Wednesday, Jul 06

NCS AT NASHVILLE: Team Chevy Advance

RACE #17 – NASHVILLE

Coming off the single off-weekend of the season for the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS), the 10-race stretch to the end of the regular season gets under way this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway. The 2021 NASCAR season marked the return of racing at Nashville Superspeedway since 2011, but it was the first time in history that the 1.33-mile concrete oval hosted NASCAR’s premier series. All three of NASCAR’s national touring series will return to the Tennessee venue, with all eyes set on hoisting the coveted custom guitar in victory lane.

 

Chevrolet returns to Nashville Speedway aiming to not only go back-to-back in wins on the season but also defend its win from last year. Last season’s inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race at the track saw Kyle Larson and the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet team post a dominating performance en route to the victory, marking a fifth-consecutive, points-paying win for the Bowtie brand – a feat that Chevrolet had last accomplished in 2014. 

 

MAKING HISTORY AT SONOMA

Daniel Suarez had come close to notching his first career NASCAR Cup Series win on many occasions, but a trip out west to Sonoma Raceway was where he was able to record the triumph. Leading 47 of the final 50 laps at the 1.99-mile Northern California road course, Suarez powered his No. 99 Trackhouse Racing Camaro ZL1 to a 3.849-second margin of victory to score his first win in 195 career starts in NASCAR’s premier series.

 

It was a monumental victory for not only Suarez, but one for the NASCAR history books. The win marks the first time that a Mexico-born driver has been victorious in NASCAR’s premier series. The 30-year-old Monterrey, Mexico, driver also became just the fifth foreign-born driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race, which was last accomplished by Australia’s Marcos Ambrose in 2012.

 

The victory marks the 12th different winner in 16 NASCAR Cup Series races held thus far, leaving just four spots open in the NCS Playoff field that can lock-in by virtue of a win. Suarez is also the fourth first-time winner this season, joining Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain on that elite list. Chastain grabbed his first career NCS win and the first for Trackhouse Racing at Circuit of The Americas earlier in March, while becoming a repeat winner at Talladega Superspeedway in April. 

NXS BACK IN ACTION

Having been idle since AJ Allmendinger’s victory at Portland, the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) will return to competition at Nashville Superspeedway with the Tennessee Lottery 250 on Saturday. The 188-lap event marks the start of a 12-race stretch to the Playoffs for the series. Seven drivers have secured a spot in the 12-driver NXS Playoff field, five of which come from the Bowtie brigade.

 

Kaulig Racing’s Allmendinger arrives to Nashville Superspeedway as the NASCAR Xfinity Series points leader with a 43-point lead over second. The 40-year-old Chevrolet driver has not only recorded two wins in 2022, but also has a series-high 13 top-10 finishes in 14 races. Allmendinger is among four Chevrolet drivers in the top-five and eight of the top-10 in the NXS driver standings. Other Chevrolet drivers that have a win under their belt to secure their spot in the NXS Playoff field include JR Motorsports teammates Noah Gragson, Josh Berry and Justin Allgaier, who sit in the standings at third through fifth, respectively; and NXS rookie Austin Hill, who captured the season-opening victory at Daytona International Speedway.

 

JR Motorsports’ Sam Mayer sits in the first points-qualifying position in the Playoff standings in the eighth position with a 137-point cushion over the cutline. While Mayer is in search of his first-career NASCAR Xfinity Series win, he’s recorded an impressive seven top-fives and eight top-10s in 2022, making him a strong contender to claim a spot in the Playoff field. Kaulig Racing teammates Daniel Hemric (ninth) and Landon Cassill (10th) round out the top-10 of the standings – 102 and 79 points, respectively, above the cutline.

 

The NASCAR Xfinity Series Manufacturer Points Standings continues to see Chevrolet in the top spot with a 67-point lead heading into the race weekend. In 14 NXS races in the books thus far, the Camaro SS has recorded nine of those victories. Of those victories includes a streak of the last six, dating back to Noah Gragson’s victory at Talladega Superspeedway in April.

