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NASCAR America: William Byron looking forward to learning from Jimmie Johnson, Dale Jr. (video)

William Byron will drive for Team Hendrick in the Cup Series in 2018 and is excited to join other young drivers and learn from veterans like Jimmie Johnson, Dale Jr. and Jeff Gordon.

The promotion of William Byron from current Xfinity Series driver to NASCAR Cup driver in 2018 was not a long, drawn-out process.

In fact, it took just four days from an initial meeting with Rick Hendrick on Sunday to Hendrick Motorsports announcing on Wednesday that Byron would be jumping to NASCAR Cup next season.

“I had no idea,” Byron told NBCSN’s Marty Snider on Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America. “I really met with Mr. H on Sunday and thought we were going to talk about this year so far and what next year would bring as far as the Xfinity Series.”

Then Hendrick asked Byron perhaps the most important question of his life.

“He really just asked if I was ready and I said yes,” Byron said.

The 19-year-old (he’ll be 20 when he starts his Cup career) knows he’ll face some challenges and will draw scrutiny from other teams and drivers, as well as fans, but he feels he’s up for it all.

“Yes, it’s going to be a challenge, it’s going to be more competition, it’s more cut-throat, it’s the Cup Series,” Byron said. “But I think I’m ready for that challenge.

“Yeah, it’s definitely surreal. It’s really incredible what this area has done for me, to kind of grow up here in the Charlotte area, knowing Hendrick Motorsports and looking forward to being part of it some day.”

Click on the above video to see Byron’s full interview with Snider.