Saturday, Oct 01

Hendrick Motorsports Media Advance: Daytona

 
 

5 KYLE LARSON

 

Age: 30 (July 31, 1992)

 

Hometown: Elk Grove, California

 

Resides: Mooresville, North Carolina

 

Crew Chief: Cliff Daniels

 

Standings: 2nd

 
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No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

 

A TURKEY: At Watkins Glen International, Kyle Larson swept the weekend on the 2.45-mile road course. On Saturday, the Elk Grove, California, native drove the No. 88 HendrickCars.com JR Motorsports entry to victory lane in the NASCAR Xfinity Series event. Larson then led the final five laps in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race to win in the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Dating back to last year, the 2021 Cup Series champion now has three consecutive wins at the New York track.

18 AND LIFE TO GO: Last weekend’s Cup Series win was Larson’s 18th which now ranks him 47th on the all-time Cup Series victory list. The 2021 Cup Series champion is now tied with Neil Bonnett, Harry Gant, Kasey Kahne, Geoff Bodine and Ryan Newman in that statistical category.

COMETH FOR THE ICEMAN: Larson’s win last weekend at Watkins Glen marked his 12th with Hendrick Motorsports. He now sits tied for fourth with the “Iceman” Terry Labonte for most Cup Series wins for the 14-time Cup Series champion organization. Jeff Gordon (93) tops the list followed by Jimmie Johnson (83) and Chase Elliott (17).

TEN TO FIVE: Larson’s second win of the season marked his 10th top-five finish of 2022. One of those top-five finishes was a fourth-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway in April – his best Cup Series result at a superspeedway. The 30-year-old driver is tied for the most top-five finishes this season with Ross Chastain and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Elliott.

OH SO CLOSE: In 2017, Larson led the field with one lap to go in the DAYTONA 500. However, his Chevrolet ran out of fuel on the final lap and he coasted to a 12th-place finish. In 16 starts at the 2.5-mile track, Larson has five top-10s.

WINNER AT DAYTONA: In July 2018, Larson won the Xfinity Series race at Daytona. The 2014 Cup Series rookie-of-the-year led a race-high 40 laps en route to victory.

YOUR CAR NEEDS: This weekend, Larson will drive the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro. From the convenience of home, customers can select the category, make, model and vehicle packages that are important to them from the nearly 30,000 new, high-quality pre-owned and certified cars, trucks and SUVs available at HendrickCars.com. The website also makes it easy for customers to find one of Hendrick Automotive Group’s 93 dealership locations nationwide.

 
 
 
 

9 CHASE ELLIOTT

 

Age: 26 (Nov. 28, 1995)

 

Hometown: Dawsonville, Georgia

 

Resides: Dawsonville, Georgia

 

Crew Chief: Alan Gustafson

 

Standings: 1st

 
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No. 9 A SHOC Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

 

REGULAR SEASON CHAMP: This past weekend at Watkins Glen International, Chase Elliott clinched his first NASCAR Cup Series Regular Season Championship with one race remaining before the playoffs get underway. With that honor comes 15 coveted playoff points that will be added to the 25 he has already accumulated (plus any playoff points he earns in the regular season finale) at the start of the playoffs. This will mark Elliott’s seventh consecutive playoff appearance as he has earned a spot in every full-time season he has raced in the series. The Hendrick Motorsports driver heads to Daytona International Speedway with a 134-point lead over teammate Kyle Larson.

DAYTONA STATS: In 13 Cup Series starts at Daytona, Elliott has two top-five finishes – both being runner-up results – four top-10s and three poles. At the 2.5-mile superspeedway, he has led 126 laps, including 36 laps last August. While the Dawsonville, Georgia, native is still looking to capture his first points-paying Cup Series win on Daytona’s oval, he does have two Duel victories (2017 and 2018) and also won a Cup Series event on the track’s road course in 2020.

