William Byron is not old enough to gamble in the Las Vegas casinos and with a win last weekend in the first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, now he doesn't have to gamble on the track either. The win makes him the first driver to lock himself into the second round of the Chase. The 18-year-old rookie is now in a position where he does not have to win the next two races, but he still intends to try.
Byron has never raced at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway, but half of his record-setting six wins this season have come on mile-and-a-half tracks. The Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) intermediate-track program is stout, so Byron hopes to take advantage of that to increase his 16-point lead over second-place Chaser Matt Crafton. Byron's KBM teammate, Christopher Bell, who challenged him for the win last week is also looking to advance to the second round with a win on Saturday night.
This weekend the KBM team will be taking a different Liberty University Tundra than they have raced this year. Chassis KBM-028 has not been used since last year when Erik Jones ran five races with it, including one win, 323 laps led and three top-five finishes. The only intermediate track where it ran last year was at Kentucky Speedway where Jones started third and finished second.
What are the odds of a rookie winning the NCWTS Championship? Normally that would be considered a longshot, but with six wins already this season, it would not be wise to bet against William Byron.