HMS Unloads For Kansas

Hendrick Motorsports / 5 24 48 88

KANSAS SPEEDWAY (1.5-MILE TRI-OVAL)

LOCATION: KANSAS CITY, KANSAS
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACE 32 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 2:30 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, OCT. 20 (NBC/MRN/SIRIUSXM)

Chase Elliott
No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

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

2019 Season

  • 10th in standings
  • 31 starts
  • 3 wins
  • 4 pole positions
  • 10 top-five finishes
  • 14 top-10 finishes
  • 597 laps led

Career

  • 144 starts
  • 6 wins
  • 8 pole positions
  • 43 top-five finishes
  • 73 top-10 finishes
  • 1,840 laps led

Track Career 

  • 7 starts
  • 1 win
  • 1 pole position
  • 3 top-five finishes
  • 4 top-10 finishes
  • 93 laps led
Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media on Friday, Oct. 18, at 4:30 p.m. local time in the media center at Kansas Speedway.

WHITE FLAG FOR ROUND OF 12: This weekend will set the field for the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Chase Elliott currently ranks 10th in the driver playoff standings, 22 points out of eighth. This weekend, the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 driver would need help to clinch on points, so his surest way to advance to the next round would be to win on Sunday.

THIS RACE, LAST SEASON: Last October, Elliott and the No. 9 team captured their third victory of the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series season after leading the final 44 laps in the race at Kansas Speedway. His average running position during the event was 6.6. Although a Diet Mountain Dew/Dark Knight Rises car won with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2012, Elliott’s 2018 Kansas victory marked the first win for a Mountain Dew primary paint scheme since October 1982 with Darrell Waltrip.

AT KANSAS IN MAY: During the spring visit to Kansas Speedway this season, Elliott and the No. 9 NAPA team started in 32nd. By Lap 33, the 23-year-old driver had advanced into the top 10 and less than 20 laps later, he was running in the top five. Elliott collected a runner-up result in Stage 1 and won Stage 2. During the 267-lap event, he led 45 laps and his average-running position was 6.2 – third-best of all drivers. He ultimately finished fourth and collected 52 points, the most of all drivers.

KANSAS STATS: This weekend, Elliott is set to make his eighth NASCAR Cup Series start at Kansas. In his previous seven starts, the driver of the No. 9 has garnered one win, three top-five finishes and four top-10s. His three top-five finishes at Kansas are his second-most at a single track in his Cup career, tied with Michigan, Bristol and Talladega. He has led a total of 93 laps at the 1.5-mile track, all but four coming in the two most recent events. In the last four races at Kansas, he has earned a total of 164 points, the second-highest of all drivers.

LAST TEN: In the last 10 races, Elliott is tied for the second-most top-10 finishes among Cup Series competitors with seven. His two wins in that same span are tied for the most in the series.

PIT CREW PROWESS: Among the teams competing in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, the No. 9 pit crew leads the field. Through 31 races in 2019, the team owns the best average time for four-tire stops at 14.147 seconds.

HOME SWEET HOME: No. 9 team tire carrier/jackman T.J. Semke hails from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, less than 40 miles from Kansas Speedway. Before stepping on the football field at the University of Kansas in 2012, Semke was a part-time bounty hunter. The 25-year-old was a defensive lineman for the Kansas Jayhawks for three years, and in two of them, he earned Academic All-Big 12 Second Team honors. Semke signed with Hendrick Motorsports in October 2016.

ELLIOTT AT KANSAS: On Sunday, Oct. 20, Elliott will appear at the Team Chevy Stage at 11 a.m. local time for a question-and-answer session.

William Byron
No. 24 UniFirst Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

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

2019 Season

  • 12th in standings
  • 31 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 5 pole positions
  • 3 top-five finishes
  • 11 top-10 finishes
  • 224 laps led

Career

  • 67 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 5 pole positions
  • 3 top-five finishes
  • 15 top-10 finishes
  • 285 laps led

Track Career 

  • 3 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 0 top-10 finishes
  • 4 laps led
William Byron, driver of the No. 24 UniFirst Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media on Friday, Oct. 18, at 4:45 p.m. local time in the media center at Kansas Speedway.

