CHEVY NCS AT ATLANTA: Team Chevy Advance

TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE
FOLDS OF HONOR QUIKTRIP 500
ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY
HAMPTON, GEORGIA
JUNE 7, 2020

ATLANTA FOR RACE #10:
After the March visit to Atlanta Motor Speedway, which was the first venue on the schedule to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NASCAR Cup Series will make its return to the track Sunday, June 7th, with the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.

The 325-lap, 500-mile race at the 1.54-mile quad oval will mark the tenth event on the revised 2020 schedule. The Series’ return to the speedway will be a one-day show without fans in attendance. With no practice or qualifying, owner points and a random draw will set the starting lineup. By virtue of the random draw, Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1 1LE, will be leading the field to the green. Here is a look at Team Chevy’s top-20 starters:


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American Muscle

1st Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1 1LE
8th Alex Bowman, No. 88 Axalta Camaro ZL1 1LE
12th Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Camaro ZL1 1LE
15th Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1 1LE
16th Austin Dillon, No. 3 Symbicort Camaro ZL1 1LE
19th Matt Kenseth, No. 42 Credit One Bank Camaro ZL1 1LE
20th William Byron, No. 24 Liberty University Camaro ZL1 1LE

CHEVROLET LEADS THE WAY
Chevrolet is the most successful manufacturer at Atlanta Motor Speedway in NASCAR Cup Series competition with 40 victories. The Bowtie brand has also registered 25 pole starts, 190 top-five and 378 top-10 finishes. Dale Earnhardt is the most successful driver at the track with nine victories, all behind the wheel of a Chevrolet.

CELEBRATING 60 YEARS
Atlanta Motor Speedway hosted its first NASCAR Cup Series race in 1960. Fireball Roberts, driving a Pontiac, won the inaugural race from the pole on July 31. The GM brand won four of the initial five races at the track. Chevrolet claimed its first win in October 1962 with Rex White behind the wheel of an Impala.

TAKING IT IN STAGES
Recent Charlotte Motor Speedway race winner Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1 1LE, leads all drivers with five stage wins so far this season. Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman, No. 88 Axalta Camaro ZL1 1LE, is second with four stage wins. Hendrick Motorsports leads all teams with 10 stage wins this season.

BOWTIE BULLETS
· Victories by current Chevrolet drivers at Atlanta Motor Speedway include:
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1 1LE, has five wins (2004, twice in ’07, ’15 and ’16)
Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Camaro ZL1 1LE, has three wins (2002, ’09 and ’10)
· Atlanta is one of eight tracks on the 2020 schedule where Chevrolet has earned 40 or more wins. The others: Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Daytona International Speedway, Dover International Speedway, Martinsville Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.
· Chevrolet team, Hendrick Motorsports, leads the way in wins in the NASCAR Cup Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway with 12: Jeff Gordon (five), Jimmie Johnson (three), Darrell Waltrip (one), Jerry Nadeau (one), Kasey Kahne (one) and Ken Schrader (one).

TUNE IN
FOX will telecast the 325-lap race live at 3:00 p.m. ET Sunday, June 7. Live coverage can also be found on PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

QUOTABLE QUOTES:
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 3rd IN STANDINGS
“The track hasn’t changed a ton these past few years. It has a lot of wear to it, a lot of character and a lot of bumps. There is a fine line of getting your car right. I’m excited about that. As a team we’ve had a lot of dialogue in trying to get our NAPA Chevy dialed in without having any practice, which is tough. I have a lot of confidence in my guys being able to get us close and giving us enough adjustability to where if we do miss it, one way or the other we can work on it throughout the race. I’m just looking forward to the race, obviously it’s my home track and any time you go to your home track you want to do good.”

ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 5th IN STANDINGS
BOWMAN’S THOUGHTS ON GOING TO ATLANTA:
“Atlanta should be a good track for our team. Our 1.5-mile program is really good right now and I feel confident that we can continue that momentum from Charlotte. This track is one where you have a lot of options. It’s worn out and you can move around a lot, which gives drivers a lot of choices. Everyone appreciates options, so this weekend should be a good one.”

