HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY (1.5-MILE OVAL)
LOCATION: HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACE 36 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 3 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, NOV. 17 (NBC/MRN/SIRIUSXM)
No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Driver Chase Elliott Hometown Dawsonville, Georgia
Age 23 Resides Dawsonville, Georgia
11th in standings
4 pole positions
11 top-five finishes
15 top-10 finishes
601 laps led
8 pole positions
44 top-five finishes
74 top-10 finishes
1,844 laps led
0 pole positions
1 top-five finish
2 top-10 finishes
0 laps led
NAPA AUTO PARTS: The primary blue, white and yellow NAPA AUTO PARTS paint scheme will grace the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for the final race of the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series season this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Atlanta-based company served as the majority sponsor for Chase Elliott and the No. 9 team for a total of 26 NASCAR Cup Series races this year.
THIS SEASON: With one race remaining in the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series season, Elliott and the No. 9 team have collected three victories (Talladega, Watkins Glen, Charlotte road course), 11 top-five finishes, 15 top-10s and 601 laps led – a career high. Elliott also reached the Round of 8 in the NASCAR playoffs for the third consecutive season.
PHOENIX RECAP: For the third consecutive year, Elliott went into the final race of the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs needing a win to guarantee his spot in the Championship 4. Elliott ran inside the top five for much of the penultimate race of the year, but a win eluded the driver of the No. 9 at ISM Raceway. On Lap 166, a cut tire sent Elliott into the outside wall while running in the top three. The resulting damage ended the No. 9 team’s day early and put an end to the quest to compete for a title at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
ELLIOTT AT 1.5-MILE TRACKS: Elliott will make his 45th start on a 1.5-mile track this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In his previous 44 starts on the track length, he has led 428 laps. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native scored his first 1.5-mile track win last October at Kansas Speedway. Along with that win, Elliott has collected 15 top-five finishes – three of which are runner-up results – and 24 top-10s on 1.5-mile tracks. For this season, Elliott holds the seventh-highest average finish of all drivers (11.3).
GUSTAFSON AT HOMESTEAD: This weekend, No. 9 team crew chief Alan Gustafson will call his 15th race from atop the pit box at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In his previous 14 races at the venue, Gustafson has collected one win (2012 – Jeff Gordon), three top-five finishes, seven top-10s, and 220 laps led. The Ormond Beach, Florida, native also started from the pole position in 2014 with Gordon.
VOTE FOR ELLIOTT’S 2020 HOOTERS SCHEME: Hooters is looking ahead to 2020 and giving fans a big responsibility. The No. 9 team partner is asking fans to make their pick from four options for Elliott’s 2020 No. 9 Hooters Chevrolet. The schemes have titles like Daytona Beach Sunrise, Night Owl, Mean Streak and Wingin’ It. After fans make their #Designthe9 vote, they can enter their email address for a $5 off a $25 purchase coupon. The winning scheme will be unveiled in January 2020. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, Nov. 22. So, get voting!
No. 24 Axalta Flames of Independence Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Driver William Byron Hometown Charlotte, North Carolina
Age 21 Resides Charlotte, North Carolina
9th in standings
5 pole positions
5 top-five finishes
13 top-10 finishes
233 laps led
5 pole positions
5 top-five finishes
17 top-10 finishes
294 laps led
0 pole positions
0 top-five finishes
1 top-10 finish
0 laps led
NOT DONE YET IN 2019: While there is still one race remaining in William Byron’s sophomore NASCAR Cup Series season, the difference a year has made for the driver of the No. 24 is enormous. In 2018, Byron’s best finish was a sixth-place result compared to two runner-up finishes in 2019 (Daytona 2, Martinsville 2). He collected four top-10 finishes during his rookie campaign compared to to five top-five finishes and 13 top-10s so far this season. He has also nearly quadrupled his laps led from 61 in 2018 to 233 in 2019. Byron has collected five pole awards during his sophomore campaign, including being involved in all seven Hendrick Motorsports front-row sweeps, en route to improving his average starting position of 17.6 from a year ago to 12.5. He’s also improved his average finishing position nearly eight full spots from 22.1 to 14.2. Making the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs for the first time this year, Byron advanced to the Round of 12 and now sits ninth in points – the highest of the Hendrick Motorsports cars – compared to 23rd in the points standings at the end of last year.