RECAPPING THE ROUND OF 12: With only one race remaining in the second round of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, William Byron heads to Kansas Speedway this weekend looking for redemption. While the sophomore driver has scored the second-most stage points (20) in the Round of 12, a 13th-place finish at Dover and a 33rd-place finish at Talladega have left him sitting 12th in the Cup Series playoff standings, 27 points below the cut-off line. This weekend’s race will be Byron’s final chance to keep his playoff dreams alive in his Cup playoff debut, with his surest chance to advance to the next round being a win on Sunday.

LEADING THE FIELD: In the NASCAR Cup Series, Byron currently holds the longest active streak of races with at least one lap led at three. The 21-year-old driver is just ahead of Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson and competitor Kurt Busch, both of whom have led laps in two consecutive races.

UNIFIRST RETURNS: This weekend will be the third and final time in 2019 that Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will have UniFirst Corporation (NYSE: UNF) on board, featuring the company’s signature green and white colors. In 2016, Unifirst and Hendrick Motorsports announced an eight-year partnership that runs through the 2023 NASCAR season. UniFirst is the official workwear provider of Hendrick Motorsports, supplying work clothing and uniforms to the team and its sister company, Hendrick Automotive Group, which is the largest privately held retail automotive organization in the United States.

TOUGH LUCK AT KANSAS: With three previous NASCAR Cup Series starts at Kansas Speedway, luck has not been on Byron’s side at the 1.5-mile oval. While running solidly within the top 10 at the end of the 2018 spring race, the No. 24 driver was collected in a multi-car incident with 14 laps to go, ending his night with a 33rd-place finish. In the fall of 2018, Byron felt like he had one of the best cars he had driven all season, but a mechanical failure 55 laps in resulted in a 38th-place finish. In the spring event this season, Byron was running second when an issue on pit road during green-flag stops forced a 20th-place result.

EARLY KANSAS SUCCESS: Byron saw success at Kansas early in his career. In his first two NASCAR national series starts at the 1.5-mile track – one in the Xfinity Series and one in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series – he started from the pole position in both races and finished no worse than fourth. In his debut at the track in 2016, just his fifth Truck Series start, Byron started from the top spot, led 34 laps and collected his first Truck Series win, which kick-started the most successful season by a rookie in the history of the series.

TALLADEGA TIMES: Qualifying third for this past weekend’s race at Talladega Superspeedway, Byron went on to capture his second career Cup Series stage win during the opening segment Sunday before rain postponed the rest of the race until Monday afternoon. Remaining in contention at the front of the field when the race restarted, Byron was battling for the lead with 26 laps to go when an untimely push from behind turned the No. 24 Chevy and ended his day early with a 33rd-place finish.

MEET BYRON: Fans will have two chances to meet Byron this weekend at Kansas Speedway. The first opportunity is Saturday, Oct. 19, at 11:45 a.m. local time in the infield FanWalk. Byron will also make an appearance at the Team Chevy stage in the Kansas Speedway Fan Zone on Sunday, Oct. 20, at 10:10 a.m. local time for a question-and-answer session.

HERTZ ULTIMATE RIDE SWEEPSTAKES: In conjunction with Hendrick Motorsports, Hertz is introducing a new “pace car” to its fleet with a limited-edition custom 2020 Camaro ZL1 and 2020 Camaro SS. Available to be reserved beginning mid-October 2019, customers have the opportunity to rent the custom Camaros fashioned in the signature Hertz yellow and black color scheme with custom wheels, interior badging and full performance upgrades outfitted by Hendrick Motorsports. In conjunction with the program rollout, customers can celebrate the debut of the limited-edition Camaros by participating in The Hertz Ultimate Ride Sweepstakes – beginning Sept. 18, through Nov. 15, 2019 – for a chance to win a 2020 Hertz-Hendrick Motorsports Camaro SS. Five finalists will also win an exclusive driving experience in Charlotte. Click here for more information on the Hertz-Hendrick custom Camaro program.

Jimmie Johnson
No. 48 Ally Fueling Futures/Jimmie Johnson Foundation Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Driver Jimmie Johnson   Hometown El Cajon, California
Age 44                             Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2019 Season

  • 17th in standings
  • 31 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 3 top-five finishes
  • 11 top-10 finishes
  • 91 laps led

Career

  • 646 starts
  • 83 wins
  • 36 pole positions
  • 227 top-five finishes
  • 363 top-10 finishes
  • 18,794 laps led

Track Career 

  • 26 starts
  • 3 wins
  • 3 pole positions
  • 9 top-five finishes
  • 18 top-10 finishes
  • 601 laps led
THAT’S TALLADEGA: Jimmie Johnson had a strong run going Monday at Talladega Superspeedway but was collected in a multi-car incident on Lap 106 as he was running in the top five. Prior to the incident, he started the race fourth and finished Stage 1 in seventh. He was on track for another top-10 finish in Stage 2 when the incident ended his day. He was credited with a 38th-place finish.

