Hendrick Motorsports Media Advance: Charlotte


Age: 30 (July 31, 1992)

Hometown: Elk Grove, California

Resides: Mooresville, North Carolina

Crew Chief: Cliff Daniels

Standings: 9th

No. 5 HendrickCars.com Patriotic Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

MAKING HISTORY: Kyle Larson dominated NASCAR’s return to North Wilkesboro Speedway. A day after earning a win in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race, Larson capped off what he called “a special weekend” by overpowering the competition under the lights for the 2023 NASCAR All-Star Race victory. With the win, he earned the $1 million prize for the third time with each win occurring at a different track (2019 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and 2021 at Texas Motor Speedway). In 2021, when Larson visited victory lane for the All-Star Race, he also went on to win that season’s Cup Series championship. Throughout NASCAR’s history, the All-Star Race winner has gone on to win the title on 12 occasions, achieved by seven drivers. Larson’s three all-star wins are tied with Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon for the second-most in the event’s history.

CHARLOTTE SUCCESS: The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion has experienced considerable success at the 1.5-mile layout of Charlotte Motor Speedway. In 13 Cup Series starts, he has one win, two top-five finishes, six top-10s and 398 laps led. Over the last five races on the oval, he has led the most laps (378). The driver of the No. 5 won the Coca-Cola 600 in 2021 in dominating fashion by leading 327 of 400 laps – the fifth-highest total in the event’s history. This victory marked the 269th Cup Series win for Hendrick Motorsports, surpassing Petty Enterprises as the winningest team in Cup Series history. In the 2022 edition of this event, Larson came close to repeating as the winner, leading before a caution came out on lap 399. An incident in the first overtime attempt led to a ninth-place finish.

1.5-MILE POWER: Since joining Hendrick Motorsports for the 2021 season, Larson has had great prosperity on 1.5-mile tracks. In that span, he has made 18 starts on this track length (not counting the reconfigured Atlanta Motor Speedway since the start of 2022), and posted series-best marks for wins (five), runner-up finishes (five), top-fives (11), top-10s (15), stage wins (13), laps led (1,790) and average finish (7.06). The Elk Grove, California, native has led three times more laps on 1.5-mile tracks than any other driver during this time period.

FACTS ON THE FIVE: Through 13 races this season, the 30-year-old driver has led the second-most laps (582) in the series, trailing teammate William Byron (596). In 2022, he only led 635 laps. Larson has run the third-most laps in a top-five position (1,507) and the fourth-most laps in the top 10 (2,241). In addition, he is tied for second in points-paying wins (two) and top-five finishes (five).

HONOR AND REMEMBER: As part of this weekend’s 600 Miles of Remembrance, each car in the field will carry the name of a fallen service member on the windshield. United States Army E4 Specialist (SP4) Martin J. DeHimer will be remembered on the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. SP4 DeHimer was killed in action, while serving in Vietnam on March 11, 1970. The HendrickCars.com paint scheme will also take on a different look for this weekend’s race. You can check out every angle of the scheme, featuring SP4 DeHimer’s name on the windshield, here.

PIT CREW PERFORMANCE: With an average four-tire stop time of 11.232 seconds, the HendrickCars.com pit crew is ranked as the fourth-fastest on pit road. The team’s five-man pit crew includes Blaine Anderson (front-tire changer), R.J. Barnette (tire carrier), Brandon Harder (fueler), Brandon Johnson (jackman) and Calvin Teague (rear-tire changer).

FUTURE DOUBLE DUTY: In 2024, Larson will be running the prestigious Memorial Day weekend double, the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 in the same day. In preparation to join the Arrow McLaren IndyCar Team for the biggest open-wheel event, he spent last Thursday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to get immersed in everything with the team. The Chevrolet entry will be co-owned by Rick Hendrick and carry title sponsorship from HendrickCars.com.

EXTRACURRICULAR: Along with Larson’s full-time Cup Series schedule, he races late models and sprint cars most weeks. Larson will race in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series on Friday, May 26, at Atomic Speedway in Waverly, Ohio.

HOME RACE HATS: This weekend’s race at Charlotte will mark the seventh home race of the season for the HendrickCars.com team. For every HendrickCars.com home race this season (15 total), there will be an exclusive hat that is only available for sale on the trackside merchandise haulers, or available to win on HendrickCars.com. Less than 100 of each limited-edition hat will be made available to the public. This week’s Charlotte themed hat will be released today and can be found here.

