William Byron is moving up in the world, to no ones surprise.
The young NASCAR phenom will be moving to the NASCAR Xfinity series in 2017 with Hendrick Motorsports affiliate JR Motorsports. The Hendrick Motorsports organization announced Thursday that they have signed NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points leader to a multi-year driver agreement.
Byron currently races for Kyle Busch Motorsports took the NASCAR world by storm this season after making one start in the Camping World Truck series in 2015. This season racing fulltime for KBM the season the 18-year old has scored a rookie record five victories in 13 starts and is a favorite to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title. He won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in 2015. Byron scored four wins, three poles, five top-five finishes and 11 top-10s in 14 events, and led 740 of the season’s 1,730 total laps (43 percent) in route to the K&N title. This season the Charlotte, North Carolina, native equaled the rookie record of four wins set by Kurt Busch in 2000 with his win at Kentucky in July. Byron then broke the record with his fifth season win at Pocono two weeks later.
“William is a special person and a special talent,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “It’s been impressive to watch him come up through the ranks and have success at every level. What he’s already accomplished this season has been remarkable. On top of all his ability, he’s a terrific young man from a great family, and we think he has a very bright future with our organization.”
Shortly after his first career win at Kansas in May only a few weeks shy of his high school graduation. He’s currently a freshman at Liberty University and will start classes in the fall while maintaining his full-time racing schedule.
“Even before I started racing, it was a dream of mine to drive for Hendrick Motorsports,” Byron said. “I have so much respect for the way Mr. Hendrick supports his people and encourages everyone to work together. This is the biggest announcement and biggest opportunity of my life, and I will do everything I can to make the most of it. I’m proud to be part of this team.”
JR Motorsports, owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kelley Earnhardt Miller and Hendrick won the NASCAR Xfinity Series title in 2014, was runner up to the title in 2015, and currently sits atop the Xfinity Series standings. Byron and JR Motorsports have a history together; Byron got his first taste of full-sized stock cars racing for JRM’s late model program in 2014 and 2015, where he scored two wins.
“I owe so much to Dale Jr. and everyone at JRM for taking a chance on me in 2014,” Byron said. “Looking back, I know none of this would’ve happened without that opportunity. I was there during Chase Elliott’s championship season and got to learn a lot. I know what they’re capable of, and I’m going to work really hard for them.”
Byron finished fourth in Wednesday night’s UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Rick Hendrick will meet with the media Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway.