RACE #10 – TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY
From the high-banks of “The World’s Fastest Half-Mile” to NASCAR’s longest oval, the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) will make their way to the second superspeedway of the 2022 season: Talladega Superspeedway. Alabama’s 2.66-mile oval will be the host of two NCS races this season, with the second event holding a pertinent spot in the Playoff’s Round of 12. The bowtie brand heads to Talladega with their eyes set on extending its win lead, where Chevrolet has been victorious in 41 of the 105 NCS races held at the venue to lead all manufacturers. Of those wins includes a record streak of 13 consecutive trips to victory lane, captured by five different drivers in Chevrolet-powered machines from April 1999 to May 2005.
Returning from the off weekend, the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) will be back in action at Talladega Superspeedway with the Ag-Pro 300, the ninth stop on the series schedule. Chevrolet is no stranger to NXS victory lane at the famed Alabama superspeedway, recording 20 of the last 32 wins in the series at Talladega. Of those triumphs includes a streak of the past six, dating back to September 2018. That streak includes a sweep in 2020, captured by now NCS regular Justin Haley; Jeb Burton in the Spring 2021 race to secure his spot into the NXS Playoffs; and Brandon Brown in the Fall 2021 race to mark his first-career NXS victory.
STRONG IN THE STANDINGS
With nine events in the book for the NASCAR Cup Series, Chevrolet remains in a familiar spot in the standings: on top. Coming out of the Bristol race weekend with his sixth top-10 finish of the season, Chase Elliott continues to lead in the driver standings with a three-point advantage over second. The 26-year-old Georgia native has shown consistency this season, with a series- best average finish of 10.9 heading into the 10th points-paying race of the season. Elliott leads a strong showing by the bowtie brigade in the standings, with Chevrolet drivers occupying three of the top-five and five of the top-10 spots.
With eyes set on its 41st NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer Championship, Chevrolet also continues to lead in the manufacturer standings by 23-points. Of the nine points-paying events thus far, Chevrolet continues to lead all manufacturers in race wins (5), top-five’s (25), top-10’s (41), laps led (1,374) and stage wins (10). Those wins have been captured on a variety of racetrack configurations, including a two-mile track (Fontana), two 1.5-mile tracks (Las Vegas, Atlanta), a road course (COTA) and a short-track (Martinsville). Chevrolet drivers have claimed a series-leading 10 stage wins by seven different drivers, recorded at seven different racetracks.
Chevrolet also continues to lead in both the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver and manufacturer standings. AJ Allmendinger, who secured his spot into the NXS Playoff field following his win at COTA, continues to lead the driver standings by 20-points. An impressive seven of the top-10 of the driver standings are held by Camaro SS drivers. As defending NXS Manufacturer Champions, Chevrolet remains on top of the manufacturer standings heading into the Talladega race weekend.
DEBUT ON DIRT
In the Next Gen Camaro ZL1’s debut on the dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway, the final running order saw Chevrolet takeover five of the top-10 positions, represented by three different Chevrolet teams. The Camaro ZL1 led 190 of the 250-lap race. Leading a race-high 99 of those laps, Tyler Reddick was en route to his first-career NCS victory after final lap, final corner contact took him out of contention. Rebounding to a runner-up finish, his fourth top-10 finish in 2022, the 26-year-old Richard Childress Racing driver is on the horizon of his first visit to victory lane in NASCAR’s premier series.
Another notable finish that came from the bowtie brigade was posted by Ty Dillon, who drove his No. 42 Petty GMS Camaro ZL1 to a top-10 finish, his best non-superspeedway finish in his NASCAR Cup Series career. It was a strong weekend for the 30-year-old North Carolina native, who also captured the win in his qualifying race to later solidify his seventh-place starting spot in Sunday’s main event. Dillon went on to show speed early, recording a runner-up finish in stage one and securing valuable stage points.
· Victories by active Team Chevy drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega Superspeedway include:
Chase Elliott, No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1, has one win (April 2019)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Camaro ZL1, has one win (May 2017)
· Heading into the 10th NASCAR Cup Series race of the 2022 season at Talladega Superspeedway, Chevrolet leads all manufacturers in NASCAR Cup Series wins (5), top-five’s (25), top-10’s (41), laps led (1,374) and stage wins (10).
· In addition to its manufacturer-leading 41 NASCAR Cup Series wins at Talladega Superspeedway, Chevrolet has also amassed 197 top-five’s, 381 top-10’s and 8,090 laps led. The bowtie brand has also recorded 37 pole wins to top all manufacturers.
· Chevrolet team, Hendrick Motorsports, leads the NASCAR Cup Series in wins by an organization at Talladega with 13 among seven different drivers, most recently by Chase Elliott (2019).
· Chase Elliott’s pole win in May 2016 makes him the youngest polesitter to date (20 years, 5 months, 3 days).
· Notable superspeedway racer, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., is one of just two active drivers to have recorded their first-career win in the NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega Superspeedway.
