DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY (ONE-MILE OVAL)
LOCATION: DOVER, DELAWARE
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACE 30 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 2:30 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, OCT. 6 (NBCSN/MRN/SIRIUSXM)
No. 9 Hooters Give A Hoot Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Driver Chase Elliott Hometown Dawsonville, Georgia
Age 23 Resides Dawsonville, Georgia
6th in standings
3 pole positions
10 top-five finishes
13 top-10 finishes
578 laps led
7 pole positions
43 top-five finishes
72 top-10 finishes
1,821 laps led
1 pole position
6 top-five finishes
6 top-10 finishes
294 laps led
Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Hooters Give A Hoot Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media on Friday, Oct. 4, at 11:30 a.m. local time in the media center at Dover International Speedway.
PLAYOFF MOMENTUM: Chase Elliott rallied back from mid-race trouble last weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway “roval” to earn his sixth career NASCAR Cup Series victory – his third this season. With the win, Elliott advanced to the Round of 12 in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Half of the 23-year-old driver’s wins have come during the playoffs, and 2019 is his second straight season with a win in the playoffs. Since 2016, the driver has scored three victories during the playoffs, tied with teammate Jimmie Johnson for the fourth-most playoff wins in that span.
HOOTERS RETURNS: This weekend, Hooters will grace the No. 9 Chevrolet for the final time this season. In September, Hooters revealed the No. 9 Hooters Give A Hoot Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 that Elliott will pilot this weekend at Dover International Speedway. The special pink and white scheme will promote the restaurant’s Give A Hoot campaign that supports the fight against breast cancer.
GIVE A HOOT: Hooters’ Give A Hoot fundraising in October benefits the V Foundation for Cancer Research, one of the nation’s leading cancer research funding organizations, as well as other local beneficiaries through the Kelly Jo Dowd Breast Cancer Research Fund. Elliott and Hooters are donating a portion from pink merchandise (specific hats and shirts) sales from the Chase Elliott Store and Hooters Store to the V Foundation and the Kelly Jo Dowd Breast Cancer Research Fund.
HELLO ROUND OF 12: As the Round of 12 takes the green flag this weekend at Dover, Elliott and the No. 9 team prepare to return to three tracks (Dover, Talladega Superspeedway and Kansas Speedway) where they have seen success. In the last year, the driver has won on every track in this round of the playoffs (Dover – Oct. 7, 2018; Kansas – Oct. 21, 2018; and Talladega – April 28, 2019). A win at any of the three tracks would lock the No. 9 team into the Round of 8. Elliott collected top-five finishes at all three tracks earlier this season, led the most laps (235) and scored the most points (156) of all drivers. He holds the second-highest average finish (3.3) at the three tracks this season behind only teammate Alex Bowman (2.0).
‘MONSTER MILE’ STATS: Elliott has garnered six top-five finishes in seven starts at Dover International Speedway, four of which were top-three finishes. Among those top-three finishes was his win in overtime last season and a runner-up result in 2017. His six top-five finishes at Dover are his most at a single track in his Cup career. Elliott currently averages a finish of 4.43 at the one-mile oval, the best average finish by an active driver on a track with a minimum of three starts. Elliott finished in the top three in both of his rookie appearances at Dover in 2016 – something only Johnson, Kyle Busch and Davey Allison have accomplished in their rookie seasons. He also has four starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and one in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at the Dover, Delaware, track and never finished outside the top 10 in either series.
TEAL & GOLD STEERING WHEEL: Last weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway “roval,” Elliott and his Hendrick Motorsports teammates were among the NASCAR drivers participating in the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation Drive for Teal and Gold Steering Wheel campaign. September is both Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. The program supports the awareness and battle against both diseases. Elliott’s race-winning wheel will be autographed and is currently being auctioned off by the NASCAR Foundation to benefit the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation through Monday, Oct. 7, at 9 p.m. ET.
No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Driver William Byron Hometown Charlotte, North Carolina
Age 21 Resides Charlotte, North Carolina
11th in standings
5 pole positions
3 top-five finishes
11 top-10 finishes
210 laps led
5 pole positions
3 top-five finishes
15 top-10 finishes
271 laps led
0 pole positions
0 top-five finishes
1 top-10 finish
5 laps led
William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media on Friday, Oct. 4, at 2:45 p.m. local time in the media center at Dover International Speedway.
