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NCS AT RICHMOND: Team Chevy Advance

TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE
Toyota Owners 400
Richmond Raceway
Richmond, Virginia
April 2, 2023

 RICHMOND STARTS SHORT-TRACK RUN

The NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) is gearing up for three consecutive weekends of short-track competition, kicking-off with the .75-mile D-shaped oval of Richmond Raceway. Commonly known as “America’s Premiere Short Track”, the Virginia venue has been a staple stop on the series’ schedule with this weekend’s Toyota Owners 400 marking the 133rd appearance by NASCAR’s premier series at the track.

Through NASCAR’s history at Richmond, 17 different drivers have powered Chevrolet to a series-leading 39 NCS victories. The Bowtie brand’s most recent trip to victory lane at the track came from Hendrick Motorsports’ Alex Bowman in April 2021 – the first of a career-high four wins for the Chevrolet driver that season. Chevrolet also holds the record for the longest streak of consecutive NCS wins at Richmond by a single manufacturer with six in a row, dating from May 2006 to September 2008. Four different drivers contributed to that run: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (May 2006), Kevin Harvick (Sept. 2006), Clint Bowyer (May 2008) and Jimmie Johnson (May 2007, Sept. 2007 and Sept. 2008).

ROWDY REIGNS AT RICHMOND

Kyle Busch is no stranger to success at Richmond Raceway, giving the Team Chevy lineup yet another powerhouse driver at the Virginia venue. The 37-year-old Nevada native is the series’ winningest active driver at the track with six trips to victory lane in 34 career starts. The two-time series’ champion also will return to Richmond with top-10 finishes in his past 10 starts at the track – a stretch that also includes a sweep of the wins in the 2018 events. Busch also leads the series’ active drivers in runner-up (seven) and top-five finishes (18), and has the best average finish at the track with 6.875.


BOWMAN, BUSCH LEAD IN SEASON FINISHES

With six points-paying NASCAR Cup Series complete, only two drivers have maintained a single-digit average finish – both coming from the Chevrolet camp.

Chevrolet’s most recent NCS Richmond Raceway winner – Alex Bowman – leads the series with an average finish of 7.0. Bowman has only finished outside of the top-10 on one occasion this season, while also leading the series with three top-five finishes. The driver of the No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1 is coming off a third-place finish at Circuit of The Americas to tie his season-best result. Joining Bowman on that list is fellow Chevrolet driver Kyle Busch. The winningest active NCS driver at Richmond will head into the weekend with an average finish of 9.0. Busch has notched four top-10 finishes thus far, including a win and a playoff berth that came just two races into the season.


ALLMENDINGER CONTINUES AS ROAD COURSE KING

A notable favorite heading into the Circuit of The Americas race weekend, AJ Allmendinger made his return to the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) to defend his race winning title at the circuit and the Chevrolet driver accomplished just that. Taking the green from the pole position, Allmendinger led the race’s first 14 laps in en route to the Stage One win. Losing track position during a round of mid-race green flag pit stops, Allmendinger was able to power the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Camaro SS from 25th to lead the final 14 laps to the victory. The win marked Allmendinger’s 11th NXS road course victory, extending his record as the only driver in series’ history to have double-digit road course wins on his résumé.

Despite suffering mechanical failures that resulted in a DNF, Austin Hill was able to maintain the series’ points lead with a 15-point advantage over second. Justin Allgaier – who collected his series-leading fourth top-five finish of the season – is fourth in the standings, with series’ rookie Chandler Smith holding onto fifth to give Team Chevy three of the top-five in the series’ standings. Following the Camaro SS’s fourth win of the season, Chevrolet also continues to hold strong to the top spot of the NXS manufacturer points standing.


NXS JOINS NCS FOR RICHMOND DOUBLEHEADER

The NASCAR Xfinity Series will make its 77th appearance at Richmond Raceway with Saturday’s ToyotaCare 250. Chevrolet has collected 28 NXS victories at the .75-mile Virginia venue with JR Motorsports delivering the manufacturer wins in three of the series’ past four races at the track (Justin Allgaier – 2020 sweep; Noah Gragson – Sept. 2021). Chevrolet had a streak of strong showings in the early 2000s with Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s victory in September 2002 marking the start of 10 trips to victory lane in an 11-race stretch.


