CHEVY NCS AT LAS VEGAS 2: Team Chevy Advance

TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE
SOUTH POINT 400
LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
SEPTEMBER 27, 2020

LAS VEGAS: RACE #30
The NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) heads west to the Silver State for the second time this year for the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, located about 15 miles northeast of the famed Las Vegas Strip. The popular 1200-acre complex has hosted the NCS since 1998; and most recently, since 2018, the venue has held annual NCS races in both the Spring and the Fall. Despite the pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year, the two Las Vegas stops have retained their originally scheduled dates.

The excitement will be high as the 400-mile, 267-lap South Point 400 at the 1.5-mile circuit opens the Round of 12 in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, which also marks the 30th of 36 races in the 2020 season.


American Muscle

The three-day race weekend begins on Friday, September 25th, with the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series World of Westgate 200 at 9:00 p.m. ET, followed by the NASCAR Xfinity Series Alsco 300 on Saturday, September 26th, at 7:30 p.m. ET. The NASCAR Cup Series South Point 400 caps the weekend on Sunday evening, September 27th, at 7:00 p.m. ET.

In compliance with local and state COVID-19 restrictions, the race weekend will be held without spectators.

ROUND OF 12:
Four Chevrolet drivers are among the 12 in contention for the NASCAR Cup Series Championship through three of 10 Playoff races. Entering Race 4 of the Playoffs, the Las Vegas Round of 12 opener, here are their current Playoff standings & statistical highlights:

Chase Elliott, No. 9 Unifirst Camaro ZL1 1LE – 5th in Standings (3,021 points)
Victories: 2 (Charlotte Motor Speedway and Daytona Road Course)
Top-Fives: 11; Top-10’s: 16; Laps Led: 669
Stage Wins: 7
At Las Vegas: Top-Five’s: 2; Top-10’s: 3; Average Finish: 21.4

Alex Bowman, No. 88 Llumar Camaro ZL1 1LE – 7th in Standings (3,009 points)
Victories: 1 (Auto Club Speedway)
Top-Fives: 3; Top-10’s: 10; Laps Led: 389
Stage Wins: 4
At Las Vegas: Top-Five’s: 0; Top-10’s: 1; Average Finish: 20.7

Austin Dillon, No. 3 DOWFROST Camaro ZL1 1LE – 8th in Standings (3,005 points)
Victories: 1 (Texas Motor Speedway)
Top-Fives: 4; Top-10’s 9; Laps Led: 135
Stage Wins: 0
At Las Vegas: Top-Five’s: 2; Top-10’s: 2; Average Finish: 14.7

Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Camaro ZL1 1LE – 12th in Standings (3,001 points)
Top-Fives: 4; Top-10’s: 15; Laps Led: 111
Stage Wins: 1
At Las Vegas: Wins: 0; Top-Five’s: 0; Top-10’s: 2; Average Finish: 22.5

BOWTIE BULLETS:
The South Point 400 marks the 26th NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway since 1998, and Chevrolet has seven wins at the 1.5-mile oval. The Bowtie Brigade recorded its first victory on March 3, 2001, when Jeff Gordon drove a Monte Carlo to Victory Lane for Hendrick Motorsports after a 24th place starting position.

· Current Chevrolet drivers that have recorded wins at Las Vegas Motor Speedway include:
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1 1LE, leads the series with four wins (2005, ‘06, ‘07, & ‘10).
Matt Kenseth, No. 42 McDonald’s Camaro ZL1 1LE, has three wins: (2003, ‘04, & ’13).

· Team Chevy has sat on the pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway four times. Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Camaro ZL1 1LE, holds the track qualifying record of 196.378 mph / 27.498 seconds set on March 4, 2016.

· In the Round of 16 of the 2020 NASCAR Playoffs, Chase Elliott, No. 9 Unifirst Camaro ZL1 1LE, led all drivers with the best average running position of 5.37.

· In all seven years of the NASCAR Playoffs, Chevrolet team Hendrick Motorsports has had at least two drivers advance to the second round.

STARTING LINE-UP:
For the remainder of the 2020 NCS season, the starting lineups will be determined by a competition-based formula, combining the following metrics from the previous race event: 15% of a fastest lap time position, 25% of the driver’s final race finish position, 25% of the owner’s final race position and 35% of the Owner points position.

