Hendrick Motorsports Media Advance: Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY (1.5-MILE OVAL)
LOCATION: LAS VEGAS
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACE TWO OF 36)
TUNE IN: 3:30 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, FEB. 23 (FOX/PRN/SIRIUSXM)


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Chase Elliott
No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
Driver Chase Elliott Hometown Dawsonville, Georgia
Age 24 Resides Dawsonville, Georgia

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

2020 Season
7th in standings
1 start
0 wins
0 pole positions
0 top-five finishes
0 top-10 finish
23 laps led

Career
150 starts
6 wins
8 pole positions
44 top-five finishes
74 top-10 finishes
1,867 laps led

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

1.5-MILE TRACK STATS: Chase Elliott will make his 46th start on a 1.5-mile track this weekend as Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In his previous 45 starts on the same track length, he has led 427 laps. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native scored his first 1.5-mile track win in October 2018 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.

LAST YEAR AT LVMS: Las Vegas Motor Speedway was one of three tracks where Elliott finished inside the top 10 during both events in 2019. He finished ninth during the March race and fourth in September – only four other drivers finished top 10 in both. He held the fourth-best average running position at Las Vegas last September (7.1) en route to his fourth-place finish, his second career top-five result at the 1.5-mile track.

ELLIOTT’S VEGAS STATS: This weekend, Elliott is set to make his seventh NASCAR Cup Series start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In his previous six starts, he has collected two top-five finishes and three top-10s. Elliott currently is tied with Martin Truex Jr. for the most stage top-10s at the Las Vegas track with eight.

NAPA AUTO PARTS: During Daytona Speedweeks, it was announced that NAPA AUTO PARTS and Hendrick Motorsports will continue their partnership for another two seasons. NAPA will remain a primary sponsor of Elliott and the No. 9 team through 2022. Click here to read the full release.

WCWYW IS BACK: Once again, Hooters is offering its “When Chase Wins, You Win” promotion for the 2020 NASCAR season. Hooters, a primary sponsor of Elliott and the No. 9 team, will give fans 10 free boneless wings with the purchase of any 10 wings any time Elliott wins a Cup Series race. If Elliott finishes in the top 10 of a race, fans can receive one free order of fried pickles with a beverage purchase. All promotions will be eligible the Monday after a race at participating Hooters locations when guests mention the deal to their server. If fans want to watch the race at their local Hooters, they can order a pitcher of domestic beer (if 21 or older) or Mountain Dew and a fried pickles appetizer for just $15 on the day of the race. Visit Hooters9.com for more information.


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William Byron
No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
Driver William Byron Hometown Charlotte, North Carolina
Age 22 Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2020 Season
26th in standings
1 start
0 wins
0 pole positions
0 top-five finishes
0 top-10 finish
0 laps led

Career
37 starts
0 wins
5 pole positions
5 top-five finishes
17 top-10 finishes
294 laps led

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

DUELED TO A WIN: After posting the eighth-fastest time during qualifying for the DAYTONA 500, William Byron lined up fourth in the second Duel at Daytona this past Thursday night. Running near the front for the entirety of the 60-lap qualifying race, Byron came to pit road for the final time with under 20 laps remaining. Restarting seventh, the 22-year-old methodically maneuvered his way through the field and took over the lead with two laps to go, holding on to take the checkered flag for the first time in his NASCAR Cup Series career.

MOVING ON FROM DAYTONA: Thanks to his win in the second Duel, Byron started the DAYTONA 500 from the fourth position in the No. 24 Axalta Sea Glass Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. After rain postponed the season-opening race to Monday after just 20 laps, Byron restarted seventh and worked with his Hendrick Motorsports teammates to make his way up to the fourth position. As Stage 1 was coming to a close, Byron was involved in an on-track incident that, unfortunately, ended his run at another checkered flag during Speedweeks, leaving him with a 40th-place finish.

