Hendrick Motorsports Media Advance: New Hampshire

NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY (1.058-MILE OVAL)
LOCATION: LOUDON, NEW HAMPSHIRE
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACE 20 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 3 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, JULY 21 (NBCSN/PRN/SIRIUSXM)


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Chase Elliott
No. 9 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Driver Chase Elliott Hometown Dawsonville, Georgia
Age 23 Resides Dawsonville, Georgia

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2019 Season
8th in standings
19 starts
1 win
2 pole positions
6 top-five finishes
7 top-10 finishes
409 laps led

Career
132 starts
4 wins
6 pole positions
39 top-five finishes
66 top-10 finishes
1,652 laps led

Track Career
5 starts
0 wins
0 pole positions
1 top-five finish
1 top-10 finish
24 laps led

Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media on Friday, July 19, at 3:15 p.m. local time in the New Hampshire Motor Speedway media center.

GRANITE STATE STATS: Chase Elliott is set to make his sixth NASCAR Cup Series start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Last season at the 1.058-mile oval, he had one of the top three best running averages (4.03) and led 23 laps en route to a career track-best finish of fifth. Based on average running position, the Loudon, New Hampshire, track is one of Elliott’s best with an 8.75 average in his previous five events. The driver also has two starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at the track. In those Xfinity starts, he collected a pair of top-10 finishes.

KELLEY BLUE BOOK RETURNS: This weekend at New Hampshire, the navy, white and gold colors will return to the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Kelley Blue Book (KBB) is the vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry. Each week, the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website www.KBB.com, including its famous Blue Book Trade-In Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new and used cars. KBB extended its relationship with Hendrick Motorsports prior to the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series season.

GUSTAFSON AT NEW HAMPSHIRE: No. 9 team crew chief Alan Gustafson will call his 27th Cup Series race at New Hampshire from atop the pit box this weekend. In his previous 26 races calling the shots for five different drivers at the venue, Gustafson has collected two wins – in 2006 with Kyle Busch and 2009 with Mark Martin. The crew chief has also accumulated one pole award, seven top-five finishes, 12 top-10s and 488 laps led.

BRINGING CHEVROLET VICTORIES: Since the beginning of the 2018 season, Elliott has garnered the most wins of any Chevrolet driver with four. The driver of the No. 9 Chevy has taken the checkered flag at Watkins Glen International (August 2018), Dover International Speedway (October 2018), Kansas (October 2018) and Talladega Superspeedway (April 2019).

BIG IN THE LAST SEVEN: Elliott ranks in the top 10 for the most stage points collected in the last seven races (seventh, 50 points). The 23-year-old driver has also led at least one lap in five of the last seven events of the season.

CUT TO THE CHASE: In March, Kelley Blue Book launched its 2019 video series “Cut to the Chase” on Twitter. In the final video of the three-part series, Elliott is once again called upon to give some car buying advice via Kelley Blue Book in a lighthearted manner. The previous two videos were released in March – around KBB’s first primary race of the 2019 season – and in May.

HOME SWEET HOME: Two members of the No. 9 team consider New Hampshire Motor Speedway their home track. Engine tuner Tony Bove hails from Burlington, Vermont, approximately 167 miles northwest of the track. Interior mechanic Scott Honan is from Norwalk, Connecticut, approximately 200 miles southwest of the oval.


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William Byron
No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Driver William Byron Hometown Charlotte, North Carolina
Age 21 Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2019 Season
12th in standings
19 starts
0 wins
3 pole positions
1 top-five finish
6 top-10 finishes
180 laps led

Career
55 starts
0 wins
3 pole positions
1 top-five finish
10 top-10 finishes
241 laps led

Track Career
1 start
0 wins
0 pole positions
0 top-five finishes
0 top-10 finishes
0 laps led

POINTS, POINTS AND MORE POINTS: William Byron continues to improve week-in and week-out during his sophomore season in the NASCAR Cup Series. In the last seven races, going back to the 600-mile event at Charlotte in May, the driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 has collected 240 points, the third-most among Cup Series drivers this season. In those same seven races, he has scored 64 stage points, which is the second-most of all drivers on the circuit, and currently holds a 46-point lead over the playoff cutoff bubble. In the last nine races, Byron is tied with teammate Jimmie Johnson for the sixth-best average finish (12.33) across the Cup field.

