Hendrick Motorsports Readies For Texas

Alex Bowman

Hendrick Motorsports / 5 24 48 88

TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY (1.5-MILE OVAL)

LOCATION: FORT WORTH, TEXAS
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACE 18 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 3 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, JULY 19 (NBCSN/PRN/SIRIUSXM)

Chase Elliott
No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE

Driver Chase Elliott   Hometown Dawsonville, Georgia
Age 24                       Resides Dawsonville, Georgia

2020 Season

  • 4th in standings
  • 17 starts
  • 1 win
  • 1 pole position
  • 7 top-five finishes
  • 9 top-10 finishes
  • 451 laps led

Career

  • 166 starts
  • 7 wins
  • 9 pole positions
  • 51 top-five finishes
  • 83 top-10 finishes
  • 2,295 laps led

Track Career 

  • 8 starts
  • 0 win
  • 0 pole positions
  • 2 top-five finishes
  • 5 top-10 finishes
  • 44 laps led
MILLION DOLLAR THRILL: On Wednesday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, Chase Elliott drove his No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE to take the checkered flag after dominating the field during the 2020 NASCAR All-Star Race. Elliott won Stages 2 and 3 before crossing the finish line first in the final stage and earning the $1 million prize.

FIRST TIMER: Elliott wasn’t the only one to secure his first career all-star win on Wednesday night. Alan Gustafson also collected his first victory in the event. Now in his 16th season as a NASCAR Cup Series crew chief, the 44-year-old has accumulated 153 top-five finishes, 268 top-10s and 31 pole awards.

FATHER-SON DUO: With Elliott’s victory on Wednesday night, he and his father, NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, joined Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. as the second father-son combination to win the NASCAR All-Star Race. The Elliotts have won the only two all-star events not held at Charlotte Motor Speedway – Bill Elliott won it at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1986.

LONE STAR STATS: This weekend, Elliott, driver of the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, is set to make his ninth NASCAR Cup Series start at Texas Motor Speedway. In his previous eight races, Elliott has garnered two top-five finishes, five top-10s and an average finishing position of 11.0, currently the fifth-best average finish of all time at the track. He will roll off the grid eighth for Sunday’s 334-lap event.

NO STRANGER TO TEXAS: Elliott collected his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory at Texas in April 2014, becoming the second-youngest driver to win an Xfinity race. In his five starts in the Xfinity Series, Elliott accumulated three top-five finishes, five top-10s and averaged a finishing position of 5.0.

GIVING BACK: For the ninth year, NAPA will partner with the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF) to drive awareness and support for our nation’s service members who suffer from traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress. NAPA will also recognize heroes on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. To show appreciation for doctors, nurses and all other essential personnel working to keep our country moving forward, NAPA is helping the American Red Cross deliver its lifesaving mission due to the coronavirus outbreak. Donations will be made to the American Red Cross and Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund with each purchase at a NAPA AUTO PARTS location in July.

NAPA SALUTES: Elliott’s No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet will showcase IFHF on the television panel this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. The No. 9 car will also feature the name of U.S. Marine Corps Master Sgt. Jasper F. Heilig, who enlisted in the Marine Corps on July 21, 1998. Heilig served 15 years in the Marines with three combat deployments. He retired in September 2013 as a master sergeant and currently works for the Semper Fi Fund as a Veteran to Veteran lead. Heilig mentors other veterans as they return to civilian life and to their communities.

TRENDING UPWARD: Through 17 races in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season, Elliott is already having a career-best season. He has seven top-five finishes, the most he has collected through 17 races in a season, and his 451 laps led are also a career high at this point in the year.

SHOWING THE WAY: Elliott continues to lead all NASCAR Cup Series drivers in average running position (7.78) and stage wins (five). He has the second-most stage points (175) in the series, has led the fourth-most laps (451) and his 12 points-paying races led are tied for the second-most behind only Joey Logano (13).