CONTINUING SUCCESS WITH AXALTA: Last week, Hendrick Motorsports announced a five-year extension with its longtime partner, Axalta Coating Systems. As a leading global company focused solely on coatings and providing customers with innovative, colorful, beautiful and sustainable solutions, Axalta is continuing its 28-year partnership with Hendrick Motorsports as a primary partner for the No. 24 Chevrolet. The company sponsored Jeff Gordon and the No. 24 team for 23 years, beginning in November 1992 before moving to the No. 88 team in 2016 and sharing primary sponsorship with the No. 24 starting in 2018. This year, Axalta returned as primary partner on the No. 24 Chevrolet for 22 races. Moving forward through 2027, Axalta will adorn the No. 24 as the primary sponsor for 14 races per season. For more information on the Axalta extension, click here.

LOOKING FOR LUCK: When the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE unloads for this weekend’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, it will mark Byron’s fifth Cup Series start at the 1.5-mile track. Out of those four previous starts, Byron’s best showing came last year in the fall. After qualifying 14th, he finished in the top 10 in both stages, averaging an 8.7 running position before crossing the finish line in seventh place – his best finish at the Nevada-based track. In fact, last September’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is Byron’s third-best mile-and-a-half finish so far in his Cup Series career.

KNAUS’ KNOWLEDGE: This Sunday, when veteran crew chief Chad Knaus climbs on top of the No. 24 pit box, he’ll be looking to set a new record for most wins by a crew chief at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. With 20 Cup races at the 1.5-mile oval under his belt, Knaus has gone to victory lane three times. Those three victories have him tied currently with Paul Wolfe for the most wins.


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Jimmie Johnson
No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
Driver Jimmie Johnson Hometown El Cajon, California
Age 44 Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2020 Season
21st in standings
1 start
0 wins
0 pole positions
0 top-five finishes
0 top-10 finish
3 laps led

Career
652 starts
83 wins
36 pole positions
227 top-five finishes
364 top-10 finishes
18,837 laps led

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

STAGE POINTS IN DAYTONA: Although Daytona International Speedway was not kind to Jimmie Johnson in the DAYTONA 500 as he exited “The Great American Race” prematurely due to an accident, he led for three laps, finished fifth and sixth in Stages 1 and 2, respectively, and earned valuable points along the way. Johnson was collected in a multi-car accident on lap 185, along with 19 other cars, and was unable to finish the event and challenge for a third DAYTONA 500 win.

CASHING OUT IN VEGAS: Seven-time NASCAR champion Johnson is the proud owner of four Las Vegas Motor Speedway victory lane trophies – the most all time. He has led 595 laps around the 1.5-mile track located within sight of the famous Las Vegas Strip. The driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE finished 19th in this race one year ago and brought home an 11th-place effort in the September event.

1.5-MILE KING: Johnson has won on a 1.5-mile track a record-setting 28 times. He has contributed almost half of the Hendrick Motorsports organization’s 59 wins on this size track. Throughout the 2005, 2006 and 2007 seasons, Johnson won three races in a row at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Most notably, the 2007 win notched the milestone 150th trip to victory lane for team owner Rick Hendrick in the NASCAR Cup Series.

NOT DONE YET: There are some huge milestones on the horizon for Johnson. The next time he crosses the finish line first, he will have scored his 84th points-paying Cup Series win to tie Hall of Famers Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison for fourth all-time. Johnson currently is 10 wins behind former teammate Jeff Gordon, who has 93 victories and is third on the list. Johnson has the most wins of all active drivers with 83.

WEST COAST KID: It couldn’t be more fitting that the driver from El Cajon, California, has 15 wins on the West Coast. Heading into a string of races that includes Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Auto Club Speedway and Phoenix Raceway, Johnson has more wins on the tracks out west, the most of any other active driver.

