TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY (1.5-MILE OVAL)
LOCATION: FORT WORTH, TEXAS
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACE 34 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 3:30 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, OCT. 25 (NBCSN/PRN/SIRIUSXM)
No. 9 Hooters Give a Hoot Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
Driver Chase Elliott Hometown Dawsonville, Georgia
Age 24 Resides Dawsonville, Georgia
5th in standings
1 pole position
13 top-five finishes
20 top-10 finishes
858 laps led
9 pole positions
57 top-five finishes
94 top-10 finishes
2,702 laps led
0 pole positions
2 top-five finishes
5 top-10 finishes
44 laps led
Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Hooters Give a Hoot Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, will be available to members of the media via video conference on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 1:15 p.m. ET. Visit NASCARmedia.com for details.
THREE TO GO: As the series heads to the second race in the Round of 8 this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, Chase Elliott currently leads playoff drivers with the most points earned (286), stage points (89) and holds the best average running position (5.57) in the seven playoff races. He has also run the most laps in the top five (1,340) and in the top 10 (1,810) of all drivers. In those seven playoff races, the driver of the No. 9 has led laps in each race and holds the second-most laps led (328).
HOOTERS RETURNS: In September, Hooters unveiled the No. 9 Hooters Give a Hoot Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE that Elliott will pilot on Sunday at Texas. The special pink and black scheme promotes Hooters’ Give a Hoot campaign that supports the fight against breast cancer. It will be the final race of the season that Hooters will serve as the primary partner on the No. 9 Chevrolet. Most recently, Hooters adorned the Chevy at Daytona International Speedway where Elliott finished second.
2020 SEASON: With only three races remaining in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season, Elliott has picked up career bests in laps led (858), top-five finishes (13) and stage wins (nine). His three wins are tied for his most and his 20 top-10s are Elliott’s second-most at the 33-race mark.
TOP-10 STREAK: Elliott has earned three consecutive top-10 finishes (fifth at Talladega, first at the Charlotte roval and sixth at Kansas). The No. 9 team’s stretch of strong results is tied with Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron for the longest active streak in the Cup Series.
1.5-MILE TRACKS IN 2020: In 10 1.5-mile races in 2020, Elliott won at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 28 and has two runner-up finishes. He has led the third-most laps (310) in the Cup Series and has collected the fourth-most points (376). Elliott’s four stage wins at 1.5-mile tracks are tied for most in the series this season with Denny Hamlin.
LONE STAR STATE STATS: On Sunday, Elliott is set to make his 10th NASCAR Cup Series start at Texas Motor Speedway. In his previous nine starts, Elliott garnered two top-five finishes, five top-10s and an average finishing position of 11.1, currently the fifth-best average finish at Texas of all time. He collected his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory at the 1.5-mile speedway in April 2014. In five Xfinity Series starts there, Elliott accumulated three top-five finishes and five top-10s.
GUSTAFSON IN THE PLAYOFFS: No. 9 crew chief Alan Gustafson has garnered 10 career NASCAR Cup Series wins in the playoffs, the third most of all crew chiefs.
GIVE A HOOT: Everyone can join Hooters in the fight against breast cancer and #GiveAHoot by purchasing specially produced pink No. 9 merchandise at Hooters.com/give and the Chase Elliott Store. During the month of October, the Chase Elliott online store will donate $5 from every pink item purchased to the Hooters Give a Hoot program benefiting the V Foundation to support the fight against breast cancer. Click here to shop.
No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
Driver William Byron Hometown Charlotte, North Carolina
Age 22 Resides Charlotte, North Carolina
12th in standings
0 pole positions
4 top-five finishes
13 top-10 finishes
140 laps led
5 pole positions
9 top-five finishes
30 top-10 finishes
434 laps led
0 pole positions
0 top-five finishes
2 top-10 finishes
24 laps led
KANSAS KEEP UP: Starting 10th Sunday, William Byron overcame early adversity at Kansas Speedway to race his way back inside the top-10 running order by the final stage. Continuing his forward momentum, Byron piloted his No. 24 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE to just outside the top five before ultimately crossing the finish line in eighth – his third consecutive top-10 finish.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY: After his eighth-place finish at Kansas Speedway, Byron has now notched 13 top-10 finishes in the 2020 Cup Series season – tying the same amount he secured in 2019. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native has now scored three consecutive top-10s, tying his longest career streak. In fact, the driver of the No. 24 has six top-10 finishes in the last nine races – tied for second with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott and behind teammate Alex Bowman with seven.
TRUCKIN’ IT IN TEXAS: Byron’s success at Texas Motor Speedway started over three years ago in his first start at the 1.5-mile oval. Starting from the sixth position, the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series rookie led six laps before capturing the checkered flag and becoming the youngest to ever win a Truck Series race at Texas.
TEXAS TOUGH: Statistically, Texas Motor Speedway has been one of Byron’s best tracks throughout his NASCAR career. Despite an on-track incident in this year’s July race, he has an average finish of 17.2 in his five Cup Series starts in the Lone Star State. Byron has four other starts at the 1.5-mile oval with an average finish of 3.5 in two Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series starts and 8.0 in two NASCAR Xfinity Series races.
KNAUS HAS ‘NO LIMITS’: This weekend, crew chief Chad Knaus will call his 36th Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway from atop the pit box. In his 35 previous races, Knaus has won seven times at the ‘No Limits’ track, with the most recent win coming in April 2017 with Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team. In his career, Knaus’ seven wins at Texas Motor Speedway are the fourth-most victories for the veteran crew chief behind Dover International Speedway (11), Martinsville Speedway (nine) and Charlotte Motor Speedway (eight).
LIBERTY U IS BACK: For this weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway, Liberty University will be on board Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE for Sunday’s race. Liberty University is in its sixth season of sponsoring the 22-year-old driver dating back to his time in the late model ranks. Liberty has been Training Champions for Christ since it was founded in 1971. Located in the mountains of Central Virginia, Liberty 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 business communications, Byron is in his junior year at Liberty University through its online program.
No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
Driver Jimmie Johnson Hometown El Cajon, California
Age 45 Resides Charlotte, North Carolina
18th in standings
0 pole positions
4 top-five finishes
9 top-10 finishes
103 laps led
36 pole positions
231 top-five finishes
373 top-10 finishes
18,937 laps led
2 pole positions
16 top-five finishes
22 top-10 finishes
1.152 laps led
RANKING ‘SEVEN-TIME’ AT TEXAS: Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson has had his fair share of success in the Lone Star State. The seven-time Texas Motor Speedway winner ranks first among all drivers for number of wins at the 1.5-mile track. Additionally, he ranks first among active drivers with second-place finishes (five) and first among top-five finishes (16). Johnson has led the most laps at Texas with 1,152 and has the fourth-best average finish with 10.9.
TEXAS THREE PEAT: Johnson won three consecutive races at Texas between November 2014 and November 2015 – the longest streak ever by a driver at the track. He also has posted three-race win streaks at Phoenix Raceway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Martinsville Speedway. Johnson won four straight at Charlotte Motor Speedway from May 2004 to October 2005. Of the 15 playoff races run at Texas in the last 15 seasons, Johnson has won five of them.
TEXAS TRAIL BLAZER: Texas Motor Speedway is one of four tracks on the circuit where Johnson has led more than 1,000 laps, joining Dover International Speedway (3,113), Martinsville (2,932) and Charlotte (1,936). Johnson has led 1,152 at Texas. He also has more wins than anyone else at Dover (11), Martinsville (nine), Charlotte (eight) and Texas (seven).
A SWEET DESIGN: Nineteen-year-old Michigan native and college student Noah “Lefty” Sweet is a lifelong Johnson fan who has created dozens of amateur graphic paint scheme designs for the No. 48 Chevy and other esports events. Ally recently approached the young fan with the opportunity to design a special paint scheme for his idol to celebrate the positive impact Johnson has made in the lives of so many fans during his legendary career. Sweet, who works under the name “Lefty Designs,” worked with Hendrick Motorsports graphic designer Mark Barrera to achieve the paint scheme Johnson will run this weekend for his final race at Texas Motor Speedway. Sweet also met Johnson virtually and described it as a “dream come true.”
MOST ALL-TIME: Johnson is the NASCAR Cup Series’ all-time wins leader on 1.5-mile tracks with 28. Second on that list is Johnson’s former teammate Jeff Gordon with 17 victories.
TOY AWARDS APPEARANCE: The 2020 “Top-Rated by Kids Toy Awards Show,” hosted by DJ Khaled and Meghan Trainor, will air on Sunday, Oct. 25 on FOX and on Walmart’s social media channels immediately following the NFL game at 4:30 p.m. ET. The show will feature appearances and musical performances from “some of today’s hottest celebs,” including Johnson and his girls, Genevieve and Lydia.
MARTINSVILLE SCHEME REVEALED: As seven-time NASCAR champion Johnson concludes his final full-time NASCAR season, Ally revealed a paint scheme for the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet featuring the signatures of 10,000 fans. The scheme will appear on the car at Martinsville on Nov. 1.
