Hendrick Motorsports Previews The Toyota Owner’s 400



No. 5 AARP Foundation/Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS / Kasey Kahne

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

2017 Season

  • 17th in standings
  • 8 starts
  • 0 race wins
  • 0 stage wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 1 top-five finish
  • 2 top-10 finishes
  • 7 laps led


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

Track Career 

  • 26 starts
  • 1 win
  • 1 pole position
  • 5 top-five finishes
  • 10 top-10 finishes
  • 281 laps led
Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 5 AARP Foundation/Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS, will be available to members of the media on Friday, April 28, at 4 p.m. local time in the Richmond International Raceway media center.

AARP FOUNDATION: This weekend at Richmond International Raceway, AARP Foundation’s Drive to End Hunger will adorn Kasey Kahne’s No. 5 Chevrolet SS. Richmond marks the first time this season Kahne has piloted the AARP Foundation paint scheme. The last time Kahne drove the Drive to End Hunger Chevy was last fall at Texas Motor Speedway, where he ended the day with an eighth-place finish.

RICHMOND STATS: In his last two starts at Richmond, Kahne has finished fourth and sixth. The 37-year-old has an average starting position of 13.8 and an average finishing position of 16.3 at the Virginia short track. He’s led a total of 281 laps in five separate races at the track.

FIRST WIN: Kahne’s first Cup win came in just his 47th start in the series and only his third start at Richmond. Kahne completed the May 2005 weekend sweep by also earning the pole award. He went to Victory Lane after leading a race-high 242 of 400 laps. Kahne is one of five active drivers to start from the pole position and win in the same weekend at the 0.75-mile track – Jimmie Johnson (2007), Kyle Busch (2010), Brad Keselowski (2014) and Denny Hamlin (2016) are the other four.

RICHMOND LOOP DATA: According to NASCAR’s loop data since 2005, Kahne is third in green-flag passes with 1,215. He’s fifth in fastest laps run with 404 and sixth in quality passes with 573. Quality passes are determined by the number of times a driver passes another car that is running in the top 15 while under green-flag conditions. He sits seventh in green-flag speed at 115.693 mph and ninth in average speed early in a run at 118.544 mph. The Enumclaw, Washington, native has an average driver rating of 87.4, which ranks him 10th among active drivers. 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 DOCTORS: Kahne, along with other NASCAR drivers, will be featured on the Emmy Award-winning show “The Doctors” on Thursday, May 4. The episode features Jonah, a Winston-Salem, North Carolina, child who has a condition called epidermolysis bullosa, which causes his skin to blister from just a slight touch. To find the time and station the episode will air in your city, input your zip code into “The Doctors” homepage at http://www.thedoctorstv.com/.

BRISTOL RECAP: After climbing in the No. 5 Chevrolet SS on a rare Monday due to rain postponing Sunday’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway, Kahne worked his way into the top five during the race. He was running in the top 10 before he made an unscheduled pit stop that caused him to lose two laps. With less than 40 laps to go, Kahne made contact with another competitor and brought out the final caution of the race, ultimately finishing 20th.

RETURNING HOME: Keith Eads, the tire specialist for the No. 5 team, heads to his home track this weekend. Richmond is the closest the NASCAR Cup Series stops on the circuit to Eads’ hometown of Arlington, Virginia, which is located just under two hours north of Richmond.

No. 24 NAPA Brakes Chevrolet SS / Chase Elliott

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

2017 Season

  • 2nd in standings
  • 8 starts
  • 0 race wins
  • 2 stage wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 3 top-five finishes
  • 6 top-10 finishes
  • 169 laps led


  • 49 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 3 pole positions
  • 13 top-five finishes
  • 23 top-10 finishes
  • 527 laps led

Track Career 

  • 3 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 0 top-10 finishes
  • 0 laps led
NAPA BRAKES: This weekend at Richmond International Raceway, Chase Elliott will pilot the No. 24 NAPA Brakes Chevrolet SS. In addition to this week, the scheme will grace the fenders and decklid of the familiar blue-and-yellow NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet at Chicagoland Speedway in September.

