RACE #11 – DOVER MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Coming off a NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) and NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) sweep for Chevrolet at Talladega Superspeedway, the bowtie brand looks to carry its momentum onto the 1-mile concrete oval of Dover Motor Speedway. Famously known as the “Monster Mile”, the Delaware-based venue will serve as the host of a NCS and NXS doubleheader race weekend as Team Chevy drivers have their eyes set on continuing Chevrolet’s historic success at the track.
Chevrolet looks to become back-to-back winners at Dover Motor Speedway in Sunday’s DuraMAX Drydene 400 Presented by RelaDyne. The 2021 visit at the track for NASCAR’s premier series concluded with a monumental finish for Hendrick Motorsports. Alex Bowman piloted his Chevrolet-powered machine to the organization’s 21st victory at the track, extending Hendrick Motorsports all-time win record as the winningest team at Dover. Bowman led his Hendrick Motorsports teammates to a historic 1-2-3-4 finish, making the Chevrolet team just the third organization in NASCAR Cup Series history to accomplish a sweep of the top-four finishing positions.
In the 103 NASCAR Cup Series that have been held at Dover Motor Speedway, Chevrolet has made its way to victory line 42 times to lead all manufacturers. Since 2013, Chevrolet has won 10 of the last 17 NCS events at the Delaware-based venue, captured by seven different drivers. This time span includes a six-race streak recorded from June 2013 (Tony Stewart) to October 2015 (Kevin Harvick).
Following the fourth win of the season and a podium sweep in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Chevrolet drivers and teams will take on the Monster Mile in the A-GAME 200, the 10th race on the series’ schedule. In the single appearance by the series at Dover in 2021, the bowtie brigade placed five Chevrolet’s in the top-10, led by then part-time NXS driver, Josh Berry, who drove his No. 8 JR Motorsports Camaro SS to a runner-up finish.
LOOKING TO GO BACK-TO-BACK
While Alex Bowman scored his first-career victory at Dover Motor Speedway in 2021, victory lane is a familiar spot for the No. 48 Chevrolet at the venue. Career Chevrolet driver, Jimmie Johnson, leads the series in all-time wins at the Monster Mile with an impressive 11 victories, all behind the wheel of the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Of those wins includes a sweep in 2002 and 2009, as well as Johnson’s final victory in his full-time NASCAR Cup Series career in 2017.
It was an all-Chevrolet victory lane last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, with victories by Ross Chastain and Noah Gragson giving the bowtie brand victories in both the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series. With the Next Gen Camaro ZL1’s first time hitting NASCAR’s longest oval, its speed was showcased throughout the 188-lap event.
The white flag saw the field being led by three Camaro ZL1’s, with Erik Jones at the point, followed by Chevrolet teammates Kyle Larson and Ross Chastain. With the final dash to the checkered flag, a battle between the top-two gave Chastain the opportunity to pilot his No. 1 Trackhouse Racing Camaro ZL1 to the front, holding onto the lead at the line by .105-seconds to capture his second NCS win of 2022. Sunday’s win makes Chastain just the second driver in NASCAR’s premier series to become a repeat winner, joining fellow Chevrolet teammate William Byron.
Chastain led the bowtie brigade to three top-five and six top-10 finishes in the 10th points-paying race of the NASCAR Cup Series season. Four different Chevrolet teams were represented in the Talladega top-10:
1st – Ross Chastain (Trackhouse Racing)
2nd – Austin Dillon (Richard Childress Racing)
4th – Kyle Larson (Hendrick Motorsports)
6th – Erik Jones (Petty GMS Racing)
7th – Chase Elliott (Hendrick Motorsports)
9th – Alex Bowman (Hendrick Motorsports)
Chevrolet also picked up its 11th stage win of 2022 with William Byron, who also led a race-high 38 laps.
JR Motorsports driver, Noah Gragson, picked up his second NASCAR Xfinity Series win of 2022 at Talladega, wheeling his No. 9 Camaro SS through a triple overtime finish in the 124-lap event. Gragson led a Chevrolet podium sweep, with seven of the top-10 finishing positions captured by the Camaro SS. The trip to victory lane marked Chevrolet’s fourth win on the season in the series.
Driving the iconic No. 3 Camaro SS for Richard Childress Racing, Jeffrey Earnhardt sat on the pole for the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Talladega, ultimately coming home with a career-best runner-up finish in his 136-race NXS career. The 32-year-old driver was paired up with “NASCAR’s crew chief” Larry McReynolds for the race.
