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      No. 24 team ready for next challenge: ‘We’re really excited to get to Kansas and show that speed again’

      © 2023 Nigel Kinrade / NKP

      AdventHealth 400
      Kansas Speedway
      Sunday, May 7 | 3 p.m. ET

      DOVER DOWNLOAD: After rain canceled qualifying and postponed the race from Sunday to Monday at Dover Motor Speedway, William Byron started eighth and quickly maneuvered his way into the top five. After the competition caution, the 25-year-old driver was able to take over the lead and didn’t look back as he won stage one. In the process, he also led his 2,000th lap in the NASCAR Cup Series. Byron continued to pace the field in stage two before slipping to second during green-flag pit stops, giving him a runner-up finish in the stage. With track conditions changing, Byron’s handling forced him to drop back just outside the top five during the final stage. The No. 24 team made adjustments that allowed Byron to make his way back inside the top five, scoring a fourth-place finish.

      24 POWER: Byron and the No. 24 team continue to be one of the front runners during the 2023 Cup Series season. So far this year, he is tied with two other drivers, including Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson, for the most wins in the series (two). The Charlotte, North Carolina, native also ranks first in laps led (579), laps run in the top five (1,444) and average running position (8.92) among drivers to start all 11 races. He ranks second in both laps run in the top 10 (1,873) and is among four competitors tied (including Larson) for the second-most top-five finishes this season (four).

      AND ANOTHER ONE: After Monday’s race at Dover, Byron added another stage win to his total this season. He now has six stage wins – the most of any driver. In fact, only one other driver previously has collected six stage wins through 11 races. This also marks the most stage wins for him in a season – surpassing his four stage wins in 2021 and 2022. He also has 15 top-10 finishes in stages this year and collected 111 stage points – the most of any driver.

      1.5-MILE MOMENTUM: Byron is no stranger to success on traditional 1.5-mile tracks during his Cup Series career. Since the start of the 2021 season, Byron has two wins, one runner-up finish, five top-fives, and 11 top 10s on that track type. One of his two wins to date in 2023 came at the lone race contested this season at a traditional 1.5-mile track, Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Since the start of 2022, he has collected 294 points on this style of track – third-most among drivers.

      MIDWEST MOMENTUM: Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway will mark Byron’s 11th start at the venue at the Cup Series level. While he faced bad luck in his first three races there, he has since turned that around. In his last seven starts at the 1.5-mile track, Byron has collected one top-five finish and six top 10s. His six top-10 finishes within the last seven races is the second-most for a driver during that same stretch. It is also the track where Byron has the most top-10 finishes in his Cup Series career (six), tied with Martinsville Speedway and Phoenix Raceway. In fact, in the last four races at Kansas, he has led 91 laps – fourth-most in the series and behind Hendrick Motorsports teammates Larson (291) and Alex Bowman (107).

      THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE KANSAS: Looking to make his fifth start as a Cup Series crew chief at Kansas this Sunday, Rudy Fugle’s four Cup Series races at the Midwest track have resulted in three top-10 finishes and 91 laps led with the No. 24 team. Aside from those four Cup Series starts, the Livonia, New York, native has 12 previous starts at the 1.5-mile oval, with 10 of those coming in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series. In those 10 events, Fugle’s drivers have started from the top starting spot four times, led 391 laps, collected two wins (2016 & 2018), five top-five finishes and six top 10s. In fact, his 2016 win came with Byron, who captured his first Truck Series win in just their fourth start together.

      PIT ROAD PROWESS: The No. 24 pit crew has been the best on pit road this season with an average four-tire pit stop time of 11.293 seconds. The crew consists of Spencer Bishop (jackman), Jeff Cordero (front-tire changer), Orane Ossowski (rear-tire changer), Ryan Patton (tire carrier) and Landon Walker (fueler). This group also had the fastest four-tire pit stop in the season-opening DAYTONA 500 at 11.278 seconds.

      BYRON TALKS KANSAS: “The No. 24 team has really been performing well so far this season. I think last week at Dover showed that. While we didn’t get the win, we led the most laps, scored the most points and got another playoff point. Those days are beneficial to keep momentum going. We’ve been strong at Kansas in the past and we’ve really improved on our intermediate program. The race at Las Vegas earlier this year shows that improvement. I think as a group, we’re really excited to get to Kansas and show that speed again.”

