MOORESVILLE, N.C. – JR Motorsports announced today it has signed 16-year-old William Byron, a legends series national champion, to compete regionally for Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s late model program, which enters its 13th season competing at tracks across the southeast.
The addition of Byron cements the JR Motorsports late model driver line-up for 2014, which includes Josh Berry, a four-time winner for JRM in the No. 88 Speedco late model. Berry won the 2012 track champion at Motor Mile Speedway (Radford, Va.) to give the organization its first championship in any racing division.
Berry will drive the No. 88 and Byron the No. 9 in 2014. Byron has been racing competitively for only a year but scored 33 wins in his debut season and set numerous track records along the way.
“These kids are talented, young drivers with tremendous upside,” said team manager L.W. Miller. “William has shown he has raw talent. It’s very rare to see a guy win so quickly. Coming from legends cars, he’ll be able to rely on Josh to make the transition to late models. We are excited to see what both these guys can do this year.”
A native of Charlotte, Byron burst onto the legends racing scene late in the 2012 season. His 33 wins earned him national champion honors in the U.S. Legends Young Lions division. Byron also claimed the Young Lions division championship at Atlanta Motor Speedway’s summer-long Thursday Thunder.
Byron, a sophomore at Charlotte Country Day School, competed in 69 races across the United States in 2013, posting 59 top-five and 64 top-10 finishes. He collected Young Lion division victories in Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Legends All-Star Race, LegendStock at Bethel (N.Y) Motor Speedway and the U.S. Legends Race of Champions at Lake Erie (Pa.) Speedway.
“This is an unbelievable opportunity for me,” Byron said. “Last year was really my first full season racing period, so to be able to join JR Motorsports and learn from Josh and L.W. will be an awesome experience. I really expect both Josh and I to be able to compete for wins everywhere we go this year.”
Speedco Truck Lube and Tires returns for a third consecutive season as primary sponsor of Berry’s No. 88 team. The 23-year-old’s tenure with JR Motorsports is highlighted by his 2012 track championship at Motor Mile Speedway in addition to four victories, 27 top-five and 44 top-10 finishes. He also posted nine poles, including seven during his 2012 championship run.
“It’s an exciting time for our late model program,” Berry said. “Speedco’s commitment to JR Motorsports and my racing career means a lot to me. I look forward to working with William this year and helping him get up to speed like so many guys helped me when I first started.”