Hendrick Motorsports Media Advance: Richmond

Richmond Raceway
Sunday, April 3, 2022
.75-Mile Oval
3:30 PM ET
Location: Richmond, Virginia
TV: Fox
Event: NASCAR Cup Series (7 of 36)
Radio: SiriusXM, PRN

Age: 29 (July 31, 1992)
Hometown: Elk Grove, California
Resides: Mooresville, North Carolina
Crew Chief: Cliff Daniels
Standings: 16th

No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

NOT TOO SHABBY: In 14 starts at Richmond Raceway, Kyle Larson has one win (2017), two top-five finishes and six top-10s. The driver of the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 has finished seventh or better in six of his last nine starts at the Virginia venue.

OT WIN: In September 2017 at the Richmond, Larson held off Martin Truex Jr. and others in overtime to earn his first short-track victory in NASCAR’s premier series. The native of Elk Grove, California, led 53 laps in the event that was extended by four laps due to a late-race caution.

THE LAST TIME: In April 2017 in his most recent NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Richmond, Larson started seventh and led the final 10 circuits en route to victory. Along with that win, the driver also has two top-five finishes and three top-10s in five Xfinity starts at the .75-mile oval.

GOT SOME DIRT: On Friday and Saturday, Larson is scheduled to participate in the Bristol Dirt Nationals at Bristol Motor Speedway. HendrickCars.com will appear on his super late model, uniform, gloves and helmet.

TWENTY-SOMETHINGS: The last 12 Cup Series races have all been won by drivers under the age of 30 – the longest streak ever in NASCAR’s top division. Larson is responsible for five of those victories: Auto Club Speedway earlier this year and last season at Phoenix Raceway, Texas Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway and the Charlotte ROVAL.

STOP AND GO: At 12.62 seconds, the No. 5 pit crew has the 12th-quickest average time for four-tire pit stops in 2022. The over-the-wall crew is comprised of gasman Brandon Harder, jackman Brandon Johnson, tire carrier R.J. Barnette and tire changers Donnie Tasser (front) and Calvin Teague (rear).

VIRGINIA SON: Reigning Cup Series champion crew chief Cliff Daniels is a native of Smithfield, Virginia, which is approximately 75 miles southeast of Richmond. Daniels received a go-kart at age 7 and his first bandolero car at 9. As a driver, he competed at Southside Speedway near Richmond and progressed to legends cars at Langley Speedway by 2001. Daniels competed in late models at South Boston Speedway from 2004 until 2007, the year after he graduated high school from Hampton Roads Academy in Newport News, Virginia.

HOME RACE: For the third consecutive race weekend, Larson and the No. 5 HendrickCars.com team will wear their “home” white uniforms at Richmond Raceway. Home races occur in markets where there are Hendrick Automotive Group dealerships nearby, and the Richmond area is home to four of them. Be sure to follow Hendrick Automotive Group’s social media channels and visit HendrickCars.com to view the complete home and away schedule.

Age: 26 (Nov. 28, 1995)
Hometown: Dawsonville, Georgia
Resides: Dawsonville, Georgia
Crew Chief: Alan Gustafson
Standings: 1st

No. 9 A SHOC Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

RICHMOND RUNDOWN: On Sunday, Chase Elliott will make his 13th Richmond Raceway start in the NASCAR Cup Series. In his previous 12 races at the .75-mile oval, the driver of the No. 9 A SHOC Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 has collected four top-five finishes – one being a runner-up result in April 2018 – and five top-10s. In his most recent appearance at the track last fall, Elliott drove to a fourth-place showing after leading for 58 laps. Additionally, he has made four Richmond starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, never finishing outside the top five and earning a win in 2015.

TOP DOG: Elliott continues to lead the Cup Series standings for the second straight week by 13 points over Ryan Blaney. Consistency is paying off for the Dawsonville, Georgia, native, who leads the series with an average finish of 11.0. Last weekend, Elliott and the No. 9 team put together their best finish of the season, placing fourth at Circuit of The Americas. It was their fourth top-10 result of 2022, tied for most top-10s in the series through six events.

