After a breakout season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series behind the wheel of a Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota, rookie sensation William Byron will be moving back to the Chevrolet camp starting in 2017.
Byron, who has racked up five wins in the Truck Series in 2016, signed a multi-year contract with Hendrick Motorsports on Thursday, allowing him to move up to the Xfinity Series with JR Motorsports beginning in 2017.
“William is a special person and a special talent. 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,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports.
The move over to Hendrick Motorsports and JR Motorsports represents a coup for Chevrolet as Byron was widely considered to be the next driver to move up in the Joe Gibbs Racing/Toyota pipeline. However, Byron and Chevrolet have some history together as Byron started his racing career in a late model for JR Motorsports in 2014 and 2015, winning two races, as well as winning the K&N Pro Series East championship in 2015 while driving a Chevrolet. In his 2015 K&N championship season, Byron won four races, and scored five top-five finishes, 11 top-10 finishes, three poles, and 740 laps led in 14 races.
“Even before I started racing, it was a dream of mine to drive for Hendrick Motorsports. 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,” said Byron.
“I owe so much to Dale Jr. and everyone at JRM for taking a chance on me in 2014. Looking back, I know none of this would’ve happened without that opportunity. I was there during Chase Elliott’s 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.”
Currently, JR Motorsports fields two full-time cars for Elliott Sadler and Justin Allgaier, as well as a part-time car for a variety of different drivers. At this time, there is no information on how Byron’s move to JR Motorsports will affect the current driver lineup.