LIBERTY U RETURNS: Making a return this weekend, Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet will sport the Liberty University colors for Sunday’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Returning as a primary sponsor of the No. 24 team in 2019 for 12 races, Liberty University has a long history with the sophomore driver starting back in 2014 in the late model ranks and is in the midst of 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 offers 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.

NEW HAMPSHIRE NOTION: Of all the tracks on the NASCAR circuit, New Hampshire is one that Byron has had circled on his calendar. Last year, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native qualified 11th in his first Cup Series start at the “Magic Mile,” and despite fighting handling woes, he was able to score a top-15 finish, crossing the line in 14th. In 2017, he earned a top-five finish in the Xfinity Series after starting seventh and finishing third. The driver earned two wins at the 1.058-mile track prior to his Xfinity start. His most recent win came in the 2016 Truck Series race, when he started from the pole and led a dominating 161 of 175 laps en route to his sixth of seven victories that year. Before that win, Byron competed at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the K&N Pro Series East in 2015, qualifying on the pole and again going on to collect the win after leading 68 of 70 laps.

KNAUS’ KNACK: Byron isn’t the only one who enjoys racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway – his crew chief Chad Knaus does as well. Knaus leads active Hendrick Motorsports crew chiefs with three wins and one pole at the venue. The seven-time champion crew chief also has 10 top-five finishes and 22 top-10s on his resume at the “Magic Mile.”

HEADING HOME: Traveling to New England for this weekend’s Cup Series race, one crew member of the No. 24 team calls New Hampshire his home track. New to Byron’s team this season, car chief Tyler Jones hails from South Royalton, Vermont, less than 100 miles northwest of the venue.

EYES ON A FIRST-TIME WINNER: If Byron wins at New Hampshire, it will mark the 10th time a driver has recorded his first career Cup Series win while racing for Hendrick Motorsports. Currently, the organization holds the record having sent nine first-time winners to Victory Lane.

‘NEVER GIVE UP’ ATTITUDE AT KENTUCKY: After qualifying 12th last weekend at Kentucky Speedway, Byron showed speed throughout Saturday night’s race at the 1.5-mile oval, including battling for the lead during the opening laps of the final stage. However, a late-race restart penalty forced the No. 24 team to switch up its strategy and fight back through the field. In the closing laps, Byron was able to work his way through traffic to cross the finish line in 18th.


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Jimmie Johnson
No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Driver Jimmie Johnson Hometown El Cajon, California
Age 43 Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2019 Season
15th in standings
19 starts
0 wins
1 pole position
3 top-five finishes
8 top-10 finishes
78 laps led

Career
634 starts
83 wins
36 pole positions
227 top-five finishes
360 top-10 finishes
18,781 laps led

Track Career
33 starts
3 wins
1 pole position
10 top-five finishes
22 top-10 finishes
323 laps led

LOBSTER TROPHIES: In his storied career, Jimmie Johnson has found Victory Lane at New Hampshire Motor Speedway three times including a sweep of the 2003 events when the NASCAR Cup Series raced there twice a season. The seven-time Cup Series champion also has one pole position at the venue, which he scored in 2016. His three victories tie him with eight other drivers for the second-most at the Loudon, New Hampshire, track, behind only Jeff Burton’s four.

RACKING UP TOP-10 FINISHES: Of the 33 starts Johnson has made at New Hampshire, he has finished in the top 10 an impressive 22 times. That total marks the second-most all-time at the “Magic Mile” behind only NASCAR Hall of Famer and former teammate Jeff Gordon. The driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 owns 22 or more career top-10 finishes at four additional tracks – Texas Motor Speedway (22), Charlotte Motor Speedway (22), Martinsville Speedway (24) and Dover International Speedway (24).

