Hendrick Motorsports Media Advance: Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY (1.5-MILE OVAL)
LOCATION: LAS VEGAS
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACE THREE OF 36)
TUNE IN: 3:30 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, MARCH 4 (FOX/PRN/SIRIUSXM)


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Chase Elliott
No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Driver Chase Elliott Hometown Dawsonville, Georgia
Age 22 Resides Dawsonville, Georgia

CarParts.com
Shop for Official NASCAR Collectibles at Store.NASCAR.com

2018 Season
19th in standings
2 starts
0 wins
0 pole positions
0 top-five finishes
1 top-10 finish
4 laps led

Career
79 starts
0 wins
3 pole positions
22 top-five finishes
39 top-10 finishes
922 laps led

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

NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1: NAPA AUTO PARTS will return to the hood of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The Atlanta-based company will serve as majority sponsor for Chase Elliott and the No. 9 team for 26 NASCAR Cup Series races this year.

LAS VEGAS STATS: This weekend, Elliott is set to make his third Cup Series start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Last season at the 1.5-mile track, Elliott collected a third-place finish. In NASCAR Xfinity Series competition at Las Vegas, he holds a 7.0 average starting position and has garnered three top-five finishes.

1.5-MILE TRACK STATS: Elliott’s performance at 1.5-mile tracks during the 2017 season was impressive, collecting two second-place finishes (tied for second among NASCAR Cup Series drivers), seven top-five finishes (second) and nine top-10s (third). The Dawsonville, Georgia, native also averaged the third-best average finish of Cup drivers (9.82) on 1.5-mile tracks last year.

ATLANTA REWIND: Following a rain delay that spanned more than two hours, Elliott started 27th last Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The 22-year-old driver battled tight-handling conditions throughout the entire 325-lap event, but with pit strategy was able to race his No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to his third top-10 finish in as many starts at his home track.

DESI9N TO DRIVE: The Chase Elliott Foundation’s second annual “DESI9N TO DRIVE” art collaboration with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (Children’s) kicked off last week. Elliott and his three Hendrick Motorsports teammates sported special racing shoes designed by patients at Children’s during last weekend’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The five pairs (Elliott wore two) of racing shoes were all signed and are currently being auctioned off on the NASCAR Foundation online auction site to benefit Children’s summer camps.

CHASIN’ 9 SALE: This weekend in Las Vegas, the No. 9 team will all be wearing special, limited-edition NAPA hats at the racetrack. The hats are part of NAPA AUTO PARTS’ “Chasin’ 9 Sale.” In the month of March, if customers spend $25 in-store they will receive the No. 9 NAPA Racing/Chase Elliott hat while supplies last.

CHASE & BILL: During the Atlanta pre-race show, Bill and Chase Elliott sat down with Shannon Spake for a FOX Sports feature. The father and son duo discussed the significance of the move to the No. 9 for the 2018 season. Click here to watch the interview.

SEE ELLIOTT IN LAS VEGAS: On Friday, March 2, Elliott will participate in a question-and-answer session at 3 p.m. local time in the Neon Garage at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. On Sunday, March 4, he will appear at the Team Chevy Stage in the fan zone at 8:45 a.m. local time for a question-and-answer session.


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William Byron
No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Driver William Byron Hometown Charlotte, North Carolina
Age 20 Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2018 Season
25th in standings
2 starts
0 wins
0 pole positions
0 top-five finishes
0 top-10 finishes
0 laps led

Career
2 starts
0 wins
0 pole positions
0 top-five finishes
0 top-10 finishes
0 laps led

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

AXALTA RETURNS: Axalta Coating Systems returns as the primary partner of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 this week. The bright Axalta flames, designed by well-known motor sports artist Sam Bass, will be featured on the No. 24 Chevy for the next three races – Las Vegas, Phoenix and Fontana. This year, Axalta will be a primary partner on the No. 24 Chevrolet for 10 races.

UNDER THE NEON LIGHTS: While William Byron has never run a NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, he does have two starts at the 1.5-mile track in NASCAR’s lower-tier national series. Last year, he finished 14th in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and in 2016, he earned a fifth-place result in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. A rookie has never won a Cup race at Las Vegas, but Byron has a chance to change that stat this weekend. He’s had time on the track, participating in a test there earlier this year.

VEGAS TEST: Byron and the No. 24 team participated in an organizational test with the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Jan. 31-Feb. 1. The test also marked Byron’s first-ever laps on track in a Cup car up to that point. He wasted no time getting up to speed, setting the fastest lap time in the morning session on both days.

ATLANTA RECAP: After a rain-delayed start to last Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Byron took the green flag from 23rd. He battled the handling on the No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in the early going, but steadily improved throughout the race to earn an 18th-place finish. He was the highest finishing rookie in the race.

GRUBB KNOWS HOW TO TAME THE WEST: No. 24 team crew chief Darian Grubb has experience finding Victory Lane out west. Grubb, 42, has won a race at each of the next three tracks the series visits as “NASCAR Goes West” – Las Vegas, Phoenix and Fontana, California – with three different drivers.

