DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY (ONE-MILE OVAL)
LOCATION: DOVER, DELAWARE
EVENT: NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES (RACE 29 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 2:30 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, OCT.4 (NBCSN/MRN/SIRIUSXM)
No. 5 HendrickRideAlong.com 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
7 top-10 finishes
48 laps led
27 pole positions
85 top-five finishes
153 top-10 finishes
4,589 laps led
0 pole positions
2 top-five finishes
6 top-10 finishes
90 laps led
‘RIDE ALONG’ WITH NO. 5: Sister companies Hendrick Motorsports and Hendrick Automotive Group have partnered for a four-race sponsorship built around the Hendrick Ride Along Sweepstakes. The program started at Darlington Sept. 4-6 and will continue through Charlotte Motor Speedway’s event Oct. 10.
KAHNE AT DOVER: Kasey Kahne tied his career-best finish of fourth at Dover in May after starting from the 25th position. Kahne has started inside the top 10 eight times at the one-mile oval.
DOVER LOOP DATA: According to NASCAR loop data in the last 20 races at Dover, Kahne ranks fifth in green-flag passes (908) and seventh in fastest laps run (350).
PASSING THE FIELD IN NEW HAMPSHIRE: Kahne scored a top-10 finish in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after running 226 laps inside the top 15. While the 35-year-old driver didn’t capture his second career win at New Hampshire, he did make 58 green-flag passes and the most quality passes of any driver throughout the 300-lap race to finish ninth. It marked Kahne’s best race result since finishing eighth at Sonoma Raceway in June. Kahne and the No. 5 team are looking to continue their momentum this weekend at the “Monster Mile.”
HENDRICKRIDEALONG.COM: The Hendrick Ride Along Sweepstakes adorning the hood of Kahne’s Chevrolet is a part of Hendrick Automotive Group’s promotion to win a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ride in a stock car with Kahne. The all-expenses-paid trip to Charlotte, North Carolina, includes the ride along, travel, accommodations and a full behind-the-scenes tour of Hendrick Motorsports. Fans can register between Sept. 2 and Oct. 31 by visiting www.HendrickRideAlong.com or visiting their local Hendrick Automotive Group dealership.
HENDRICK AUTOMOTIVE GROUP: Encompassing 97 dealerships from the Carolinas to California, Hendrick Automotive Group is the largest privately held automotive retail organization in the United States. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, the company employs more than 10,000 people in its dealerships, collision centers and accessories distributor installers in 13 states. For more information, please visit www.HendrickAuto.com.
SEE KAHNE LIVE: Kahne has teamed up with Dover International Speedway and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio for “Dialed In with Claire B. Lang, Live from the Monster Mile.” The special-edition show will air Friday, Sept. 28, from 7 to 9 p.m. ET in front of a live audience in the Rollins Center at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. Kahne will be up first, joining the show at 7 p.m. Admission is a $5 donation to USO Delaware in advance of the event. Tickets to attend the show must be purchased in advance as they will not be sold at the door. To purchase tickets, fans can call 800-441-RACE.
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 AARP Member Advantages Chevrolet SS / Jeff Gordon
Driver Jeff Gordon Hometown Pittsboro, Indiana
Age 44 Resides Charlotte, North Carolina
10th in standings
3 pole positions
3 top-five finishes
14 top-10 finishes
208 laps led
80 pole positions
323 top-five finishes
468 top-10 finishes
24,872 laps led
4 pole positions
18 top-five finishes
26 top-10 finishes
2,389 laps led
Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 AARP Member Advantages Chevrolet SS, is scheduled to visit the Dover International Speedway media center at 1:30 p.m. local time Friday.
NEW NASCAR IRON MAN: Last Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Jeff Gordon set the record for most consecutive starts in NASCAR history with 789. Gordon also holds the longest consecutive starts streak from the beginning of a career – he has never missed a race since his Nov. 15, 1992, debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
DEFENDING RACE WINNER AT DOVER: On Sept. 28, 2014, the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion led 94 laps on the one-mile track en route to his 92nd career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory.
LAST SIX IN ‘FIRST STATE’: In the last six NASCAR Sprint Cup events on the concrete track, Gordon has six top-15 finishes including finishes of first, second, third and fourth.
ACTIVE LEADER: Gordon’s 18 top-five finishes and 26 top-10s are tops among active drivers at the concrete track while he is tied with Ryan Newman for most pole positions among active drivers with four.
