Hendrick Motorsports Previews The Pure Michigan 400

MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY (TWO-MILE OVAL)

LOCATION: BROOKLYN, MICHIGAN
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACE 23 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 3 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, AUG. 13 (NBCSN/MRN/SIRIUSXM)

No. 5 LiftMaster Chevrolet SS / Kasey Kahne

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

2017 Season

  • 19th in standings
  • 22 starts
  • 1 race win
  • 0 stage wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 3 top-five finishes
  • 4 top-10 finishes
  • 31 laps led

Career

  • 490 starts
  • 18 wins
  • 27 pole positions
  • 92 top-five finishes
  • 173 top-10 finishes
  • 4,638 laps led

Track Career 

  • 27 starts
  • 1 win
  • 3 pole positions
  • 8 top-five finishes
  • 10 top-10 finishes
  • 67 laps led
LIFTMASTER: This weekend, Kasey Kahne looks to lift his position in the point standings at Michigan International Speedway in the No. 5 LiftMaster Chevrolet SS. Michigan marks the third and final time Kahne will pilot the LiftMaster paint scheme this season. He also drove it Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway.

KAHNE AT MICHIGAN: Three of Kahne’s 27 NASCAR Cup Series pole awards have been earned at Michigan – in 2006, 2010 and 2015. The three pole awards ties Kahne with Joey Logano for the most poles earned by an active driver at the track. In June 2006, the 37-year-old swept the weekend at the Irish Hills track by winning the 129-lap race. He led 19 laps en route to his fifth Cup Series victory, bringing his total laps led at the track to 67.

MICHIGAN LOOP DATA: According to NASCAR’s loop data since 2005, Kahne ranks second in green-flag passes with 1,974. He’s fourth in quality passes with 878. Quality passes are the number of times a driver passes another car that is running in the top 15 while under green-flag conditions. The Enumclaw, Washington, native is sixth in fastest laps run with 187 and eighth in laps spent in the top 15 with 2,741.

RACING ROOTS: HendrickMotorsports.com has released a four-part video series on 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 video series can be viewed here.

No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS / Chase Elliott

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

2017 Season

  • 7th in standings
  • 22 starts
  • 0 race wins
  • 2 stage wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 6 top-five finishes
  • 12 top-10 finishes
  • 182 laps led

Career

  • 63 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 3 pole positions
  • 16 top-five finishes
  • 29 top-10 finishes
  • 540 laps led

Track Career 

  • 3 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 3 top-five finishes
  • 3 top-10 finishes
  • 66 laps led
NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET: This weekend at Michigan International 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. Most recently, Elliott piloted the NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevy to a 10th-place finish at Pocono Raceway.

MICHIGAN STATS: The 21-year-old driver is set to make his fourth career NASCAR Cup Series start at Michigan this weekend. In each of Elliott’s three previous starts at the two-mile speedway, he collected second-place finishes. In addition to his average finishing position of 2.0, he averages a starting position of 8.3 at the track. In Elliott’s two NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at Michigan, he collected one top-five finish and two top-10s.

MICHIGAN LOOP DATA: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics since 2005, Elliott has the top driver rating at Michigan with an average score of 119.0. 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. Elliott also ranks first for average running position at Michigan with a 5.135 average place.

ELLIOTT AT CHEVY STAGE: Elliott will appear at the Team Chevy Stage on Sunday, August 13, at 12:10 p.m. local time for a question-and-answer session.

WATKINS GLEN REWIND: Elliott posted his best career qualifying effort and raced inside the top 10 for much of last Sunday’s Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International before ultimately finishing 13th after having to pit for fuel in the closing laps. He remains seventh in the driver point standings as the series heads to Michigan.

