Hendrick Motorsports Previews And Prepares For The All-Star Weekend

 

CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY (1.5-MILE OVAL)

LOCATION: CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA
EVENT: NASCAR ALL-STAR RACE
TUNE IN: 8 P.M. ET, SATURDAY, MAY 20 (FS1/MRN/SIRIUSXM)

No. 5 Mountain Dew Chevrolet SS / Kasey Kahne

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

2017 Season

  • 16th in standings
  • 11 starts
  • 0 race wins
  • 0 stage wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 2 top-five finishes
  • 3 top-10 finishes
  • 7 laps led

Career

  • 479 starts
  • 17 wins
  • 27 pole positions
  • 91 top-five finishes
  • 172 top-10 finishes
  • 4,614 laps led

All-Star Career 

  • 13 starts
  • 1 win
  • 1 pole position
  • 2 top-five finishes
  • 5 top-10 finishes
  • 69 laps led
MOUNTAIN DEW: This weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kasey Kahne will pilot the No. 5 Mountain Dew Chevrolet SS. The NASCAR All-Star Race marks the first time Kahne has driven the white-and-green Mountain Dew paint scheme this season. The 37-year-old will also drive the Mountain Dew Chevy at this year’s upcoming Kentucky Speedway race.

ALL-STAR STATS: Kahne has participated in the Charlotte Motor Speedway exhibition race every year since the start of his NASCAR Cup Series career in 2004. This year, Kahne is locked in the All-Star Race by being a former winner, which he achieved in 2008. That year, the Enumclaw, Washington, native received the most fan votes to compete in the race and went on to win the $1 million prize purse. In his Cup Series career, Kahne has earned four wins at the 1.5-mile Charlotte track.

ALL-STAR LOOP DATA: According to NASCAR’s loop data since 2005, Kahne ranks first in the fastest on restarts category at 193.613 mph and he’s fourth in green-flag speed at 180.347 mph. He’s fifth in average speed early in a run at 182.049 mph and in fastest laps run with 66. Kahne is sixth in laps led with 69 and seventh in green-flag passes with 361 and quality passes with 303. 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.

COMING HOME: Several of the No. 5 team members originate from North Carolina – crew chief Keith Rodden (Denver, North Carolina); engineer Matt Piercy (Conover, North Carolina);  engineer and front-tire carrier Michael Oxendine (Lumberton, North Carolina);  rear-tire carrier Allen Stallings (Manteo, North Carolina); jackman Joseph So (Salisbury, North Carolina); and fueler Landon Walker (North Wilkesboro, North Carolina).

KASEY KAHNE FOUNDATION: On Thursday, May 18, Kahne is hosting an exclusive “behind the music” event with Tucker Beathard and Casey Beathard to benefit the St. Jude Affiliate Clinic at Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital – Storytellers, presented by Great Clips. ESPN reporter Marty Smith will emcee the event and fans can support the cause by visiting http://KKF17.gesture.com to bid on sports and music memorabilia, vacation packages, event tickets and much more.

No. 24 Mountain Dew Chevrolet SS / Chase Elliott

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

2017 Season

  • 4th in standings
  • 11 starts
  • 0 race wins
  • 2 stage wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 3 top-five finishes
  • 6 top-10 finishes
  • 169 laps led

Career

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

All-Star Career 

  • 1 start
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 1 top-10 finish
  • 0 laps led
MOUNTAIN DEW: This weekend, Chase Elliott will debut the No. 24 Mountain Dew Chevrolet SS that was unveiled May 5 via the Hendrick MotorsportsFacebook page. The black-and-green Mountain Dew scheme will also be piloted later this season by Elliott at Richmond International Raceway.

ALL-STAR HUNT: The Dawsonville, Georgia, native will attempt to qualify for NASCAR’s All-Star Race by first competing in The Open on Saturday. Elliott can lock his way into the main event by winning Stage 1, Stage 2 or Stage 3 in The Open or by winning the fan vote.

2016 OPEN: Last season, Elliott participated in his second career Open, racing to a thrilling second-place finish. Thanks to the #VoteChase movement, the rookie advanced to his first career All-Star Race after being chosen as the fan vote winner.

HOME SWEET HOME: While all team members currently live in North Carolina, there are three members of the No. 24 team that hail from the Tar Heel State. Gas man and engineer Travis Gordon (Richfield, North Carolina), tire carrier Jared Seate (Charlotte, North Carolina) and mechanic Ben Bowden (Julian, North Carolina).

