The difference between the top two spots of the NASCAR World Truck Series driver standings is 11 points and 22 years.
William Byron, who holds a tight grip on the Sunoco Rookie of the Year not even halfway through the season, has made his presence known in the Truck Series and currently sits second in the driver standings.
Since the beginning of May, the rookie has three wins in a five race stretch and was the pole sitter in the two races he didn’t win. His average starting position is third and he hasn’t finished worse than 11th in the five race stretch.
Byron’s first win came at Kansas Speedway on May 6th while his second and third wins came in back-to-back weeks in Texas and Iowa.
The rookie’s latest wins came after an off week in the Series, but Byron was definitely busy – graduating from high school.
Those two wins have rocketed Byron towards the top of the driver standings for the Truck Series where he now sits in second place behind two-time Truck Series champion Matt Crafton.
The 40-year-old Crafton is the only other driver who has matched Byron’s brilliance since the beginning of May, winning the two races that Byron didn’t. Crafton, who is the only other driver in the Truck Series with multiple wins, leads Byron by only 11 points in the driver standings.
Additionally, Crafton finished second in two of the three races Byron won (Kansas and Texas).
The battle between new school (Byron) and old school (Crafton) have crafted some of the best racing moments in the May and June races. Following his win at Texas, Byron noted a key moment following the restart on lap 125:
I learned the side draft and to pin him up there. I really pinned him tight," Byron said following the race. "I was sideways a few times and I hope I earned his respect."
Byron’s race tactics impressed the veteran and put him out of his comfort zone.
"That's impressive what that kid did," said Crafton. "If I could have done it any differently, I would have.”
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series continues this Saturday at Gateway Raceway in Madison, Ill. at 7:30 PM CT on FS1. Will the battle between Byron and Crafton continue or will someone else go to Victory Lane for the first time since April?