READY FOR THE ROUND OF 12: After locking himself into his first-ever NASCAR Cup Series playoff one month ago, driver William Byron has now raced his way through the first round and solidified his position in the Round of 12. Sitting 11th in the driver points standings after last weekend’s race, Byron is currently just five points below the cutoff line with three races to make up the ground (Dover International Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and Kansas Speedway). In the same three races earlier this season, the sophomore driver collected 79 points, ranking eighth among the current playoff drivers.
AT IT AGAIN WITH AXALTA: Last appearing on the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in July, the iconic Axalta flames paint scheme will return to Byron’s machine this weekend when the Cup Series returns to Dover International Speedway. After this weekend, Axalta Coating Systems will have three races left on Byron’s Chevy in 2019 – at Talladega next weekend and two more races in November (Texas and Homestead).
DOVER DIGEST: Set to make his fourth NASCAR Cup Series start at Dover, and second of the 2019 season, Byron is ready to get behind the wheel of the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 on the one-mile concrete oval. The 21-year-old qualified on the front row alongside Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott and led five laps in the rain-delayed race in May en route to a career track-best eighth-place finish. Before his previous Cup starts, Byron had four other starts at the “Monster Mile,” his first being in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East where he started on the pole, led 57 laps and finished ninth. Graduating to the top three national tiers of NASCAR starting in 2016, Byron once again captured the top spot in qualifying at Dover, this time in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series, leading 80 laps and finishing 11th. The next season, Byron would race at the concrete one-mile oval twice in the Xfinity Series, with the best of the two starts occurring in the fall when he qualified first, led 62 laps and finished third.
FRONT-ROW FAMILIARITY: Byron owns the most front-row starts of any driver in the NASCAR Cup Series this season with 10. He added to that total last weekend with his pole at the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course.
TIED FOR SECOND: Byron is one of four Cup Series drivers who have finished second in a race in 2019 but have yet to capture the checkered flag. He ranks third among the Cup field for most laps led (210) without a win.
KNAUS’ DOVER DOMINATION: Returning to Dover for a second time with veteran crew chief Chad Knaus on top of the box, Byron is hoping to build off his visit in the spring after qualifying on the front row and racing to an eighth-place finish. Aside from that solid showing earlier this season, as a Cup Series crew chief, Knaus has an impressive 11 wins, 17 top-five finishes and 24 top-10s at the one-mile oval in 36 starts. Knaus leads all active crew chiefs with 81 total career wins. The next closest crew chief owns 28 Cup Series wins.
‘ROVAL’ REDEMPTION: After securing his fifth pole of the 2019 season, Byron jumped out to an early lead during last Sunday’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s road course. Using strategy early on, he was able to score points in Stages 1 and 2, setting himself up for a run to the checkered flag while trying to solidify his position above the playoff cut line. Running within the top five until a handful of laps to go when competitors on fresher tires prevailed, Byron crossed the finish line in the sixth position, scoring his 11th top-10 finish in 2019 and securing his place in the Round of 12.
HERTZ ULTIMATE RIDE SWEEPSTAKES: In conjunction with Hendrick Motorsports, Hertz is introducing a new “pace car” to its fleet with a limited-edition custom 2020 Camaro ZL1 and 2020 Camaro SS. Available to be reserved beginning mid-October 2019, customers have the opportunity to rent the custom Camaros fashioned in the signature Hertz yellow and black color scheme with custom wheels, interior badging and full performance upgrades outfitted by Hendrick Motorsports. In conjunction with the program rollout, customers can celebrate the debut of the limited-edition Camaros by participating in The Hertz Ultimate Ride Sweepstakes – beginning Sept. 18, through Nov. 15, 2019 – for a chance to win a 2020 Hertz-Hendrick Motorsports Camaro SS. Five finalists will also win an exclusive driving experience in Charlotte. Click here for more information on the Hertz-Hendrick custom Camaro program.
