Charlotte, N.C. (November 11, 2014) --- The Autumn Classic at Southern National Motorsports Park (Lucama, NC) did not go the way William Byron and the team had hoped on Sunday. Byron started 23rd after winning the last chance qualifier race and worked his way into the top 10. Issues with the transmission and ignition cut his day short and he was credited with a 22nd-place finish.
“Unfortunately for our team today we didn’t get the outcome we wanted due to a couple of parts failure,” said Byron. “I definitely learned a lot by coming from the back and I’m glad we were able to participate in this event. The quality of cars and drivers were some of the best I’ve competed against all season.”
The car was extremely tight during Byron’s qualifying attempt and he missed the first cut into the 200-lap race. Byron put the qualifying effort behind him and focused on the last chance qualify race where the winner would automatically transfer into the main event. Byron started on the front row for that race, dropped back to second, but fought back to win the qualifying race and earn the final spot in the Autumn Classic.
Byron and the No. 9 team made significant changes to the car prior to the start of feature event. Byron started 23 and within 15 laps had maneuvered his way up to 17th. He continued to work his way up through the field and was sitting 11th on lap 75 before the first issue of the day occurred, a broken transmission and loss of third gear. Byron fell back to the rear of the field after the ignition box went out, but he rallied and raced his way back up to 15th before the mid-race break.
The team worked on car during the break to help the handling for Byron. On the restart, Byron had to start in fourth gear and focused on keeping up his momentum so he wouldn’t lose too many positions. The mechanical issues didn’t hinder Byron’s focus and determination as he worked his way up into the top 10. Unfortunately with just 50 laps to go, the ignition box went out altogether forcing Byron into the garage for the day.
“Everyone worked really hard all weekend,” said Byron. “We all did our best given the situation we were in and I couldn’t be prouder of the positive attitudes everyone had on race day. I believe if we didn’t have the issues we did, we were going to be a top-five car. I have to thank Liberty University and everyone on the Sellers Racing team for the opportunity.”
Byron’s has just two races remaining on the 2014 schedule. He will pilot his No. 9 Liberty University Chevrolet for JR Motorsports November 23 at Myrtle Beach Speedway and close out the season at 5 Flags Speedway on December 6 in the Snowflake 100.