HENDRICKCARS.COM IS HOME: The Charlotte market is home to 25 Hendrick Automotive Group dealerships. Not in town for the race this weekend? There are 70 additional Hendrick Automotive Group locations nationwide. Want to browse from the convenience of your own home? Customers can select the category, make, model and vehicle packages that are important to them from the nearly 30,000 new, high-quality pre-owned and certified cars, trucks and SUVs available at HENDRICKCARS.COM.


Age: 27 (Nov. 28, 1995)

Hometown: Dawsonville, Georgia

Resides: Dawsonville, Georgia

Crew Chief: Alan Gustafson

Standings: 28th

No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Patriotic Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

BATTLE OF THE ALL-STARS: In last weekend’s return to North Wilkesboro Speedway, the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts crew achieved the third-fastest pit stop among the teams already locked into the NASCAR All-Star Race during the Pit Crew Challenge. The quick stop allowed Chase Elliott to start second in the first of two qualifying heat races, where he ultimately scored a seventh-place result. Starting 13th for the main event, Elliott powered his way inside the top 10 by the completion of the first circuit and remained there for the rest of the 200-lap race, earning a fifth-place finish.

LOOKING BACK: In last year’s Coca-Cola 600, Elliott began the race in the 13th position and worked his way to the lead, winning the first stage of the race. He was running inside the top three with less than 15 laps to go in the second stage when his Chevrolet was damaged after contact with the wall. The No. 9 team worked hard on repairs, but Elliott was forced to retire from the race when the damaged vehicle policy clock expired. The 2020 Cup Series champion led a total of 86 laps on the night prior to the incident.

QUEEN CITY RÉSUMÉ: Elliott is set to make his 12th NASCAR Cup Series start at the oval layout of Charlotte Motor Speedway. In his previous 11 races at the 1.5-mile track, the 27-year-old driver has finished in the top five in five of those starts, including three runner-up finishes and a victory in the 208-lap Thursday night event in 2020. Overall, he has six top-10 finishes and has led 332 laps. Notably, Elliott currently has the longest active streak of oval races led at Charlotte, pacing the field in each of the last five events. Across these races, he has led 217 laps, third-most in the series and trailing only teammates Kyle Larson (378) and Alex Bowman (228)

1.5-MILE PERFORMANCE: In Elliott’s only start on a 1.5-mile track this season at Kansas Speedway, he started from the 21st position and led five laps en route to a seventh-place finish. Across 73 career Cup Series starts on traditional mile-and-a-half tracks, the Dawsonville, Georgia, native has two victories (Charlotte 2020 and Kansas 2018), collected 22 top-five finishes – eight of which are runner-up results – and 37 top-10s. He’s paced the field for nearly 1,000 laps (987) on 1.5-milers in his Cup career.

PLAYOFF PUSH: Since Elliott’s return to the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Martinsville Speedway in April following his recovery from a fractured tibia, he has gained 71 points on the playoff bubble. He currently sits 28th in the Cup Series point standings, just 63 markers outside of the provisional cutline for a playoff spot. To make the playoffs as the standings are currently, Elliott would need to gain an average of five points per race on the cutline. In Elliott’s five points races back, he’s finished 12th or better, averaged 14 points gained per race on the cutline and earned the fourth-most points (163) in the series. 

REMEMBERING A HERO: In Sunday’s Memorial Day weekend race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the windshield of Elliott’s No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will showcase the name of United States Army Captain (CPT) Christopher Scott Seifert, who was selected through NAPA’s relationship with the Intrepid Fallen Hero Foundation. A native of Williams Township, Pennsylvania, CPT Seifert was a member of the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps at Lehigh University. He joined the Army ranks in 1997 and reclassified from the infantry to military intelligence in 2001. CPT Seifert served as infantry platoon leader, Airborne School and Basic Infantryman Course graduate and was later assigned to the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) after attending the Military Intelligence Advanced Officer’s Course. He was killed in action on March 22, 2003, and is survived by his wife Terri and son Ben.

A SALUTE TO OUR FALLEN: This weekend, NAPA Auto Parts will trade out its classic blue, yellow and white scheme for a patriotic look on the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in honor of Memorial Day. Get a look at all angles of Elliott’s ride here.


Age: 25 (Nov. 29, 1997)

Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina

Resides: Charlotte, North Carolina

Crew Chief: Rudy Fugle

Standings: 5th

No. 24 Liberty University Patriotic Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Liberty University Patriotic Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media at the Charlotte Motor Speedway media center on Saturday, May 27, at 6 p.m. ET.

