TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE
NOVEMBER 1, 2020
MARTINSVILLE: RACE #35
NASCAR’S three national series head to the .526-mile oval of Martinsville Speedway to close out the Playoffs’ Round of Eight and the last opportunity for drivers to punch their ticket for the Championship Four in each series. For the second time this season, the NASCAR Cup Series returns to the Martinsville, Virginia, short track for the Xfinity 500. The 500-lap, 263-mile event will be the 144th race in the track’s history for NASCAR’s premier series and the first time that Martinsville has held the elimination race for the Round of Eight.
The Playoff tripleheader kicks off under the lights with the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series’ NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 tonight, October 30th, at 8:00 p.m. ET. Day two is an appearance by the NASCAR Xfinity Series with the Draft Top 250 on Saturday, October 31st, at 3:30 p.m. ET, the first time the series has been at Martinsville Speedway since 2006. To conclude the weekend. The NASCAR Cup Series’ Xfinity 500 will wrap up the Playoff Round of Eight cut-off weekend on Sunday, November 1st, at 2:00 p.m. ET.
As NASCAR returns to Martinsville Speedway, up to 1,000 fans will be welcomed back to the venue and have the chance to experience the three days of Playoff racing action in-person.
ROUND OF EIGHT: THE ELIMINATION RACE
It all comes down to 500-laps around the .526-mile paperclip-shaped oval of Martinsville Speedway to set the field for the series’ championship. Martinsville Speedway has held three different spots on the post-season schedule since the beginning of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in 2004. It’s the third different track to be positioned as the ninth event in the Playoff stretch, joining Darlington Raceway (2004) and Phoenix Raceway (2005-2019).
Three Team Chevy drivers have their eye on the final three spots left in the Championship Four and their opportunity to compete for the title of the NASCAR Cup Series Champion. Going into the Round of Eight elimination race at Martinsville Speedway, here’s where the Team Chevy drivers currently sit in the Playoff standings, as well as key statistics at the track:
Alex Bowman, No. 88 Planters Camaro ZL1 1LE – 5th in Standings (4,095 points)
Victories: 1 (Auto Club Speedway)
Top-Fives: 6; Top-10’s: 14; Laps Led: 439; Average Finish: 14.9
Stage Wins: 4
At Martinsville: Top-10’s: 2; Average Finish: 22.0
Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1 1LE – 6th in Standings (4,095 points)
Victories: 3 (Charlotte Motor Speedway, Daytona Road Course, Charlotte Road Course)
Top-Fives: 13; Top-10’s: 20; Laps Led: 858; Average Finish: 12.3
Stage Wins: 9
At Martinsville: Top-Five’s: 3; Top-10’s: 5; Laps led: 193; Average Finish: 13.4
Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Camaro ZL1 1LE – 8th in Standings (4,039 points)
Victories: 1 (Las Vegas Motor Speedway)
Top-Fives: 6; Top-10’s: 18; Laps Led: 142; Average Finish: 15.9
Stage Wins: 1
At Martinsville: Wins: 2; Top-Five’s: 3; Top-10’s: 8; Laps Led: 464; Average Finish: 20.1
Coming off last weekend’s NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series win at Texas Motor Speedway, GMS Racing and Team Chevy’s, Sheldon Creed, secured his position in the Championship Four. Joining teammate Brett Moffitt, Team Chevy enters into the Round of Eight cut-off race with two spots clinched in the season finale at Phoenix Raceway and the chance to win the series title.
After a wild conclusion in the Lone Star state, three spots are still up for grabs for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship Four. Of the eight playoff contenders left in title contention, five of those are occupied by Team Chevy drivers. For their first appearance at the track since 2006, the series finds their trip to Martinsville Speedway as their final shot to seal their fate into the championship weekend at Phoenix Raceway.
Heading into the Round of Eight finale, here are where the Team Chevy drivers sit in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff standings:
NASCAR GANDER RV & OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES
- Sheldon Creed, No. 2 GMS Racing Silverado: Clinched by Win
- Brett Moffitt, No. 23 GMS Racing Silverado: Clinched by Win
- Zane Smith, No. 21 GMS Racing Silverado: 3,108 points / +12 points
- Tyler Ankrum, No. 26 GMS Racing Silverado: 3,029 points / -79 points
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES
- Justin Allgaier, No. 7 JR Motorsports Camaro SS: 3,097 points / +8 points
- Justin Haley, No. 11 Kaulig Racing Camaro SS: 3,093 points / +4 points
- Ross Chastin, No. 10 Kaulig Racing Camaro SS: 3,078 points / -15 points
- Noah Gragson, No. 9 JR Motorsports Camaro SS: 3,069 / -24 points
- Ryan Sieg, No. 39 RSS Racing Camaro SS: 3,050 points / -43 points
· Victories by active Team Chevy drivers at Martinsville Speedway include:
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1 1LE, has nine wins (2004, ’06, ’07-twice, ’08, ’09, ’12, ’13, & ’16)
Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Camaro ZL1 1LE has two wins (2002, & ’14)
· The first win for Chevrolet at Martinsville Speedway came in 1957, when Buck Baker parked his Chevrolet 150 ‘Black Widow’ stock car in victory lane. Through NASCAR’s history at the .526-mile oval, other models that have scored a win include Bel Air, Biscayne, Impala, Monte Carlo, Lumina, Impala SS and SS. Of the 143 NCS races held at the oldest track on the NASCAR circuit, a Bowtie brand has visited victory lane 56 times, the most of any other manufacturer.
