HMS Previews The AAA Texas 500

Hendrick Motorsports / 5  24  48  88

TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY (1.5-MILE OVAL)

LOCATION: FORT WORTH, TEXAS
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACE 34 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 3 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, NOV. 4 (NBCSN/PRN/SIRIUSXM)

Chase Elliott
No. 9 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

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

2018 Season

  • 6th in points
  • 33 starts
  • 3 wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 11 top-five finishes
  • 19 top-10 finishes
  • 309 laps led

Career

  • 110 starts
  • 3 wins
  • 4 pole positions
  • 33 top-five finishes
  • 57 top-10 finishes
  • 1,227 laps led

Track Career 

  • 5 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 2 top-five finish
  • 4 top-10 finishes
  • 9 laps led
LONE STAR STATE STATS: Chase Elliott currently holds the best average finish of all time at Texas Motor Speedway with a 7.4 average finish in five starts at the 1.5-mile oval. That 7.4 average finish also ranks Texas as Elliott’s fifth-best track. In his previous five NASCAR Cup Series starts at the venue, Elliott has garnered two top-five finishes and four top-10s. He has collected top-10 finishes in all but one (11th-place finish) of his previous Cup and NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at the Fort Worth, Texas, track. The driver of the No. 9 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 collected his first career Xfinity Series victory at Texas in April 2014. In his five Xfinity Series starts there he has accumulated three top-five finishes and five top-10s, led 38 laps and completed 100 percent of the 1,000 possible laps while averaging a starting position of 10.4 and finishing position of 5.0.

#DI9: The Round of 8 in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs continues this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Elliott is currently ranked sixth, 31 points below the cutoff line. As the series heads into the final three races of the 2018 season, Elliott currently holds a top-10 average finish at the three remaining tracks (Texas – 7.4, ISM – 6.8, Homestead – 8.0). Last season, the 22-year-old driver captured eighth- (Texas), second- (ISM) and fifth- (Homestead-Miami) place results in the final three events of the season.

LAST 12: In the last 12 races, Elliott has earned three wins, six top-five finishes and nine top-10s, all of which are tied for the most among all drivers during that span.

KELLEY BLUE BOOK RETURNS: This weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, Elliott will pilot the No. 9 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for the second and final 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. Kelley Blue Book extended its relationship with Hendrick Motorsports prior to the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series season. Elliott most recently piloted the Kelly Blue Book Chevy at Bristol Motor Speedway in August, when he led 112 laps en route to a third-place finish.

GUINNESS WORLD RECORD HOLDER: In addition to No. 9 fueler John Gianninoto’s normal race weekend duties, he traveled to the local Sunoco station in Ozone Park, New York, to attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most vehicles refueled by an individual in an hour. Gianninoto and Sunoco broke the record by refueling a total of 148 cars in an hour.

William Byron
No. 24 Hendrick Autoguard Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

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

2018 Season

  • 24th in points
  • 33 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 3 top-10 finishes
  • 61 laps led

Career

  • 33 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 3 top-10 finishes
  • 61 laps led

Track Career 

  • 1 start
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 1 top-10 finish
  • 1 lap led
ROOKIE STANDINGS: After taking the lead in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings following the spring race at Texas Motor Speedway, William Byron will have a chance to clinch the title this weekend. The 20-year-old driver leads by 107 points in the standings over Bubba Wallace and would clinch if he finishes the race with a 121-point lead. Byron is on a roll of earning NASCAR rookie of the year titles to this point, going back-to-back-to-back with the honor in the Xfinity Series in 2017, the Camping World Truck Series in 2016 and the K&N Pro Series East in 2015.

AT TEXAS: Byron earned his first career NASCAR Cup Series top-10 finish at Texas Motor Speedway in the spring race, finishing 10th after starting at the rear of the field due to an engine change. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native also has four other national series starts at the Fort Worth, Texas, track, including a win in his first Truck Series start at the 1.5-mile oval on June 10, 2016. The win was his second of seven victories during the 2016 season and made him the youngest-ever Truck Series winner at Texas Motor Speedway. In five national series starts, Byron has never finished outside of the top 10 at Texas. He’s led laps in all three national series for a combined total of 41 laps and has an average finish of 3.5 in Truck, 8.0 in Xfinity and 10.0 in Cup. His one lap led during the Cup race in April made him the youngest driver to lead a lap at the 1.5-mile track in the Cup Series.

NOT BAD FOR A ROOKIE: The 1.5-mile track has been fairly kind to rookies in the last 17 years with eight of them earning top-five finishes there, which could be a good omen for Byron, especially given his past success in other series in the Lone Star State. However, only one rookie has ever won at Texas Motor Speedway – Dale Earnhardt Jr. in April 2000.

