Hendrick Motorsports Previews The Camping World 500k At PIR



No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS / Kasey Kahne

Driver Kasey Kahne   Hometown Enumclaw, Washington
Age 36                        Resides Mooresville, North Carolina

2017 Season

  • 9th in standings
  • 3 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 1 top-five finish
  • 2 top-10 finishes
  • 7 laps led


  • 471 starts
  • 17 wins
  • 27 pole positions
  • 90 top-five finishes
  • 171 top-10 finishes
  • 4,614 laps led

Track Career 

  • 25 starts
  • 1 win
  • 0 pole positions
  • 5 top-five finishes
  • 8 top-10 finishes
  • 55 laps led
GREAT CLIPS AT PHOENIX: Kasey Kahne will pilot the No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. The event marks the first of 10 races in which the longtime Hendrick Motorsports partner will adorn the No. 5 car as its primary sponsor this season.

PHOENIX LOOP DATA: According to NASCAR’s loop data since 2005, Kahne is eighth in quality passes at Phoenix with 464. Quality passes are the number of times a driver passes another car that is running in the top 15 while under green-flag conditions. He ranks ninth in the closers category with nine positions moved up over the last 10 percent of the race. He’s also ninth in fastest laps run with 197 and laps in the top 15 with 3,897. Kahne is 10th in green-flag passes with 892.

KAHNE AT PHOENIX: The 36-year-old heads back to Phoenix this weekend after earning a 13th-place finish in last year’s November race. Kahne has captured one win at the one-mile track. It came in November 2011 with a 0.802-second margin of victory over Carl Edwards. In Kahne’s 10 starts at Phoenix while driving for Hendrick Motorsports, he has started in the top 10 six times. His 55 laps led at the track rank 12th among active drivers.

STRONG START CONTINUES: The Enumclaw, Washington, native has put together a strong start to the 2017 season. He has the third-highest average finishing position in the NASCAR Cup Series this season at 7.7.

RECAPPING LAS VEGAS: Kahne and the No. 5 team had a solid weekend in Las Vegas. Kahne ended all three practice sessions in the top-10 and qualified the No. 5 machine in the seventh position. Kahne completed the weekend with a 12th-place finish in the No. 5 Chevrolet SS.

No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS / Chase Elliott

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

2017 Season

  • 3rd in standings
  • 3 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 2 top-five finishes
  • 2 top-10 finishes
  • 39 laps led


  • 44 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 3 pole positions
  • 12 top-five finishes
  • 19 top-10 finishes
  • 397 laps led

Track Career 

  • 2 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 2 top-10 finishes
  • 0 laps led
LAS VEGAS REWIND: Chase Elliott and the No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS team posted another impressive run with a third-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He is now third in the NASCAR Cup Series standings after three races, only three points out of the lead.

STRONG START: The 2017 Cup Series season is off to a good start for Elliott and his No. 24 team. In the first three races, he has completed all 792 laps, obtained a pair of top-five finishes, led 39 laps and earned the pole award in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway. Elliott’s average starting position is 8.0 and his average finishing position is 7.3.

PHOENIX STATS: Elliott collected top-10 finishes in both races at Phoenix International Raceway during his 2016 Rookie of the Year campaign. He averages a 10.0 starting position and an 8.5 average finishing position at the one-mile track. The 21-year-old driver has also competed in five NASCAR XFINITY Series races at the Avondale, Arizona, track, garnering two top-five finishes and five top-10s.

PHOENIX LOOP DATA: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, the Dawsonville, Georgia, native’s 103.9 driver rating ranks him third among active drivers at Phoenix. Elliott’s 90.2 percent quality passes and 99.1 percent of laps run in the top 15 contribute to that ranking.

YOUTH AUTOGRAPH SESSION: On Friday, March 17, Elliott will participate in a youth autograph session outside Gate 4 at Phoenix International Raceway alongside three of his fellow Cup Series competitors. The 30-minute autograph session is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. local time. Wristbands will be handed out at the location prior to the session on a first-come, first-served basis to kids 12 and under.

