Hendrick Motorsports Media Advance: All-Star Race

BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY (.533-MILE OVAL)
LOCATION: BRISTOL, TENNESSEE
EVENT: NASCAR ALL-STAR RACE
TUNE IN: 7 P.M. ET, WEDNESDAY, JULY 15 (FS1/MRN/SIRIUSXM)

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

2020 Season
4th in standings
17 starts
1 win
1 pole position
7 top-five finishes
9 top-10 finishes
451 laps led


CarParts.com
American Muscle

Career
166 starts
7 wins
9 pole positions
51 top-five finishes
83 top-10 finishes
2,295 laps led

All-Star Career
4 starts
0 win
0 pole positions
1 top-five finish
3 top-10 finishes
2 laps led

FIVE STARS FOR ELLIOTT: Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 UniFirst Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, will head into his fifth career NASCAR All-Star Race locked into the main event. Elliott secured his way into Wednesday night’s primetime show with his 2019 Watkins Glen victory. He also won in October 2019 at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s roval and earlier this season at the Charlotte oval on May 28. Elliott received the fan vote to move into the All-Star Race in three consecutive seasons (2016-2018). In his four previous All-Star Race starts, he has an 8.0 average finish – the fourth-best of active drivers.

FAMILY TRADITION: The only other time the NASCAR All-Star Race was not hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway was in 1986 when the event was held at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Elliott’s father, NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, won the race in his No. 9 car after leading all but one of 83 laps. Wednesday evening’s event will be held at Bristol Motor Speedway.

BACK AT BRISTOL: The NASCAR Cup Series most recently visited Bristol on May 31. Elliott was a force to be reckoned with all afternoon, leading 88 laps and picking up two stage wins before a late-race accident while battling for the lead left him with a 22nd-place finish.

UNIFIRST RETURNS: On Wednesday night at Bristol, UniFirst Corporation (NYSE: UNF), a North American leader in providing customized work uniform programs, corporate attire and facility service products, will serve as the primary sponsor for Elliott and the No. 9 team. It will be the second of three races (Phoenix, All-Star Race and Las Vegas) that UniFirst will be the primary partner and have its updated green corporate logo adorning the No. 9 Chevrolet. In 2016, Unifirst and Hendrick Motorsports announced an eight-year partnership. UniFirst is the Official Workwear Provider of Hendrick Motorsports, supplying work clothing and uniforms to the team and sister company Hendrick Automotive Group, which is the largest privately held retail automotive organization in the United States.

‘EVERYDAY HEROES’: UniFirst has been deemed an essential business throughout the pandemic. The company has remained open and fully functional over the past few months, abiding by a set of new health and safety protocols. UniFirst is currently honoring “Everyday Heroes” — employees who have worked tirelessly, unselfishly and have gone above and beyond throughout the pandemic in helping its facilities stay sanitized, healthy and safe as well as aiding essential business customers to stay open. On Monday, Elliott sent a special message to UniFirst and all of the these “Everyday Heroes.” Watch his video here.


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William Byron
No. 24 Axalta Sea Glass 2.0 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
Driver William Byron Hometown Charlotte, North Carolina
Age 22 Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2020 Season
14th in standings
17 starts
0 wins
0 pole positions
0 top-five finishes
5 top-10 finishes
45 laps led

Career
89 starts
0 wins
5 pole positions
5 top-five finishes
22 top-10 finishes
339 laps led

All-Star Career
1 start
0 wins
0 pole positions
0 top-five finishes
1 top-10 finish
0 laps led

ALL-STAR ASPIRATIONS: Not locked into Wednesday night’s 2020 NASCAR All-Star Race, William Byron will have three chances to earn his way in during the Open qualifying race at Bristol Motor Speedway by winning one of the three stages. If the Charlotte, North Carolina, native is unable to win a stage, he will have a shot at securing a position in the All-Star Race through the fan vote. With a random draw setting the starting lineup for the Open, Byron will roll off from the seventh position in the No. 24 Axalta Sea Glass 2.0 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE.

