Byron ready for road course challenge
BOWMANVILLE, Ont.—He may be a stranger to Canada, but he's no stranger to turning left and right.
William Byron seems to be on a roll in 2016, setting a Camping World Truck Series record with five wins in 14 races this season in the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 9 Toyota Tundra.
Byron and the rest of the field will be making their first start on a road course this season in the Truck Series.
If history has proven anything for his KBM team, it's that he could be a force to be reckoned with come race day. His truck is the same one that Erik Jones went on to win with in 2015, holding off a seemingly faster Alex Tagliani for the victory after leading 19 laps.
While he's done a good job of proving everyone that he belongs in a top truck this year, he knows that going for the win will be tougher once the green flag flies on Sunday.
“Every week our goal is to win, so if we can do that it would be great,” said Byron. “But I think also just getting a solid finish would be nice for my first road course race in the Truck series.”
Byron showed speed in the early practice sessions, finishing 12th and 8th over the two sessions on Saturday afternoon. In both cases, he was the fastest KBM truck, beating out Canadian road course racer Gary Klutt and two-time series winner Christopher Bell.
Despite good practice results, there is room for improvement, and Byron knows the competition will be tougher than he's ever experienced on road courses.
“I raced with a few road course ringers last year but in the trucks, there will be even more experienced drivers,” Byron said. “There will be more guys capable of winning on Sunday, especially the ones who have been on this track the last couple of years.”
One of those drivers includes Cole Custer, who finished third and first in the two practice sessions before qualifying on the pole. The rookie has raced at the track twice previously, leading in both events before late race incidents took him out of contention for a victory.
Another is Matt Crafton, who, despite only finishing as high as tenth in practice, is the top ranked driver at the track heading in thanks to finishing inside the top-ten in all three previous races at the track.
Byron fifth in qualifying overall, trailing Custer by 0.819 seconds and outshining Klutt and Bell, who will start 15th and 16th.