AXALTA’S FLAMES OF INDEPENDENCE: For the final race of the 2019 Cup Series season, Axalta Coating Systems will return to Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. However, Axalta Racing announced that they would change things up a bit for the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. As a special thank you to fans, the Axalta Flames of Independence scheme that Byron raced in the July race at Daytona International Speedway will return to close out the 2019 season. Still sporting the iconic Axalta flames, the No. 24 will instead have a pearl-white base coat with red and blue ombre flames traveling down the sides of the car. To see the Axalta Racing announcement with Byron, click here.
HEADING TO HOMESTEAD: Heading into the final race of the season, Byron is set to make his second Cup start at Homestead-Miami Speedway. During last year’s event, he suffered a flat tire in the closing stages of the race, leaving him with a 24th-place finish. Despite misfortune during his Cup Series start, the sophomore driver has two other starts under his belt at the track in NASCAR – one in the Xfinity Series and one in the Truck Series. In 2017, he started sixth and went on to finish third, locking up the Xfinity Series championship in the process. In 2016, he started on the pole for the Truck Series race and led 31 laps en route to the win at the 1.5-mile speedway.
MILE-AND-A-HALF METRICS: Across 10 races at 1.5-mile tracks this season, Byron has an average finish of 12.3 – ranking 10th overall in the Cup Series. In the last seven 1.5-mile track races, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native’s average improves to 12.0 – the seventh-highest average.
PHOENIX IN THE PAST: After qualifying 18th last weekend at ISM Raceway, Byron began to steadily march his way through the field, running within the top 10 for the majority of the race. However, a loose wheel during his final green-flag pit stop forced the No. 24 Hertz Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 back down pit road for a second time, falling off the lead lap in the process. Trying to make up ground in the closing laps, Byron climbed back to finish the race in the 17th position.
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 HMS. 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
12 top-10 finishes
131 laps led
36 pole positions
227 top-five finishes
364 top-10 finishes
18,834 laps led
2 pole positions
5 top-five finishes
11 top-10 finishes
102 laps led
SEASON FINALE: Jimmie Johnson heads to the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend 18th in the point standings. He owns one win at Homestead, a thrilling victory in 2016 in which he captured his record-tying seventh NASCAR Cup Series championship.
MILE-AND-A-HALF WINNER: Johnson is the NASCAR Cup Series’ all-time wins leader on 1.5-mile tracks with 28 trips to Victory Lane. Second all-time is Johnson’s former teammate Jeff Gordon with 17 victories, followed by Kevin Harvick (16), Tony Stewart (15), Dale Earnhardt (14), Kyle Busch (13), Brad Keselowski (13) and Martin Truex Jr. (12).
SILVER LINING: Johnson has performed well at Homestead-Miami Speedway under the tremendous pressure of the race deciding the season champion. He has one win, five top-five finishes and 11 top-10s at the 1.5-mile track in his career. He has led 102 laps around the South Florida venue and scored two pole positions.
ALLY HAS DONE IT RIGHT: Some fans attending the race at Homestead-Miami Speedway are going to enjoy the same beach amenities they would get visiting South Beach in Miami thanks to partner Ally Financial. Homestead-Miami Speedway and Ally have teamed up to offer the first-ever motor sports infield beach party – and it is sold out. The Ally Beach is the first ticketed beach area in motor sports and is the first of its kind across all sporting venues throughout the country. The 20,000-square-foot beach is located in the speedway’s infield, inside of Turn 3 sitting on the seven-acre lake that spans the width of the backstretch. The ticketed area will feature a DJ, food, entertainment, paddleboards and kayaks. Ally is also partnering with Homestead-Miami Speedway for the 2020 event at the track.
DANIELS’ MOMENTUM: Since Cliff Daniels took the reins as crew chief of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet after the 21st race of the season, he has helped the team score four of its 12 top-10 finishes.
No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Driver Alex Bowman Hometown Tucson, Arizona
Age 26 Resides Charlotte, North Carolina
12th in standings
0 pole positions
7 top-five finishes
11 top-10 finishes
200 laps led
2 pole positions
10 top-five finishes
25 top-10 finishes
474 laps led
0 pole positions
0 top-five finishes
0 top-10 finishes
0 laps led
NATIONWIDE’S FINAL RIDE: Nationwide will adorn the hood of Alex Bowman’s No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for the very last time this weekend during Sunday’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The blue and white Nationwide colors first adorned the No. 88 Chevrolet back in 2014 with Dale Earnhardt Jr. behind the wheel. Since 2014, this iconic brand has had its logo on the hood of the No. 88 machine at every NASCAR Cup Series track with the exception of Sonoma and Chicagoland.