· Hendrick Motorsports and Team Chevy driver, Chase Elliott, heads into the final race of the Round of Eight leading Playoff drivers in a variety of statistical categories through eight Playoff races: Most points earned (307), stage points earned (93), most laps in the top-five (1,374), and most laps in the top-10 (2,006). Teammate, Alex Bowman, has had an impressive run in his first Round of Eight run in his six-year Cup Series career. Bowman holds the best average finish in the Playoffs thus far with an 8.3 and ties for the lead of top-10 finishes in the Playoffs with six.
· In 143 NASCAR Cup Series events held at the .526-mile venue, Chevrolet has captured 53 poles, 262 top-five’s, 500 top-10’s and 27,429 laps led.
· Hendrick Motorsports leads the NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Martinsville Speedway with 24 wins: Jeff Gordon (nine), Jimmie Johnson (nine), Darrell Waltrip (four), Geoffrey Bodine (one) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (one).
· Heading into his final race in his full-time NASCAR Cup Series career at Martinsville Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports and Chevrolet driver, Jimmie Johnson, tops the leaderboard in a variety of categories in his 37 career starts:
o Johnson leads the series in victories at Martinsville Speedway with nine. With a win this weekend, Johnson can become the third driver in NASCAR Cup Series history to record 10 or more wins, joining Richard Petty and Darrell Waltrip.
o Johnson leads the series in runner-up finishes at Martinsville Speedway with four, top-five finishes with 19, and top-10 finishes with 25.
o Among active drivers, Johnson leads the series in average finishing position with a 9.3.
For the remainder of the 2020 NCS season, the starting lineups will be determined by a competition-based formula, combining the following metrics from the previous race event: 15% of a fastest lap time position, 25% of the driver’s final race finish position, 25% of the owner’s final race position and 35% of the Owner points position.
Here are Team Chevy’s top-20 starters for Sunday’s Xfinity 500:
3rd Alex Bowman, No. 88 Planters Camaro ZL1 1LE
5th Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Camaro ZL1 1LE
8th Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1 1LE
13th William Byron, No. 24 Liberty University Camaro ZL1 1LE
14th Austin Dillon, No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Off Road Camaro ZL1 1LE
17th Tyler Reddick, No. 8 MotorTrend Camaro ZL1 1LE
18th Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 Kroger Camaro ZL1 1LE
NBC will telecast the Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, November 1st, at 2:00 p.m. ET. Live coverage of the 263-mile, 500-lap event for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of Eight elimination race can also be found on the NBC Sports Gold app, MRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 PLANTERS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 5th IN STANDINGS
“The only way to make the final four is to go out this weekend and get the win. We have been really focused on Martinsville not knowing the outcome of the first two events of the Round of 8. I am confident in this No. 88 team and I am confident in Greg (Ives). This is what we have been working for all year, to go for a championship in Phoenix. While we were in Texas, the crew back at Hendrick Motorsports was dialing in our Martinsville Chevrolet and getting it ready to race. We have all been putting in the work needed to get the job done and that is what we plan on doing.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 6th IN STANDINGS
“Both fortunately and unfortunately we have been in this position a few times. I think at the same time it’s not something where you need to go hit a homerun, we just need to go win. I don’t think you have to hit homeruns to win races. We will treat it like a normal race weekend because that is what it is and we will give it our best shot to make it to the final four. If we just do our thing and improve on the last couple of Martinsville trips, take our notebook and try to improve upon it, I think we can contend for a race win. Still one race left in the round so it’s certainly not over. I’m looking forward to it.”
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 12th IN STANDINGS
BYRON ON HOW TO APPROACH RACING AT MARTINSVILLE:
“I’ve really enjoyed going to Martinsville even more recently since I’ve really started to figure it out I feel like. It has an interesting rhythm to it, and once you figure it out it’s just a lot of fun and a cool track in general. There really is no room to move around that much. And while rhythm is a key there, you need to know the areas of the track that you want your car to be good in as well. There is a lot of factors that make speed there. It’s just figuring out that rhythm that you need to go fast.”
TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 MOTORTREND CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 19th IN STANDINGS
WHAT ARE SOME LESSONS FROM THE RACE WE HAD AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY EARLIER THIS YEAR THAT YOU CAN APPLY TO THIS WEEKEND?
“We had a really good Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE the last time we went to Martinsville Speedway and learned a lot about the track that I think will help us this time around. The race we had back in June was my first time back at Martinsville since 2016, so I had to adapt quickly to figure out how to get around there in a Cup car since we went into that race without any practice. The track changed a lot over the course of that race, a lot more than we were expecting, so we’ll take that into account when setting up our strategy for it this time around. This is one of my crew chief’s favorite tracks, so we’re all looking forward to getting back there in our No. 8 MotorTrend Chevrolet to see what we can do.”
Chevrolet NASCAR Cup Series Statistics
Total (1949-2019): 39
First title for Chevrolet: 1958
Highest number of consecutive titles: 13 (2003-15)
Years Won: 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Total (1949-2019): 31
First Chevrolet champion: Buck Baker (1957)
Highest number of consecutive titles: 7 (2005-11)
Years Won: 1957, 1960, 1961, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016
Record for total race wins in single season: 26 (2007)
Laps Led: 1,977
Top-five finishes: 47
Top-10 finishes: 114
CHEVROLET IN NASCAR CUMULATIVE STATISTICS:
Total Chevrolet race wins: 793 (1949 to date)
Poles won to date: 717
Laps led to date: 236,283
Top-five finishes to date: 4,061
Top-10 finishes to date: 8,396
Total NASCAR Cup wins by corporation, 1949 to date
General Motors: 1,127 Chevrolet: 793 Pontiac: 154 Oldsmobile: 115 Buick: 65 Ford: 804 Ford: 704 Mercury: 96 Lincoln: 4 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: 467 Dodge: 217 Plymouth: 191 Chrysler: 59 Toyota: 152
Team Chevy high-resolution racing photos are available for editorial use.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 100 countries and selling more than 4.0 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.