Wednesday, Dec 06

Hendrick Motorsports Media Advance: Nashville




Age: 30 (July 31, 1992)


Hometown: Elk Grove, California


Resides: Mooresville, North Carolina


Crew Chief: Cliff Daniels


Standings: 10th

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No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


HEADS CAROLINA, TAILS CALIFORNIA: In the most recent NASCAR weekend, Kyle Larson ran double duty at his home premier series track, Sonoma Raceway. The Elk Grove, California, native drove Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 17 Chevrolet during the inaugural NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the 1.99-mile long Northern California road course. Larson dominated the field in practice, earned the pole position during qualifying, won stages one and two before finishing third. In the NASCAR Cup Series race, the No. 5 Valvoline driver was at the top of the board in practice. Larson started 16th for Sunday’s race and gained eight positions during the 218.9-mile-long race, finishing in eighth place.

DIRT ON MY BOOTS: Pacing the field for 264 circuits, Larson has led the most laps in the two Ally 400 races at Nashville Superspeedway. This is more than double that of the second-place competitor with only 114 laps led. He has also run the most laps in the top five at the 1.33-mile oval (361). Larson holds the best average finish (2.5) and is one of only two drivers to finish in the top five during both races (first in 2021 and fourth in 2022). This year's Nashville event comes after the Cup Series off weekend and in the past, the 30-year-old driver has had no problem swinging back into full gear. In August 2021, following a two-week break for the circuit, Larson won the premier series race at Watkins Glen International. 

FAST CAR: The 2021 Cup Series champion has led 588 laps in 2023 - in all of 2022, he only led 635. He trails only teammate William Byron (717) in this stat and has 154 more laps led than the third-place competitor. Larson ranks third for the most laps run in the top five this season (1,722) and the most laps run in the top 10 (2,631).

CHASIN’ YOU: The two-time points race winner in 2023 has the second-most top-five finishes this season (six), just behind teammate Byron (seven). With five wins in the Next Gen car, Larson is in a four-way tie along with teammates Byron and Chase Elliott for the most wins to date in the current generation stock car. 

WAGON WHEEL: The No. 5 pit crew has the second-fastest average four-tire pit stop time in 2023 at 11.070 seconds. They shaved 0.018 seconds off their average during the race at Sonoma. The team’s five-man pit crew consists of Blaine Anderson (front-tire changer), R.J. Barnette (tire carrier), Brandon Harder (fueler), Brandon Johnson (jackman) and Calvin Teague (rear-tire changer). Anderson and Barnette are featured in “4 Tires and Fuel: Pit Crew Challenge” that premiered on Wednesday, June 21st, on RacingAmerica.TV, their FAST channels and MAVTV. Learn more about the episode here.

RECORD YEAR: Larson is the only NASCAR driver nominated for the "Best Driver" award in the 2023 ESPYS. Following the No. 5 driver’s championship winning "record year" in 2021, Larson was nominated for the "Best Driver" honor at the 2022 ESPYS and won. Other 2023 nominees include Brittany Force (NHRA), Josef Newgarden (IndyCar) and Max Verstappen (F1). Fans can vote for Larson here and tune in on Wednesday, July 12, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC to see who takes home the hardware.

DIRT: In addition to the Cup Series race at Nashville, Larson will also compete in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series event at Huset’s Speedway from Wednesday, June 21, to Saturday, June 24. He won the opening night feature at the Brandon, South Dakota, track.

MY KINDA PARTY: Special edition home race hats are back! This weekend marks the eighth “home” race weekend for the No. 5 team. For every home race this season (15 total), there will be an exclusive hat that is only available for sale on the trackside merchandise haulers, or available to win on Less than 100 of each limited-edition hat will be made available to the public. This week’s Nashville themed hat will be released Thursday, June 22, and can be found here.

GET YOUR SHINE ON: The Nashville market is home to three Hendrick Automotive Group dealerships. Customers can shop at three different showrooms with Darrell Waltrip’s name on them or at one of Hendrick Automotive Group’s other 92 dealerships nationwide. In shopping from the convenience of their home, consumers 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




Age: 27 (Nov. 28, 1995)


Hometown: Dawsonville, Georgia


Resides: Dawsonville, Georgia


Crew Chief: Alan Gustafson


Standings: 27th

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No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media at the Nashville Superspeedway media center on Friday, June 23, at 4:15 p.m. local time.

