Hendrick Motorsports Previews The Brickyard 400

INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY (2.5-MILE OVAL)

LOCATION: SPEEDWAY, INDIANA
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACE 20 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 2:30 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, JULY 23 (NBC/IMS/SIRIUSXM)

No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS / Kasey Kahne

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

2017 Season

  • 22nd in standings
  • 19 starts
  • 0 race wins
  • 0 stage wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 2 top-five finishes
  • 3 top-10 finishes
  • 19 laps led

Career

  • 487 starts
  • 17 wins
  • 27 pole positions
  • 91 top-five finishes
  • 172 top-10 finishes
  • 4,626 laps led

Track Career 

  • 13 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 3 top-five finishes
  • 6 top-10 finishes
  • 158 laps led
KAHNE AT INDIANAPOLIS: Kasey Kahne, who spent time living in Indianapolis early in his career, is looking to secure his first pole award and victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He has started on the outside pole once in 2011 and has five top-five starts at the famed speedway, bringing his average starting position to 11.4. In 2005 – Kahne’s second start at the Speedway, Indiana, track – he was just under one second shy of visiting Victory Lane, finishing runner-up to Indiana native Tony Stewart. The Enumclaw, Washington, native has an average finishing position of 14.6 at the track and has led 158 laps throughout four races, ranking him fourth among active drivers.

INDY LOOP DATA: According to NASCAR’s loop data since 2005, Kahne is third in fastest laps run with 104 and in quality passes with 331. Quality passes are the number of times a driver passes another car that is running inside the top 15 while under green-flag conditions. He’s fifth in green-flag speed at 169.965 mph and in laps spent in the top 15 with 1,316. The 37-year-old ranks sixth in the green-flag passes category with 699. The Chevrolet driver has an average driver rating of 95.0, which ranks him sixth among his competitors. 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.

SEATTLE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL: For the second year in a row, Great Clips is teaming up with Seattle Children’s Hospital’s Strong Against Cancer program to have a child design one of the No. 5 team’s paint schemes. Kahne narrowed the entries down to his three favorites and the fan votes have been tallied, with 9-year-old Wyatt receiving the most. His design was inspired by fire and water. Click here to see a rendering of the car that Kahne will pilot at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 17.

SEE KAHNE: Kahne will appear in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway infield at the Team Chevy stage for a question-and-answer session on Sunday, July 23, at 12 p.m. local time.

RACING ROOTS: HendrickMotorsports.com has released a four-part video series on Kasey Kahne titled “Racing Roots.” The videos take you from Kahne’s early beginnings in Enumclaw, Washington, to being part of Hendrick Motorsports today. The video series also looks at his passion away from the asphalt track – his dirt car team, Kasey Kahne Racing. The four-part video series can be viewed here.

GOING HOME: No. 5 team mechanic Ty Sipes hails from Bloomfield, Indiana, which is located approximately one hour and 45 minutes southwest of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Before joining Hendrick Motorsports, Sipes gained experience working on dirt cars.

No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS / Chase Elliott

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

2017 Season

  • 5th in standings
  • 19 starts
  • 0 race wins
  • 2 stage wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 6 top-five finishes
  • 11 top-10 finishes
  • 173 laps led

Career

  • 60 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 3 pole positions
  • 16 top-five finishes
  • 28 top-10 finishes
  • 531 laps led

Track Career 

  • 2 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 0 top-10 finishes
  • 0 laps led
NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET: This weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Chase Elliott’s No. 24 Chevrolet SS will don the familiar blue-and-yellow NAPA AUTO PARTS paint scheme. The Atlanta-based company will serve as majority sponsor for Elliott and the No. 24 team for 24 NASCAR Cup Series races this year. Elliott most recently piloted the No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet to an 11th-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last weekend.

INDY FAN FEST: On Friday at 5:15 p.m. local time, Elliott is scheduled to participate in a few interactive fan activities as part of Fan Fest on Main Street in Speedway, Indiana. Fan Fest will take place during the annual Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hauler Parade, which is slated to begin at 4:30 p.m. local time. All activities – including a pit stop competition, relays and Minute to Win It games – are free and open to the public. Click here for more information.

