KANSAS CITY, Kan. — William Byron expects his fledgling Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career to get a boost during the summer months — and with good reason.
If the arc of his first season in Cup follows that of his first full-time campaign in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Byron has cause for optimism.
He didn’t win in the Xfinity Series until the 14th race of 2017, when he took the checkered flag at Iowa Speedway. He won again the following week in the July race at Daytona and went on to collect victories at Indianapolis and Phoenix on the way to the series championship.
After a rough start to his rookie season in the Cup series, the 20-year-old driver of the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet has finished outside the top 20 only once in the last eight races.
“The beginning of the year was a big shock, especially Atlanta and some of those places, but now we’re just getting a lot closer, and that’s allowing us to run closer to the top 15,” Byron said on Friday at Kansas Speedway. “Summer has normally been the best results for me. Normally, May is a really good month for me, so looking to start that off strong here.
“Dover was pretty solid (14th). I feel like the May tracks are really indicative for what the rest of the year looks like with the 1.5-milers. Charlotte is a race track that is very similar to Kentucky and other places. I feel like the summer has always been the area where we start to hit on what we need in the race car, and I think that is my confidence in the team and then showing them that I can produce with what I get in the race car. I think we’re starting to get that feel that I want, and it’s just kind of around the corner, I guess.”