EXTENDING THE LEAD
Following a Talladega race weekend sweep, Chevrolet remained on top of the driver and manufacturer points standings in both the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series. In NASCAR’s premier series, Chase Elliott’s seventh top-10 finish of the 2022 season maintained his spot on top of the NCS driver standings, extending his lead to a 21-point advantage over the second spot. Elliott leads a strong Chevrolet showing in the driver standings, with three of the top-five and five of the top-10 of the standings being occupied by Chevrolet drivers.
In addition to leading the driver standings, Chevrolet also maintained the lead in the NASCAR Cup Series manufacturer standings, sitting at a 29-point lead heading into the Dover race weekend. The bowtie brand continues to lead all manufacturers in NASCAR Cup Series wins (6), top-five’s (28), top-10’s (47), laps led (1,499) and stage wins (11).
The NASCAR Xfinity Series driver points standings sees six of the top-10 spots being occupied by Chevrolet, led by Kaulig Racing’s AJ Allmendinger, who extended his points lead to a 40-point advantage over fellow Chevrolet teammate Noah Gragson. Chevrolet also continues to lead in the NXS manufacturer points standings, with the Camaro SS having captured four wins, four pole wins, 30 top-five’s, 60 top-10’s and 804 laps led heading into the series’ 10th race of the season at the Monster Mile.
· Victories by active Team Chevy drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series at Dover Motor Speedway include:
Chase Elliott, No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1, has one win (April 2018)
Kyle Larson, No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1, has one win (October 2019)
Alex Bowman, No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1, has one win (May 2020)
· In addition to its manufacturer-leading 42 wins, Chevrolet has recorded 25 pole wins, 209 top-five’s and 395 top-10’s at Dover Motor Speedway.
· Going into the 11th NASCAR Cup Series race of the 2022 season, Chevrolet continues to lead all manufacturers in NASCAR Cup Series wins (6), top-five’s (28), top-10’s (47), laps led (1,499) and stage wins (11).
· Chevrolet team, Hendrick Motorsports, leads the NASCAR Cup Series in wins by an organization at Dover Motor Speedway with 21 among seven different drivers, most recently by Alex Bowman (2021).
· Career Chevrolet driver, Jimmie Johnson has 11 wins at the 1-mile oval in 38 starts in the NASCAR Cup Series. In addition to his impressive 11 wins, Johnson has 18 top-five’s, 27 top-10’s and has led 3,113 laps at Dover Motor Speedway, making it the winningest track of his career.
· Seven Team Chevy drivers have combined 11 NASCAR Cup Series stage wins:
Tyler Reddick 2 - (Fontanax2)
Alex Bowman 1 - (Las Vegas)
Ross Chastain 1 - (Las Vegas)
William Byron 3 – (Phoenix)(Atlanta)(Talladega)
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 21-point advantage over second; and AJ Allmendinger continues to lead in the NXS standings by 40-points. The bowtie brand also sits atop both the NCS and NXS manufacturer points standings.
· With its 40 NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer Championships; 33 NASCAR Cup Series Driver Championships; and 820 all-time NASCAR Cup Series wins, Chevrolet holds the title of winningest brand in NASCAR.
The NASCAR Cup Series DuraMAX Drydene 400 Presented by RelaDyne will be live on FS1 on Sunday, May 1 at 3:00 p.m. ET. FS1 will also telecast the NASCAR Xfinity Series A-GAME 200 on Saturday, April 30 at 1:30 p.m. ET. Live coverage of both events can also be found on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 1 PITBULL TOUR 2022 CAMARO ZL1
HOW COOL IS IT TO HAVE PITBULL ON YOUR CAR SUNDAY IN DOVER?
"Who would have ever thought I would be teaming up with Pitbull? That is so cool and shows how interesting life really is. He is such a motivator; we want to really do well for him Sunday. I hope we play "Can't Stop Us Now" in victory lane at Dover."
YOUR FIRST CUP VICTORIES HAVE COME AT TWO DISTINCT TRACKS. IS THAT MIND-BLOWING FOR YOU?
"Absolutely mind-blowing, it is. I grew up short-track racing, so I just assumed and thought that was where I was the best. Turning right was hard, drafting was hard. I just thought I would never be able to catch up to guys that had been doing it so much longer than me. A lot of time and work and really good people surrounding me, we've closed the gap. There's still a long ways to go. But, yeah, it's absolutely mind-blowing."