ACTIVE STREAK: Elliott’s four top-10 finishes have come in the four most recent events on the Daytona oval. That is currently the longest active streak at the track and the longest by a Hendrick Motorsports driver there since Jimmie Johnson had five straight top-10 finishes between 2004 and 2006.

STARRING ON SUPERSPEEDWAYS: In four starts in 2022 on superspeedways and similar tracks, Elliott is the only driver to finish in the top 10 in all four events. The 2020 Cup Series champion scored a victory on the newly reconfigured Atlanta Motor Speedway just last month, which uses the superspeedway rules package, leading 96 laps. In addition to his win, he finished 10th in the DAYTONA 500, sixth in the Atlanta spring race and seventh at Talladega Superspeedway. The driver of the No. 9 has earned the most points across those three tracks this season with 178.

GREAT EIGHT: Across Elliott’s last eight Cup Series starts at Daytona and Talladega, he has finished with a series-high six top-10 results. Two of those finishes were runner-up results, which is tied with Bubba Wallace for the most. His average finish during that span also tops the series among drivers with more than two starts (9.5).

NOT YOUR AVERAGE ALAN: Alan Gustafson leads all active crew chiefs with 11 superspeedway poles, including five at Daytona. He has one points-paying win on traditional superspeedways coming in April of 2019 at Talladega with Elliott. The duo also scored a victory at Atlanta earlier this year, a 1.54-mile track that races more like a superspeedway now. Daytona’s oval is the site of two Duel victories for the No. 9 pit boss - both with Elliott in 2017 and 2018.

RETURNING HOME: Gustafson will make his return home to the “World Center of Racing” this weekend. Gustafson grew up in Ormond Beach, Florida, just down the road from the legendary track. After graduating from Seabreeze High School, Gustafson enrolled at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to study mechanical engineering. This marks his 18th season as a crew chief and his seventh year with Elliott. 

RACEDAY APPEARANCE: On Saturday, Elliott will stop by the Team Chevy stage for a Q&A at 4:45 p.m. ET.

A SHOC RETURNS: This weekend, A SHOC Energy is back as the primary sponsor of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for its second and final race of the 2022 season. Earlier this year, the performance energy drink brand was on board for the spring Richmond Raceway event where Elliott and the No. 9 team earned a 14th-place result. Get a glimpse of all the angles of the 2022 A SHOC paint scheme here.

 
 
 
 

24 WILLIAM BYRON

 

Age: 24 (Nov. 29, 1997)

 

Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina

 

Resides: Charlotte, North Carolina

 

Crew Chief: Rudy Fugle

 

Standings: 10th

 
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No. 24 Axalta/Service King Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

 

William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Axalta/Service King Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media at the Daytona International Speedway media center on Friday, Aug. 26, at 3:30 p.m. local time.

POINTS, POINTS, POINTS: Heading into the final race of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series regular season, William Byron has secured 13 playoff points – tied for the fourth-most by a driver so far this season with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin. 

UP FRONT: Byron continues to hold the statistic of leading the second-most laps this season with 611 behind teammate Chase Elliott, who has led 688. The laps led by Byron are not only his most in a single Cup Series season but have come across 12 races – tied for the seventh-most races led by a driver this year with Ross Chastain.

SUPER ON SUPERSPEEDWAYS: Saturday’s race at Daytona International Speedway will be Byron’s 19th superspeedway start in the Cup Series. In his previous 18 starts, Byron has scored one win (Daytona, August 2020), two runner-up finishes, four top-fives, and four top-10s with 187 laps led. In fact, two of Byron’s four top-five finishes have come in the summer race at Daytona – including his first Cup Series win.

