NASCAR driver William Byron shows off new No. 24 Liberty car at Homecoming
Flames Football fans, including scores of alumni returning to the Liberty University campus for Homecoming, roared and revved as young NASCAR phenom and Liberty sophomore William Byron rolled his covered No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 onto the field at Williams Stadium during halftime of the football game on Saturday.
Byron marked the newest milestone in his young NASCAR career with his Liberty family as he unveiled his new stock car that he will drive when he advances to the Monster Energy Cup Series — the top tier of NASCAR — next year.
The new No. 24 is a tribute to NASCAR veteran Jeff Gordon, who raced No. 24 for 23 years.
The unveiling produced cheers from the crowd as Byron — who was joined by Liberty President Jerry Falwell and his wife Becki to help celebrate his big moment — helped push his new car across the field to the 50-yard line. Fans sat in anticipation as the Falwells and Byron pulled off the cover. Applause erupted as the shiny new car displayed Liberty’s signature navy blue and red color scheme, emblazoned with a red “LU” logo on the hood.
The Falwells and Byron took turns posing in front of the car for photographs and talking with members of the media on the field before pushing the car off the field to make way for the halftime performance by Liberty’s “Spirit of the Mountain” marching band.
“It’s great to unveil the car on campus and have the Liberty colors out there on the field, so it’s going to look really good,” Byron said. “Next year, I can’t wait for that, so hopefully we can win races with it and show it off really well.”
The unveiling capped off Byron’s celebration at Liberty’s Homecoming festivities. Before the football game, Byron made an appearance in the annual Homecoming parade, dressed in his racing suit. He also held a meet-and-greet and signed autographs for fans in a special tent in front of the Liberty University Barnes & Noble Bookstore, where guests could also participate in a virtual racing simulation.
On Aug. 29, Hendrick Motorsports announced that Liberty would continue as Byron’s primary sponsor for 12 races in the 2018 and 2019 seasons and that Byron would take the driver’s seat in the No. 24. The next day, during Liberty’s first Convocation of the semester, President Falwell joined Byron, Gordon, and Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, on stage.
Liberty has been sponsoring Byron since the beginning of his racing career when he entered the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East at the age of 16. Since then, Byron has become one of the most successful young racers in recent NASCAR history, having won 10 total races, finishing in the top 10 on 34 separate occasions, and recording the most wins by a rookie in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Read more about Byron and his rise to the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series in the Fall 2017 Liberty Journal.