Hendrick Motorsports Media Advance: Miami

HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY (1.5-MILE OVAL)
LOCATION: HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACE 12 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 3:30 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, JUNE 14 (FOX/MRN/SIRIUSXM)


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Chase Elliott
No. 9 Hooters Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
Driver Chase Elliott Hometown Dawsonville, Georgia
Age 24 Resides Dawsonville, Georgia

CarParts.com
American Muscle

2020 Season
3rd in standings
11 starts
1 win
1 pole position
5 top-five finishes
7 top-10 finishes
395 laps led

Career
160 starts
7 wins
9 pole positions
49 top-five finishes
81 top-10 finishes
2,239 laps led

Track Career
4 starts
0 wins
0 pole positions
1 top-five finish
2 top-10 finishes
0 laps led

MIAMI MAKES 50: Chase Elliott will make his 50th start on a 1.5-mile track on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In his previous 49 races, he has led 590 laps and most recently scored his second career 1.5-mile track win at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 28. Along with two victories, Elliott has collected 17 top-five finishes – four of which are runner-up results – and 27 top-10s on 1.5-milers.

SHOWING THE WAY: Through 11 races in 2020, Elliott has racked up some impressive numbers. The driver of the No. 9 Hooters Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE sits third in the 2020 NASCAR Cup standings and has the top average running position in the series at 6.8. He has posted one win and seven top-10 finishes, which are both tied for his most through 11 races in a season. Elliott’s five top-five finishes, 395 laps led and five stage wins are all personal records through 11 events.

CHASING CHASE: The No. 9 Chevrolet has been a familiar sight at the front of the field in 2020. Elliott has led laps in nine of 11 NASCAR Cup Series events this season, tying him with Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano for the most races led. Elliott has led laps in each of the last six events, matching Logano for the longest active streak. If he leads at least one lap on Sunday at Homestead, Elliott will tie his career best of seven consecutive races led.

TOP-TENNING 1.0: Homestead-Miami Speedway is one of eight NASCAR Cup Series racetracks where Elliott averages a top-10 finish. In four career starts there, the 24-year-old driver has an average result of 9.5, which is second all-time behind Kevin Harvick. Elliott has never finished worse than 15th at the venue.

TOP-TENNING 2.0: Elliott has posted three consecutive top-10 finishes at 1.5-mile tracks, which is tied for the third-longest current streak in the NASCAR Cup Series and the second-longest ever for the fifth-year driver. In addition to his May 28 win on the Charlotte Motor Speedway oval, the Dawsonville, Georgia, native finished second at Charlotte on May 24 and eighth at his home track of Atlanta Motor Speedway on June 7. Across 2017 and 2018, he posted a personal record of seven straight top-10s at 1.5-mile tracks.

PAPERCLIP REWIND: Elliott and the No. 9 team ran inside the top 10 all race at Martinsville Speedway en route to a fifth-place finish on Wednesday night. It was his his fifth top-five result of the season – a career best through 11 events.

GUSTAFSON AT HOMESTEAD: This weekend, No. 9 team crew chief Alan Gustafson will call his 16th Homestead-Miami Speedway race from atop the pit box. In his previous 15 events at the venue, Gustafson has collected one win (2012 with Jeff Gordon), three top-five finishes, seven top-10s and 220 laps led. The Ormond Beach, Florida, native also started from the pole position in 2014 with Gordon.

WELCOME BACK, HOOTERS: This weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Hooters will make its 2020 season debut on the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE with the “Night Owl” paint scheme. The black and orange design was selected over three other options in an open fan vote on Hooters.com. A casual dining establishment with a deep history in NASCAR, the Atlanta-based company will be a three-race primary sponsor of the No. 9 team this year. Elliott will also pilot the No. 9 Hooters Chevrolet later this season at Daytona International Speedway and in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs at Texas Motor Speedway.

WCWYW IS BACK: For the fourth year, Hooters’ “When Chase Wins, You Win” promotion has returned. Hooters will give fans 10 free boneless wings with the purchase of any 10 wings any time Elliott wins a Cup Series race. In addition, if he finishes in the top 10, fans can receive one free order of fried pickles with a beverage purchase. All promotions will be eligible the Monday after a race at participating Hooters locations when guests mention the deal to their server. For more information, visit hooters.com/racing.

DOING THE DOUBLE: In addition to piloting the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE in the Cup Series, Elliott will compete in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race in the No. 24 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet for GMS Racing on Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Elliott has piloted the No. 24 Silverado twice in 2020: on May 26 at Charlotte, where he led 47 laps and won, and on June 6 at Atlanta, where he was running in the top five when he had a tire go down, relegating him to a 21st-place finish.

