NASCAR Wire Service
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points leader William Byron has signed a multi-year driver agreement with Hendrick Motorsports, the team announced Thursday.
Byron, who this season set a rookie record with five Camping World Truck Series victories, will race full-time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for Hendrick Motorsports affiliate JR Motorsports beginning in 2017.
“William is a special person and a special talent,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “It’s been impressive to watch him come up through the ranks and have success at every level. What he’s already accomplished this season has been remarkable. On top of all his ability, he’s a terrific young man from a great family, and we think he has a very bright future with our organization.”
Byron, 18, won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship in 2015, posting four wins, three poles, five top-fives and 11 top 10s. Through 13 races of this Sunoco Rookie of the Year truck series campaign, he has victories at Kansas, Texas, Iowa, Kentucky and Pocono while driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
“Even before I started racing, it was a dream of mine to drive for Hendrick Motorsports,” Byron said. “I have so much respect for the way Mr. Hendrick supports his people and encourages everyone to work together. This is the biggest announcement and biggest opportunity of my life, and I will do everything I can to make the most of it. I’m proud to be part of this team.”
Byron has past ties with JR Motorsports — owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kelley Earnhardt Miller and Hendrick — after winning two races while competing for JRM’s late model program in 2014 and 2015. It marked Byron’s first experience racing full-sized stock cars.
“I owe so much to Dale Jr. and everyone at JRM for taking a chance on me in 2014,” Byron said. “Looking back, I know none of this would’ve happened without that opportunity. I was there during Chase Elliott’s [XFINITY Series] championship season and got to learn a lot. I know what they’re capable of, and I’m going to work really hard for them.”
Byron is the latest alum of the NASCAR Next program to rapidly climb the NASCAR ladder system. The NASCAR Next program spotlights future stars of the sport, with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regulars Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney among its graduates.