· Seven Team Chevy drivers have combined 10 NASCAR Cup Series stage wins:
Tyler Reddick 2 - (Fontanax2)
Alex Bowman 1 - (Las Vegas)
Ross Chastain 1 - (Las Vegas)
William Byron 2 – (Phoenix)(Atlanta)
Daniel Suarez 1 – (COTA)
Chase Elliott 2 – (Martinsvillex2)
Kyle Larson 1 – (Bristol)
· Chevrolet leads in the driver points standing in both the NASCAR Cup Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Chase Elliott holds the top spot in the NCS standings with a 3-point advantage over second; and AJ Allmendinger continues to lead in the NXS standings by 20-points. The bowtie brand also sits atop both the NCS and NXS manufacturer points standings.
· Noah Gragson will be making his first-career start at Talladega Superspeedway in the NASCAR Cup Series behind the wheel of the No. 62 Beard Motorsports Camaro ZL1. Gragson has three starts in the NASCAR Cup Series, including one in the 2022 season opener at Daytona International Speedway.
FOR THE FANS:
· Fans can visit the Team Chevy Racing Display in the Fan Midway at Talladega Superspeedway.
· Fans can check out an assortment of Chevrolet vehicles including: Tahoe RST, Silverado 2500 Crew Cab, Corvette Z51, Camaro ZL1, 1500 Crew Cab Custom Realtree, Blazer Premier AWD and Equinox RS.
· At the Chevrolet Display, fans can also view Kyle Larson’s No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 show car.
TEAM CHEVY QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSIONS AT THE DISPLAY:
Friday, April 22
· Bayley Currey and Ryan Vargas: 2:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
· Jeremy Clements: 2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Saturday, April 23
· Daniel Dye: 9:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
· Sheldon Creed: 11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
· Justin Allgaier: 12:15 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
· Myatt Snider: 12:45 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
· Josh Berry: 1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
· Sam Mayer: 1:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 24
· Corey LaJoie: 10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
· Chase Elliott: 11:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
· Austin Dillon: 11:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
· Alex Bowman: 11:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
· Noah Gragson: 11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Chevrolet Display Hours of Operation:
Friday, April 22: 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 23: 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 24: 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
FOX will telecast the NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 at 3 p.m. ET Sunday, April 24. FOX will telecast the NASCAR Xfinity Series Ag-Pro 300 at 4 p.m. ET Saturday, April 23. Live coverage of both events can also be found on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING CAMARO ZL1
WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO BE SUCCESSFUL AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY?
“Anything can happen at Talladega Superspeedway. It’s a little bit of a coin flip, but my No. 3 team will be doing everything we can to try and win. In order to succeed at Talladega, you have to have a little bit of luck, and use momentum at the very end to take advantage of positions. Its speedway racing. Its drafting. And its chaos, but we’re up for the challenge.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1
LARSON ON HOW HE IS PREPARING FOR TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY:
"I've watched a lot of superspeedway races to see what I can do differently to be in contention at the end of stages and at the end of the race. I just never seem to be in a good position at the end – when I make it to the end. Hopefully, we can battle for stage points and have the HendrickCars.com Chevy near the front toward the end of the race."
CLIFF DANIELS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1
DANIELS ON WHETHER HE PROVIDES SUPERSPEEDWAY STRATEGIC ADVICE DURING THE RACE OR LEAVES IT TO LARSON:
"A little bit of both. If I see things developing that I can communicate to him to help his decision making in the moment, then that’s 100% my responsibility to do so. But some decisions are just dependent on what he sees on track. My responsibility it to make a fast car that can suck up well, push well, get pushed well, and we need to execute well during pit stops. We need to maximize what we can control since we are limited on superspeedways of where to get an advantage."
COREY LAJOIE, NO. 7 RAZE ENERGY CAMARO ZL1
“Talladega is a race on the schedule that we always have circled on the calendar. The No. 7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet team had a strong run to start the year at Daytona (International Speedway), so it’s great momentum to build off of heading into another superspeedway race. I’m excited to have RAZE Energy come on board for the first time this weekend and hopefully we can be there at the end to have a shot at getting them to victory lane.”
TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 BETMGM CAMARO ZL1
HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR A RACE TRACK LIKE TALLADEGA?
“Talladega is one of the racetracks that we go to and you’ve just got to expect the unexpected. You can be running second with three laps to go and finish 20th and you can be running 20th with three laps to go and end up winning. My No. 8 team and I go into each race weekend with the same mindset and that is to run up front and win. Last weekend, we were really close to that first win and instead of using that as a reason to be frustrated, we’re using it as more momentum. As the driver, I’m going to focus on listening to my spotter and crew chief, hitting all my marks and staying out of trouble. Staying out of trouble is hard at these superspeedways but those drivers end up being at the front when the white flag waves. The schedule is also different this weekend with no practice and straight to qualifying so we’ll see how that goes for us. I’m looking forward to a good weekend at Talladega.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1
ELLIOTT ON RACING AT TALLADEGA:
"Talladega is one of those places where you just don’t know how your day is going to end up. I think that’s why driving smart and just doing what you can to make it to the checkered flag is the main focus. Your race can change so fast if you’re in the wrong lane or you get caught up in someone else’s mistake. I think if you can avoid those things and finish the race, you’re going to have a decent result."