KANSAS WINS: The No. 48 driver has seen plenty of success over the course of his 26 starts at Kansas Speedway, accumulating three wins at the 1.5-mile track. The driver’s last win came on May 9, 2015, when he led the final 10 laps to edge competitor Kevin Harvick for the victory. He owns 28 wins on 1.5-mile tracks in his career, the most all-time.

FUELING FUTURES: This weekend at Kansas Speedway, the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will feature a special paint scheme to recognize the Jimmie Johnson Foundation and Ally Fueling Futures. The Fueling Futures program debuted at Michigan International Speedway in August and later hosted more than 60 high school students from Charlotte, North Carolina, at the Hendrick Motorsports campus in September. The program is a collaboration between Ally Financial and the Jimmie Johnson Foundation to introduce children and teens to careers in motor sports and money basics. For a look back at both events, click here for Michigan and here for Charlotte.

HELMET OF HOPE: In June, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation announced the five charities – nominated by a week-long public vote – that would be the recipients of the $25,000 grants awarded to not-for-profit organizations that support K-12 public education. The five organizations are Art With a Heart in Indianapolis; High Mountain Youth Project in Ruidoso, New Mexico; Immigrant Family Services Institute in Roslindale, Massachusetts; Lakeshore Elementary School PTA in San Francisco; and Pilot Light in Chicago. To date, the program has contributed more than $1.2 million to 111 different charities. More than 215,000 votes were cast for the 10 semifinalists during the voting period. The five winning organizations will be featured on Johnson’s special Helmet of Hope for this weekend’s race.

VISOR STRIP CAMPAIGN: Along with Johnson’s Helmet of Hope, a number of the driver’s teammates and competitors will sport a specially designed Jimmie Johnson Foundation visor strip on their respective helmets. After the race, the autographed visors will be available in an online auction to raise funds for the Jimmie Johnson Foundation programs that support K-12 public education. For more information, click here.

PINK ACCENTS: To promote awareness for October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Johnson will don pink Alpinestars driving gloves and an Ally Racing hat with pink accents.

SPORTY OVER NEXT FIVE: At the next five tracks on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit, Johnson owns 24 wins. In addition to the three wins at Kansas Speedway, he has nine at Martinsville Speedway, seven at Texas Motor Speedway, four at ISM Raceway and one win at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Alex Bowman
No. 88 Nationwide AgriBusiness Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Driver Alex Bowman   Hometown Tucson, Arizona
Age 26                         Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2019 Season

  • 7th in standings
  • 30 starts
  • 1 win
  • 0 pole positions
  • 6 top-five finishes
  • 10 top-10 finishes
  • 182 laps led

Career

  • 147 starts
  • 1 win
  • 2 pole positions
  • 9 top-five finishes
  • 24 top-10 finishes
  • 456 laps led

Track Career 

  • 8 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 1 top-five finish
  • 2 top-10 finishes
  • 33 laps led
Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 88 Nationwide AgriBusiness Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media on Friday, Oct. 18, at 1:30 p.m. local time in the media center at Kansas Speedway.

ON BOWMAN’S SIDE: Nationwide will adorn the hood of Alex Bowman’s No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway. On Aug. 28, Bowman joined the Nationwide AgriBusiness team at the Farm Progress show in Illinois to unveil the No. 88 machine that will run at Kansas on Sunday. Nationwide is the No. 1 farm insurer in the country, which is important to them since the company was founded by farmers. Check out the scheme here.

TALLADEGA RECAP: Bowman and the No. 88 Nationwide team qualified second for the event at Talladega Superspeedway last weekend. For the majority of Stage 1, the 26-year-old maintained a spot inside the top 10. The Chevrolet teammates stuck together, and Bowman crossed the line third at the conclusion of the opening segment. As the field completed the stage, raindrops were reported on track. NASCAR brought the cars down pit road and the track went under the red flag. The event resumed on Monday afternoon and Bowman rolled off third at the start of Stage 2. He remained inside the top 10 once again and as the laps wound down in the stage, the driver found himself in the front of the field. Knowing that stage points are key, he stayed out front but with two laps to go in the segment, the driver was involved in an on-track incident that ultimately ended his day. The No. 88 team was relegated to a 37th-place finish.