      FUGLE TALKS TIRES: “This weekend we will be running the same tire as we did last year in the fall at Kansas and every mile-and-a-half since then. I feel like every time we’ve ran it, we’ve gained on it. The last mile-and-a-half we ran at was Las Vegas earlier this year and obviously we ran really well. We’ll apply some of the notes from that race to this weekend’s race. It should be hot and slick this weekend, at least that’s how it’s currently trending. Cars will be sliding around more and using all the lanes, which is fun. Tires will definitely play a big role then and our pit crew has been awesome so far this year, so I’m excited.”

      © 2023 Rusty Jarrett / NKP


      CLOSING IN ON 300: Hendrick Motorsports is five points-paying victories away from 300 in the NASCAR Cup Series. Twenty drivers have combined to reach the organization’s current total of 295 wins, which is the most in the sport by any one team. With four wins this season, Hendrick Motorsports has posted its 36th multi-win season in the Cup Series. In each of the last 30 seasons, the organization has won at least two races.

      KINGS OF KANSAS: With eight wins, the team has the most victories among all Cup Series organizations at Kansas Speedway. Jeff Gordon won the first race at the track in 2001 and earned three in total at this track. Jimmie Johnson also posted three wins at the Kansas City, Kansas, venue. Chase Elliott and Larson each have one triumph as well. The team’s 1,870 laps out front at the facility are also the best among all teams in the series.

      SPRING REVIEW: In last year’s spring event at Kansas, Larson nearly won his second consecutive race at the 1.5-mile track. The driver of the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 led with 10 laps to go before being caught by the eventual race winner and settling for a second-place finish. Alex Bowman earned a top-10 finish with a ninth-place result. Larson and Bowman were two of the seven drivers in the series to earn top 10s in both Kansas races in 2022.

      HEY HEY HEY: Each of Hendrick Motorsports’ four full-time drivers are in the top eight for laps led in the past four races at the Kansas City, Kansas venue. Larson’s mark of 291 laps in the best in the series over that time, while Bowman (107) ranks third, William Byron (91) is fourth and Elliott (52) has the eighth-most.

      MILE-AND-A-HALF MOJO: Since the start of the 2021 season, the numbers show that races at mile-and-a-half tracks are Hendrick Motorsports vs. the field. The 14-time Cup Series champions have eight wins in that span vs. the field’s nine. However, the organization has more laps led (2,639 to 2,375) and stage wins (20 to 16) in that span than all the other teams in the series. In the only race on a 1.5-mile track this season to date (at Las Vegas Motor Speedway), the team swept the top-three spots in the finishing order.

      NEXT GEN NUMBERS: In the Next Gen era (start of the 2022 season), Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins at traditional 1.5-mile tracks with three. Bowman won at Las Vegas in March 2022, Larson triumphed at Homestead-Miami Speedway in October 2022 and Byron took the victory at Las Vegas in March 2023. Both Larson and Byron swept the stages in their wins as well.

      OUT IN FRONT: With 1,126 laps led, Hendrick Motorsports has the most laps out front this season. Byron (579) and Larson (468) rank one-two in that statistical category. The team’s total is more than double the total of the team that ranks second (477). The 1,126 circuits in front are the fifth-most ever for the organization through 11 races. Each of the years with higher occurrences: 1995 (1,497 laps led), 1996 (1,464 laps led), 2007 (1,291 laps led) and 2010 (1,173 laps led) were championship seasons for the Concord, North Carolina, based squad.

      STAGE SAVANTS: In the 2023 season, Hendrick Motorsports’ series-best nine stage wins are two more than the combined total of the teams ranked second and third in this statistic. The team’s stage wins have come among three of its drivers. Byron leads all drivers with six, while Larson has two and Elliott has one. In the stage racing era, this is the second-most stage wins for the organization through 11 races. Their high to this point in a season is 11 stage wins, which came in 2020.

      Via Hendrick Motorsports