DESI9N TO DRIVE: As part of the Chase Elliott Foundation’s fourth annual “DESI9N TO DRIVE” art collaboration with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Elliott and his three Hendrick Motorsports teammates wore patient-designed racing shoes during the race last weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. All four pairs of shoes have been autographed and are currently being auctioned at the NASCAR Foundation online auction site with proceeds benefiting the hospital’s summer camp program. The auction ends on Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET. In addition, the Chase Elliott Foundation will match the proceeds from the “DESI9N TO DRIVE” program and make a separate donation to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s COVID-19 fund that helps provide support, supplies and equipment for its most fragile patients and frontline workers.

BEHIND THE 9: Gustafson is trying his hand as a host in a new Hendrick Motorsports video series called “Behind the 9” in which he interviews each member of the No. 9 crew. Fans can learn about where they came from and the role they serve on the team, with each bringing a unique personality and skillset. Episodes are released every Tuesday on the Hendrick Motorsports Facebook page and YouTube channel. The most recent episode features engine tuner Tony Bove.


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William Byron
No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
Driver William Byron Hometown Charlotte, North Carolina
Age 22 Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2020 Season
16th in standings
11 starts
0 wins
0 pole positions
0 top-five finishes
3 top-10 finishes
15 laps led

Career
83 starts
0 wins
5 pole positions
5 top-five finishes
20 top-10 finishes
309 laps led

Track Career
2 starts
0 wins
0 pole positions
0 top-five finishes
0 top-10 finishes
0 laps led

BUILDING MOMENTUM: Recent results have bolstered William Byron and the No. 24 Axalta team. In the last four NASCAR Cup Series races, the third-year driver has earned two top-10 results and posted an average finish of 15.25 – an improvement of 6.75 positions over the first seven events of the 2020 season.

MANAGING MARTINSVILLE: After starting 15th Wednesday for the first NASCAR Cup Series night race at Martinsville Speedway, Byron wasted no time marching his way into the top five. An uncontrolled tire penalty before the final stage forced him to go through the field again, but the 22-year-old driver pushed back inside the top 10 to post an eighth-place finish and match his best result of 2020.

HEADING TO HOMESTEAD: With two previous Cup Series races under his belt at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Byron is hoping his past success will be a factor this Sunday. In both of his Cup starts, the driver of the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE was running solidly in the top 10 but a flat tire in 2018 and a mechanical issue last year left him with a best finish of 24th (2018). Byron has two other NASCAR national series races under his belt at the track: one in the Xfinity Series and one in the Truck Series. In 2017, he started sixth and went on to finish third, locking up the Xfinity Series championship in the process. In 2016, Byron started on the pole for the Truck Series race and led 31 laps en route to the win at the 1.5-mile venue.

HARD TO BEAT: If anyone knows how to get the job done at Homestead-Miami Speedway, it’s Chad Knaus. The No. 24 team crew chief clinched all seven of his NASCAR Cup Series championships at the season finale formerly held at the track. Since becoming a crew chief for Hendrick Motorsports in 2002, his teams have posted one win, two pole positions, five top-five finishes and 11 top-10s in 18 races there.

MIAMI HEAT: On Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the Axalta flames will hit the track on board Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE for the ninth time this season. Since NASCAR resumed last month, Byron has collected his best finishes of 2020 driving the iconic paint scheme – eighth place twice (Bristol and Martinsville). In 2020, Axalta is the 22-race majority partner of the No. 24 team. The company’s relationship with Hendrick Motorsports was recently extended, taking one of the most enduring partnerships in sports through 2027.


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Jimmie Johnson
No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
Driver Jimmie Johnson Hometown El Cajon, California
Age 44 Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2020 Season
11th in standings
11 starts
0 wins
0 pole positions
2 top-five finishes
6 top-10 finishes
98 laps led

Career
662 starts
83 wins
36 pole positions
229 top-five finishes
370 top-10 finishes
18,932 laps led

Track Career
19 starts
1 win
2 pole positions
5 top-five finishes
11 top-10 finishes
102 laps led

JJ’S HOUSE: Jimmie Johnson started 21st Wednesday night at Martinsville Speedway and powered his way to a stage win and a top-10 finish. The driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE led 70 laps, giving him nearly 3,000 for his career at the half-mile track. He won the race’s second stage and closed the mid-week event in 10th – his 25th career top-10 finish at Martinsville.

HOMESTEAD HISTORY: Going into his final career race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, Johnson is looking for one more highlight at a track where he’s already made history. The 44-year-old driver has clinched each of his seven championships there, including an unprecedented five consecutive from 2006-2010. In 2016, he won Homestead in dramatic fashion to clinch his historic seventh title, which tied legends Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty for the all-time record.

THE 1.5-MILE MAN: Johnson is the GOAT on 1.5-mile racetracks with a record 28 Cup Series victories. His career total is 11 more than former Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon and current competitor Kevin Harvick, who are tied for second with 17 all-time wins.