MEDIA ONLY – PREVIEWING PHOENIX AND FONTANA: Media members interested in a preview of the Phoenix, Fontana and California race weekends can reach out to Tiffany Powers for information on a media-only conference call with Byron on Friday, March 2.


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Jimmie Johnson
No. 48 Lowe’s for Pros Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Driver Jimmie Johnson Hometown El Cajon, California
Age 42 Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2018 Season
35th in standings
2 starts
0 wins
0 pole positions
0 top-five finishes
0 top-10 finishes
0 laps led

Career
580 starts
83 wins
35 pole positions
222 top-five finishes
341 top-10 finishes
18,663 laps led

Track Career
16 starts
4 wins
0 pole positions
6 top-five finishes
9 top-10 finishes
595 laps led

STREAKING IN VEGAS: Jimmie Johnson has led laps in each of the last six races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, tying him with Brad Keselowski for the longest streak at the track. Matt Kenseth holds the Las Vegas record with seven consecutive races led. Johnson has led 595 laps over the course of 16 starts at the 1.5-mile track. He has led at least one lap in 14 of his 16 starts at Las Vegas.

MOST WINS: Johnson holds the most wins all-time at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with four. His most recent win was Feb. 28, 2010, when he started 20th and led 18 laps en route to the win. In his career, Johnson has the most wins all-time on 1.5-mile tracks with 28. The next closest active driver has 12.

VEGAS INDICATION OF CHAMPIONSHIP FORM: Six times in history, a driver has crossed the finish line first at Las Vegas and hoisted the NASCAR Cup Series trophy at the end of the same season. It happened in 2001 with Johnson’s former teammate Jeff Gordon, and just last year with champion Martin Truex Jr. Johnson himself was crowned the champion in the 2006, 2007 and 2010 seasons after winning at Las Vegas.

84 IS NEXT: Johnson is on the verge of his 84th points-paying NASCAR Cup Series win. He secured his 83rd in June 2017 to tie NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough for sixth on the all-time wins list. An 84th win would tie Hall of Famers Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison for fourth all-time. Johnson is currently 10 wins behind former teammate Gordon, who has 93 victories and is third on the list. Johnson has the most wins of all active drivers and No. 48 team crew chief Chad Knaus has the most wins of all active crew chiefs with 81.

BE A VIP: This season, the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion has created the Jimmie Johnson VIP Experience for fans. The package gives fans the opportunity to meet the driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in a private setting. The experience includes a meet-and-greet, an autograph and a photo with Johnson, along with a behind-the-scenes garage tour and an amazing, exclusive gift. The experience will generally take place on the Friday morning before the Cup Series race event scheduled for that weekend. The package is available at nine races starting with Las Vegas and spots are limited. For more information, visit https://jimmiejohnsonvip.com/.


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Alex Bowman
No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Driver Alex Bowman Hometown Tucson, Arizona
Age 24 Resides Mooresville, North Carolina

2018 Season
17th in standings
2 starts
0 wins
1 pole position
0 top-five finishes
0 top-10 finishes
13 laps led

Career
83 starts
0 wins
2 pole positions
0 top-five finishes
3 top-10 finishes
216 laps led

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

BOWMAN AT LAS VEGAS: Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, has two previous NASCAR Cup Series starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a best qualifying effort of 27th back in 2015. The Tucson, Arizona, native has competed in one NASCAR Xfinity Series event at the speedway in 2013, when he finished eighth.

LUCKY 88: Numbers play in Bowman’s favor this weekend at Las Vegas as the No. 88 Chevrolet has had a strong showing at the Nevada track since coming to Hendrick Motorsports. Since 2008, the No. 88 has earned eight top-10 finishes at the track, more than any other car number.

NATIONWIDE CAMARO ZL1: The Nationwide paint scheme is back on board the No. 88 Chevy Camaro ZL1 this weekend in Las Vegas. Nationwide was last on the car for the Daytona 500, where Bowman qualified on the pole and finished 17th after getting caught up in an incident with two laps remaining. The blue-and-white paint scheme will adorn the No. 88 machine for all three West Coast events.

IVES AT LAS VEGAS: Greg Ives has called the shots three times for the No. 88 team at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The crew chief’s résumé at the track in the NASCAR Cup Series consists of one top-five finish and two top-10s with driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. The Michigan native has also been atop the pit box for two events in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for JR Motorsports, claiming one top-five result and two top-10s.

ATLANTA REWIND: Bowman qualified 18th for the NASCAR Cup Series event at Atlanta Motor Speedway last weekend. The 24-year-old battled back after a right-side tire went down and the No. 88 team was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop, taking the team off the lead lap. Bowman and the team rallied back and brought home a 20th-place finish at Atlanta.

LLUMAR JOINS BOWMAN IN 2018: Eastman Performance Films LLC, a subsidiary of Eastman Chemical Company, has joined Hendrick Motorsports as a primary sponsor of Bowman and the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 team in the NASCAR Cup Series through 2020. The sponsorship featuring the LLumar ® brand of window film and paint protection film, will be a primary sponsor for one race in 2018 and two races each season in 2019 and 2020. The three-year agreement includes associate sponsorship of the No. 88 team in all non-primary events throughout the season.


