William Byron – Liberty University Convocation
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William Byron – Liberty University Convocation


>>EMCEE: Over the past twelve months, our
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Champion, he never stopped learning. He bounced between his last
year in the classroom to his first year on the racetrack. From pencils to pedals, and
you might say from A-grades to A-frames. And no matter what the test, he proved a quick
study. The resulting success in all facets earned him passing marks, a NASCAR championship,
and now a full-time ride in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.>>WILLIAM BYRON: I remember being at the
banquet last year, just thinking about maybe being up on the stage. So to get that opportunity,
is, is awesome for me. I was six years old, and I went to my first race at Martinsville
Speedway. I watched the cup guys race and just kind of grew a love for the sport from
there. It was so cool, especially watching a short-track race like that. And went to
my dad when I was 15 years old and asked him if I could race a real car for the first time,
and got into the legend cars at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and everything took off from
there. When I got in that K&N racer, so many different challenges I had to deal with.>>ANNOUNCER: They’re ready to get it started,
here at Greenville Pickens Speedway in the K&N Pro Series!>>BYRON: It’s the second race of the year,
and we were able to get a win, it just kind of proved to myself that I can do this and
that I can compete for wins. Our goal kind of changed halfway through the season. We
got a few wins, we realized we could win a championship.>>ANNOUNCER: Here’s a point setter, William
Bryon, he’s had a fantastic season up until now!>>BYRON: Columbus Speedway, I, I don’t think
I did my job in the race as best as I could, and so I remember getting out of the car and
the first thing I said was that I would make it up to the team. That was one of those feelings
where I feel like for the first time I kind of lost focus for a second, and when I got
the focus back I appreciated it that much more.>>ANNOUNCER: William Byron will win again!>>BYRON: We were able to go to the next race
and win—and win New Hampshire. Kept working hard, kept our heads up each time we went
to the track. I had never been to Dover, never been to the race track. I knew whatever the
result was of the race, we had already accomplished so much. To go out there, and have no practice,
and make your first lap around that fast of a racetrack, in the lead, we had a lot to
accomplish. So, we wanted to lead the race, and I felt like that was the safest place
for us to be. Race conservatively, and race within what we could do to accomplish our
goal of the championship.>>ANNOUNCER: William Byron is going to be
your 2015 champion!>>SECOND ANNOUNCER: And what a deserving
championship, four wins in the season, the most of any driver in the series.>>BYRON: Well, when you win the championship,
it’s kind of like you can look back on the whole year and know that basically, you were
the best team throughout. It’s been really cool following in the footsteps of Ben Rhodes
and Dylan Kwasniewski. Carry along the tradition at HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks is
really cool for me. Getting a K&N series championship, it feels cool. It’s cool to see the hard work
pay off.>>THIRD ANNOUNCER: Please welcome driver
of the number nine Liberty University Chevrolet, from Charlotte, North Carolina, William Byron.>>BYRON: Thank you guys, thank you guys for
having me on campus today. It’s pretty awesome. I’ve been to the Vines Center a few times
for Convocation and to see this big a crowd and to be here speaking is pretty awesome.