1.5-MILE TRACKS IN 2020: In six 1.5-mile races in the 2020 season, Elliott won at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 28, and his two runner-up finishes lead all drivers. On 1.5-milers, he has led the fourth-most laps (189) in the Cup Series, and his three top-five finishes and two stage wins are the second-most in the series this season.

POWER PERFORMANCE: Among the teams competing in the NASCAR Cup Series, the No. 9 pit crew ranks second in fastest average time for four-tire stops at 13.95 seconds through 17 races in 2020.

BEHIND THE 9: Crew chief Alan Gustafson is trying his hand as a host in a new Hendrick Motorsports video series called “Behind the 9” in which he interviews each member of the No. 9 crew. Fans are able to learn about where they came from and the role they serve on the team, with each bringing a unique personality and skillset. Episodes are released every Tuesday on the Hendrick Motorsports Facebook page and YouTube channel. The most recent episode features front-end mechanic Chris Haymaker.

William Byron
No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE

Driver William Byron   Hometown Charlotte, North Carolina
Age 22                         Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2020 Season

  • 14th in standings
  • 17 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 5 top-10 finishes
  • 45 laps led

Career

  • 89 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 5 pole positions
  • 5 top-five finishes
  • 22 top-10 finishes
  • 339 laps led

Track Career 

  • 4 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 2 top-10 finishes
  • 24 laps led
TRUCKIN’ IT IN TEXAS: William Byron’s success at Texas Motor Speedway started over four years ago in his first start at the 1.5-mile oval in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series. Beginning the race from the sixth position, the rookie led six laps before capturing the checkered flag, becoming the youngest driver to win a Truck Series race at Texas.

TEXAS TOUGH: Texas Motor Speedway has been one of Byron’s best tracks throughout his NASCAR career. In fact, his average finish of 12.25 in his four Cup Series starts in the Lone Star State has him ranked seventh all-time for best average finish at Texas. Byron has four other starts at the 1.5-mile oval, with an average finish of 3.5 in two NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series starts and 8.0 in two Xfinity Series races. The third-year Hendrick Motorsports driver looks to continue that success when he rolls off from the 18th position for Sunday’s race.

NINE TO GO: Looking to lock himself into the playoffs for the second time in his three-year NASCAR Cup Series career, Byron is 14th in the standings with two playoff points to his name and nine races left in the regular season. While a win in one of the upcoming points-paying races would automatically secure his position in the fight for the championship, Byron is currently 30 points above the playoff cutline heading into the Texas weekend.

CONSISTENCY, CONSISTENCY: In the last seven races dating back to Martinsville Speedway in June, Byron has six top-15 finishes, tying him with four other Cup Series drivers for the most in that same timespan. In that stretch, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native has three top-10 finishes and paced the field for 30 laps, including a stage win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

KNAUS HAS ‘NO LIMITS’: This weekend, crew chief Chad Knaus will call his 35th Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. In his 34 previous events, Knaus has won seven times at the “No Limits” track, with the most recent victory coming in April 2017. In his career as a Cup crew chief, Knaus’ seven wins at Texas Motor Speedway ranks fourth among the tracks where he has the most victories behind only Dover International Speedway (11), Martinsville Speedway (9) and Charlotte Motor Speedway (8).

AXALTA ON BOARD: After sporting Sea Glass 2.0, Axalta’s 2020 Color of the Year, in Wednesday night’s NASCAR All-Star Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, Byron will head to Texas with the familiar iconic flames back on board his No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. In 2020, Axalta is the 22-race majority partner of the No. 24 team. The company’s relationship with Hendrick Motorsports was recently extended, taking one of the most enduring partnerships in sports through 2027.

HEY NOW, YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: Needing to secure a position in the NASCAR All-Star Race on Wednesday night, Byron started seventh in the Open qualifier. After finishing second in Stage 1, he lined up first for Stage 2 and never looked back, leading every circuit of the 35-lap stint. His stage win locked him into the All-Star Race in the No. 24 Axalta Sea Glass 2.0 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE with an 18th-place starting position. Fighting a tight handling Axalta Chevy throughout the event, Byron raced his way to 12th by the time the checkered flag flew.

