NASCAR driver takes his crew chief for a little ride
William Byron was eighth in Friday’s final practice.
Part of being a seasoned NASCAR driver is having the ability to communicate to your crew chief just what the car is doing on the track. Trying to relay how the car is working, how it feels turning and the overall performance are just a few things that driver’s need be able to tell their crew chief. It’s almost an art form. It has to be since the crew chief never actually rides in the car.
Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron might not have gotten that memo.
In preparation for this weekend’s stop for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series on the road course in Sonoma, Byron joined Hendrick teammates Alex Bowman and Jimmie Johnson for a bit of practice. The trio spent Thursday turning laps in high performance Camaros on the road course at the Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club in Pahrump, Nevada.
“Honestly, we just got out there and ran some laps,” Byron said Friday at Sonoma. “We ran laps nose-to-tail. We were able to look at data so we were able to see what our throttle and brakes were doing. It was funny because we were all so close in lap times, so that was pretty neat to see. We just did that all day; we got a chance to run probably one hundred laps there.”
Byron wasn’t alone in the car for at least part of the ride. His crew chief Chad Kanus rode along for a bit.
Tracks a little slick at 3:45pm and 100 degrees 😳. Had fun today https://t.co/02KRdRhrg2
“He just texted me and said ‘Hey, I want to get out there’,” Byron said. “So we stopped and he got in the passenger seat. Really, he just wants to learn what the car feels like, what I’m asking the car to do and where I want the car to work really well. I think it has helped us this weekend because we know exactly where we want our car to perform well.”
It wasn’t simply a joy ride for Knaus.
“I would run a lap or so with him and then we’d slow down and talk about it,” Byron said. “Talk about each corner and go through exactly what I felt like I needed in each one. I thought it was really good for us to do that and I think it’s just going to help. It kind of makes it more relatable for him when we are talking about the car. He even admitted that it helped just understanding what makes speed and what’s going to make us successful.”
Whether all that riding and driving will help come Sunday remains to be seen. Byron was eighth in Friday’s final practice. Last year in his only start at Sonoma to date, he started eighth and finished 25th.
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