 

FROM DIRT TO THE CONCRETE

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) will come to the end of a stretch of eight consecutive races in Friday’s Rackley Roofing 200 at Nashville Superspeedway. With just three races left in the series’ regular season, Chevrolet drivers have their eyes set on the five remaining spots in the 10-driver NCWTS Playoff field for their chance at the fight for the championship title.

 

The series is coming off its second dirt race of the season after taking on the famed half-mile dirt track of Knoxville Raceway last weekend. Passing and finishing points accumulated through qualifying races determined the starting lineup for the main event. Driving his No. 19 McAnally-Hilgemann Racing Silverado RST from eighth to second in his qualifying race, Derek Kraus topped the points leaderboard to capture the third NCWTS pole award of 2022 for Chevrolet.

 

It was an all-Chevrolet front row to lead the field to the green in the 150-lap event, with Niece Motorsports’ Carson Hocevar joining Kraus with a front row starting spot. Quickly taking the lead on Lap One, Hocevar went on to capture the Stage One win. Looking to be the truck to beat, Hocevar’s night came to an early end following an engine failure. While the result doesn’t depict the speed of the No. 42 Niece Motorsports team, Hocevar continues to sit in the eighth-position in the NCWTS driver standings, with a 61-point cushion on the Playoff cutline.

 

Kraus led Chevrolet to two top-10 finishes after piloting his Silverado to a season-best, sixth-place finish. The young Chevrolet driver had a strong performance throughout the night, recording top-five’s in both stages. The combination of a strong finish and valuable stage points moved Kraus up two positions in the NCWTS driver points standings to 11th; just 27 points below the Playoff cutline.

 

Joining Kraus in the top-10 was GMS Racing’s Grant Enfinger, who drove his Chevrolet-powered machine to an eighth-place finish to give the No. 23 Silverado RST team its seventh top-10 finish of the year. Enfinger, who also scored top-10 finishes in both stages, heads into the Nashville Superspeedway race weekend in the ninth-spot in the NCWTS driver points standings and 58 points above the cutline.

 

PLAYOFF OUTLOOK: 10 TO GO

The NASCAR Cup Series’ trip to Nashville Superspeedway marks 10 races to go in the regular season. Following his win at Sonoma Raceway, Daniel Suarez became the 12th different driver to claim a NCS win and a Playoff berth, leaving just four spots open in the 2022 NCS Playoff field.

 

Of those 12 different winners and current Playoff contenders includes six Chevrolet drivers: Hendrick Motorsports’ Larson, Alex Bowman, William Byron and Chase Elliott; and Trackhouse Racing’s Chastain and Suarez. Those drivers have scored a combined eight wins in 16 points-paying races thus far, giving the Camaro ZL1 a current winning percentage of 50 percent.

 

For the 12th consecutive week, 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Champion Chase Elliott leads the series at the top of the points standings. While his win at Dover Motor Speedway solidified his Playoff spot, the 26-year-old Georgia native has also accumulated a series-leading 136 stage points in 16 races. Elliott leads Chevrolet to five of the top-10 in the NCS Playoff standings with Ross Chastain in second; and Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports teammates Larson, Byron and Bowman sitting in the seventh through ninth positions, respectively. Below the cutline heading to Sonoma Raceway, Suarez’s win moved him up through the standings as the most recent driver to enter the Playoff grid by virtue of a win. 

 

While on the outside looking in on the Playoff grid, Chevrolet’s Tyler Reddick (18th), Austin Dillon (19th) and Erik Jones (20th) are all within reach of a spot to compete in the Playoffs. 

 

On top of its manufacturer-leading win count, Chevrolet also continues to lead its manufacturer competitors in NASCAR Cup Series laps led (2,333), top-fives (37), top-10s (74) and stage wins (16). En route to defending its NCS Manufacturer Championship title, Chevrolet heads into the final stretch of the regular season with a 41-point lead over second, with eight drivers among four different Chevrolet teams contributing to those points thus far.

