HMS Previews The Honor Of Folds Quik Trip 5OO

Hendrick Motorsports / 5  24  48  88

ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY (1.54-MILE OVAL)

LOCATION: HAMPTON, GEORGIA
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACE TWO OF 36)
TUNE IN: 2 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, FEB. 24 (FOX/PRN/SIRIUSXM)

Chase Elliott
No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Driver Chase Elliott   Hometown Dawsonville, Georgia
Age 23                       Resides Dawsonville, Georgia

2019 Season

  • 13th in standings
  • 1 start
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 0 top-10 finish
  • 0 laps led

Career

  • 114 starts
  • 3 wins
  • 4 pole positions
  • 33 top-five finishes
  • 59 top-10 finishes
  • 1,243 laps led

Track Career 

  • 3 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 1 top-five finish
  • 3 top-10 finishes
  • 0 laps led
Dawsonville, Georgia, native Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media on Friday, Feb. 22, at 3:05 p.m. local time in the Atlanta Motor Speedway media center.

1.5-MILE TRACK STATS: Chase Elliott is set to make his 35th start on a 1.5-mile track this weekend at his home track of Atlanta Motor Speedway. Elliott scored his first 1.5-mile track win last October at Kansas Speedway. In his previous 34 starts on the same track length, he has led 289 laps and averaged a starting position of 13.85 and finishing position of 13.74. In addition to his one win, Elliott has also collected 11 top-five finishes – two of which are runner-up results – and 19 top-10s.

GEORGIA ON HIS MIND: On Sunday, Elliott could become just the second Georgia-born driver to win a race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, joining his father, NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, who won five races at the track.

ELLIOTT AT ATLANTA: The 23-year-old driver has made starts at Atlanta in each of NASCAR’s top-three series – three in the Cup Series, two in the Xfinity Series and one in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series. In those six starts, Elliott has never finished outside the top 10. Atlanta Motor Speedway is one of three tracks (Atlanta, Michigan, Charlotte Motor Speedway road course) where Elliott has never finished outside of the top 10 in his Cup career. The driver of the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 currently holds the best average finish at the track among active drivers (7.67). He finished in the top five in all of his Xfinity Series and NASCAR Truck Series starts at Atlanta.

HOME SWEET HOME: In addition to NAPA AUTO PARTS, Elliott’s primary sponsor this weekend at Atlanta, fellow No. 9 team primary partners Hooters and Kelley Blue Book are also headquartered in Atlanta. Hooters, a casual dining establishment with a deep history in NASCAR, will make its season debut next weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Kelley Blue Book will make its return to the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in March at Texas Motor Speedway.

DESI9N TO DRIVE: As part of Chase Elliott Foundation’s third annual “DESI9N TO DRIVE” art collaboration with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the patient-designed racing shoes will be worn by Elliott, William Byron, Alex Bowman and Jimmie Johnson during the NASCAR Cup Series race weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, signed and then put on the auction block at the NASCAR Foundation online auction site to benefit Children’s summer camps

CHECK OUT THOSE HATS: This weekend in Atlanta, the No. 9 team will wear special, limited-edition NAPA hats at the racetrack. The hats are part of NAPA AUTO PARTS’ March in-store promotion. In the month of March, when customers spend $25 in store they will receive the No. 9 NAPA Racing/Chase Elliott hat, while supplies last.

William Byron
No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Driver William Byron   Hometown Charlotte, North Carolina
Age 21                         Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2019 Season

  • 18th in standings
  • 1 start
  • 0 wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 0 top-10 finish
  • 44 laps led

Career

  • 37 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 4 top-10 finishes
  • 105 laps led

Track Career 

  • 1 start
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 0 top-10 finishes
  • 0 laps led
DAYTONA 500 RECAP: Capturing his first NASCAR Cup Series pole award during the first Sunday of Speedweeks, William Byron showed patience and speed throughout the 61st annual running of the DAYTONA 500 before being relegated to a 21st-place finish after an on-track incident with only two laps remaining. Despite the finishing position, Byron led a career-high 44 laps during Sunday’s race. The 21-year-old driver also spent 133 of 207 laps within the top-five running order, the most by anyone in the race. His 154 laps inside the top 10 throughout the race were the second-most of any competitor.