Here are Team Chevy’s top-20 starters for Saturday Bass Pro Shops Night Race:
3rd Chase Elliott, No. 9 Unifirst Camaro ZL1 1LE
7th Austin Dillon, No. 3 DOWFROST Camaro ZL1 1LE
8th Alex Bowman, No. 88 Llumar Camaro ZL1 1LE
9th Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Camaro ZL1 1LE
14th Tyler Reddick, No. 8 Cat Mining Camaro ZL1 1LE
18th Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1 1LE
20th Matt Kenseth, No. 42 McDonald’s Camaro ZL1 1LE

TUNE-IN:
NBCSN will telecast the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, September 27th, at 7:00 p.m. ET to kick-off the Round of 12 for the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. Live coverage can also be found on the NBC Sports Gold app, PRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

QUOTABLE QUOTES:
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 LLUMAR CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 7th IN STANDINGS
“Clinching a spot in the Round of 12 last weekend in Bristol was exactly what we needed to do as a team. Although we didn’t have the greatest finish last week, it was something that was completely out of our control. We have some strong tracks in the Round of 12 that will be good for us. Our main goal this season was to make the Round of 8 and I really feel like this team is on track to do that. We have to continue putting solid races together and getting strong finishes.”

“Las Vegas is a strong track for us. We ran really well in the spring event this season, so I am ready to get back to the track this weekend. Our intermediate program at Hendrick Motorsports is really strong and we need to have a strong race this weekend. Greg (Ives) and the LLumar team have been working extremely hard on our cars and I really think it is showing.”

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOWFROST CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 8th IN STANDINGS
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY?
“I love Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Statistically, it’s been one of my best tracks, and I’m excited to go there and try to maximize points and win a race to solidify our spot in the Round of 8. Our goal as a team is to be consistent and to try and score Stage points early. I think Stage points will play a big part of advancing out of each round in the NASCAR Playoffs. There’s a lot on the line.”

IT SEEMS LIKE LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY IS GETTING MORE AND MORE WORN AS THE YEARS GO BY. HOW CAREFUL DO YOU HAVE TO BE WITH YOUR TIRES NOW COMPARED TO THE PAST?
“You definitely have to take care of them. You have to keep track position and have a car that holds on for the long run. Las Vegas Motor Speedway is becoming much more similar to Chicagoland Speedway in terms of the amount of tire wear you see.”

DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WERE OVERLOOKED COMING INTO THE PLAYOFFS A LITTLE BIT?
“I get overlooked some, probably more than most, I don’t know why. I always feel like I perform pretty well in pressure situations, and RCR as a whole can step up. I have total belief in the 3 team and probably more belief this year than I’ve ever had because we’ve brought consistent speed to the track, and we might not have gotten every finish that we should have gotten this year, but we’ve gotten a lot of good finishes. It’s been one of my best years statistically and just the ability behind the cars are better. Chevy has stepped up. Eric Warren, RCR, all of the mechanics and everybody that puts work in do a really good job. I think the smaller group has been good for us, with less distractions at the track. As a whole, our group really works together well.”

WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 14th IN STANDINGS
BYRON ON RETURNING TO VEGAS SINCE THE PANDEMIC:
“It’s crazy to think how far things have evolved since we went to Vegas earlier this year. It was just the second race of the year and before everything changed with the pandemic. That race, we had a lot of speed even though everything was still new and fresh for the year. We had a fast car and we just have to continue that when we get Vegas this weekend.”

BYRON ON HOW THE TRACK CAN CHANGE THIS TIME OF YEAR:
“The track definitely does change, even with a slight change in temperature. We’re used to going to Vegas at the beginning of September when it’s still really hot. I think being closer to the end of September it will have started to cool off a bit. That will make it unique for us, especially with the late start time Sunday. This race is going to have some different elements that everyone will need to overcome.”

TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 CAT MINING CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 19th IN STANDINGS
“Our Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE was fast when we visited Las Vegas in the spring. We really just had to tweak the handling during the race a little bit to get it to where I needed it to be. This time around, we have a better baseline going into the weekend since we now have some notes to refer back to. One thing we’ll be looking to improve on specifically is our short-run speed and handling. We just seemed to lack a little bit taking off during the race weekend at Las Vegas earlier this year, which ended up hurting us during that final restart, but we’ve had a lot of time as a team this year to work on these cars to make them better. I expect our No. 8 Cat Mining Chevrolet to fire off really well on Sunday and am looking forward to the race. I’ve had a lot of success at Las Vegas over my career, so I’m excited to get back there this weekend.”

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: 5
Poles: 3
Laps Led: 1,637
Top-five finishes: 39
Top-10 finishes: 97

CHEVROLET IN NASCAR CUMULATIVE STATISTICS:
Total Chevrolet race wins: 791 (1949 to date)
Poles won to date: 717
Laps led to date: 235,943
Top-five finishes to date: 4,052
Top-10 finishes to date: 8,379

Total NASCAR Cup wins by corporation, 1949 to date

       General Motors: 1,125
       Chevrolet: 791
       Pontiac: 154
       Oldsmobile: 115
       Buick: 65

       Ford: 803                                                         
       Ford: 703
       Mercury: 96
       Lincoln: 4

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

       Toyota: 150

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.


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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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