#VOTECHASE: There’s still time! The All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is less than a week away and Elliott is among 21 drivers who are not yet locked into the event. Just like last year, fans have the same opportunity to get their favorite driver into the ranks by voting once a day at www.nascar.com/fanvote. Votes shared via Facebook or Twitter will count double toward a driver’s total. Fans can #VoteChase to make sure all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers compete for a chance to win the $1 million All-Star Race purse. When you share your vote, make sure to use the hashtag #VoteChase to join the conversation. Voting is now open and will close at 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, May 19.

No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS / Jimmie Johnson

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

2017 Season

  • 8th in standings
  • 11 starts
  • 2 race wins
  • 0 stage wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 2 top-five finishes
  • 4 top-10 finishes
  • 130 laps led

Career

  • 554 starts
  • 82 wins
  • 35 pole positions
  • 220 top-five finishes
  • 334 top-10 finishes
  • 18,576 laps led

All-Star Career 

  • 15 starts
  • 4 wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 8 top-five finishes
  • 9 top-10 finishes
  • 218 laps led
ALL-STAR STATS: According to NASCAR’s loop data, Jimmie Johnson has the second-best driver rating in the All-Star Race with a score of 96.5. 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.

FOUR TIMES AN ALL-STAR: Johnson has won the storied All-Star Race a record four times. His first win came in 2003 when the race was called “The Winston.” He won again in 2006 before earning back-to-back wins in 2012 and 2013. Last year at the event, Johnson and No. 48 team crew chief Chad Knaus tried strategy to win but ultimately finished 12th.

ALL -STAR INDICATOR?: Johnson is one of only two drivers to have ever won consecutive All-Star events, joining Davey Allison with the accolade. He is also one of just five drivers who have won the All-Star Race and the NASCAR Cup Series championship in the same year.

BACK-TO-BACK WINNERS: Johnson is one of seven drivers to have accomplished the feat of winning the All-Star Race and going on to win the 600-mile event at Charlotte Motor Speedway the following weekend. Johnson won the 2003 All-Star race and backed it up with his first win in the 600 the very next weekend.

RON MALEC PRESENTED WITH BRIAN LUNNISS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Mechanix Wear recently announced No. 48 team car chief Ron Malec is the 2017 recipient of the Brian Lunniss Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is given to mechanics in motor sports who demonstrate remarkable achievements during their career. The inaugural award in 2016 was given to Lunniss himself, making Malec the first person to take home the honor other than the award’s namesake. For more information, click here.

CLIMBING MT. MITCHELL: On Monday morning, Johnson and a few others from the NASCAR garage cycling community participated in the “Assault on Mt. Mitchell” race. Johnson completed the 102.7-mile cycling event that started in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and finished at Mt. Mitchell in 6:01:36 – besting his time from last year by almost 29 minutes. The elevation gain was 11,492 feet and Johnson took to Twitter afterwards thanking the race coordinators for such a “challenge.” He placed 30th overall out of 531 cyclists.

No. 88 Axalta/Maaco Chevrolet SS / Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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

2017 Season

  • 25th in standings
  • 11 starts
  • 0 race wins
  • 0 stage wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 1 top-five finish
  • 1 top-10 finish
  • 10 laps led

Career

  • 606 starts
  • 26 wins
  • 13 pole positions
  • 149 top-five finishes
  • 253 top-10 finishes
  • 8,197 laps led

All-Star Career 

  • 17 starts
  • 1 win
  • 0 pole positions
  • 6 top-five finishes
  • 14 top-10 finishes
  • 44 laps led
ALL-STAR: Dale Earnhardt Jr. earned a victory as a rookie in his first start in the NASCAR All-Star Race on May 20, 2000. It was a 70-lap event, and he took the lead from Dale Jarrett with two laps to go to win the race. Earnhardt has made every All-Star Race since 2000, although he has had to run The Open qualifier twice. Both times, Earnhardt transferred to the All-Star Race – once by winning the fan vote (2011) and once by winning The Open (2012). In the last four All-Star events, the Kannapolis, North Carolina, native has earned a best finish of third (2016) and a worst finish of 10th (2015).