LIBERTY UNIVERSITY 2019 DEBUT: For the first time in the 2019 season, Liberty University will be on board Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Bringing back the familiar blue paint scheme with red and white flames, Liberty University returns as a primary sponsor of the No. 24 team in 2019 with 12 races. With a long history with Byron starting back in 2014 in the late model ranks, Liberty University is embarking on its fifth season of sponsoring the 21-year-old driver. Liberty University has been Training Champions for Christ since it was founded in 1971. Located in the mountains of Central Virginia, Liberty is a liberal arts institution with 17 colleges and schools that offer more than 600 degree programs from the certificate to the doctoral level, on campus and online. Working on an undergraduate degree in business communication, Byron is now in his junior year at Liberty University through its online program.

THE ATLANTA ARCHIVE: After an impressive showing by Byron last week at Daytona, the No. 24 team will now turn its sights to the first intermediate track of the year – Atlanta Motor Speedway. Byron has one previous Cup start at the 1.54-mile oval, where he qualified 23rd but was able to finish 18th despite fighting handling woes throughout the race. Byron has two other NASCAR starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway – one in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, where he finished seventh, the third-highest of the Xfinity Series regulars, and one in the Truck Series, where he was running second before losing an engine, leaving him with a 32nd-place finish.

KNAUS HOT AT HOTLANTA: At a track where past knowledge is crucial, crew chief Chad Knaus will add valuable experience to the No. 24 team when the Liberty University Chevy hits the track this weekend. Calling the shots for 27 NASCAR Cup Series races at the weathered track, Knaus has snagged the checkered flag five times, most recently back-to-back in 2015 and 2016. In his 27 races at the venue as a crew chief, Knaus’ car has left the 1.54-mile oval with 14 top-five finishes and 15 top-10s. In fact, Knaus has a knack for intermediate tracks in general, collecting 34 wins at the track type across his Cup Series crew chief career.

DESI9N TO DRIVE: This year, Byron will take part in the Chase Elliott Foundation’s “DESI9N TO DRIVE” shoe program. Benefiting the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta summer camp program, Byron and his Hendrick Motorsports teammates selected racing shoe designs created by patients of Children’s. After the race, the race-worn shoes will be signed by Byron and auctioned off online by the Chase Elliott Foundation.

Jimmie Johnson
No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Driver Jimmie Johnson   Hometown El Cajon, California
Age 43                             Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2019 Season

  • 8th in standings
  • 1 start
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 1 top-10 finish
  • 0 laps led

Career

  • 616 starts
  • 83 wins
  • 35 pole positions
  • 224 top-five finishes
  • 353 top-10 finishes
  • 18,703 laps led

Track Career 

  • 27 starts
  • 5 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 14 top-five finishes
  • 16 top-10 finishes
  • 586 laps led
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media on Friday, Feb. 22, at 2:45 p.m. local time in the Atlanta Motor Speedway media center.

RALLY 500 FINISH: The 61st annual running of the DAYTONA 500 was an emotional roller coaster of sorts for seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, crew chief Kevin Meendering and the No. 48 team. Earlier in Speedweeks, Johnson clocked the third-fastest qualifying speed in a one-two-three-four Hendrick Motorsports sweep on pole day, and later that afternoon won “The Clash” exhibition race. He started the DAYTONA 500 in 17th place and finished Stage 1 in ninth and Stage 2 in 17th. Coming to pit road with 40 laps to go, Johnson was a victim of bad luck as he was hit unexpectedly from behind on pit road, causing damage to the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Meendering, who was participating in his first race as Johnson’s crew chief, remained cool and calm as he directed repairs on pit road. Johnson lost two laps in the process due to a pit road penalty, but was the benefactor of two free passes during subsequent cautions to find himself back on the lead lap. With nine laps to go, Johnson was involved in another multiple-car incident in which the No. 48 Chevy suffered front-end damage. Following more repairs, Johnson dodged two more incidents and raced to a ninth-place finish in overtime.