: Chase Elliott heads to Nashville Superspeedway as the defending winner of the NASCAR Cup Series race at the 1.33-mile oval. Last June, the Dawsonville, Georgia, native led the final 39 laps of the race to earn his second win of the 2022 season. It started a string of five consecutive top-two finishes, which included three total victories (Nashville, Atlanta Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway).  

WOKE UP IN NASHVILLE: This Sunday, Elliott will make his third Nashville Cup Series start. Across his first two races in Music City, the 2020 Cup Series champion combined to lead 55 laps – fifth-most in the series – and captured the win last year. While 2022 marked his first win at this concrete track, Elliott was also victorious in Music City early in his racing career, winning the 2013 All-American 400 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway when he was just 17 years old. 

EVERY MILE A MEMORY: In 52 starts on tracks measuring 1- to 1.37-miles in length, Elliott has four wins – Dover Motor Speedway (2018 and 2022), Phoenix Raceway (2020) and Nashville (2022). Accompanying those victories are 21 top-five finishes, 27 top-10s, two poles and 1,245 laps led.  

FAST AS YOU: Before the series took its only off weekend of the season, Cup Series drivers raced the 1.99-mile road course of Sonoma Raceway on Sunday, June 11. Elliott qualified 10th for the 110-lap race and led twice for a total of seven laps on the day. It marked the fourth consecutive race that he paced the field at the Napa Valley track and his third straight finish of eighth or better there. Coming back from the break, the Hendrick Motorsports driver is looking to earn his first win of the season. He’s made it happen twice after an off weekend in his Cup career, taking home the trophy at Talladega Superspeedway in 2019 and at Nashville last season. 

THE RACE IS ON: Elliott currently sits 27th in the Cup Series point standings, 84 markers outside of the provisional cutline for a playoff spot. He improved 14 points on the bubble at Sonoma and needs to average a gain of nine points per race in the final 10 points events of the regular season in order to advance to the playoffs on points.  

BELIEVE: While pointing his way in isn’t impossible, the surefire way for the 2020 Cup Series champion to lock himself into the playoffs is with a victory. The tracks coming up have paved success in the past for Elliott. The 27-year-old driver has earned five of his 18 career Cup wins across four of the 10 tracks left in the regular season (Nashville, Atlanta, Pocono and Watkins Glen International). At four of the other tracks, Elliott has nearly taken home the hardware. He’s been the runner-up finisher at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Richmond Raceway, Michigan International Speedway (three times) and Daytona International Speedway (twice). 

IN CASE YOU DIDN’T KNOW: NAPA Auto Parts is back on board the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 this weekend at Nashville. The Atlanta-based company was also the primary sponsor for Elliott and No. 9 team’s win at the Tennessee track last year. In fact, the long-time Hendrick Motorsports partner’s livery has adorned Elliott’s Chevrolet in 13 of his 18 career Cup Series victories. 

THE GOOD STUFF: On Wednesday morning, it was announced that Eastman Performance Films, LLC, a subsidiary of Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE: EMN), extended its sponsorship of Hendrick Motorsports, Elliott and the No. 9 team for three additional seasons. The sponsorship, which features the LLumar® brand of window film and paint protection film, will run through 2026. LLumar will be a primary sponsor of Elliott for two races each season and a major associate sponsor in all other Cup Series events. As part of the extension, LLumar will be the primary sponsor on the No. 9 Chevrolet for two additional races this season: the Aug. 26 regular season finale at Daytona and the Oct. 1 event at Talladega, where Elliott is the defending race winner. LLumar will also be the primary sponsor at the Oct. 15 Las Vegas Motor Speedway race as previously announced. To learn about the extension, click here.