No. 48 Jimmie Johnson Foundation Chevrolet SS / Jimmie Johnson

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

2017 Season

  • 11th in standings
  • 22 starts
  • 3 race wins
  • 1 stage win
  • 0 pole positions
  • 3 top-five finishes
  • 7 top-10 finishes
  • 188 laps led

Career

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

Track Career 

  • 31 starts
  • 1 win
  • 0 pole positions
  • 5 top-five finishes
  • 13 top-10 finishes
  • 687 laps led
HELMET OF HOPE: This weekend at Michigan International Speedway, Jimmie Johnson will wear the Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope, which features five charities working to improve K-12 public education. As a show of support to Johnson’s efforts to raise funds for such programs, a number of his NASCAR Cup Series competitors will display Jimmie Johnson Foundation-branded decals on the visors of their helmets. Featured on the helmet are the following winning charitable initiatives: Art Feeds in Fayetteville, Arkansas; Edu-Futuro in Arlington, Virginia; Mary J. Treglia Community House in Sioux City, Iowa; School on Wheels of Massachusetts in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts; and The Kids’ Reading Room in Houston.

JIMMIE JOHNSON FOUNDATION PAINT OUT: In addition to the Helmet of Hope, Johnson’s No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet will feature the special star logos of the Jimmie Johnson Foundation. Johnson has seen plenty of success running the paint scheme, earning three wins, two top-five finishes and three top-10s. Along with the Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope program, the foundation operates the Champions Grant program – providing cash grants to schools in the Johnsons’ hometowns and where they currently live – Team Up For Technology, a $48,000 technology makeover open to schools nationwide, and the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Fit Fest – a family friendly, event in Charlotte, North Carolina, which features running, mountain biking, obstacle racing, music, food and more.

DRIVER RATING AT MICHIGAN: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Johnson has the fourth-best driver rating at Michigan with an average score of 99.1 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 and is used pre-race as a prediction tool and post-race as a performance evaluator.

CALLING ALL KIDS TO CHICAGO: Johnson is hosting a special ticket package for families at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 17. Johnson, Chicagoland and NASA have teamed up for the third consecutive year for a special ticket package that features a youth question-and-answer session. The pricing is $23 for kids 12 and under and $48 for adults. Log on to www.ChicagolandSpeedway.com for more info.

No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet SS / Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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

2017 Season

  • 23rd in standings
  • 22 starts
  • 0 race wins
  • 0 stage wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 1 top-five finish
  • 4 top-10 finishes
  • 24 laps led

Career

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

Track Career 

  • 35 starts
  • 2 wins
  • 2 pole positions
  • 8 top-five finishes
  • 15 top-10 finishes
  • 353 laps led
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet SS, will be available to members of the media on Friday, Aug. 11, at 4:15 p.m. local time in the Michigan International Speedway media center.

SOLID STATS IN THE IRISH HILLS: Dale Earnhardt Jr. has scored two wins at Michigan International Speedway. His most recent victory came on June 17, 2012, when he started 17th and led 95 laps before crossing the stripe with a 5.393-second lead to earn the victory. The Kannapolis, North Carolina, native has also earned two pole-position starts at the two-mile track, tying his career bests. He also has two poles at Texas Motor Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway. Earnhardt ranks sixth in the driver rating category among active drivers at Michigan with an average of 95.5 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. He ranks in the top five in many other loop data categories, such as fastest laps run (fourth – 205 laps), green-flag speed (fifth – 180.173 mph), laps in the top 15 (third – 3,134 laps), laps led (fifth – 289), and quality passes (second – 973 passes).

CONGRATS, AXALTA: Congratulations to Hendrick Motorsports partner Axalta Coating Systems, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, on being named a GM Supplier of the Year by General Motors during its 25th annual Supplier of the Year awards ceremony held on March 31 in Orlando, Florida. GM recognized 118 of its best suppliers from 15 countries that have consistently exceeded GM’s expectations, created outstanding value or brought new innovations to the company. The announcement represented the most suppliers GM has recognized since debuting the Supplier of the Year event in 1992. This is the third consecutive year Axalta has received the award.