YOU DROVE THE SAME CAR TO VICTORIES ON A ROAD COURSE AND SUPERSPEEDWAY. IS THAT PROOF THE NEXT GEN CAR IS A SUCCESS?
"It makes it so special that Jim France and the NASCAR family, the France family, their vision for this car, that you can win a race on a road course. Is it a month? Has it been a month or two months since COTA? In a month, you can bring a car back you won in at a road course and win at Talladega. That hasn't happened since the '60s. I don't know, farther back. I have no idea. They would have different cars. It's wild. That's more what it means to me, that this car is capable of that. Change the geometry, the suspension, shim the body a little bit, go race. Put different tune in the motor for a superspeedway, adjust your rear diffuser, adjust everything, and the same car can come race. That's just wild. I'm not sitting here going to say it's any cheaper yet. I don't think it's cheaper for us than just building a new car like in the past. I don't know. I don't know the business behind what we're doing. I just drive the cars. It is special, though."
DOES IT JUST SEEM SURREAL AT TIMES?
"It does not seem real at all. I keep waiting to wake up from this dream and realize it's all not what I think I'm living. But I've got great groups of people from Trackhouse, the competition and business side, my family, people in Charlotte and around Mooresville that keep reminding me and keep showing me this is real. I talked about it earlier, sitting right here at this spot, I'm right where I want to be, and I have the people around me. They keep me remembering and keep reminding me and keep pushing me to make this the best we can make it. We're not resting on any of this stuff. Like Justin said, I might not be quite as sharp in the morning to get to work on Dover, but I'll get to work on it at some point tomorrow."
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 BREZTRI CAMARO ZL1
DOES DOVER DRIVE LIKE A GIANT BRISTOL, OR NOT SO MUCH?
“Not so much. There’s a lot of aero stuff that comes into play at Dover because you’re going so fast. You see different lines come into play as the rubber builds up. It’s always fun on a long run when you can run way up by the fence and find speed. I’m looking forward to it.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1
LARSON ON DRIVING THE NEXT GEN CAR AT DOVER:
“We had a great result last year in the Gen 6 car. Finishing one-two-three-four I know meant a lot to Rick (Hendrick, owner) and all the men and women at Hendrick Motorsports. I’ve run well at Dover throughout my career and have led a lot of laps there, and I hope that is the case again this weekend. I don’t know how this generation of car will race on the concrete, but I hope we’ll be using multiple lanes on Sunday.”
CLIFF DANIELS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1
DANIELS ON THE CHALLENGES OF THE NEW NEXT GEN CAR ON A CONCRETE TRACK:
“The car itself is really going to perform well – I think we have the potential to see a really good race. If we get some warmer temperatures and the groove widens out, these cars should be very racy on a very racy track. I think it could be a lot of fun and a great race for the fans. If it’s super cool and the track is very fast, it could be a narrower groove and much harder to pass. We’ll just need to see how the temperatures are, what the tire wear is like and how the track is taking (tire) rubber, but I think it’s going to be great.”
TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 GUARANTEED RATE CAMARO ZL1
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO MOST AS WE HEAD TO DOVER THIS WEEKEND?
“There will be new challenges with the Next Gen car on the high banks of Dover. Trend of the car has leaned towards more grip everywhere we have gone so far this season. I expect it to be a physically demanding race and the pace of the car to be faster than what we’ve had in the past. It’s definitely going to put on an exciting show for the fans and it will really test the drivers.”
YOU’VE HAD A ROUGH COUPLE OF WEEKENDS. HOW DO YOU STAY POSITIVE?
“Every weekend is a new opportunity with this new car. It really is a fine line to get the balance of the car right. The work and preparation we put in during the week gives us confidence. Our team works really hard each and every week and deserve better results than what we saw at Talladega. We’re ready for this next stretch of races, they’re all pretty good tracks for us.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1
ELLIOTT ON HEADING TO DOVER WITH THE NEXT GEN CAR:
“All these places, as we go to them for the first time, I’m kind of like everybody else, just waiting to see how it goes. I never would have thought that Martinsville would have gone like it did, so I think we were probably all surprised about that one, but nonetheless, I’m excited to get out there and hopefully it goes well.”
