Hendrick Motorsports Media Advance: NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race

CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY (1.5-MILE OVAL)

LOCATION: CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA
EVENT: NASCAR SPRINT ALL-STAR RACE
TUNE IN: 9 P.M. ET, SATURDAY, MAY 16 (FS1/MRN/SIRIUSXM)

No. 5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet SS / Kasey Kahne
Driver Kasey Kahne   Hometown Enumclaw, Washington
Age 35                        Resides Mooresville, North Carolina


CarParts.com
American Muscle

2015 Season

10th in standings
11 starts
0 wins
0 pole positions
1 top-five finish
4 top-10 finishes
38 laps led

Career

407 starts
17 wins
26 pole positions
84 top-five finishes
150 top-10 finishes
4,579 laps led
All-Star Career

11 starts
1 win
1 pole position
2 top-five finishes
4 top-10 finishes
58 laps led

Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet SS, and No. 5 team crew chief Keith Rodden will visit the Charlotte Motor Speedway media center together on Friday at 3:40 p.m. local time.

SEASON-TO-DATE: After the first 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this season, Kasey Kahne currently ranks second in laps in the top 15 (2,997), fourth in average running position (11.276), fifth in fastest speed in traffic (9.364 average rank), fifth in fastest drivers on restarts (11.273 average rank), fifth in fastest drivers late in a run (7.556 average rank), sixth in fastest drivers early in a run (7.889 average rank), sixth in green-flag speed (7.333 average rank), sixth in fastest laps run (136), seventh in driver rating (95.6) and eighth in quality passes (870).

ALL-STAR WINNER: Kahne remains the only driver to win the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race after transferring into the event via the Sprint Fan Vote. Including his 2008 victory, the 35-year-old driver has competed in the race every year since joining the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit in 2004.

BACK-TO-BACK WINS: Kahne is one of seven drivers who have swept the All-Star Race and the 600-mile event in the same season. The drivers include: Darrell Waltrip (1985), Davey Allison (1991), Dale Earnhardt Sr. (1993), Jeff Gordon (1997), Jimmie Johnson (2003), Kahne (2008) and Kurt Busch (2010).

ALL-STAR LOOP DATA: According to NASCAR loop data during the last 10 All-Star Races at Charlotte, Kahne ranks fourth in fastest speed on restarts (177.643 mph), fourth in laps led (58), fifth in fastest laps run (53), fifth in speed in traffic (179.297 mph), sixth in green-flag passes (315), sixth in green-flag speed (180.143 mph), tied for seventh in laps in the top 15 (676), eighth in fastest drivers early in a run (181.584 mph), ninth in quality passes (274), ninth in driver rating (81.3) and 10th in average running position (10.454).

ALL-STAR CHASSIS CHOICE: Crew chief Keith Rodden has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-923 for Saturday night’s race at Charlotte. Kahne raced with the chassis at the Fontana, California, event in March.

ALL-STAR PIT CREW: Qualifying for the All-Star Race will include a three-lap, single-car run with a mandatory four-tire pit stop on Saturday. The No. 5 pit crew includes jackman Eric Ludwig (Burlington, North Carolina), front-tire carrier Michael Oxendine (Lumberton, North Carolina), front-tire changer Austin Dickey (Ashtabula, Ohio), rear-tire changer Johnny Roberts (Titusville, Florida), gas man Landon Walker (North Wilkesboro, North Carolina) and rear-tire carrier Allen Stallings (Manteo, North Carolina).

DOUBLE DUTY: Kahne will pilot the No. 00 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports in Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In five Truck Series career starts, Kahne has won four times (twice at Darlington Raceway, once at Homestead-Miami Speedway and once at Rockingham Speedway) and finished second at Pocono Raceway in July 2010. He has an average start of 5.2 and an average finish of 1.2. He also has led 307 of 686 total career laps in the Truck Series.

TIME WARNER CABLE: Time Warner Cable will adorn the hood of Kahne’s No. 5 Chevrolet SS this weekend for the All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and will be the primary sponsor on the car for two more Sprint Cup Series races this year: Watkins Glen International on Aug. 9 and Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 25.

