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It’s official: William Byron to drive the No. 5

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Hendrick Motorsports on Wednesday morning made it official: William Byron will drive the team’s No. 5 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Chevrolet next year and beyond, with Axalta Coating Systems and Liberty University as his primary sponsors.

Yesterday, PopularSpeed.com detailed 5 reasons why William Byron is the right choice to replace Kasey Kahne in the No. 5 and now, it’s a done deal.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Byron in a statement released by the team. “Mr. (Rick) Hendrick has built such a great team. The people at Hendrick Motorsports have dedicated their lives to giving their drivers the best chance to win every weekend. I have a responsibility to them to work hard and put everything I have into this opportunity. They need to know I’m always giving 100 percent because that’s what they do.

“When I told my parents that I wanted to drive race cars, they supported me and believed I could do it. Without them, there’s no way this would be possible. Axalta and Liberty University are awesome partners, and I’m so thankful for their faith in me. I’m going to do all I can to make my family, my sponsors and my teammates proud and represent them all in the right way.”

Hendrick Motorsports said in its news release that, “Beginning in 2018, the two primary sponsors (Axalta and Liberty) will cover the majority of Byron’s Cup races annually. Additional details of the multi-year partnerships will be announced at a later date.”

Last year, Byron set a rookie record with seven victories in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and this year, he’s already won three times in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, where he is second in points.

Byron and team owner Rick Hendrick will speak to the media today via a teleconference at 11 a.m. PopularSpeed.com will have the full update then.

E-MAIL TOM AT tom.@jensen@popularspeed.com

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Tom Jensen

Tom Jensen is a veteran motorsports journalist. He spent 13 years with FOXSports.com, where he was Digital Content Manager. Previously, he was executive editor of NASCAR Scene and managing editor of National Speed Sport News. Jensen served as the president of the National Motorsports Press Association and is the group’s former Writer of the Year.