LOCKED IT UP: Needing to race his way into last year’s All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Byron set his sights on the Open qualifier. Working his way through traffic in the first stage, the driver of the No. 24 Camaro made a last-corner pass to score the Stage 1 win and lock himself into his first career All-Star Race. Starting at the rear of the field for the main event, Byron once again sliced through the field, running in the top five during the final stint. However, trapped in the low lane with a string of late-race restarts, Byron’s momentum was halted, which resulted in a ninth-place finish.

STYLIN’ IN SEA GLASS: When the NASCAR Cup Series hits the high banks of Bristol for the first time in All-Star Race history, Byron will be sporting a new look. Sea Glass, Axalta’s 2020 Color of the Year, will make its return to the No. 24 car for the Wednesday night race but with speed stripes down the side and the door number shifted toward the rear. If Byron can lock himself into the All-Star Race, he will utilize amber-colored underglow lights beneath the No. 24 Axalta Sea Glass 2.0 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. To see Byron’s scheme for the all-star event, click here.

BRINGING IT AT BRISTOL: In Byron’s most recent trip to Bristol on May 31, he started in 13th but lost track position early on due to pit strategy. As the race progressed, the third-year driver was able to power his way back through the field, scoring a personal best finish of eighth at the 0.533-mile oval.

SHOW KNAUS THE MONEY, AGAIN: Calling the shots atop the pit box for 18 previous All-Star Race events, Chad Knaus is looking to make it 19 when he and his No. 24 team arrive at Bristol on Wednesday. In his 18 starts in the $1 million main event, the crew chief has claimed the top prize four times, all with Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team, despite an ever-changing format.


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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
15th in standings
16 starts
0 wins
0 pole positions
2 top-five finishes
6 top-10 finishes
99 laps led

Career
667 starts
83 wins
36 pole positions
229 top-five finishes
370 top-10 finishes
18,933 laps led

All-Star Career
18 starts
4 wins
1 pole position
9 top-five finishes
11 top-10 finishes
237 laps led

ALL-STAR GOAT: Jimmie Johnson has won the NASCAR All-Star Race a record four times, more than any other driver in history. His first victory came on May 17, 2003, when the race was called “The Winston” and the driver was exactly 27 years and 8 months old, making him the seventh-youngest competitor to win the event. Johnson took home another victory in 2006 and went back-to-back in 2012 and 2013. The former All-Star Race winner has a lifetime bid for the event and will roll off in 14th by virtue of a random draw.

PRECURSOR TO THE CUP: On 10 occasions, drivers have won the All-Star Race and NASCAR Cup Series championship in the same season. Johnson has done it twice — in 2006 and 2013 — joining four NASCAR Hall of Famers: Jeff Gordon (2001, 1997, 1995), Dale Earnhardt (1993, 1990, 1987), Rusty Wallace (1989) and Darrell Waltrip (1985). The last five times it occurred, the drivers were from Hendrick Motorsports (Johnson and Gordon).

LEADER OF THE PACK: Johnson has led 238 laps in his 18 starts in the All-Star Race, which rank him third among all drivers in the event’s history. Kyle Busch is first with 271 laps led followed by NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, who has led 267 laps.

ABOVE AVERAGE: Johnson has an average finish of 7.28 over the course of 18 All-Star Race starts. He holds the 10th-best average finish among drivers who have a minimum of two starts in the event.

HONORING A FALLEN DRIVER: Crew chief Cliff Daniels cut his racing teeth driving late models at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia. Last weekend, his competitor and friend, Shawn Balluzzo, who raced with the No. 48 car number, lost his life during an event at the track. On Wednesday night, Daniels and the No. 48 Ally team will honor Balluzzo in the NASCAR All-Star Race by carrying a decal on Johnson’s Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE.

ALL-STAR CREW: Members of the No. 48 crew include tire changer Calvin Teague from Taylorsville, North Carolina, who was a baseball pitcher at Appalachian State University; fueler Brandon Harder, an Oak Harbor, Ohio, native; tire carrier Allen Stallings from Manteo, North Carolina, a former linebacker who broke every major tackle record in Greensboro College football history; tire changer Donnie Tasser from Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania, who wrestled at the University of Pittsburgh; and jackman Kyle Tudor from Augusta, Georgia, who played linebacker at East Carolina University. The team is led by pit crew coach Jon Carvin, a native of Oneonta, New York. He was a starting linebacker for the University of Albany football team, which won the Northeast Conference championship in 2002 and 2003.