Jimmie Johnson
No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE

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

2020 Season

  • 15th in standings
  • 16 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 2 top-five finishes
  • 6 top-10 finishes
  • 99 laps led

Career

  • 667 starts
  • 83 wins
  • 36 pole positions
  • 229 top-five finishes
  • 370 top-10 finishes
  • 18,933 laps led

Track Career 

  • 33 starts
  • 7 wins
  • 2 pole positions
  • 16 top-five finishes
  • 22 top-10 finishes
  • 1,152 laps led
‘SEVEN-TIME’ AT TEXAS: Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson has had his fair share of success in the Lone Star State. The seven-time Texas Motor Speedway winner has won six of the last 15 races at the track and has won four of the last 10 races there, which is twice any other driver during that span. Johnson has an average finish of 10.39 in 33 starts, which is fifth-best of all-time.

NOT HIS FIRST RODEO: In addition to the most wins in history at Texas, Johnson has the most top-five finishes (16) and is now tied with Kevin Harvick for most top-10s (22) of all current drivers. Johnson also has led the most laps there with 1,152 and has the fifth-best average finish of 9.66.

TEXAS TRIPLE: 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 Phoenix Raceway, Las Vegas and Martinsville. Johnson won four-in-a-row at Charlotte Motor Speedway from May 2004 to October 2005.

GUNS A’BLAZIN’: Texas is one of four tracks on the circuit where Johnson has led more than 1,000 laps, joining Dover (3,110), Martinsville (2,932) and Charlotte (1,936). Johnson has led 1,152 at Texas. He also has more wins than anyone else at the following track venues: Dover (11), Martinsville (9), Charlotte (8) and Texas (7).

STEPPING UP THE PIT GAME: The No. 48 crew ranks seventh in the NASCAR Cup Series with an average four-tire stop time of 14.17 seconds. The team is coached by Jon Carvin and consists of veteran gasman Brandon Harder, tire carrier Allan Stallings, jackman Kyle Tudor and tire changers Calvin Teague and Donnie Tasser.

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 on that list is Johnson’s former teammate Jeff Gordon with 17 victories.

HELMET OF HOPE WINNERS ANNOUNCED: The Jimmie Johnson Foundation recently announced the five recipients of this year’s $25,000 Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope grants. The Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope program invites fans and consumers across the country to nominate not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organizations that support K-12 public education for the opportunity to receive one of five available grant packages. This year, the nomination process was expanded to include non-profits that have been directly impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis. The final five were selected via a week-long public vote. More than 223,000 votes were cast for the 10 semi-finalists during the voting period. The five grant recipients are: DMF Youth Inc. (New York, New York); Foodbank of Siouxland (Sioux City, Iowa); National Mental Health Association of Georgia (Atlanta); TABLE Inc. (Carrboro, North Carolina) and Working in the Schools (Chicago). For more information visit www.JimmieJohnsonFoundation.org.

Alex Bowman
No. 88 ChevyGoods.com/Adam’s Polishes Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE ​

Driver Alex Bowman   Hometown Tucson, Arizona
Age 27                         Resides Concord, North Carolina

2020 Season

  • 9th in standings
  • 17 starts
  • 1 win
  • 0 pole positions
  • 2 top-five finishes
  • 5 top-10 finishes
  • 381 laps led

Career

  • 170 starts
  • 2 wins
  • 2 pole positions
  • 12 top-five finishes
  • 31 top-10 finishes
  • 855 laps led

Track Career 

  • 9 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 1 top-five finish
  • 1 top-10 finish
  • 14 laps led
BOWMAN IN TEXAS: Alex Bowman will make his 10th NASCAR Cup Series start at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon. The Tucson, Arizona, native’s best qualifying and finishing position of fifth came in the fall event last season after he led for 11 laps. Bowman also has two starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series from 2013. He qualified on the pole for both events and led a combined seven laps. The 27-year-old driver captured 14th- and 18th-place finishes in those races. He will start from the 12th position on Sunday for the 501-mile event.

