HMS Previews The Can-Am 500k At Phoenix

Hendrick Motorsports / 5 24 48 88

ISM RACEWAY (ONE-MILE OVAL)

LOCATION: AVONDALE, ARIZONA
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACE 35 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 2:30 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, NOV. 11 (NBC/PRN/SIRIUSXM)

Chase Elliott
No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

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

2018 Season

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

Career

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

Track Career 

  • 5 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 2 top-five finishes
  • 4 top-10 finishes
  • 140 laps led
Chase Elliott will be available to members of the media at 1 p.m. local time on Friday, Nov. 9, in the media center at ISM Raceway

FINAL RACE OF ROUND OF 8: With ISM Raceway being the final event of the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, Chase Elliott is currently ranked sixth in the playoff standings, 39 points below the cutoff line. The only guaranteed result that gives Elliott a Championship 4 spot is a win this weekend. Elliott could also clinch on points, but would need help depending on the winner.

ISM RACEWAY STATS: Elliott is set to make his sixth Cup Series start at ISM Raceway this weekend in the final race of the Round of 8. In the playoff race last year, Elliott led the field three separate times for a total of 34 laps and scored a second-place finish – his seventh runner-up result to that point. In his previous five starts at ISM, the Dawsonville, Georgia, native averages a starting and finishing position of 6.8 – the second-best average finish at ISM of all time. Elliott has earned top-10 finishes in all but one event, top-three results in his last two trips there, and led a total 140 laps at the venue. His average finish of 6.8 is his fourth-best at any track on the schedule.

GUSTAFSON’S 500TH: No. 9 team crew chief Alan Gustafson will call his 500th race from atop the pit box on Sunday at ISM Raceway. He will be the second active crew chief to hit 500 starts in the NASCAR Cup Series, behind fellow Hendrick Motorsports crew chief Chad Knaus (633 starts). Gustafson’s first Cup Series start came in February 2005 with Kyle Busch at Daytona International Speedway. In 499 starts that span 14 seasons, he has worked with five different drivers (Busch, Casey Mears, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and Elliott) collecting 23 wins (Gordon – 11, Martin – 5, Busch – 4, Elliott – 3), 135 top-five finishes and 243 top-10s. Gustafson made it to the Championship 4 of the playoffs in 2015 with Gordon and has made it into the playoffs with Elliott the last three seasons.

GUSTAFSON AT ISM: Gustafson will call his 28th Cup Series race at ISM Raceway from atop the pit box this weekend. In his previous 27 races calling the shots for five different drivers at the one-mile oval, he collected three wins, nine top-five results – two of which were runner-up finishes – 19 top-10s and 571 laps led. Gustafson’s three wins were with three different drivers (Busch – 2005, Martin – 2009, Gordon – 2011). As the crew chief, he worked with the oldest winner ever (Martin – 50 years, 3 months, 9 days) and the youngest winner ever (Busch – 20 years, 6 months, 11 days) at the Avondale, Arizona, track.

NAPA AUTO PARTS RETURNS: NAPA AUTO PARTS will return as primary sponsor for Chase Elliott and the No. 9 team for the final two races of the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series season. Earlier this season, it was announced that the Atlanta-based company extended its relationship with 12-time NASCAR Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports with a new agreement that immediately expanded its majority sponsorship of driver Chase Elliott and the No. 9 team for 26 races through the 2020 racing season. The blue, white and yellow NAPA AUTO PARTS scheme was most recently run at Dover International Speedway when Elliott captured his second Cup Series win.

COMING HOME: No. 9 team fueler John Gianninoto, who grew up in Tucson, Arizona, will compete in front of his hometown crowd at ISM Raceway. Gianninoto graduated with honors from Catalina Foothills High School and went on to sign as an offensive lineman for UNLV in 2006, earning his first letter in 2007 and becoming a team captain in 2010. Gianninoto participated in the Carolina Panthers’ 2012 training camp before signing with Hendrick Motorsports in September 2012. He also recently set a brand-new Guinness World Record with Sunoco for the most vehicles refueled by an individual in one hour (148).

