Hendrick Motorsports Previews The AAA 400 Drive For Autism

DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY (ONE-MILE OVAL)

LOCATION: DOVER, DELAWARE
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACE 11 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 2 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, MAY 6 (FS1/MRN/SIRIUSXM)

Chase Elliott
No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Driver Chase Elliott   Hometown Dawsonville, Georgia
Age 22                       Resides Dawsonville, Georgia

2018 Season

  • 18th in standings
  • 10 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 3 top-five finishes
  • 5 top-10 finishes
  • 8 laps led

Career

  • 87 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 3 pole positions
  • 25 top-five finishes
  • 43 top-10 finishes
  • 926 laps led

Track Career 

  • 4 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 4 top-five finishes
  • 4 top-10 finishes
  • 138 laps led
NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET: The familiar blue, white and yellow NAPA AUTO PARTS paint scheme will once again grace the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 this weekend at Dover International Speedway. The Atlanta-based company will serve as majority sponsor for Chase Elliott and the No. 9 team for 26 NASCAR Cup Series races this year.

DOVER STATS: Elliott has garnered four top-five finishes in as many starts at Dover International Speedway, three of which were top-three results. Dover is the only track on which the 22-year-old has competed in the Cup Series where he has not finished outside the top five. Elliott averages a starting position of 12.5 and finishing position of 3.2 at the one-mile oval and has led 138 laps, all during the most recent visit (October 2017) to the “Monster Mile” – his most ever in a single race. Elliott finished in the top three in both of his rookie appearances at Dover in 2016 – something only Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch and Davey Allison have done in their rookie seasons. Elliott also has four starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and one in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at the Dover, Delaware, track and never finished outside the top 10 in either.

‘DEGA REWIND: The driver of the No. 9 Chevy ended an up-and-down day at Talladega Superspeedway on a high note with a third-place finish, marking his best restrictor-plate result in 10 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Daytona and Talladega. The result was also Elliott’s second consecutive top-three finish this season.

GET YOUR VOTES IN: The All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is quickly approaching and Elliott is among 20 drivers who are not yet locked into the event. In both 2016 and 2017, Elliott was voted into the All-Star field by the fans. This year, fans have the same opportunity to get their favorite driver into the ranks to compete for a chance to win the $1 million All-Star Race purse by voting once a day at www.nascar.com/fanvote. Votes shared via Facebook or Twitter will count double toward a driver’s total. Voting is now open and will close at 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, May 18.

CHARLOTTE RACE WEEKEND SWEEPSTAKES: With the help of Hooters, Elliott has put together an amazing Memorial Day race weekend VIP experience like no other. For as little as a $10 donation to the Chase Elliott Foundation, fans will be entered to win a grand prize trip for two to Charlotte, North Carolina, to meet the driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and attend not only the NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Sunday, May 27), but also the 22nd Annual Hooters International Pageant the night before the race. Airfare, hotel, VIP tickets to the Hooters Pageant and garage/pit passes are all included. The more you donate, the more chances you have to win the grand prize trip. When you make a donation, you can also receive special rewards like exclusive T-shirts, signed hero cards and die-casts, and even garage/pit passes to your favorite NASCAR race. Click here for more information or to make a donation.

William Byron
No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Driver William Byron   Hometown Charlotte, North Carolina
Age 20                         Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2018 Season

  • 20th in standings
  • 10 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 1 top-10 finish
  • 31 laps led

Career

  • 10 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 1 top-10 finish
  • 31 laps led

Track Career 

  • 0 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 0 top-10 finishes
  • 0 laps led
TALLADEGA RECAP: While William Byron ended up entangled in “The Big One,” a multiple-car incident with less than 25 laps to go at Talladega Superspeedway last Sunday, the NASCAR Cup Series rookie had a solid race up to that point, leading 14 laps in his first Cup race at the 2.66-mile oval and earning stage points in the second segment. So far this season, Byron has led 31 laps across four different venues ranging from short tracks to superspeedways, which ranks him fourth among Chevrolet drivers and 14th among Cup drivers overall.