EXCELLENT IN ATLANTA: Currently, Johnson has 28 intermediate track (1.5-mile) wins, which is the most all-time. He currently has five wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway – which is tied with NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon for the most all-time – the most recent of which came back-to-back in 2015 and again during his 2016 championship season. Johnson’s average finish at Atlanta is 11.59 over 27 starts. He scored his first emotionally-charged win at Atlanta on Oct. 31, 2004, in the aftermath of the tragic Hendrick Motorsports plane crash.

THE OLDER, THE BETTER: The last time the track at Atlanta Motor Speedway put asphalt down was 1997. It ranks third among the oldest racing surfaces on which the NASCAR Cup Series competes. All five of Johnson’s wins on the track have come on its current racing surface. The oldest track surface is Dover (1995), where Johnson has 11 wins, and California (1996), where Johnson has six wins.

JOHNSON IN THE FOX BOOTH: Johnson will trade his helmet for a microphone on Saturday, Feb. 23, as he will join fellow competitor Kevin Harvick and FOX play-by-play analyst Adam Alexander in the booth for the NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It marks the first time the El Cajon, California, native will appear in an analyst role in the booth.

BOSTON MARATHON ANNOUNCEMENT: On Feb. 12 during Daytona Speedweeks, Johnson, along with personal sponsor Gatorade, announced Johnson is in training to enter the prestigious Boston Marathon. Never having run a marathon, Johnson’s training is in full-force, running an average of 75 to 100 miles a week in preparation for the 26.2-mile race on April 15.

WHEELFORCE TEST: In October 2018, Johnson and Meendering participated in a wheelforce test at Atlanta Motor Speedway on behalf of the Hendrick Motorsports organization.

VERGE OF A MILESTONE: Johnson is on the verge of his 84th points-paying NASCAR Cup Series win. He secured his 83rd in June 2017 to tie NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough for sixth on the all-time wins list. An 84th win would tie Hall of Famers Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison for fourth all-time. Johnson is currently 10 wins behind former teammate Gordon, who has 93 victories and is third on the list. Johnson has the most wins of all active drivers.

CHASE ELLIOTT FOUNDATION SHOES: This year, Johnson will take part in the Chase Elliott Foundation’s “DESI9N TO DRIVE” shoe program. Benefiting the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta summer camp program, Johnson and his Hendrick Motorsports teammates selected racing shoe designs created by patients of Children’s. After the race, the race-worn shoes will be signed by Johnson and auctioned off online by the Chase Elliott Foundation.

1.5-MILE TEST: Johnson, Meendering and the No. 48 team participated in a two-day test session on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where the 2019 rules package took to the 1.5-mile track for the first time.

Alex Bowman
No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Driver Alex Bowman   Hometown Tucson, Arizona
Age 25                         Resides Mooresville, North Carolina

2019 Season

  • 6th in standings
  • 1 start
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 0 top-10 finish
  • 0 laps led

Career

  • 118 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 2 pole positions
  • 3 top-five finishes
  • 14 top-10 finishes
  • 274 laps led

Track Career 

  • 3 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 0 top-10 finishes
  • 0 laps led
AXALTA IN ATL: This weekend marks the first of 12 events in which the Axalta primary colors will adorn the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Last year, Hendrick Motorsports announced that Axalta signed a four-year contract extension that will take the partnership through 2022. The leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings unveiled a new Axalta Racing website last year that includes plenty of behind-the-scenes content, photos and videos. Check out Alex Bowman’s page here.

BOWMAN AT ATLANTA: Alex Bowman, a Tucson, Arizona, native, has three starts in the NASCAR Cup Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway. His best finish of 20th came last year after qualifying 18th for the 325-lap event. The Hendrick Motorsports driver has one start at Atlanta in the NASCAR Xfinity Series when he qualified 18th in 2013. In 2017, Bowman ran at Atlanta in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series where he finished sixth after qualifying fifth.