William Byron
No. 24 Hertz Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

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

2018 Season

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

Career

  • 34 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
  • 0 top-10 finishes
  • 15 laps led
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR TITLE LOOMS: William Byron will have a great chance to clinch NASCAR Cup Series rookie of the year honors this weekend. The 20-year-old driver leads by 116 points in the standings over Bubba Wallace and will clinch the title if he finishes the race with a 61-point lead. Byron is on a roll of earning NASCAR rookie of the year titles to this point, going back-to-back-to-back in the Xfinity Series in 2017, the Camping World Truck Series in 2016 and the K&N Pro Series East in 2015. He would join Erik Jones as the second driver to win rookie of the year honors in the Cup, Xfinity and Truck Series in three consecutive seasons, and would join Jeff Gordon (1993), Kyle Busch (2005) and Chase Elliott (2016) as the fourth Hendrick Motorsports driver to win the title.

IN THE VALLEY OF THE SUN: Byron has a strong history of performing well at ISM Raceway. In the March Cup race, he started 11th and led 15 laps en route to a 12th-place finish. Byron started on the front row in both of his NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at the track in 2017, winning there in November and finishing fourth in the spring. Byron is the youngest winner ever at ISM Raceway in Xfinity at 19 years, 11 months and 13 days. In 2016, he led 112 laps in the Truck Series race before an engine failure. A win this weekend isn’t out of the question for the Cup rookie, and it has been done before by two drivers in their respective rookie seasons – Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch – who both won in the fall race at the one-mile track. The No. 24 Chevrolet also has a good history at ISM Raceway, visiting Victory Lane twice in the spring race with Gordon behind the wheel (2007 and 2011).

WINNING CREW CHIEF: Championship-winning No. 24 team crew chief Darian Grubb has recorded one win at ISM Raceway, which came in March 2012 with Denny Hamlin.

HERTZ SCHEME RETURNS: The yellow No. 24 Hertz Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 returns to the track this weekend at ISM Raceway. As announced in May, the Hertz Corporation, one of the world’s largest vehicle rental companies, joined Hendrick Motorsports as a primary sponsor of Byron and his iconic No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 team beginning in 2018. As part of the two-year agreement, Hertz will be primary sponsor of the No. 24 team in four points-paying Cup Series races in both 2018 and 2019 and an associate-level partner in all other events. Hertz will also be the primary partner on the No. 24 Chevy next weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

HAPPY 100 YEARS, HERTZ: For its 100-year anniversary, Hertz is celebrating by giving customers a chance to win big with its sweepstakes featuring a grand prize of a Hertz 100th Anniversary Edition Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and weekly prizes of $250 vouchers to use at Hertz+, your access to unforgettable activities on and off the road. There are multiple ways to enter the sweepstakes, including: rent and complete any car rental from Hertz during the sweepstakes period and receive one entry per rental; be a Hertz Gold Plus Rewards member to automatically receive two entries per rental during the sweepstakes period; or book and complete any activity on Hertz’ new experience platform, Hertz+, and automatically receive two entries into the sweepstakes. For more information, visit http://www.hertz.com/hertzplussweeps. Offer ends on Dec. 14, 2018.

CLOSE TO HOME: Michael “TooTall” Madill, the underneath mechanic for the No. 24 Hertz team, hails from Glendale, Arizona, which is only half an hour from ISM Raceway. The 30-year-old grew up working on sprint cars before moving to North Carolina at 16 to pursue a career in NASCAR.

Jimmie Johnson
No. 48 Lowe’s Power of Pride Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

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

2018 Season

  • 14th in points
  • 34 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 2 top-five finishes
  • 11 top-10 finishes
  • 40 laps led

Career

  • 613 starts
  • 83 wins
  • 35 pole positions
  • 224 top-five finishes
  • 352 top-10 finishes
  • 18,703 laps led

Track Career 

  • 30 starts
  • 4 wins
  • 3 pole positions
  • 15 top-five finishes
  • 20 top-10 finishes
  • 990 laps led
Jimmie Johnson will be available to members of the media at 2 p.m. local time on Friday, Nov. 9, in the media center at ISM Raceway.