IVES AND OTHER MICHIGANDERS: No. 88 team crew chief Greg Ives hails from Bark River, Michigan, and grew up working with his father and older brother at the local racetracks. He spent eight years behind the wheel before finding his true calling under the hood. After earning a mechanical engineering degree from Michigan Tech, Ives joined the No. 24 team as a shop mechanic before getting the opportunity to be the race engineer on the No. 48 team. After recording five championships with Johnson and the No. 48 group, Ives went to JR Motorsports to crew chief before returning to Hendrick Motorsports to lead the No. 88 team in 2015. You can read more about Ives’ background here. Two additional members of the No. 88 Axalta team call Michigan their home state. Andy “Squigz” Quillan, hauler driver for the No. 88 team, was born and raised in Orleans, Michigan, which is approximately two hours from the racetrack. Scott Brzozowski, the front tire changer for the No. 88 team, grew up in Sterling Heights, Michigan, which is outside of Detroit. He was a member of the No. 24 over-the-wall crew before he switched to the No. 88 team last fall.

RIR VICTORY TOUR: On Tuesday, the driver of the No. 88 Chevy visits Richmond for his Victory Tour, where in addition to spending time at the racetrack, Earnhardt is scheduled to visit training camp for his favorite NFL team – the Washington Redskins. Follow Richmond International Raceway’s social media channels for highlights from the tour.

ICYMI, HOMESTEAD CAR UNVEILED: In case you missed it, on Wednesday, Aug. 2, the 14-time most popular driver appeared live on QVC to reveal the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet SS that he will race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 19 as part of his JR Nation #Appreci88ion Tour. The red-and-black Axalta scheme is based on the paint scheme Earnhardt debuted in 1999 when he competed in his first career NASCAR Cup Series race. For photos from the unveil, click here.

Hendrick Motorsports

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT MICHIGAN: Hendrick Motorsports drivers have led 2,478 laps en route to eight wins, 52 top-five finishes and 96 top-10s in addition to 11 pole positions at Michigan. The organization swept both races at the two-mile oval in 2014, and in each of the past three events at Michigan, Chase Elliott has earned runner-up finishes.

MASTERING MICHIGAN: Hendrick Motorsports’ eight NASCAR Cup Series victories at Michigan have come via five different drivers: Jeff Gordon (3), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2), Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin and Ricky Rudd.

TEAM JJF VISOR: All four Hendrick Motorsports teammates will sport a Jimmie Johnson Foundation decal strip on their visors for Sunday’s race at Michigan. After the race, the signed visors will be auctioned off to raise funds for programs in need through the foundation.

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. New “Road to Race Day” episodes premiere Wednesdays 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, 249 race victories, 212 pole positions, 1,022 top-five finishes and 1,721 top-10 finishes in points-paying NASCAR Cup Series competition. Its teams have led 66,797 laps since 1984.

QUOTABLE / 

“Michigan is unique because it’s a very fast track and the restarts can be pretty tricky. We’ve had fast cars the past few weeks and have been able to carry some momentum over from the Brickyard win, so I’m looking forward to getting on the track at Michigan. It’s a big weekend for Chevrolet because it’s their home track and they are such great supporters of the racing program.”

Kasey Kahne on racing at Michigan

“It’s great. It’s also frustrating to have run second every time we have been there. It’s good I guess that we are inside the top five the past few times we have been there, but at the same time that is frustrating to have been pretty close to having a shot to win there, which would have been very big if we could have pulled that out. I like Michigan. I’ve always liked going up there. I really love that area. It’s just a cool part of the United States to go to. I like it up there – it’s a nice area and that is kind of why I like going.”

Chase Elliott on heading to Michigan

“First, I would like to thank Lowe’s for allowing us to run the Jimmie Johnson Foundation paint scheme. Also, an honor to highlight these five charities making a huge impact on K-12 public education across the country on my Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope. I’m thankful to my competitors who chose to wear the Team JJF visor strips and bring more visibility to our cause. We have had great success with the JJF Chevy in the past and hope to turn things around this weekend in Michigan.”

Jimmie Johnson on his Jimmie Johnson Foundation Chevy at Michigan

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