Age: 25 (Nov. 29, 1997)


Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina


Resides: Charlotte, North Carolina


Crew Chief: Rudy Fugle


Standings: 2nd

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No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW?: Past the halfway mark in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series regular season, William Byron and the No. 24 team are making sure that they remain front runners. In 16 races, Byron is setting the pace in several statistical categories: laps led (717), top-five finishes (seven), stage wins (seven), average running position (8.60) and most laps run in the top five (2,250). He is also tied for the most wins (three), poles (two) and top-10 finishes (nine). The Charlotte, North Carolina, native has already surpassed his total of top-five finishes from last year (five) and is close to setting a new season-best mark in laps led (746 in 2022). 

RHINESTONE COWBOY: Byron has gotten off to a hot start this season collecting three wins – the most in a single Cup season for the 25-year-old driver. In fact, he now has five wins in the Next Gen car – tied for the most with three other drivers including Hendrick Motorsports teammates Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott. He also has collected six wins since the start of 2021, which has him tied for the third-most behind Larson (15 wins) and Elliott (seven wins).

I WALK THE LINE: This Sunday’s race at Nashville Superspeedway will mark Byron’s 40th start on tracks 1- to 1.37-miles in length (Dover Motor Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Nashville, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Phoenix Raceway and WWT Raceway). In his previous 39 starts, he has collected two wins (Phoenix and Darlington in 2023), eight top-five finishes, 16 top-10s, one pole award with 426 laps led. 

THE NASHVILLE SCENE: With two Cup Series starts at Nashville, Byron’s best showing came in 2021 when he qualified fourth and raced to a third-place finish. He also has one other national series start at the 1.33-mile oval, also coming in 2021, in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series where he qualified 10th and was running up front before suffering a mechanical issue just past halfway.

STAND BY YOUR MAN: Crew chief Rudy Fugle has two Cup Series starts under his belt at Nashville, both coming with Byron and the No. 24 team. His best result came in 2021, with a third-place finish. Aside from his two Cup Series starts, the Livonia, New York, native has three other starts at Nashville. Two of those came in 2010 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, where he recorded one top-10 finish and two top-15s.

BOOT SCOOTIN’ BOOGIE: After 16 races in the 2023 season, the No. 24 pit crew holds the fastest average four-tire pit stop time of 10.913 seconds. The No. 24 pit crew consists of Spencer Bishop (jackman), Jeff Cordero (front-tire changer), Orane Ossowski (rear-tire changer), Ryan Patton (tire carrier) and Landon Walker (fueler). The team also had its three fastest four-tire pit stops of the season in last month's 600-mile event at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which rank fourth (9.383 seconds), sixth (9.504 seconds) and eighth (9.541 seconds) – fastest among all four-tire stops this season. 

THAT’S WHAT I LOVE ABOUT SUNDAY: After running a patriotic scheme for the Coca-Cola 600, Liberty University’s traditional scheme will be back on Byron’s No. 24 at Nashville. Featuring a white base with navy flames and red accents, the Liberty University No. 24 Chevy will be sure to stand out on track. Liberty University has a long history with Byron starting back in 2014 in the late model ranks. Liberty University has been Training Champions for Christ since it was founded in 1971. Located in the mountains of Central Virginia, Liberty University is a liberal arts institution with 17 colleges and schools that offers more than 600 degree programs from the certificate to the doctoral level, on campus and online. Working on an undergraduate degree in strategic communication, Byron is now in his junior year at Liberty University through its online program. For a better look at Byron’s Liberty University paint scheme, click here.


48 Alex Bowman


Age: 30 (April 25, 1993)


Hometown: Tucson, Arizona


Resides: Concord, North Carolina


Crew Chief: Blake Harris


Standings: 16th

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No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


UP DOWN: With 10 races left in the NASCAR Cup Series regular season, Alex Bowman is currently 16th in points. He holds the final provisional playoff position by three points, despite missing three points-paying races due to a broken vertebra sustained in a sprint car accident on April 25. Bowman has tallied three top-five finishes, six top-10s and the DAYTONA 500 pole position. 

I LIKE IT, I LOVE IT: Bowman has found success at concrete tracks in the Cup Series. In his last eight appearances combined at tracks with that surface (Bristol Motor Speedway, Dover Motor Speedway and Nashville Superspeedway), he has notched a win and four top-five finishes. 