WELCOME TO MIAMI: Bowman has four starts in the NASCAR Cup Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The 26-year-old driver’s best finish of 16th came in 2016 while he was filling in behind the wheel of the No. 88 machine for Earnhardt. Out of 1,069 total laps in those four events, Bowman has completed 99.2 percent. The Tucson, Arizona, native has one start in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at the 1.5-mile track. In 2016, Bowman drove the No. 88 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports and brought home a 14th-place finish after qualifying eighth in the Xfinity race.
1.5-MILE TRACK STATS: So far this season, Bowman has the third-best average finish in the Cup Series, 9.3, on tracks measuring 1.5 miles in length. It is the best average of all Chevrolet drivers. In the last seven races on 1.5-mile tracks, Bowman’s average finish is 7.0, which leads the series. All five of his best finishes on tracks of that length have come in the last seven events. Exactly half of his 10 career top-10 finishes have come on 1.5-mile tracks this season. Bowman was the first Chevrolet driver to get a win at a 1.5-mile facility this season when he claimed the victory at Chicagoland Speedway in June.
IVES AT MIAMI: For the fifth time in his NASCAR Cup Series crew chief career, Greg Ives will call the shots for the No. 88 team this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Bark River, Michigan, native’s best finish at the track came in 2016 with Bowman behind the wheel when the team finished 16th. Ives’ best qualifying effort at the track came in 2015 when Earnhardt qualified ninth for the 267-lap event. The crew chief’s resume includes two starts in the Xfinity Series at the Florida-based facility, where his best finish of 17th came in 2014 with Chase Elliott. From 2006-2012, Ives was a race engineer for the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team. During that time, he was a part of two pole awards, two top-five results and four top-10s.
CAREER YEAR: It is safe to say that the 2019 season has been Bowman’s best campaign to date. The 26-year-old captured his first Cup Series victory in June at Chicagoland after leading 88 laps. This season, he has more than doubled his total of three top-five finishes from 2018, securing seven in 2019 with one race remaining. The driver has currently tied his number of top-10 finishes from a year ago with 11. Last season, Bowman led 71 laps, while this year he has totaled 200 laps led, tying his season-best from back in 2016. At the end of 2018, Bowman’s average finish was 17.0. This season, he is on track to have an average finish of 14.5 or better. Not only did he qualify for the Cup Series playoffs once again this season, he was able to advance to the Round of 12 for the first time in his career.
HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT HOMESTEAD: Hendrick Motorsports has earned two wins, three pole positions, 15 top-five finishes, 31 top-10s and 543 laps led at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The organization’s first win at the 1.5-mile track came courtesy of Jeff Gordon in 2012, when he led the final 13 laps of the race en route to Victory Lane. The most recent Hendrick Motorsports win at the Florida venue came in the 2016 season as Jimmie Johnson clinched his record-tying seventh NASCAR Cup Series title. At least one Hendrick Motorsports driver has finished inside the top 10 at Homestead for 17 consecutive races, the longest streak all-time at the track. The last Homestead race without a top-10 finisher from Hendrick Motorsports was in 2001 when Terry Labonte led the organization to the checkered flag in 11th.
WINNING THE LAST RACE: A Hendrick Motorsports driver has won the final race of a season on six different occasions. The first season-finale win belonged to Geoffrey Bodine at Riverside in 1984 and the most recent belonged to Johnson at Homestead in 2016.
1.5-MILE TRACK SUCCESS: Hendrick Motorsports’ 59 wins on 1.5-mile tracks are the most all-time in the NASCAR Cup Series. In 2019, the organization’s average finish of 12th on tracks of that length ranks second only to Joe Gibbs Racing, which holds an average finish of 10.9.
SEASON IN REVIEW: With just one race remaining in 2019, Hendrick Motorsports has won four times this season, the organization’s 28th season with at least four wins. Hendrick Motorsports has won at least one race in each of the past 34 seasons, which is the all-time record for consecutive years with a victory. Overall, it’s the 35th different season in which the organization has found Victory Lane, with Petty Enterprises the only team to beat that feat with 36 seasons. The 2019 season began with the organization becoming the first-ever to qualify 1-2-3-4 for the Daytona 500, capturing its record 13th Daytona 500 pole in the process. The organization has won the pole in 36 percent of the Daytona 500s in which it has competed, including five straight. By the time the playoffs rolled around, the organization fielded three drivers in the playoffs for the third straight season.
