William Byron signs contract with Hendrick, will run Xfinity in 2017

From The Marbles
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nascar/sprint/drivers/3791/" data-ylk="slk:William Byron">William Byron</a> has five truck wins in 2016 and leads the points standings (Getty).
William Byron has five truck wins in 2016 and leads the points standings (Getty).

William Byron is moving up to the Xfinity Series in 2017.

Hendrick Motorsports announced Thursday it had signed Byron, the winningest driver in the Camping World Truck Series this season, to a contract. Byron, 18, will drive for JR Motorsports in 2017 in the Xfinity Series.

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“William is a special person and a special talent,” Rick Hendrick said in a statement. “It’s been impressive to watch him come up through the ranks and have success at every level. What he’s already accomplished this season has been remarkable. On top of all his ability, he’s a terrific young man from a great family, and we think he has a very bright future with our organization.”

Byron currently drives the No. 9 truck for Kyle Busch Motorsports. He has five wins in 2016; no other driver has more than two. Byron leads the points standings by 37 points over Daniel Hemric. His five wins are a Truck Series rookie record and there are still nine races left in the season.

His rise through NASCAR is nothing short of meteoric. Byron first started driving in 2012 at 15 and drove the previous two seasons for JR Motorsports’ late-model team.

“I owe so much to Dale Jr. and everyone at JRM for taking a chance on me in 2014,” Byron said. “Looking back, I know none of this would’ve happened without that opportunity. I was there during Chase Elliott’s championship season and got to learn a lot.”

JR Motorsports fields a Truck team for Cole Custer, who also has driven part time for the team in the Xfinity Series in 2016. But Custer’s father Joe is an executive at Stewart-Haas Racing and SHR is moving from Chevrolet to Ford in 2017. SHR has also announced that it will run an Xfinity Series team next season and Custer is a likely candidate to drive at least part time for it.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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