AXALTA RETURNS: Axalta returns as the primary partner of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 this weekend at Dover International Speedway. Following Dover, the bright Axalta flames, designed by well-known motorsports artist Sam Bass, will next appear as the primary on the No. 24 Chevy at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July. In 2018, Axalta will be a primary partner on the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro for a total of 10 races.

MONSTER MILE STATS: While Byron will make his first Cup start at Dover International Speedway this weekend, the 20-year-old driver has experienced success at the one-mile oval in the other NASCAR national series. In his first NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the track nicknamed the “Monster Mile,” Byron finished sixth and scored an Xfinity Dash 4 Cash win. Last fall, he earned the pole for the Xfinity race and led 62 laps before finishing third. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native also has one start at the concrete oval in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2016, where he won the pole, led 80 laps and finished 11th.

TOUGH TRACK: Byron’s past success at the “Monster Mile” will help, but winning a race there is no easy feat – there have only been two first-time winners at Dover in Cup Series history – Martin Truex Jr. (2007) and Jody Ridley (1981), although Jimmie Johnson won twice at the one-mile oval during his rookie season in 2002. However, three Hendrick Motorsports drivers finished in the top three in both Dover races in their rookie seasons – Johnson (2002), Kyle Busch (2005) and Chase Elliott (2016).

ALL-STAR RACE VOTING: Voting is now open for the 2018 All-Star Race. As a Cup rookie, Byron isn’t locked into the All-Star Race…yet. He has three chances to race his way in from the Open qualifying race by winning one of the three stages, and another opportunity by receiving the fan vote. Fans can vote once per day and votes shared via Facebook or Twitter count double, making sharing on social media a key component. Fans can vote for Byron at NASCAR.com/fanvote until 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, May 18. The winner will be announced immediately following the conclusion of the Open qualifying race on Saturday, May 19.

Jimmie Johnson
No. 48 Lowe’s for Pros Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Driver Jimmie Johnson   Hometown El Cajon, California
Age 42                             Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2018 Season

  • 14th in standings
  • 10 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 1 top-five finish
  • 3 top-10 finishes
  • 0 laps led

Career

  • 589 starts
  • 83 wins
  • 35 pole positions
  • 223 top-five finishes
  • 344 top-10 finishes
  • 18,663 laps led

Track Career 

  • 32 starts
  • 11 wins
  • 3 pole positions
  • 17 top-five finishes
  • 23 top-10 finishes
  • 3,105 laps led
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s for Pros Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media at 9:30 a.m. local time on Friday, May 4, in the Dover media center.

TALLADEGA SURVIVAL: Jimmie Johnson earned stage points last Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway with 10th- and seventh-place finishes, respectively, in the first two stages. Although Johnson demonstrated some serious car control skills during a 14-car incident on Lap 166, he had to settle for a 12th-place finish, stating his Lowe’s for Pros Chevy wasn’t the same after the minor body damage it sustained.

UNBELIEVABLE AT DOVER: In the last 13 races at Dover, Johnson is the only repeat winner. He has won five times at the one-mile oval during that span while no other driver has won more than once. Johnson has won a record 11 races at Dover with 3,105 laps led – the most all-time – ahead of legendary drivers Bobby Allison (2,803), Jeff Gordon (2,396), Richard Petty (2,205) and Dale Earnhardt (2,151).

COMPARING TO THE FIELD: Entering Sunday’s race, Johnson’s 11 wins at the “Monster Mile” put him just one victory shy of the combined total Dover wins of the rest of the field, which has accumulated 12.

LAST LAP, FINISH FIRST: There have been six occasions in Dover history when the winner passed for the lead in the final three laps to an exciting finish. Last June, Johnson passed leader Kyle Larson to take the checkered flag for his 83rd career win. He also did the same in May 2009, passing former competitor Tony Stewart with three to go to win his fourth event at the “Monster Mile.”

ROOKIE SWEEP AT THE MONSTER: During his rookie season, Johnson turned some heads and proved that Dover’s concrete oval suited his driving style from his off-road truck racing days. In Johnson’s first two starts at the “Monster Mile” in 2002, he impressively swept both events, leading 188 and 170 laps, respectively, of the two 400-lap events.