BRAKE FOR SAVINGS: Starting May 1, save up to $50 on qualifying brake pad and rotor purchases at participating NAPA AUTO PARTS stores. Offer expires May 31.

BRISTOL REWIND: Elliott lined up second for the NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway after qualifying was cancelled due to inclement weather. He established his running position inside the top five from the drop of the green flag and remained there throughout the race’s initial stint. Elliott went on to finish the 500-lap event in seventh and remains second in the driver point standings.

50 STARTS: This weekend at Richmond, Elliott is set to make his 50th Cup Series start. In his previous 49 starts, the Dawsonville, Georgia, native has collected 13 top-five finishes, 23 top-10s, two Daytona 500 pole awards and 527 laps led. Elliott averages a starting position of 12.4 and finishing position of 14.7. The sophomore-season driver earned a playoff berth in his first full-time season in addition to the 2016 rookie of the year title.

CHASE U: Richmond International Raceway and Talladega Superspeedwayrecently partnered with Elliott to bring a unique race day experience to college students called Chase University, better known as Chase U. For $24, current college students can enjoy a ticket to the Cup Series race on Sunday, April 30 at Richmond or on Sunday, May 7 at Talladega, with an exclusive college pre-race party and an appearance by the driver of the No. 24 himself. Chase U was launched by Elliott in October 2016 and was an immediate success bringing college students out to the racetrack. The college program combines all the elements of a perfect race day experience with live music, great food and beverages and tailgate games. The Chase U ticket package is available to all college students with a valid student ID and includes a grandstand ticket and access to the exclusive Chase U pre-race party.

No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS / Jimmie Johnson

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

2017 Season

  • 6th in standings
  • 8 starts
  • 2 race wins
  • 0 stage wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 2 top-five finishes
  • 3 top-10 finishes
  • 127 laps led


  • 551 starts
  • 82 wins
  • 35 pole positions
  • 220 top-five finishes
  • 333 top-10 finishes
  • 18,573 laps led

Track Career 

  • 30 starts
  • 3 wins
  • 2 pole positions
  • 7 top-five finishes
  • 12 top-10 finishes
  • 461 laps led
82 AND COUNTING: Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson scored back-to-back wins at Texas and Bristol, propelling his all-time win count to 82. Johnson, who prior to last weekend had only one career win in 30 starts at Bristol, found his way back to Victory Lane for the first time since 2010 at the half-mile track. The driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS took control of the lead for the final 20 laps for the win, which propelled the team from 11th to sixth in the point standings.

TESTING INDY: Johnson and the No. 48 Lowe’s team are participating in a two-day Goodyear tire test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on April 25 and 26.

APPROACHING NEXT MILESTONE: Johnson is currently seventh on NASCAR’s all-time wins list, and his Bristol victory puts him just one win away from tying NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough for sixth on the list. Yarborough, a three-time Cup Series champion, won 83 times in his storied career.

RICHMOND DRIVER RATING: Johnson has the seventh-best driver rating at Richmond with a score of 90.6, according to NASCAR’s loop data since 2005. 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.

DUE FOR A WIN AT RICHMOND: Three of Johnson’s 82 career wins have come at Richmond International Raceway. However, the No. 48 team hasn’t found Victory Lane at the track since Sept. 7, 2008. The team has been performing better at the 0.75-mile track as of late, as Johnson earned a pair of third-place finishes in the spring events at Richmond in 2015 and 2016 and hasn’t finished outside of the top 11 since September 2014.

JIMMIE JOHNSON FOUNDATION FIT FEST: Registration continues for the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Fit Fest, a local community event on May 29, which will feature running, obstacle racing, mountain biking, music, food and more. Set in a festival atmosphere, the Fit Fest will take place at Anne Springs Close Greenway in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Included in the day-long event will be 5K, 8K and half marathon trail running races, a four-hour endurance mountain bike event and a Spartan Kids Race. To register, go toJimmieJohnsonFoundation.org.