NCTS HEADS BACK TO THE LONE STAR STATE

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series’ (NCTS) winningest driver Kyle Busch led the Bowtie brand to the finish at Circuit of The Americas, picking up a runner-up finish in his second NCTS start of the season. While the manufacturer was one spot shy of the triumph, the Silverado RST showed its speed throughout the series’ first road course event. Christian Eckes and Busch each drove the Bowtie brand to a stage win with Chevrolet drivers going on to record a combined 25 laps led in the 42-lap race. Chevrolet closed out the weekend maintaining the lead in the series’ manufacturer points standings for the second consecutive week.

The NCTS will make the trek back to the “Lone Star State” to join the NTT INDYCAR SERIES for a unique doubleheader race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. The Bowtie brand heads to the 1.5-mile Texas oval with 18 NCTS wins at the track. The manufacturer’s most recent Texas triumph came from Sheldon Creed in October 2020 – a victory that took Creed to the Championship Four race that ultimately crowned the Chevrolet driver as the series’ champion.


BOWTIE BULLETS:

· Active Chevrolet Drivers with a NASCAR Cup Series win at Richmond Raceway:

Kyle Busch – 6 (2018 sweep, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009)

Alex Bowman – 1 (2021)

Kyle Larson – 1 (2017)

· In 132 NASCAR Cup Series races at Richmond Raceway, Chevrolet has amassed a series-leading 39 victories and 47 pole wins.

· Chevrolet recorded six consecutive NASCAR Cup Series victories at Richmond Raceway from 2006 to 2008 – a record for the longest streak of consecutive wins by a single manufacturer at the .75-mile Virginia oval.

· Hendrick Motorsports leads all active NASCAR Cup Series teams with 55 short-track wins, recorded by 14 different drivers. Eleven of those victories came at Richmond Raceway.

· Chevrolet’s series-leading four NASCAR Cup Series wins this season have been recorded by drivers from three different Chevrolet teams: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (JTG Daugherty Racing), Kyle Busch (Richard Childress Racing) and William Byron (Hendrick Motorsports).

· Chevrolet drivers have recorded eight of the 12 NASCAR Cup Series stage wins this season: William Byron (four; series-leading), Ross Chastain (three) and Kyle Larson (one).

· Only two drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series have a single-digit average finish this season – both coming from the Chevrolet lineup: Alex Bowman (7.0) and Kyle Busch (9.0).

· With six points-paying NASCAR Cup Series races in the books, Chevrolet continues to lead the series in wins (four), top-fives (16), top-10s (29), stage wins (eight) and laps led (753).

· Chevrolet sits atop the manufacturer points standings in all three NASCAR national series, leading by 22 points in the NASCAR Cup Series, 15 points in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and two points in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

· With its 41 NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer’s Championships, 33 NASCAR Cup Series Driver’s Championships, and 837 all-time NASCAR Cup Series wins, Chevrolet continues to hold the title of winningest brand in NASCAR Cup Series history.

Tune In:

· NASCAR Cup Series at Richmond Raceway

Toyota Owners 400; 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 2

(FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90)

· NASCAR Xfinity Series at Richmond Raceway

ToyotaCare 250; 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 1

(FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90)

· NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Texas Motor Speedway

SpeedyCash.com 250; 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 1

(FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90)


QUOTABLE QUOTES:
ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 1 JOCKEY CAMARO ZL1

What do you expect this weekend at Richmond?

“We are running a little bit different package this weekend compared to Richmond last year. It’ll be our second short track this season so I’ll be curious to see how everything shakes out. I’ve been working in the simulator and my guys have been working hard on the set up. We’ll have a short time for practice and hopefully we qualify well which is huge. I qualified second there last fall which is big because it doesn’t take cars long to go a lap down there under green flag.”

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 BREZTRI AEROSPHERE CAMARO ZL1

What are your thoughts on Richmond Raceway?

“Richmond Raceway is a challenge. I loved the track for about half of my life NASCAR life, and for the other half it was such a brutal place to come race for us. My Richard Childress Racing team really flipped the script the last couple of years, and we’ve been consistent in the top 10 and running well. I’m looking forward to getting back to Richmond with the new lower downforce package. Tire wear is very fast so managing tires for 400 laps is key and I’ve always enjoyed the long runs. Richmond is a rhythm track, and after our Top-5 run at the L.A. Coliseum, I’m excited to see what the No. 3 BREZTRI AEROSPHERE™ (budesonide, glycopyrrolate, and formoterol fumarate) Chevrolet will do.”

KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1

Larson on what he learned from running the Gen-6 car and the Next Gen car at Richmond Raceway:

“They both drove similarly at Richmond (Raceway). The entry to (turn) three was a little bit looser in the Next Gen car as the run progressed. Richmond was already a hard track to pass on and is probably (now) one of the most difficult tracks to pass on in the Next Gen car. The spring race at Richmond Raceway is really slick and slow. Richmond in general is very finesse.”