IF HE WINS: If Bowman were to claim the victory in Atlanta this weekend, he would be the seventh different driver for Hendrick Motorsports to claim victory at the 1.54-mile track. A win this weekend would be the 25-year-old’s first NASCAR Cup Series win in 119 series starts. There have been six drivers in NASCAR Cup Series history to capture their first win at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

IVES’ ATLANTA STATS: This weekend will mark the fifth time that No. 88 team crew chief Greg Ives has called the shots for Hendrick Motorsports at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Bark River, Michigan, native’s best finish of second came in 2016 with Dale Earnhardt Jr. Ives has two career starts as a crew chief in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at the 1.54-mile facility. In 2014, Ives’ driver sat on the pole for the 195-lap event and led 36 laps en route to a fifth-place finish. From 2006-2012, Ives was a race engineer for the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team. During that time, he was a part of two wins and one pole award at Atlanta.

NEW KICKS: This year, Bowman will take part in the Chase Elliott Foundation’s “DESI9N TO DRIVE” shoe program. Benefiting the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta summer camp program, Bowman and his Hendrick Motorsports teammates selected racing shoe designs created by patients of Children’s. After the race, the race-worn shoes will be signed by Bowman and auctioned off online by the Chase Elliott Foundation.

DAYTONA REWIND: The No. 88 team qualified second for last weekend’s 61st annual running of the DAYTONA 500. Bowman ran in the top 10 for most of the afternoon. The driver finished Stage 1 in the second position, earning valuable stage points. Bowman’s Chevrolet nearly missed a big incident on track, but unfortunately was involved in a separate incident on Lap 196. The team made the necessary repairs and Bowman was able to take home an 11th-place finish.

SPECIAL TRIBUTE FOR GRANT REED: Last weekend at Daytona International Speedway, Bowman had a special name riding on the passenger side door. Grant Reed passed away on Sunday, February 10th after a courageous seven-year battle with brain cancer. He was 18 years old and was from Bellville, Ohio. Reed served as the Grand Marshal for the 2013 Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Bowman drove the Nationwide Children’s Hospital car that same year. To honor his memory and fight against cancer, Reed’s name was over the passenger side door of the No. 88 Camaro ZL1 for all track activities during the DAYTONA 500 week.

BOWMAN GIFTS NATIONWIDE: Before strapping into his No. 88 Nationwide Camaro ZL1 for the DAYTONA 500 last weekend, Bowman presented Nationwide with a special gift. In the offseason, Bowman made a donation to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital as a token of appreciation from the No. 88 team and himself. The donation will go toward the school classroom in the Inpatient Rehab Unit, which serves all age groups. In addition to the donation, Bowman presented his teammates at Nationwide with artwork painted by a service dog at the hospital named Beck. Read more here.

MEET BOWMAN IN ATLANTA: Bowman will visit the Team Chevy stage at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 24, from 11 to 11:15 a.m. local time for a fan question-and-answer session. From 11:15 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. local time, fans can find Bowman at the Hendrick Motorsports/JR Motorsports souvenir hauler signing autographs for race fans in the Atlanta Motor Speedway Fan Zone.

TESTING, TESTING: On Monday and Tuesday following the DAYTONA 500, Bowman and the No. 88 team tested the new racing package at Daytona International Speedway. The 25-year-old ran 293 laps total between the two days, both in the draft and in single-car runs. The new package that the team tested will be run at superspeedways moving forward.

THE OTHER SIDE: Last Thursday, Bowman’s first diary feature on Motorsport.com was published, titled “The Other Side of Alex Bowman.” Each month, Bowman will release a diary piece to give fans a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on each month both on and off the track. In his first diary entry, Bowman talks about the offseason, both mental and physical workouts and how he feels about being back at the track for his second full season with Hendrick Motorsports. Check out his first diary article here.

Hendrick Motorsports

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT ATLANTA: Hendrick Motorsports leads all NASCAR Cup Series teams with 14 wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway, one of 14 active tracks on the circuit – 58 percent of the schedule – where the organization holds the most wins among all Cup teams. Hendrick Motorsports’ most recent victory at Atlanta came in 2016 thanks to Jimmie Johnson. The organization has earned 59 top-five finishes, 90 top-10s and five pole positions at the Georgia track.

SIX DRIVERS FIND VICTORY LANE AT ATLANTA: Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick’s first Atlanta Motor Speedway win in the Cup Series came on March 19, 1989, with driver Darrell Waltrip. The organization has posted Atlanta victories with six different drivers: Jeff Gordon (five wins), Johnson (five wins), Waltrip, Ken Schrader (1991), Jerry Nadeau (2000) and Kasey Kahne (2014).

