Hendrick Motorsports Focuses On Texas

Hendrick Motorsports / 5 24 48 88

TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY (1.5-MILE OVAL)

LOCATION: FORT WORTH, TEXAS
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACE 34 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 3 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, NOV. 3 (NBCSN/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

  • 8th in standings
  • 33 starts
  • 3 wins
  • 4 pole positions
  • 11 top-five finishes
  • 15 top-10 finishes
  • 601 laps led

Career

  • 146 starts
  • 6 wins
  • 8 pole positions
  • 44 top-five finishes
  • 74 top-10 finishes
  • 1,844 laps led

Track Career 

  • 7 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 2 top-five finishes
  • 5 top-10 finishes
  • 44 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, Nov. 1, at 3:30 p.m. local time in the media center at Texas Motor Speedway.

NAPA AUTO PARTS: The primary blue, white and yellow NAPA AUTO PARTS paint scheme will grace the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for the final three races of the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series season. The Atlanta-based company served as the majority sponsor for Chase Elliott and the No. 9 team for a total of 26 NASCAR Cup Series races this year. Most recently, NAPA was on the car at Kansas when Elliott locked himself into the Round of 8 in the playoffs.

ROUND OF 8: Last weekend at Martinsville Speedway marked the first race of the Round of 8 in the playoffs. Elliott currently sits eighth in the standings, 44 points below the cut line after his 36th-place finish at Martinsville. The driver of the No. 9 Chevy will have two more chances (Texas Motor Speedway and ISM Raceway) to lock himself into the Championship 4. Don’t count him out, as Elliott proved in the Round of 12 that he can make a comeback.

‘LONE STAR STATE’ STATS: This weekend, Elliott is set to make his eighth NASCAR Cup Series start at Texas Motor Speedway. In his previous seven starts, Elliott has garnered two top-five finishes, five top-10s and an average finishing position of 8.0, currently the best average finish at Texas of all time. Based on average finish, Texas is among his top five tracks along with the Charlotte road course, Watkins Glen, Michigan and Homestead. In the five races since the track reconfiguration at Texas in 2017, Elliott ranks fifth among active drivers for the best average finish (9.4). Elliott collected his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory at the 1.5-mile speedway in April 2014. In his five XFINITY Series starts there, he accumulated three top-five finishes and five top-10s.

1.5-MILE TRACK STATS: Elliott will make his 44th start on a 1.5-mile track this weekend. In his previous 43 starts on the track length, he has led 428 laps. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native scored his first 1.5-mile track win last October at Kansas Speedway. Along with that win, Elliott has collected 15 top-five finishes – three of which are runner-up results – and 24 top-10s on 1.5-mile tracks. This season, the 23-year-old driver has collected the third-most points (339) among playoff drivers on 1.5-mile tracks. He currently has an active streak of two races (Kansas and Las Vegas) with top-10s at tracks that length.

EARLIER THIS SEASON AT TEXAS: Back in March, Elliott and the No. 9 team qualified third at Texas Motor Speedway. He raced inside the top five for much of the event, finishing Stage 1 in third. A scheduled-green flag pit stop with fewer than 40 laps remaining put the driver back on track in 20th. He was able to gain seven positions down the stretch to finish the race in 13th, collecting 32 points – the third-highest of drivers in the playoffs.

William Byron
No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

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

2019 Season

  • 10th in standings
  • 33 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 5 pole positions
  • 5 top-five finishes
  • 13 top-10 finishes
  • 225 laps led

Career

  • 69 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 5 pole positions
  • 5 top-five finishes
  • 17 top-10 finishes
  • 286 laps led

Track Career 

  • 3 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 2 top-10 finishes
  • 16 laps led
William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media on Friday, Nov. 1, at 3:15 p.m. local time in the media center at Texas Motor Speedway.

SECOND-HALF SAVVY: William Byron has been successful during his sophomore NASCAR Cup Series season, but he has ramped up his efforts during the second half of the year. Not only did Byron collect his first Cup Series top-five finish in the July Daytona race, but he has collected four more top-five finishes since then. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native scored back-to-back top-five finishes for the first time in his Cup career with a fifth-place finish at Kansas Speedway and a second-place finish last weekend at Martinsville Speedway. In those same 16 races, only four other Cup drivers have more top-five finishes, and Byron has an average finish of 12.0, fifth-best across the field.