THE DRIVE: Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson and Kahne selected the Strong Against Cancer initiative to be the beneficiary of The DRIVE, a private charity concert, auction and celebrity-amateur golf event scheduled for June 29-30 in Cle Elum, Washington, at the Suncadia Resort. Fans are encouraged to join Wilson and Kahne to support Seattle Children’s Hospital and the Strong Against Cancer initiative. To donate, please visit http://wilsonkahnedrive.org/beneficiary. Together, with help from fans, they will raise awareness and valuable funds for research that supports immunotherapy — a medical treatment that harnesses the power of a child’s immune cells to fight cancer. For more information on The DRIVE, please visit http://kaseykahnefoundation.org/.

No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet SS / Jeff Gordon
Driver Jeff Gordon   Hometown Pittsboro, Indiana
Age 43                      Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2015 Season

9th in standings
11 starts
0 wins
3 pole positions
2 top-five finishes
7 top-10 finishes
161 laps led

Career

772 starts
92 wins
80 pole positions
322 top-five finishes
461 top-10 finishes
24,825 laps led

All-Star Career

21 starts
3 wins
1 pole position
6 top-five finishes
9 top-10 finishes
165 laps led

ALL-STAR EVENT SUCCESS: Jeff Gordon, the driver of the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, first earned a berth in the NASCAR All-Star Race in 1994 by winning the preliminary race and has gained automatic entry into the annual non-points event every year since.

MEMORABLE WINS IN ALL-STAR RACE: In 1995, Gordon won all three segments en route to his first victory in the All-Star Race. Two years later, he drove the infamous “T-Rex” car to the race win, and in 2001 Gordon secured his third victory in the non-points event. In that race, rain hit the speedway as the green flag waved and Gordon was one of several drivers that wrecked in Turn 2 on the first lap. NASCAR allowed those drivers to race their backup cars, and Gordon went on to collect his third victory in the event.

CHAMPIONSHIP YEARS: In each year that Gordon has won the All-Star Race (1995, 1997 and 2001), he also has won the Cup Series title that same season.

ALL-STAR CHASSIS: Crew chief Alan Gustafson has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 24-907 for Saturday night’s race. The chassis has been raced four times previously with Gordon finishing 18th at Las Vegas in its only start of 2015. Last year, the 43-year-old driver finished 29th at Texas in November and posted runner-up finishes at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October and Chicagoland Speedway in September racing the chassis.

ANOTHER TITLE FOR GORDON: Axalta Coating Systems (NYSE: AXTA), a leading global manufacturer of liquid and powder coatings, and Gordon announced a new multi-year partnership in February. Gordon was named Axalta’s Global Business Advisor and will serve as special advisor to Charlie Shaver, Axalta Chairman and CEO, bringing his winning skills and innovative thinking to Axalta, its leadership team and its customers worldwide.

No. 25 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS / Chase Elliott
Driver Chase Elliott   Hometown Dawsonville, Georgia
Age 19                      Resides Dawsonville, Georgia

MAKE IT SIX: Chase Elliott will drive the No. 25 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS for Hendrick Motorsports in Friday night’s Sprint Showdown in an attempt to transfer into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The recent addition to his Sprint Cup debut schedule will give Elliott six series appearances, including five points-paying events, in 2015 before racing full-time for Hendrick Motorsports next season. The 19-year-old driver will be led by veteran crew chief Kenny Francis this weekend.

CROSS COUNTRY: After turning heads in his second career Sprint Cup start two weeks ago when he started and finished 16th at Richmond International Raceway, Elliott will take on a 1,024-mile cross-country venture this weekend between Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina, and Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. He is scheduled to compete in Sunday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Iowa with JR Motorsports.

BRIEF CHARLOTTE HISTORY: Elliott has raced at Charlotte Motor Speedway twice in his NASCAR career, recording two XFINITY Series starts. During his first run in May last season, Elliott’s day was cut short by a mechanical failure. However, in his second Charlotte appearance last October he entered with a comfortable championship points lead and sat on the pole for the second time in his career. He led 66 laps and finished eighth en route to winning the 2014 NASCAR XFINITY Series title.