RICHMOND TICKET PACKAGE: Once again, seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Johnson will join forces with Richmond International Raceway for a family ticket package for the Sunday, April 30, event. The package includes a 15-minute Q&A with Johnson, a NASA hands-on activity and a ticket to the race. Tickets are $24 for kids 12 and younger, and $48 for adults. For more information, click here.

No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS / Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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

2017 Season

  • 24th in standings
  • 8 starts
  • 0 race wins
  • 0 stage wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 1 top-five finish
  • 1 top-10 finish
  • 8 laps led


  • 603 starts
  • 26 wins
  • 13 pole positions
  • 149 top-five finishes
  • 253 top-10 finishes
  • 8,195 laps led

Track Career 

  • 34 starts
  • 3 wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 10 top-five finishes
  • 14 top-10 finishes
  • 501 laps led
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, will be available to members of the media on Friday, April 28, at 1:30 p.m. local time in the Richmond International Raceway media center.

ON HIS OWN TERMS: After 18 seasons and more than 600 races behind the wheel, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will bring his NASCAR Cup Series driving career to a close at the conclusion of 2017. He discussed his decision in a press conference yesterday, mentioning that he felt blessed to be able to leave the sport on his own terms. To watch the full press conference, click here.

RICHMOND STATS: Among active drivers, Earnhardt is one of four competitors tied for second with three Cup victories at Richmond International Raceway. Earnhardt most recently went to Victory Lane at Richmond on May 6, 2006, after leading 47 laps. The Kannapolis, North Carolina, native has one pole at the three-quarter-mile, D-shaped oval, which he earned in September 2012. Richmond is another track where the driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS has shown his ability to pass, as he ranks fifth among active drivers in green-flag passes with 1,184 since 2005, according to NASCAR’s loop data statistics.

GLOVES: Earnhardt will again be wearing his blue gloves this weekend at Richmond. The 42-year-old has been wearing them during the month of April, and his No. 88 Nationwide Chevy also featured Patient Champion Tristen Cooper’s name above the passenger door last week in Bristol. The blue-accented gloves will be auctioned off through The Dale Jr. Foundation’s Driven to Give Gloves program to raise money for Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s autism research. For more, visit TDJF’s website.

HOMETOWN SUCCESS STORY: Adam Jordan, interior mechanic for the No. 88 team, grew up in Timberville, Virginia, about two-and-a-half hours northwest of the racetrack. He was working as a painter at a body shop right out of high school, and happened to meet someone who was helping a race team in the Pro Cup Series, a traveling short-track racing series a step above late models. Jordan, who didn’t have any previous racing experience, started helping the team on weekends. When the crew chief of that car moved to North Carolina to start working for a NASCAR Cup Series team, he called Jordan to come down for an interview as a painter for his team. Jordan got the job, moved to Hendrick Motorsports a few years later, and the rest is history. In 2014, Jordan and the No. 88 team won the Daytona 500, which he names as his most memorable moment in NASCAR. Jordan’s success extends to his personal life as he recently married his wife Alexa in an outdoor ceremony on the Easter off-weekend.

ICYMI, DEW-S-A CAR UNVEILED: In case you missed it, last week Earnhardt’s new red, white and blue Mountain Dew “DEW-S-A” scheme was unveiled. He will drive the patriotic No. 88 DEW-S-A Chevrolet SS at Kansas Speedway on May 13. More will be coming soon on the DEW-S-A scheme, but in the meantime, click here for a look at Earnhardt’s new ride.

NCH VISIT: On Thursday, Earnhardt, along with his wife, Amy, and Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, will visit Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Stay tuned to the Nationwide 88 social media channels and hendrickmotorsports.com tomorrow for highlights from the visit.

Hendrick Motorsports

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT RICHMOND: At Richmond International Raceway, Hendrick Motorsports has 10 wins, 17 pole positions, 57 top-five finishes and 103 top-10s. Johnson earned the three most recent wins for the organization at the track — a sweep in 2007 and another trip to Victory Lane in 2008.

