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CHEVY NCS AT KANSAS: Team Chevy Advance

TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE
HOLLYWOOD CASINO 400
KANSAS SPEEDWAY
KANSAS CITY, KANSAS
OCT. 24, 2021

RACE #34 – KANSAS SPEEDWAY
For the first time in his NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) career, Team Chevy’s Kyle Larson is locked into the Championship 4, securing his chance to compete for the title of the 2021 NCS Champion. The next stop for the NCS Playoffs Rounds of 8 has the premier series heading to the Midwest to Kansas Speedway for the Hollywood Casino 400 on Sunday, October 24.

The 267-lap race on the 1.5-mile oval marks the second of three races in the Round of 8 and the next opportunity for the eight driver Playoff field to solidify their spot in the championship hunt. Chase Elliott is aiming to join his Hendrick Motorsports teammate in the title-deciding race on November 7, entering the Kansas race weekend in the fifth spot in the driver standings. Larson, driving the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Camaro ZL1 1LE, will start on the pole for the 11th time this season. Fellow Team Chevy and Playoff contender, Elliott, will take the green for the 400-mile race from fifth in his No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1 1LE.

Larson’s dominant victory at Texas Motor Speedway, in which he led 256 of the 334 laps on the 1.5-mile oval, was his field-high eighth of the season and maybe the most important as it came with a ticket to the championship race. The 29-year-old Hendrick Motorsports driver is among just 17 NCS drivers in the modern era (1972-present) who have recorded eight or more wins in a single season.

A capsule look at Team Chevy in the title hunt:

Kyle Larson, No. 5 HendrickCars.com Camaro ZL1 1LE – 1st in Playoff Standings (Locked into Championship Four by Win)
Victories: 8 (field-high)
Top-Fives: 18; Top-10’s: 24; Poles: 1; Laps Led: 2,267
Average Finish: 9.4
Stage Wins: 16
At Kansas (13 career NCS starts): Top-Fives: 3; Top-10’s: 5; Average Finish: 16.615
Of Note: Larson has now captured four wins on 1.5-mile tracks this season, in addition to the non-points NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway in June. With his win at Texas, he has qualified for the Championship 4 for the first time in his career. In the May 2021 race at Kansas, Larson led a field-high 132 laps, but was involved in contact with another car in the closing laps to finish 19th.

Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts ZL1 1LE – 5th IN STANDINGS (-8 points below cutline)
Victories: 2
Top-Fives: 13; Top-10’s: 19; Laps Led: 527; Average Finish: 11.7
Stage Wins: 4
At Kansas (11 career NCS starts): Wins: 1; Top-Fives: 5; Top-10’s: 7; Average Finish: 10.455
Of Note: Elliott has finishes of seventh or better in five races in a row on 1.5-mile tracks this season. Elliott has five top-10 finishes in 11 starts at Kansas Speedway, including a victory in the October 2018 race, making him the youngest NCS winner at the track. His average finish of 10.455 is the best among Playoff drivers. The 2021 NCS season marks Elliott’s sixth consecutive year of being part of the Playoff field.

ALLMENDINGER LEADS CHEVY DRIVERS IN NXS ROUND OF 8
Chevrolet NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) drivers grabbed four of the top-10 spots last week at Texas Motor Speedway, led by Noah Gragson’s third-place finish in the JR Motorsports No. 9 Camaro SS. The 200-lap Kansas Lottery 300 at 3 p.m. ET Saturday, October 23, is the middle leg of the NXS Playoffs Round of 8. Regular Season Champion AJ Allmendinger, driving the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Camaro SS, remains first in the standings. Justin Allgaier is third and Noah Gragson is fourth, giving the Bowtie brand three of the top-four spots in the driver standings heading into the Kansas race weekend. Chevrolet, with 15 wins, remains atop of the Manufacturer Standings.

CHEVROLET CONTINUES ATOP STANDINGS
Chevrolet remains the leader in the NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer Standings in pursuit of its 40th title. Team Chevy has recorded manufacturer highs of 16 victories, 142 top-10 finishes, 3,806 laps led and 29 stage wins through 33 races. The Bowtie Brand has already surpassed its totals for wins (9), top-10 finishes (120), laps led (2,399) and stage wins (21) from the 36-race 2020 season.

