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Why William Byron is Returning to Super Late Models

Byron is poised to contend for several wins with Donnie Wilson Motorsports.


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William Byron was something akin to a shooting star the last time he was consistently in a Super Late Model.

He spectacularly flashed across the sky and was soon out of sight. By out of sight, the metaphor means moving onto the Truck Series, then the Xfinity Series and eventually onto the Cup Series with Hendrick Motorsports in the iconic Hendrick Motorsports No. 24.

Byron never had a chance to truly enjoy Super Late Models beyond the work he put into results and success. In choosing to run a handful of races with Donnie Wilson Motorsports this year, Byron wants to fully enjoy the discipline and have a chance at winning a lot of races.

The whole thing began last year when he drove a couple of races in the Midwest for Chris Wimmer. They were enjoyable experiences and with teammates Kyle Larson, Alex Bowman and Chase Elliott all running extracurricular races throughout the year, why not join them?

"I really enjoyed those races, so I thought about it and decided to do more, and wanted to do it the right way," Byron said. "I wanted to put it together in advance and plan it out, that kind of thing. Hendrick Motorsports was really cool about it too. They encouraged me to work with whoever I was comfortable with."

With Wilson Motorsports winning the Snowball Derby with Chandler Smith in December and having a massive amount of success with Sammy Smith and a rotating cast in Pro Late Models, Byron reached out to team manager Bond Suss, whom he worked with during his tenure at Kyle Busch Motorsports.

"I’ve seen how he does things and obviously how its translated to success over the years, and I wanted to be a part of it," Byron said.

Their tenure together will start on Sunday night during Race 2 of the World Series of Asphalt at New Smyrna Speedway. They will race together again on Monday. The rest of their schedule is TBD but Byron hopes they can race together during the summer and at the Snowball Derby.

"I think we have eight races overall," Byron said. "A lot of bigger shows, some midweeks shows, but scattered all over.

"The plan is to get comfortable with their cars and then run the Snowball Derby. It was great to be back in one last year, but I had no history with the car or the team, so it was like being thrown right on into it. This way, I can be really comfortable as we approach the Snowball."

In 2014, Byron began driving Pro Late Models for Daniel Hemric. He added Late Model Stocks for JR Motorsports the next year and Super Late Models with FURY Race Cars as well. He bounced around and never really got a chance to enjoy his time in any of them.

"I was doing everything I could to just learn, and make it to the next step," Byron said. "I was getting in cars to just learn as quick as I could. I was never in something for a lon time.

"But these were the cars I loved the most from that period. I was really green back then, learning my race craft, and now I get to apply the things I've learned since then and hopefully win a bunch of races."