NEXT UP, 84: Johnson’s next trip to Victory Lane will be his 84th points-paying NASCAR Cup Series win. He secured his 83rd in June 2017 to tie NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough for sixth on the all-time wins list. An 84th win would tie Hall of Famers Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison for fourth all-time. Johnson is currently 10 wins behind former teammate Jeff Gordon, who has 93 victories and is third on the list. Johnson has the most wins of all active drivers and No. 48 team crew chief Chad Knaus has the most wins of all active crew chiefs with 81.

Alex Bowman
No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Driver Alex Bowman   Hometown Tucson, Arizona
Age 25                         Resides Mooresville, North Carolina

2018 Season

  • 12th in standings
  • 10 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 1 top-five finish
  • 3 top-10 finishes
  • 39 laps led

Career

  • 91 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 2 pole positions
  • 1 top-five finish
  • 6 top-10 finishes
  • 242 laps led

Track Career 

  • 4 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 0 top-10 finishes
  • 0 laps led
TALLADEGA REWIND: Last weekend, Alex Bowman qualified 11th for the 500-mile event at Talladega Superspeedway. Bowman quickly moved into the top five on Lap 2 and continued his momentum forward. When green-flag pit stops began on Lap 13, the Nationwide Camaro ZL1 was scored in the first position and held the lead for 26 laps. Keeping it clean throughout the event, Bowman crossed the line eighth at the end of the day. The Nationwide team moved up one spot in the NASCAR Cup Series standings to 12th.

NATIONWIDE IS ON OUR SIDE: For the ninth consecutive week, the Nationwide colors will be back on board the No. 88 Camaro ZL1 this weekend at Dover International Speedway. Nationwide has been the primary partner on the No. 88 Chevrolet six times at the “Monster Mile” with two different drivers. Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran the Nationwide machine five times at Dover, with his best finish of third coming back in the fall of 2015. Jeff Gordon filled in for Earnhardt in the No. 88 in 2016 and finished 10th.

TEN RACES IN: Since taking over the reins of the No. 88 Nationwide team this season, Bowman has captured one top-five and three top-10 finishes. He has Chevrolet’s only pole in 2018 (Daytona 500) and ranks third in laps led by a Chevrolet driver this season. Three weeks ago in Bristol, Bowman captured his first top-five finish of his career in the Cup Series. The driver has been in a position to make the playoffs following each of the last seven races this year. He has also captured his best career finishes at seven of the 10 tracks in 2018, including the last three races.

BOWMAN AT THE MONSTER MILE: Bowman has four NASCAR Cup Series starts at Dover International Speedway. The 25-year-old finished 20th in 2015 and has completed 86.9 percent of the total laps run at the one-mile oval in the Cup Series. Bowman has six starts at the venue in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, two of which were with JR Motorsports in 2016. The driver qualified and finished inside the top five in both of his starts that year. Prior to the 2016 Xfinity season, Bowman led a total of 14 laps in series competition. In the spring 2016 Dover event, the driver was able to double his laps led in just one start at Dover, leading 33 laps en-route to his best finish of third at the track.

  • IVES AT DOVER: Crew chief Greg Ives has called the shots six times for the No. 88 team at the “Monster Mile” with drivers Earnhardt and Gordon. The crew chief’s résumé at the track in the NASCAR Cup Series includes one top-five finish and three top-10s. The Bark River, Michigan, native has four starts as a crew chief in Xfinity Series competition at the track, where he has two top-five and three top-10 finishes. Ives’ driver qualified on the outside pole position during both events in 2014. While a race engineer with the No. 48 team from 2006-12, Ives earned four wins at the track.

VOTING IS OPEN: In just over two weeks, the NASCAR Cup Series will race under the lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the 2018 All-Star Race. In order to join the main event, Bowman – who is not yet eligible – must win a stage in the Open qualifying race or he can be voted in by the fans. From now until May 18, fans can vote once per day here for Bowman to join the All-Star Race. The fan vote winner will be announced on race day on May 19.

