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CHEVY NCS AT POCONO: Team Chevy Advance

TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE
POCONO DOUBLEHEADER
POCONO RACEWAY
LONG POND, PENNSYLVANIA
JUNE 26-27, 2021

RACES #18 AND 19 – POCONO
The three NASCAR national series will head to Pennsylvania to tackle the 2.5-mile track known as the ‘Tricky Triangle’: Pocono Raceway. The venue, steeped in stock car tradition, is the host to four races in two action-packed days, including the return of the must-anticipated NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) doubleheader. Chevrolet drivers will aim for the Bowtie Brand’s sixth consecutive NCS victory on Saturday, June 26, in the 130-lap Organics CBD 325. The NASCAR premier series returns to the track on Sunday, June 27, for the 140-lap Explore the Pocono Mountains 350.

Kyle Larson, driving the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE for Hendrick Motorsports, dominated at Nashville Superspeedway to give Chevrolet its fifth regular-season victory in a row, which it last accomplished between May 10 and June 15 of the 2014 season. Chevrolet last strung together six wins in a row between October 7 and November 11 of the 2007 season, accomplished by Jeff Gordon winning the first two races and Jimmie Johnson claiming the next four on the way to winning the season’s Driver Championship.

In 87 NCS races at Pocono Raceway dating to 1974, Chevrolet drivers have recorded 32 victories, including six in a row at the 2.5-mile “Tricky Triangle” between August 2012 and June 2015. Pocono has hosted two NCS races per season since 1982, and this weekend will mark the second doubleheader.

Team Chevy NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) drivers will compete in the 90-lap Pocono Green 225 Recycled by J.P. Mascaro & Sons on Sunday, June 27. AJ Allmendinger, who was among three Chevrolet drivers to finish in the top-five at Nashville, is second in the Driver Standings. Heading into the Pocono race weekend, Chevrolet continues to lead the Manufacturer Standings.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) drivers will race in the 60-lap CRC Brakleen 150 on Saturday, June 26. Zane Smith, who led Team Chevy with a fourth place at Nashville, sits fourth in the Driver Standings.

SEEKING TO TIE JOHNSON
At Nashville Superspeedway, Kyle Larson registered his third successive points-paying victory and sixth consecutive top-two finish in regular season races. He also won the non-points NASCAR All-Star Race in middle of the streak.

In NASCAR’s modern era (dating to 1972), drivers have won three in a row 27 times. The last to win four points races in a row was career Chevrolet driver Jimmie Johnson, who accomplished the feat in 2007.

BOWTIE REMAINS TOPS IN STANDINGS
Chevrolet remains atop the NCS Manufacturer Standings. Team Chevy drivers have recorded a field-high eight victories and earned three of the four poles in the 17 regular-season races.

Kyle Larson remains second in the Driver Standings, but has closed to just 10 points of the lead. Hendrick Motorsports teammates William Byron moved to third, and Chase Elliott sits in fourth, to give Chevrolet three of the top-five in the Driver Standings heading into the doubleheader race weekend. Austin Dillon, Alex Bowman and Tyler Reddick remains in the top-13 with just nine races left in the NCS regular season.

ON THE WAY TO THE GREEN
With no practice or qualifying for the races, the starting lineup for the Organics CBD 325 will be determined by NASCAR’s metrics system that was introduced to the series last year and incorporates results from both individual races and season-long results. The lineup for the second race will be determined by the finishing order of the opener. The top 20 will be inverted and 21st to the rear will grid in order.

