Truck Series Debut Cut Short at Phoenix after Top Five Start
November 14, 2015
AVONDALE, ARIZ. (Nov. 13, 2015) --- William Byron made his first start in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Friday night at Phoenix International Raceway for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM). After posting the fourth-fastest practice time on Thursday and qualifying fifth Friday morning, Byron was ready for the 150-lap race with the goal of running all the laps and learning as much as possible in preparation for next season. Unfortunately his learning curve was cut short when he was caught up in an accident only seven laps into the race.
Byron showed much promise in his No. 9 Liberty University Tundra throughout practice and qualifying. He posted the fifth-fastest practice time in his first laps on the track. The KBM team made adjustments throughout practice to improve the Tundra's handling which put him fourth on the speed chart when practice ended. Friday morning Byron advanced to the final round of knockout qualifying to start the race in fifth place.
The 17-year-old was ready for his first NCWTS start Friday night. With the guidance of veteran crew chief Wes Ward and veteran spotter Keith Barnwell, Byron was prepared to back up his solid practice and qualifying efforts. Unfortunately bad luck struck only seven laps into the race.
After completing only six laps, Byron was caught up in a three-truck accident and the Liberty Tundra sustained substantial damage. He took the truck to the garage where the team determined they would not be able to repair it. Byron's night was over shortly after it began. He was credited with a 31st-place finish.
"I felt like the two of us (Byron and Brandon Jones) were side-by-side," Byron said. "I guess he got cleared and he wasn't clear. It's alright, it's a racing deal. It's unfortunate because these KBM guys worked hard on this Liberty University Tundra. I hate to end it this early, but I'll keep my head up as I have a whole year of truck racing ahead of me next year that I'm looking forward to."
Byron will return to the seat of the No. 9 Liberty University Tundra for the full 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck season, which kicks off next February at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.