BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY (0.533-MILE SPEEDWAY)
LOCATION: BRISTOL, TENNESSEE
EVENT: NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES (RACE 24 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 7:30 P.M. ET, SATURDAY, AUG. 22 (NBCSN/PRN/SIRIUSXM)
No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS / Kasey Kahne
Driver Kasey Kahne Hometown Enumclaw, Washington
Age 35 Resides Mooresville, North Carolina
17th in standings
1 pole position
2 top-five finishes
6 top-10 finishes
46 laps led
27 pole positions
85 top-five finishes
152 top-10 finishes
4,587 laps led
1 pole position
5 top-five finishes
10 top-10 finishes
512 laps led
THE LAST GREAT COLOSSEUM: In the last 10 Sprint Cup races at Bristol Motor Speedway, Kasey Kahne ranks second in top-10 finishes (six), tied with teammate Jimmie Johnson and driver Paul Menard. He ranks fifth in top-five finishes (three), tied with teammate Jeff Gordon and competitors Kyle Busch, Brian Vickers and Clint Bowyer. Kahne also ranks fifth among active drivers in average starting position (10.7).
SUMMER SESSION: Kahne is not known to take a summer break during the NASCAR Sprint Cup season, as 10 of his 17 career victories have been achieved between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
COMING DOWN TO THE WIRE: Kahne has shown the ability to clinch a Chase for the Sprint Cup berth in the final races of a season. In 2014, Kahne led the final two laps at Atlanta Motor Speedway, then the penultimate race before the Chase, in order to clinch a postseason berth. The win was his first win of the season and his 17th career victory. Kahne earned the lead from Matt Kenseth in the second attempt at a green-white-checkered finish and won the race by 0.574 seconds.
GREAT CLIPS ON NO. 5 CHEVROLET SS: Great Clips will adorn the hood of Kahne’s No. 5 Chevrolet SS this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway and will be the primary sponsor on the car for two additional Sprint Cup Series races this year: Chicagoland Speedway (Sept. 20) and Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 22).
#MOREMINUTES: As children head back to school, families are often crunched for time, wishing they had more minutes to tackle everything on their daunting to-do lists. That’s why Great Clips, the world’s largest hair salon brand and a primary sponsor of Kasey Kahne and the No. 5 Chevrolet SS, has launched a back-to-school #MoreMinutes campaign based on their online check-in app and Clip Notes program, which both are designed to save customers time in the salon. From July 1 through Sept. 11, Great Clips is asking fans what they would do with more time. And, by random acts of kindness, Great Clips will give people gifts to spend #MoreMinutes doing what they love. To join in the fun, fans can post a selfie of their Great Clips haircut on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and say what they would do with #MoreMinutes.
FIVE KAHNE: Kahne started the Five Kahne 5K charity run in 2010 with the goal of building an annual event to generate funds for youth causes. 2015 marks the sixth year of the Five Kahne 5K presented by Great Clips. Fundraising efforts, in addition to supporting the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte, have allowed nearly 5,000 children in North Carolina the opportunity to receive free field trips to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Registration for the Oct. 11 event is now available by clicking here.
No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet SS / Jeff Gordon
Driver Jeff Gordon Hometown Pittsboro, Indiana
Age 44 Resides Charlotte, North Carolina
13th in standings
3 pole positions
3 top-five finishes
12 top-10 finishes
167 laps led
80 pole positions
323 top-five finishes
466 top-10 finishes
24,831 laps led
5 pole positions
17 top-five finishes
25 top-10 finishes
2,730 laps led
Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, is scheduled to visit the Bristol Motor Speedway media center at 3:30 p.m. local time Friday.
RAINBOW RETURN: Jeff Gordon will drive a specially painted No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet SS at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. The iconic rainbow paint scheme that appeared on No. 24 Chevrolets driven by Gordon from 1992 to 2000, including four straight victories for Gordon in the Spring race at Bristol from 1995 to 1998, will feature on the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet SS at the annual night race.