TWENTY YEARS AGO: GORDON GIVES CHEVY WIN IN TRACK OPENER
The Hollywood Casino 400 will be the 32nd NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway. Jeff Gordon, driving the No. 24 Chevrolet Monte Carlo for Hendrick Motorsports, won the first race at the track on September 30, 2001. Starting second, he led 53 of the 267 laps, including the final 22. Gordon went on to win the 2001 Driver Championship. Gordon visited the winner’s circle at the track again in September 2002 and May 2014.

CHEVROLET CONTINUES SUPPORT FOR “MAKING STRIDES AGAINST BREAST CANCER” WITH PINK CAMARO ZL1 PACE CAR AT TEXAS
Since 2011, Chevrolet has partnered with the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” initiative through dealership walks, national test drive promotions and national service rebate promotions. Again this year, Chevrolet is supporting the cause by pledging to contribute $350 for every lap run under caution, with a maximum of $50,000, during three NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) races during the month of October.

The second of three NASCAR Cup Series events that are part of the initiative took place last weekend at the NCS Playoffs Round of 8 opener at Texas Motor Speedway. The specially-themed pink ”Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 served as the pace car for the NCS event at the 1.5-mile Texas oval. With 55 laps made under caution during the NCS Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500, Chevrolet will contribute an additional $19,250 towards the campaign, bringing the current total to $28,700.

The final race of this year’s campaign will take place at Martinsville Speedway (Va.) on October 31, where the pink “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will return as the pace car for the NCS Playoffs Round of 8 elimination race.

ON THE WAY TO THE GREEN
With no practice or qualifying for the 267-lap race, the starting lineup is 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.

Team Chevy’s top-20 starters:
1st Kyle Larson, No. 5 HendrickCars.com Camaro ZL1 1LE
5th Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1 1LE
9th William Byron, No. 24 RaptorTough.com Camaro ZL1 1LE
12th Tyler Reddick, No. 8 Cat Dealer Tech Camaro ZL1 1LE
13th Kurt Busch, No. 1 Advent Health Camaro ZL1 1LE
14th Austin Dillon, No. 3 Get Bioethanol Camaro ZL1 1LE
16th Daniel Suarez, No. 99 Good Sam Camaro ZL1 1LE
17th Eric Jones, No. 43 Petty’s Garage Camaro ZL1 1LE

BOWTIE BULLETS
· Chevrolet leads all manufacturers with 16 wins, 142 top-10 finishes and 3,806 laps led of 8,120 total this season.
· Chevrolet has scored 25 wins with the Camaro ZL1 1LE over two seasons.
· Chevrolet leads all manufacturers with 12 wins in the 31 races since 2001 at Kansas Speedway.
· In addition to its 12 wins, Chevrolet has amassed 61 top-five and 132 top-10 finishes in the 31 races since 2001 at Kansas Speedway.
· Kyle Larson paces all drivers with 2,267 laps led this season.
· William Byron was runner-up to Larson at Texas Motor Speedway, giving Hendrick Motorsports its sixth 1-2 finish of the season.
· Byron earned his fourth top-two finish of the season, including a win at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
· Hendrick Motorsports, which leads the Owner Standings, is tied for most wins at Kansas Speedway with seven.
· Kurt Busch is tied for the most starts at Kansas Speedway with 31.
· Career Chevrolet driver Jimmie Johnson is the all-time leader with 19 top-10 finishes in 29 races at Kansas Speedway.
· Five Team Chevy drivers have combined for 29 stage wins: Chase Elliott (Daytona RC, Michigan, Daytona2, Charlotte2); William Byron (Homestead, Pocono2, Road America); Tyler Reddick (Road America, Indianapolis road course x2); Kurt Busch (Nashville Superspeedway, Pocono1, Atlanta2); Kyle Larson (Las Vegas, Atlanta x2, Kansas, Dover x2, Charlotte x3, Sonoma x2, Nashville, Darlington2, Bristol2, Las Vegas2, Texas2).

FOR THE FANS:
Fans can visit the Team Chevy Racing Display in the Fan Midway at Kansas Speedway.
Fans can check out an assortment of Chevrolet vehicles including: 2021 Trailboss LT, 2022 Camaro 1LZ, 2022 Trailblazer 1RS, 2022 Corvette 3LT, 2021 Tahoe, 2021 HD Crew Cab.
At the Chevrolet Display, fans can also view Chase Elliott’s No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE show car.