BRICKYARD STATS: Elliott is set to make his third career Cup start at Indianapolis this weekend in the 24th running of the Brickyard 400. In the Dawsonville, Georgia, native’s previous two starts he averaged a starting position of 21.5 and finishing position of 16.5. Elliott also has two starts at the 2.5-mile speedway in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, collecting one top-10 finish and averaging a starting position of 9.0 and finishing position of 11.0.

ELLIOTT’S ‘ROAD TO RACE DAY’: The first installment of “Road to Race Day,” the eight-part docuseries about Hendrick Motorsports, premieres Wednesday on go90 and focuses on Elliott and the No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS team. The episode was filmed during the lead-up to the Daytona 500 as the driver embarked on his 2016 Rookie of the Year campaign. The series is directed by Cynthia Hill (“A Chef’s Life,” “Private Violence”) and executive produced by Peter Berg (“Friday Night Lights,” “Lone Survivor”).

ELLIOTT AT CHEVY STAGE: Elliott will appear on the Team Chevy Stage on Saturday, July 22, at 1 p.m. local time for a question-and-answer session.

NEW HAMPSHIRE REWIND: Elliott began last Sunday’s race in 11th, picking up a position to finish Stage 1 in 10th. He continued knocking on the door of the top 10 in Stage 2, finishing the segment 12th. When the final segment began, Elliott lined up 12th and began working his way forward. With 100 laps remaining, he was running ninth. Following a cycle of green-flag pit stops, quick work by the No. 24 team allowed Elliott to advance up to sixth with 50 laps to go. Following a trip to pit road during a caution, he was running 13th with 28 laps remaining, looking to push forward once again. He did just that, picking up two more positions to finish just outside of the top 10 in 11th.

GET BACK AND GIVE BACK CAMPAIGN: NAPA AUTO PARTS has a long history of supporting the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and their families. In March, the company announced that it had raised more than $2.5 million in 2016 for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF) through its annual “Get Back and Give Back” campaign. The campaign kicked off in 2012 and gives NAPA AUTO PARTS patrons the opportunity to contribute to the IFHF by purchasing T-shirts at NAPAonline.com. In addition, customers can purchase an IFHF bucket for $3.99 and receive 20 percent off three or more items that fit inside with NAPA donating $1 to the IFHF for every bucket sold. The company will also donate $1 for each redeemed mail-in rebate for batteries, alternators and starters purchased in July. Customers also have the ability to donate all or a portion of their mail-in rebates directly to the IFHF. One hundred percent of the donation goes to the IFHF’s mission of building nine Intrepid Spirit centers around the country that will provide the most advanced care possible to military personnel suffering from traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions.

HOME SWEET HOME: No. 24 team engineer Tom Gray hails from Indianapolis, Indiana. Gray attended Purdue University and majored in mechanical engineering technology.

No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS / Jimmie Johnson

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

2017 Season

  • 9th in standings
  • 19 starts
  • 3 race wins
  • 1 stage win
  • 0 pole positions
  • 3 top-five finishes
  • 7 top-10 finishes
  • 188 laps led

Career

  • 562 starts
  • 83 wins
  • 35 pole positions
  • 221 top-five finishes
  • 337 top-10 finishes
  • 18,634 laps led

Track Career 

  • 15 starts
  • 4 wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 6 top-five finishes
  • 7 top-10 finishes
  • 302 laps led
DANNY CLINCH PHOTO TAKEOVER: As part of his ongoing photography project designed to showcase life at the track with a unique perspective, Jimmie Johnson has invited noteworthy photographer and film director Danny Clinch to Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend. Clinch began his career as an intern for Annie Leibovitz and went on to photograph the likes of Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Tupac Shakur, The Smashing Pumpkins, Blind Melon, Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam and Phish. Clinch’s photographs have appeared in many publications including Vanity Fair, Spin, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Rolling Stone. Clinch has presented his work in numerous galleries and has also published four books titled “Discovery Inn,” “When the Iron Bird Flies,” “Still Moving” and “Motor Drive.” Clinch has also been featured on “60 Minutes” and has received three Grammy Awards for his role as a director. With a social media takeover on Johnson’s handles (@JimmieJohnson on Instagram & Twitter, Jimmie Johnson on Facebook), Clinch’s work will be highlighted for all NASCAR fans to enjoy. For more info about Clinch and his work, click here.