AXALTA GRAND OPENING: On Tuesday, Axalta Coating Systems hosted a grand opening event at the new Customer Experience Center on the Hendrick Motorsports campus. The Customer Experience Center is a 36,000-square-foot training and conference complex designed to serve Axalta’s refinish, transportation OEM, and industrial customers. The Customer Experience Center boasts two state-of-the-art paint application centers, a collaborative mixing lab and an exhibit lobby where visitors can witness the breadth and depth of Axalta’s coating systems and technology.

AXALTA AND MAACO: Maaco, North America’s No. 1 bodyshop and a member of the Charlotte-based Driven Brands family, will make its debut in the All-Star Race on the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet SS. The opportunity is thanks to a joint promotion with Maaco’s paint partner Axalta Coatings Systems. The Maaco logo will have distinctive visibility on the Axalta paint scheme under the lights for the night race. Earnhardt will participate in a press event on Thursday to promote the partnership. For information, please contact Tiffany Daniels or Debby Robinson.

NATIONWIDE UNVEILS 600 CAR: Nationwide unveiled the brand new, patriotic paint scheme that Earnhardt will pilot for Memorial Day weekend’s 600-mile race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Watch the red, white and blue No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS come to life by clicking here.

COMMERCIAL BREAK: In case you missed it, Earnhardt has played the leading role in recently debuted ad spots for two of his partners, Mountain Dew and Nationwide. For Mountain Dew, NASCAR’s 14-time most popular driver serves as a pitchman for Dew’s newest product, DEW-S-A. In Nationwide’s new commercial, the insurance company looks at another side of Earnhardt – “Golden Years Dale” – to promote its retirement planning services.

Hendrick Motorsports

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT THE ALL-STAR: In 32 All-Star Races, Hendrick Motorsports has scored eight wins, 35 top-five finishes, 54 top-10s and led 657 laps. Most recently, Jimmie Johnson won the 2013 event after leading 10 laps to earn a record fourth All-Star victory. Kasey Kahne, Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are all eligible for this year’s All-Star Race, with Chase Elliott currently vying for a spot in the race through The Open and fan voting.

ORGANIZATION STATS: To date, Hendrick Motorsports has totals of 12 championships, 247 race victories, 211 pole positions, 1,017 top-five finishes and 1,708 top-10 finishes in points-paying NASCAR Cup Series competition. Its teams have led 66,688 laps since 1984.

QUOTABLE / 

“Charlotte is a great track. I really like racing there and it’s close to home so that’s nice. I remember how cool it was to win the All-Star Race back in 2008. I’m lucky enough to be locked into the race and it would be neat to win it again.”

Kasey Kahne on racing in the All-Star Race

“Our goal is to race our way in through The Open and with the new format that gives us three chances to do so. That’s what we’re going to try to do.”

Chase Elliott on racing his way into the All-Star Race

“This race is all about the money – no points on the line. It’s usually a crazy night and a fun night where the pit crews get a chance to be in the spotlight more than usual, as well. Last year we were leading on the final restart and our strategy didn’t work out. There are a few different rules for this one, so I am sure (No. 48 team crew chief) Chad (Knaus) will come up with something good.”

Jimmie Johnson on racing in the All-Star Race

“It was just really hard to believe that we won that race. I was sitting there in Victory Lane and just couldn’t believe that we had won. I could not wait to see my dad – I remember passing him in that last stage, and that’s something you just dream about. He was thrilled, so that was a real special moment to spend with him – we just couldn’t believe it.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. on winning his first All-Star Race

“The All-Star Race to me has always been very important. As a kid watching that race and watching my father run it, hearing him talk about it and explain how important it was to him, what it meant to him and how hard he tried to win it, that really cemented in my mind what it means to the sport.

“It certainly stands alone and has a special meaning, and I’m going to miss the process of the All-Star weekend – the buildup to the race and the preparation and the practice and all the scheming in the garage and the strategies – they change the format every year so it’s somewhat new. I’m going to just miss being a competitor in that atmosphere because you get competitive in the event, but there is also a lot of pride to be in that race and to get that invitation, so to speak. I’ll miss that feeling of accomplishment. Those races are a lot less pressure because there aren’t any points on the line, but it’s a different style of pressure. They are going to have a soft tire, which should be interesting to see just how much better that is and whether that is really going to make a big difference versus the guys that are on a hard tire. It should be a fun weekend. It seems like all the guys on the team really enjoy the pre-race and driver intros. They really include the teams and it’s fun for the drivers to have our guys there with us.”

Earnhardt on running his last All-Star Race

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

 

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