 

FOR THE FANS:

·    Fans can visit the Team Chevy Racing Display in the Fan Midway at Nashville Superspeedway.  

 

·    Fans can check out an assortment of Chevrolet vehicles at the Team Chevy Racing Display including: 2022 Blazer Premier AWD, Camaro ZL, Corvette Z51, Equinox RS, Tahoe RST, Traverse Redline, Silverado 1500 ZR2, Silverado 2500 LTZ.

 

TEAM CHEVY QUESTION-AND-ANSWER SESSIONS AT THE DISPLAY:

Saturday, June 25

·       Myatt Snider: 9:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

·       Sheldon Creed & Austin Hill: 9:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

·       Jeremy Clements: 9:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

·       Bayley Currey & Ryan Vargas: 10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

 

Sunday, June 26

·       Ricky Stenhouse Jr: 12:15 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. 

·       Corey LaJoie: 1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

·       Justin Haley: 1:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

 

Chevrolet Display Hours of Operation:

Friday, June 24: 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 25: 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 26: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

 

BOWTIE BULLETS

·       The inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race at Nashville Superspeedway was won by Kyle Larson and the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet team (June 20, 2021).

 

 

 

 

·       Austin Dillon is one of just three active drivers entered into the NASCAR Cup Series race at Nashville Superspeedway that have previously won in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at the Tennessee venue (2011).

 

 

 

 

·       In the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series race at Nashville Superspeedway, Ross Chastain scored a then career-best, runner-up finish behind the wheel of the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. Now, one year later, Chastain is a two-time winner in NASCAR’s premier series and heads into the Nashville race weekend second in the NCS driver points standings.

 

 

 

 

·       Daniel Suarez became the 12th different NASCAR Cup Series winner this season following his win at Sonoma Raceway; and the sixth different Chevrolet driver to win and secure a NCS Playoff spot. Suarez’s first-career NCS win makes him the first Mexico-born driver to win in NASCAR’s premier series.  

 

 

 

·       Following Daniel Suarez’s win at Sonoma Raceway, Chevrolet now sits at eight-consecutive NCS road course wins, dating back to Chase Elliott’s victory at Circuit of The Americas in May 2021.

 

·    With 16 NASCAR Cup Series races in the books, Chevrolet has recorded eight victories with six different drivers; a winning percentage of 50 percent.

 

·    At the top of the NASCAR Cup Series driver points standings for the 12th consecutive week, Chase Elliott has also recorded a series-leading 136 stage points in 16 points-paying races.

 

·    William Byron leads the NASCAR Cup Series in total laps led thus far this season with 570. Two other fellow Chevrolet drivers join Byron in the top-five of that list, including Chase Elliott in second with 471 laps led and Ross Chastain in third with 426 laps led.

 

 

·    During the NASCAR Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway, Hendrick Motorsports hit the milestone of 100,000 miles led in the NCS, all behind the wheel of a Chevrolet-powered machine. Hendrick Motorsports is the first team in the series’ history to accomplish that feat.

 

·    With 16 NASCAR Cup Series races complete in the 2022 season, Chevrolet continues to lead all manufacturers in NCS wins (8), top-five’s (37), top-10’s (74), laps led (2,333) and stage wins (16).

 

·    Seven Team Chevy drivers have combined 16 NASCAR Cup Series stage wins:

Tyler Reddick 2 - (Fontana x2)

Alex Bowman 1 - (Las Vegas)

Ross Chastain 3 - (Las Vegas, Darlington, Charlotte)

William Byron 3 – (Phoenix, Atlanta, Talladega)

Daniel Suarez 2 – (COTA, Charlotte)

Chase Elliott 3 – (Martinsville x2), Charlotte)

Kyle Larson 2 – (Bristol, Sonoma)

 

·    Of the four NASCAR Cup Series drivers that have recorded multiple wins this season, two come from the Chevrolet camp: (Ross Chastain – COTA, Talladega), (William Byron – Atlanta, Martinsville).