24 POWER: At the midway point of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series regular season, William Byron and the No. 24 team are asserting their position as frontrunners. In 13 races, Byron has secured two pole awards, six top-five finishes – surpassing his total from the entire 2022 season – seven top-10s and 596 laps led, compared to the 746 laps he led in all of 2022. He ranks first in the following statistical categories: Wins (three), laps led (596), laps run in the top five (1,787), stage wins (six) and top-five finishes (six). The Charlotte, North Carolina, native also holds the second-best average running position this season (8.20) – one of only two drivers to have a top-10 average running position. In the last five races, he has accumulated the most points (194) and is on a run of four consecutive top-10 finishes – the longest active streak in the field.

THAT NO. 1 FEELING: Byron has gotten off to an impressive start this season, collecting his third win, which is the most in a single Cup Series season for the 25-year-old driver. In fact, he now has five wins in the Next Gen car – tied for the most with three other drivers including Hendrick Motorsports teammates Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott. Byron has collected six wins since the start of 2021, which has him tied for the third-most behind Larson (15) and Elliott (7).

1.5-MILE MOMENTUM: Byron is no stranger to success on traditional 1.5-mile tracks during his Cup Series career. Since the start of the 2021 season, he has two wins, one runner-up finish, six top-fives and 12 top-10s on that track type. This season on 1.5-mile tracks, he has recorded one win and two top-five finishes (a win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and third at Kansas Speedway). Since the start of 2022, he has collected 328 points on this style of track which ranks third.

HOME SWEET HOME: Cutting his teeth in the racing world in Charlotte, North Carolina, Byron is one of only a handful of drivers who was born and raised in the “home of NASCAR.” After visiting U.S. Legend Cars International headquarters in Harrisburg, North Carolina, with his father in 2012, Byron found himself behind the wheel for the first time the next year competing in the Young Lions Division. Winning 33 of the 69 legend car events he ran across the United States in 2013, Byron went on to lock up the U.S. Legend Car Young Lions National championship and the Thursday Thunder Young Lions championship at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Progressing to the Legend Car Pro Division the next season, Byron also signed with JR Motorsports developmental program. From that point on, he hasn’t slowed down any as he climbed the racing ranks before ultimately making it to the top level of NASCAR as a Cup Series rookie in 2018.

CUE CHARLOTTE: In his Cup Series career, Byron has six starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s 1.5-mile oval, five of which have come in the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend. In just his second start at the Charlotte oval in 2019, he became the youngest pole sitter for the 600 at the age of 21 years, 5 months, and 24 days. Among his six starts, Byron has two pole awards, one top-five finish and two top-10s with 62 laps led at his hometown track, including a track-best finish of fourth in the 2021 600-mile event. He is currently on a three-race run of laps led at the oval – tied for the second-longest streak. Other than his six Cup Series starts at Charlotte, the 25-year-old driver has two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts as well as one NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series start at this layout.

RUDY RUNS CLT: Sunday will mark crew chief Rudy Fugle’s third time on top of the pit box for the Coca-Cola 600. In his two starts at the Charlotte oval, he has two top-five starting positions with one top-five finish. Apart from his two Cup Series starts, Fugle has 10 other national starts at the Charlotte oval on his résumé, with eight of those coming in the Truck Series. The Livonia, New York, native has collected two wins (2013 and 2019), one pole award, four top-five finishes and six top-10s. His Truck Series drivers completed all of the laps (1,077) in those eight Charlotte starts, with 310 circuits led. One of those eight starts came with Byron in 2016, when the duo started at the front and led 25 laps en route to a 10th-place finish.

PIT ROAD PROWESS: The No. 24 pit crew has been strong on pit road with an average four-tire pit stop time of 11.128 seconds – the second-fastest average in the field. The No. 24 pit crew consists of Spencer Bishop (jackman), Jeff Cordero (front-tire changer), Orane Ossowski (rear-tire changer), Ryan Patton (tire carrier) and Landon Walker (fueler). They also had the fastest four-tire pit stop in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway at 11.278 seconds.

LIBERTY U PATRIOTIC SCHEME: Liberty University will adorn Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 this weekend for the crown-jewel event. As part of the annual “NASCAR Salutes” program, the Liberty University Chevy will sport a special patriotic paint scheme as a part of the 600 Miles of Remembrance to honor those who have served and continue to serve to defend our country. The scheme includes blue and gray digital camouflage down the sides of the vehicle to keep in character with the United States Navy. To see Byron’s scheme for this weekend’s race, click here.

