Two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch is high on William Byron, who is fresh off his third win of the 2023 season at Darlington Raceway. Busch knows plenty about the rising star's potential, as he put Byron behind the wheel of one of his Kyle Busch Motorsports trucks in 2015 when Byron was only 17 years old.
Since that time, Byron has made an impressive strides. He won seven races as a rookie in the Truck Series in 2016. Then, he moved to the Xfinity Series in 2017 and won the series championship as a rookie for JR Motorsports. He then got the call to pilot the famed No. 24 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports in 2018.
He is off to the best start of his Cup career, with three wins through 13 races and a total of seven victories in his career thus far.
"Yeah, I mean you'd have to," Busch told media members on Tuesday when asked if he thought Byron had a serious shot at winning the championship.
Byron's rise through the NASCAR ranks has been well documented, a journey that all started with iRacing. It's crazy to think how successful the driver has been, since he only started racing a real race car in 2012 when he was 15.
Byron has showcased his skill on a wide variety of racetracks, as his seven wins have come at seven different tracks. Busch has kept his eye on Byron through it all.
"All of his wins have been pretty diverse at all different race tracks, you know?" Busch said. "I think William is a rare talent. ... He's done a great job at driving all the stuff that he's driven. He's been in good stuff the entire time, but he's made the most of that as well."
With Busch moving to Richard Childress Racing and his truck team moving from Toyota to Chevrolet, it has allowed Byron the chance to get back behind the wheel of a KBM truck. Byron was fortunate when he first drove for Busch, as he was paired with crew chief Rudy Fugle, who works with Byron on the No. 24 team.
Busch talked about how fortunate it was to have Byron be a part of KBM and how important the pairing of Byron and Fugle has been.
"Working with William the time that we did, he and Rudy were amazing here and had great results, and now they're having great results on the Cup side as well," Busch said. "It took a couple of years of learning the ropes of the Cup Series for William, which, is to be expected out of anybody, right? But ever since being paired with Rudy again, it seems like those two have a knack for one another. And Rudy is really good at what he does. I know that very well, having him be here at KBM for so many years. So that doesn't surprise me."
The success that Byron and Fugle are having gives Busch mixed emotions, as he clearly would rather still have Fugle as a crew chief at Kyle Busch Motorsports. He would also rather be beating Byron on Sundays.
Hendrick Motorsports might have struck gold again, much as it did when Jeff Gordon and Ray Evernham were paired together when the No. 24 Dupont Chevrolet first burst onto the scene in the 1990s.
MORE: Ryan Blaney Found Out That William Byron Was Dating His Sister Just Hours Before This Tense Martinsville Race
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