NEARING 25K: Gordon is 128 shy of 25,000 career laps led.
UP FRONT AT DOVER: Gordon, driver of the No. 24 AARP Member Advantages Chevrolet SS, has led 200 or more laps on five occasions at Dover. In September of 1995, he led 400 of 500 laps en route to his first victory at the high-banked track, and he paced the field for 381 of 400 laps in June 2001 to capture his fourth victory. In May 1998, Gordon led 375 of 400 laps but finished third after a late-race pit stop for fuel.
MEMBER ADVANTAGES AT DOVER: AARP Member Advantages will sponsor four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Gordon’s No. 24 Chevrolet SS to spread awareness about the many benefits available to AARP members. The special AARP Member Advantages paint scheme – which debuted at Sonoma Raceway on June 28 – will be featured in six Sprint Cup Series events in 2015 and is part of Hendrick Motorsports’ existing partnership with Drive to End Hunger, which is AARP and AARP Foundation’s multi-year effort to raise awareness of and support for the fight against older adult hunger. AARP Member Advantages is a collection of discounts, products, services and insurance programs available to AARP’s millions of members through third party providers. The provider offers include a variety of health products, financial products, travel and leisure products, and life event services.
No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS / Jimmie Johnson
Driver Jimmie Johnson Hometown El Cajon, California
Age 40 Resides Charlotte, North Carolina
5th in standings
0 pole positions
11 top-five finishes
18 top-10 finishes
467 laps led
33 pole positions
204 top-five finishes
310 top-10 finishes
17,618 laps led
3 pole positions
15 top-five finishes
20 top-10 finishes
2,999 laps led
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, is scheduled to visit the Dover International Speedway media center at 10:15 a.m. local time Friday.
ONE SPONSOR, ONE TEAM: Jimmie Johnson will be making his 500th career start this weekend at Dover. His first career start in the No. 48 was on Oct. 7, 2001, at Charlotte Motor Speedway at the age of 27. Johnson’s first win came at Fontana in 2002 in just his 13th career start. Throughout the years and the changes in the sport, Johnson has been lucky enough to have a few constants. Lowe’s has been Johnson’s sponsor since he began his career, Chad Knaus has been his crew chief and Ron Malec has been his car chief the since the beginning. Together they have won six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships.
DOVER IS SPECIAL FOR JOHNSON: Johnson won at Dover his first time at the track on June 2, 2002, in just his 16th start as a Sprint Cup driver. He followed that up the same year by winning the fall event to sweep the season. Johnson has won four times in the last seven races at Dover. Click here to see photos from Johnson’s first win at the “Monster Mile.”
MORE DOVER ACCOLADES: Johnson has led 2,999 laps around Dover International Speedway in his career — the most all-time of any driver. Since 2005, Johnson has led a series-high 2,604 laps – 1,586 more than second during that span. He has an average finish of 5.9 and average running position of 6.4 at the track in the same time period.
JOHNSON AND THE MONSTER: After his win in May at the one-mile concrete oval, Johnson has a total of 10 Sprint Cup wins at Dover International Speedway, which ranks first all-time ahead of NASCAR Hall of Famers Bobby Allison and Richard Petty, who recorded seven wins apiece.
PINK FOR OCTOBER: Johnson will sport a special Lowe’s hat and Mission towel in the month of October to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Both the hat and towel will have the color pink in an effort to bring awareness to the disease.
TWITTER CHAT WITH KNAUS: Knaus will do a fan question and answer session from Hendrick Motorsports’ Twitter handle, @TeamHendrick, on Thursday, Oct. 1, at 1 p.m. ET. Fans can use the hashtag #DashChat to submit questions for Knaus.
DECAL FOR 500TH START: A special decal will be placed on the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevy SS this weekend to commemorate Johnson’s 500th start. The decal reads “Jimmie Johnson 500th start. One Driver. One Team. One Sponsor.”
DOVER DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Johnson has the series-best driver rating at Dover with a score of 122.3 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.
KANSAS TICKET PACKAGE: Johnson is offering kids (ages 12 and younger) the chance to join him for an exclusive Q&A before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 18.The special offer includes an adult and youth admission to the exclusive Q&A with Johnson, one FanVision radio scanner and two special-edition Jimmie Johnson credentials. Call 866-817-7223 or click here to purchase.