FRONT OF THE FIELD: Not only has Byron collected five pole awards in 2019, including being a part of all seven front row sweeps for Hendrick Motorsports, but he has also led 225 laps, almost four times more than he did his rookie season (61). The 21-year-old driver has also improved his number of laps running in the top five and top 10 throughout the season. Of the five races Byron has spent the most time running in the top 10, only one race occurred during 2018 and ranks third overall (spring Richmond with 263 laps) while the other four are all from his second Cup season (fall Martinsville, Charlotte 600, Chicagoland and fall Kansas). Of the five races Byron has spent the most time within the top five, all of them occurred this season (Daytona 500, spring Texas, fall Dover, Charlotte 600 and fall Martinsville).

MARTINSVILLE MERIT: While Martinsville Speedway hadn’t been kind to Byron throughout his Cup Series career, this past weekend the driver of the No. 24 turned the page on his success at the 0.526-mile paved oval. Starting 11th Sunday afternoon, Byron moved his way through the field and found himself in contention for the lead throughout the entire race. In fact, of the 500 laps, Byron spent 499 of them running within the top 10, 352 laps racing within the top five, and 104 laps running second and battling for the lead – the most ever for Byron in a Cup Series race. Restarting on the outside row with 24 laps to go, he battled for the top spot remaining on the back bumper of the leader as the laps wound down. Hoping to secure his first Cup Series win, Byron ultimately crossed the finish line in second, collecting his fifth top-five finish of the season.

AT IT AGAIN WITH AXALTA: After a brief hiatus, Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will once again have the iconic Axalta flames back on board for this weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway. After this weekend, Axalta Coating Systems will appear one final time on the No. 24 in 2019 for the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

TOUGH TO BEAT AT TEXAS: Since the start of his NASCAR career, Texas Motor Speedway has statistically been one of Byron’s best tracks. He became the youngest driver to ever win a Truck Series race at Texas in June 2016. Across seven starts, Byron has finished inside the top-10 six times, with an average finish of 3.5 in Trucks and 8.0 in Xfinity. His average finish of 10.6 in Cup in the “Lone Star State” has him ranked seventh all-time at Texas.

KNAUS KNOWS: This weekend, No. 24 team crew chief Chad Knaus will call his 34th Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway from on top of the pit box. In his 33 previous races, Knaus has won seven times at the “No Limits” track, with the most recent win coming in the spring race of 2017. In his career as Cup crew chief, Knaus’ seven wins at Texas ranks fourth for tracks he has the most wins at behind Dover International Speedway (11), Martinsville Speedway (nine) and Charlotte Motor Speedway (eight).

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 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

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

2019 Season

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

Career

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

Track Career 

  • 32 starts
  • 7 wins
  • 2 pole positions
  • 16 top-five finishes
  • 22 top-10 finishes
  • 1,112 laps led
BETTER THAN AVERAGE: Jimmie Johnson has had his fair share of success at Texas Motor Speedway. The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion has an average finish of 9.6 at the 1.5-mile track, which is the fourth-best all-time. He has the most top-five (16) and top-10 (22) finishes of all current drivers and has contributed seven wins in the “Lone Star State” to the 59 wins Hendrick Motorsports has earned on 1.5-mile tracks all time.

WINNING WAYS: Johnson has won four of the last 10 races at Texas Motor Speedway, double of any other driver during that span. He has led 1,112 laps around the 1.5-mile track in his career.

LAST TIME OUT: In the spring race at Texas, Johnson won the pole position in qualifying for the event. He led 60 laps and finished Stage 1 in second and Stage 2 in 10th. The driver brought the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 home in fifth place at the end of the day.

TEXAS STRAIGHT: Johnson won three straight races at Texas between November 2014 and November 2015 – the longest streak ever by a driver at the track. He also has posted three-race win streaks at ISM Raceway, Las Vegas and Martinsville. Johnson won four-in-a-row at Charlotte Motor Speedway from May 2004 to October 2005.

ON THIS DAY: Johnson won the last Cup race on Nov. 3, this week’s race date, back in 2013 at Texas. He led 255 of the 334 laps en route to Victory Lane. Three Hendrick Motorsports cars finished inside the top five with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in second and Kasey Kahne in fifth.

MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE: Texas is one of four tracks on the circuit where Johnson has led more than 1,000 laps, joining Dover (3,110), Martinsville (2,862) and Charlotte (1,930).

MOST ALL-TIME WINS ON 1.5-MILERS: Johnson is the NASCAR Cup Series’ all-time wins leader on 1.5-mile tracks with 28. Second all-time is Johnson’s former teammate Jeff Gordon with 17 victories, followed by Tony Stewart (15), Kevin Harvick (15), Dale Earnhardt (14), Kyle Busch (13), Brad Keselowski (13) and Martin Truex, Jr. (12).

MARTINSVILLE REWIND: Johnson suffered another bout with bad luck at Martinsville Speedway last Sunday. The driver started 24th but was knocking on the door of the top 10 when he was collected in a multiple-car incident on Lap 361. The damage ended the No. 48 team’s day and he was scored with a 38th-place finish.

Alex Bowman
No. 88 Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

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

2019 Season

  • 12th in standings
  • 33 starts
  • 1 win
  • 0 pole positions
  • 6 top-five finishes
  • 10 top-10 finishes
  • 189 laps led

Career

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

Track Career 

  • 8 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 0 top-10 finishes
  • 3 laps led
WELCOME VALVOLINE: Valvoline Inc. – a leading worldwide supplier of premium branded lubricants and automotive services – extended its partnership with Hendrick Motorsports through 2022 in January 2018. Valvoline will be on board the No. 88 Camaro ZL1 this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. The Official Lubricants Partner for Hendrick Motorsports also serves as an associate sponsor on the team’s full stable of Chevrolets.

VALVOLINE IG TAKEOVER: This weekend the driver of the No. 88 Valvoline Chevrolet, Alex Bowman, will be taking over the Valvoline Instagram account to give a behind-the-scenes look at a race weekend in Texas. Be sure to follow @Valvoline on Instagram and tag along. 

BOWMAN IN THE ‘LONE STAR STATE’: The driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet will make his ninth start in the Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. Bowman’s best finish came in 2016 when he piloted the No. 88 machine to a 13th-place finish. Earlier this year, the team had to start at the back of the field after being forced to a back-up car following qualifying. Bowman went on to finish 18th in the spring. The Tucson, Arizona, native has two starts at Texas in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, starting from the pole position in both events in 2013.

1.5-MILE STATS: Bowman has made nine starts on 1.5-mile tracks this season and owns an average finish of 9.7. In June, he captured his first career NASCAR Cup Series victory at Chicagoland Speedway after rolling off fifth. He is one of 13 active drivers with a win on a 1.5-mile track.

IVES IN TEXAS: Crew chief Greg Ives will call the shots for the 10th time for the No. 88 team at Texas this weekend. The Bark River, Michigan, native has three top-five finishes and four top-10s at the track, with a best finish of second coming in the spring of 2016 with Dale Earnhardt Jr. The crew chief has four starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at the track and has one win (Chase Elliott, 2014), two top-five finishes and four top-10s. 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, one pole award and nine top-10s at Texas.

CHEVY STAGE: Bowman will be out at the Chevrolet display in the FanZone at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 3, at 11 a.m. local time for a question-and-answer session.

CLOSE TO HOME: One member of the No. 88 team calls Texas Motor Speedway his home track. Parker Winebrenner, an engineer for the Valvoline team, grew up just outside of Houston, which is approximately four hours away from the 1.5-mile track. The Texas native attended Texas A&M University, where he received a B.S. degree in aerospace engineering. Winebrenner has attended multiple IndyCar events at the track and has sat in the grandstands during a NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series event at the venue.

Hendrick Motorsports

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT TEXAS: At Texas Motor Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports’ 10 pole positions are the most all-time, and its nine wins are tied with Roush-Fenway Racing for the most all-time. In addition, the organization has 38 top-five finishes, 70 top-10s and 2,409 laps led at the venue. In the past 14 races at Texas, Hendrick Motorsports has visited Victory Lane six times, the most of all teams in that span. In each of the past 26 races, at least one Hendrick Motorsports driver has finished inside the top 10, which is the longest streak all-time at Texas.