HONORING THE SACRIFICE: As a part of the No. 24 Liberty University patriotic paint scheme for this weekend’s race, Byron’s Chevrolet will feature a tribute to United States Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer (SCPO) Scott Dayton. Serving in the U.S. Navy since 1993, SCPO Dayton received 19 awards including the Bronze Star. He served with the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve and was a part of the fight against ISIS in Syria. SCPO Dayton is survived by his wife Kristin who like Byron (a junior at Liberty) is a Liberty University student as well, pursuing her MSN online through Liberty’s school of nursing.

HOME TRACK FEEL: In addition to Charlotte being the home track of Byron, a few other members of the No. 24 team also claim this as their home venue including mechanic Jacob Bowman (from Pilot Mountain) and jackman Bishop (from Pinehurst).

48 Alex Bowman

Age: 30 (April 25, 1993)

Hometown: Tucson, Arizona

Resides: Concord, North Carolina

Crew Chief: Blake Harris

Standings: 17th

No. 48 Ally Patriotic Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Alex Bowman and Blake Harris, driver and crew chief of the No. 48 Ally Patriotic Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media at the Charlotte Motor Speedway media center on Saturday, May 27, at 5:15 p.m. ET.

BACK IN THE SADDLE: Alex Bowman will strap back into the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for the NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600. Bowman was sidelined for four weeks after sustaining a compression fracture to one of his vertebra in a sprint car race at 34 Speedway in West Burlington, Iowa, on April 25. Prior to his injury, he had recorded three top-five finishes, six top-10s and an average finish of 10.30 in 10 Cup Series races this season. At 17th in the standings, he currently sits just five points outside the provisional playoff cutline.

CHARLOTTE STATS: In Bowman’s 11 starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s oval layout, the 30-year-old driver has one top-five finish (in the May 2021 Coca-Cola 600), four top-10s and has led 228 laps. His laps led total trails only teammate Kyle Larson (378) over the last five races at the 1.5-mile track.

ALL-STAR RUNDOWN: Josh Berry filled in for Bowman for the 2023 all-star weekend at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Berry had to capture one of the top-two spots in the 100-lap Open to advance. Starting second after his pit crew notched the second-quickest four-tire pit stop of all Open competitors, he led 46 laps en route to the win to qualify into the All-Star Race. That victory earned him the 22nd starting spot in the all-star event, where he ran as high as 10th before finishing the night in 15th.

RADIO CHECK: In his only appearance as a crew chief at Charlotte’s oval layout, Blake Harris posted a top-10 finish with the No. 34 team in the 2022 Coca-Cola 600. Harris’ driver started the race in 10th and finished the 600-mile event in eighth.  

OUR HERO: The No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will carry the name of Sergeant (SGT) Nicholas Tomko, who served for the United States Army in the 307th MP Police Company, Army Reserve. SGT Tomko was killed in action in Baghdad, Iraq, while serving as a door gunner during a night patrol in November 2003. For his brave actions, he was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Combat Action Badge.

STARS AND STRIPES: Bowman’s ride will sport a special patriotic paint scheme for the Coca-Cola 600. This weekend, the car will carry a red, white and blue look ahead of the Memorial Day weekend holiday. To see all the angles of this paint scheme, click here.

PACK THEM UP: On Wednesday, Bowman and the No. 48 Ally Racing team joined forces with volunteers from primary sponsor Ally to assemble over 2,000 care packages for the United Service Organizations (USO). Divided among two packing stations, approximately 40 volunteers were able to put together packages with snacks, candy and hand-written notes.


Hendrick Motorsports

Top 517*1,207*69*
Top 1025*2,070*112*
Laps Led1,262*78,579*5,928*
Stage Wins9*887*

*Most **Most (tie)

CLOSING IN ON 300: William Byron’s victory at Darlington Raceway leaves Hendrick Motorsports just four points-paying victories away from 300 wins in the NASCAR Cup Series. Twenty drivers have combined to reach the organization’s current total of 296 wins, which is the most in the sport by any one team. With five wins this season, Hendrick Motorsports has posted its 36th multi-win season in the Cup Series, while maintaining its streak of at least two victories per season for the past 30 years.

FAN FEST IS COMING: Hendrick Motorsports will hold its annual fan appreciation event on May 26-27, 2023. Fan Fest will feature driver appearances, food trucks, activities for kids, photo opportunities, engine building demonstrations, pit stop exhibitions and more. For a schedule of events and additional information about the festivities, click here.