ALLY GIFT: Ally chief marketing officer Andrea Brimmer made an appearance on FOX Sports 1’s “Race Hub” last week when Johnson unveiled his paint scheme for Martinsville to surprise him with a $70,000 donation to the Jimmie Johnson Foundation – $10,000 for each championship title. The funds will be distributed to two Charlotte-based nonprofits: the CMS Foundation, which helps bridge the digital divide for students in need; and the Center for Racial Equity in Education (C.R.E.E.D.).
No. 88 Acronis Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
Driver Alex Bowman Hometown Tucson, Arizona
Age 27 Resides Concord, North Carolina
6th in standings
0 pole positions
5 top-five finishes
13 top-10 finishes
396 laps led
2 pole positions
15 top-five finishes
39 top-10 finishes
870 laps led
0 pole positions
1 top-five finish
1 top-10 finish
14 laps led
THIRD IN KANSAS: Last weekend, Alex Bowman and the No. 88 team collected points in both stages and captured a third-place finish at the end of the 267-lap event in Kansas. The Tucson, Arizona, native battled handling conditions at the beginning of the race but a round of adjustments on pit stops allowed the No. 88 machine to close the gap on the leaders in the final 15 laps. Following the event, the No. 88 team is now sixth in the NASCAR Cup Series playoff standings going into this weekend’s race in Texas.
CAREER YEAR: The 2020 season is turning out to be a career year for Bowman and the No. 88 team. For the first time in his career, Bowman secured a spot in the Round of 8. Prior to 2020, he had not captured a stage win, but this season he has collected four after 33 events. Bowman has more top-10s (13) and has led more laps (396) this season than before. The 27-year-old driver has finished inside the top 10 in seven of the last nine races this season, which is a career best.
BOWMAN IN TEXAS: Bowman will make his 11th start at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon. The 27-year-old driver’s best qualifying and finishing position of fifth came in the fall event last season after leading 11 laps. Bowman also has two starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series that took place in 2013. He qualified for the pole in both races and led a combined seven laps before finishing 14th and 18th, respectively, in those events.
2020 STATS: The No. 88 team has earned 255 points so far in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, which ranks fourth among drivers. Bowman is fourth on the list of drivers with the most stage points (57). The team has the third-best average finish (8.7) and the fifth-best average running position (9.8) in the playoffs. Bowman has run 1,503 laps inside the top 10 and owns five top-10 finishes in the playoffs, which are tied for first. He has the most top-10 finishes (seven) in the last nine races among drivers.
1.5-MILE STATS: Bowman has led 226 laps on tracks measuring 1.5 miles in length this season. His best finish on an intermediate track came this past weekend at Kansas Speedway when the team finished third. Bowman has two top-five finishes and three top-10s at 1.5-mile facilities this year. The No. 88 team has also won three stages on intermediate tracks this year.
LONE STAR STATE STATS FOR IVES: Crew chief Greg Ives has called the shots for the No. 88 Chevrolet 11 times at Texas Motor Speedway. The Bark River, Michigan, native’s résumé includes four top-five finishes and five top-10s. Ives’ best finish at the track came in 2016 when Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second. The crew chief also has four starts in the Xfinity Series at Texas, including one win from 2014 when Chase Elliott led 38 laps to bring home the victory. As a race engineer for the No. 48 team from 2006-2012, Ives was part of two wins, nine top-10 finishes and one pole award with driver Jimmie Johnson.
WELCOME BACK, ACRONIS: Hendrick Motorsports recently announced a new partnership with Acronis, a global leader in cyber protection. Acronis has been featured on the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE in two events this season at Dover and will be on board this weekend at Texas for its final primary this season. The global technology company will become a major associate partner of the organization’s four-car stable beginning next season.
SPEEDY ON PIT ROAD: The No. 88 pit crew ranks seventh in the NASCAR Cup Series with an average four-tire stop time of 14.13 seconds after 33 events this season. The team includes fueler Jacob Conley, tire carrier Rowdy Harrell, jackman Dustin Lineback and tire changers Scott Brzozowski and Devin DelRicco.
GOOD DISCOUNTS: During the month of October, No. 88 team sponsor ChevyGoods.com is providing discounts on various accessories on its website. Customers can receive 10% below MSRP on Adam’s Polishes and NOCO accessories purchased online with code CHEVYGOODS. With code TRUCKHERO, customers can receive 20% below MSRP on Truck Hero accessories purchased online.
WE’RE STREAKING: Hendrick Motorsports has finished inside the top 10 in the last 15 races. Not only is that the organization’s longest streak of the season but it ties its streak from the 2016 championship year. The last time Hendrick Motorsports had a streak of more than 15 races with a top-10 finish was from October 2014 to July 2015. Hendrick Motorsports has also led laps in each of the last 11 races, which is the longest active streak of any organization.
