One would think that after winning a championship, William Byron would take some time to relax and just enjoy life a little bit. But that’s not what the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion is doing. Instead, he’s heading to the fast half-mile of Concord Speedway in North Carolina to race the Pro All Stars Series portion of the 13th Annual North-South Shootout on November 7.
“We really just had an open date,” said Byron. “I try to fill as many open dates as I can. I think I raced every weekend from April through August, and then I kind of had some down time over the last month with different things going on.”
Byron is making his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut in a little over a week at the Phoenix International Raceway in Arizona. He explained that his debut in that series is a big part of why he wanted to race this weekend.
“We decided to do these two races to get back in the seat and prepare for Phoenix,” he said. “I think ultimately you can watch as many races as possible on TV but getting in the seat of a Super Late Model really pays dividends.”
The 17-year-old Charlotte driver has never raced on the half-mile triangle that is Concord Speedway. He’s seen the place a bunch of times and he’s heard even more about it, but this Saturday will be his first ever race on the tricky tri-oval.
“I used to race the quarter-mile so I used to drive by there all the time,” said Byron. “That’s kind of where I started so I’m looking forward to it.”
At a Super Late Model race in North Carolina this past weekend Byron had plenty of speed, and he put that on display when he came from the back of the pack after a penalty to still score a top five finish. He explained that his performance last weekend helped him out a ton for the future.
“It’s kind of frustrating that we got in the incident that we did, but I think I learned a ton coming from the back to finish fourth,” said Byron. “It was still a positive experience. I just think it was good having that speed and being back with LFR. I could just go out and have fun.”
Byron said that he has a couple of goals in mind for the race on Saturday that he wants to achieve.
“We want to win, but I just want to prepare for the Truck race soon,” he said. “Being in the seat of a Super is better than not being in one. I think it’s a golden opportunity to learn a new track. I’ve never raced a PASS race but the competition should be pretty good with it being a pretty big race. We’ll see what happens, but our goal is to win. If we can do that then that would be a good day for us.”
One of the perks for this race is that it will air live on Speed51 TV on a pay-per-view basis. Byron has appeared on TV quite a bit as all of his NASCAR K&N East races aired on TV, but all on a tape-delayed basis.
“That’s the cool part of the race is it being live on 51 TV and for some of my friends to tune in,” said Byron. “You also never know who’s watching these short track races. It gives an opportunity for some of us to show what we can do outside of a K&N race or Truck race.”
The other cool part for Byron is that for once he barely has to travel. It’s just a short trip down the road from home.
“It’s a local race for me so it’s like a homecoming thing and that’s pretty cool as well,” he said. “And the difficulty of Concord with the dogleg there could be some wild wrecks. We’ll just try to have a clean race and see what we can do.”
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Regional Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com