SERIES-HIGH DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics since 2005, Johnson has the series-best driver rating at Indianapolis with a score of 105.7. 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. Since 2005, Johnson’s average finish at Indianapolis is 13.0.

SEVEN TIME IS A FOUR-TIME BRICK-KISSER: Johnson has won the prestigious Brickyard 400 four times in his career. His first win came in the 2006 season followed by back-to-back wins in 2008 and 2009. He is the only driver to have ever recorded consecutive wins in the race. Johnson’s latest win at the Brickyard came in 2012 and his four wins are one less than Jeff Gordon’s five for most wins at the track.

WINNING FROM THE POLE: In 2008, Johnson won the pole position on the famed Brickyard with a speed of 181.763 mph. He led 71 laps that race and won the event for the second time, becoming the second driver to do so from the pole. There have been four winners of the race from the pole since the NASCAR Cup Series began racing at the Brickyard in 1994 – Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman and Kyle Busch.

INDY TESTER: Johnson, crew chief Chad Knaus and the No. 48 team spent two days at the Speedway, Indiana, track in April for a Goodyear tire test. Johnson felt as though the test was challenging, yet productive.

JOHNSON AT TEAM CHEVY STAGE: Johnson will be at the Team Chevy stage for a question-and-answer session in the infield of Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 23, at 12 p.m. local time. The appearance is open to the public.

No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS / Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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

2017 Season

  • 21st in standings
  • 19 starts
  • 0 race wins
  • 0 stage wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 1 top-five finish
  • 4 top-10 finishes
  • 24 laps led

Career

  • 614 starts
  • 26 wins
  • 14 pole positions
  • 149 top-five finishes
  • 256 top-10 finishes
  • 8,211 laps led

Track Career 

  • 16 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 1 top-five finish
  • 5 top-10 finishes
  • 61 laps led
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, will be available to members of the media on Saturday, July 22, at 12 p.m. local time in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway media center.

AT THE BRICKYARD: In five of his 16 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has lined up sixth or better at the historic track. He scored his best finish – fourth place – at the 2.5-mile oval in 2012. Earnhardt has finished inside the top 10 in three of the past four races at the Brickyard.

LEADING LAPS: According to NASCAR’s loop data since 2005, Earnhardt ranks eighth among all drivers in the laps led category at Indianapolis races. The 42-year-old driver has led 48 laps since 2005. He is second in green-flag passes during that span with 747. He’s sixth in the fastest laps run category, turning 46 fastest laps at the Brickyard, and ranks third-fastest on restarts with an average of 165.677 mph.

SPEEDWAY SUCCESS: Earnhardt has scored 14 of his 26 career Cup wins on tracks that are two miles or longer. He has earned six at Talladega Superspeedway, four at Daytona International Speedway, two at Michigan International Speedway and two at Pocono Raceway.

APPEARANCES: Earnhardt will participate in a NASCAR youth autograph session at 1 p.m. local time on Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. On Sunday, he will make a visit to the Team Chevy stage at 12 p.m. local time.

THROWBACK SCHEME: In case you missed it, the retro No. 88 Nationwide Throwback Chevrolet SS that Earnhardt will drive in the Southern 500 on Labor Day weekend at Darlington Raceway was unveiled on Tuesday at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The paint scheme is based on Earnhardt’s 1998-1999 ACDelco car in what is now the NASCAR XFINITY Series. The scheme had a lot of success and was one many fans remember at the start of his NASCAR racing career.  Click here to check out the throwback scheme.

