Hendrick Motorsports Prepares For New Hampshire Motor Speedway

NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY (1.058-MILE OVAL)

LOCATION: LOUDON, NEW HAMPSHIRE
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACE 28 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 2 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, SEPT. 24 (NBCSN/PRN/SIRIUSXM)

No. 5 go90 Chevrolet SS / Kasey Kahne

Driver Kasey Kahne   Hometown Enumclaw, Washington
Age 37                        Resides Mooresville, North Carolina

2017 Season

  • 15th in standings
  • 27 starts
  • 1 race win
  • 0 stage wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 3 top-five finishes
  • 4 top-10 finishes
  • 31 laps led

Career

  • 495 starts
  • 18 wins
  • 27 pole positions
  • 92 top-five finishes
  • 173 top-10 finishes
  • 4,638 laps led

Track Career 

  • 27 starts
  • 1 win
  • 0 pole positions
  • 3 top-five finishes
  • 10 top-10 finishes
  • 305 laps led
GO90: This weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Kasey Kahne will pilot the No. 5 go90 Chevrolet SS. The go90 paint scheme will also adorn the No. 5 Chevrolet SS during the upcoming Charlotte Motor Speedway race weekend. The Hendrick Motorsports docuseries “Road to Race Day” can be seen on Complex Networks’ Rated Red available on go90. All eight episodes are now available to watch.

CREW CHIEF CHANGE: Hendrick Motorsports announced on Monday that Darian Grubb will assume the crew chief role for the No. 5 Chevrolet SS team and driver Kasey Kahne. The 41-year-old Grubb will be atop the pit box for this weekend’s event at New Hampshire and for the remaining NASCAR Cup Series races of the 2017 season. The Floyd, Virginia, native has earned 23 Cup victories, which ranks him third among active full-time crew chiefs. Grubb replaces Keith Rodden, who has been assigned other duties within Hendrick Motorsports.

NEW HAMPSHIRE STATS: This weekend, Kahne returns to New Hampshire, the site of his 14th career NASCAR Cup Series victory. He took the checkered flag in the July 2012 event with a 2.738-second margin of victory over Denny Hamlin, leading 66 laps at the Loudon, New Hampshire, track. Kahne’s average starting position at the 1.058-mile oval is 11.7 and his average finishing position is 17.1. With five second-place starts, the 37-year-old is still looking for his first pole award at the New England track.

LOOP DATA AT NHMS: According to NASCAR’s loop data since 2005, Kahne ranks second in green-flag passes at New Hampshire with 1,335 and fifth in quality passes with 677. Quality passes are the number of times a driver passes another car that is running inside the top 15 while under green-flag conditions. He also ranks ninth in laps led with 274.

GOING HOME: No. 5 team engineer Taylor Moyer is a native of Shoreham, Vermont, which is located almost three hours northwest of the Loudon track. Following a move to North Carolina to attend college, Moyer originally started at Hendrick Motorsports on the developmental pit crew. After holding various positions throughout the company, he joined the No. 5 team in 2015.

No. 24 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet SS / Chase Elliott

Driver Chase Elliott   Hometown Dawsonville, Georgia
Age 21                      Resides Dawsonville, Georgia

2017 Season

  • 8th in standings
  • 27 starts
  • 0 race wins
  • 3 stage wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 7 top-five finishes
  • 15 top-10 finishes
  • 226 laps led

Career

  • 68 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 3 pole positions
  • 17 top-five finishes
  • 32 top-10 finishes
  • 584 laps led

Track Career 

  • 3 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 0 top-10 finishes
  • 1 lap led
KELLEY BLUE BOOK CHEVROLET: This weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Chase Elliott will pilot the No. 24 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet SS for the second time this season. Kelley Blue Book is the vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry. Each week, the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website KBB.com, including its famous Blue Book Trade-In Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new and used cars this week. Elliott most recently piloted the Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet at Sonoma Raceway in June, when he finished eighth.

LOUDON STATS: The Dawsonville, Georgia, native is set to make his fourth NASCAR Cup Series start at the 1.058-mile speedway. In his previous three starts, Elliott averaged a starting position of 9.3 and finishing position of 19.3. The driver of the No. 24 also has two starts in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in Loudon, New Hampshire. In those XFINITY starts, Elliott collected a pair of top-10 finishes, averaging a starting position of 7.5 and finishing position of 8.5.

FRANCIS NAMED INTERIM CREW CHIEF: Kenny Francis, 47, has been named interim crew chief of the No. 24 NASCAR Cup Series team with driver Elliott for this weekend’s event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The Jacksonville, Florida, native, who was Elliott’s crew chief for five points races in 2015, currently serves as Hendrick Motorsports’ vehicle technical director and has 17 wins, 75 top-five finishes and 149 top-10s as a Cup Series crew chief. Kevin Hulstein will serve as the team’s car chief.

