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Hendrick Motorsports Media Advance: Richmond



No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS / Kasey Kahne
Driver Kasey Kahne   Hometown Enumclaw, Washington
Age 35                        Resides Mooresville, North Carolina
2015 Season

7th in standings
8 starts
0 wins
0 pole positions
1 top-five finish
3 top-10 finishes
35 laps led


404 starts
17 wins
26 pole positions
84 top-five finishes
149 top-10 finishes
4,576 laps led

Richmond Career

22 starts
1 win
1 pole position
4 top-five finishes
7 top-10 finishes
281 laps led

SEASON-TO-DATE: After the first eight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this season, Kasey Kahne currently ranks first in quality passes (698), second in average running position (9.232), second in fastest drivers on restarts (7.750 average rank), second in laps in top 15 (2,380), third in fastest speed in traffic (7.000 average rank), fifth in fastest drivers late in a run (6.857 average rank), sixth in fastest drivers early in a run (7.714 average rank), sixth in driver rating (97.7), seventh in green-flag speed (6.857 average rank) and eighth in fastest laps run (101).

FIRST CUP WIN: At Richmond in May 2005, Kahne earned his first career Sprint Cup Series win. After starting from the pole position, Kahne led a race-high 242 of 400 laps and took the checkered flag more than 1.6 seconds ahead of Tony Stewart. Kahne is one of three active drivers — and one of just 22 drivers all-time — who have won from the pole at Richmond in 117 Cup races. He has an average start of 12.9 at the 0.75-mile track.

RICHMOND LOOP DATA: According to NASCAR loop data during the last 20 Sprint Cup Series races at Richmond, Kahne ranks sixth in fastest laps run (358), seventh in green-flag passes (983), ninth in fastest drivers early in a run (118.690 mph), ninth in green-flag speed (116.060 mph), ninth in speed in traffic (115.586 mph) and 10th in fastest drivers late in a run (114.405 mph).

SHORT TRACK STATS: Kahne has collected two of his 17 career Cup wins and three of his 26 pole positions on short tracks. His most recent short-track win was at Bristol in March 2013. He has 12 top-five finishes and 21 top-10s in 68 starts on tracks less than one mile in length.

RICHMOND CHASSIS CHOICE: Crew chief Keith Rodden has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-897 for Saturday evening’s race at Richmond. Kahne raced with this chassis at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September 2014, where he finished 23rd.

GREAT CLIPS / STYLIST APPRECIATION DAY: Great Clips will adorn the hood of Kahne’s No. 5 Chevrolet SS this weekend at Richmond, and will showcase a special message on the TV panel for Stylist Appreciation Day, which is on April 30. Great Clips will be the primary sponsor on the car for seven more Sprint Cup Series races this year: Kansas Speedway (May 9), Michigan International Speedway (June 14), Sonoma Raceway (June 28), Daytona International Speedway (July 5), New Hampshire Motor Speedway (July 19), Chicagoland Speedway (Sept. 20) and Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 22).


No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS / Jeff Gordon
Driver Jeff Gordon   Hometown Pittsboro, Indiana
Age 43                      Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2015 Season

9th in standings
8 starts
0 wins
2 pole positions
1 top-five finish
5 top-10 finishes
114 laps led


769 starts
92 wins
79 pole positions
321 top-five finishes
459 top-10 finishes
24,778 laps led

Richmond Career

44 starts
2 wins
6 pole positions
18 top-five finishes
28 top-10 finishes
1,637 laps led

BRISTOL RECAP: On Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway, Jeff Gordon battled back from two laps down to finish third and post his first top-five finish of 2015.

FIVE TOP-10S IN LAST FIVE FOR GORDON: The driver of the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS is the only competitor to finish in the top 10 in each of the last five races. He has accumulated the most points during that streak to move from 30th up to ninth in the point standings.

ACTIVE LEADER AT RICHMOND: The 43-year-old Gordon leads active drivers in pole positions, top-five finishes, top-10s and laps led at Richmond International Raceway.

LAST 11 AT RIR: In the last 11 events at the three-quarter mile track, Gordon has finished in the top-three six times (55 percent).

KIDS AUTOGRAPH SESSION: Gordon is one of several NASCAR drivers scheduled to sign autographs for kids at 3 p.m. local time Saturday at Richmond International Raceway. For more information, please visit

RICHMOND TEST: On April 8, the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger team participated in a Goodyear tire test at Richmond International Raceway.

DRIVE TO END HUNGER AT RICHMOND: Gordon will drive the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS in this Saturday night’s race, and AARP’s “Real Possibilities” will again be featured on the car. AARP and its Foundation are helping to combat hunger by coordinating with local agencies and food banks and sponsoring innovative teaching programs and more. Thanks to these efforts, they have already donated more than 30 million meals. To learn more about Drive to End Hunger, please visit If you don’t think “Feeding the Hungry” when you think AARP, then you don’t know “aarp.”