LAST TIME UP NORTH: The last time Johnson was in New England was for a different kind of race. In April, the 19-year NASCAR veteran completed the famed Boston Marathon by running the 26.2-mile course in 3:09, which qualified the 43-year-old for the 2020 event. He documented his journey through a series of videos with longtime partner Gatorade.

HOMETOWN RETURNS: New Hampshire Motor Speedway is the home track claimed by two members of the No. 48 team. Engine tuner Steven Legendre hails from Danville, Vermont. Legendre is a second-generation driver who used to frequent White Mountain Motorsports Park’s quarter-mile racetrack while racing late models at the local short tracks in the northeast. As he got older, he advanced to the Pro All-Star Series North and then the PASS South series before moving to North Carolina to attend school at Rowan Cabarrus Community College. No. 48 team engineer Ben Lynch is from Derry, New Hampshire. He played ice hockey in high school in at Pinkerton Academy and went to college at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte studying mechanical engineering.

VOTE FOR HELMET OF HOPE: Voting for Johnson’s 2019 Helmet of Hope is now open and will take place until July 19. The five charitable organizations that receive the most votes during that time will each receive a $25,000 grant and an ice cream party, and will have their logo featured on Johnson’s helmet during the Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway on October 20. Visit helmetofhope.org for more information.


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Alex Bowman
No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Driver Alex Bowman Hometown Tucson, Arizona
Age 26 Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2019 Season
9th in standings
19 starts
1 win
0 pole positions
4 top-five finishes
6 top-10 finishes
182 laps led

Career
136 starts
1 win
2 pole positions
7 top-five finishes
20 top-10 finishes
456 laps led

Track Career
7 starts
0 wins
0 pole positions
0 top-five finishes
0 top-10 finishes
3 laps led

BEST AVERAGE FINISH: Over the last nine events in the NASCAR Cup Series, Alex Bowman is tied for first with Kyle Busch for the best average finish. The Chicagoland Speedway winner has an average finish of 9.89 since the event at Dover International Speedway on May 5.

AXALTA ON BOARD: This weekend marks the eighth of 12 events in which the Axalta colors will adorn Bowman’s No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. The leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings will be on board this weekend in New Hampshire and then again at Watkins Glen International, Michigan International Speedway and ISM Raceway later this season. Axalta unveiled a new Axalta Racing website last year that includes plenty of behind-the-scenes content, photos, and videos. Check out Bowman’s page here.

BOWMAN STATS AT NEW HAMPSHIRE: Bowman is set to make his eighth Cup Series start at New Hampshire this weekend. The Tucson, Arizona, native earned his best start (eighth) and best finish (11th) at the track last season. In 2016, he made his first start behind the wheel of the No. 88 Chevrolet at New Hampshire when it was announced that he would take over for Dale Earnhardt Jr. for 10 events. Bowman has two starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at the 1.058-mile oval track with an average finish of ninth. Back in 2011, the driver made two starts at the track in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, where he completed 100 percent of the total laps run and also had an average finish of ninth.

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS CAREER NUMBERS: Since Bowman’s first start at New Hampshire in 2016, the driver has made 65 starts and has two pole wins (Phoenix in 2016, Daytona 500 in 2018). Three weeks ago, he claimed his first Cup Series victory at Chicagoland. The driver of the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 has claimed seven top-five finishes, 20 top-10s and 453 laps led with Hendrick Motorsports in that span.

NEW HAMPSHIRE CREDENTIALS: No. 88 team crew chief Greg Ives will call the shots for the seventh time at New Hampshire this weekend. The Bark River, Michigan, native’s resume includes one top-five finish, two top-15s and 10 laps led. In 2013 and 2014, Ives was a crew chief at JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. His drivers earned an average start of fifth and an average finish of eighth at the Loudon, New Hampshire, track. From 2006-2012, the crew chief was a race engineer on the No. 48 team with Jimmie Johnson. During that time, the team had one win (2010), six top-five finishes and 11 top-10s at the venue.