SHORT-TRACK PERFORMANCE: On Sunday at Richmond Raceway, Elliott will make his 37th short-track start in the Cup Series. In the previous 36 races, he has garnered one win (Martinsville in 2020), 12 top-five finishes, 17 top-10s and led 1,251 laps. Last year, Elliott led 476 laps on short tracks, his most in a single season.

GUSTAFSON AT RICHMOND: On Sunday, No. 9 team crew chief Alan Gustafson is set to call his 33rd Richmond race in the Cup Series. In his previous 32 starts at the track with five different drivers (Kyle Busch, Casey Mears, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and Elliott), Gustafson has accumulated 14 top-five finishes including five runner-up results, 18 top-10s and 624 laps led.

PIT ROAD POWER: The No. 9 pit crew is picking up where it left off at the end of the 2021 season. Through six events in 2022, the team has an average four-tire pit stop time of 11.904 seconds, which is second-fastest in the Cup Series. Last season, Elliott’s pit crew was named the Mechanix Wear most valuable pit crew for demonstrating the most consistency on pit road throughout the 36-race Cup schedule. The same five-member group is back with the No. 9 team this season: T.J. Semke (jackman), Jared Erspamer (tire carrier), Nick O’Dell (front-tire changer), Chad Avrit (rear-tire changer) and John Gianninoto (fueler).

A SHOC IS BACK: This weekend, A SHOC Energy is on board the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for its first of two races in 2022. It is A SHOC’s second season as a primary partner of Elliott and the No. 9 team. The performance energy drink brand will also join the team for Daytona International Speedway in August. Get a glimpse of all the angles of A SHOC’s new paint scheme here.

A SHOC ENERGY DAYTONA RACE EXPERIENCE: A SHOC Energy is giving fans the opportunity to win a VIP trip to the Cup Series race at Daytona on Saturday, Aug. 27. One grand prize winner and a guest will receive flight and hotel accommodations, tickets to the regular-season finale and a $500 Visa gift card. The sweepstakes is open now through July 15, and fans can enter by texting “ASHOCTRIP” to 97579.

Age: 24 (Nov. 29, 1997)
Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina
Resides: Charlotte, North Carolina
Crew Chief: Rudy Fugle
Standings: 6th

No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

COTA CATCH-UP: Debuting the No. 24 RaptorTough.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for the first time during the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season, William Byron qualified 24th at Circuit of The Americas. Utilizing pit strategy to gain track position, Byron was running within the top-10 by the second stage but an untimely speeding penalty under green relegated him to the tail end of the field for the final leg of the race. The 24-year-old driver maneuvered his way through traffic, rallying to a 12th-place finish.

RACKING UP THOSE POINTS: Byron has captured two stage wins in 2022, both coming in the opening stage of the races at Phoenix Raceway and Atlanta Motor Speedway. His two stage wins are tied with three other drivers for the most this season. In fact, not only has Byron collected the most stage points so far this year in the opening stage of races (37) he also currently has accumulated the second-most stage points overall (55) and the most playoff points (7).

SHORT-TRACK SUCCESS: With the Cup Series taking on its first short track of the 2022 season, Byron is excited to return to a track style that he has continued to find success on. After five short-track races last season, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native captured three top-five finishes, four top-10 finishes and had an average finish of 7.6 – the third best average finish in those races. His three top-five short-track finishes were also tied with two other drivers for the second most throughout the Cup Series field.

RUNNING AT RICHMOND: Sunday’s race at Richmond Raceway will mark Byron’s eighth Cup Series start at the .75-mile track. He currently has a track-best finish of seventh that came in the spring race of the 2021 season. Aside from his seven Cup Series starts, Byron has made two NASCAR Xfinity Series appearances that the Virginia-based track, both in 2017. He earned a best starting position of sixth and finished seventh in the fall. He also has one NASCAR ARCA Menards Series East start in 2015, when he won the pole and finished sixth.

RUDY AT RICHMOND: Crew chief Rudy Fugle has five previous starts at the national level at Richmond: two in the Cup Series, two in the Xfinity Series and one in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. His most recent starts atop the pit box at the short track came last season in the Cup Series when he helped lead the No. 24 team to Byron’s best finish to date at Richmond – seventh in the spring race.