RICHMOND CHASSIS: Crew chief Alan Gustafson has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 24-881 for this Sunday’s race. The chassis has been raced twice previously to a pair of 26th-place finishes at New Hampshire in 2014. During the July event, Gordon ran out of fuel while running third when the race ran past its scheduled distance. In September, he cut a tire and hit the wall in Turn 1 while running sixth with less than 10 laps to go.


No. 25 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS / Chase Elliott
Driver Chase Elliott   Hometown Dawsonville, Georgia
Age 19                      Resides Dawsonville, Georgia

ROUND NO. 2: Chase Elliott, at the age of 19 years old, will make his second career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start this Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 25 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS. Just as Elliott accomplished during his Cup debut at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, March 29, he will need to qualify his Chevy SS in order to make Saturday’s 43-car field. It will mark Elliott’s first NASCAR companion weekend, as he will float between garages this Friday to practice and qualify his NAPA Chevrolets.

TRIPLE-HEADER AGENDA: Elliott will kick things off Thursday, April 23, during the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at South Boston Speedway before arriving in Richmond, Virginia. Friday, April 24, will mark Elliott’s eighth XFINITY Series race of the 2015 season, as he looks to make up ground in the championship points standings. He is currently sitting third, just 12 points behind first place. To cap off an eventful week of racing, Elliott will look to compete in Saturday night’s Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond. NAPA AUTO PARTS will serve as primary sponsor on each of Elliott’s three Chevrolet race cars this week.

RICHMOND SUCCESS: Elliott is all too familiar with Richmond International Raceway. The 19-year-old Dawsonville, Georgia, native has completed 703 of 703 total laps run at the 0.75-mile oval in a total of four starts. Elliott competed in two K&N Pro Series East Starts between 2011 and 2012, finishing second in the 2012 race. In two starts last season at JR Motorsports in the XFINITY Series, Elliott had an average starting position of 3.5 with an average finishing position of second.

A DEDICATED NAPA KNOW HOW: NAPA AUTO PARTS will serve as Elliott’s primary sponsor on the No. 25 Chevrolet SS this Saturday and will continue to be his primary sponsor during his three remaining Cup races at Hendrick Motorsports in 2015 (Sunday, May 24, at Charlotte Motor Speedway; Sunday, July 26, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway; and Sunday, September 6, at Darlington Raceway).


No. 48 Lowe’s ProServices Chevrolet SS / Jimmie Johnson
Driver Jimmie Johnson   Hometown El Cajon, California
Age 39                             Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2015 Season

4th in standings
8 starts
2 wins
0 pole positions
4 top-five finishes
5 top-10 finishes
304 laps led


479 starts
72 wins
33 pole positions
197 top-five finishes
297 top-10 finishes
17,455 laps led

Richmond Career

26 starts
3 wins
2 pole positions
5 top-five finishes
9 top-10 finishes
417 laps led

BRISTOL IN THE REAR-VIEW: Jimmie Johnson had a wild night in Bristol. Battling from a 28th starting position and through multiple on-track incidents, Johnson recovered to record a second-place finish. It marked Johnson’s fourth top-five result of the season.

LOWE’S FOR PROS: Jimmie Johnson will race the No. 48 Lowe’s ProServices Chevrolet SS in this weekend’s race in Richmond. Lowe’s Commercial Services are designed to help customers save time and money and make their businesses run smoother. Stores across the country have a dedicated ProServices team ready to help by offering five percent off everyday purchases with a Lowe’s Business Credit Account, quick-turn, customizable quotes on volume purchases, providing an order ahead option and pulling materials for pick up, giving reduced delivery rates and offering bulk discounts on supplies used the most

RICHMOND STATS: Johnson has 26 starts at the 0.75-mile track in Richmond, and his most recent of three wins at Richmond came in September of 2008. Johnson has an average start of 12.1 and an average finish of 17.5 at the track. Johnson finished eighth last fall.

RICHMOND CHASSIS: For this weekend’s event, crew chief Chad Knaus has selected chassis No. 48-804, with which Johnson finished eighth at Richmond last fall. The backup car is 48-749, which last raced in Martinsville in the spring of 2014.

LOCAL TEAM MEMBER: Ryan Southall, a mechanic on Team 48, is from nearby Midlothian, Virginia. Southall has been a member of the team since 2014 and travels to the majority of race events.