COMING HOME: No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS jackman John Gianninoto, who grew up in Tucson, Arizona, will compete in front of his hometown crowd at Phoenix International 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. In 2012, Gianninoto participated in the Carolina Panthers’ training camp before signing with Hendrick Motorsports in September 2012.

No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS / Jimmie Johnson

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

2017 Season

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


  • 546 starts
  • 80 wins
  • 35 pole positions
  • 218 top-five finishes
  • 330 top-10 finishes
  • 18,474 laps led

Track Career 

  • 27 starts
  • 4 wins
  • 3 pole positions
  • 15 top-five finishes
  • 19 top-10 finishes
  • 990 laps led
PHOENIX STATS: According to NASCAR loop data since 2005, Jimmie Johnson has the series-best driver rating at Phoenix with a score of 111.2. 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.

ICYMI: JIMMIE JOHNSON DAY IN ARIZONA: Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Johnson visited the Phoenix area on Feb. 16 in an effort to promote this weekend’s event. Johnson met Arizona governor Doug Ducey and took him for a spin around the state capitol in downtown Phoenix in the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, ending the ride with a burnout. Ducey gave a proclamation for Feb. 16 to be “Jimmie Johnson Day” across the state of Arizona. Click hereto read the article.

SPEEDY JOHNSON: The four-time winner at Phoenix also holds the track record for qualifying speed. On Nov. 13, 2015, Johnson clocked a time of 25.147 seconds or 146.308 mph around the one-mile track. He is credited with 35 career pole positions, three of which have come at Phoenix.

MOST TOP-FIVE FINISHES: Johnson has earned more top-five finishes than any other driver at Phoenix with 15. His 19 top-10s are third-best all time, chasing former teammate Jeff Gordon, who has 24 at the one-mile track.

ROLL BAR APPEARANCE: The seven-time champion will visit Phoenix International Raceway’s “Roll Bar” Club at 9:45 a.m. local time for a question-and-answer session with fans on Sunday, March 19. For more information, visitwww.phoenixraceway.com.

HELMET OF HOPE: Voting continues for the 2017 Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope campaign, which will award $125,000 to five non-profit organizations in May. The program, which began in 2008, allows fans and consumers across the country to nominate their favorite education-focused charities, including parent-teacher associations, to receive a $25,000 grant, a Blue Bunny ice cream party and special recognition on Johnson’s race helmet. Nominations will be accepted at www.helmetofhope.org through Friday, April 14. Ten semifinalists will be selected from the nominations. The public vote to choose the final five grant recipients will take place from May 5 to 12. Johnson will wear the Helmet of Hope during the NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 13.

No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet SS / Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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

2017 Season

  • 27th in standings
  • 3 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 0 top-10 finishes
  • 8 laps led


  • 598 starts
  • 26 wins
  • 13 pole positions
  • 148 top-five finishes
  • 252 top-10 finishes
  • 8,195 laps led

Track Career 

  • 28 starts
  • 3 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 9 top-five finishes
  • 14 top-10 finishes
  • 569 laps led
RECENT WINNER: Dale Earnhardt Jr. won at Phoenix in November 2015 after a rain-shortened event.  The wet weather didn’t put a damper on Earnhardt, who led 22 laps en route to his 26th career NASCAR Cup Series victory and his third at the track. The 42-year-old driver earned his first two Phoenix wins back-to-back, going to Victory Lane in November 2003 and November 2004 when the one-mile tri-oval hosted one Cup event per season. By virtue of his three wins, Earnhardt ranks third on the all-time wins list at Phoenix behind Kevin Harvick (eight) and teammate Jimmie Johnson (four).

OFF-SEASON TESTING: The Kannapolis, North Carolina, native got behind the wheel of the No. 88 Chevy during the offseason for a two-day NASCAR test at Phoenix International Raceway on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. The No. 88 Axalta team was able to collect valuable data and give Earnhardt a chance to get more laps under his belt after he was approved to return to competition in December 2016.