PLAYOFF STANDINGS: Entering this weekend’s race at New Hampshire, Elliott is eighth — 58 points behind the leader — in the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs standings with two races remaining in the Round of 16. After next weekend’s race at Dover, 12 drivers will advance to the next round.

HOME SWEET HOME: No. 24 team engine tuner Tony Bove hails from Burlington, Vermont, which is approximately 167 miles northwest of New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS / Jimmie Johnson

Driver Jimmie Johnson   Hometown El Cajon, California
Age 41                             Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2017 Season

  • 8th in standings
  • 27 starts
  • 3 race wins
  • 1 stage win
  • 0 pole positions
  • 3 top-five finishes
  • 9 top-10 finishes
  • 188 laps led

Career

  • 570 starts
  • 83 wins
  • 35 pole positions
  • 221 top-five finishes
  • 339 top-10 finishes
  • 18,634 laps led

Track Career 

  • 31 starts
  • 3 wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 10 top-five finishes
  • 21 top-10 finishes
  • 323 laps led
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, will be available to members of the media on Friday, Sept. 22, at 10:30 a.m. local time in the New Hampshire Motor Speedway media center.

HURRICANE RELIEF: On Monday, Jimmie Johnson visited Naples, Florida, to provide some comfort and a morale boost to employees of two Lowe’s stores affected by Hurricane Irma. Johnson also helped install an air conditioning unit and a generator and participated in tree removal for a 97-year-old homeowner in the area.

WHERE THE 48 STANDS: One race into the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, Johnson and the No. 48 team are eighth in the standings. Johnson finished eighth at Chicago after starting 14th.

WORLDWIDE LEADER: To help promote the NASCAR playoffs, Johnson visited ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut, last Thursday before heading to Chicago.

LAST TIME AT NEW HAMPSHIRE: In the most recent race at New Hampshire, Johnson and the No. 48 team started second and finished 10th. Johnson leads the series with 78 percent of laps run in the top 15 at the track. He has an average finish of 11.1.

THREE LOBSTERS: Throughout 31 starts at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Johnson and the No. 48 Lowe’s team have earned three trophies and the traditional lobsters given to the winners in Victory Lane. They swept both events in 2003 and earned another victory in 2010.

NEW HAMPSHIRE DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics since 2005, Johnson has the second-best driver rating at New Hampshire with a score of 100.8. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The maximum a driver can earn in each race is 150 points. The driver rating number is used pre-race as a prediction tool and post-race as a performance evaluator.

No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS / Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.   Hometown Kannapolis, North Carolina
Age 42                                Resides Mooresville, North Carolina

2017 Season

  • 22nd in standings
  • 27 starts
  • 0 race wins
  • 0 stage wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 1 top-five finish
  • 4 top-10 finishes
  • 37 laps led

Career

  • 622 starts
  • 26 wins
  • 14 pole positions
  • 149 top-five finishes
  • 256 top-10 finishes
  • 8,224 laps led

Track Career 

  • 34 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 8 top-five finishes
  • 15 top-10 finishes
  • 378 laps led
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, will be available to members of the media on Friday, Sept. 22, at 4:30 p.m. local time in the New Hampshire Motor Speedway media center.

LOOKING FOR A LOBSTER: Dale Earnhardt Jr. has yet to win and claim the prize rock lobster traditionally given away at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but the driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS has racked up some solid stats at the 1.058-mile oval. In 34 starts, he has eight top-five finishes, four of which have come since his transition to Hendrick Motorsports. He missed both races at New Hampshire last year while recovering from a concussion, but he’s scored top-10 results in five of his last nine starts at the Loudon, New Hampshire, facility. While his career average finish at the track is 15.4, in his most recent nine races dating back to 2012, the driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS has improved that number to an average finish of 11.6.

DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics since 2005, Earnhardt has the sixth-best driver rating among active drivers at New Hampshire with an average of 96.4. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The maximum a driver can earn in each race is 150 points. The driver rating number is used pre-race as a prediction tool and post-race as a performance evaluator.

LOOP DATA: Additionally, NASCAR’s loop data stats have Earnhardt ranked second among active competitors in quality passes (743) and third among active competitors in green-flag speed (125.116 mph) and green-flag passes (1,321). The Kannapolis, North Carolina, native ranks sixth in average running position (11.483) and ninth in fastest laps run (274). Earnhardt is fifth on the chart for laps run in the top 15 at New Hampshire with 5,180 laps. Since 2005 at the 1.058-mile oval, the 42-year-old has spent 75.3 percent of his laps running in the top 15.