ABOVE AVERAGE: Johnson’s 2020 average running position is nearly twice as good as his current place in the points. The seven-time champion sits 11th in the NASCAR Cup Series standings, but his average running position of 10.9 is sixth-best overall.

TUNNEL VISION: As NASCAR descends upon Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend, there will be a noticeable tribute to Johnson. The turn three tunnel, which is located off of Palm Drive in Homestead and happens to be the southernmost tunnel in the continental United States, will be permanently renamed “Jimmie Johnson’s Southernmost Tunnel.” The artwork on the tunnel entrance will feature an image of Johnson and his seven NASCAR Cup Series trophies as well as his car number, 48.


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Alex Bowman
No. 88 LLumar Window Films Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE ​
Driver Alex Bowman Hometown Tucson, Arizona
Age 27 Resides Concord, North Carolina

2020 Season
7th in standings
11 starts
1 win
0 pole positions
2 top-five finishes
3 top-10 finishes
369 laps led

Career
164 starts
2 wins
2 pole positions
12 top-five finishes
29 top-10 finishes
843 laps led

Track Career
5 starts
0 wins
0 pole positions
0 top-five finishes
1 top-10 finish
0 laps led

GOOD, BETTER, BEST: Alex Bowman earned a sixth-place finish Wednesday night at Martinsville Speedway, marking the fourth time in 2020 he has recorded a new personal-best finish at a track. This season, he has also set new high marks at Auto Club Speedway, Darlington Raceway and Atlanta Motor Speedway.

DO IT AGAIN: On Sunday, Bowman will try for another career-best finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Last season, the Tucson, Arizona, native posted a ninth-place result at the 1.5-mile track, which was a new personal record there.

CAREER YEAR: After 11 races, Bowman has already captured one win (Auto Club Speedway) and secured his third playoff berth in three full seasons with Hendrick Motorsports. His 369 laps led in 2020 represent a personal full-season best and rank fourth among all drivers. He is currently seventh in the NASCAR Cup Series standings and his average running position of 11.3 ranks seventh. The driver of the No. 88 LLumar Window Films Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE has also captured four stage wins this year – second only to teammate Chase Elliott.

IVES AT HOMESTEAD: For the sixth time in his NASCAR Cup Series crew chief career, Greg Ives will call the shots for the No. 88 team this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Bark River, Michigan, native’s best finish at the track came last season when the team crossed the line in ninth after qualifying 12th. The crew chief’s resumé includes two starts in the Xfinity Series at the 1.5-mile venue, where his best finish of 17th came in 2014 with Elliott. From 2006-12, Ives was a race engineer for the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team. During that time, he was a part of two pole awards, two top-five results and four top-10s.

LLUMAR IS BACK:  Eastman Performance Films LLC joined Hendrick Motorsports in 2018 as a primary sponsor of Bowman and the No. 88 team. The sponsorship will feature the LLumar brand of window film and paint protection film on board Bowman’s Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE for three NASCAR Cup Series races this season, with this weekend’s event at Homestead-Miami Speedway being the second in 2020. The red, yellow, white and orange paint scheme will be on track later this year at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In February, Hendrick Motorsports and LLumar unveiled the 2020 scheme that will run on track this season.

GOOD DISCOUNTS: During the month of June, No. 88 team sponsor ChevyGoods.com is providing discounts on all accessories, including Adam’s Polishes, NOCO and Truck Hero. Customers can receive 10% off MSRP with purchases of $100-$249 (offer code “GET10”), 15% off with purchases of $250-$499 (code “GET15”), and 20% off with purchases of more than $500 (code “GET20”). Free ground shipping is also available with offer code “FREESHIP.”


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Hendrick Motorsports

WINNING STAGES: With Jimmie Johnson’s stage win on Wednesday night at Martinsville Speedway, a Hendrick Motorsports driver has won 11 of the 23 NASCAR Cup Series stages in 2020. Chase Elliott leads the series with five stage wins, followed by teammate Alex Bowman with four. Johnson and William Byron each have one. Hendrick Motorsports’ 11 stage wins is nearly twice the total of Team Penske, which is second overall with six this season.

FOUR MORE: In Wednesday night’s primetime NASCAR Cup Series race, Hendrick Motorsports placed four of its Chevrolets inside the top 10 at Martinsville Speedway for a record-extending fifth time. No other team has put four cars in the top 10 more than once at the Virginia short track.

LUCKY NUMBERS: On Sunday, Homestead-Miami Speedway will host the 12th points-paying NASCAR Cup Series race of 2020. Hendrick Motorsports has won the 12th event of the year both times it’s been held on June 14. Tim Richmond triumphed at Pocono Raceway on June 14, 1987, for Hendrick Motorsports’ 13th Cup win, and Mark Martin went to victory lane at Michigan International Speedway on June 14, 2009, to deliver the organization’s 181st win in the series.