Team Chevy’s Top-20 starters:
1st Kyle Larson, No. 5 HendrickCars.com Camaro ZL1 1LE
2nd William Byron, No. 24 Axalta Color of the Year Camaro ZL1 1LE
6th Ross Chastain, No. 42 McDonald’s Camaro ZL1 1LE
7th Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 Scott Brand Camaro ZL1 1LE
8th Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Camaro ZL1 1LE
12th Austin Dillon, No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Camaro ZL1 1LE
13th Alex Bowman, No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1 1LE
14th Daniel Suarez, No. 99 Commscope Camaro ZL1 1LE
16th Tyler Reddick, No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Camaro ZL1 1LE

BOWTIE BULLETS
· Chevrolet leads manufacturer with 803 NCS victories.
· Chevrolet leads manufacturers in laps led (2,076) of the 4,591 total and top-10 finishes with 79.
· Kyle Larson paces all drivers with 1,426 laps led. His previous career best was 1,352 in the 36 races in 2017.
· Austin Dillon is tied for most laps completed 99.91% (4,587).
· Kyle Larson’s 12 stage wins is twice as many as any other NCS driver.
· Ross Chastain posted a career-best runner-up finish at Nashville and has recorded three top-10’s in the past four races in the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Camaro ZL1 1LE.
· In addition to its 32 wins at Pocono, Chevrolet has amassed 167 top-five and 358 top-10 finishes.
· William Byron is the active leader in average finish with 9.667 in six starts at Pocono Raceway.
· Kurt Busch is the active leader with 14 top-five finishes at Pocono and is tied for the lead with 20 top-10’s in 39 starts. He has three wins and five runner-up finishes.
· Career Chevrolet driver Jeff Gordon is tied for the most wins at Pocono with six.
· Kyle Larson earned his first NCS pole in August 2014 at Pocono.
· Hendrick Motorsports has 17 victories at Pocono Raceway.

TUNE IN
FS1 will telecast the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series CRC Brakleen 150 at noon ET Saturday, June 26, followed by NBCSN’s telecast of the NASCAR Cup Series Organics CBD 325 at 3 p.m. NBCSN will telecast the NASCAR Xfinity Series Pocono Green 225 Recycled by J.P. Mascaro & Sons at noon ET Sunday, June 27, followed by the NCS Explore the Pocono Mountains 350 at 3:30 p.m. Live coverage of the races can also be found on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

QUOTABLE QUOTES
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 2nd IN STANDINGS
LARSON ON POCONO:
“I’ve always enjoyed Pocono because of its uniqueness – every corner is different. I don’t know what to expect with this doubleheader weekend. I’ve done Xfinity and Cup races on the same weekend before, so I don’t think it will be much different. Physically, I won’t prepare differently. We’ll do a lot of preparation looking at data in advance of the first one, then I’m sure there will be a lot of discussion in the debrief Saturday of what went right and what went wrong as we prepare for Sunday’s race.”

CLIFF DANIELS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1 1LE
DANIELS ON THE STRATEGY WITH THREE UNIQUE CORNERS:
“We’ve tried different approaches in the past, even picking a specific corner to optimize. The problem with that is it can really hurt you somewhere else. We’re really studying up on what would be the best blend in all areas. If you look at the races last year, the (No.) 4 and 11 teams certainly accomplished that. They weren’t bad in one corner and good in another – they were just overall good. That’s our target this year and hopefully we can hit it.”

WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA COLOR OF THE YEAR CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 3rd IN STANDINGS
BYRON ON THE DOUBLEHEADER AT POCONO:
“I feel the doubleheader last year allowed us to learn a lot in that first race that we could then apply to the second one. I feel like Pocono is a track that we are good at and on track to be successful every time we show up, we just need to get a little bit better to close the gap on the top guys. It’s honestly a track that both Rudy (Fugle) and I have a lot of success at together and over our careers. I’m not too worried about it though. I feel like having two races there may be a great opportunity for us.”

BYRON ON IF YOU CAN BE GOOD IN ALL THREE CORNERS AT POCONO:
“I think with modern-day NASCAR, you have to be good in all three corners now. Before, it was always you had to pick and choose which corner to be good in and give up in the others. With the engineering we have now, it kind of throws that old thought process out the window. For us, we’re trying to focus on being really good in turn three and then carry that consistency through the other two corners. The hope is to be consistently balanced throughout all three, but I know I want my drive off of turn three to really carry me down the front straightaway and set me up for turn one with momentum into turn two.”