TEXAS IN THE PLAYOFFS: A Hendrick Motorsports driver has won four of the last seven races at Texas during the playoffs, and its five overall playoff race wins at the track are the most by any team. The second closest are Joe Gibbs Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing with three.

ON THIS DAY: The last time the NASCAR Cup Series raced on Nov. 3 – the date of this Sunday’s race – Jimmie Johnson took home the victory at Texas after leading 255 of 334 laps. Three cars from the organization finished inside the top five that race, with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in second and Kasey Kahne in fifth.

IMPROVEMENT ON 1.5-MILE TRACKS: Comparing Hendrick Motorsports through nine 1.5-mile track races in 2018 and 2019, the organization has improved in virtually every category. In 2019, the organization has two more poles, the same number of wins, seven more top-five finishes, 12 more top-10s, 409 more laps led, an average finish improved by 5.2 positions and an average finish improved by 9.3 positions.

1.5-MILE SUCCESS: Hendrick Motorsports owns 59 wins on tracks 1.5 miles in length, which is the most all-time. The organization’s average finish of 10.8 on 1.5-mile tracks in 2019 is the second-best of all organization this season behind Joe Gibbs Racing’s average finish of 10.7.

LAST EIGHT: Over the last eight races of 2019, Hendrick Motorsports’ three runner-up finishes and 17 top-10 results are the most of all teams in that span. Its two pole positions are tied for the most in the series. The organization has secured a win and eight top-five finishes in the last eight races, with at least one driver finishing in the top 10 in all eight and at least two drivers finishing in the top 10 in five of eight. Additionally, its drivers have led laps in eight of the last 10 races.

CLOSING STRONG: At the final three tracks on the schedule – Texas Motor Speedway, ISM Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports owns a combined 21 wins. Its 10 wins at ISM Raceway are the most all-time and its nine wins at Texas are tied for the most all-time.

PILING UP POLE POSITIONS: After securing just two poles in 2018, Hendrick Motorsports has amassed 10 pole positions this year, the most of all teams in 2019 with three 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. The organization has the most front-row starts in a single season in the modern era of seven, tied with the 1986 campaign.

SWEEPING UP: This year, 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.

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 Martinsville, the 2019 total has been brought to 1,106 laps up front with three races remaining in the season.

MOST POPULAR DRIVER: This year’s Most Popular Driver award presented by Hooters is officially open. Last year, Chase Elliott took home the trophy. Fans can vote for one driver per day from now until Dec. 4 at noon ET, and votes shared on Twitter and/or Facebook count double. The recipient of this year’s award will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 5, during the NASCAR Cup Series Awards banquet in Nashville, Tennessee.

ORGANIZATION STATS: To date, Hendrick Motorsports has totals of 12 championships, 256 race victories, 225 pole positions, 1,070 top-five finishes and 1,837 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 the Texas repave:
“It’s just a different racetrack. (Turns) 3 and 4 are obviously similar with the banking and everything, but 1 and 2 have been the struggle for everyone. Obviously for us, but I think everyone struggles on that end more than 3 and 4, so it’s just a matter of minimizing our problems on the 1-2 side of the track relative to everybody else. I feel like that has been our weak point at the racetrack since they re-did it.”

William Byron on the corners after the Texas repave:
“I think you can be good in both. Turns 1 and 2 was where more speed was made earlier this year and getting off Turn 2 was an important thing for a fast lap. I’ll be interested to see if Turns 3 and 4 have worn at all since we were there last though. It’s usually a pretty hot race, even in November. We had a great race there in the spring though. We weren’t position to win that early on in the season but we were in the top five most of the day before finishing sixth. I think this time we’ll have a great opportunity to go in there and have a great run.”

Jimmie Johnson on moving from Martinsville to Texas:
“Its unfortunate we keep having these things happen to us. Martinsville we had a fast car – long runs we were running top-three lap times. We just got caught up with nowhere to go and were unlucky. I look forward to sitting in that race car every week and going to a track where we have had tremendous success.”

Alex Bowman on potential at Texas:
“Our intermediate program at Hendrick (Motorsports) is pretty good. I feel like we are able to work on our cars throughout the weekend and continue to improve throughout the race. Earlier this year, we had a really good car in Texas. We had a pit road penalty in the race that kind of threw off our strategy. I am looking forward to unloading on Friday and seeing what this Valvoline Chevrolet can do.”

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.