PLAYOFF STANDINGS: Following his 37th-place finish at Talladega on Monday, Bowman now sits ninth in the playoff standings. The driver of the No. 88 machine is currently 18 points out of the eighth position with one race remaining to advance to the Round of 8. Earlier this year, Bowman earned 42 points at Kansas Speedway after leading 63 laps, his third-most in a race.

QUICK FEET: So far in the 2019 season, the No. 88 Nationwide pit crew ranks fourth among all teams with an average four-tire stop of 14.364 seconds. In the five previous playoff events, the No. 88 crew ranks first against all competitors with an average stop of 13.660 seconds.

BOWMAN STATS IN KANSAS: Bowman will make his ninth Cup Series start at Kansas Speedway on Sunday. His three top-10s at the venue are tied for his most at a single track. Earlier this season, the Tucson, Arizona, native qualified fifth and led 63 laps en route to a second-place finish at the 1.5-mile facility. He had the second-best average running position of sixth and spent 181 laps inside the top five, which was the most for a driver in that event. The 26-year-old driver has one top-five finish and three top-10s at Kansas. He made one start at the track in the NASCAR Xfinity Series back in 2013 and finished 11th at the end of the 200-lap event. Additionally, he made two starts at Kansas in the ARCA Series and brought home the win in both races including from the pole in 2012.

1.5-MILE TRACK STATS: Bowman has made eight starts on 1.5-mile tracks this season and owns an average finish of 9.6. In June, he captured his first career NASCAR Cup Series victory at Chicagoland Speedway after rolling off fifth. Bowman is one of 13 active drivers with a win on a track that length.

KANSAS STATE OF MIND FOR IVES: Crew chief Greg Ives will call the shots for the 10th time for the No. 88 team at Kansas Speedway this weekend. The Bark River, Michigan, native has two top-five finishes and five top-10s at the 1.5-mile oval. Earlier this season, Ives led the team to a second-place finish after leading 63 laps at the venue. Ives’ drivers have completed 99.9 percent of the total laps run in their starts at Kansas. The crew chief’s resume also includes one top-five finish and two top-10s at the track in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. In 2013, the crew chief’s driver led 81 laps en route to a third-place finish. Ives was a race engineer for the No. 48 team at Hendrick Motorsports from 2006 until 2012. During that time, he was a part of two wins, two pole awards and eight top-10 finishes at Kansas.

POINTS, POINTS, POINTS: In the Round of 12, Bowman and the No. 88 team have secured 18 stage points, which is the fourth-highest amount of stage points secured among playoff drivers. The 26-year-old driver earned 53 total points between the races at Dover International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway in the Round of 12, the sixth-highest total among the 12 playoff drivers.

HOME-TRACK FEELS: No. 88 team fueler Jacob Conley, grew up approximately 204 miles from Kansas Speedway in Omaha, Nebraska. The new father to a baby girl went to Doane University in Crete, Nebraska, and graduated with a degree in sociology in 2012. While at the university, Conley played offensive tackle for the Tigers and was a starter during all four years.

TEAM CHEVY: On Sunday, Oct. 20, Bowman will be at the Team Chevy stage at 10:30 a.m. local time for a question-and-answer session.

VICTORY TOUR IN KANSAS: Last Wednesday, Bowman visited Kansas City, Kansas, for a victory tour with Kansas Speedway. The Nationwide driver visited Giving the Basics, which is a non-profit organization that provides the basic necessities of everyday life to people in need. The organization works with food pantries and schools to make sure that individuals who are in need of those necessities have access to them. While there, Bowman helped pack boxes with necessary products and helped load cars that will deliver the items to people in need. Check out Bowman’s day here.

Hendrick Motorsports

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT KANSAS: Hendrick Motorsports leads all teams with seven wins, five runner-up results, 33 top-five finishes, 58 top-10s and 1,233 laps led. Its five poles at the track are tied for the most, and its drivers’ average finish of 13.3 is the best of all teams.