LIBERTY U IS BACK: Byron will sport his new Liberty University paint scheme for the second time in the 2022 season on Sunday at Richmond. The first time this paint scheme was on track was at Atlanta where Byron wheeled it to victory lane. Featuring a white base with navy flames and red accents, the Liberty University No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will be sure to stand out on track. Liberty University has a long history with Byron starting back in 2014 in the late model ranks. Liberty University has been Training Champions for Christ since it was founded in 1971. Located in the mountains of Central Virginia, Liberty University 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 strategic communication, Byron is now in his junior year at Liberty University through its online program. For a better look at Byron’s new Liberty University paint scheme, click here.

48 Alex Bowman
Age: 28 (April 25, 1993)
Hometown: Tucson, Arizona
Resides: Concord, North Carolina
Crew Chief: Greg Ives
Standings: 4th

No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

DEFENDING WINNER: Alex Bowman goes into Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series short-track battle at Richmond Raceway as the event’s defending winner. The performance last April was the first of his career-best four victories on the season, second only to teammate and 2021 champion Kyle Larson. In the last six short-track races, Bowman has scored two wins: Richmond last spring and Martinsville Speedway in October 2021. In those starts, he is one of only two multi-race winners (Martin Truex Jr. also has two victories). In 2021, Bowman had the eighth-best average finish on short tracks in the Cup Series at 10.6.

#RALLY48: Bowman is riding momentum from the career-best Cup Series season he recorded in 2021. In comparison to this point last year, the driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 has a higher average finish (12.67) and more wins (one), runner-up finishes (one), top-fives (two), laps led (16) and stage wins (one) in 2022.

HEATING UP: Through the first six points-paying races of the 2022 Cup Series season, Bowman has tallied three top-10 finishes (Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway and Circuit of The Americas). Only two drivers have more top-10s: Points leader and teammate Chase Elliott (four) and Ross Chastain (four). Bowman has also tallied six playoff points, one less than teammate William Byron, who has the most in the series.

ABOVE AVERAGE: Bowman has the third-best average finish in the Cup Series in 2022, coming in at 12.67. Only Aric Almirola and teammate Elliott have a better average result through the first six points-paying races.

FIRST OF MANY: On Sunday, Bowman will return to Richmond where he marked the first points-paying win for primary sponsor Ally in the Cup Series last April. Since then, he has garnered four additional wins for the No. 48 Ally Racing team (Dover Motor Speedway, Pocono Raceway, Martinsville and Las Vegas).

COTA RECAP: Bowman pulled double duty last weekend at Circuit of The Americas, racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on Saturday and the NASCAR Cup Series on Sunday. The Tucson, Arizona, native competed for Spire Motorsports in the No. 7 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Silverado on the road course, placing 25th after being caught in an on-track incident on the last lap while making a move for the lead. He then turned his focus to the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, netting third place in stage one, 24th in stage two and a near victory on the last lap before finishing second.

VIRGINIA IS FOR RACERS: On Sunday at Richmond Raceway, Hendrick Motorsports will seek its 38th NASCAR Cup Series win in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The team’s 37 victories in Virginia are its most in any state, followed by North Carolina (32 wins) and California (22). In the Cup Series, Hendrick Motorsports has won 26 times at Martinsville Speedway and on 11 occasions at Richmond. Only Petty Enterprises (44) has more victories in the Old Dominion.

NOT SHORT ON WINS: Going into Sunday’s race at the .75-mile Richmond venue, Hendrick Motorsports holds the Cup Series record for points-paying wins on short tracks. The team has won 54 times on short tracks with 13 different drivers, which is 11 more victories than next-best Joe Gibbs Racing.

APPROACHING 2,000: Hendrick Motorsports is nearing its 2,000th top-10 finish in points-paying NASCAR Cup Series competition. With 1,994 results inside the top 10 since the team was founded in 1984, it is only six away from the milestone. The organization holds the record for the most top-10 finishes in Cup Series history – nearly 600 more than anyone else.

AND 100,000: Since Hendrick Motorsports was founded in 1984, it has led a record 98,932.113 miles in points-paying Cup Series races. The team is less than 1,068 miles from hitting 100,000 led at NASCAR’s top level. Last season, Hendrick Motorsports led 5,662.77 miles. Through six races in 2022, it has led 474.64 miles.

