William Byron officially is a NASCAR Cup Series race winner after he took home his first checkered flag at the highest level of stock car racing Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway. The performance earned Hendrick Motorsports its 260th points-paying Cup victory and punched Byron’s ticket into the 2020 playoffs.
Now the 22-year-old driver will have more chances to win races with Hendrick Motorsports after he announced Tuesday on Twitter that he will pilot the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE for the 2021 and 2022 seasons. His new contract was signed Aug. 8.
Hendrick Motorsports confirmed the extension after Byron revealed the news.
Byron, who is in his third Cup Series season, made the announcement three days after his overtime Daytona win and five days before the start of the playoffs. Hendrick Motorsports originally signed Byron, then 18 years old, in 2016 and moved him into the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2017, when he won four races and the season championship. He made the jump to the elite Cup level in 2018.
With the victory at the 2.5-mile superspeedway, Byron climbed to ninth in the driver standings and has two top-five finishes and nine top-10s through 26 races in 2020. He also won the second DAYTONA 500 Duel qualifying race earlier this season. Overall, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native has seven top-five finishes and 26 top-10s in his Cup Series career. He has earned 12 combined NASCAR national series points-paying wins, including at least one at all three major levels. Byron also is just one of two drivers to earn rookie of the year honors in three consecutive seasons across NASCAR.
Hendrick now has Alex Bowman (2021) and Chase Elliott (2022) signed for next year. The 48 ride is open with Bowman’s ride available for 2022 unless he reups.