NAPA KNOW HOW: NAPA AUTO PARTS (www.NAPAonline.com) will serve as primary sponsor of Elliott’s No. 25 Chevrolet SS this Friday night and will continue to be his primary sponsor during his three remaining Sprint Cup races at Hendrick Motorsports in 2015. Following the Sprint Showdown, he will compete May 24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, July 26 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Sept. 6 at Darlington Raceway. It was announced last week that NAPA will be Elliott’s majority sponsor in the Sprint Cup Series next season.

No. 48 Lowe’s Patriotic Chevrolet SS / Jimmie Johnson
Driver Jimmie Johnson   Hometown El Cajon, California
Age 39                             Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2015 Season

3rd in standings
11 starts
3 wins
0 pole positions
7 top-five finishes
8 top-10 finishes
364 laps led

Career

482 starts
73 wins
33 pole positions
200 top-five finishes
300 top-10 finishes
17,515 laps led

All-Star Career

13 starts
4 wins
1 pole position
8 top-five finishes
9 top-10 finishes
218 laps led

PATRIOTIC UNVEIL: Lowe’s, in conjunction with NASCAR.com and NASCAR Illustrated, digitally unveiled the No. 48 Lowe’s Patriotic Chevrolet SS scheme Jimmie Johnson will pilot this weekend. Lowe’s has a long history of supporting the military. Currently, Lowe’s has more than 14,000 veterans, active military and Guard/Reserve employees. Those range from store employees to managers and customer support center employees in the North Carolina offices. To see the paint scheme, click here.

JOHNSON IN THE CITY: On Monday, Johnson traveled to New York City to represent NASCAR in the NBC Upfront Presentation at Radio City Music Hall. Johnson joined legendary entertainer Dolly Parton, U.S. Olympian Michael Phelps and others as NBC showcased its most exciting talent and content to advertisers for the upcoming 2015-16 season.

TESTING AT DOVER: Johnson and the No. 48 team are testing at Dover International Speedway on Wednesday, May 13. Johnson is a nine-time winner at the one-mile concrete oval. The team is testing in preparation for the race on May 31.

FOUR TIMES AN ALL-STAR: Johnson has won the storied All-Star Race a record four times. His first win came in 2003 when the race was called “The Winston.” He won again in 2006 as well as earning back-to-back wins in 2012 and 2013.

MILESTONE ACHIEVED: Johnson accomplished a milestone last weekend in Kansas. In 482 starts, he has finished in the top five 200 times and the top 10 300 times. Johnson now has 73 wins and needs just three more to tie the legendary Dale Earnhardt for seventh on the all-time wins list.

ALL-STAR CHASSIS: For this weekend’s event, crew chief Chad Knaus has selected chassis No. 48-922, which last raced at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. The backup car is 48-824, which last raced at Pocono Raceway in June 2014.

TICKET PACKAGE AT DOVER: Johnson fans can receive special access to an exclusive question-and-answer session with the nine-time Dover International Speedway winner on Sunday, May 31. Learn more at www.Doverspeedway.com.

TICKET PACKAGE AT POCONO: Pocono Raceway is offering a kid-generated question-and-answer session with three-time Pocono winner Johnson. In addition to the Q&A, this year’s Jimmie Johnson Experience will include hands-on activities for kids to showcase the relationship between NASA and auto racing. Every child in attendance will receive a 12-page, four-color booklet centered around NASA’s Rockets 2 Racecars STEM Education. For more information, click here.

No. 88 Mtn Dew Baja Blast Chevrolet SS / Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.   Hometown Kannapolis, North Carolina
Age 40                                Resides Mooresville, North Carolina

2015 Season

5th in standings
11 starts
1 win
0 pole positions
6 top-five finishes
7 top-10 finishes
104 laps led

Career

552 starts
24 wins
13 pole positions
133 top-five finishes
231 top-10 finishes
7,951 laps led

All-Star Career

15 starts
1 win
0 pole positions
5 top-five finishes
12 top-10 finishes
44 laps led

BAJA BLAST: Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive a black and teal No. 88 Mtn Dew Baja Blast paint scheme for this weekend’s Sprint All-Star race. Mtn Dew Baja Blast combines the exhilarating taste of Dew with a blast of tropical lime. It’s back in bottles and cans for a limited time. Join the conversation using the hashtag #BajaBlast.