HENDRICK AUTOGUARD RETURNS: This weekend’s race at Texas marks the second and final race for the blue and black No. 24 Hendrick Autoguard Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Hendrick Autoguard is a premier extended, prepaid service agreement program available to Hendrick Automotive Group customers and beyond, which includes additional individualized maintenance products like Mechanical Repair Contract, Flexible Maintenance, Tire & Wheel Protection, Paint & Fabric Protection and others. The program affords customers numerous options to provide their automotive investment the maximum level of value with the highest level of service in the industry. All Autoguard vehicle protection programs are available as single products or value-packaged for additional savings. For more, visit the Hendrick Autoguard website.

ICYMI, LIBERTY PRODUCTION DAY: Last Wednesday, Oct. 24, Byron visited Liberty University’s campus for a 2019 production day, where his 2019 No. 24 Liberty University Camaro ZL1 was unveiled. The paint scheme remains consistent to the 2018 scheme. Byron, who is a junior in Liberty’s online program, visited with students and faculty as part of the day.

NO. 24 PIT CREW PARTICIPATED IN FIREFIGHTER TRAINING: Members of the No. 24 pit crew and a team engineer visited the York County Fire Training Center on Thursday, Oct. 25, to participate in a training session in the burn building, running through different scenarios with the Fort Mill Fire Department. Check out a photo gallery from their adventure.

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

Driver Jimmie Johnson   Hometown El Cajon, California
Age 43                             Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2018 Season

  • 13th in points
  • 33 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 2 top-five finishes
  • 11 top-10 finishes
  • 29 laps led

Career

  • 612 starts
  • 83 wins
  • 35 pole positions
  • 224 top-five finishes
  • 352 top-10 finishes
  • 18,692 laps led

Track Career 

  • 30 starts
  • 7 wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 15 top-five finishes
  • 21 top-10 finishes
  • 1,041 laps led
STRONG ALLYLast Sunday morning at Martinsville Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports announced a partnership with Ally Financial – the new full-season sponsor for seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, Ally CEO Jeffrey Brown and Johnson joined NBC Sports Network’s pre-race show to make the announcement. Click here for the story.

CK AND JJ AT 600With only three races remaining in the 2018 season, the dynamic duo of Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus are winding down their driver-crew chief relationship. Texas Motor Speedway will mark their 600th start together. The pairing of Johnson and Knaus has been compared to the likes of the NFL’s New England Patriots coach-quarterback combination of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady and the NBA’s Chicago Bulls team of Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan. When they began their careers as driver and crew chief, Johnson was 26 and Knaus was 30. Seventeen years and 81 wins later (two of Johnson’s 83 total wins were with interim crew chief Darian Grubb), Johnson and Knaus have more starts together than most drivers do in their careers. Only 29 other drivers in history have more than 600 starts. Johnson and Knaus have more starts together than the second- and third-longest active driver-crew chief pairings have combined.

TEXAS STRAIGHT: Johnson won three straight races at Texas between November 2014 and November 2015 – the longest streak ever by a driver at the track. He also has posted three-race win streaks at ISM Raceway, Las Vegas and Martinsville. Johnson won four in a row at Charlotte Motor Speedway from May 2004 to October 2005. Johnson’s seven wins at Texas are more than double of any other driver in the field – the combined Texas wins of the rest of the field this weekend is nine.

BY THE NUMBERS: Johnson has won six of the last 12 races at Texas. In 30 starts at the 1.5-mile track, the El Cajon, California, native has the most all-time wins (seven), the most second-place finishes (five), the most top-five finishes (15), the most top-10s (21) and the most laps led (1,041). Johnson has an average finish at the Fort Worth, Texas, track of 9.63, which is the third-best all time among drivers with more than one start at the venue. Texas is one of four tracks on the circuit where Johnson has led more than 1,000 laps, joining Dover (3,105), Martinsville (2,862) and Charlotte (1,930).

MOST ALL-TIME WINS ON 1.5-MILERS: Johnson is the NASCAR Cup Series’ all-time wins leader on 1.5-mile tracks with 28. Second all-time is Johnson’s former teammate Jeff Gordon with 17 victories, followed by Tony Stewart (15), Dale Earnhardt (14), Richard Petty (13) and Kevin Harvick (13).

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 Waltrip and Bobby Allison for fourth all-time. Johnson is currently 10 wins behind former teammate Gordon, who has 93 victories and is third on the list. Johnson has the most wins of all active drivers and Knaus has the most wins of all active crew chiefs with 81.