KYLE BUSCH, NO. 8 3CHI CAMARO ZL1

You have had a lot of success at Richmond. What is it about that track that fits so well with your driving style?

“I have had a lot of success at Richmond and I enjoy going there. It’s a fun place. I struggled and was terrible there when I started in the Truck Series back in 2001 but then the track got repaved. I was able to go back there in the Xfinity Series and sat on the pole and got my first Busch Series win at Richmond, Now that the track has really aged and the surface is getting older, it has really turned that track into a tough short track, really much harder than it once used to be. Used to be able to get down to the bottom and kind of rip the center of the corner and drive off the corner really hard. Now it’s all about managing your tires and taking care of your car.

Long runs always happen there. The second and third stages go 100 laps plus and that’s about how far you can go on fuel so to try and stretch your tires 100 laps definitely makes it tough on the driver and the car.”

The Richmond race will be held in the afternoon and the track surface is older. Do you think that will make for better racing?

“I don’t know if it will make any difference for better racing. I just think that it makes for different racing. Being there in the nighttime, I think it ventures more to the bottom, around the bottom. The shortest way around is the fastest way around. When you’re able to have it a little bit slicker with a little bit more track temp during the day, a little bit more rubber that goes down, it allows guys to kind of move around somewhat but when your car’s good and you’re good around the bottom the shortest way around is the fastest way around, so I don’t see there being much difference.”

JOSH BERRY, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1

Berry on racing at Richmond:

“Richmond Raceway has always been one of my favorites to race at. I feel like its nature fits my style, and I was able to get my first top-10 finish in the (NASCAR) Xfinity Series there. Since then, I’ve continued to perform well at Richmond and I’m hoping that will cross over into Sunday.”

AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 16 ACTION INDUSTRIES CAMARO ZL1

“Richmond is a challenging short track. It’s very slick and hard on tires. We are working hard to make our short track program better and this will be a good test to see what we have.”

WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 RAPTORTOUGH.COM CAMARO ZL1

Byron on his fast start in 2023 lending itself to the upcoming short-track races:

“With the variety of tracks we’ve raced at so far this year, it really shows the strength of this team overall. Our short-track program was strong last year. Those tracks are a real strength of mine in general, which makes me really excited for this weekend. We should have a really good shot at being one of the cars to beat again this weekend and that’s how we want it to be. We want to keep that momentum up and keeping playing offense.”

JUSTIN HALEY, NO. 31 LEAFFILTER GUTTER PROTECTION CAMARO ZL1

“Richmond is a challenging racetrack. There’s a lot of racing grooves on the track, which makes it fun. It was one of my best tracks in the Xfinity Series, but we have struggled a bit in the Cup Series with our short track program. Hopefully we can take some of the stuff we learned at Phoenix and apply it here.”

NOAH GRAGSON, NO. 42 SUNSEEKER RESORT CAMARO ZL1

“I’m looking forward to Richmond this weekend. The No. 42 team has been rallying back the last two weeks with strategy and speed. The pit crew has been awesome. My first race win at Richmond in Xfinity was really special and I was able to drive the NextGen car last fall in a Cup car. We are making some progress as a team and each week things are coming together more and more.”

ERIK JONES, NO. 43 U.S. AIR FORCE CAMARO ZL1

This weekend, you will have the added support from the U.S. Air Force on your No. 43 Chevrolet. What does it mean to you to drive this special Thunderbirds paint scheme?

“It’s pretty cool to have the U.S. Air Force on the No. 43 – its year three for me as a driver to represent them. Having the Air Force Thunderbirds paint scheme this weekend – it’s just a really good looking car – it’s probably my favorite Air Force paint scheme over the last few years. I’m happy to have them onboard and I hope to have a good run for them. We’ve come close a few times to getting them a win in some speedway races, so hopefully we can get it done this at Richmond this weekend.”

RICKY STENHOUSE JR., NO. 47 KROGER / KRAFT MAC & CHEESE CAMARO ZL1

“We have received a lot more information this off season from Chevrolet and with our alliance with Hendrick. We have learned about more tools to work with on our race cars that we didn’t know we had. Last year, the first Richmond race we struggled. The second race we had some good speed. We found some things that made our car better for that second race. After the work we did in the off season, we feel like we are going to be better than what they were last year.”