ACTIVE LEADER AT BRISTOL: The 44-year old driver is tied for most wins among active drivers, while he is the active leader in pole positions, top-five finishes, top-10s, laps led and average starting position (7.7) at the high-banked short track.
POINTS UPDATE: Three races remain – Bristol, Darlington Raceway and Richmond International Raceway – before the 16-driver Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field is set with Gordon currently ranked 13th, 55 points ahead of the cutoff position. Along with five victories at Bristol, the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion has seven wins at Darlington and two victories at Richmond.
No. 48 Lowe’s ProServices Chevrolet SS / Jimmie Johnson
Driver Jimmie Johnson Hometown El Cajon, California
Age 39 Resides Charlotte, North Carolina
6th in standings
0 pole positions
10 top-five finishes
15 top-10 finishes
467 laps led
33 pole positions
203 top-five finishes
307 top-10 finishes
17,618 laps led
1 pole position
9 top-five finishes
15 top-10 finishes
833 laps led
LOWE’S PROSERVICES ON THE HOOD: Jimmie Johnson will race the No. 48 Lowe’s ProServices Chevrolet SS in this weekend’s race at Bristol. Lowe’s Commercial Services are designed to help customers save time and money and make their businesses run smoother. Stores across the country have a dedicated ProServices team ready to help by offering five percent off everyday purchases with a Lowe’s Business Credit Account, quick-turn, customizable quotes on volume purchases, providing an order ahead option and pulling materials for pick up, giving reduced delivery rates and offering bulk discounts on supplies used the most. The Lowe’s ProServices paint scheme has seen Victory Lane twice this season with wins at Texas and Dover.
BRISTOL DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Johnson has the eighth-best driver rating at Bristol with a score of 92.3 during the past 10 years at the track. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The maximum a driver can earn in each race is 150 points. The driver rating number is used pre-race as a prediction tool and post-race as a performance evaluator.
DARLINGTON THROWBACK CAR UNVEILED: Last weekend at Michigan International Speedway, Johnson and longtime partner Lowe’s took to Twitter to unveil the paint scheme that will race at Darlington Raceway this coming Labor Day weekend. The No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS will join other paint schemes in giving NASCAR fans a flashback to prior decades of racing at the track. During the throwback weekend, Johnson’s Chevrolet will feature the 1940s and 1950s Lowe’s Home Improvement logo that was prominently used beginning with the company’s founding in 1946 through the time period in which Darlington Raceway first opened in 1950. To see the paint scheme, click here.
JIMMIE JOHNSON FAMILY TICKET PACKAGE AT DARLINGTON: Darlington Raceway is offering a special $48 ticket package for the Sept. 6 Southern 500. The package includes an adult grandstand ticket, a scanner rental and a question-and-answer session with six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Johnson. There is also a $22 youth package available. For more details, log on to www.DarlingtonRaceway.com.
UPCOMING JIMMIE JOHNSON FOUNDATION WELLNESS CHALLENGE EVENT: Registration is open for the final event of the 2015 Jimmie Johnson Foundation Wellness Challenge. The Lake Davidson Sprint Triathlon will take place on Sept. 13 in Davidson, North Carolina. Log on to www.jjfwellnesschallenge.org for more details.
STILL TIME TO ENTER GATORADE ‘SWEAT WITH THE BEST’: Until Aug. 31, fans can enter to win the experience of a lifetime with Johnson. The Gatorade “Sweat with the Best” experience will give a lucky winner the chance to take a tour of the Hendrick Motorsports facility, train with the No. 48 pit crew and ride around Darlington Raceway with Johnson. The experience includes travel and accommodations as well as a photograph with Johnson and an autographed firesuit. It is open only to participants 18 years or older. Enter here until Aug. 31.