 

·    Chevrolet leads the driver points standing in both the NASCAR Cup Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Chase Elliott remains in the top position in the NCS standings with a 16-point advantage over second; and AJ Allmendinger continues to lead the NXS standings by 43-points. Chevrolet also remains atop both the NCS and NXS manufacturer points standings.

 

·    With its 40 NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer Championships; 33 NASCAR Cup Series Driver Championships; and 822 all-time NASCAR Cup Series wins, Chevrolet continues to hold the title of winningest brand in NASCAR. 

TUNE IN

NBC will telecast the NASCAR Cup Series Ally 400 live at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 26. Live coverage can also be found on the NBCSports Gold App, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

 

 

USA Network will telecast the NASCAR Xfinity Series Tennessee Lottery 250 live at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 25. Live coverage can also be found on the NBCSports Gold App, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

 

FS1 will telecast the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rackley Roofing 200 live at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, June 24. Live coverage can also be found on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

 

 

QUOTABLE QUOTES

ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 1 JOCKEY CAMARO ZL1

TALK ABOUT THE NEW PARTNER YOU HAVE ON YOUR CAR FOR THIS WEEKEND AND WHAT IT WOULD MEAN TO GET A WIN AT NASHVILLE?

"I'm super pumped to have the Jockey paint scheme on my car this weekend. It's an iconic brand and the red, white and blue colors will look awesome on the track at Nashville. I hope I can finish one place better than I did last year and get them to victory lane. It would be awesome to get them their first win and to get one for Trackhouse in Nashville."

 

YOU HAD YOUR BEST FINISH OF THE SEASON LAST YEAR AT NASHVILLE. IS THERE SOMETHING YOU PICKED UP ABOUT THAT TRACK?

"We were good off of the truck. We were second quick in practice, and I messed up qualifying and started mid-pack, I think. We marched our way up through there and ran top-10 most of the day. We were on the right side of the fuel and tire strategy to take advantage and finish second. I was able to hustle the car all weekend."

 

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 BASS PRO SHOPS / TRACKER OFF ROAD CAMARO ZL1

WHEN YOU THINK OF NASHVILLE SUPERSPEEDWAY, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MEMORIES AND EXPERIENCES THAT COME TO MIND FOR YOU?

“Nashville Superspeedway kicked off my NASCAR Cup Series career. One of my first Cup tests was at Nashville. I remember going there to test with the team leading into the season and having a really good time. We won there in the NASCAR Truck Series and finished third there in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with KHI. We had fun at Nashville. It was a good track for me. I didn’t feel like the Cup race at Nashville was as good for our team as I had expected going into the race. We finished decent. I think we were 12th. But I know we are capable of running better than that at Nashville so I’m looking forward to going back.”

 

WHAT IS COOL ABOUT NASHVILLE SUPERSPEEDWAY?

“I think what’s cool and what I enjoyed about Nashville is people fought for that bottom line and you really had to be disciplined and not miss your exit leaving the corner at Nashville. The car that rotated the most was pretty good. It’s been a good track for us in the past, and I think it will be interesting to go back there with a year of Cup racing under our belt at the track.”

 

KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1

LARSON ON HOW HE EXPECTS NASHVILLE SUPERSPEEDWAY TO RACE THIS YEAR VERSUS LAST YEAR:

"It raced really well (last year). I had only tested there before and it was always kind of just right around the bottom. Last year, I think they put some resin on the track or something and we were able to move up the track. It was pretty slick and you could move around. I hope it’s similar to that. I think it should be and probably even better. It seems like these Next Gen cars slide around even more, so it should be fun."

 

CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1

ELLIOTT ON RACING AT NASHVILLE:

"I think Nashville (Superspeedway) will be similar to the rest of the mile and mile-and-a-half tracks we go to. I don’t see it looking much different than last year. I think we have the potential to be really good there. We’ve had some pretty good speed this year, we just need to focus on putting everything together and getting more consistently strong finishes and hopefully another win or two during this stretch of races before heading into the playoffs.”

