William Byron, Crew Chief Rudy Fugle Aim to Become a NASCAR ‘Championship Team’ After Homestead-Miami Win

Published 03/01/2021, 12:00 PM EST
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 10: William Byron, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, stands on the grid after posting the fastest lap during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 61st Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)


With a new weekend in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, a fresh race winner drove into Victory Lane on Sunday. This time, it was William Byron who was lucky enough to take home the honors at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.

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The win propped Byron into 13th in the drivers’ standings and sparked talk of him becoming a title contender. Rest assured, if he can carry on in this vein of form, there is no reason why he can’t be one.

Speaking in the post-race press conference, Crew Chief Rudy Fugle emphasized on the importance of Sunday’s win. He also strongly believes that learning to achieve victories will only see them get into a position to contend for a championship.

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We want to learn how to be a winning race team, said Fugle

He said, “I mean, first of all, with the weird winners we’ve had so far, and I don’t think we’re weird but it kind of is a little bit weird, you have to be careful that you’re not going to get too many one wins, so you want to keep attacking for that reason.

“Two is we want to learn how to be a winning race team. In the playoffs to win a championship you have to win a lot of races, so we have to learn how to do that now and get used to that to be able to contend for a championship.”

It marked the only other time that Byron won a Cup Series race. But then again, he has also had a relatively short career in the division. Regardless, Fugle in collaboration with the No.24 driver has now expressed his intention of becoming a ‘championship team’.

William Byron led 102/267 laps en route winning the Homestead-Miami race

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“We’re not a championship team yet, but over the next 20-some weeks we’re going to become one, so that’s what we’re going to do,” concluded Fugle.

Daytona Beach, FL, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver William Byron (24) leads the field during the Bluegreen Vacations Duel 2 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Byron had started the race in a lowly 31st position but managed to make up the places in no time. Having led more than a 100 laps, he faced a late challenge from the likes of Tyler Reddick and Martin Truex Jr.

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But the No.24 got nearly 3 seconds clear of Reddick and comfortably crossed the line to win the race. Byron will now hope to carry on this momentum and generate a run of good results that could potentially aid his quest for a spot in the Playoffs.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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