For all practical purposes, William Byron’s racing career is just getting started.
A rookie of the year title and championship in NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series East is certainly a solid foundation from which to launch.
Byron, 17, won four of 15 races and his ninth-place finish in Saturday’s rain-delayed series finale at Dover (Del.) International Speedway easily allowed him to clinch the series title.
“This feels awesome. We put a lot of hard work into this with this being our first year in the K&N Pro Series and just my third year racing. I didn’t know what to expect,” said Byron, a native of Charlotte, N.C., and still a high school student.
I think his potential is unlimited. Obviously, he has innate talent. He started later than a lot of these guys started in their careers
Harry Scott Jr. on William Byron
“I just kind of learned on the fly as we went. I picked up a few wins early in the season and then raced hard from there to win the championship.”
It was a tough way to race for a title as Byron was racing at Dover for the first time in a race postponed from Friday and with no practice or qualifying.
“I tried not to think about the race too much. The more I think about races, the more that goes through your mind. It’s important to keep your mind focused,” Byron said. “It’s tough. There are a lot of good cars in this series and we had to race hard and aggressive for this championship.”
Moving up to the national level
Byron is already set to move up the NASCAR ladder.
He said he will be competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series next season and he hoped a deal with a team would be finalized very soon.
Byron’s team owner in K&N, Harry Scott Jr., said there is no doubt Byron is on a fast-track to success.
“I think his potential is unlimited,” Scott said. “Obviously, he has innate talent. He started later than a lot of these guys started in their careers. He gets it – he understands it.
“He has the right attitude and the right temperament. He’s very smart about the way he drives and he also is open to learning from veterans.”