Steve Letarte Has Unique Contract Advice for William Byron

Steve Letarte

Getty Steve Letarte has provided some advice for William Byron.

NBC Sports analyst Steve Letarte has just provided some advice to William Byron as the Hendrick Motorsports driver approaches his contract negotiations. Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s former crew chief told the Cup Series driver to focus on “longevity” instead of big money.

Letarte provided the comments during an appearance on the April 11 episode of the “NASCAR on NBC” podcast. He compared Byron to an NFL quarterback and said that the driver wants to have all of the right parts around him so he can consistently succeed. Letarte continued and said that Byron’s strategy should focus on addressing how he can continue driving for team owner Rick Hendrick for the next decade or so while building a foundation for his post-race life.

“If I’m William, I am going to Rick and I’m saying, ‘Hey, I want you to know my priorities. I love driving here. I want to drive here for a long time,'” Letarte said. “‘I want to have wealth past driving. You know, Rick, you’re — I think — a billionaire at this point. You have dealerships. You’re a businessman.

“‘Help me be good for the rest of my life. I don’t need more money,'” Letarte added during the appearance. “You know, he’s going to be… Whatever the contract he signs is, he’s going to be good. He’s going to be fine.”

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Byron Remains the Final Driver Requiring a Contract

William Byron

GettyWilliam Byron celebrates a win at Martinsville Speedway.

Hendrick has put in serious effort in the past year to ensure that his driver lineup remains the same for the next two seasons. He and Hendrick Motorsports have signed three of the four drivers to extensions.

Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman both inked deals during the 2021 season. Larson agreed to an extension in July that included full-time sponsorship from Though Valvoline had already purchased three races for the 2022 Cup Series season. Larson went from more of a “prove-it” deal to a guaranteed spot through the 2023 season.

Bowman’s extension, which he signed prior to the Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway in June 2021, was for two years. He will remain the driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro through 2023 while working with Ally as his primary partner.

Chase Elliott was the most recent to sign an extension. Hendrick Motorsports announced hours prior to the Daytona 500 on February 20, 2022, that the driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet had signed a five-year extension. He will remain with the team through the 2027 season while striving to add more wins and titles.

The Extension Will Happen in the Near Future

With Byron winning at Martinsville Speedway and becoming the only repeat winner in the Cup Series, there are automatically more questions about when he will sign a contract extension. The exact date remains unclear, but the deal is inevitable.

Hendrick told media members during the week leading up to the Daytona 500 that his goal was to keep Byron in the No. 24. He added that the extension would happen in the near future.

“Probably any time pretty soon,” Hendrick told NBC Sports’ Dustin Long during Speedweeks at Daytona. “I want those guys to be with us forever, and they’ve told me that they want to be here. So I’d say you should hear something on that pretty soon.”

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