“Second to None” – William Byron Lauds New Crew Chief Rudy Fugle Ahead of 2021 NASCAR Cup Season

Published 10/27/2020, 9:22 AM EDT


William Byron will have a new crew chief come the 2021 season of the NASCAR Cup Series. Hendrick Motorsports have appointed Rudy Fugle to lead the No. 24 Chevrolet for Byron.

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Fugle, currently 36, will make the move from Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM). He has been associated with them for the last eight seasons in the Truck Series, picking up 28 victories and 2 Gander Trucks championships.

Fugle will have a reunion of sorts with Byron. Both he and the then-rookie Byron were together during the 2016 season with KBM, where they managed to win seven races together in 23 starts in the Truck races.

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Byron on his thoughts about Fugle’s appointment said, “Rudy will really fill this role well. We’ve got a great history together and he’s just a tremendous talent and I feel like he’s just a really hard worker too.

“Our communication is strong. He knows me extremely well and we’ve had success which always helps to kinda know what the driver needs and what’s in the car, or truck for that matter,” he further added.

Fugle has had great success at the Truck Series level but is making the jump straight to the Cup Series with this appointment. He is replacing Chad Knaus, who will take up higher roles with the organization hereon.

However, that did not sound like a deterrent to Byron, “Rudy’s knowledge is second to none. I think he will really adapt to the Cup car well. It might take a few races or so, but I think we’ll get going,” he said.

Fugle’s NASCAR career began with Robert Yates racing in the year 2006. He made his national-series debut as a crew chief in the year 2009 when he joined Germain Racing to lead Michael Annett’s Xfinity Series-winning endeavor.

William Byron and the No.24 Chevrolet

William Byron has been associated with #24 since 2018. He, however, struggled in his first year, managing only 4 Top-10 finishes and ending the season 23rd.

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The season after that, he started to hit his straps with the new crew chief, Chad Knaus. They won their first race together at the Daytona International Speedway in the regular-season finale this year.

Oct 4, 2020; Lincoln, Alabama, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver William Byron (24) and NASCAR Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin (11) go below the double yellow line coming out of turn 4 on the final lap during the Yellawood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

The Byron and Knaus duo also won the pole for the 2019 Daytona 500. HMS went onto win 4 more poles over the season-ending up making the playoffs and finishing 11th.

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The #24 Chevrolet is a legacy with Hendrick Motorsports, and it will be interesting to see how the pairing of Byron and Fugle fare going forward. Will 2021 be the year of William Byron? We will have to wait and watch!

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Ankit Agarwalla

54 articles

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