THROUGH 33: Hendrick Motorsports has five wins through the first 33 races this season – the most since its seven wins through the first 33 in 2015. It also has 26 top-five finishes, the most in the last four seasons; 55 top-10s, the most in the last five years; and has led for 1,497 laps, the most since 2014.
THREE OR MORE: The last time Hendrick Motorsports had at least three drivers win a race in a single season was in 2015. This year, Chase Elliott, William Byron and Alex Bowman all have ended up in victory lane. Overall, Hendrick Motorsports leads all teams with 12 different seasons where three or more drivers have notched a win.
PLAYOFF ROYALTY: Since the inception of the format in 2004, Hendrick Motorsports has 45 NASCAR Cup Series playoff wins – 16 more than any other team. With Elliott’s victory at the Charlotte roval on Oct. 11, the organization has now scored at least one playoff win in a record-extending 16 different seasons, missing only 2017. A series-topping seven different drivers have won a playoff race for Hendrick Motorsports.
JUST SEVEN MORE: Since its inception in 1984, Hendrick Motorsports has earned 261 race victories and holds the all-time records for championships (12), pole positions (226), top-five finishes (1,097), top-10s (1,894) and laps led (70,386) in points-paying NASCAR Cup Series competition. Including 2020, the organization has won at least one race in 35 consecutive seasons, the longest-ever streak. Hendrick Motorsports is seven wins away from tying Petty Enterprises’ all-time Cup record of 268.
Driver Chase Elliott on how his approach to Texas has changed over the years:
“Texas is just a different animal since the repave and I feel like we had some great runs there. I love going to Texas before they repaved it and just felt like I had a nice feel of the racetrack and I knew what I wanted. It was a very, kind of natural thing for me for whatever reason. I kind of lucked into that I guess, but man after the repave it’s been a struggle. I feel like it’s one of our worst tracks as a team and Texas is a bad place to struggle because if you make it to the Round of 8 it’s a track that seems like it’s always right there at the tail end of the season. It’s an important track to have a good performance at that can propel you to a potential final four run. Those types of struggles at a track like that, where it falls in the playoffs is not ideal so I hope we can get a little better out there.”
Elliott on raising awareness for breast cancer:
“It’s a great feeling to be able to use my platform and raise awareness. My family, like most, has been impacted with breast cancer. My grandmother was a breast cancer survivor for many years and we unfortunately lost her last fall. As time goes on, I think you can try and help or do anything in a small way, which is good. I know how it has impacted so many families, as well. I just appreciate Hooters jumping on board and wanting to do something special like this with the black and pink car. It’s going to look really cool running at Texas.”
Crew chief Alan Gustafson on 1.5-mile track program:
“You’re never happy. We started to improve; we’ve been solid. We’ve certainly been in contention to win a lot mile-and-a-half tracks, led a lot of laps and were able to win at Charlotte earlier in the year. We’ve had good runs. I think it is a strong suit of ours and a place where we can go exploit some good performance. We’re ready to go and just trying to continuously improve and put our best foot forward and make sure we get everything we can out of what we got.”
Driver William Byron on Texas Motor Speedway’s configuration:
“With both ends of Texas being different, you have to find a compromise some on your handling instead of focusing on one set of turns over the other. I think in (turns) 3 and 4, speed makes the biggest difference through there. When you’re in (turns) 1 and 2 it’s more about the handling of your car but still having good speed out of (turn) 2 so you can get down the backstretch and set up your entry to turn 3 with a good pace. It’s a lot different of a racetrack than we’re used to and compared to how it was. Now it’s very unique and makes for an interesting challenge, especially as the race progresses.”
Driver Jimmie Johnson on racing at Texas Motor Speedway:
“The biggest change at Texas over the years is the new reconfiguration. The new asphalt has made the racing more single file. I love how supportive the market is of the venue and I love the Dallas-Fort Worth area; we have really good friends there and usually our stay is extended. The best memory I have is when I was able to duel with Matt Kenseth. Matt and I had nothing to gain – I knew I had a good car and so I went after it knowing Matt would race me clean and he wouldn’t make a mistake. It was certainly an exciting finish and although Matt probably didn’t like the outcome, it was one of my most memorable battles for a win with a great friend.”
Driver Alex Bowman on the outlook for Texas:
“We had a good run in Kansas last weekend and captured stage points, which is what we needed to do. The points don’t look good in our situation, so we really need to go to Texas and have a strong car from the start. Hendrick Motorsports’ intermediate program is definitely strong, and I know that this No. 88 team has been working hard on our Texas Chevrolet Camaro. The last time Acronis was on our car we ran really well in Dover, so hopefully we can get the job done for them this weekend.”