 

ALAN GUSTAFSON, CREW CHIEF, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1

GUSTAFSON ON HEADING BACK TO NASHVILLE:

"I think for sure the heat will play a role and everything is going to be a bit more difficult for everybody. The car’s performance, your driver is going to be in a little more difficult situation. The grip of the tires is going to be a little worse, pitting the car on pit road is a little more difficult when it’s hot. It’s hard to get calm and cool. It’s a little bit more uncomfortable. It’ll make it a little bit tougher. I like it. I think those mental challenges are fun, for me. We were OK there last year. I wouldn’t say we were great, but we need to improve and get the car driving a little bit better. The car is typically loose in there and tight in the center and can be tight exit or loose exit depending on what you’ve got, but stringing that whole corner together is key."

 

AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 16 GOLD FISH CASINO SLOTS CAMARO ZL1

“I enjoyed racing at Nashville last year in the Xfinity Series. This will be my first time running both the Xfinity and Cup races. I think we are making progress in both of our programs and feel like Nashville will be a good test to see where we are at.”

 

WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 VALVOLINE CAMARO ZL1

BYRON ON HIS THOUGHTS FOR THIS WEEKEND AT NASHVILLE:

"I think last year’s race at Nashville (Superspeedway) was a 'learn as you go' type of situation. With so few people having experience there, and even my short stint in the (Camping World) Truck Series race that weekend, we still didn’t know a lot of what to expect. We ended up having a really solid run though and that does offer some extra confidence for this weekend. You don’t want to be overly confident, though. Just because you had a good finish, that was last year’s car, and the Next Gen car handles differently. We have a starting point, and we’ll use practice on Friday to really dial the race setup in. Nashville presents its own challenges though as it looks like a superspeedway but it’s more similar to a short track in how tight the corners are."

 

RUDY FUGLE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 24 VALVOLINE CAMARO ZL1

FUGLE ON HOW HE’S APPROACHING THIS WEEKEND AT NASHVILLE:

"I think this will be another weekend that we have a good starting point to work from when we unload. We ran well in last year’s race at Nashville Superspeedway. We had to start at the rear and were still able to race our way back to the front. I’m not sure if there will be as much passing this year as there was last year, but between our notebook and our teammate’s notebook (No. 5 team, defending winner), we have a good starting point. Plus, a full 50-minute practice really allows us to try some different things and make longer runs. It’s going to be hot, which will make for a slick track and with the resin down, we’ll want to practice with that as much as we can ahead of Sunday to get the balance right over a run."

 

JUSTIN HALEY, NO. 31 LEAFFILTER GUTTER PROTECTION CAMARO ZL1

“After a nice off week of downtime, I'm ready to get back to it and race Nashville. It was a new track to us last year, and it was fun to race on. This will be the first time these new Cup cars will be on this type of track. The last concrete track we raced on was Dover, and we showed some speed there. Hopefully that applies over to Nashville.”

 

ERIK JONES, NO. 43 FOCUSFACTOR CAMARO ZL1

CONSIDERING WE’VE SEEN SOME GOOD RACES ON THE INTERMEDIATE TRACKS WITH THE NEW CAR, ARE YOU EXPECTING SOMETHING SIMILAR AT NASHVILLE SUPERSPEEDWAY?

“Yeah, I think it’ll race good there. It’s hard to tell. It’s kind of surprising. We didn’t think Gateway would be good with these cars, but it was and it put on a good show. You just have to see how it plays out and what it does, but I think Nashville will race good. From what I’ve known with this car a little bit, I feel like it’ll put on a good show.”