TEAM JJF WELLNESS CHALLENGE: The first event of the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Wellness Challenge is Sunday, April 26, in Huntersville, North Carolina. The Jimmie Johnson 5K starts at 9 a.m. ET followed by a family fun walk/run at 10 a.m. at the Newell-Rubbermaid campus in Huntersville. Log on to for more details. Johnson will be available to the media covering the event post-race.

HELMET OF HOPE WINNERS ANNOUNCED APRIL 24: The five semi-finalist organizations that received the most votes will be announced on April 24. Each organization will receive a $25,000 cash grant, an ice cream party and its logo featured on Johnson’s helmet during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on June 7 at Pocono Raceway. To see which organization won, go to on April 24.


No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS / Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.   Hometown Kannapolis, North Carolina
Age 40                                Resides Mooresville, North Carolina

2015 Season

6th in standings
8 starts
0 wins
0 pole positions
4 top-five finishes
5 top-10 finishes
37 laps led


549 starts
23 wins
13 pole positions
131 top-five finishes
229 top-10 finishes
7,884 laps led

Richmond Career

31 starts
3 wins
1 pole position
9 top-five finishes
13 top-10 finishes
501 laps led

RICHMOND WINS: Among active competitors, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is one of four drivers ranked tied for second with three Cup victories at Richmond. Earnhardt most recently went to Victory Lane at Richmond on May 6, 2006, after leading 47 laps.

CHASSIS CHOICE: This weekend, crew chief Greg Ives will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-932. This is a brand new chassis that has not been raced.

DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Earnhardt ranks 12th in the driver rating category at Richmond with a score of 86.9 in the last 20 races. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The maximum a driver can earn in each race is 150 points. The driver rating number is used pre-race as a prediction tool and post-race as a performance evaluator.

TRACK TAKEOVER: Nationwide is proud to partner with Richmond to sponsor the popular Track Takeover, during which all ticket holders can put their feet on the pavement hours before the green flag waves. Fans in attendance can sign the start/finish line, have their photo taken with the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS show car and test their driving skills on Nationwide’s racing simulator. Earnhardt is scheduled to make an appearance at 4:15 pm ET on Saturday.


Hendrick Motorsports

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT RICHMOND: Richmond International Raceway is one of 10 tracks where Hendrick Motorsports has earned double-digit wins. The organization has recorded 10 wins, 17 pole positions, 53 top-five finishes and 94 top-10s at the Virginia track. Tim Richmond earned Hendrick Motorsports’ first win at Richmond in 1986, and Johnson most recently visited Victory Lane for the organization there in September 2008.

ORGANIZATION STATS: To date, Hendrick Motorsports has totals of 233 victories, 202 pole positions, 952 top-five finishes and 1,580 top-10 finishes in Sprint Cup competition. Its teams have led 64,331 laps since 1984.




“The No. 24 team went and did the team test at Richmond so we are looking forward to building on their success last year. There is a slight change to the right-side tires, so we will have to see how that plays out. Last fall, we were running from the apron to the wall searching for grip so we aren’t sure what to expect yet.”

No. 5 team crew chief Keith Rodden on racing at Richmond


“I thought the test a few weeks ago went well, but there are always things that we will work on and try to improve. This event always presents challenges since we practice during the day and race at night.”

Jeff Gordon on testing at Richmond


“I’ve been looking forward to Richmond for quite some time. We have to take this weekend step-by-step. First we need the weather to cooperate to be able to practice in order to qualify Friday night. So we’ll position ourselves the best we can in the situations we can control. I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity Mr. (Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick) Hendrick and his organization is giving me. And with NAPA AUTO PARTS’ support to make it a reality, it’s just awesome.”

Chase Elliott on his expectations at Richmond


“We first have to make the show. (Crew chief) Kenny (Francis) and all the guys have done a great job as they showed in Martinsville a few weeks back. This is a tough deal for a four-car team to bring an extra car to the racetrack; and especially the guys in the 5/24 shop, the chassis shop and the engine shop to build an extra car. That’s asking a lot out of an organization. For them to do it, and the way that they did it in Martinsville, I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the team. I just want to go out and do my part the best that I can this weekend in Richmond.”

Chase Elliott on his goals for the weekend


“We have struggled at Richmond as of late. Last fall our Lowe’s Chevy was decent and we got a top-10 out of it. For some reason, we haven’t been able to get a handle on it but hope the momentum we’ve had for the past few weeks will help. Richmond has been a source of frustration as of late. Tough little track – great racing for sure.”

Jimmie Johnson on racing at Richmond


“I enjoy racing at Richmond. You can be aggressive and the racing is fun. Everybody’s going to be hunting for the bottom line on Saturday. The guys that get through the middle, can keep that left-front working that line, are going to have good runs. I’m looking forward to getting to the track.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. on racing at Richmond

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


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