ON THIS DATE: Richmond’s Pocono win on June 14, 1987, gave the driver his third consecutive win at the track and made it the first venue where Hendrick Motorsports won three straight times.

A GOOD DAY: Hendrick Motorsports has won the 12th race of the NASCAR Cup Series season a record eight times with five different drivers. Wood Brothers Racing is second with five wins in the season’s 12th event.

STREAKING MIAMI: Hendrick Motorsports has placed at least one of its Chevrolets inside the top 10 in 20 of the 21 NASCAR Cup Series events hosted by Homestead-Miami Speedway including the last 18 in a row. The second-longest active streak is nine straight by Joe Gibbs Racing. The last time Hendrick Motorsports did not post a top-10 result at Homestead was 2001 when Terry Labonte was the team’s top finisher in 11th place. Hendrick Motorsports is currently riding a streak of 10 consecutive Cup races with at least one top-10 result dating back to Feb. 23 at Las Vegas, which is the longest active streak.

GOING FOR 61: Hendrick Motorsports has won an all-time record 60 NASCAR Cup Series races on 1.5-mile tracks, which is 10 more than second-place Joe Gibbs Racing.

APPROACHING 16K: On 1.5-mile tracks, Hendrick Motorsports has led a record 15,787 laps in Cup Series competition, which is over 2,300 laps more than any other team.

AND 70K: Hendrick Motorsports is nearing another major milestone: 70,000 laps led in the NASCAR Cup Series. Its 69,766 laps led is the all-time record and nearly 10,000 more than any other team. In 2020, Hendrick Motorsports has led 877 laps.

ORGANIZATION STATS: Since its inception in 1984, Hendrick Motorsports has totals of 12 championships, 258 race victories, 226 pole positions, 1,080 top-five finishes and 1,858 top-10s in points-paying NASCAR Cup Series competition. Its teams have led nearly 70,000 laps, which is the all-time record. Including 2020, the organization has won at least one race in 35 consecutive seasons, the longest-ever streak. Hendrick Motorsports is 10 wins away from tying Petty Enterprises’ all-time Cup Series record of 268.


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QUOTABLE /
Driver Chase Elliott on racing at Homestead:
“I am looking forward to getting down to Homestead this weekend. It will be interesting to see how different the handling of our cars are at the track in the summertime. This will be our first race of the season with Hooters so I hope we can put on a good show for them and be in contention throughout the day.”

Crew chief Alan Gustafson on his team’s positive outlook for Homestead:
“We are excited about Homestead. The strategy is to go down there and win. Our Chevrolet Camaros have been really good on the intermediate tracks, and we have been good on tracks that lack some grip. Homestead is kind of a worn-out surface, and it’s a place with Chase that we haven’t unlocked our full potential. We haven’t really figured out exactly what we need down there, but I feel like we are closing in on it. With the performance of our cars and everybody working together we will have a good opportunity to go there and potentially win or compete to win. We’re looking forward to having a good race.”

Driver William Byron on racing Homestead in June instead of November:
“It’s going to be different to be running at Homestead in the summer versus the last race of the year for sure. I think the top groove is going to be even more dominant probably than it usually is. It’s a racetrack that the preferred line usually migrates up towards the wall where there’s more banking up there. Plus, the wall helps you turn some. I plan on running right against the wall. I’m interested to see if that’s the case though when we get racing. I think I move around and search less for a line at Homestead than a lot of other race tracks we race at. You still have to move around, though, to find that line that works best for your car’s handling and find grip. I just think it’s a track that no matter what, as a driver you know you need to make speed against the wall. I think with when we’re racing, finding that line early on is going to be critical for this year’s race though.”

Driver Jimmie Johnson on going to Homestead for a final time:
“It will be bittersweet going to Homestead for the last time this season – and not having the pit in my stomach that usually you have when you go down there in the hunt for the championship. I have so many incredible special memories that I will never forget. It’s a special place, and I really hope I can take a minute when I get there to reflect on that.”

Johnson on his performance at Martinsville:
“All in all, Martinsville was a strong race for us. Not near the result we wanted but it was encouraging. My pit crew was on fire. They gained with every stop and Cliff (Daniels) and the guys made good adjustments. We just didn’t keep up with the track.”

Driver Alex Bowman on the strength of the No. 88 team:
“Getting back to an intermediate track should be good for this No. 88 team. We have a really strong intermediate program and it has been providing good results so far this season. Miami is a track where you can typically run the wall. It will be a quick turnaround from Martinsville, but everyone back at Hendrick Motorsports has been working hard to get these Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE race cars set up and ready to go before the next event.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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