Richmond is a fun track because you can run the bottom, middle, top and you’ve got downshifting. With the asphalt being worn, the tires wear out. Short tracks are short tracks, but they are also unique. You need the same thing at about every short track. You need the car to rotate the center and the front tires to work well. We improved the second Richmond race last season. Now, I feel like I have more confidence going into this weekend at Richmond for sure.”

ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1

Bowman on his consistency to start 2023:

“Being able to start the year so strong is a testament to the hard work by everyone on the No. 48 team. Becoming more consistent is something I have wanted to get to for a while now. To have this season start this way has given me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season. The team at the shop are building really fast No. 48 Ally Chevrolets and Blake (Harris, crew chief) has put a lot of energy back into this group. It’s a really exciting time for us. I am just trying to take it one race at a time and do everything I can to continue our string of good races.”

DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 QUAKER STATE CAMARO ZL1

How do you stay positive in times of frustration?

“I try to remind myself why I’m here. I’m here because I love racing. I’m here because I love to compete and I like to win. Everything else comes as a consequence. I feel grateful to be here. When you’re in a rhythm, like I was talking about not long ago, it’s easy to take it for granted what we do every single weekend. We are very lucky individuals that we get to do every single weekend what we love to do – drive racecars and compete. Every single driver here is very, very competitive. It’s something we just love. Just because of that we are very fortunate to be in this position. I try to remind myself all these things – to know that I’m in a very good position and go out there and have fun… prepare myself as good as possible mentally and physically and go out there and compete at the highest level that I could possibly do.”


CHASE PURDY, NO. 4 BAMA BUGGIES SILVERADO RST

With the speed you’ve shown at the mile-and-a-half tracks are you looking forward to Texas this weekend?

“We’ve had really good speed at the first two races this year on mile-and-a-half tracks. KBM has done a really good job of bringing really dominant trucks to those places, not just this year, but years prior. I think this will be an opportunity for me to correct the mistakes I’ve made in the first two mile-and-a-half races and really put it all together and show that our Bama Buggies team can go out and starting contending for wins.”

How does racing at Texas compare to the other mile-and-a-half tracks on the Truck Series schedule?

“It’s less wide open. Turns Three and Four if your stuff is good you are going to want to be wide open, but Turns One and Two you are going to have to lift and with no substance down in the other lanes I feel like it is going to be one-lane dominant. Traditionally at mile-and-a-half tracks you can move around, but this one not so much. I think that is something to be aware of. With no live pit stops, track position is going to be more important so that will make qualifying even more important than it usually is.”

Will the earlier start time affect the handling of the trucks?

“It’s not going to be as hot as it would be if we were racing there in June, so I’m not sure that starting earlier will affect it that much. Normally when it is hot it makes it slicker. I think it will still be slick because nobody has been racing on it and we are going to be the first ones on track. I think that causes people to wreck when they try to get off the bottom and run up a little bit into the old substance that is there from before, but we won’t know until we get there.”

JACK WOOD, NO. 51 SEVWINS SILVERADO RST

You’ve been traveling with the team to the races where you aren’t behind the wheel. What have you been able to learn by doing that?

“It’s been really good for me to go to the track and watch these races from a different angle that I normally don’t get to see. Being able to sit on the pit box with Brian (Pattie, crew chief) and understanding the communication that goes on between him and the engineer, as well as with him and the spotter and what the pit crew does during the race and all the kind of stuff you might not even think about. It’s been a good perspective for me to see. Starting to understand more of the behind the scenes of what happens on a race weekend. When you go as a driver, you are really just focused on driving the truck, but these couple races I’ve been able to learn quite a bit as far as team communication goes.”

Does the strong run you had at Atlanta give you confidence heading into this week’s race at Texas?

“Coming off a strong run at Atlanta, I’m definitely looking forward to Texas. I’ve just been really pleased with the speed that the KBM trucks have had this year, so as a driver that gives you a lot of confidence and makes you really excited for each race. I know that we are going to show up with a fast Sevwins Silverado. Texas is going to be a good one for me, it’s going to be different than anything I’ve raced on so far this year in the KBM equipment, but KBM has been really strong at Texas in past years. It’ll be interesting with us being there without Xfinity and Cup — the track preparation that SMI will be doing I feel like will be a little bit different than what we are used to. I think it’ll be a good day for us, we just need to keep the nose clean and maintain track position. The way that the pit stops are set up, you’re not going to be able to gain spots on pit road like we have been able to at the last couple of races, so that is going to throw a little curveball in there. It’s also going to be a lit bit longer of a race than what we are used to in the Truck Series as well, so I think you just need to keep your head in the game, maintain your track position and try to give the best feedback that you possibly can to your crew chief throughout the race so that you have what you need when it gets down to the end of the race.”