600 MILES OF REMEMBRANCE: The Memorial Day weekend race at Charlotte Motor Speedway remembers the men and women who gave their lives in service while defending the United States of America. Fallen service members will be honored as one name will be on the windshield of every Cup Series car.

BLACKJACK: Hendrick Motorsports has 21 wins at Charlotte, which are tied for the third-most Cup Series victories at any one particular track by an organization. The team also holds the top-two spots on this list with its win totals at Martinsville Speedway (28) and Dover Motor Speedway (22).

ENDURING STRENGTH: The 600-mile race at Charlotte is a test of everything – machine, pit crew and driver. The longest race on the Cup Series schedule has been won a record 12 times by Hendrick Motorsports – that’s more than the second- and third-place teams on the list combined (11).

DEEP SIX: Six drivers have won the Coca-Cola 600 in the team’s history. Jimmie Johnson’s four wins (2003, 2004, 2005 and 2014) are part of his track-best eight wins on the oval. Next on the list is Jeff Gordon with three wins (1994, 1997 and 1998). Darrell Waltrip was the first Hendrick Motorsports driver to win this prestigious event and he won it in back-to-back years (1988 and 1989). Casey Mears (2007), Kasey Kahne (2012) and Kyle Larson (2021) each have one win.

HISTORICAL HIGHS: In the 2021 edition of the Coca-Cola 600, Hendrick Motorsports earned its 269th NASCAR Cup Series win, passing Petty Enterprises to become the all-time winningest team in Cup Series history. All four Hendrick Motorsports cars placed in the top five, marking the first time in the history of the Memorial Day weekend event that a team had four drivers finish in the top five. Larson and Chase Elliott’s one-two finish was one of four instances that teammates have finished in the top two in this race.

OUT IN FRONT: In 2023, Hendrick Motorsports has led the most laps with 1,262 circuits out front, which equals out to 36% of the laps raced. That total is the eighth-most all-time by the team through 13 races. The team has led laps in all but one race this season (Atlanta Motor Speedway in March). Byron (596) and Larson (582) rank one-two in that statistical category.

TAKING THE STAGE: With nine stage wins this season, the Concord, North Carolina, based team is tied for the third-most all-time through 13 races. Byron leads the series with six, which is also the second-most at this point in the season in the stage racing era (start of the 2017 season). Larson has tallied two stage wins, while Elliott has one.

NEXT GEN NUMBERS: In the Next Gen era (start of the 2022 season), Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins at traditional 1.5-mile tracks with three. Alex Bowman won at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March 2022, Larson triumphed at Homestead-Miami Speedway in October 2022 and Byron took the victory at Las Vegas in March 2023. Both Larson and Byron swept the stages in their wins.

PODIUM PLACEMENT: In four races this season, the 14-time Cup Series championship-winning organization has placed at least two drivers in the top-three finishing positions. In fact, they are the only organization to accomplish that at all this season. Darlington was the latest occurrence with Byron winning and Elliott placing third. This achievement also happened at Kansas Speedway (Larson was second and Byron was third), Richmond Raceway (Larson won the race and Josh Berry was second) and Las Vegas (Byron, Larson and Bowman placed one-two-three).


Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on his season so far: “I feel like this (NASCAR Cup Series) season has felt so similar to 2021. We’ve had a car capable of winning every weekend. Honestly, even a little better than we were in 2021 to this point. I feel like those races were a little more drama-free for us in 2021. We would get those good finishes or finish around where we deserved. So far in 2023, we’ve probably not led as many laps, but I feel like we’ve challenged for more wins to this point than we did then. We’ve had a lot of things not work out. We’ve won twice and won the All-Star Race, so things are great. But if things had gone right like it seemed everything did in 2021, we’d probably have like six or seven wins right now. I’ve been super happy with the team and the race cars that we bring to the track. I’m confident that we can keep it up throughout the summer and into the postseason. We proved that we could do it in 2021 and we were really strong in last year’s playoffs.”

Cliff Daniels, crew chief of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on the No. 5 team’s outlook heading to Charlotte Motor Speedway: “Momentum is a real thing. We like to think we have some momentum going our way. Obviously, the finishes haven’t always been there the last handful of weeks, but we’ve certainly been upfront and contending. It’s kind of been one of those things where we had to put the blinders on to do our best, maximize our gains and not make mistakes. We try to stay true to our process, the systems and habits that we have in place to execute our week and weekend. There’s a lot to be said for maintaining that consistency and that’s really the energy of our team right now and vision for our team moving forward. Charlotte (Motor Speedway) is a place that we love dearly. Right here close to home. There is no doubt of how tough the 600-mile race is going to be this weekend. We want to be sure we put our best foot forward.”

Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on looking ahead to the longest race of the season: “It is a long race, but it doesn’t necessarily feel much different to me. Don’t get me wrong, it is a long race. It can certainly drag on. I just feel like when you are in the heat of the moment, racing and focused and set on a goal, it doesn’t really seem a lot different. Winning the Coca-Cola 600 is certainly a box I’d like to check and we’ve come close once or twice. I think we have as good a shot as anyone this weekend.”

Alan Gustafson, crew chief of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on preparing for the longest race of the year: “All of the components in the car are pretty standard, so you just want to make sure you have it all in good condition and dot all your i’s and cross your t’s. There’s not much we can do to the car itself. I think the biggest thing is just the opportunity you have over the course of the event. There’s more pit stops, there’s more restarts, there’s more strategy calls and there’s more laps. There’s more everything. Preparing for that and being able to keep yourself in good position. Not making mistakes or get yourself behind or get yourself in trouble. Mentally you need to be ready for how long that race really is and how much focus it takes, I think it’s pretty crucial, not only from the team side, but for Chase (Elliott) and for the pit crew.”

Gustafson, on the team’s second mile-and-a-half start with Elliott behind the wheel this season: “Kansas (Speedway) was an important race for us because it just took us a while to kind of get back in the flow (after Chase’s return). Kansas was one of the first races I feel like that we got to where we needed to be and focused on the right things. We executed the race for the most part, we were competitive and towards the front. I feel like from there on, you need to continue to perform at higher levels. So, I think we need to be better yet. Charlotte (Motor Speedway) is a good place to be able to do that and build off of our Kansas performance.”

William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on what racing at Charlotte means to him: “This is one of my favorite races of the season. Not only are we racing at home, but it’s my home track. I usually have family here and the race just has so much history behind it. I remember going to Charlotte (Motor Speedway) as a kid to watch races and how memorable the weekend was. Not only that, but it’s literally right by the shop, so I know winning at Charlotte is a big deal to Mr. Hendrick and all of Hendrick Motorsports. Hopefully, we keep up the good runs we’ve been having this year and can add another one on Sunday.”

Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on the difficulties of racing at Charlotte: “Charlotte (Motor Speedway) is kind of a track that it’s in the middle on tire fall off. It’s not as abrasive as the last couple of tracks we’ve raced at but it has a lot of character and a lot of bumps. There’s big, huge load bumps in turn one. In turns three and four, there’s some washboard-like bumps. That makes it difficult to get the shock package right and the spring package right. Depending on tire fall off and track position on Sunday, you may see the top lane work in but the middle lane should prevail to be the quickest way around.”

Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on returning to action in the Coca-Cola 600: “This weekend has a lot of different emotions for me. I am getting back behind the wheel, which is something that I am ready to do. I tested at North Wilkesboro (Speedway) on Tuesday, and I feel like I am as ready as I can be to get back in the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. To return to a race with such significance is also really special. I have Sergeant Nicholas Tomko riding along with me this Sunday and being a part of NASCAR’s 600 Miles of Remembrance program where we get to honor a fallen soldier is something I appreciate doing. Without the service of our armed forces, I wouldn’t be able to race on Sunday’s, so being able to repay the teams that give me the freedom to do what I do is really special and I hope to have Nick in victory lane with me at the end of the 600 miles.”

Blake Harris, crew chief of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on what the Coca-Cola 600 weekend means to the sport: “The Coca-Cola 600 is a huge weekend for the sport, and I have been fortunate to have won a few of them in my time in NASCAR. The ability to be able to honor a soldier who paid the ultimate sacrifice and incorporate the family is pretty special. Regardless of how the weekend goes, you still feel like you have done something that goes beyond the edges of the sport.”

Harris, on having Bowman back behind the wheel: “The team overall has done a good job of battling through the adversity we have had throughout the course of the season. Getting Alex (Bowman) back in the car after the start we had this season is a big deal. Our team has done a good job of staying tuned in to carry the momentum we had before he was sidelined. We didn’t get all of the results we wanted over the last four weeks but our cars have had a lot of speed and we have been able to compete. In my mind, we can plug Alex back in and go compete for a win this weekend.”

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.  As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases for some links and banners that are being displayed on SpeedwayMedia.com.


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