TWENTY AND 22: Since the beginning of the 2021 Cup Series season, Hendrick Motorsports has won 20 points-paying races. During that period, all other teams combined have posted 22 victories.

YOUTH PREVAILING: Drivers under the age of 30 have won the last 12 Cup Series races dating back to last season – something that has never occurred in NASCAR history. Eight of the 12 races have been won by Hendrick Motorsports, which in 2021 became the first team to ever record victories with four different drivers under 30 years old in a single season.


Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on his upcoming racing schedule: “I’m racing (on dirt) at Bristol this weekend as well as Richmond, and my schedule is about to get real busy in the coming weeks and months. I wouldn’t have it any other way. At Richmond, I have a win there and we’ve run well there in the past, but this is a new car and we’re still learning it. Hopefully, we can figure it out pretty quickly and be there at the end.”

Cliff Daniels, crew chief of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on racing the Next Gen car at Richmond: “It’s hard to pinpoint what we think Richmond is going to be like with past experiences with the previous generation car. You could have a globally similar approach between Phoenix and Richmond, but there is a lot of nuances of what you need for Richmond that is really hard to figure out. You can’t take a Phoenix setup and run well at Richmond and vice versa. Richmond seems to change a lot with temperature and the surface seems to get more worn out year after year. It’s hard to find the right buttons to push.”

Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on racing at Richmond: “Historically, Richmond hasn’t really been the best track for us, but I felt like we were a little more solid there the last couple of years and were able to lead some laps. Going back there with this new car, it will be interesting to see how things go. Teams are going to have to make the most of the little bit of practice time we get because getting your car driving the way you need it to for this track is so important.”

Alan Gustafson, crew chief of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on the 2022 season thus far: “Each week I feel like we’re getting a better feel for this (Next Gen) car and what it can do. It’s definitely been a bit of a learning curve for all of us, but Chase has done a great job of adapting, and the performance of the car has been there, and we’ve been competitive. Every race we’ve been in, I think we’ve really had a shot, and a lot of that credit goes to him and his ability to drive the car and understand and pick up on it quickly. As this season goes on, I think we’re only going to get stronger.”

William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on his thoughts heading into Richmond: “I feel like going into Richmond we have a pretty clear idea of what we need in the car. It’s going to be about qualifying well, having a good pit selection and staying up front all day. I think Richmond is a tough place to pass and a tough place to come from the back. You’ve got to be on it from the beginning.”

Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on utilizing notes from Phoenix for this weekend at Richmond: “While Phoenix isn’t a true short track, I think we can use a lot of the notes we have from there from a few weeks ago. We’ll be using the same tire we ran there so that helps as well. We learned a lot throughout that race weekend especially towards the end of the race that we can apply this weekend. We had speed, but we just needed to fine tune some setup things, which we have been working on during this week.”

Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on his expectations heading to Richmond: “Going back as the defending race winner always gives you a little boost of confidence. With it being the track where Ally got their first Cup Series win, it makes that place even more special. Obviously, this year the car is different, but I think it will still be a good race. The car is getting better, and my team has given me everything I need to go out there and race hard, so I am excited to go back to Richmond and try to take home another win.”

Greg Ives, crew chief of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on the momentum he feels his team has heading into Richmond: “We have a lot of momentum coming off of a great race weekend for Alex and the No. 48 team (a second-place finish at Circuit of The Americas). Anytime you go to a place you want to improve and run well, it gives you a lot of confidence heading to your next race. Running up front in the truck race and then coming second in the Cup race is huge for us, and then having won at Richmond (last year) gives us even more confidence to build on. I am excited to get back to there and try to take home another trophy.”

Ives on going back to Richmond where Ally captured its first points win in the Cup Series: “It was a super special win for us and for Ally given that it was their first in the Cup Series and our first with the No. 48 team. That is definitely in the back of our mind going into the weekend, so we will go out there and race hard and try to repeat our success and get Ally another win.”

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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

My Betting Site

Online Casino

Free Spins No Deposit UK

10 deposit casinos

Latest articles