I couldn’t imagine being up here a couple months ago so it’s amazing to have you guys’
support. You know, it’s exciting to see the enthusiasm on campus, a couple years ago when
I was first coming to Liberty to work out a sponsorship and talk to them about a partnership
over the next couple years, it was cool to see the excitement from, from all the different
students and just—I walked through the library the first time, and to see how modern it was
and you know, just amazing, it’s pretty cool. Pretty cool college campus. So, also they
have a Dunkin Donuts, I saw that last night, I was walking around campus I was like that’s
pretty cool, I’m gonna have to get some donuts when I come here in the fall. In the couple minutes I have I just wanted
to, to give you guys a few thoughts to think about and tell you guys about the upcoming
race we have. So, from the video, you can see that we won the championship last year,
which is really an amazing opportunity for me to spread, to spread my faith and talk
about Liberty as we went to each different racetrack throughout the year. We race all
over the country, so we could—you know—we’re able to meet new race fans and a lot of people
that were graduates from Liberty and meet new ones each week. So it’s really a cool
thing to have Liberty’s support and it definitely makes us unique. It’s also, now that I’m a
senior in high school, next year I’ll be attending here, this fall, so it’s pretty cool. So I’m
really excited about that, I get to, get to meet some of you guys next year, and definitely
finishing up what I have in high school and look forward to coming here next year. I’ve
taken a couple of online classes so I’m really looking forward to it. So some of you guys may be wondering what
it’s like to race a car. Or you know, how fast do we go, do I get in wrecks sometimes,
some of that stuff. First of all, we go about 190 miles an hour on any given weekend, so
that’s pretty cool. We traveled to all different racetracks – we go to Daytona in Florida,
Dover in Delaware, we go to Charlotte Motor Speedway, my home track, and we also go to
Martinsville, which is just down the road, so that’s the next thing we have coming up
is we have a race just an hour and a half from here. Love for you guys to come out,
it’s gonna be a great event, it’s our third truck race of the year, so, it would be really
cool if you guys could come out and support. I’ll be there and maybe you can get a few
autographs or a few signed cards before the race. We actually have a student discount
so it’ll be $10 just to come to a truck race, which is a really good deal, and I think it
would be awesome to have some of you guys out there. So, so like I said, like I said about the
wrecks, hopefully we don’t have too many wrecks this year. It’s definitely different when
you get in a wreck, so we try to avoid that. So, this year I’m racing in the NASCAR Camping
World Truck Series so we race 23 times this year from, from all over the country. We’ve
raced Atlanta and Daytona so far, and we’re really looking forward to that, hopefully
competing for Rookie of the Year and I have a great team in Kyle Busch Motorsports around
me to support me, so we’d love to see you guys out at Indy Racetrack and hopefully see,
see most of you guys around campus next year. We have a few giveaways that we’re going to
do later today if a lot of guys have phones and if we could just follow me on Twitter
or something like that it’s @ WilliamByron, there’s going to be a few free giveaways that
we’re going to have throughout the day and hopefully you guys can tune in for that and
we’ll be around campus promoting the, promoting the Martinsville race and hopefully, hopefully
you guys come out for that so and also, Jerry, I’ve got a little helmet here to give you.>>AUDIENCE: Jerry!>>JERRY FALWELL: All right, so –>>BYRON: They won’t let you; they won’t let
you put it on.>>FALWELL: All right.>>BYRON: Thank you.>>FALWELL: Stay up here for a second. I’ve
really enjoyed getting to know William over the
last couple years. We went to watch a race in Bristol and he should have won it. The
guy bumped him and he came in second but he finished the top of the point series…>>BYRON: Yeah.>>FALWELL: …for–tell ‘em–explain–tell
‘em how you learned how to race I think that’s a…>>FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: Put on the helmet!>>BYRON: Yeah.>>FALWELL: When I, when I, when I graduated
from kindergarten, they couldn’t find a hat to fit me so. No, but it’s got, it’s got a
strap in there that won’t let you put it on, why is that?
>>BYRON: I guess they don’t want you getting on the racetrack, maybe?>>FALWELL: I can, I can, I can understand
that but, but tell them how you learned how to race, most of the, most of the racers learn
in actual—not go karts, what do you call the little small cars?>>BYRON: Well, most of the racers race in
go karts when they’re six or seven years old so I actually started when I was fifteen and
raced online so I learned how to race on a basically like a computer simulator so it’s
kind of new to it, and then after that…>>FALWELL: You went straight from that, into
the, into the, what was the first car?>>BYRON: The legend cars.>>FALWELL: The legend cars, and he started
winning right away, so that proves that online education works.>>BYRON: Yeah, it does! Thank you.>>FALWELL: And William’s dad and his mom
are good friends, they—put that right there—they—in fact his dad was the one who put in place
for Liberty all the life insurance on my father that made Liberty debt-free when my dad passed
and so, we’ve got a long relationship with the Byron family. But he’s just impressed
us so much with how much he’s won and how quickly he’s won, and he’s a great representative
for Liberty, he’s been taking online classes and he—we’re just very proud of him and
I know he’s gonna be successful because I watched the movie Talladega Nights, years
ago. And I don’t know if you noticed but all the successful racecar drivers have two first
names, Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarett, Ricky Bobby, and William Byron, so that’s, I mean he’s
got it made, for sure. But we, we’re proud of William, we’re proud
to sponsor him and just so glad he could be here and so glad he’s coming here this fall. I think my 15-year-old daughter’s got a little
crush on him too. I’m not sure. She’ll be—oh, whoa, whoa—she’ll be 16 this month so
it’s not so bad, all right.

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