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NASCAR Cup Nashville

Recent string of races "a bit frustrating" for William Byron

By most accounts William Byron has had a strong start to the 2024 NASCAR Cup season, but one area remains stubbornly troublesome – consistency.

William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro

William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro

Photo by: Rusty Jarrett / NKP / Motorsport Images

Byron has already won three times this yer and is well-positioned for the playoffs, but his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team has had difficulty producing top 10 finishes on a week-to-week basis of late.

Earlier this season, Byron had five straight finishes of seventh or better, which included two of his wins. But since then, he’s had just three top-10s and four finishes of 23rd or worse.

Byron, 26, got off to a strong start this weekend by advancing to the final round of qualifying on Saturday and will line up seventh in Sunday’s race at Nashville Superspeedway.

“I mean we’re certainly trying really hard. I feel like we’re preparing harder than we ever have,” Byron said Saturday. “You know, I think we’ve just been a bit across the board, all over the board, with results.

“But if you look at the speed that we’ve had, Sonoma comes to mind as a race where we had top-three or four speed, but never really got to show that because we had a flat tire early and then got in that wreck with everyone in Turn 11.’

William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro

William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro

Photo by: Gavin Baker / NKP / Motorsport Images

At one time, Byron’s consistency put him in contention to win the regular season championship and its coveted 15 playoff points.

His recent string of haphazard results has his seventh in the series standings, although with eight races remaining, there is still time to get back in the title hunt.

“I just look at the results as a bit frustrating because we’ve been all over the board. But Iowa was a really good race for us, finishing second,” Byron said. “I feel like we just have to be able to show up week in and week out and put together those consistent weekends; communication-wise, effort-wise and limit the mistakes and just see where we are.

“We’re trying to climb the points ladder – that’s important this time of year. Try to get as many bonus points as we can for the playoffs because of that seeding through the regular season standings.

“So, I just feel like if we can get that stage win, race win or advance up the ladder in the points, that’s really what the goals are right now.”

That’s certainly possible at the 1.33-mile concrete oval this weekend.

In three series starts at the track, Byron finished third, 35th and sixth. One big unknown will be the effect of high temperatures forecast for Sunday afternoon.

“I think a big factor this weekend will be managing the heat. The first time we raced at Nashville with the Next Gen, it was a lightning delayed night race, and then last year was a scheduled night race,” Byron said.

“Now, we’re going there during the day where it’s been super-hot. You’re going to have a low grip situation in the car, and it’s going to be hot in the car and for the guys working on it.

“It’s just an added element when most of our notes are from racing there at night, and we should be done well before that this time if we don’t get any weather.”

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