1.5-MILE STATS: Bowman has led 215 laps on tracks measuring 1.5 miles in length and has led the second-most laps at 1.5-mile facilities this season. Although he has led over 200 laps, his best finish in 2020 on a track this length was 12th at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The No. 88 team has won three stages on intermediate tracks this season. .

2020 AVERAGE: So far this season, the No. 88 pit crew has an average four-tire pit stop of 14.18 seconds, which is eighth-best among teams in 2020. The driver of the No. 88 machine ranks sixth on the list of drivers with the best average running position in 2020 with an average position of 11.65. Bowman has led 381 laps in 17 events this season, which is seventh on the list of drivers with the most laps led. He has won four stages in 2020 and has collected 151 stage points.

IVES’ LONE STAR STATS: Crew chief Greg Ives has called the shots for the No. 88 Chevrolet 10 times at Texas Motor Speedway. The Bark River, Michigan, native’s resumé includes four top-five finishes and five top-10s. Ives’ best finish at the track came back in 2016 when Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second after 334 laps. The crew chief also has four starts in the Xfinity Series at Texas, which include one win when Chase Elliott led 38 laps to bring home the victory in 2014. As a race engineer for the No. 48 team at Hendrick Motorsports from 2006-2012, Ives was part of two wins, nine top-10 finishes and one pole award with driver Jimmie Johnson.

100 TOGETHER: Ives and Bowman have been teamed up for 99 races in four years and have captured two wins, 12 top-five results, 31 top-10s and two pole awards. The No. 88 duo ranks sixth on the list of longest active driver and crew chief pairings.

WELCOME BACK, CHEVYGOODS.COMThe black and yellow ChevyGoods.com paint scheme featuring Adam’s Polishes will be on board Bowman’s No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE at Texas Motor Speedway. Adam’s Polishes produces high quality products for auto detailing enthusiasts. In January, Hendrick Motorsports announced its partnership with ChevyGoods.com, which includes primary sponsorship of Bowman for 26 events. Associate brands that will be featured throughout 2020 are Adam’s Polishes, NOCO and Truck Hero.

GUEST ON BOARD: The No. 88 team will have a special name on board this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway with Troy Malesky’s name featured on the passenger-side door of Bowman’s Chevrolet. Malesky is a native of Strafford, Missouri, and played college baseball at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. The 34-year-old enlisted in the United States Navy and became a member of the Navy SEALs after completing BUD’s class 285 in 2011. After serving as a SEAL for almost nine years, Malesky recently left the service to focus on being a father and husband. He is now a member of Commercial Real Estate as a broker for Makers Commercial in the greater Denver area.

GOOD DISCOUNTS: During the month of July, No. 88 team sponsor ChevyGoods.com is providing discounts on all accessories, including Adam’s Polishes, NOCO and Truck Hero. Customers can receive 10% off MSRP with purchases of $100-$249 (offer code “GET10”), 15% off with purchases of $250-$499 (code “GET15”), and 20% off with purchases of more than $500 (code “GET20”).

Hendrick Motorsports

ALL-STAR RACING: Chase Elliott’s performance in Wednesday night’s NASCAR All-Star Race at Bristol Motor Speedway was the ninth victory for Hendrick Motorsports in the non-points event, extending the team’s all-time record. In addition, William Byron advanced into the All-Star Race after winning the second stage of the Open qualifier, which gave Hendrick Motorsports four cars in the main event for the 17th time in the last 19 seasons.

TMS SUCCESS: In Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports will be seeking a track-record 10th victory. The organization’s nine wins there are tied with Roush Fenway Racing for the most. Six of Hendrick Motorsports’ Texas wins have come in the last 15 races, which is the highest total of any team during that span.

