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William Byron signs extension, will remain in No. 24 Chevrolet through 2022

Hendrick Motorsports announced Tuesday that William Byron, the NASCAR Cup Series’ newest first-time winner, has signed a contract extension that will keep him in the No. 24 Chevrolet through the 2022 season.

Byron, 22, has been with the Rick Hendrick-owned organization since his rookie season of 2018. He became a first-time winner last Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway, landing a playoff-clinching victory in his 98th Cup Series start. According to Hendrick Motorsports, Byron signed his extension Aug. 8, before his Daytona victory.

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The personnel move adds another puzzle piece to Hendrick Motorsports’ driver lineup for next season and beyond. Chase Elliott signed a four-year extension in June 2017 with the Hendrick No. 9 team through 2022. Alex Bowman re-upped with the Hendrick group in mid-May, securing him in the No. 88 Chevy through next season. That leaves only the No. 48 Chevrolet ride unresolved as the organization aims to replace Jimmie Johnson, the seven-time champion who will end his full-time career at season’s end.

Byron has tried to replicate the performance gains of last season in the 2020 campaign. He won five Busch Pole Awards in 2019 and notched five top-five finishes, but until his Daytona breakthrough, Byron had only placed among the top five once this year — an output that had him firmly on the playoff bubble.

Byron is in his second season paired with crew chief Chad Knaus, who was a key part of Johnson’s march to seven Cup Series titles. Byron has qualified for the 16-driver playoff field in both seasons with Knaus atop the No. 24 pit box.

Byron won the 2017 championship in the NASCAR Xfinity Series driving for HMS-affiliated JR Motorsports. He has four Xfinity Series wins and seven in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series. Byron also won the 2015 title in what is now called the ARCA Menards Series East.