BACK AT THE BEACH: During his time in the Cup Series, Byron has nine starts at Daytona. In that time, he has collected one win, two top-five finishes, two top-10s, and led 93 laps. However, his stats don’t accurately depict Byron’s success at the 2.5-mile oval. Not only is this the venue where he collected his first pole award (2019 DAYTONA 500) and his first Cup Series win, but he also won the Duel qualifying race in 2020 and was in position to capture the win during the summer race in 2019 before weather ended the event early, leaving Byron with a runner-up finish. Byron’s success here doesn’t end in the premiere series. During his 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship campaign, Byron qualified third in the July race, leading 29 laps to score the victory, becoming the youngest driver with a Xfinity Series win at the venue at 19 years, seven months and one day. 

RUDY RETURNS: Saturday’s race will mark crew chief Rudy Fugle’s fourth Cup Series start at the 2.5-mile oval. In his three previous starts, all with Byron and the No. 24 team, they have started on the front row two times, showing speed across all three events prior to unfortunately being caught up in on-track incidents before the checkered flag. Aside from those three Cup starts, the Livonia, New York, native has nine other oval starts at Daytona, with seven coming in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and two in the Xfinity Series. Fugle has one runner-up result, one top-five finish and two top-10s across those races. Of those Truck Series starts, one was with Byron where the duo qualified and finished 13th.

BEACH BUMS: Returning to Daytona for the second time this season, two crew members on the No. 24 team will be making their way back home for Saturday’s race. Engineer Brandon McSwain grew up approximately 100 miles from the “World Center of Racing” in Auburndale, Florida. While just a few miles down the road from where McSwain grew up, engine tuner Ben Proctor calls Lakeland, Florida, home. 

RACEDAY APPEARANCE: On Saturday, Byron will stop by the Team Chevy stage for a Q&A at 4:10 p.m. ET before appearing at the NASCAR Live! stage at 4:30 p.m. ET.

AT IT AGAIN WITH AXALTA: Heading to Daytona for the second time in the 2022 season, Axalta will be back on board Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Saturday’s race with co-branding from Service King. Now in its 30th year of partnership with Hendrick Motorsports, this is Axalta’s fifth season as a primary partner on Byron’s No. 24. 

 
 
 
 

48 Alex Bowman

 

Age: 29 (April 25, 1993)

 

Hometown: Tucson, Arizona

 

Resides: Concord, North Carolina

 

Crew Chief: Greg Ives

 

Standings: 11th

 
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No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

 

DAYTONA DÉJÀ VU: Alex Bowman will return to Daytona International Speedway this Saturday for the final race of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series regular season. In this year’s DAYTONA 500, Bowman qualified on the front row for the fifth consecutive year and garnered Hendrick Motorsports’ eighth 1-2 start at the season opener. The No. 48 driver has three top-10 finishes across his 12 starts at the superspeedway and matched his career-best finish of seventh place in last year’s regular season finale at Daytona.

2022 RECAP: With one race left in the Cup Series regular season, Bowman has tallied one win (Las Vegas Motor Speedway), three top-five finishes and 10 top-10s thus far – locking himself into the Cup Series playoffs for the fifth consecutive year with Hendrick Motorsports. 

IN GOOD COMPANY: Since the start of the 2021 Cup Series season, the 29-year-old's five wins trail only two drivers and both happen to be his teammates – 2020 Cup Series champion Chase Elliott (six) and 2021 Cup Series champion Kyle Larson (12). 

IVES’ SUPERSPEEDWAY SUCCESS: Crew chief Greg Ives has an impressive background on superspeedways, finding success throughout his career on top of the box. In the Cup Series, the Bark River, Michigan, native has tallied four pole positions - three of those coming at Daytona - two points-paying wins (Talladega Superspeedway in May 2015 and Daytona in July 2015 with Dale Earnhardt Jr.) and two victories in the Daytona Duel qualifying races (2015 and 2016 with Earnhardt).  In addition, Ives led Regan Smith to a NASCAR Xfinity Series win at Talladega in May 2013.

LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT MY BEST FRIEND: Each week of the season, Bowman and primary sponsor Ally have joined forces to contribute $4,800 to Best Friends Animal Society. If Bowman wins, the donation increases to $10,000. To date, a total of $130,000 has been donated to Best Friends Animal Society and its network partners in each race market the Cup Series visits.