GRANT ENFINGER, NO. 23 CHAMPION POWER EQUIPMENT SILVERADO RST

Texas Motor Speedway has been a good track for you in the past, what are some of the key factors to take into consideration to stay up front this weekend?

“I am ready to get back to Texas Motor Speedway. Last year at Texas we did not have enough to contend with, but I feel like our trucks are better this year. Texas is pretty unique, with it being so flat into turn one and two, but has so much banking in turns three and four. We need to stay ahead of the track and unload close, because it’s pretty difficult to pass there. I think our No. 23 Champion Power Equipment team has a lot of things going our way, and I feel if we do our job as a team we can contend for a win on Saturday.”

RAJAH CARUTH, NO. 24 WENDELL SCOTT FOUNDATION SILVERADO RST

Caruth’s thoughts on competing at Texas Motor Speedway for the first time:

“I’m excited to hit up another new venue this weekend in Texas Motor Speedway. I enjoy the high-speed facilities, and know our No. 24 Wendell Scott Foundation Chevy Silverado will have the speed to contend all race long! We are hoping to continue the start of the momentum that we’ve gained from last race in Austin. I think we can have ourselves a fun weekend with GMS Racing.”

DANIEL DYE, NO. 43 KIX COUNTRY / RACE TO STOP SUICIDE SILVERADO RST

Daniel’s thoughts on competing at Texas Motor Speedway:

“I’m looking forward to going to Texas with our No. 43 team this weekend. It’s another intermediate track on our schedule but quite a bit different than what we had in Las Vegas and Atlanta. It will be a new challenge for us, but I’m going to learn all day throughout practice, qualifying, and through the first stage of the race. I haven’t been to that track since I raced quarter midgets out in the parking lot a few years ago, so I think it will be a fun experience to come full-circle by racing at the big track.”

CHRISTIAN ECKES, NO. 19 NAPA AUTO CARE SILVERADO RST

Eckes on his impressive history at Texas:

“Texas is easily one of my favorite racetracks for sure, especially after second-place finishes in the last two spring races. There’s some unfinished business there that I’d like to take care of this weekend with our NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet. This is a great opportunity for our team to bounce back after COTA and respond the right way. Everybody at MHR has put together fast trucks each week and we’ve been in contention to win all four races this year, so I’m looking forward to this weekend and put ourselves in position for another one.”

JAKE GARCIA, NO. 35 ADAPTIVE ONE CALIPERS SILVERADO RST

Garcia on returning to a 1.5-mile track:

“I’m looking forward to getting back to an intermediate this week at Texas. Even though I’ve never raced there before and haven’t done much intermediate racing, I’m getting more comfortable after Las Vegas and Atlanta. We had a great result at Vegas and I felt like we had a really strong truck at Atlanta, so hopefully we can continue that with our Adaptive One Chevrolet on Saturday. Last week was definitely a learning experience road course racing, so it’ll be good to get back at a mile-and-a-half and get more experience.”

Chevrolet NASCAR Cup Series Statistics

Manufacturers Championships:

Total (1949-2022): 41

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, 2021, 2022

Drivers Championships:

Total (1949-2021): 33

First Chevrolet champion: Buck Baker (1957)

Highest number of consecutive titles: 7 (2005-11)

Most Recent: Kyle Larson (2021)

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, 2021

Event Victories:

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

2023 STATISTICS:

Wins: 4

Poles: 3

Laps Led: 753

Top-five finishes: 16

Top-10 finishes: 29

Stage wins: 8

· Ross Chastain – 3 (Daytona), (Auto Club x2)

· William Byron – 4 (Las Vegas x2), (Phoenix), (COTA)

· Kyle Larson – 1 (Phoenix)

CHEVROLET IN NASCAR CUMULATIVE STATISTICS:

Total Chevrolet race wins: 837 (1949 to date)

Poles won to date: 737

Laps led to date: 246,297

Top-five finishes to date: 4,237

Top-10 finishes to date: 8,741

Total NASCAR Cup Wins by Corporation, 1949 to Date:

       General Motors: 1,171

       Chevrolet: 837

       Pontiac: 154

       Oldsmobile: 115

       Buick: 65



       Ford: 821                                                           

       Ford: 721

       Mercury: 96

       Lincoln: 4



       Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: 467

       Dodge: 217

       Plymouth: 191

       Chrysler: 59



       Toyota: 171


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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