NASCAR: The worst kept secret of 2022 has been confirmed

William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /

It was only a matter of time before William Byron re-signed with Hendrick Motorsports. His contract was extended through the 2025 NASCAR Cup Series season.

At Hendrick Motorsports, both 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott and William Byron were due to enter the 2022 season without contracts to compete in 2023.

But before the season began, Elliott and Rick Hendrick’s team agreed to a five-year extension to keep him behind the wheel of the #9 Chevrolet through the 2027 season, preventing him from entering the year as a pending free agent.

Also. Danica Patrick's worst crash. light

Byron, however, did not sign an extension before the year began, making him the only one of the team’s three drivers without a contract to compete through the 2023 season as the 2022 season got underway.

Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman both signed contract extensions last year to remain with the team through 2023, driving the #5 Chevrolet and the #48 Chevrolet, respectively.

But Byron was in more of a “prove it” situation entering the 2022 season.

And while not many anticipated that he would lose his ride behind the wheel of the #24 Chevrolet, he certainly has proven it.

He earned his third career victory in the season’s fifth race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and he became the first driver to win two races in 2022 by winning the season’s eighth race at Martinsville Speedway.

It could be worth noting that, since the Championship 4 was introduced in 2014, the first driver to reach two wins in a season has never failed to qualify for the winner-take-all round.

With two wins in 11 races this season, the 24-year-old Charlotte, North Carolina native has already doubled his career win total in 2022, and he is one of only two drivers with multiple victories, making him one of only two drivers who have truly locked up playoff spots.

And as everyone expected, he was rewarded with a new contract to keep him behind the wheel of the #24 Chevrolet for the foreseeable future.

The two big questions before the announcement was made were really when the announcement would be made, and how long the length of his new deal would be.

Byron’s extension keeps him with Hendrick’s team through the 2025 season, though if he continues perform at this level, there is little reason to believe that he won’t end up sticking around for quite a while longer. He has now won at least one race in three consecutive seasons.

Next. Top 25 NASCAR drivers of all-time. dark

Hendrick Motorsports will likely be looking to extend the deals of Bowman and Larson next year around this time, if not before.