Hendrick Motorsports Agrees to 5-Year Extension With Key Sponsor

William Byron

Getty Hendrick Motorsports has agreed to a five-year extension with Liberty University.

Hendrick Motorsports has just made a major announcement. The four-car NASCAR team has agreed to a five-year extension with Liberty University, one of the primary sponsors of William Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro.

HMS issued a press release announcing the news on Friday, October 15. The team confirmed that Liberty University will be the primary sponsor for 12 races annually through the 2026 season. This continues a relationship that started in 2014 when Byron drove Late Model stock cars. Liberty University then became a 12-race primary sponsor during his rookie season in 2018.

According to the press release, Byron is currently a junior at Liberty University and is using their online program to pursue an undergraduate degree in strategic communication. The partnership between Liberty University and HMS has also led to Hendrick Automotive Group helping develop a degree specialization in automotive dealership management.

“I’m proud to represent an institution like Liberty University,” Byron said in a press release. “I had the opportunity to go back to campus last weekend and see how much the school continues to grow. They inspire a lot of people my age to pursue their passions, and I look forward to continuing to represent them on and off the racetrack.”

The Extension Provides a Positive Outlook Regarding Byron’s Contract

William Byron

GettyWilliam Byron heads to practice at Nashville Superspeedway.

While Liberty University’s new extension lasts through the 2026 season, Byron is currently set to become a free agent at a much earlier time. The driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet is only under contract through the end of the 2022 season. Though team owner Rick Hendrick has clarified that he wants to “keep the band together.”

Hendrick spoke about Byron’s future in July after Kyle Larson signed an extension that will keep him in the No. 5 through the end of the 2023 season. The team owner explained that recent extensions for Larson and Alex Bowman were only the start of the big moves. His goal is still to sign Chase Elliott and Byron to extensions before they become free agents in 2022.

“Absolutely, my plan is for Chase and William to retire with us, so that’s an ongoing situation with me,” Hendrick said, according to NASCAR. “I love the lineup right now, and I want to keep the band together.”

Byron is currently racing on another contract extension. He signed a deal with HMS after winning the Coke Zero Sugar 400 in 2020, his first career Cup Series win. This deal extended Byron through the end of the 2022 season, but now another will likely take place in the near future.

Byron Is Closing Out a Career Season With Hendrick Motorsports

The news of the Liberty University extension comes as Byron closes out a career season. He has improved in a number of ways while contending for wins and locking up the third consecutive playoff appearance of his career.

While Byron had to win the final regular-season race to reach the playoffs in 2020, he locked up his spot early in 2021. He won the Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on February 28, joining Michael McDowell and Christopher Bell in the playoffs.

Byron did not stop with the win. He also posted career-highs in top-10 finishes (17) and top-fives (10). He also made it to the Round of 12, surpassing his best effort from the 2020 season when his championship dreams came to an end in the Round of 16.

Byron may not be in the playoff picture anymore after falling below the cutline, but he will continue to have opportunities to contend for wins in the final four remaining races. He will start with a trip to Texas Motor Speedway on October 17 before heading to Kansas Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, and Phoenix Raceway.

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