No. 88 Nationwide Plenti Chevrolet SS / Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hometown Kannapolis, North Carolina
Age 40 Resides Mooresville, North Carolina
12th in standings
0 pole positions
12 top-five finishes
17 top-10 finishes
204 laps led
13 pole positions
139 top-five finishes
241 top-10 finishes
8,051 laps led
1 pole position
6 top-five finishes
11 top-10 finishes
451 laps led
CHASE STANDINGS: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Plenti Chevrolet SS, ranks 12th in the 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings after last weekend’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The driver of the No. 88 Chevy SS has 2,057 points and trails leader Matt Kenseth by 42 points. Going into the final event in the Chase-opening Challenger Round, Earnhardt has a single-point lead on Kyle Busch, who sits 13th, the cutoff for advancing to the Contender Round.
TAMING THE MONSTER: Earnhardt has one win at the “Monster Mile,” which came in the 2001 fall race, when he led the final 39 laps en route to victory. He’s earned four top-five finishes and eight top-10s at the concrete oval since his trip to Victory Lane in 2001, and had a notably good weekend in the fall of 2013, starting from the pole and finishing second.
GREEN-FLAG PASSES: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Earnhardt ranks sixth among drivers for green-flag passes during the last 20 races at NHMS. In that span at the one-mile oval, the Kannapolis, North Carolina, native has completed 900 green-flag passes.
NATIONWIDE AND PLENTI: Nationwide is the exclusive insurance partner of Plenti, the rewards program that lets consumers earn Plenti points at one place and use them at another, all with a single rewards card. Anyone who joins Plenti is able to collect and combine points across brands, making it easier and faster to earn and use rewards points. For a limited time, Plenti members can earn 888 points for completing an eligible auto quote in participating states. The Plenti campaign will also highlight Nationwide’s Race to Vegas promotion so fans can enter to win a trip to the 2016 Las Vegas race weekend, where they will attend the race and meet Earnhardt. Visit nationwide.com/NW88JR for offer and program details. The No. 88 Nationwide Plenti car and campaign are examples of how Nationwide is leveraging the sponsorship to promote key initiatives that are important to growing its business and delivering tangible, distinct benefits to its members.
HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT DOVER: At Dover International Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports has 18 wins, nine pole positions, 56 top-five finishes and 91 top-10s. Johnson most recently visited Victory Lane for the organization at the track earlier this season.
FINDING VICTORY LANE: Hendrick Motorsports’ 18 wins at Dover are tied with Charlotte Motor Speedway for the organization’s second-most at a track. The Dover victories have come via five different drivers — Johnson (10), Gordon (5), Geoff Bodine, Ricky Rudd and Ken Schrader.
ORGANIZATION STATS: To date, Hendrick Motorsports has totals of 237 victories, 204 pole positions, 970 top-five finishes and 1,618 top-10 finishes in Sprint Cup competition. Its teams have led 64,768 laps since 1984.
“Everything happens fast at Dover. Tire strategy is big at Dover because the tires lay a lot of rubber down. The rubber gets taller and taller and when you hit it you slide, so if the front of your car hits the rubber it slides first and if the back hits it then the back slides, making the car tight or loose, whichever it may be. Understanding that, driving around it, working with it the right way and having your car set up the right way for that is key to running well at Dover.”
Kasey Kahne on tire strategy at Dover
“Dover is definitely a physical track. Once rubber starts getting laid down on this racetrack, it’s a little rough. Every time they do a patch (on the track), that piece of concrete is a different texture than the other pieces and you have different grip levels. You are constantly fighting between push-loose, push-loose and you are just working the steering wheel constantly. Not to mention the G-loads that you pull are pretty significant. These are big corners, high-banked with a lot of grip. You are working hard each lap.”
Jeff Gordon on racing at Dover
“I’m really excited to go to Dover, it’s my favorite racetrack out there. I’m glad this track is in the Chase and its really fitting to make my 500th start there. It seems like not too long ago I just got started in this sport. So much has happened since then, so many things I am very proud of – 500 is a big number. It’s crazy. Proud to represent Lowe’s and this team throughout the past 500 races and looking forward to the future and sharing much more success together.”
Jimmie Johnson on making his 500th start at Dover
“We’ve got to go in there at Dover and work hard and be smart. I think going back on our notes from this year and years before will help. Hopefully we’ve written the notes well to help us understand what we need to look forward to – and weaknesses and strengths in our team from the past that we can improve upon.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. on racing at Dover