No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS / Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hometown Kannapolis, North Carolina
Age 40 Resides Mooresville, North Carolina
3rd in standings
0 pole positions
11 top-five finishes
14 top-10 finishes
204 laps led
13 pole positions
138 top-five finishes
238 top-10 finishes
8,051 laps led
0 pole positions
7 top-five finishes
14 top-10 finishes
790 laps led
RUNNING AT FINISH: Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been running at the finish of 29 of the 31 (93.5 percent) races he’s entered at Bristol. He’s also completed 15,049 of 15,527 laps (96.9 percent) in his 31 starts. He is tied for second with most lead-lap finishes (23 of 31) at Bristol behind teammate Gordon.
AVERAGE FINISH AT BRISTOL: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Earnhardt has the fourth-best average finish among all drivers in the last 21 Cup races at Bristol. Earnhardt, who recorded 10 top-10s during that timeframe, has an average finish of 12.1.
SHORT-TRACK STATS: In 94 Cup starts on short tracks that are under one mile in length, Earnhardt has recorded five wins, one pole position, 28 top-five finishes and 44 top-10s.
HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT BRISTOL: In 63 Cup events at Bristol, Hendrick Motorsports has 10 wins, 11 pole positions, 51 top-five finishes and 92 top-10s. Gordon is tied for first among active drivers with five wins at the track, while Kahne most recently won there for the organization in March 2013.
SHORT-TRACK POWER: Among active competitors at tracks less than one mile in length, Hendrick Motorsports drivers rank atop the competition in wins and laps led. Gordon is first in both categories with 16 victories and 8,425 laps led while Johnson ranks second in both categories with 12 wins and 3,996 laps led.
ORGANIZATION STATS: To date, Hendrick Motorsports has totals of 237 victories, 204 pole positions, 968 top-five finishes and 1,609 top-10 finishes in Sprint Cup competition. Its teams have led 64,725 laps since 1984.
“My first thought was, ‘It’s Bristol baby!’ What a great feeling walking out of Thunder Valley with the W. I had always dreamed about winning a Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway, and that night we did it. Bristol is one of those tracks you really feel like you need to win. It’s such a tough track. My first race here in 2002 was just something I couldn’t believe — the way that you drove, as hard as you drove here, the way things happen so quickly. There are just so many things that are thrown at you. It’s a big confidence-builder to win at Bristol. When I got home I set the trophy on my coffee table and used it as a new centerpiece for a while.”
Kasey Kahne on what it’s like to win at Bristol
“At this rate we’re going to need to win. That’s the only way we’ll go into the Chase. We’ve got to get a little better. I need to get a little better. We had a nice test at Bristol, so I feel that will help us when we get there.”
Kahne on racing toward the Chase
“Every weekend I feel like we’re really going for the win. We’re doing everything we can to try and win the race. Everyone takes every chance they can see. We’re trying as hard as we can. Sometimes it just doesn’t go your way. My favorite track is always the next one we’re going to. I think you have to look at it that way. I don’t really have a track I don’t like going to. The main thing is that all of the equipment we get at Hendrick Motorsports is good enough to win every weekend. We need to get on the ball here and do that, and I don’t see any better weekend to do that than the next one.”
No. 5 team crew chief Keith Rodden on racing toward the Chase
“When you have high-banked, very fast short track in this stadium – in this ‘colosseum’ – surrounded by the most avid NASCAR fans, the energy in the stands and on the track is electrifying. It just makes for a great event.
“I have a lot of great memories with this rainbow paint scheme. What I love is this paint scheme is for the fans. The fans wanted us to run this scheme again during my final season, and this Axalta Chevy SS definitely stands out. You’re not going to miss it.”
Jeff Gordon on driving the rainbow Axalta paint scheme at Bristol
“Michigan was a tough race for us. We had a fast Lowe’s Chevy and just had some things go wrong and chased it all day. We were so, so loose. You have to put the bad races out of your mind and focus forward. Bristol should be a great race for us – we had a good one in the spring
Jimmie Johnson on the race at Michigan and looking to Bristol
“I love racing at Bristol. I always look forward to racing there. This weekend’s race is one of the best tickets on the schedule. There is just no other track like it.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. on racing at Bristol