WHEN THE LIGHTS COMES ON: During the 2023 Cup Series season, the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will adorn two versions of its primary scheme. This weekend, the No. 48 Ally Chevy will feature the "night" scheme for the third time this season. The black-based "night" scheme sports plum and grapefruit stripes down the side with the sponsor in white lettering and the number in seafoam. The Nashville paint scheme also features the Ally 400 race logo on the deck lid. The No. 48 Ally Chevy “day” scheme hosts a white base with a similar design to its nighttime counterpart. Check out all the angles of the new look here.

HUMBLE AND KIND: Earlier this month, Ally, Bowman and the No. 48 team spent the day in Nashville building 100 bikes for the Boys and Girls Club of Middle Tennessee. Approximately 100 boys and girls spent the afternoon playing games on pit road with the pit crew, engineers and Bowman before being surprised with a bike built by the No. 48 team and Ally volunteers.
LIKE MY DOG: Bowman and Ally have teamed up this year to bring back the Best Friends Animal Society donation effort. This week, the duo will make charitable contributions to True Rescue, which serves the local community in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. Bowman and Ally will donate $4,800 to Best Friends and True Rescue. Additionally, Ally will increase its donation to $10,000 if the No. 48 team wins. 

VISIT ME IN MUSIC CITY: Ally, who is the primary sponsor of the No. 48 Chevy and the title sponsor of the race in Nashville, Tennessee, will cash it all in with activations all weekend. Fans can come to Ole Red on Broadway to see the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 show car wrapped in the “night” scheme with its special deck lid. On Friday evening, fans also have the opportunity to be a part of the live recording of The Dale Jr. Download from Ole Red.




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HELL OF A VIEW: Hendrick Motorsports is just four points-paying victories away from 300 wins in the NASCAR Cup Series. Twenty drivers have combined to reach the organization’s current total of 296 wins, which is the most in the sport by any one team. With five wins this season, Hendrick Motorsports has posted its 36th multi-win season in the Cup Series, while maintaining its streak of at least two victories per season for the past 30 years. The organization has gone to victory lane at more racetracks (31) than any other active team. 

LIFE IS A HIGHWAY: In addition to nearing 300 wins, the storied organization is closing in on several other milestones. Entering this weekend, the team has 244 Cup Series poles and is just six away from 250. The Hendrick Motorsports engine department is at 494 national series wins and needs six more to reach 500. 

ROAR OF A SUNDAY CROWD: Since its inception in 1984, Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins after an off weekend in the Cup Series. The organization has 38 wins coming off a weekend of rest, surpassing the next closest mark by 11. Chase Elliott (2022, Nashville Superspeedway) and Kyle Larson (2021, Watkins Glen International) are the two most recent winners for the team after a break. 

FASTEST TEAM IN TOWN: The Rick Hendrick-owned organization is a perfect two-for-two in Cup Series races at Nashville's 1.33-mile track. In last year's race, which finished under the lights due to a weather delay, Elliott took the checkered flag. In 2021, Larson earned the victory as part of a 10-win campaign en route to that season's championship. The team has led 53% (319 of 600) of the laps run at the Tennessee track. Counting the last Cup Series race at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway won by Geoff Bodine in 1984, Hendrick Motorsports has been victorious in the last three premier series events held in the Music City.

WHAT A COINCIDENCE: In two of the last three races held on June 25, Hendrick Motorsports has been the winning team. Both occurrences came at Sonoma Raceway with Jeff Gordon driving to victory lane in 2000 and 2006, respectively. 

FOLLOW YOUR ARROW: In 2023, Hendrick Motorsports has led the most laps, with 1,402 circuits out front, which equates to 32.64% of the laps raced. The squad has led laps in all but one race this season (Atlanta Motor Speedway in March). WIlliam Byron (717) and Larson (588) rank one-two in that statistical category. 

SOMETHING LIKE THAT: In addition to the most laps led this season, the Concord, North Carolina-based team leads the series in the following categories: Wins (five), poles (five), top-five finishes (20), top-10s (30) and stage wins (10). The team's 10 stage wins account for nearly one-third (30.30%) of all stages run in the Cup Series in 2023.

