Hendrick Motorsports rising star William Byron clinched the 2018 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award after Sunday’s race at ISM Raceway at Phoenix.
Byron has four top 10s and 20 top 20-finishes with one race remaining in the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season and topped fellow rookie Bubba Wallace for the honor. His best result came in the summer race at Pocono with a sixth-place finish.
The Charlotte, North Carolina, native finished ninth at ISM Raceway to clinch the award — with Wallace finishing one spot behind him in 10th. It’s the first time this season the two rookies both finished in the top 10.
RELATED: Knaus to crew chief Byron in 2019
Byron will see a change in leadership atop the pit box next season with seven-time champion crew chief Chad Knaus moving over to lead Byron’s No. 24 team as current crew chief Darian Grubb will come off the road and back into a role in the Hendrick shop.
Byron competed full time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for JR Motorsports in 2017. He earned the championship and Sunoco Rookie of the Year in that series last season and earned Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in 2016 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Byron’s three straight Sunoco Rookie of the Year awards across all three national series mirrors what Erik Jones accomplished in recent years. Jones won Sunoco rookie honors in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2017, the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2016 and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2015.