No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Driver Jimmie Johnson Hometown El Cajon, California
Age 44 Resides Charlotte, North Carolina
18th in standings
1 pole position
3 top-five finishes
10 top-10 finishes
88 laps led
36 pole positions
227 top-five finishes
362 top-10 finishes
18,791 laps led
3 pole positions
17 top-five finishes
24 top-10 finish
3,109 laps led
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media on Friday, Oct. 4, at noon local time in the media center at Dover International Speedway.
‘ROVAL’ RECAP: Jimmie Johnson notched his 10th top-10 finish of the season last weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course. The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion topped the speed chart in practice on Friday and then qualified fourth. He finished Stage 2 in fourth place and went on to finish the race in ninth.
QUALITY QUALIFYING: Since the 22nd race of the season at Watkins Glen International – Cliff Daniels’ first race as Johnson’s crew chief – the No. 48 team has captured seven top-10 starting positions in the last eight races. The group has earned a pair of top-10 finishes in that span.
JOHNSON AT DOVER: Not only has Johnson shared tremendous success throughout his career at Dover, it was the site of his most recent win. On June 4, 2017, he led only seven laps but it was enough to put him in position to drive the No. 48 Chevrolet to Victory Lane for the 11th time at the one-mile concrete oval, which is the all-time record at the track. The victory tied him for sixth on the all-time wins list in the sport. In his 35 starts at Dover, he has amassed three pole positions, 17 top-five finishes, 24 top-10s and 3,109 laps led in addition to his 11 wins.
OVERTIME WINNERS: Of the four races that have spilled into NASCAR’s version of “overtime” at the “Monster Mile,” Johnson has won three of them. Those three races were in September 2005, May 2015 and June 2017. His Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott won the fourth, which came in October 2018. In addition, the No. 48 driver owns the most laps led at the track all-time with 3,109.
FOR THE KIDS: This week in Charlotte, Johnson hosted his annual golf tournament to raise funds for the Jimmie Johnson Foundation. The private event along with silent auction raised $500,000 to fund grants to K-12 public schools. The tournament, which in 13 years has raised more than $8 million, benefits the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Champions Grant program. The grants range from $20,000-$75,000 and are distributed to K-12 public schools in the Johnsons’ home towns in California and Oklahoma and where they currently reside in North Carolina. For more information, click here.
PINK ACCENTS: To commemorate October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Johnson will don pink Alpinestars driving gloves and an Ally Racing hat with pink accents.
MODERN-ERA WINS: Johnson is just one win shy of having the most wins all-time at a single track in the modern era (since 1972). He currently has 11 wins at Dover, behind only NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip’s 12 at Bristol.
MILESTONES ON THE HORIZON: Johnson has the most wins of all active drivers, and his next trip to Victory Lane will be 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 the driver with Hall of Famers Waltrip and Bobby Allison for fourth all-time. The No. 48 driver is currently 10 wins behind former teammate Jeff Gordon, who has 93 victories and is third on the list.
No. 88 Cincinnati Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Driver Alex Bowman Hometown Tucson, Arizona
Age 26 Resides Charlotte, North Carolina
9th in standings
0 pole positions
5 top-five finishes
9 top-10 finishes
182 laps led
2 pole positions
8 top-five finishes
23 top-10 finishes
456 laps led
0 pole positions
1 top-five finish
1 top-10 finish
42 laps led
Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 88 Cincinnati Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media on Friday, Oct. 4, at 3 p.m. local time in the media center at Dover International Speedway.
WELCOME CINCINNATI: On Sept. 20, Hendrick Motorsports announced a 10-year agreement with leading machine tool manufacturer Cincinnati Inc. As the new Official Metal Fabrication and Additive Equipment Provider of Hendrick Motorsports, the Ohio-based company will serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 this weekend at Dover International Speedway. In 2020, fans can see the Cincinnati colors on board Alex Bowman’s machine for two NASCAR Cup Series events. Click here to see the No. 88 paint scheme for this weekend’s race.