PILING UP POLE POSITIONS: After securing just two poles in 2018, Hendrick Motorsports has amassed 10 pole positions this year, which leads all teams with one race remaining in the season. It’s the fourth-highest total the organization has earned in a single season, tied with the 1995 campaign. Hendrick Motorsports’ record for poles came in 1986 with 16, followed by 12 in 2007 and 2009, and 11 in 2008 and 2012. This year marks the 22nd consecutive season in which the organization has amassed at least two pole positions.
SWEEPING UP: This year, Hendrick Motorsports has tied its most-ever front-row sweeps in a single season with seven. In fact, the seven front-row sweeps are tied for the most in a single season in the modern era with the organization’s seven in 1986.
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. After last weekend’s race at ISM Raceway, the 2019 total has been brought to 1,165 laps up front with one race remaining in the season.
2019 VS. 2018: When comparing this season to 2018, Hendrick Motorsports has improved its win total by one, its number of drivers that won by one, its poles by eight, its top-five finishes by 10, its top-10 finishes by four, its laps led by 668, its average start by 2.8 positions and its average finish by 1.7 positions. When looking at 1.5-mile tracks alone, the organization’s average start has improved 4.9 positions from 2018 and its average finish is 7.5 spots better.
MOST POPULAR DRIVER: Voting for this year’s Most Popular Driver award presented by Hooters is officially open. Last year, Chase Elliott took home the trophy. Fans can vote for one driver per day from now until Dec. 4 at noon ET, and votes shared on Twitter and/or Facebook count double. The recipient of this year’s award will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 5, during the NASCAR Cup Series Awards banquet in Nashville, Tennessee.
ENGINE BUILDER SHOWDOWN: Named for legendary Hendrick Motorsports engine builder Randy Dorton in 2004, the annual Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown celebrates its 18th edition Nov. 20-21 on the campus of Hendrick Motorsports. Annually, 12 Hendrick Automotive Group Master Certified Technicians are paired with 12 Hendrick Motorsports engine department team members in a two-round, two-day competition to see which duo can build a fuel-injected, 358-cubic-inch Chevrolet NASCAR Cup Series engine in the quickest time with the fewest number of penalties. With 243 parts to assemble, each and every moment matters in the quest for a perfect build. It is the biggest event between Hendrick Motorsports and Hendrick Automotive Group and has become a tremendous way to recognize excellence within both organizations. Coverage begins Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 9 a.m. ET on HendrickEBS.com.
ORGANIZATION STATS: To date, Hendrick Motorsports has totals of 12 championships, 256 race victories, 225 pole positions, 1,071 top-five finishes and 1,838 top-10 finishes in points-paying NASCAR Cup Series competition. Its teams have led nearly 69,000 laps since 1984.
Chase Elliott on moving from ISM Raceway to Homestead:
“I feel like we were in a good position to run solid (at ISM Raceway). I’m not sure why we had a tire go down. I think that’s what happened, at least; it seemed like it. It’s unfortunate. Like I said, these last three weeks have been pretty rough. So, hopefully Homestead goes better and we can get prepared good for next season and get a good notebook for next year.”
William Byron on racing at Homestead:
“I love Homestead. It was instantly my favorite track. It wasn’t my favorite when we tested there because it was so hot. When I went there and ran the truck race though and won, it instantly became one of my favorites. I love the progression of the track and finding the balance of being aggressive versus saving the right side of your car. It’s just a really cool race. I’m really excited to go back to Homestead this weekend and see how it compares to my previous races there. I think it should be a really fun race overall.”
Jimmie Johnson on his 2019 season:
“This has been a year of growth for me both professionally and personally. I enjoy the brotherhood our No. 48 team has created. I’m proud of what all we have accomplished and we are focused on closing this season out with a great performance. The racing is always pretty incredible at Homestead – it’s a multi-groove track – so it should be a great weekend.”
Alex Bowman on one final race with Nationwide:
“Going into this weekend is a little bittersweet. With this being Nationwide’s final race on our Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, we definitely want to go out and try to get them one final win. This 88 team hasn’t given up. We may not be racing where we want to be on track, but this team keeps digging. The Hendrick Motorsports team back at the shop has been working hard on our cars for this weekend, so hopefully we can unload with some speed and get it done on Sunday to finish out the 2019 season strong.”