Jeff Gordon Calls Out NASCAR for Hindering His Successor’s Juggernaut With a 9-Word Dig


William Byron covered half his path to success when he secured the pole position in Saturday’s qualifying race. He was the fastest overall with an average lap speed of 94.696 mph, which further cemented his glory. Ty Gibbs came up close behind him with a speed of 94.685 mph. Yet Byron took advantage of his greater experience.
Byron cruised to victory at the Circuit of the Americas race after leading five times for 42 laps. He secured the 304th Cup win and the 28th road course victory for Hendrick Motorsports. A team insider recently admitted the thorny road that Byron had to tread to get to the winner’s aisle.
William Byron is up against tougher odds, as Gordon explains
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Byron is currently the only multi-winner in the 2024 season. Yet grabbing his 12th career victory was no cakewalk. He played an intelligent pit game throughout the race and pitted thrice while strategizing on fuel. Byron lost the lead to Ross Chastain on lap 34 before regaining it 10 laps later. Plus Christopher Bell made him sweat till the finishing lap, almost overtaking him many times in a row.
However, Byron proved that he is a road course champ. Previously, he has clinched two road course wins and two top-two finishes in the last three races on those uncertain tracks. Hendrick team vice chairman Jeff Gordon believes that Byron has it tougher in the modern day.
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Recently, Gordon compared Byron’s experience with his own in the old days. He started his dialogue with a nine-word dig at NASCAR. “We did it with better brakes and better cars. And better a lot of other things too. I mean I do think when you find a combination with the whole team, then magical things happen. I feel like that’s sort of what we had. But the cars are all so equal now. It’s much harder to find an advantage with your car, your setup. So I think that to me is what makes this even more impressive.”
The 26-year-old Charlotte, North Carolina native achieved a series-best 10th in the Next Gen era. William Byron’s victory could be attributed greatly to his experience with virtual racing, as Jeff Gordon said. “Don’t discount what he’s done to get here, because it’s not always the stuff that’s just on track. There’s a lot more to it, and that’s what he’s proving, and it’s working to get him to the top right now.”
Yet Byron was not alone in conquering Victory Lane at the COTA race.
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Byron’s pit crew were diligent in their efforts
Behind every successful driver is an efficient pit crew who works tirelessly to turn their dreams into reality. The same goes for William Byron and his crew led by Rudy Fugle. The five-person pit crew of Spencer Bishop (jackman), Jeff Cordero (front-tire changer), Orane Ossowski (rear-tire changer), Ryan Patton (tire carrier) and Landon Walker (fueler) worked wonders at COTA. Especially, the pit stop of 10.38 seconds was decisive in sealing the win for Byron.
Jeff Gordon was all praises for the crew: “What a weekend they put together. The race car that Rudy (Fugle, crew chief) and the guys brought and the way that William drove it. Just watching him qualify, how smooth he was. Same thing throughout the race. Just seemed to put the car in all the right places.”
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William Byron and the Hendrick team are hauling their team to glorious heights. We can only sit at the edge of our seats and let them mesmerize us with more superb race victories.


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