JR Motorsports' Allgaier, Sadler rave over William Byron
Elliott Sadler 2017 NASCAR Media Tour Press Conference
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- When NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Rick Hendrick announced last August that he had signed Camping World Truck Series rookie sensation William Byron to a multi-year contract, it was viewed as a steal for Chevrolet.
Now that he's gearing up for his rookie season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, JR Motorsports teammates Elliott Sadler and Justin Allgaier know they have a teammate who's ready to win at the next rung of the ladder.
"William Byron is the real deal," Sadler said. "I'm looking forward to being a part of that."
Allgaier echoed those remarks, saying Byron, who won a series-leading and rookie-record seven races in 2016, knows what it takes to win and compete for championships.
"For as short as his resume is, it's extremely well-packed and he's very well-versed in being up front and winning races," Allgaier said.
As the elder statesmen of JR Motorsports, Sadler said he's open to giving his new teammate a few pointers along the way.
"I remember coming in as a rookie driver and I was able to lean on people like Jeff Green and Dale Jarrett," Sadler explained. "I kind of want to be that guy for William."
In addition to gaining Byron, Allgaier is reunited with Michael Annett, who teamed with him in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at HScott Motorsports in 2015. Allgaier believes having someone he's worked with in the past will ease the
"We've got an interesting dynamic at JR Motorsports. Michael and I worked together when we were at HScott," Allgaier explained. "We get along really well, we've got a lot of the same thought processes. We've gone through a lot of the same trials that we had on the Cup side."
Jumping from two to four full-time entries will be a huge task for the Hendrick-affiliated team. Sadler said it's a relief that the organization still has a few weeks before the season-opening race at Daytona.
"Dale and Kelly [Earnhardt Miller] have made a huge commitment to our program to make it good," Sadler said. "We have a lot of experience mixed with a lot of young talent.
"It's busy, we've got a lot going on. JR Motorsports is going to build another shop to help house all four cars. We need more time to get everything right like we need to start a season."
Allgaier isn't concerned that the team is spreading its resources too thin, a trait that's sunk many successful racing teams in the past."We've run three full-time (teams) and been successful," he said. "I don't think four is that much of a departure from that. If we can grow at the rate we did last year and keep going with it, I think the sky's the limit."