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Hendrick Motorsports

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT LAS VEGAS: In 20 races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports has earned five wins, two pole positions, 20 top-five finishes and 35 top-10s. Jimmie Johnson leads all drivers at the 1.5-mile oval with four victories.

WINNING DATE: Hendrick Motorsports won the only other NASCAR Cup Series race held at Las Vegas on March 4. Jeff Gordon started 24th on March 4, 2001, and went on to earn Hendrick Motorsports’ 98th Cup victory and the organization’s first of five wins at the track. It was the first of four times that a Hendrick Motorsports driver won at Las Vegas and went on to win the Cup championship in the same season.

WEST COAST STRENGTH: Hendrick Motorsports leads all teams in West Coast victories – including California, Nevada and Arizona – with a total of 34, 11 more than the next closest team, Roush Fenway Racing. Johnson and former teammate Jeff Gordon – both of whom hail from California – lead all drivers for most wins on West Coast tracks with 15 and 11, respectively.

1.5-MILE CHAMPS: Hendrick Motorsports has a NASCAR Cup Series record 57 total wins on 1.5-mile tracks, 15 more than the next closest team, Joe Gibbs Racing. Johnson also holds the record for most 1.5-mile track victories with 28 over Gordon (17), Tony Stewart (15), Dale Earnhardt (14) and Richard Petty (13).

250 ON THE HORIZON: The next points-paying win by a Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet will be the organization’s milestone 250th in NASCAR Cup Series competition. With 268 Cup victories, only Petty Enterprises has more. Junior Johnson and Associates is third all-time at 153 wins, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing with 148 and Roush Fenway Racing with 137.

16 MAKES 249: Sixteen different drivers have contributed to Hendrick Motorsports’ total of 249 points-paying Cup wins. Only the Wood Brothers team, which has sent 19 different drivers to Victory Lane, has more. Junior Johnson and Associates won with 13 different drivers.

FIRST-TIME WINNERS: If Elliott, Byron or Bowman wins at Las Vegas, it will mark the ninth time a driver has recorded his first career Cup Series win while driving for Hendrick Motorsports. Hendrick Motorsports and Roush Fenway Racing share the all-time record, having each sent eight first-time winners to Victory Lane in Cup Series competition.

ORGANIZATION STATS: To date, Hendrick Motorsports has totals of 12 championships, 249 race victories, 214 pole positions, 1,029 top-five finishes and 1,741 top-10 finishes in points-paying NASCAR Cup Series competition. Its teams have led 67,270 laps since 1984.


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QUOTABLE /
Chase Elliott on if there is anything to learn from the No. 24 team’s Las Vegas test:
“Yeah, I think so. I thought they had a good test from what I heard. I think as we get through this week and we start doing our race prep for next week we will definitely dive into his test a little more and kind of get into the details a little bit more instead of the general overview. I definitely think there will be some things we can lean on from it, but once we dive in more we will know.”

Elliott on Las Vegas:
“Vegas is kind of interesting. The track has become a little bit temperature sensitive and sunshine sensitive. It has a lot of speed when it’s cool and it has a lot of speed when it can be warm, but the fall-off is pretty massive. I think that was kind of a topic of conversation I heard from the test is how quickly the tires were falling off and so on. I’m curious to see where all that stacks up weather-wise next weekend.”

William Byron on Las Vegas:
“Vegas will be a fast-paced race. The weather looks like it’s going to be pretty cool, so the biggest challenge for us will be keeping up with the racetrack and making sure we can keep our pace up as the run goes because it’s probably not going to be a quick falloff with the tires – definitely a lot different than what we just saw in Atlanta. We should have good short-run speed like we did out there at the test. I felt like we were really competitive out there, so we can carry over that setup and what we did there at the test and apply it this weekend. We’d like to have a smooth weekend, and hopefully we’ll qualify really well. I’m looking forward to it.”.

Jimmie Johnson on moving forward:
“This Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is a brand new car to us. I am very proud of my team for all their efforts last weekend in Atlanta, they worked really hard. We all know it was not even close to the result we were looking for. The pit crew got some reps with plenty of four tire stops and we learned a lot. We have a lot of smart people on our team, so I’m not hitting the panic button. I posted this on Twitter: fear has two meanings – “Forget Everything And Run” or “Face Everything And Rise.” I’m ready to rise.”

Alex Bowman on Las Vegas:
“William (Byron) tested in Vegas earlier this year and it was the first time the Camaro ZL1 was on the racetrack, so I think we got some really good notes with it. I think it will definitely help this weekend. It’s a 1.5-mile track, but it’s got its own uniqueness to it. There are a lot of cool things too, like the garage is a really cool experience for the fans. Even though it is a 1.5-mile track, it’s different and a lot of fun. This weekend it is going to be important for our Nationwide team to get the car right, so we know what we have come playoff time.”

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