Alex Bowman
No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

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

2018 Season

  • 14th in points
  • 33 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 3 top-five finishes
  • 11 top-10 finishes
  • 68 laps led

Career

  • 114 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 2 pole positions
  • 3 top-five finishes
  • 14 top-10 finishes
  • 271 laps led

Track Career 

  • 6 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 0 top-10 finishes
  • 0 laps led
BOWMAN IN THE LONE STAR STATE: Alex Bowman has six previous starts at Texas Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Cup Series. Earlier this season, the No. 88 team started 16th and finished 28th after the team suffered a bent trackbar early in the 334-lap event. Bowman’s best finish in the Cup Series at the 1.5-mile facility came back in 2016 when the No. 88 team finished 13th with Bowman filling in for an injured Dale Earnhardt Jr. The 25-year-old driver has two starts at Texas in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He started on the pole in both events in 2013, and his first-ever laps led in the Xfinity Series came at Texas.

IVES AT TEXAS: No. 88 team crew chief Greg Ives has called the shots seven times at the 1.5-mile speedway in the NASCAR Cup Series. Ives’ drivers have accumulated three top-five finishes and four top-10s at the track. Earnhardt finished third in 2015 after starting 25th. Ives has four starts as a crew chief in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, where his drivers captured two top-five finishes and four top-10s. Chase Elliott brought home the win in 2014 after leading 38 laps while Ives called the shots from the atop the pit box. From 2006-2012, Ives was a race engineer on the No. 48 team. During that time, he was part of two wins and nine top-10 finishes at Texas.

AXALTA ON BOARD: Bowman will be behind the wheel of the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 this weekend in Texas. Axalta will be on the car for the final three races of the 2018 season. Earlier this season, Hendrick Motorsports announced that Axalta would be back on board the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in 2019 for 12 events. The leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings signed a four-year contract extension that will take the sponsorship through 2022. Yesterday, Axalta unveiled a new Axalta Racing website with plenty of behind-the-scenes content, photos and videos. Check out Alex’s page here.

TEAM CHEVY: The driver of the No. 88 Nationwide machine will be at the Team Chevy display on Friday, Nov. 2, at 8:35 a.m. local time for a live media hit with KDFW-Fox 4. He will discuss this weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway and his thoughts on the 2018 season before the final three events of the year.

KIDS DRIVE NASCAR: On Sunday, Nov. 4, Bowman will participate in the NASCAR youth autograph session at the Texas Motor Speedway display from 10:30 a.m. until 10:55 a.m. local time.

NEW LOOK IN 2019: On Tuesday, Oct. 30, our partners at LLumar unveiled the paint scheme that Bowman will drive next year in two NASCAR Cup Series events. Eastman Performance Films, LLC joined Hendrick Motorsports this season as a primary sponsor of Alex Bowman and the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 through 2020. The sponsorship features the LLumar brand of window film and paint protection film on board Bowman’s machine. The brand had one primary race this season at Darlington Raceway and two races in 2019 and 2020.

Hendrick Motorsports

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT TEXAS: Hendrick Motorsports has earned nine wins, 37 top-five finishes, 67 top-10s, six pole positions and 2,285 laps led at Texas Motor Speedway. Jimmie Johnson most recently visited Victory Lane at the track for the organization in April 2017. The organization has won six of the last 12 races at Texas.

FIVE MAKE 24: Hendrick Motorsports is tied with Roush Fenway Racing for the most Cup wins all-time at Texas. The organization’s nine victories at the track have come courtesy of three different drivers: Johnson (seven), Jeff Gordon and Terry Labonte.

APPROACHING DOUBLE DIGITS: A Hendrick Motorsports victory this weekend would add to the list of venues where the organization has posted double-digit wins. In total, 13 tracks make up the list: Martinsville (24), Dover (20), Charlotte (19), Pocono (17), Atlanta (14), Darlington (14), Daytona (14), Talladega (12), Bristol (11), Indianapolis (10), Fontana (10), Richmond (10), and ISM Raceway (10). Hendrick Motorsports currently has nine wins at Texas and New Hampshire.

FINISHING STRONG: Hendrick Motorsports has a history of closing out races at Texas. The organization has won at least one race at the Fort Worth track in seven of the last 11 years and has seen at least one driver lead in each of the last 23 Cup races at the venue. At least one Hendrick Motorsports car has finished inside the top 10 in each of the last 24 Texas events, which is the longest streak all-time at the track. Twice in the last seven Texas races, all four of the team’s cars have crossed the finish line inside the top 10. The organization swept the top-two finishing positions at Texas on two occasions: in 2009 (Gordon and Johnson) and in 2013 (Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.).