FIVE MAKE 10: Hendrick Motorsports’ 10 wins at Richmond have come thanks to five different drivers. Tim Richmond earned the organization’s first win at the track in 1986, and his was followed by three wins by Terry Labonte, three by Johnson, two by Gordon and one by Joe Nemechek.

TRIPLE DIGITS: The organization has accumulated 103 top-10 finishes at Richmond International Raceway — one of only three tracks where Hendrick Motorsports has accomplished that feat. The organization’s 122 top-10 finishes at Martinsville Speedway lead the way, followed by 116 top-10s at Pocono Raceway.

ORGANIZATION STATS: To date, Hendrick Motorsports has totals of 12 championships, 247 race victories, 211 pole positions, 1,016 top-five finishes and 1,706 top-10 finishes in points-paying NASCAR Cup Series competition. Its teams have led 66,683 laps since 1984.


“Richmond is a special place because I got my first Cup win there. It was one of our best tracks last year and our cars keep getting better. I had a fast car at Bristol and Richmond is another short track and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Kasey Kahne on racing at Richmond

“It’s been great being Dale’s teammate over the years. He has done so much for the sport and has one of the most loyal fanbases that I have ever seen. I’m glad he was able to do what he loves for so many years, and now it’s fun watching him be so happy and taking the next step in his life.”

Kahne on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s retirement

“I think it puts on a better show during the day. I prefer night racing, but these cars seem to like day racing a little better. If it’s going to put on a better show and offer more opportunity as a driver then let’s race during the day.”

Chase Elliott on racing at Richmond

“Obviously I feel like in a lot of ways Dale and I have had some similarities over the years with both of our dads racing and our dads having a lot of success over the years. So, I think it some ways he’s been a great person to lean on just because I think he’s been through some of the same things I’ve seen and dealt with over the years. To have a guy like that as your teammate that you get to work with on a weekly basis that also may have seen some of the same things I have, I think it helps a lot. I’m proud to call him a friend, most importantly, and certainly a teammate. I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing him end this year on a high note.”

Elliott on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s retirement

“Dale Jr. is a great friend and teammate. I support him 100 percent and I’m very excited for what’s to come for him. I can’t wait to see what he’s going to be able to do in that race car to finish out his career.”

Jimmie Johnson on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s retirement

“Winning back-to-back races is really amazing, and it does create some momentum, but Texas, Bristol and the upcoming Richmond racetracks are all their own unique entities. Like Bristol, we have had some struggles at Richmond, it’s one of those tracks for the No. 48 team and we will take it as it comes, but the momentum surely helps.”

Johnson on racing at Richmond

“It’s mind-blowing. I cannot believe that we’re sitting here with 82 wins. That is such a big number. I remember as a kid traveling around the country racing dirt bikes and walking into my first Hardee’s, and I thought it was a race shop for Cale Yarborough and then I realized it was a hamburger stand. I was a little disappointed, but in all seriousness, to be in this position is quite an honor.”

Johnson on claiming 82 Cup Series wins

“Richmond’s real slick. It’s really hard to get a hold of and hard to figure out exactly what line we’re running and where you need to put your car to get it to work. It’s been a bit of a challenge for us over the last couple of trips, but it should still be a fun race.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. on racing at Richmond

“I don’t see myself really detaching from NASCAR. My intention is still to be involved in the sport on some level. In fact, I still have two XFINITY races to run for JR Motorsports in 2018, so even after this season is over, you’ve not seen the last of me on the racetrack. But more than that, I want to be a part of the future of this sport for many, many years to come.”

Earnhardt on retiring

“You’ve got to look at it as a blessing, in a way. I have the opportunity to be with Dale Jr. in the last races of his career. I think that’s the way everybody feels who touches this No. 88 Nationwide car.”

“We’re going to stay focused and keep on grinding away and have some fun while doing it.”

No. 88 team crew chief Greg Ives on Earnhardt’s retirement


After 18 seasons, @DaleJr will bring his Cup Series driving career to a close at the end of 2017.


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