ALAN GUSTAFSON, CREW CHIEF, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1
GUSTAFSON ON TALLADEGA:
"A majority of things from Daytona correlate to Talladega, and we didn’t feel like we were as good as we needed to be in Daytona. So we’re going try to take a few different philosophies to Talladega and see if that works. Really, for us, this race will be in the playoffs, so this is a good opportunity to try some things and figure out what you need to do to be where you want to be here in the fall.”
DANIEL HEMRIC, NO. 16 MAJESTIC STEEL CAMARO ZL1
“I’m looking forward to our second speedway race together as a group and building on the solid foundation Kaulig Racing has established over the years at superspeedways. The engine package has changed some over the last year or so at these type of tracks, but the speed and teamwork within this organization hasn’t, and we are collectively excited about the opportunity in front of us as we head to Talladega. This group has been putting the work in, communicating, and doing the things you have to do to build for our future together both on the Xfinity side and the Cup side.”
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1
BYRON ON HIS APPROACH TO RACING AT TALLADEGA:
“Talladega is quite a bit different than Daytona even though they are both superspeedways. Talladega is a lot wider with more room for racing, but the handling of your car isn’t as important there as it is at Daytona. This race is more about how well you can push someone and how well you can receive a push. You need speed, but you need to be able to work well with others to get good runs to make it to the front and stay there. My approach doesn’t change though. You still want to be conservative at times to make sure you’re there at the end of the race, but you also need to push it early on to know what your car is capable of to set yourself up in the best position in the end. We’ve always seemed to run well at Talladega. We just haven’t always had the results to show it, but that’s part of superspeedway racing.”
RUDY FUGLE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1
FUGLE ON THE IMPORTANCE OF SUNDAY’S RACE AT TALLADEGA:
"We had a tough weekend on the dirt (at Bristol), but I’m proud of the effort the No. 24 team put in to keep getting us better as the weekend went on. We can put that race behind us now, though, especially since it’s not in the playoffs. I’m just ready to get to Talladega. This is a race that plays a factor in the playoffs, so it has a heavier importance in the notes we put together. Even though we only get one or two laps on track before the race, we do have some notes to work off of already. We’ll be running the same tire that we used in Daytona so that gives us a good starting point to build off."
JUSTIN HALEY, NO. 31 LEAFFILTER GUTTER PROTECTION CAMARO ZL1
“Talladega is one of my best tracks, so I feel optimistic going into the weekend. I feel like we had good speedway speed at Daytona earlier this year, but we just didn’t get the finish we wanted after the issues we had. Going into the second speedway race of the year, we’re going to race hard all day to try and make up stage points. Hopefully we get good points finish out of it and stay out of the big one.”
RICKY STENHOUSE JR., NO. 47 KROGER/SUNNYD CAMARO ZL1
“Looking at Daytona (International Speedway) and Atlanta (Motor Speedway), I felt like we had one of the best cars in both of those races. Now, we’re going to Talladega (Superspeedway) with the same optimism and plan, which is to lead laps, run up front and just try to get the job done. You only need one race to turn your season around and we’re looking to turn it around. We’ve had a lot of good races with good speed, but a lot of things have happened that’s taken us out of contention. We don’t know what Talladega holds, but we will have a car capable of running up front with our No. 47 Kroger/SUNNYD Camaro ZL1.”
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1
BOWMAN ON HIS PREPARATION FOR TALLADEGA:
"Talladega has been a place that we have had our struggles at. We ran second in 2019 and have been caught in someone else's mess a couple of times. So this weekend, I hope that we can change our luck. We have had a couple of solid runs recently. That gives us confidence to go out there, be aggressive and try to get another win this year."
GREG IVES, CREW CHIEF, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1
IVES ON HOW THE TEAM’S CONSISTENCY IN 2022 WILL HELP THEM AT TALLADEGA:
"I think any time you can put together a string of good runs together, it boosts your confidence. Being able to have a fast car to overcome the adversity we had at Bristol and take home a top-10 result is a testament to the hard work by this team and helps us carry momentum into the next weekend. Talladega is a place we have had fast cars as well, so that helps us as we get ready for race day."
DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 TOOTSIES ORCHID LOUNGE CAMARO ZL1
ARE YOU READY FOR TALLADEGA?
"I don't know if you are really ever ready for Talladega, but I am looking forward to it. At the beginning of my career I wasn't a big fan of the superspeedways but I have begun to enjoy them. We had chances to win at Talladega in April and last fall at Daytona so I am optimistic about our chances this weekend."
ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT POINTS AND PLAYOFFS YET?
"Not right now. Right now, I'm focused on making our team the best it can be. What is the good of getting a playoff spot if you aren't running good? If you get in the playoffs you want to win. I don't think I will worry about points until five or six weeks before the playoffs. Right now we want to run as well as possible and the rest will take care of itself."