TEAM CHEVY QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSIONS AT THE DISPLAY:
Saturday, October 23
· Brandon Brown: 10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
· Joe Graf Jr: 11:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
· Sam Mayer: 11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
· Josh Berry: 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Sunday, October 24
· Ricky Stenhouse Jr: 11:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
· William Byron: 11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
· Tyler Reddick: 12:00 p.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Chevrolet Display Hours of Operation:
Saturday, October 23: 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 24: 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

TUNE IN
NBCSN will telecast the 267-lap NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at 3 p.m. ET Sunday, Oct. 24. Live coverage is also on MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90. NBC will telecast the 200-lap NASCAR Xfinity Series Kansas Lottery 300 at 3 p.m. ET Saturday, Oct. 23. Live coverage is also on MRN.

QUOTABLE QUOTES
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 1st IN STANDINGS
LARSON ON HIS MINDSET AHEAD OF KANSAS KNOWING TEAM IS IN CHAMPIONSHIP 4:
“My mind is on Kansas. I want to go there and win. I have led a lot of laps there and come close to a couple of different wins. I want to go there and lead a bunch of laps and try and get another win and then look forward to Martinsville. I don’t want to change up what we have been doing; still take it week by week and do a great job every weekend and carry some momentum into Phoenix. I think it would be bad if we went to Kansas and Martinsville and had a couple of DNFs because we are ‘relaxed.’ Hopefully we can go through these next couple of weeks, have a few good runs and head into Phoenix with some good momentum.”

CLIFF DANIELS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1 1LE
DANIELS ON PREPARING FOR PHOENIX AND UPCOMING RACES:
“The schedule makes us prepare for Phoenix a little bit earlier. It’s a Friday, Saturday, Sunday race with practice starting on Friday and qualifying on Saturday. The truck leaves for Phoenix that week, I believe on Tuesday. Your week is short so you have to be prepared on the front side, which we will be. We still have to go have a good run in Kansas and definitely want to have a good run in Martinsville. We have had that one circled for a while because we, as a team, feel like we have something to prove. Hopefully we can do that. We will be focused on Phoenix, but we want to have some good races in the meantime.”

CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 5th IN STANDINGS
ELLIOTT ON RACING AT KANSAS:
“We’ve been hit or miss at Kansas, really. I’ve had some good runs and even some of those good finishes we haven’t been as solid as I feel like we want to be, but it’s a place where I know we can go and have success at. I feel like it’s a place where we have a decent notebook, so to speak, to build off of and make ourselves better.”

ELLIOTT ON BEING BELOW THE CHAMPIONSHIP 4 CUTLINE:
“The great thing is we’re able to be in this Round of 8, which is a great thing. Another thing about that is a win anywhere in this round is an opportunity to race for a championship. Obviously, we want to win – that would be the best way to lock ourselves in. Last year was certainly that way and kind of how it all played out. I would love to do that this weekend at Kansas and be able to go ahead and lock into Phoenix and set our eyes on that one. We’re going to fight through it either way and see where we end up.”

WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 RAPTORTOUGH.COM CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 13th IN STANDINGS
BYRON ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RACING AT KANSAS IN THE FALL VERSUS THE SPRING:
“The fall is usually always cooler than when we go there earlier in the year. It creates a lot of more wide-open throttle time because of that. You still move around the racetrack just as much and the restarts are just as crazy, but your on-throttle time is probably the biggest difference between the two races. It makes it a little bit easier to race but it’s still a tough track because I feel like the surface is pretty hard on tires. It sets it up to be a fun race to be in and I’m sure it’s a fun race to watch for fans. Something about that place clicked early on for me in Trucks and Xfinity. I struggled a bit there when I first got to Cup, but I think I’ve learned a lot over the years and it’s become one of my best tracks now.”

RUDY FUGLE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 24 RAPTORTOUGH.COM CAMARO ZL1 1LE
FUGLE ON WHY KANSAS IS ONE OF HIS FAVORITE RACETRACKS:
“Kansas is a really cool track. I like the progressive banking, the speed and the handling that comes with that track. I like when you have to have all the facets of the car together, and the crew chief has a major part to do with that. The first time we went there this year, we ran up front for most of the first stage and I just didn’t do a good job adjusting on it during the second stage, putting us back in traffic. We’ve made a lot of changes since then and our 550 horsepower package is way better since then. I’m just super, super excited to get there. It’s a track where drivers can go bottom, middle or top. Not only can we make a lot of adjustments as needed, but William can as well with his driving style because of that. It reminds me of Homestead at a young state before it aged and got really abrasive. If we can hit on everything we need to, we can definitely go win.”

ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 15th IN STANDINGS
“Going to Kansas, I’m really excited. (It’s) one of my favorite racetracks. It’s the only repave that’s stayed super race-y. I’m excited to get there and run from the bottom all the way to the outside wall; bunch of grooves. It’s been a good place for us in the past. We struggled there in the spring, but we have a good notebook to look back on from previous races. Our teammates were pretty strong – the No. 5 dominated that day, so being able to look at his notes and go back strong, we should be good this weekend.”

GREG IVES, CREW CHIEF, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1 1LE
“The one thing that Kansas (Speedway) definitely allows is multiple grooves in the track. In Texas, you were able to have two grooves, maybe a lane and a half, but in Kansas you can enter on the high side and carry momentum and someone can dive bomb you. You can be trimmed out for the restart for the first four or five laps and then you start getting tight off or loose in and the guy who has a little better downforce can get by you. Hopefully our Ally Chevrolet has speed on the short and long runs and is able to run top to bottom.”

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 GET BIOETHANOL CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 17th IN STANDINGS
HOW IS KANSAS UNIQUE COMPARED TO SOME OF THE OTHER 1.5-MILE TRACKS?
“Kansas Speedway has done a really good job with their banking. There’s a line right up by the fence that has a little extra grip. There’s an angle up there that I don’t think many tracks have figured out yet, but Kansas got it right. You can run from top to bottom there. The bottom groove is the preferred groove at the beginning, but it becomes too tight to try and run around there in turns one and two sometimes depending on what the balance of your race car is. I’ve enjoyed that track a lot ever since they repaved it. I wish every track could do as good as a job as Kansas has with repaves.”

ERIK JONES, NO. 43 PETTY’S GARAGE CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 24th IN STANDINGS
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES THAT COME WITH RACING AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY?
“At Kansas (Speedway), it’s just the craziness of the restarts. Kansas is so wide that you can run anywhere from the white line all the way up against the wall. When you go through those restarts, you just have cars everywhere. You’re three, four, sometimes five wide. It’s hard to balance that, be aggressive and move forward; but stay out of trouble and not get damage, as well.”

“I feel like as far as car balance, you just have to have a lot of speed in your car. You’re pretty much wide open around that track and it always seems like it moves up against the wall as the day goes. So, just having the speed in your car is really important to where you can get up there and have the maneuverability, but also have the speed to drive through the field.”

DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 GOOD SAM CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 25th IN STANDINGS
WHAT IS GOING ON BEHIND THE SCENES AT TRACKHOUSE RACING RIGHT NOW?
“I think that would take about an hour to tell you everything that is going on or it might be easier just to tell you what isn’t going on. It’s way more than what i was expecting. There’s a lot of stuff going on people-wise, the shop, the Next Gen Car and things like that.”

“I am a big believer in if you want to take care of the future you have to take car of the present. I try not to get too involved in things like that because I still have three more races this year and want to concentrate on that.”

“You are always going to be as strong as your last race. I have to keep working on this year, but we have a lot of people working very, very hard getting ready for next year.”

”We have to keep digging. The future is very bright.”

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: 16
Poles: 5
Laps Led: 3,806
Top-five finishes: 66
Top-10 finishes: 142
Stage wins: 29 – Chase Elliott (Daytona RC, Michigan, Daytona, Charlotte RC), William Byron (Homestead, Pocono 2, Road America), Kyle Larson (Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Atlanta x2, Kansas, Dover x2, Charlotte x3, Sonoma x2, Nashville, Darlington, Bristol, Texas 2), Kurt Busch (Nashville, Pocono 1, Atlanta 2, Las Vegas 2), Tyler Reddick (Road America, Indy RC x2)

CHEVROLET IN NASCAR CUMULATIVE STATISTICS:
Total Chevrolet race wins: 811 (1949 to date)
Poles won to date: 722
Laps led to date: 240,511
Top-five finishes to date: 4,131
Top-10 finishes to date: 8,544

Total NASCAR Cup Wins by Corporation, 1949 to Date:

       General Motors: 1,145
       Chevrolet: 811
       Pontiac: 154
       Oldsmobile: 115
       Buick: 65

       Ford: 811                                                         
       Ford: 711
       Mercury: 96
       Lincoln: 4

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

       Toyota: 162

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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