CHEVROLET NCS AT DAYTONA 500 MEDIA DAY – William Byron Media Availability Quotes

Regarding the Daytona 500 pole – Is there an internal battle to try and get this next one?

“It’s one of those poles that you would like to have. I would say the Phoenix (Raceway) pole is really important as well, but this one is up there. So, it would be nice to get this one tonight to start the season off on a good foot and to just give you some momentum, really.”

Do you have inside bets with Larson or Bowman or anybody? 

“No, I don’t, and honestly don’t know what their mindset is. We will just try to go out there and do the best we can to see who has the fastest car, basically. As long as I do my job and get through the gears and everything, then its just up to that.”

Did you have a good offseason and are you ready for this one?

“I feel like this offseason, I took more time just away from racing and I feel like I came back more energized, and I feel like I am more excited for what is ahead now.”

You had a great season last year and made it to the Final Four, but are there some areas you would like to see the team improve in or are there certain types of tracks that you would like to feel a little more comfortable with?

“I don’t know – just try to get a little better at short tracks. That has been the goal for us for about a year. We started to struggle at the shorter tracks in 2022, and I feel like going into this year, that has been the big emphasis – to try and get better at Martinsville in particular, but a lot of those places.” 

Were you surprised last year, especially what happened in the fall race, when you went there thinking you were ready for Martinsville and it just didn’t happen?

“Yeah, I mean I was surprised. I thought we could easily run top-five or top-seven. I was anxious, though, because of our past performance, but I thought we would improve. But yeah – definitely surprised, but hopefully its different this year.”

Did NASCAR go in the right direction with some of the changes that came out of Phoenix?

“Yeah, I think so. We will see. I don’t really know because I didn’t do any of the testing, but hopefully so, yeah.”

Daniel Suarez was talking earlier today about your six wins, and he said that he brought three cars to the track that were capable of winning and you brought 20. As far as preparation, how does that translate from the race shop to get those cars to the track to get you those numbers?

“I mean, I really don’t look at it that way. I look at it that every time the guys bring a car to the track, it has a chance to win. That is the confidence I have in my team, and I never look at weekends and say – ‘man, this car sucks’, or ‘this car doesn’t have a chance to win’. It’s just fine-tuning and sometimes you win races with a third-place car and sometimes you win by being the best car all weekend. I think we had maybe two races last year where we had the best car all weekend and that was Vegas and Watkins Glen. So, yeah, it just depends, and they all come in differently.”

Did you have a lot of fun in doing the documentary on Netflix and the behind-the-scenes stuff? 

“It was really cool, and I liked it a lot. I thought they did a good job editing it and really making everyone look good. It was good. I was skeptical going in of what it was going to look like, but it turned out better than I thought.”

What about Iowa Speedway? Do you like having a new track every season, like Chicago last year?

“Yeah, I do. We continue to spice it up and do new and interesting things that I think is good. Iowa is a known commodity for us; we have been there. It hasn’t been in the Cup Series, so I am excited to see how it goes.”

Ford and Toyota have new noses this year. Do you feel like you are a little bit on your back foot at an aero track like this?

“Yeah, I mean our car was good last year, so sometimes you don’t want to mess with something that is already proven and competitive. So, hopefully our car is really good this year.”