BOWMAN’S THOUGHTS ON HIS NEW SHOES FOR ATLANTA:
“I have some new shoes this weekend for Sunday’s race. It is always special in Atlanta when we support the Chase Elliott Foundation and their “DESI9N TO DRIVE” program. Justin Mingo, 14 years old, designed some awesome blue shoes with red flames. Hopefully we can get Justin’s shoe design to victory lane.”

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 SYMBICORT CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 16th IN STANDINGS
ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY IS ANOTHER TRACK WHERE ASPHALT THERE IS AMONG THE FAVORITE OF THE DRIVERS, AM I RIGHT?
“Exactly. We make sure when we go there, we don’t pray for rain. We don’t want any rain because it’s going to be a long day drying that place. It is old. It weeps, but I’m glad they’ve kept it the same. It’s a place that drivers love because you know it’s going to be slick and over time you might be able to find some grip by moving around or changing your line and being disciplined with the throttle.”

WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 17th IN STANDINGS
“Atlanta is a tough track. You have to take care of the right front tire there, or the right rear, whichever one seems to be wearing out the most. I think any time you get a chance to pass a car and get ahead of them you need to take it, but it’s a fine line of how hard do you push it versus taking care of your tires so you’re there in the end. You just really need to manage your equipment the best you can to have a shot. It’s a long 500-mile race and it’s physical. You have to do the best job you can to keep yourself mentally and physically in contention.”

TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 ROLAND CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 18th IN STANDINGS
IS THERE MUCH YOU CAN TAKE FROM SOMEWHERE LIKE LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY TO ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY, KNOWING THE TWO TRACKS ARE VERY DIFFERENT DESPITE BEING THE SAME LENGTH?
“There’s really nothing you can take from Las Vegas to Atlanta. However, I do think there are a lot of things that we have done in the Xfinity cars at Atlanta to capitalize on speed that can apply this weekend. Atlanta is all about managing tires, even with all of the downforce we do have and where the horsepower is at in these Cup cars. You have to be smart and really understand how to manage your car from Lap 1 to Lap 45, which is about how far you can go on a set of tires. Tires will be our best friends this weekend. Atlanta is a weekend that kind of got away from us last year in the Xfinity Series, so I’m looking forward to getting back there this weekend. We were running down the leader last year with seven laps to go, but then a caution came out and we got shuffled back on the restart, so I’m looking forward to another shot at Atlanta in our No. 8 Roland Chevrolet.”

RICKY STENHOUSE JR., NO. 47 NOS ENERGY DRINK CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 21st IN STANDINGS
“I’m ready to get to Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend. While the track layout may be similar to Las Vegas and Charlotte, the old surface is so hard on tires that it creates an entire new strategy for the race. I feel like we’re really getting into a groove now that we’re back to racing consistently, and we have had great speed in our Kroger Camaro ZL1 1LE. This is the first weekend that NOS Energy Drink will be on the No. 47, which is always special for me as they’ve been a great partner throughout my career. Both our Charlotte car where we finished fourth and our Bristol car where we were running in the top-10 before an accident ended our day early, they were two of the best cars I think I’ve had at two very different tracks. No matter what, I feel like I can make a decision and put our car where I want it to go and we’ve been able to gain track positions. Running 500 miles at Atlanta is always a challenge, but I know we will have a really fast No. 47 NOS Energy Drink Camaro ZL1 1LE this weekend.”

BUBBA WALLACE, NO. 43 MCDONALD’S CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 22nd IN STANDINGS
THOUGHTS GOING INTO ATLANTA WITH YOUR INTERMEDIATE PROGRAM?
“Atlanta Motor Speedway has been a place that Richard Petty Motorsports has struggled at as a team. It has always been the second race of the NASCAR Cup Series season, and we never really got a good balance. This year, we have had a couple of intermediate tracks under our belt. We have some good notes to look back on.

“We will go to the Atlanta Motor Speedway and come with a different package than we have in the past based off of our intermediate races earlier this year.”

