Byron Handed No. 5 Hendrick Cup Ride

| , RacinToday.com Wednesday, August 9 2017

William Byron is being promoted to the Cup series next season. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Andrew Coppley)

William Byron will drive the No. 5 Chevrolet for 12-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Hendrick Motorsports beginning next season.

The ride currently belongs to Kasey Kahne, who, it was announced earlier, would not return after the current season.

In 2016, Byron, 19, won seven victories in the Camping World Truck Series. This year, the Charlotte, N.C, native moved to the Xfinity Series, where he has already earned three wins — Iowa, Daytona and Indianapolis — and currently ranks second in the standings after 20 of 33 races with Hendrick Motorsports affiliate JR Motorsports.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Byron, who will turn 20 on Nov. 29. “Mr. (Rick) Hendrick has built such a great team. The people at Hendrick Motorsports have dedicated their lives to giving their drivers the best chance to win every weekend. I have a responsibility to them to work hard and put everything I have into this opportunity. They need to know I’m always giving 100 percent because that’s what they do.

“When I told my parents that I wanted to drive race cars, they supported me and believed I could do it. Without them, there’s no way this would be possible. Axalta and Liberty University are awesome partners, and I’m so thankful for their faith in me. I’m going to do all I can to make my family, my sponsors and my teammates proud and represent them all in the right way.”

Hendrick Motorsports signed Byron in August 2016. Next season, he will join drivers Chase Elliott, Jimmie Johnson and Alex Bowman as a member of the four-car NASCAR Cup Series operation.

“At every step, William has proven how quickly he can adapt,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “Some drivers have raw talent and some have a strong work ethic. William has both. It’s impressive to see a young guy who never gets rattled and instinctively knows how to communicate with his team. That level of commitment, poise and pure ability is rare at any age. I think he’s just scratching the surface.”

| , RacinToday.com Wednesday, August 9 2017
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