Hendrick Motorsports

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT DOVER: At Dover International Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports has 19 wins, 64 top-five finishes and 103 top-10s, all of which are all-time records at the track. Jimmie Johnson most recently visited Victory Lane for the organization at the track in June 2017.

FINDING VICTORY LANE: Hendrick Motorsports’ 19 wins at Dover are tied with Charlotte Motor Speedway for the organization’s second-most at a track. The 19 wins are tied for the third-most by a team at a single track. The highest number of wins, 24, belongs to Hendrick Motorsports at Martinsville.

250 ON THE HORIZON: The next points-paying win by a Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet will be the organization’s milestone 250th in NASCAR Cup Series competition. With 268 Cup victories, only Petty Enterprises has more. Junior Johnson and Associates is third all-time at 153 wins, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing with 151 and Roush Fenway Racing with 137.

16 MAKES 249: Sixteen different drivers have contributed to Hendrick Motorsports’ total of 249 points-paying Cup wins. Only the Wood Brothers team, which has sent 19 different drivers to Victory Lane, has more. Junior Johnson and Associates won with 13 different drivers.

FIRST-TIME WINNERS: If Chase Elliott, William Byron or Alex Bowman wins at Dover, it will mark the ninth time a driver has recorded his first career Cup Series win while driving for Hendrick Motorsports. Hendrick Motorsports and Roush Fenway Racing share the all-time record, having each sent eight first-time winners to Victory Lane in Cup Series competition.

ORGANIZATION STATS: To date, Hendrick Motorsports has totals of 12 championships, 249 race victories, 214 pole positions, 1,034 top-five finishes and 1,752 top-10 finishes in points-paying NASCAR Cup Series competition. Its teams have led more than 67,000 laps since 1984.

QUOTABLE / 

Chase Elliott on if he looks forward to Dover because of his success at the track:
“No, I hate doing that because when you think about one race too much you maybe put too much emphasis on it and you are getting your hopes up to potentially be let down. You just have to treat them all the same I think. Granted, it has been a good track for us and we’ve been fortunate to have some good runs at Dover over the past couple of years. Obviously, haven’t won a race there, but it’s been a solid track. Hopefully, it will continue to be solid for us and we can build off of what we had last year.”

William Byron on racing at Dover:
“I like Dover; it’s been a good track for me. I ran really well there last year (in the NASCAR Xfinity Series) – we won the Dash 4 Cash in the spring, and then qualified on the pole and finished third in the playoff race. I think I led most of the (NASCAR Camping World) Truck race there as well. Dover’s been a good track for Hendrick Motorsports too with Jimmie (Johnson) winning as many times as he has there. It’s a very abrasive, very physical track, but it seems like it’s always fun because you can move around and really be aggressive. It’s similar to Bristol in that way, but you can drive the car even harder at Dover. I’ll just try to trust my instincts there and go do what I’ve always done.”

Jimmie Johnson on racing at Dover:
“Dover is really a tricky place. There are usually quite a few caution flags so you have to find a balance between a ‘green’ track for the first 10 or 15 laps to a longer run where there is a lot of rubber laid down on the track on a longer green flag run. Finding your balance is probably the most challenging thing at Dover. Corner entry is everything. Concrete tracks are poured in squares just like on an interstate so there are a bunch of expansion joints around the track and it really shakes and rattles the car. Its bumpy – and there are bumps in Turns 1 and 3. So if your car isn’t bottoming out and your splitter isn’t hitting, you are usually OK and it’s just part of the ride at Dover. I love Dover, wish we raced there more than twice a year, it’s a great race for this Lowe’s for Pros team and I absolutely cannot wait to get there.”

Alex Bowman on concrete versus asphalt tracks:
“The concrete track just slowly rattles your brains out with the way the tires skip across the track. It picks up all the rubber every caution. I mean it’s a super finicky place. Super long day, longest day of the year, 400 laps at Dover. It will be a tough one, but I’m sure we will be good there.”

Bowman on comparing Dover to Bristol:
“Dover is way harder. Lots of elevation change getting into the corner. I guess from the outside looking in, yes they are similar, but I feel like Dover is a much more physically challenging racetrack.”

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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