 
 
 

HENDRICK

MOTORSPORTS /

Hendrick Motorsports
 
 

 

2022

 

 

All-Time

 

 

Daytona

 

Races

 

25

 

 

1,298

 

 

77

 

Wins

 

9*

 

 

289*

 

 

15*

 

Poles

 

6

 

 

237*

 

 

22*

 

Top 5

 

27*

 

 

1,183*

 

 

59*

 

Top 10

 

45*

 

 

2,028*

 

 

106*

 

Laps Led

 

1,624*

 

 

76,566*

 

 

2,214*

 

Stage Wins

 

12

 

 

73

 

 

2

 

 

*Most **Most (tie)
 

REVVING TO A MILESTONE: The engine shop at Hendrick Motorsports sits three wins away from 500 victories. To date, the company’s engine program is responsible for 337 wins in the NASCAR Cup Series, 123 wins in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, 22 wins in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and 15 wins in the ARCA Menards Series and the K&N Pro Series (now ARCA Menards Series East and West) ranks. 

PUSHING TO THE PLAYOFFS: While the playoffs don’t start for another week, all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers are locked into the 16-driver field. This is the fifth season - and second in a row - that the Rick Hendrick-owned squad has had four drivers make the postseason. Its mark of 15 seasons with at least three drivers in the playoffs, and 17 straight seasons with at least two drivers in it, are both the most among all organizations.

LEADING THE WAY: With nine wins through 25 NASCAR Cup Series races in 2022, Hendrick Motorsports has earned the most victories so far this season. It is the only four-car team to see all of its drivers win a race this season. The organization is the only one to have multiple drivers with at least two wins – Chase Elliott (four), Kyle Larson (two) and William Byron (two). On top of that, the 1,624 laps out front lead all teams in the series by 74 circuits. Elliott and Byron rank 1-2 in laps led this year. 

THREE’S NOT A CROWD: For the fifth time in team history, the company has had three drivers with multiple wins in the same season – the most for any one organization out of the 12 times it has happened in Cup Series history. The other occurrences for Hendrick Motorsports were in 2005 (with Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson), 2012 (with Gordon, Johnson and Kasey Kahne), 2014 (with Gordon, Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.) and 2021 (with Elliott, Larson and Alex Bowman).

FINE NINE: Larson’s win at Watkins Glen International gives the 14-time Cup Series championship organization its 16th season with at least nine wins. That mark is the most by three seasons for a Cup Series team. This is the ninth time since 1995 that the team has at least nine wins through the first 25 races of the season.

QUALIFYING QUICKNESS: With 22 poles at Daytona International Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports has twice as many poles at the "World Center of Racing” as any other team. The Concord, North Carolina-based team has won the pole for nine of the last 11 Daytona races. All four drivers in the current lineup have earned a pole position at the 2.5-mile track. 

V FOR VICTORY: The organization is tied for the most wins at Daytona with 15 - eight in the DAYTONA 500 and seven in the 400-mile summer race. Those 15 wins have come with seven different drivers - which is also tied for the most drivers on one team to win at the Florida venue. Gordon’s six wins top the board, followed by Johnson with three victories and Earnhardt Jr. at two triumphs. Byron, Geoff Bodine, Tim Richmond and Darrell Waltrip each have one win. 

 
 
 

QUOTABLE /

 

Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on how the team attacks Daytona International Speedway with so many points and playoff implications: "It’ll be interesting. It’ll be a wild race – maybe not in the first two stages – but definitely in the last stage when drivers will be going for it. In our case, there are four or five of us close to second place in points. The No. 5 team can’t forget about that. We need to go chase points to try and stay up front all race long to finish second in regular season points and get those 10 extra bonus points. Our goal will be to get to the finish and beat those guys behind us in points."