EYES ON THE POINTS: Since the 600-mile event at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May, Bowman and the No. 88 team have captured 225 points, which are the fifth-most earned in that span in the Cup Series. The driver is currently ninth on the list of drivers who have earned the most stage points since that May 26 race, collecting 47 points in total.


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Hendrick Motorsports

SKELETON GLOVES: After all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers donned Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s signature skeleton-themed gloves to support The Dale Jr. Foundation this past weekend at Kentucky Speedway, both the drivers and Earnhardt signed the gloves. They are now being auctioned off to raise money for the Dale and Amy Earnhardt Fund at Nationwide Children’s Hospital as part of the annual “Driven to Give Gloves” program, which ends Friday at 9 p.m. ET. The fund supports the courageous patients and their families in the area of pediatric injury rehabilitation, research and prevention.

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT NEW HAMPSHIRE: At New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports has accumulated nine wins, seven pole positions, 43 top-five finishes, 77 top-10s and 2,561 laps led. The organization’s most recent win at the track came in 2012 via Kasey Kahne after he started on the outside pole.

HOT STREAK: As the weather has gotten hotter, Hendrick Motorsports’ performance on the track has been heating up as well. In the last 10 races, the organization leads the NASCAR Cup Series with three pole positions and four runner-up results. Its two wins, 12 top-five finishes, 20 top-10s and 580 laps led in that span are second-best among all teams, as is the organization’s average finish of 12.58.

PLAYOFF POSITIONING: Currently, all four Hendrick Motorsports teammates are in a position to make the 16-driver NASCAR Cup Series playoffs at the end of the regular season. Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman have both essentially locked in their spots by finding Victory Lane and rank eighth and ninth, respectively, in the point standings. William Byron currently ranks 12th in the standings, with Jimmie Johnson in 15th.

ORGANIZATION STATS: To date, Hendrick Motorsports has a total of 12 championships, 254 race victories, 221 pole positions, 1,059 top-five finishes and 1,814 top-10s in points-paying NASCAR Cup Series competition. Its teams have led more than 68,500 laps since 1984.


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QUOTABLE /
Chase Elliott on New Hampshire:
“New Hampshire is always an interesting one, for sure. Very easy to miss that balance in the setup there, I feel like. It doesn’t really compare to anywhere else – it’s kind of its own animal. Only going there once a year now is a bit of a challenge, as well, because you don’t see it twice like you used to. It’s always tough.”

William Byron on New Hampshire:
“New Hampshire is just really flat and the PJ1 has really changed the game there. The line that you run and way that you enter the corner is way different now than it was before. I really loved that track when they didn’t have the PJ1, but it’s changed the game. You really need to get your car to turn well. It’s like a typical short track, you have to get in the corner well, roll the center and get off the corner pretty decent. Usually whatever you do in the center of the corner affects the rest of your lap at that track.”

Byron on a lobster in Victory Lane:
“I’m not a fan of lobster or really any seafood, but if it’s for the win, then I will be.”

Jimmie Johnson on New Hampshire:
“Loudon is one of the scrappiest tracks that we race at, great long straightaways, tight turns. The traction compound does seem to offer us some options but it seems to wear off during the race – it’s a tough little track.”

Alex Bowman on New Hampshire:
“New Hampshire is a really tricky place to go. The track is sort of awkward, but very unique compared to anywhere else we go. I have struggled there in the past, but last year we were able to unload with a ton of speed, which was great.”

Bowman on the playoffs:
“With seven races to go in the regular season, we are really focused on the points. Getting the win in Chicagoland locked us into the playoffs, which was what we have been looking to do all season. Now, we are looking at getting the most amount of points that we can during a race to get ourselves in a good position when we head to Las Vegas in September.”

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