POWER OF PRIDE: The final two races of the 2018 season will showcase two very special paint schemes on the No. 48 Chevrolet. Longtime sponsor Lowe’s is paying homage to the unprecedented 17-year partnership with two very special paint outs. For ISM Raceway this weekend, Jimmie Johnson will run the “Power of Pride” paint scheme he piloted for his first three starts in the NASCAR Cup Series near the end of the 2001 season. Already memorable as Jimmie Johnson’s very first Cup Series race car, the scheme is even more meaningful due to its origin. The red, white and blue design was placed on the car shortly after the events of Sept. 11, 2001. It was the first of many patriotic schemes for Lowe’s and the No. 48 team over the years. Click here to see a video about the history of the Power of Pride.

ISM WINS: Johnson has four wins at ISM Raceway. He has accounted for 990 laps led around the track with 15 top-five finishes and 20 top-10s over 30 starts. Johnson’s average finish is 10.13, which is the seventh-best at the track all-time. His last win at the Avondale, Arizona, track came on Nov. 15, 2009, when he led 238 of 312 laps. The very next week he won his fourth NASCAR Cup Series championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

SEE YOU IN BAHRAIN: Since September, seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Johnson and two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso have spurred speculation with fans and media as they hinted at some sort of collaboration between the two racers. In a series of three videos posted on social media, the duo of drivers left fans with more questions than answers. The reveal video was posted last Friday, and Johnson and Alonso disclosed that they will trade cars for a day at the Bahrain International Circuit on Nov. 26, 2018. Johnson will also attend Alonso’s final race at the Formula 1 season finale at Yas Marina Circuit Abu Dhabi. Fans can follow along with the conversation on social media using the hashtag #JJxALO.

INFIELD Q&A: Johnson will be available for a fan question-and-answer session on Friday, Nov. 9, in ISM Raceway’s newly renovated The INfield at 4:30 p.m. local time. For information on how fans can access The INfield, visit www.ismraceway.com.

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 No. 48 team crew chief 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

  • 15th in points
  • 34 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 3 top-five finishes
  • 11 top-10 finishes
  • 71 laps led

Career

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

Track Career 

  • 6 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 1 top-10 finish
  • 194 laps led
RETURNING HOME: Alex Bowman returns to his home state this weekend when the NASCAR Cup Series competes at ISM Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. The 25-year-old grew up approximately 124 miles from the one-mile track in Tucson, Arizona, where his father still owns a body shop. Bowman began his career racing West Coast sprint cars before transitioning to stock cars and ultimately NASCAR.

HOME TRACK STATS: Bowman has six previous Cup Series starts at ISM Raceway, with his best finish of sixth coming back in 2016. That same year, the No. 88 team won the pole position (Bowman’s first career pole) for the 324-lap event, and Bowman led a total of 194 laps in the race. While running in the second position, Bowman was involved in an incident on the first overtime attempt at the conclusion of the race. He ultimately finished sixth, representing the fourth-best finish of his career. Earlier this year, the No. 88 team qualified fourth and finished 13th at the one-mile facility. Bowman has six starts at ISM Raceway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, with his best finish of eighth coming in 2017.

IVES AT ISM RACEWAY: Greg Ives has called the shots seven times as the No. 88 team crew chief at ISM Raceway. The crew chief’s ISM Raceway résumé in the Cup Series includes one win with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2015, two top-five finishes and four top-10s. The Michigan native has also been atop the pit box for four events at the track in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for JR Motorsports, claiming two top-five results and three top-10s.

AXALTA ON BOARD: Bowman will be behind the wheel of the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 this weekend in Phoenix. Axalta will be on the car this weekend as well as for next weekend’s finale race in Miami to close out the 2018 season. Earlier this year, 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. Recently,  Axalta unveiled a new Axalta Racing website with plenty of behind-the-scenes content, photos and videos. Check out Alex’s page here.

‘SELF MADE’: Bowman and Ives have taken different paths to working together on the No. 88 team at Hendrick Motorsports, but the passion and drive both share caught the eye of producers of “Self Made,” a program available on Amazon Prime Video. Chad Harris, the show’s producer, sat down with both men last month on the Hendrick Motorsports campus and learned about their paths to the team and racing. Those with Amazon Prime subscriptions can watch the full episode here. For a clip of the driver-crew chief duo’s interview, click here.