1.5-MILE CHAMPS: Hendrick Motorsports has a NASCAR Cup Series record 58 total wins on 1.5-mile tracks, 13 more than the next closest team, Joe Gibbs Racing. Hendrick Motorsports has earned at least one win on a 1.5-mile track in a record 25 consecutive seasons. Chase Elliott most recently extended that streak from 24 to 25 seasons with his 2018 victory at Kansas Speedway, becoming the 10th different driver to win for the organization on a 1.5-mile track, which is also a Cup Series record ahead of Wood Brothers Racing’s eight.

CONSISTENCY IS KEY: Hendrick Motorsports has won four of the last eight races at Atlanta (2011 – Gordon, 2014 – Kahne, 2015 and 2016 – Johnson). The organization has won the second race of the season a total of seven times between Gordon and Johnson, and those drivers went on to win the championship in five of those seasons (1995, 1997, 1998, 2010, 2016).

FIRST-TIME WINNERS: With Elliott earning his first Cup Series win at Watkins Glen in 2018, Hendrick Motorsports now holds the record for the most first-time Cup Series winners with nine. If William Byron or Alex Bowman wins at Atlanta, it will extend the record to the 10th time a driver has recorded his first career Cup Series win while driving for Hendrick Motorsports.

ORGANIZATION STATS: To date, Hendrick Motorsports has totals of 12 championships, 252 race victories, 215 pole positions, 1,045 top-five finishes and 1,787 top-10 finishes in points-paying NASCAR Cup Series competition. Its teams have led more than 67,000 laps since 1984. Hendrick Motorsports won three times in 2018, extending its streak to 33 consecutive seasons with at least one win, the longest streak all-time.

QUOTABLE / 

Chase Elliott on racing at Atlanta:
“Always nice to go race in Atlanta. It’s a special place and there’s definitely a lot of fans around home so I always enjoy going back. More than that, it’s a fun racetrack to drive. I’ve enjoyed racing there from a driver standpoint, and glad they didn’t repave it. With it being the second race of the year, we can all get back to downforce racing. Big transition and an important week to see how we all stack up. I’m looking forward to getting there.”

William Byron on his expectations for Atlanta:
“I really don’t know what to expect when we get to Atlanta. I feel like it’s going to be a challenge in the sense that it’s a slick racetrack. We are going to go there and try and understand the new aero package, but also try and understand what that racetrack is going to do throughout the race. I think it’s going to present different challenges than we normally deal with there.”

Byron on looking forward to getting into a rhythm starting with Atlanta:
“I’m looking forward to it. I think it’s pretty much a normal, routine race weekend for us there, especially compared to DAYTONA 500 weekend. I’m looking forward to that part of it. I’m just trying to go there and have a pretty normal weekend and do what we need to do.”

Jimmie Johnson on racing at Atlanta:
“Leaving Daytona, we all certainly have a little spark of energy. To be able to recover from the wrecks we were involved in and be there at the end is certainly a great start. This weekend in Atlanta is a completely different deal as we roll out the 2019 rules package. In my eyes, the cars are going to be faster and we are all going to be closer together, there will be more passing, and there is going to be a lot of excitement with the 2019 package. I was able to test Las Vegas and we had some drafting sessions. It was really racy. I’m also looking forward to being in the booth (for the NASCAR Xfinity Series race) with (Kevin) Harvick for FOX. I’ll be doing some homework leading into the weekend for sure, it’s a whole different kind of pressure.”

Alex Bowman on racing at Atlanta:
“There are just a lot of options, it’s worn out, you can move around a lot and kind of gives a driver some options depending on how your car is driving. It’s always fun when you have options.”

Bowman on how Atlanta will be different:
“Just with the new package, it’s going to be a completely different style of racing. Hard to know what to expect until we get there, but looking forward to seeing how it is when we get there and can finally get on track.”

Bowman on the new package:
“They are going to be completely different. I think Vegas, you will be wide open with the new package for quite awhile, and Atlanta you are going to lose grip in a hurry. I don’t know. I didn’t get to do any of the tests with this new package so I don’t really know what to expect, but I would imagine those two places will be quite different.”

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.