ALLY COMMERCIAL SPOT: On Feb. 15, Ally Financial debuted an emotional television spot featuring kids offering Johnson motivational messages for his final full-time NASCAR Cup Series season and inviting fans to share their own words of encouragement. Click here for the commercial.

#ONEFINALTIME: In his final full-time season, Johnson is bound to receive many much-deserved accolades. One unexpected honor came in the DAYTONA 500, when Daytona International Speedway asked Johnson to lead the field during a pace lap preceding “The Great American Race.” While Johnson paced the competition, a tribute video played on the giant screens around the track, featuring competitors and friends talking about his character, integrity and kindness. Click here for the video.


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Alex Bowman
No. 88 LLumar Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
Driver Alex Bowman Hometown Tucson, Arizona
Age 26 Resides Concord, North Carolina

2020 Season
20th in standings
1 start
0 wins
0 pole positions
0 top-five finishes
0 top-10 finish
3 laps led

Career
154 starts
1 wins
2 pole positions
10 top-five finishes
26 top-10 finishes
477 laps led

Track Career
6 starts
0 wins
0 pole position
0 top-five finishes
1 top-10 finish
0 laps led

WELCOME BACK, LLUMAR: Eastman Performance Films LLC joined Hendrick Motorsports in 2018 as a primary sponsor of Alex Bowman and the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE through 2020. The sponsorship features the LLumar brand of window film and paint protection film on board Bowman’s machine. The LLumar colors will be the paint scheme for Bowman’s Chevrolet in three events this season, with two events in Las Vegas and the March Homestead-Miami event. On Wednesday afternoon, Hendrick Motorsports and LLumar unveiled the 2020 scheme that will run starting with this weekend in Las Vegas.

BOWMAN’S STATS AT VEGAS: The 26-year-old driver of the No. 88 machine has six previous starts in the NASCAR Cup Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Bowman’s best qualifying effort of ninth came in the fall race in 2018 and his best finish of sixth came in the fall event in 2019. In his lone start at the track in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, he finished eighth after qualifying 18th for the 200-lap event in 2013.

1.5-MILE STATS: In the last eight events on 1.5-mile tracks, Bowman’s average finish of 7.25 was the best of all drivers. His six top-10 finishes over the last eight races are tied for the most. In the previous eight events on tracks of this size, Bowman has led a total of 177 laps.

IVES IN VEGAS: Crew chief Greg Ives has called the shots seven times at Las Vegas with two different drivers. The Bark River, Michigan, native earned his best finish of fourth with Dale Earnhardt Jr. back in 2015 at the 1.5-mile track. Last fall, Ives led Bowman to a sixth-place finish in the first race of the NASCAR playoffs. The crew chief has two starts in the Xfinity Series at the track, which includes one top-five finish with Chase Elliott in 2014 and one top-10 with Regan Smith in 2013. From 2006-12, Ives was a race engineer for the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team. During that time, he was a part of three wins and four top-five finishes at Las Vegas.

DAYTONA 500 REWIND: Bowman rolled off second for Sunday afternoon’s DAYTONA 500. Following rain showers, the event was ultimately delayed until Monday. The No. 88 team was running inside the top five by lap 50 and finished Stage 1 in the second position, earning valuable stage points to start the year. When a caution on lap 90 was shown, Ives made the call to have Bowman pit for right-side tires and fuel. After restarting 14th, Bowman reported his machine was a little free in and finished Stage 2 in the 15th position. Late into the 200-lap event, the Tucson, Arizona, native was caught up in an incident on the backstretch. The team went to work on repairs to the right front of the Chevrolet and was able to return to the track in NASCAR overtime. Bowman and the team were scored with a 24th-place finish.

THE OTHER SIDE OF BOWMAN: For the second year in a row, Bowman has teamed up with Motorsport.com to publish a monthly diary piece to talk about life both on and off the track. The Hendrick Motorsports driver’s first diary entry of 2020 was published last week and can be found here. This year, Bowman will solicit questions from fans on social media to answer in his diary piece.


