Future Watch: William Byron Racing Cards – William Byron has already leveled up in NASCAR a few times at the ripe age of 25. He debuted at 23rd place in the final standings in 2018. He then moved up to 11th, 14th, and 10th over the next three years. In 2022 he landed in 6th place. Sitting at 4th place thus far in 2023, Byron is on pace to be racing for his first series championship on the sport’s final weekend.
Unsurprisingly, Byron came into NASCAR having established a substantial pedigree along the way. As part of the first generation to get their start on the iRacing simulator, Byron racked up over 100 wins before triumphing in 33 races behind the wheel of a real car in 2012. That year he captured the Legend Car Young Lions Division championship. Moving up to NASCAR K&N Pro Series East competition in 2015, Byron won the series title. That November, mere weeks shy of his 18th birthday, Byron debuted in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in order to prepare for his full-season maiden run in 2016.
With a 5th place finish that season and accompanying Rookie of the Year honors, Byron was deemed ready for the NASCAR Xfinity series in 2017. That judgement by Hendrick Motorsports proved prescient, as Byron rocketed to the series title. That title rendered his second Rookie of the Year designation in consecutive seasons in different circuits a foregone conclusion.
Stepping up to the NASCAR Cup Series in 2018 with the aforementioned 23rd place finish in the final standings, Byron became only the second driver ever to secure Rookie of the Year honors in each of the three national NASCAR series in consecutive years. In August 2020, Byron captured his first Cup Series victory at Daytona, with another one following in 2021 and two in 2022.
2023 did not start on a high note, with a 34th place DNF at Daytona. But back-to-back wins at Las Vegas and Phoenix heralded yet another career level-up, with triumphs at Darlington, Atlanta, and Watkins Glen following that. Whether or not 2023 is the year of Bryan’s first NASCAR Cup Series title, his trajectory indicates that he is on pace to attain a few of them.
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