WHEN THE STARS COME OUT: Of the four drivers with multiple wins this season, two of them belong to Hendrick Motorsports. Byron's three wins are tied for the most in the series, while Larson has two points-paying triumphs as well as an All-Star Race win. 




Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on racing at night at Nashville Superspeedway: "I think more night racing is better. It’s a better show for the fans. You get some sparks and stuff like that. It should be cooler at night too, so that will be good. I do love night racing."

Cliff Daniels, crew chief of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on how the team is preparing for the Nashville race: "We are certainly looking forward to going to Nashville (Superspeedway). Love going there. Love the track. It’s a super unique track. It’s concrete and both ends are a little bit different from each other, which adds character and is a little bit fun. We are certainly studying everything we can from recent intermediate races and our experience there last year to try to get it all right for this weekend. A lot of it is going to be about execution at the end. The race starts in the evening, so the sun will be out and then it will transition into nighttime, which is a little bit different of an aspect. I think it’s going to be fun and we are just trying to check all the right boxes."

Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on racing at Nashville: "Much like Dover (Motor Speedway) and the other concrete tracks, it’s very tough to get the balance right. It doesn’t feel as fast as a place like Dover. Nashville actually feels kind of slow, to me at least. The corners are sharper than similar track layouts we race at. That kind of stood out to me last year. I was like, ‘man, the corners are sharper than I remember them being,’ but we got that figured out."

Alan Gustafson, crew chief of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on heading back to Nashville after last year's win: "The tire is significantly different than our last visit. It changes a lot of the set-up philosophies and what you're trying to accomplish. I think for us, winning there obviously was great. We got DQ’d in the race the year before, so to go back and win and kind of vindicate ourselves was really nice. Unfortunately, I just don't think that with the tire change there's going to be a lot that carries over. I think it’s going to be – I don’t want to say starting over, that’s a bit dramatic – but certainly quite a bit different setup wise. Everybody will kind of be back on level ground trying to understand what this tire needs for the track. It's a great race. In the short time we’ve run there, it’s become one of the more marquee events. So, to have won there and get the guitar trophy is super cool."

William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on the team's goal for the rest of the regular season: "Obviously, Sonoma (Raceway) didn’t go the way we would have liked heading into the off weekend, but I also don’t think that one race defines where we are as a team. I’m glad to be going to Nashville (Superspeedway), a track that I feel like we can run really well at. With 10 races left in the regular season, the goal now is to gain as many points as possible to either secure the regular season championship or at least get ourselves the highest seeding we can for the playoffs. With the way we’ve been running this season, I think we have a good chance to do that."

Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on having a longer practice session this weekend: "Having a Friday practice gives us a good chance to try a thing or two that we normally wouldn’t have time to do. We can try different springs or different geometry that we haven’t run or been able to run before. It’s not a bunch of time to try a lot of things, but we’ll take that opportunity to make ourselves better. Nashville (Superspeedway) has always been kind of its own animal. The banking is similar to some other tracks, the corners are narrow and it’s concrete. When they put the resin down, it’s really a race-y track. I’m excited to get there and hopefully put on a good show, especially with it being a night race now."

Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on heading to the Ally 400 this weekend: "It is really cool to have Ally have such a big presence at Nashville (Superspeedway). I think that they go all in on everything they do and to have this race be such a big weekend is really neat. We flew in a couple of weeks ago and built bikes for the Boys and Girls Club of Middle Tennessee, so it goes to show that Ally is committed to making a difference in the sport of NASCAR. I think it is really cool that I get to help them build the sport I love."

Blake Harris, crew chief of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on heading to Nashville for the first time with the No. 48 team: "I think this weekend means a lot to me. Obviously, it is my first time at the Ally 400 with the No. 48 team and knowing how much Ally puts into this weekend, I want to do well for everyone at Ally and Hendrick Motorsports. Last year, we did okay with the No. 34 team and got a top-10 stage finish, but I think we are capable of doing better. Overall, I am excited to go and hoping to get Alex (Bowman) the guitar in victory lane."

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