LONE STAR STREAK: Hendrick Motorsports has placed at least one of its four cars inside the top 10 at Texas for 27 consecutive Cup Series races, the longest-ever streak at the track. The team has 71 total top-10 finishes at the Fort Worth venue, including 39 inside the top five. Its drivers have led 2,468 laps there, just 32 shy of 2,500.

CHAMPS WIN AT TEXAS: Three different drivers – all multi-time NASCAR Cup Series champions – have recorded wins for Hendrick Motorsports at Texas Motor Speedway. Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson has earned seven victories there, while four-time champ Jeff Gordon and two-time title winner Terry Labonte each have one.

JUST THE STATS: Since its inception in 1984, Hendrick Motorsports has 12 championships, 258 race victories, 226 pole positions, 1,082 top-five finishes and 1,864 top-10s in points-paying NASCAR Cup Series competition. Its teams have led 69,865 laps, which is the all-time record. Including 2020, the organization has won at least one race in 35 consecutive seasons, the longest-ever streak. Hendrick Motorsports is 10 wins away from tying Petty Enterprises’ all-time Cup record of 268.

QUOTABLE / 

Driver Chase Elliott on his All-Star Race win:
“Alan (Gustafson) and our entire UniFirst group did a great job. I’m not sure that I’ve had a better car at Bristol. That’s one of those cars that you don’t get very often. We’ve had cars like that before and haven’t won the race so when you have a car that drives that good you just really want to get the job done. It’s one of those things where if you didn’t, you’d be leaving there really kicking yourself.”

Elliott on his last few races:
“These past couple weeks have been a struggle for us. I think we learned some things at Kentucky, Indy and Pocono that we can try to apply this weekend at Texas. They are all places that have straightaways and the outright speed of your car is important nowadays with the downforce and whatnot. I think there are some tools that we learned. We’ve learned some lessons the hard way these past couple weeks and we are going to try and be better and hopefully it will show up at Texas.”

Elliott on the heat at Texas:
“Texas is a hot place. This time of year, I think everywhere is probably going to be hot. It always is. From the hydration standpoint, that’s always important. Preparing to sweat a lot is another big thing. As far as the track goes, I don’t expect the racing to look a whole lot different just because it’s hot. I think it will be really similar to what we’ve seen there in the past. The repave has been a big-time struggle for us. We just need to settle in and try to find some consistency and get going a little better. It’s such a unique place now with the ends being so different and how you want to configure your car.”

Crew chief Alan Gustafson on his Texas outlook:
“We’ve had a stretch of races that haven’t been the greatest for us, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. You just don’t get the finishes that you feel like you deserve. I think we’ve had pretty decent performance in our cars though. We learned some things from Kentucky that we can take to Texas this weekend.”

Driver William Byron on his success at Texas:
“I don’t know why I’ve always been so good at Texas Motor Speedway other than it’s one of the tracks I’ve raced at the most in my career. We always bring fast cars, which definitely helps, especially with the amount of grip the track has. I would say it’s just a bit of luck that Texas suits me. I really like that place and it seems to like me, as well. Hopefully, we will have a good run there this weekend.”

Driver Jimmie Johnson on Texas:
“Since they reconfigured the track, Texas is so weird these days. The line we run in turns one and two is the apron or even below it where we used to race. So the rhythm of the track is really awkward, and in some respects it almost races like Darlington – like an egg-shaped racetrack. You let off really early in (turns) one and two, slow the car down, chase the bottom ,and then the rest of the track with this horsepower package is like a straightway and you don’t lift again until you get into turn one. This new asphalt has really held up and not worn like we thought it might.”

Driver Alex Bowman on what makes Texas’ unique track:
“Texas is different because since they reconfigured it, it’s just really tricky down in turns one and two. In turns three and four, you’re just wide open. Turns one and two are just really flat and different. It’s not the normal 1.5-mile track shape. It started widening out there in the fall and hopefully it continues to move in that direction this year.”

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

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