NASCAR: William Byron pulls off feat not seen since 2007 Jeff Gordon

William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Before William Byron’s back-to-back wins, the No. 24 Chevrolet hadn’t been to victory lane in two straight NASCAR Cup Series races in 16 years.

The start of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season was relatively typical for Hendrick Motorsports’ William Byron, who, through six seasons, has never finished any one of a season’s first two races higher than 17th place.

He opened up the year with a 34th place DNF at Daytona International Speedway and followed that up with a 25th place finish at Auto Club Speedway.

But over the last few years, the switch flips on for Byron in race number three, and that has happened again in 2023.

In 2021, he won the season’s third race at Homestead-Miami Speedway to start a historic streak of 11 straight top nine finishes. In 2022, he won twice from races three through eight to become the season’s first two-race winner, and he recorded two more top five finishes during that span.

Now in 2023, he finds himself as the season’s first two-race winner once again, winning both the third race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the fourth race at Phoenix Raceway.

Winning back-to-back races is hard to do at the Cup level. It only happened once last year, when Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick won the August races at Michigan International Speedway and Richmond Raceway.

Prior to Byron’s run, the No. 24 Chevrolet hadn’t won two straight races since the 2007 NASCAR Cup Seres season, when Jeff Gordon pulled it off.

Gordon, who sits third on the sport’s all-time wins list with 93, won the October races at Talladega Superspeedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway that year.

Though the Hall of Famer went on to compete for eight more seasons as a full-time driver — and qualify for the playoffs every year during that span — he never won back-to-back races again.

Gordon won back-to-back races on 17 occasions throughout his career. Three of those 17 streaks extended to three races, and one of those three extended to four.

Between Gordon and Byron, the only driver to drive the No. 24 Chevrolet was Chase Elliott, who replaced Gordon in 2016. Hendrick Motorsports introduced the No. 9 Chevrolet in 2018 and moved Elliott to that car.

Despite the fact that he was replacing Kasey Kahne, who had driven the No. 5 Chevrolet, Byron was handed the keys to the No. 24 Chevrolet.

Gordon’s final three-race winning streak happened from the end of the 1998 season, when he won at Rockingham Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway, to the start of the 1999 season, when he won the Daytona 500.

All-time NASCAR Cup Series wins list. dark. Next

Can Byron pull it off this Sunday afternoon at Atlanta Motor Speedway, a track where he won last March? The Ambetter Health 400 is set to be broadcast live on Fox beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET, so begin a free trial of FuboTV and don’t miss it!