JERRY BAXTER, CREW CHIEF FOR THE NO. 43 MCDONALD’S CAMARO ZL1 1LE
“We’re taking the Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43 McDonald’s Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE to the Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend. It is the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE we ran at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway – and we finished in the sixth-place with it. We have been doing some updates on it as the season has rolled-on. Atlanta Motor Speedway has quite a bit of tire fall-off, so we need to focus on having pretty decent long run speed. “Bubba” ran the simulator on Monday, so hopefully we can continue the momentum that we have built over the last few weeks.”

TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICO CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 27th IN STANDINGS
IS THERE A WAY THE CAR CAN BE SET UP AT ATLANTA TO REDUCE THE TIRE WEAR FACTOR?
“Atlanta is old, abrasive and wears on our car and tires very hard. I think everybody’s goal in Atlanta is to make sure that you don’t wear your tires faster than the guy in front of you. One thing that always helps is adding downforce to your race car. If you keep the car pushed into the track more, you’re not sliding and creating more friction. Also, if you take air out of the tires that will help the pressure in the tires create friction as well, but there are limits to all of this. NASCAR keeps us reigned in to a certain point, so our GEICO team has to adjust little details across our Camaro to make sure we’re beating those guys in front of us.”

DOES ATLANTA NEED TO LOOK AT NEW PAVEMENT? IT’S BEEN 26 YEARS NOW ON THE SAME SURFACE.
“Yeah, I know. No matter when they do it, all the drivers are going to be upset. There is a certain point where they have to do what’s best for the track and I think once they decide to repave it, they should maybe dozer the whole thing and change it up. Maybe make it a short track or a road course, do something different. I don’t think we need more mile and a half tracks, I think we need to change up. If they want to get more and more people to Atlanta, they need to look at something different.”

RYAN PREECE, NO. 37 COTTONELLE CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 30th IN STANDINGS
“Finally, I feel like a little bit of luck is on our side as we head to Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend in the No. 37 Kroger Camaro. Our teammate has had a lot of speed since we’ve returned to racing, and I think we’ve been able to work together on some great notes heading into the race on Sunday. This is only my second Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and we were running in the top-10 before an accident ended our day early. Atlanta is so rough on tires and your tire strategy that it really gives us a new angle setup-wise than we’ve seen at some of the other intermediate tracks we’ve run at. I’m happy that we finally have some luck and momentum on our side, but the key is to be consistent and keep moving forward with the No. 37 Kroger team.”

MATT KENSETH, NO. 42 CREDIT ONE BANK CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 32nd IN STANDINGS
“Atlanta is about as racy as it gets for high-banked intermediate tracks. The pavement’s wore out, there are a lot of bumps, and at times can be very line sensitive. It’s a track I have always really enjoyed racing at and I’m excited to get back. Every week has been a new challenge for me to get acclimated and up to speed, and this will be another one. Chad and the guys have been bringing great cars to the track and we are looking for a mistake-free solid race, and a good result.”

Chevrolet NASCAR Cup Series Statistics

Manufacturers Championships:
Total (1949-2019): 39
First title for Chevrolet: 1958
Highest number of consecutive titles: 13 (2003-15)

Years Won: 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Drivers Championships:
Total (1949-2019): 31
First Chevrolet champion: Buck Baker (1957)
Highest number of consecutive titles: 7 (2005-11)

Years Won: 1957, 1960, 1961, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016

Event Victories:
Record for total race wins in single season: 26 (2007)

2020 STATISTICS:
Wins: 2
Poles: 3
Laps Led: 911
Top-five finishes: 15
Top-10 finishes: 34

CHEVROLET IN NASCAR CUMULATIVE STATISTICS:
Total Chevrolet race wins: 788 (1949 to date)
Poles won to date: 717
Laps led to date: 235,217
Top-five finishes to date: 4,029
Top-10 finishes to date: 8,316

Total NASCAR Cup wins by corporation, 1949 to date

General Motors: 1,122
Chevrolet: 788
Pontiac: 154
Oldsmobile: 115
Buick: 65

Ford: 791
Ford: 691
Mercury: 96
Lincoln: 4

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: 467
Dodge: 217
Plymouth: 191
Chrysler: 59

Toyota: 145

Team Chevy high-resolution racing photos are available for editorial use.

About Chevrolet
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 100 countries and selling more than 4.0 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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