HOMETOWN: Travis Stock, underneath mechanic on the No. 88 Nationwide Chevy, grew up in Frankfort, Indiana, approximately 45 miles from the Brickyard. He watched his first race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway when he was 10 years old. In 2004, Stock began his career in NASCAR working as a tire carrier for Darrell Waltrip Motorsports in the Truck Series. Stock stayed on as DWM became Michael Waltrip Racing and he transitioned to a mechanic in the Cup Series. Stock joined Hendrick Motorsports and the No. 88 Nationwide team to start the 2016 season.

Hendrick Motorsports

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT INDIANAPOLIS: Hendrick Motorsports has won nine of the 23 NASCAR Cup Series races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Jeff Gordon’s five wins are the most all-time, and Jimmie Johnson’s four rank second among all drivers. The organization has also earned five pole positions, 25 top-five finishes and 39 top-10 finishes in addition to 1,010 laps led.

DOUBLE DIGITS: A Hendrick Motorsports win this weekend would mark its 10th at Indianapolis. Currently, the organization has double-digit victory totals at 12 active NASCAR Cup Series tracks: Martinsville (24), Charlotte (19), Dover (19), Pocono (17), Darlington (14), Daytona (14), Atlanta (14), Talladega (12), Bristol (11), Fontana (10), Phoenix (10) and Richmond (10). Hendrick Motorsports has nine wins at three different tracks: Indianapolis, New Hampshire and Texas.

ROAD TO RACE DAY: Hendrick Motorsports has teamed with Complex Networks, Film 45 and Markay Media on an original eight-part documentary series that goes behind the scenes with the organization during the 2016 season. “Road to Race Day” premieres Wednesday on the go90 streaming platform. Watch for free by downloading the go90 app on your Apple or Android device, or view the series at go90.com.

ORGANIZATION STATS: To date, Hendrick Motorsports has totals of 12 championships, 248 race victories, 212 pole positions, 1,021 top-five finishes and 1,719 top-10 finishes in points-paying NASCAR Cup Series competition. Its teams have led 66,776 laps since 1984.

QUOTABLE / 

“It’s such a tough race to win. Track position has gotten to the point where it’s everything at Indianapolis. Indy just isn’t what it used to be in 2004 and 2005, even in 2006. I came from the back in 2004 and during the last half of the race you could actually pass pretty easy when you had a good car. You could run the outside lane or the inside. Now you have about two inches and if you miss those two inches in the center of the corner, you really have to be watching behind yourself because you’re probably going to get passed. It’s still a race I really want to win because it has so much history and it’s how I got all of my racing going. I watched all of the races there for Formula 1, IndyCar and NASCAR and I also raced all around the Indy area for three straight years.”

Kasey Kahne on racing at Indianapolis

“I haven’t had a whole lot of success there at all really in anything from XFINITY races that I ran to the last two Cup races. Just haven’t been very sporty. It’s a tough place. We had a good test there last year and went back and didn’t really see any of that same success. Jimmie (Johnson) tested there this year, so hopefully he learned some good things that we can take back.”

Chase Elliott on racing at Indianapolis

“Indy no doubt is a special track. It would be so special to get a fifth win there. That track has shown me the high of highs and the low of lows in my career. We tested there in April and it was a challenging test session. The cars will be very loose into the corner. I feel like we were the best car at the test session so I hope when we unload on Saturday it’s an advantage for this Lowe’s team.”

Jimmie Johnson on racing at Indianapolis

“We have to win, so we have to gamble when we can. That (last weekend’s race at New Hampshire) is not the last time you’re going to see that kind of gamble from us before the playoffs. We’re going to Indy this weekend and that’s what we’re working on in the simulator this week. This is not a long-run sport anymore, so you have to have that early speed to be able to get anything done and get up through the field. You’re not going to get those long green-flag runs to take advantage of a long-run car.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. on No. 88 team strategy heading into Indianapolis

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

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