A couple of years ago nobody really knew who William Byron was. He was a teenager just starting out in Legends cars just trying to race. Now a couple years later he’s a four-time winner in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and one of the favorites to win this weekend’s 50th annual Redbud 300 at Anderson Speedway (IN).
In fact, Byron is now a favorite wherever he goes, especially when he’s in Kyle Busch Motorsports equipment, as he will be this weekend at Anderson and the following weekend at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis.
Even though Byron has never raced on the high-banked quarter-mile that is Anderson Speedway, his four wins in the truck have him feeling as confident as ever.
“It definitely helps with the confidence just knowing that you can go out and win on a weekly basis,” Byron told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “With the way the summer has gone so far in June with the two wins and now the Kentucky win in July, a hot streak is definitely just more confidence. But I don’t look at it as anything more than that. I just focus on the task at hand. I’m focused on the Late Model this weekend. It’s going to be totally different so I’m looking forward to getting back in one and seeing what we can do.”
Byron said that he and his KBM team circled the Redbud on their calendar way back at the start of the season because of how much this particular Late Model race can help him out on the truck side.
“It’s got a lot of great competition and it’s a longer race,” he said. “Longer races are good for me to get that experience of managing things throughout the whole race, especially on the Truck side. It makes sense to run longer races because we get more use out of everything, we can test more things, and more experience and more laps that we can run. It’s a race that we targeted and now with the Truck success, we’re going to go out and compete for a win and put it all out there.”
But first Byron has to learn the race track. With it’s short straightaways and tight corners, Anderson is a tough place to get a handle on even when by yourself. Put another 25 or so cars out there and it gets even tougher. Byron said he’s started to try to learn the track by watching video and talking to his boss, Kyle Busch. But one person he hasn’t reached out to yet is former KBM driver and last year’s Redbud winner, Erik Jones.
“I talk to him a lot about the Truck stuff and the race tracks and what he thought,” Byron explained. “I’m going to hopefully reach out to him about Anderson if he has some time and just talk to him about it. It should be an interesting race track. I’m just going to go there with the Late Model experience that I have and hopefully we’ll have some success and get a pretty good result this weekend.”
Byron said the strategy is a simple one for Saturday night’s 300-lap race.
“It’s a tight little race track so it’s important to stay out of trouble. That’s going to be the biggest thing is just getting to the last little segment of the race. Ultimately if we can make it to the final portion there and get our tires at the break then we’ll be in good shape. It’s really just about going there to get a win and I think we can do that if we survive and get to the end.”
Race fans can watch William Byron go for the win live on Speed51 TV by purchasing their pay-per-view broadcast ticket here.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: William Byron Facebook