NATIONWIDE PET PROMOTION: This weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Earnhardt will have a four-legged friend riding with him on the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS for the first time. Marshall, a 1-year-old German shorthaired pointer from Stone Mountain, Georgia, was the winner of Nationwide’s Paws and Racing Sweepstakes. His image will be featured on the TV panel of the No. 88 Chevy. When Nationwide launched the sweepstakes earlier this summer, tens of thousands of pet owners from across the country posted photos of their pets on the Paws and Racing website. Marshall was selected at random as the winner. Marshall’s owners will be treated to a VIP race experience this weekend, including travel to the New Hampshire race and a meet-and-greet with Earnhardt. Additional first prize winners will receive a Nationwide pet accessory kit plus a No. 88 Nationwide die-cast car signed by Earnhardt.

‘TRACKSIDE LIVE!’ APPEARANCE: Earnhardt will be stopping by the “Trackside Live!” stage at New Hampshire for a portion of Saturday night’s show, which runs from 6 to 7 p.m. local time, for a Q&A session. “Trackside Live!” will also be broadcast on NASCAR.com. The stage is located across from the Fan Zone near the entrance to the infield tunnel.

Hendrick Motorsports

DISASTER RELIEF FUND: Hendrick Motorsports drivers Kasey Kahne, Chase Elliott, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have launched a disaster relief fund with the goal of raising $500,000 in two weeks to support hurricane victims. The drivers, Hendrick Motorsports and Hendrick Automotive Group committed a combined $300,000 and are encouraging the public to join the effort. Visit HendrickRelief.org for more information and to donate.

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT NEW HAMPSHIRE: At New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports has nine wins, seven pole positions, 42 top-five finishes and 75 top-10s. Kasey Kahne most recently visited Victory Lane for the organization at the track in 2012.

ORGANIZATION STATS: To date, Hendrick Motorsports has totals of 12 championships, 249 race victories, 212 pole positions, 1,023 top-five finishes and 1,726 top-10 finishes in points-paying NASCAR Cup Series competition. Its teams have led 66,856 laps since 1984.

QUOTABLE / 

“New Hampshire is a tough track and it’s unique because it’s a flat track. You need a car that handles well, obviously. Qualifying well is helpful and strategy is a big deal because track position is so important there. I remember when I won there — (then-No. 5 team crew chief) Kenny Francis made the right call to get us a restart position on the front row towards the end of the race and I was able to take the lead. We had a strong car that day and the perfect strategy and won the race.”

Kasey Kahne on racing at New Hampshire

“It is just a very one-lane track and very difficult to make ground. You really have to be superior to the guy ahead of you to get to him and be able to do anything with him without rooting him up out of the way or something. And sometimes that is just how people pass and how you have to make ground there. That is the biggest thing, it is just tough to make up ground in a hurry and make anything happen.”

Chase Elliott on racing at New Hampshire

“I felt like we started off the playoffs in the right direction. My Lowe’s teammates worked their guts out last weekend and we made some big changes to the car throughout the weekend. It was so much better on Sunday. I’m looking forward to this weekend at New Hampshire. We have found some speed there as of late and then Dover is next, which I can’t wait for.”

Jimmie Johnson on the playoffs so far

“We spent several hours in the simulator on Monday trying to figure something out for this week. We aren’t riding this year out or giving up. We’re going to keep working hard the rest of the season. I’m looking forward to New Hampshire – it’s a fun track. It’s flat and it’s kind of tricky to get around, but it’s fun.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. on racing at New Hampshire

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!
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One Response to Hendrick Motorsports Prepares For New Hampshire Motor Speedway

  1. Tom S. says:

    If Junior was able to secretly swap cars with Landon Casslle, before the start of the race, would anyone even notice during the race? With both drivers running in their usual places, between 18th and 38th, I seriously doubt that the TV guys, and the fans would even notice anything at all, until they removed their helmets after the race was over. Maybe Junior should have retired at the end of the 2016 season. He isn’t setting the world on fire, or improving his statistics on the contrary, his performances so far this season are most likely bringing his career stats down, while he’s risking injury, or another concussion. It hardly seems worth the risks. Now, without having a chance to get into the Chase, he should turn the car over to Alex Bowman, and avoid any more unnessary risks. Amy, are you listening? I am a Dale Jr. fan. I’m just hoping to see him retire without any more injuries. Without a shot at the Championship, it doesn’t make sense to take the risks. I want to see him enjoy the rest of his life, healthy, and with his beautiful, and wonderful wife, and some great kids. That’s really what life is all about. Come on Dale, you have a lot of living to do, and you can have such a fantastic life ahead of you. You’ve earned it. I know that you’ll be a great dad.

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