AXALTA “FLASH POINT” SCHEME: Phoenix marks the first of 13 races where Axalta Coating Systems will be the primary sponsor for Earnhardt’s No. 88 Chevrolet SS. The new “Flash Point” paint scheme, designed by artist Sam Bass, will make its on-track debut this weekend. The No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet SS incorporates bright, neon yellow and red colors to create an eye-catching paint scheme.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: Earnhardt, a three-time winner at Phoenix, has experienced a resurgence lately at the short track. In his last seven races at the facility, the driver of the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet SS has earned one win, five top-five finishes and six top-10s. The only one of those seven events in which he finished outside of the top 10 was when the series visited the short track in March 2015 and a blown right-rear tire ended his day on lap 180. Earnhardt is ranked 10th among all active competitors with a driver rating of 88.7 from 2005-2016. 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. He ranks fourth among his competitors for completing the most green-flag passes since 2005 with 959 and ranks sixth in laps led with 259.

HOME TRACK: Phoenix International Raceway is the home track for No. 88 jackman Nick Covey, who grew up in Glendale, Arizona. He joined Hendrick Motorsports in 2009 and has been a member of the No. 88 team for six years. Covey played football for the University of Nebraska, where he was a linebacker from 2005 to 2009. Away from the racetrack, he says his focus is on his wife and his children, who play baseball.

Hendrick Motorsports

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT PHOENIX: Hendrick Motorsports has earned 10 wins, 11 pole positions, 45 top-five finishes and 78 top-10s at Phoenix International Raceway. Those 10 wins are spread among six drivers, with Jimmie Johnson accounting for four. Dale Earnhardt Jr. recorded the organization’s most recent Phoenix victory in November 2015.

FACEBOOK CEO VISITS: Tuesday afternoon, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg visited the Hendrick Motorsports campus as part of a year-long initiative to visit every state, meet people and learn more about community. Hendrick Motorsports general manager Doug Duchardt and No. 48 team crew chief Chad Knaus served as his tour guides on campus before he headed to Charlotte Motor Speedway. There, Earnhardt took him on a high-speed ride around the track in the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS. Zuckerberg utilized Facebook Live to broadcast his experience. To view photos from the afternoon, click here.

ORGANIZATION STATS: To date, Hendrick Motorsports has totals of 12 championships, 245 race victories, 211 pole positions, 1,012 top-five finishes and 1,698 top-10 finishes in points-paying NASCAR Cup Series competition. Its teams have led 66,454 laps since 1984.


“The West Coast swing is great and Phoenix is such a cool track. It just keeps getting better as it ages. They did a lot of work to it to make it what it is and I really enjoy it. On a long run you can pass cars and it’s a neat track.”

Kasey Kahne on racing at Phoenix

“I have enjoyed going to Phoenix. It’s a fun place to go because it’s unique and different than the rest of the tracks, which is always fun.”

Chase Elliott on racing at Phoenix

“I guess the changes that have taken place. For the longest time it was an old surface and tricky and we hit on it and won a bunch. The reconfiguration or resurface job threw a huge curveball at us. Now it is changing again. I don’t think the track is going to change much, obviously where the start-finish line is going to relocate, but it’s going to look and feel completely different and where the start-finish line is moving it could have a much different ending to a race than what we are used to seeing.”

Jimmie Johnson on what makes Phoenix unique

“There is a lot of time in between. The cars do advance so much. It is probably one of the toughest tracks to have stuff apply, but the one consistent thing is how hard that surface is there and how difficult it is to create grip on it. There are some common trends in driver remarks and setup to try to stick to that racetrack.”

Johnson on applying notes from the spring race to the fall event

“Last month we had a two-day test at Phoenix, so we got some laps on the track. Testing was fun – we had a good opportunity to gather some data and learn some things. Phoenix is a good track for us. We have certainly had a great car at Phoenix the last several times. We are going to try to keep on chipping away and grabbing some points. I am looking forward to the next several weeks and I’m excited to get in the Axalta car – that car is awesome.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. on racing at Phoenix



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