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NASCAR America: How will William Byron fare in NASCAR Cup? (video)

William Byron will replace Kasey Kahne at Hendrick Motorsports next season and is up to the challenge of racing in the Cup Series.

William Byron has made the climb up NASCAR’s ladder in near-record time.

On Tuesday, several media reports -- including NASCAR Talk -- said that Byron will replace Kasey Kahne in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 5 Chevrolet next season. While HMS has not confirmed the reports, it needs to fill Kahne’s soon-to-be-vacated seat.

And Byron, who is the type of young driver that comes along maybe once every decade or so, appears to be the likely replacement.

If that happens, HMS will have three drivers under 25 next season, with seven-time champ Jimmie Johnson being the eldest of the group at age 41. Alex Bowman is 24, Chase Elliott is 21 and Byron is just 19.

On Tuesday’s edition of NASCAR America, analysts Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett both discussed whether Byron is ready to race in NASCAR Cup.