TALLADEGA STATS: In his first NASCAR Cup Series start at Talladega Superspeedway, rookie William Byron had a great race going, which included leading the field multiple times, before he was collected in a multi-car incident with fewer than 25 laps to go, ending his day. He spent 47 percent of the laps he raced at Talladega in the top 10 prior to the Lap 166 incident that left him 29th. However, his 14 laps led earned him a spot in the record books as the youngest Cup driver (20 years, 5 months, 0 days) to lead double-digit laps at a restrictor-plate track. Byron will look for redemption when he arrives at the 2.66-mile superspeedway in the No. 24 Hertz Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 this weekend. In his two previous NASCAR national series starts at Talladega – one in the Xfinity Series and one in the Camping World Truck Series – Byron’s best finish was 10th, which came in his first start at the track in the NCWTS in 2016. In both of his most recent two restrictor-plate races in 2018, Byron has led at least 12 laps for a combined total of 26 laps.
NO. 24 HISTORY AND FIRST WINS: In the No. 24 Chevy, Jeff Gordon earned 12 victories at restrictor-plate tracks, the most of any driver all-time and the most for any car number all-time, and six of those came at Talladega. Of 11 drivers who earned their first win at the 2.66-mile oval, two of them – Ken Schrader and Brian Vickers – were Hendrick Motorsports drivers, so it’s certainly not out of the question that Byron could earn his first win this weekend. Hendrick Motorsports is also tied for first among teams who have sent the most drivers to Victory Lane, winning at Talladega with seven different drivers.
EXPERIENCE ON THE BOX: While Byron may still be a Cup rookie, No. 24 team crew chief Darian Grubb is no stranger to restrictor-plate success. He’s earned three wins on the track type, leading three different drivers to Victory Lane. One of those restrictor-plate victories came at Talladega with driver Denny Hamlin in May 2014.
HERTZ AND HERTZ BUSINESS REWARDS: The yellow No. 24 Hertz Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 returns to the track this weekend at Talladega. As announced in May, the Hertz Corporation, one of the world’s largest vehicle rental companies, joined Hendrick Motorsports as a primary sponsor of Byron and his iconic No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 team beginning in 2018. As part of the two-year agreement, Hertz will be primary sponsor of the No. 24 team in four points-paying Cup Series races in both 2018 and 2019 and an associate-level partner in all other events. From now until Oct. 17, Hertz Business Rewards members can enter to win a VIP race weekend at ISM Raceway for four. Hertz Business Rewards members can book a rental on hertz.com with PC#204681 and their Hertz Business Rewards CDP number to be entered to win the following: four VIP tickets to the Nov. 11 race at ISM Raceway, your company name displayed on the No. 24 Hertz Chevy for the race, a meet-and-greet with Byron, pit and garage access, and free airfare, hotel accommodations and a Hertz rental.
ROOKIE BATTLE: With six races remaining in the 2018 season, Byron continues to hold the lead in the battle for the NASCAR Cup Series rookie of the year title. The driver of the No. 24 Hertz Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 leads the rookie standings by 120 points over Bubba Wallace.
CHEVY STAGE: Byron will visit the Team Chevy Racing Display in the Talladega Superspeedway Midway Area on Sunday, Oct. 14, at 9:50 a.m. local time for a question-and-answer session before the race.
CLOSE TO HOME: No. 24 team spotter Tab Boyd claims Talladega Superspeedway as his home track. The Pensacola, Florida, native grew up about four hours away from the 2.66-mile superspeedway. Boyd has more than 20 years of experience in the sport, starting as an Xfinity Series tire changer and holding various mechanical and fabrication roles before transitioning to the spotter’s stand. In addition to spotting, Boyd has also driven race cars himself and still races occasionally in the Street Stock Mid-Atlantic Series.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DARIAN: Birthday wishes are in order for No. 24 team crew chief Darian Grubb. The NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief turns 43 on Tuesday, Oct. 9.
MARTINSVILLE VICTORY TOUR: Byron will stop by Martinsville Speedway on Wednesday, Oct. 10. The Liberty University student will spend time talking and interacting with local students, showing off his iRacing skills, talking about how he prepares for race weekends and spending time with media members.
William Byron on racing at Talladega:
“Talladega is kind of a wildcard race; you can’t control a lot. Hopefully you go there and try to maximize your skills on those tracks, and just stay in the game the whole race. That’s very important. We’ll try to do that – stay in it the whole race and then see what we can do from there.”