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Hendrick Motorsports

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: Hendrick Motorsports has won two of the last three NASCAR Cup Series races held on Feb. 23. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the 2014 DAYTONA 500 and Jeff Gordon won in 1997 at Rockingham. Alex Bowman also made his Cup debut on Feb. 23, 2014, in the DAYTONA 500.

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT LAS VEGAS: In 24 races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports has earned five wins, two pole positions, 21 top-five finishes, 39 top-10s and an all-time record 1,385 laps led. Jimmie Johnson leads all drivers at the 1.5-mile oval with four victories. Three of the organization’s victories at the Nevada track were the first of their respective seasons.

WEST COAST STRENGTH: Hendrick Motorsports leads all teams in West Coast victories – including in California, Nevada and Arizona – with a total of 31, eight more than the next closest team, Roush Fenway Racing. Johnson – who hails from California – leads all drivers for most wins on West Coast tracks with 15.

1.5-MILE CHAMPS: Hendrick Motorsports has a NASCAR Cup Series record 59 total wins on 1.5-mile tracks, nine more than the next closest team, Joe Gibbs Racing. Hendrick Motorsports has earned at least one win on a 1.5-mile track in a record 26 consecutive seasons. Alex Bowman brought the streak to 26 seasons with his 2019 victory at Chicagoland, becoming the 11th different driver to win for the organization on a 1.5-mile track.

FIRST-TIME WINNERS: With Bowman earning his first Cup Series win at Chicagoland in 2019, Hendrick Motorsports now holds the record for the most first-time Cup Series winners with nine. If William Byron wins at Las Vegas, it will extend the record to the 11th time a driver has recorded his first career Cup Series win while driving for Hendrick Motorsports.

ORGANIZATION STATS: To date, Hendrick Motorsports has totals of 12 championships, 256 race victories, 225 pole positions, 1,071 top-five finishes and 1,839 top-10 finishes in points-paying NASCAR Cup Series competition. Its teams have led 68,930 laps since 1984. Hendrick Motorsports won four times in 2019, extending its streak to 34 consecutive seasons with at least one win, the longest streak all-time.


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QUOTABLE /
Chase Elliott on his excitement to see his car perform in Las Vegas:
“I’m super excited, yeah. We had an opportunity to make something better. Chevrolet put a lot of effort into it. As a group, collectively, from the team side, I know Hendrick (Motorsports) did. I’m excited to see where it is. It’s an exciting thing to be able to have an opportunity to make something better. This sport is always evolving. There’s always people out front, you’re trying to catch them. This is an opportunity for us to catch up, do better, improve. That’s all we want to do, is just improve from where we were.”

William Byron on moving forward in Las Vegas:
“Obviously Daytona didn’t end how we had hoped for, but that’s behind us now. I’ve already moved on to thinking about this weekend in Las Vegas. Last year, the spring race was OK for the No. 24 team, but it was early on in the season for us as a team working together. The fall race was much better and probably one of our best overall races from start to finish. If we can pick up where we left off then, I think we will be in really good shape for this weekend. I’m excited to see how we unload.”

Jimmie Johnson on the upcoming year:
“I’m really excited about the season ahead of us. (Crew chief) Cliff Daniels did a great job leading this team over the off season. I am more energized than I have been in a really long time. We have the full support from Hendrick Motorsports, my family, my friends and my fans; I’m very thankful for all of that. Even though we didn’t get to the finish at Daytona, we had a strong showing, and I think Cliff said it best: ‘It’s going to be a great season ahead.’ I’m ready to get to Vegas and get to work out there.”

Alex Bowman on the intermediate program:
“Our intermediate program at Hendrick Motorsports is one of our best programs, other than superspeedways. Every time we go to a superspeedway like last week, we have great cars. At the end of last year, our intermediate program was our strongest, in my opinion. We had a lot of great success at those tracks last year.”

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