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Alex Bowman
No. 88 ChevyGoods.com/Adam’s Polishes Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE ​
Driver Alex Bowman Hometown Tucson, Arizona
Age 27 Resides Concord, North Carolina

2020 Season
9th in standings
17 starts
1 win
0 pole positions
2 top-five finishes
5 top-10 finishes
381 laps led

Career
170 starts
2 wins
2 pole positions
12 top-five finishes
31 top-10 finishes
855 laps led

All-Star Career
2 starts
0 wins
0 pole positions
0 top-five finishes
1 top-10 finish
0 laps led

FAN FAVORITE: Last year, Alex Bowman won the fan vote to clinch his spot in the NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Tucson, Arizona, native rolled off the grid in 19th and came home in eighth after 88 laps. The 2018 All-Star Race was the first time Bowman made a start in the main event after winning Stage 1 of the Open qualifier. After an incident on lap 68, his race ended early and the team was scored with a 21st-place finish. Prior to that, Bowman made two starts in the Open where he finished 13th in 2014 and 27th in 2015. Bowman is entered into the 2020 NASCAR All-Star Race following his win at Chicagoland Speedway in June 2019. He also won at Auto Club Speedway on March 1.

BOWMAN AT BRISTOL: Bowman has nine NASCAR Cup Series starts at Bristol Motor Speedway with two top-10 results. His best performance at the half-mile Tennessee venue came in 2018 when he brought home a fifth-place finish after 500 laps in the spring race. In 2013, the 27-year-old driver made two starts at the facility in the NASCAR Xfinity Series where he captured one top-15 finish. The No. 88 team will roll off second for Wednesday night’s event at Bristol following a random draw.

IVES’ TENNESSEE STATS: Greg Ives will call his 12th Cup Series event at Bristol on Wednesday night during the All-Star Race. In 11 previous events at the half-mile track, the crew chief has two top-five finishes and four top-10s with a best finish of second in 2016 with Dale Earnhardt Jr. In 2013 and 2014, Ives was a NASCAR Xfinity Series crew chief at JR Motorsports where his drivers led 59 laps and claimed one top-five finish and three top-10s in four races. As an engineer for driver Jimmie Johnson from 2006-2010, he was part of one win, two pole awards and eight top-10 finishes at Bristol.

ALL GOOD: The black and yellow ChevyGoods.com paint scheme featuring Adam’s Polishes will be on board Bowman’s No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE at Bristol for the 2020 NASCAR All-Star Race. Adam’s Polishes produces high quality products for auto detailing enthusiasts. In January, Hendrick Motorsports announced its partnership with ChevyGoods.com, which includes primary sponsorship of Bowman for 26 events. Associate brands that will be featured throughout 2020 are Adam’s Polishes, NOCO and Truck Hero.

ALL-STAR DISCOUNTS: During the month of July, No. 88 team sponsor ChevyGoods.com is providing discounts on all accessories, including Adam’s Polishes, NOCO and Truck Hero. Customers can receive 10% off MSRP with purchases of $100-$249 (offer code “GET10”), 15% off with purchases of $250-$499 (code “GET15”), and 20% off with purchases of more than $500 (code “GET20”).


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Hendrick Motorsports

ALL-STAR CENTURY: At least three Hendrick Motorsports drivers have competed in the annual NASCAR All-Star Race in each year of the 21st century. The team’s streak dates back to 2000 when its three representatives were Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte and Jerry Nadeau. For Wednesday night’s primetime showcase at Bristol Motor Speedway, drivers Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman and Jimmie Johnson already have clinched All-Star Race main event spots with Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron still able to earn his way in.

BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG NUMBERS: Hendrick Motorsports holds the NASCAR All-Star Race records in nearly every major statistical category. The organization has placed the most different drivers in the event (22) and has twice as many wins (eight) as any other team. Hendrick Motorsports also holds the event records for top-five finishes (38), top-10s (62) and laps led (713).