 

RICKY STENHOUSE JR., NO. 47 KROGER / ENTENMANN’S CAMARO ZL1

“We’re hoping for another good concrete track run at Nashville like we had a Dover where we finished second. This style of racetrack has been better for us than some of the other ones and I love Nashville. It was a really good track for us last year, but of course it’s a totally different car. The biggest thing for us is to have a good practice session on Friday and make sure we have a car that handles good and is easy on the tires for our race.”

 

ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY MUSIC CITY CAMARO ZL1

BOWMAN ON WHAT IT MEANS TO HAVE PRIMARY SPONSOR ALLY BE THE TITLE SPONSOR OF THE RACE IN NASHVILLE:

"It is cool to see Ally have such a presence in NASCAR beyond just my team. Whatever Ally does, they do it to the best and fullest extent. Whether it is my Cup car, my sprint car and midgets at ABR, helping dogs with Best Friends – Ally does it right and I am happy to see them getting involved in NASCAR beyond just being the primary partner of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1."

 

GREG IVES, CREW CHIEF, NO. 48 ALLY MUSIC CITY CAMARO ZL1

IVES ON HIS EXPECTATIONS HEADING TO NASHVILLE FOR THE ALLY 400:

"We have a lot of data and notes to look back on from last year and the races we have completed this year, so we expect to go out to Nashville and have a competitive car. Having a weekend off last weekend and the race being sponsored by Ally, I feel like our team has a lot of positive, motivating factors to head to Tennessee with. Obviously, we want to win the race for Ally, but we have to take it one step at a time and that means getting the car ready during practice, qualifying well, and then getting it done on Sunday.”

 

DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 TOOTSIES ORCHID LOUNGE CAMARO ZL1

WHAT HAS LIFE BEEN LIKE SINCE YOU TOOK THE CHECKERED FLAG FOR THE FIRST TIME IN SONOMA?

"We were in victory lane a long time Sunday celebrating with my team, and some of the Amigos came down to join in. It was a fun flight home although I think we got home at 5:30 a.m. I took my girlfriend to the airport for an 8:30 a.m. flight to Brazil and then I went by the shop to see all of my team before flying to Mexico."

 

WHAT WAS IT LIKE WHEN YOU SAW THEM IN MEXICO?

"I was so tired but when I got home my mom and sisters had a surprise party for me. Like I said I was so tired, but it was a lot of fun and I am glad they did it.

The win was great timing. We get to enjoy this for two weeks. But I am sure I'll be ready to race again by this weekend."

 

HOW IMPORTANT IS NASHVILLE?

"It's very important. We are carrying Tootsie's Orchid Lounge on our car in Nashville. I think everyone who lives in Nashville or even been to Nashville knows all about Tootsie's.

Nashville is where (Team Founder and Owner) Justin (Marks) lives, (Team President) Ty (Norris) live so they are going to have lots of friends and family out. We want to do well every week, but Nashville is special."

 

GRANT ENFINGER, NO. 23 CHAMPION POWER EQUIPMENT SILVERADO RST

“Nashville races similar to a mile and a half track, and I feel like we have made steady progress with our program this year. It took a while for the track to widen out for our race last year, so track position and qualifying will be very important. We’ve got a lot of guests from Champion Power Equipment that will be with us in Nashville so I’m hoping we can give them a reason to celebrate."

 

JACK WOOD, NO. 24 CHEVYLINERS.COM SILVERADO RST

"I'm really looking forward to returning to Nashville; the race there last year was by far my best race that I had all year and I love this track layout. We were able to stay in contention all race long last time we raced here, which served as a big confidence boost for me. The way our season has gone this year has definitely been tough, but this track has been one that we've had circled on our calendars for quite a while now. I know how to get around this place as a driver, and I know that we are going to have a good setup to base ourselves off of, so we're just going to stick with it all day. Hopefully we can put together another good practice and qualifying run to give ourselves an opportunity to succeed. If there's been any race that I've had high hopes for, Nashville would definitely be the one on the top of my list, so I can't wait to see what my No. 24 ChevyLiners.com team and I have in store for Friday as we return to one of my favorite cities in the country."

 

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