‘ROVAL’ RECAP: Last weekend, the Cup Series raced at the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course for the cut-off race in the Round of 16 of the playoffs. Bowman qualified second for the event behind teammate William Byron. In the last 30 seconds of final practice on Saturday, the No. 88 Chevrolet made contact with an outside wall barrier and sent the team to a back-up car. After starting Sunday’s race at the rear of the field, Bowman missed the backstretch chicane and spun on the first lap. The team was forced to serve a pass-through penalty on Lap 5 for missing the chicane. Making up ground, Bowman found himself inside the top 10 for the first time of the day on Lap 92 and had his sights set on the competitors ahead of him. With less than five laps to go in the 109-lap event, Bowman entered the top five. Continuing his momentum, the 26-year-old driver was able to knock off three more positions to finish the race second to teammate Chase Elliott. The second-place finish marked Bowman’s best finish at a road course and his fourth runner-up result of 2019, and most importantly advanced him to the Round of 12.
HELLO ROUND OF 12: Following his second-place finish at the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course on Sunday, Bowman claimed a spot in the Round of 12. It is the second season in a row that the driver of the No. 88 Chevy has made it to the second round of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. At each of the next three tracks, Bowman finished as the runner up earlier this season. The Tucson, Arizona, native and Elliott are the only two drivers to finish in the top five in each of the three races on the Round of 12 tracks earlier this season. Bowman scored the second-most points at the three tracks earlier this year, earning 143 points total.
BOWMAN IN DOVER: The driver of the No. 88 machine will make his eighth career start at Dover on Sunday. Bowman’s best finish of second at the track came earlier this year after the team qualified fifth and led 16 laps. Back in the spring of 2018, Bowman led 26 laps at the one-mile speedway. The driver has six starts at the track in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He earned two top-five finishes, both of which came with JR Motorsports in 2016. The driver led 33 laps in the spring event that year and crossed the line third. Bowman also ran an ARCA Series race at the track in 2011 and finished 23rd after suffering an engine failure after 132 laps.
IVES STATS AT THE ‘MONSTER MILE’: Crew chief Greg Ives will call the shots for the 10th time for the No. 88 team at Dover this weekend. The Bark River, Michigan, native has two top-five finishes and four top-10s at the track. The crew chief’s resume includes two top-five finishes and three top-10s at the venue in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Both top-five results came in 2014 when Ives led Elliott to two second-place starting positions and 19 laps led before taking the checkered flag inside the top five. Ives was a race engineer for the No. 48 team at Hendrick Motorsports from 2006 until 2012. During that time, he was a part of four wins, four pole awards and 10 top-10s at Dover.
HOME-TRACK FEELS: No. 88 team rear-tire changer Devin DelRicco grew up 86 miles from Dover International Speedway in Marlboro, Maryland. The 28-year-old visited the “Monster Mile” for the first time back in 2005 for the NASCAR Cup Series event. DelRicco has been with Hendrick Motorsports for five years and was part of two NASCAR Xfinity Series championships with JR Motorsports.
HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT DOVER: At Dover International Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports has accumulated 20 wins, 67 top-five finishes, 108 top-10s, 10 poles and 6,851 laps led at the one-mile oval. A single organization has won at least 20 times at a track just three times in history, and Hendrick Motorsports owns two of those achievements. The organization’s 20 Dover wins are its second-most behind its 24 at Martinsville Speedway, which are the most all-time at any track. Since 2009, the organization has won at Dover in all but two seasons (2011, 2016).
100 FOR THE WIN: This weekend marks the 100th race at Dover International Speedway. Hendrick Motorsports has a history of finding Victory Lane on the 100th race at a track, starting with Jeff Gordon at Daytona International Speedway in February 1997, then Jimmie Johnson at Darlington Raceway in March 2004 and this April at Talladega Superspeedway with Chase Elliott.
ROUND OF 12 RINGERS: The three tracks that make up the Round of 12 in the playoffs are Dover, Talladega and Kansas. At those three venues in 2019, Hendrick Motorsports leads the Cup Series in poles (one), runner-up results (three), top-five finishes (six), top-10s (eight), laps led (334) and average finish (9.83). The organization’s one win is tied for the most.
PLAYOFF WINNERS: Hendrick Motorsports has won at least once in 15 of the 16 seasons of the playoffs, with the 2017 campaign as the only outlier. Its three drivers still in the playoffs are tied for the most from a single team. Its six playoff wins at Dover are the most all-time, with Team Penske in second place with three. Johnson owns four of those wins.