Cliff Daniels, crew chief of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on earning points Saturday night to possibly secure second in the regular season standings: "We certainly want to get all the points we can and we’ll try to be smart in the first two stages to be in position to get points. It’s really going to be about staying clean. A lot of guys are going to try to get that win to get themselves in the playoffs. We need to be smart about positioning ourselves in the field and hopefully call a good strategy. Would be nice to have a good finish and good points in all the stages to just get what we can."
 



Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on what the feeling is as the team prepares to run for another championship: "The feeling is good, honestly. Our group, amongst our team, is just such low drama and we just put our work in, we go to the track, we give it our best effort and we go home. If it went good, great. If it didn’t, we’re going to try harder to do a better job when we go back. That’s really all you can control. So that’s really where our mindset is every week whether we’ve had a good year, a bad year, a mediocre year, a good month or a bad month, coming off a win or a loss. That is something about our team. I’m super privileged to have a group of guys that have their priorities so straight that performance (is what matters) and putting things first that need to go first ahead of things that don’t matter in order to be successful. I feel like our team is just solid and we look forward to going to battle with each other every weekend, and regardless of the result, we’re ready to re-rack and try harder to do better the next week."

Elliott on superspeedway racing: "When I sit back and I look at the plate races, yes there are a lot of things that need to go your way, but we see the same guys up front winning those races more times than not. To me, Ryan Blaney and Denny Hamlin are two guys that I see putting themselves in position to win those races as consistently as one can. I think that it’s just a balance that you really have to try to find and it’s one that I can’t say that I’ve really found quite as good as those guys to have odds as good as them. You’ve got to have a knack for it. You’ve got to enjoy it and embrace it. To me, that’s kind of step one of figuring it out is just embracing it. I feel like I’ve embraced it. I don’t know about the figuring it out part, but it’s been embraced."
 



William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on the last race before the playoffs: "I’m excited to get to Daytona (International Speedway) this weekend. This is the first year that we have been solidly locked into the playoffs with multiple wins, meaning there’s less stress heading into this race compared to normal. That doesn’t mean, though, that we are going to take it easy by any means. There’s still playoff points on the line this weekend, and with how much of a wild card Daytona can be, any extra points we can get before the first round (of the playoffs) gets underway, the better. Daytona is a track we’ve always been fast at, and we were for sure fast in the (DAYTONA) 500 earlier this year. We just need to do a good job of managing the details we can and put ourselves in position to battle for the win at the end and carry some good momentum into Darlington for the Round of 16."

Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on what he expects at Daytona: "The No. 24 team has always seemed to have speed at Daytona (International Speedway) in both last year’s car, the Next Gen car as well as the Hendrick Motorsports organization as a whole over the years. I feel like this weekend should be no different. We were fast in the DAYTONA 500 and could really make moves it seemed like. The main difference this time, though, is that it will be much warmer now then it was at that time. That means handling will play a bigger factor than it did in February. We won’t have any practice time but I feel like we have a good idea of what to expect. It will just be about adapting early on and putting ourselves in a position to be there at the end."
 



Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on making the playoffs for the fifth consecutive year with Hendrick Motorsports: "Obviously, I am excited to be back in the playoffs again. It’s no secret that we have had our struggles this summer, but I know we have a lot of smart people at the shop working really hard to get us out of the summer slump we have been in. Two years ago, we struggled to make the playoffs and then had one of the best playoff runs I have ever had. We all know what we are capable of. It’s time to go out there and execute and try to win Hendrick Motorsports’ 15th championship."

Greg Ives, crew chief of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on heading to Daytona: "Daytona (International Speedway) is a place that you can get caught in someone else’s mess pretty quickly. So for us it’s all about doing the fundamentals - bringing a fast No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and continue to work on the ability to be aggressive. I think you have to be a little aggressive at these speedway-style racetracks, be able to make moves quickly and have confidence in the car in order to have success. We are going to continue to work hard and execute on Saturday."

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