William Byron claims Rookie of Year title after Phoenix top 10


With a ninth-place finish Sunday at ISM Raceway, William Byron clinched the Cup Series’ Rookie of the Year Award.

For Byron, who drives the No. 24 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, it is his fourth consecutive Rookie of the Year Award.

He claimed it in the K&N Pro Series East (2015), Camping World Truck Series (2016) and Xfinity Series (2017).

Byron enters the season finale at Miami with no top fives, four top 10s and nine DNFs.

“We haven’t had very good runs, to be honest, the whole year, but this run we kind of went a completely different direction with what we were doing and it seemed to pay off, and just kind of had a solid weekend other than qualifying. Got some damage there, but we were able to come back, I guess, and finish ninth, so I guess that’s decent.”

Byron said he was proud of how he and his team have grown over the course of the season.

“There’s been a lot of things to learn, so just (proud of) how I’ve improved those things or how people have helped me improve those things, and looking forward to next year, what we have there,” Byron said.

Bubba Wallace, who was Byron’s primary competitor for Rookie of the Year, finished 10th Sunday for his third top 10 of the season.