASCAR’s Truck Series too, but there’s still a couple of things he hasn’t done yet.
One of those things is make a start on the legendary high banks of Indiana’s Winchester Speedway. However, Byron will be able to cross that off the list on Sunday, October 9 when he runs the 45th Annual Winchester 400 for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
“I’m really excited about it,” Byron told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “It’s a cool race track, from what I’ve heard from Kyle (Busch), Christopher (Bell) and Erik (Jones). I’m really excited about it and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m really looking forward to it. It’s really fast, and it’s good race to kind of get us prepared for some of the races down the stretch, even in the Truck Series.”
Even though the 18-year-old Byron has only been racing cars and trucks for a few years, he already has established one of the best support systems in the business. When Byron needs to ask questions, he has a variety of talented drivers to talk to ranging from his NCWTS owner and defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kyle Busch to two-time Winchester 400 winner Erik Jones.
Byron said having those three in his corner helps him out a ton as he can mentally anticipate what a race track is going to be like for him before he gets there just based off of his conversations with his teammates.
“I just ask about the bumps they feel or where they ran on the race track or what things to look for as far as helping the car to drive better,” Byron explained. “It all starts in practice just getting everything right. That’s going to be important to know those little things.”
One of the challenges Byron may face on Friday at Winchester when he gets into the car for the first time won’t be the bumpy pavement, but rather just remembering what it’s like being inside of a Super Late Model. Byron’s last Late Model race came at Indiana’s Lucas Oil Raceway in late July, so it’s been a couple of months since he’s sat in that seat.
“Sometimes it takes a run. Everything is so different. But once you get used to it, with us going to so many race tracks with the trucks it doesn’t take too long to get back used to it, so it should be fun.”
Byron will also have a different voice in his ear calling the shots in Winchester than usual. Sort of. Byron’s crew chief on the trucks side of Kyle Busch Motorsports, Rudy Fugle, will be in Winchester with Byron for one of his first Late Model races as crew chief.
“He enjoys going to Late Model races,” Byron said. “He’s a little new to it, but he enjoys doing it. We’re going to look to continue our success that we’ve had in the Trucks and bring that over to Late Models.”
Race fans can watch William Byron go for the win at the Winchester 400 live on Speed51 TV on Speed51.com by purchasing their pay-per-view package of the event here.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: KyleBuschMotorsports.com