POSTSEASON POSITIONING: The 2019 season marks a series-best 12th in which the organization has sent at least three drivers to the playoffs. It is also the 14th consecutive year that Hendrick Motorsports has at least two drivers in the playoffs, which is also the most of all organizations.
UP FRONT ON THE ‘ROVAL’: Hendrick Motorsports swept the front row in qualifying last weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course, and took the checkered flag with a one-two finish. A team has started and finished one-two in a race just seven times in the modern era, and Hendrick Motorsports has now accomplished the feat three times. Prior to the “roval,” the organization did so at Talladega in 2015 and Daytona in 1989. All four Hendrick Motorsports drivers finished in the top 10 last Sunday for the second time this season – both at Charlotte. It was the 23rd time in the organization’s history that all four cars finished in the top 10.
CHEVROLET IN VICTORY LANE: In the last 16 races at Dover, a Chevrolet has found Victory Lane nine times. In the last 13 Dover races, Hendrick Motorsports has won on six occasions.
PILING UP POLE POSITIONS: After securing just two poles in 2018, Hendrick Motorsports has amassed nine poles this year with seven races remaining in the season. It’s the fifth-highest total the organization has earned in a single season, tied with the 1996 and 2004 campaigns. Hendrick Motorsports’ record for poles came in 1986 with 16, followed by 12 in 2007 and 2009, 11 in 2008 and 2012 and 10 in 1995.
LEADING LAPS: In 2019, Hendrick Motorsports has more than doubled its total of laps led from a season ago. Last year, the organization’s drivers tallied 497 laps led. Now, after last weekend’s race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course, the 2019 total has been brought to 1,058 laps up front with seven races remaining in the season.
ORGANIZATION STATS: To date, Hendrick Motorsports has totals of 12 championships, 256 race victories, 224 pole positions, 1,066 top-five finishes and 1,830 top-10 finishes in points-paying NASCAR Cup Series competition. Its teams have led more than 68,700 laps since 1984.
Chase Elliott on success at Dover:
“We’ve had fast cars there. To be honest with you, I think probably the biggest reason we’ve had some good runs at the racetrack is because of Jimmie (Johnson)’s success over the years. I think he’s been so good and he’s put a really good baseline for us to go there and have a decent place to start for the weekend. I think a lot of it is because of that. Obviously, he’s won how many races there, so he has a really good feel of what he needs to do and he does a better job than I do a lot of times in being able to describe things and put things into words. Sometimes things are really complicated in what you’re feeling and it’s hard to put that into simplifying terms to explain it, and he does a really nice job of that. I think that’s why he’s had a lot of the success that he’s had.”
Elliott on winning more as the playoffs progress:
“I hope so. You know, it’s nice to have an extra six points going into the next round, for sure. But it’s hard to carry anything really from Sunday into next week just because it’s back to the ovals. Anything we learned from a road course standpoint obviously we don’t have another one the rest of the year. But can definitely take those six points with you as long as you’re alive in this playoff system, and hopefully we don’t need them but we got them.”
William Byron on what he can learn from the spring Dover race:
“The main thing is trying to keep track position all race long. It’s a track that’s really hard to pass, so in the spring we unfortunately got stuck in the back at one point and it took almost the whole race to climb back up to the front. We had a really good car then, so I expect to unload with another fast one this weekend. Hopefully we can get a good starting position and keep the track position the entire race.”
Jimmie Johnson on racing at Dover:
“I absolutely love Dover. If it was up to me we would race there more than twice a year. It suits my driving style because it’s got the characteristics I loved racing when I was in off-road trucks. It’s a special track for me for so many reasons.”
Bowman on advancing to the Round of 12:
“It is great to be able to advance to the next round of the playoffs. Charlotte was rough, that’s for sure. This team never gave up and continued to make the car better and ultimately we finished second. The three tracks in the Round of 12 were really good to us in the spring. We finished second at each track and we have the notes to hopefully get us one spot further on Sunday.”
Bowman on racing at Dover:
“Dover is a track that is more physically demanding than you would think. There is a lot of elevation change getting into the corner. Depending on how the rubber is laying down, the track changes from run to run. This is a track that is ever changing.”