GIVE IT FOUR STARS: In NASCAR history, a team has placed four of its drivers into the same All-Star Race on 33 different occasions. Hendrick Motorsports has done it a record 18 times, which is 10 more than second-place Roush Fenway Racing. Four of Rick Hendrick’s drivers have made the All-Star Race field in 16 of the last 18 years.

A WINNING TRIO: Hendrick Motorsports has won the NASCAR All-Star Race with three different drivers. Johnson has won it a record four times, while Gordon posted three victories in his Hall of Fame career. Labonte took home the All-Star Race win in 1999.

FOUR OPENERS: Hendrick Motorsports has won the All-Star Race Open qualifier on four occasions, which ties it with Chip Ganassi Racing for the event record. Gordon won the Open in 1994, Ricky Craven in 1997, Brian Vickers in 2005 and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2012. In addition, Bowman won Stage 1 of the 2018 Open to transfer into the All-Star Race and Byron transferred in last season by winning Stage 2.


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QUOTABLE /
Driver Chase Elliott on All-Star Race moving to Bristol:
“I’m excited about the All-Star Race this week and that it’s finally moving around to a different track. I believe that when that race was created, it was meant to keep rotating around and changing locations, so I’m pumped that we are back on track with that and heading to Bristol.”

Elliott on NASCAR using the choose cone rule in the All-Star Race:
“I have used the choose cone racing legend cars when I was just getting started in my career. I think the cone is a great idea and has been needed for a long time in the Cup Series. I think there really is no reason why we shouldn’t have the choice at these one-lane restart tracks.”

Driver William Byron on the All-Star Race at Bristol:
“I think it’s going to be fun having the All-Star Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, especially under the lights. Hopefully, we make it in since we have to race our way in. Bristol is always a tough track that requires constant concentration. I think that Open race is going to be even more wild than usual with people trying to secure their place. There will be desperation on the line to get a win and get into the big show. Last year, we raced our way into the All-Star Race with a Stage 1 win. We had a really good run there and, honestly, had a shot to win close to the end. I think if we get into the All-Star Race, it’s going to be a lot of fun, especially now.”

Byron on using the choose cone rule Wednesday night:
“I’m for sure excited to use the choose cone in the All-Star Race. There’s no doubt that I think it will add an extra layer of strategy and excitement. It’s going to be a tool that will make this into an incredible race and keep people on their toes more than they already would be at a place like Bristol. It brings me back to my early days in racing. The race itself is going to be phenomenal. I’m really looking forward to see how this plays out.

Driver Jimmie Johnson on his outlook for the All-Star Race:
“What is exciting about this year’s All-Star Race not being at Charlotte Motor Speedway is that we have already raced at Bristol for points and have some great notes to go on, whereas in years past we would have had to go into the race kind of doing our homework for the 600. From my mindset, this All-Star Race is considered a “no points, no problem” kind of approach – no homework to do. This is a one-off, winner-take-all, race-for-the-check, go-for-it kind of race. It would be great to be a five-time winner at the end of the night.”

Crew chief Cliff Daniels on honoring Shawn Balluzzo:
“It’s special to carry Shawn’s number (48) on the car with us here for the All-Star Race to honor and remember him. Shawn influenced my early racing career, and I have always admired the champion, racer and family man that he was. My heart goes out to his wife, Terri, his family, and the entire racing community at Langley Speedway. I hope everyone smiles when they see his number on our No. 48 Ally Chevrolet racing around Bristol under the lights.”

Driver Alex Bowman on securing a spot in this year’s All-Star Race:
“This year’s All-Star Race is going to be a little different since we don’t have to race our way in. I have not ever been in the All-Star Race without having to race my way in or win the fan vote like we did last year. I think the ChevyGoods.com/Adam’s Polishes machine will look great under the lights at Bristol, especially with the underglow lights. We ran decent at Bristol earlier this year before we got caught up in an incident on track. I think we will have a good Chevrolet for Wednesday night’s race.”

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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