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Byron Ready for More Late Model Racing after Derby

The No. 24 finished sixth but the driver wanted a little more.


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William Byron concedes that he probably didn’t have enough for Derek Thorn in the 55th Snowball Derby but wishes he could have got two decisions back on Sunday at Five Flags Speedway.

The first came during their second pit stop, Byron not feeling like he gave the best feedback to crew chief Rudy Fugle, and the second during the final restart when he fell from fourth to sixth. The latter was a chance to take the fight to Thorn but just got pushed around.

"I just didn't do a good job on that final restart," Byron said. "I tried to ... I guess Thorn got pushed up a little bit. I was forced, I tried to fit the middle of (Stephen) Nasse and someone was inside of me.

"I got the short end of the stick there and got rooted out of the way. Ultimately finished sixth. I thought the car was good that last run. We had the one run where it was a struggle and that's all it takes. I think early in the race we were good. I don't think we had anything for Thorn per se but it was a lot of fun."

The Hendrick Motorsports Cup driver started the race in 13th and immediately raced into the top 10. He raced as high as second and looked like he would be a threat too Thorn at one point.


Ultimately, Byron just need more seat time in these cars.

Byron started his Super Late Model comeback with Donnie Wilson Motorsports, after a six-year hiatus, in February at Florida Speedweeks at New Smyrna Speedway and won six times in eight starts.

His marquee wins came in prestigious events like the Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory, North South Showdown at Nashville and the Slinger Nationals. It made him a favorite to contend for the win this week at Pensacola, but Byron says he's got a little work to do to close a gap to the full- time racers and teams.

"It's a testament to the field," Byron said. "I don't know the adjustments to tell them exactly to make when I've been out of the car for six months. I want to keep racing these cars next year so I can get better and hopefully I can do a little better than sixth next year. Finishing sixth isn't fun."

In other words, Byron wholly anticipates to be back in a Super Late Model next year. He has other hobbies, but it's not what he wants to be doing now, and could be targeting Speedfest at Cordele.

"I just want to keep racing," Byron said. "It's not getting off my mind anytime soon. I'll pick up some of my other hobbies I enjoy like golfing and snow boarding but I'll probably be racing come mid-January."