SPRINT ALL-STAR RACE: Earnhardt qualified for the Sprint All-Star Race by winning a NASCAR Sprint Cup event during the 2014 and 2015 seasons as well as being a former NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race winner. Earnhardt won four races during the 2014 season and most recently won at Talladega Superspeedway this month. He won the Sprint All-Star Race in 2000.

ALL-STAR VICTORY: Earnhardt made history on May 20, 2000, when he became the first rookie to win the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Earnhardt led two laps and beat veteran Dale Jarrett to the finish line by 1.295 seconds.

ALL-STAR STATS: In 15 appearances in the non-points All-Star event, Earnhardt averages an eighth-place finish. Last year, Earnhardt lined up sixth for the 90-lap shootout and crossed the finish line fourth.

ALL-STAR PIT CREW: Qualifying for the All-Star Race will include a three-lap, single-car run with a mandatory four-tire pit stop on Saturday. The No. 88 pit crew includes jackman Nick Covey (Livermore, California), front-tire carrier Dustin Lineback (Greensboro, North Carolina), front-tire changer David Mayo (Byron, Georgia), rear-tire changer Joe Slingerland (Inverness, Florida), gas man Matt Tyrrell (Denver) and rear-tire carrier Rowdy Harrell (Tuscaloosa, Alabama).

CHASSIS CHOICE: This weekend, crew chief Greg Ives will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-882. Earnhardt most recently raced the chassis to a 20th-place finish at Charlotte in October 2014.

Hendrick Motorsports

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT THE ALL-STAR: In 30 All-Star Races, Hendrick Motorsports has scored eight wins, 33 top-five finishes, 49 top-10s and led 646 laps. Most recently, Johnson won the 2013 event after leading 10 laps to earn a record fourth All-Star victory. All four full-time Hendrick Motorsports drivers are eligible for this year’s All-Star Race.

ORGANIZATION STATS: To date, Hendrick Motorsports has totals of 235 victories, 203 pole positions, 958 top-five finishes and 1,588 top-10 finishes in Sprint Cup competition. Its teams have led 64,508 laps since 1984.

QUOTABLE /

“I love racing at Charlotte – it’s great to be at home and also race. The All-Star event is just one of those races where you go all-out. With no points on the line, it’s about pride and honor and just kind of showing your competitors what you can do.”

Jeff Gordon on the All-Star Race

“I just want to go out there and get more familiar with a place I’ve only raced at twice in my career. The more time I have with (crew chief) Kenny (Francis) and my No. 25 NAPA AUTO PARTS team at Charlotte will only help us more next week during the 600. That’s going to be a long race and we need to log as many laps as we can before going into it.”

Chase Elliott on his expectations for the Sprint Showdown

“I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to run the Showdown. It allows me to gain more experience with my NAPA AUTO PARTS team before we race again at Charlotte a week later. Those additional laps will be a tremendous benefit when it’s time to run 600 miles. I’m grateful to (Hendrick Motorsports owner) Mr. (Rick) Hendrick and everyone at NAPA for the chance to do it.”

Elliott on his goals for the Showdown

“Without a doubt you know that you beat the best of the best. With the varying strategies that take place and the segments and how many laps and all the different things we’ve had over the years, there hasn’t been one set path to get there. It’s a very rewarding night, a night the team really enjoys. There’s a different atmosphere with the pressure being off and a million reasons to have fun after.”

Jimmie Johnson on the All-Star Race

“If the All-Star Race paid one dollar, I’d still want to win it.”

No. 48 team crew chief Chad Knaus on the All-Star Race

“There is a lot of money on the line this weekend but there is a lot to be learned, too. You pay attention to what you are feeling in your car so you can use those notes for next week. There is a lot to be learned and hopefully we will get our car going pretty quick.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the All-Star Race

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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