1.5-MILE CHAMPS: Hendrick Motorsports has a NASCAR Cup Series record 58 total wins on 1.5-mile tracks, 13 more than the next closest team, Joe Gibbs Racing. Hendrick Motorsports has earned at least one win on a 1.5-mile track in a record 25 consecutive seasons. Chase Elliott most recently extended that streak from 24 to 25 seasons with his Oct. 21 victory at Kansas Speedway, becoming the 10th different driver to win for the organization on a 1.5-mile track.

PLAYOFF PROWESS: The 2018 season marks the 13th consecutive season in which Hendrick Motorsports has sent at least two drivers into the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, the most of all organizations. Hendrick Motorsports has placed at least three drivers in the playoffs in 11 different seasons, also the most of all teams. The organization has accumulated 43 wins during the playoffs, the most all-time. A Hendrick Motorsports driver has made the Championship 4 in two of the four seasons in the current format, and won the championship in seven of the 14 seasons with a playoff system. Elliott, Johnson and Alex Bowman qualified for this year’s playoffs. However, Johnson’s 2018 championship run was cut short after he was eliminated following the Charlotte race and Bowman was eliminated following the Kansas cutoff race. Elliott’s most recent victories at Dover and Kansas automatically advanced the driver to the Round of 8, which began last Sunday at Martinsville.

GET YOUR VOTES IN: Voting for the 2018 National Motorsports Press Association Most Popular Driver Award, presented by Hooters, officially opened in September, but there’s still time to cast your votes. Fans can vote for a single driver once per day through Tuesday, Nov. 27, at 12 p.m. ET. Votes shared on Facebook or Twitter count double. All four Hendrick Motorsports teammates are in the running for the honor. The 2018 NMPA Most Popular Driver winner will be announced as part of the NASCAR Cup Series Awards on Thursday, Nov. 29, in Las Vegas. It will be broadcast on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

POSTSEASON PLAYERS: Bowman became the eighth different driver that Hendrick Motorsports has taken to the playoffs, the most of all organizations in Cup Series history. He joins Elliott, Johnson, Gordon, Earnhardt, Kasey Kahne, Mark Martin and Kyle Busch on the list.

FIRST-TIME WINNERS: With Elliott earning his first three Cup Series wins at Watkins Glen, Dover and Kansas, Hendrick Motorsports now holds the record for the most first-time Cup Series winners with nine. If William Byron or Bowman wins at Texas, it will extend the record to the 10th time a driver has recorded his first career Cup Series win while driving for Hendrick Motorsports.

ORGANIZATION STATS: To date, Hendrick Motorsports has totals of 12 championships, 252 race victories, 215 pole positions, 1,045 top-five finishes and 1,784 top-10 finishes in points-paying NASCAR Cup Series competition. Its teams have led more than 67,000 laps since 1984.

QUOTABLE / 

No. 9 team crew chief Alan Gustafson on the No. 9 team’s recent success:
“I don’t think there’s one moment that I can say was the turnaround. It’s been coming and coming because of hard work. We’ve got an amazing group of people that work at Hendrick Motorsports. Certainly, great resources, a great boss. If we get an opportunity we can make some things happen. With Texas, we haven’t been good since they reconfigured it, but the result at Kansas certainly makes me feel a little better.”

William Byron on racing at Texas:
“Texas is fun. We finished in the top 10 there in the spring, so that was good. Going back there, I think it will be like the other mile-and-a-half tracks where we try to make sure we unload with good speed in the car. I’m sure it will be wild with the playoff battle ongoing too.”

Jimmie Johnson on the No. 48 team’s recently-announced partnership with Ally Financial and racing at Texas:
“I’m so pumped over the new relationship with Ally we announced last weekend for 2019. It’s so exciting and I’ve been ‘all-in’ so to say, even helping to design paint schemes. Focusing on Texas, its always been a good track for us but we have struggled the last two times. I really want to get to 84 wins with (No. 48 team crew chief) Chad (Knaus) on top of the box. We have so much history over these 600 starts together and before the season ends, so we are really trying hard. Texas is a perfect place to get it done.”

Alex Bowman on racing at Texas:
“Here lately it’s just been really weather-induced. It was super cold last time we were there, so it will be interesting to see how the weather is this weekend. Our 1.5-mile program has gotten way better, so I’m looking forward to getting back there.”

Bowman on his 2019 LLumar paint scheme:
“The 2019 LLumar paint scheme looks awesome. The colors of the car didn’t change too much from this year, but there are some noticeable changes to some design elements that I think everyone will like. We have three more races this year, but I am already excited and looking forward to the 2019 season and being behind the wheel of the LLumar Camaro ZL1 for two races.”

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

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