RUDY FUGLE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 24 AXALTA COLOR OF THE YEAR CAMARO ZL1 1LE
FUGLE ON THE NO. 24 TEAM’S CONTINUED SUCCESS HEADING TO POCONO:
“I know the No. 24 team won early in the year and have ran well since then, but I think that the last couple weeks have shown that this team is continuing to build and become a consistent contender to win every time we get on track. The organization as whole is a threat to win every week right now, but we’re trying to make sure that the No. 24 is constantly in contention. My goal this year was to build from a top-10 team to a top-five team and ultimately to a championship-contending team. I think we’re almost to that point. We’re heading to some of our best racetracks which definitely helps as well. We’ll be starting front row for the first of two races at Pocono and that’s one of this team’s best tracks already. This could be a big weekend for the No. 24 team, I can feel it.”

CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 4th IN STANDINGS
ELLIOTT ON STRATEGY FOR DOUBLEHEADER AT POCONO:
“Pocono is such a unique track and I have really enjoyed racing there in the past. It’s always a challenge to get your car balanced in all three corners and then you have to be spot on with your strategy because track position usually plays a big factor. Even though it’s a doubleheader, our approach doesn’t really change from other weekends. We always want to finish toward the front, and we will have our work cut out for us starting near the back on Saturday. I’m looking forward to this weekend and seeing what we can do.”

ALAN GUSTAFSON, CREW CHIEF, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 1LE
GUSTAFSON ON THE CHALLENGES OF A POCONO DOUBLEHEADER:
“The doubleheader at Pocono is a bit of a challenge with a lot of variables. You want to have a strong run on Saturday and perform well, while also making sure you take care of all your equipment. Even if it goes as planned, there will still have to be parts and pieces that have to be changed after the first race. It’s important that you go over everything on the car before Sunday. We learned last year that there isn’t a lot of time so you have to adapt pretty quickly and make the adjustments necessary to improve.”

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 11th IN STANDINGS
TALK ABOUT POCONO RACEWAY. IT’S AN INTERESTINGLY-SHAPED TRACK..
“Pocono is a fun, fast track and I feel like we’ve been able to build a good notebook there so I’m excited to get there this weekend for a double-header. Good finishes will be important for us and the points battle. At Pocono Raceway, speed is definitely carried through turn two and through three to the start-finish line. I think those are the most important corners. Of course, every corner is important, but turns two and three are a little bit more important because it’s the flat end of the track.”

ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 12th IN STANDINGS
BOWMAN ON HIS TWO-YEAR CONTRACT EXTENSION:
“It’s really cool to know that Ally has faith in me and Mr. (Rick) Hendrick has faith in me. I think matching the length of my contract up to Ally’s was kind of the goal all around, and what was kind of expected and normal. The way the industry is today, there aren’t five-year contracts out there like there used to be. I’m not going to complain too much. I’m driving the 48 for Hendrick Motorsports – it’s not so bad.”

BOWMAN ON THE LOGISTICS OF POCONO RACEWAY:
“Pocono is a fun but tricky track. All three corners are completely different, which makes the track extremely technical. The track is also tough to pass at because of how the groove is and how it doesn’t widen out as much. We are typically really fast here and everyone back at the shop is building fast cars right now.”

GREG IVES, CREW CHIEF, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1 1LE
IVES ON HIS STRATEGY FOR THE DOUBLEHEADER:
“The goal is to come out of that first race with a win. The only thing we would have to do is clean up the confetti to get the car ready for race No. 2. I don’t think that you can get into a race and play it conservatively. These drivers are the best around, so they know what their limits are and who they are racing. You have the mindset of playing it safe, but it’s not on the forefront of your mind. You just do what it takes to get a win.”

TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 13th IN STANDINGS
AT POCONO, WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE WITH A DOUBLEHEADER RACE WEEKEND?
“You have to make sure you have a smooth weekend. If you have a really bad day on Saturday and don’t get any points, it’s really going to set you back going into Sunday. One, you now have no notes really compared to the field that ran the entire race on Saturday and then you’ll have to lean on your teammates. And then two, you’re going to a backup car. You’re not getting to work on the piece that you raced all day; you’re having to start from scratch and hope that you have a pretty good target or get within the target you’re searching for. We just had really bad doubleheaders at Pocono and Michigan. So, that’s going to be our goal; to race hard. We want to go get points and do this and that; but understand that Saturday is very important. You have to realize every risky decision and everything that you could do on Saturday that could be a risk potential effects what happens ultimately on Sunday, as well.”

DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 COMMSCOPE CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 21st IN STANDINGS
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON POCONO?
“It was cool to get the pole there in 2018 and then we finished second in the race that weekend. At Pocono, it always helps to have a good starting spot. Pocono is a track where you can’t make mistakes on the track, and you can’t have mistakes on pit road. Everyone has to do their part to execute perfectly. “

WHAT DO YOU FEEL IS MOST IMPORTANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL AT POCONO?
“Track position is extremely important every weekend, but it’s especially important at Pocono. If you make a mistake, it takes so much longer and is so much harder to recover from. It’s a tough place for sure.”

ERIK JONES, NO. 43 MEDALLION BANK CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 24th IN STANDINGS
THOUGHTS ON THE DOUBLEHEADER WEEKEND AND HOW YOU PREPARE FOR THAT AS A DRIVER?
“Doubleheader races are cool. Last year was the first time we really got the chance to do that. It went really smooth as a group. It is always fun. Especially with not having any practice, a doubleheader gives you that chance to practice. The first race is a little bit of a practice race, going out there to get a feel for your car. If it is not 100 percent how you want it, you make better changes for the next day and have a shot to go out there and run a little bit better. I enjoy it. It is a chance to get out there and evaluate your Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE and have the opportunity to make it better.”

COREY LAJOIE, NO. 7 NATIONSGUARD CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 29th IN STANDINGS
“We’ll carry our momentum of 4 straight top 20s, which is a first in my Cup career as well as the team’s, into the doubleheader at Pocono. I’ve won there in the ARCA series and it’s one of the most unique tracks on the NASCAR schedule. Every corner takes a different style of attack. It will be important to have a good balance for all 3 corners. Having the chance to work on the car after the Saturday race to get even better for Sunday is important for our small team with limited practices. Looking forward to giving our NationsGuard Chevy a good run on both days.”

Chevrolet NASCAR Cup Series Statistics

Manufacturers Championships:
Total (1949-2020): 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

Drivers Championships:
Total (1949-2020): 32
First Chevrolet champion: Buck Baker (1957)
Highest number of consecutive titles: 7 (2005-11)
Most Recent: Chase Elliott (2020)

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, 2020

Event Victories:
Record for total race wins in single season: 26 (2007)

2021 STATISTICS:
Wins: 8
Poles: 3
Laps Led: 2,076
Top-five finishes: 37
Top-10 finishes: 79

CHEVROLET IN NASCAR CUMULATIVE STATISTICS:
Total Chevrolet race wins: 803 (1949 to date)
Poles won to date: 720
Laps led to date: 238,781
Top-five finishes to date: 4,102
Top-10 finishes to date: 8,481
Stage wins: 15 – Chase Elliott (Daytona RC), William Byron (Homestead), Kyle Larson (Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Atlanta x2, Kansas, Dover x2, Charlotte x3, Sonoma x2, Nashville), Kurt Busch (Nashville)

Total NASCAR Cup wins by corporation, 1949 to date

       General Motors: 1,137
       Chevrolet: 803
       Pontiac: 154
       Oldsmobile: 115
       Buick: 65

       Ford: 808                                                         
       Ford: 708
       Mercury: 96
       Lincoln: 4

       Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: 467
       Dodge: 217
       Plymouth: 191
       Chrysler: 59

       Toyota: 157

Team Chevy high-resolution racing photos are available for editorial use.

About Chevrolet
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, available in 79 countries with more than 3.2 million cars and trucks sold in 2020. Chevrolet models include electric and 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.



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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