ELLIOTT ON THE EXPECTATIONS HE SETS FOR HIMSELF TO PERFORM WELL:
“I want to win just as much as everyone else, if not more. I always want to win, and I always have an expectation of myself to want to go and perform. That expectation is the only one that matters to me, and I want to do the job to the best of my ability always, whether you have a win in the bank or not. For me, that doesn’t make me try any harder. I’m going to do my best and see where we end up.”
ALAN GUSTAFSON, CREW CHIEF, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1
GUSTAFSON ON RACING AT DOVER WITH THE NEXT GEN CAR:
“I don’t really know what to expect. I love Dover. It’s one of my favorite tracks to go to. It’s a lot of fun to race. Obviously, it has big wide surface, and that’s the key to me is hopefully there’s some value in getting up the track and there’s multiple lanes. That’s always, in my opinion, what creates good racing, is the opportunity to have multiple lanes. Hopefully that shows up.”
AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 16 ACTION INDUSTRIES CAMARO ZL1
“In the past, Dover has been one of my favorite racetracks to go to. It’s unique in a lot of ways. Last year, we had a solid run and stayed in the top five for all day. Hopefully we can build on that and try some new stuff this weekend to continue the momentum we’ve had this season. I’m also looking forward to getting back in the Cup car on Sunday with Action Industries. I felt like we learned a few things at Martinsville. I think Dover is going to be really fast with this Next Gen car, so it should be a fun weekend.”
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 RAPTORTOUGH.COM CAMARO ZL1
BYRON ON IF HE FEELS LIKE HE’S HAVING TO RE-LEARN TRACKS WITH THE NEXT GEN CAR: “I’d say every week is a new week. It really is. We look at our old notes for balance and things like that, but even that’s kind of changed. I think Dover’s going to be eye-opening to see how this car gets around, because you know it has way less downforce. Downforce is key at Dover. I’m very interested to see how that feels and how that plays out, because I don’t know what to expect.”
RUDY FUGLE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 24 RAPTORTOUGH.COM CAMARO ZL1
FUGLE ON WHAT NOTES HE CAN USE TO PREPARE FOR DOVER:
“We don’t have a ton of short track notes with the Next Gen car right now, but I think the race at Martinsville gives us a good starting point. That race we saw that track position played a big factor and that maintaining a pit strategy that helped with that was key. I can see that playing a factor again this weekend at Dover. I also think some of our setup notes from last year will still help as well. Plus, with the high banking in the corners at Dover, it translates slightly to an intermediate track in that regard, so we can use those notes that we have as well. We ran well at Martinsville a few weeks ago, and Dover has been good to us in the past, so I think those things give us a good baseline for when we unload for practice.”
JUSTIN HALEY, NO. 31 LEAFFILTER GUTTER PROTECTION CAMARO ZL1
“It’s been quite a while since I've been to Dover. It’s always a fun, fast racetrack you can move around on. I’m curious to see how the Next Gen car handles the banking on the concrete surface. We’ve spent a lot of time on the simulator preparing. I’m looking forward to getting back to Dover and carrying on our positive momentum”
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1
BOWMAN ON RETURNING TO DOVER AFTER THE HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS SWEEP LAST YEAR:
“Winning last year at Dover was special. We had a fast race car, fast enough to hold off my teammates and be the one to lead the one-two-three-four charge for Hendrick Motorsports. Being a part of such a unique moment in a season that was filled with these types of moments is something I will always hold close to me.”
GREG IVES, CREW CHIEF, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1
IVES ON HOW HE’S PREPARING TO REPEAT LAST YEAR’S SUCCESS:
“Dover has been a track that Hendrick Motorsports has historically done well at as well as Alex (Bowman). Our plan is to go back there and continue to build off the confidence and success from the past. Even though it is a different car and tire, we are approaching it the same way we always do; maximizing restarts, pit road times, practice and qualifying to get the most out of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet and look to come out of there with another Miles the Monster trophy.”
DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 COMMSCOPE CAMARO ZL1
WHY DO YOU LIKE DOVER?
“Actually, Dover is one of my favorite tracks that we go to. It’s so much fun and the feeling you get inside the car is pretty incredible. It’s also been one of my best tracks, statistically. My expectations are really high for this weekend because I have run so well in the past there.”
YOU HAVE RAN WELL LATELY.
"We have but we want better finishes. We were at the wrong place at the wrong time in Talladega. Our Camaro was fast. I was really happy with how the car was driving. We know we have a fast car and hopefully that results in a good finish at Dover on Sunday."