Hendrick Motorsports

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT ISM RACEWAY: Hendrick Motorsports leads all NASCAR Cup Series teams at ISM Raceway with 10 wins, 11 pole positions, 47 top-five finishes and 82 top-10s. The organization also leads the way in laps led (2,635) and runner-up finishes (nine). At least one Hendrick Motorsports driver has finished inside the top 10 in each of the last 13 races at ISM Raceway and in all but one of the last 34 races at the track. At least one of the organization’s drivers has led laps in each of the last six races at the venue.

SIX FOR 10: The organization’s 10 wins at ISM Raceway are spread among six drivers, with Jimmie Johnson accounting for four. Jeff Gordon won twice, with Mark Martin, Kyle Busch and Terry Labonte accounting for one apiece. Dale Earnhardt Jr. recorded the organization’s most recent victory at the track in November 2015. The all-time record for the most different drivers to win for a team at a single track is seven, which Hendrick Motorsports has accomplished twice – at Charlotte and Pocono. Wood Brothers Racing has also accomplished the feat at Daytona.

ISM RACEWAY STREAK: From the spring 2007 race to the fall 2009 race, the organization won six consecutive events at ISM Raceway with drivers Gordon, Johnson (four) and Martin. It ranked third among NASCAR Cup Series teams for most consecutive wins at a track all-time.

WEST COAST STRENGTH: Hendrick Motorsports leads all teams in West Coast victories – including California, Nevada and Arizona – with a total of 34, 11 more than the next closest team, Roush Fenway Racing. Johnson and former teammate Gordon – both of whom hail from California – are first and third among all drivers for most wins on West Coast tracks with 15 and 11, respectively.

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 concludes this weekend at ISM Raceway.

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, Martin and 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 ISM Raceway, 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 1,785 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 racing at ISM Raceway:
“The No. 9 team and I are looking forward to heading to Phoenix (ISM Raceway) this weekend. We have to win this week so we are going to go to work and try to get it done. I feel good about Phoenix – we’ve run pretty good there in the past. I think it has actually been one of my more consistent tracks.”

No. 9 team crew chief Alan Gustafson on racing at ISM Raceway:
“We are trying to win. Our outlook hasn’t changed. Phoenix (ISM Raceway) is a great place that we have had some success at and it’s a fun place to race. I feel like we will stack up a little better to the competition there than last week. We had a strong run in the spring, obviously that doesn’t mean anything going back, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. We are going to do everything we can, I can promise you that.”

William Byron on racing at ISM Raceway:
“It’ll be a wild race – it’s a cutoff race and I feel like Phoenix (ISM Raceway) is just always a normal short track as far as the style of racing. You just do the things you need to do on a short track to be successful. I like racing there, it’s always been fun. The reconfiguration will create a little difference for the restarts, but other than that, I’m not expecting too much of a change. It’s the same racetrack with the same characteristics, so we’ll just try to go there and make sure we execute.”

Jimmie Johnson on the “Power of Pride” paint scheme:
“The ‘Power of Pride’ paint scheme is very meaningful to me on a lot of levels. Because of 9/11, to carry that paint scheme on the car, there was so much pride in the country, so much patriotism going on. To have our car carry that for those three races was really special. I’m really excited Lowe’s decided to pay tribute to our partnership over the next two weeks with these special paint schemes. It will bring back a lot of memories, and it’s hard to believe this chapter is closing. I would love more than anything to get them one more win before it’s over.”

Alex Bowman on the track updates at ISM Raceway:
“It’s still the same racetrack. Restarts will probably play out a little different, but that’s about it. The track doesn’t change too much from the spring to the fall because the two times we go to that track the temperatures are about the same, so the good thing is we have a good notebook and I look forward to getting back to Phoenix (ISM Raceway).”

Bowman on racing at his home track:
“It’s cool to go home. It’s a place I feel like we have been close at and can contend for a win. So, hopefully we can get the job done this time.”

 

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.