1.5-MILERS: Hendrick Motorsports owns an all-time record total of 59 wins at 1.5-mile tracks, and its drivers’ average finish of 11.38 on the track length in 2019 leads all teams. Three Hendrick Motorsports drivers have won at 1.5-mile tracks. Jimmie Johnson has earned 28 wins, the most all-time, and Alex Bowman and Chase Elliott have one apiece.

2019 VS. 2018: Through eight races on 1.5-mile tracks in 2019, Hendrick Motorsports has improved its stats in virtually every category compared to the same starts in 2018. This year, the organization owns two more poles, one more win, six more top-five finishes, 11 more top-10s and 441 more laps led. The drivers have also bettered their average start by more than six positions and average finish by more than nine positions, scoring 393 more points than 2018 in the process.

PILING UP POLE POSITIONS: After securing just two poles in 2018, Hendrick Motorsports has amassed 10 poles this year, the most of all teams in 2019, with five races remaining in the season. It’s the fourth-highest total the organization has earned in a single season, tied with the 1995 campaign. Hendrick Motorsports’ record for poles came in 1986 with 16, followed by 12 in 2007 and 2009, and 11 in 2008 and 2012.

SWEEPING UP: Hendrick Motorsports has tied its most-ever front-row sweeps in a single season with seven. In fact, the seven front-row sweeps are tied for the most in a single season in the modern era with the organization’s seven in 1986.

PLAYOFF WINNERS: Hendrick Motorsports has won at least once in 15 of the 16 seasons of the playoffs, with the 2017 campaign as the only outlier.

POSTSEASON POSITIONING: The 2019 season marks a series-best 12th in which Hendrick Motorsports has sent at least three drivers to the playoffs. It is also the 14th consecutive year that the organization has at least two drivers in the playoffs, which is the most of all teams. Its three drivers still in the playoffs in the Round of 12 are tied for the most from a single team.

LEADING LAPS: In 2019, Hendrick Motorsports has more than doubled its total of laps led from a season ago. Last year, the organization’s drivers tallied 497 laps led. After last weekend’s race at Talladega, the 2019 total has been brought to 1,094 laps up front with five races remaining in the season.

ORGANIZATION STATS: To date, Hendrick Motorsports has totals of 12 championships, 256 race victories, 225 pole positions, 1,067 top-five finishes and 1,833 top-10 finishes in points-paying NASCAR Cup Series competition. Its teams have led more than 68,800 laps since 1984.

QUOTABLE / 

Chase Elliott on racing at Kansas:
“We are going to head out to Kansas and try to get a win. That’s about all we can do now. We just have to have the mindset to go out there and control what we can control and do everything we can to get a win. I feel as confident going there as I do anywhere. Just going to hope for the best. That’s all we can do.”

William Byron on whether Kansas is a ‘cookie-cutter’ 1.5-mile track:
“I don’t think so this year. I think it will be interesting to see how things play out with how our mile-and-half packages have evolved just throughout the year, whether it continues that trend this weekend or whether it reverts back to how it was in the spring at Kansas. I’m just interested to see how that is since the cars have come a long way since that race. I’m also interested to see with it being an elimination race, I think it will open things up for different strategies. It’s a bit of an unknown at this point.”

Jimmie Johnson on going from Talladega to Kansas: 
“I refuse to look at a 38th-place finish last week and get discouraged about my team. The progress and performance is there. We just can’t get the finishes for one reason or another. I can’t wait to get to the track this weekend. Kansas has been a good track for me. I’m also looking forward to having the Ally Fueling Futures logo on the car as well as wearing the Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope. It reminds me of our effort to give back as well as all the good things my partners and the Jimmie Johnson Foundation do for public education.”

Alex Bowman on getting back to Kansas:
“I can’t wait to get to Kansas this weekend. I feel like I gave that one away in the spring. I know that car we are taking there is really good. That’s one of my favorite tracks, regardless of everything. I am looking forward to getting there and it definitely is a race that puts on a great show. This track is probably the best place to showcase the current rules package.”

Bowman on the spring race at Kansas:
“At the end of the race earlier this year, we had all of those cautions. Some guys took tires and some stayed out. We were on much older tires than the guys we were racing, so that definitely didn’t help us. I went to the bottom behind a lapped car, lost the nose and had to lift. That ultimately gave Brad (Keselowski) the opportunity to get around me. He was faster than we were at that point, just based on him being on fresher tires. I would have liked to put up a better fight than I did.”

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

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