Round: NASCAR Cup Series Race No. 31 of 36 (Playoffs Round of 12)
Track Location: Talladega Superspeedway – Talladega, Alabama
Race Name: YellaWood 500
Broadcast: Sunday, October 1st at 2:00 PM ET live on NBC (TV), MRN (Radio), and SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90
Carson Hocevar, No. 42 Sunseeker Resort Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Talladega Superspeedway Stats
-Carson Hocevar will make his first NASCAR Cup Series start at Talladega on Sunday
-NCTS: Starts: 2; Best Start: 3rd (2022); Best Finish: 25th (2021); Laps Led: 12
2023 NASCAR Cup Series Season Stats
-Starts: 5; Best Start: 15th (Darlington, Fall); Best Finish: 11th (Bristol); No. 42 Owners Points: 32nd
2023 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Season Stats
-Starts: 20; Wins: 3 (Texas, Nashville, Richmond); Best Start: 2nd (North Wilkesboro & Bristol); Top-5s: 10; Top-10s: 12; Laps led: 255; Current Points Position: 3rd (+18 to the cutline)
About Sunseeker Resort: Opening in 2023, Florida’s newest luxury resort located in Charlotte Harbor is the first resort property of Sunseeker Resorts, a wholly owned subsidiary of Allegiant Travel Company. Sunseeker Resort Charlotte Harbor occupies over 22 waterfront acres with 785 guest rooms, including 189 Signature Sunsuites™. Set upon the Peace River and Florida Gulf Coast, this premier resort offers 20 original food and beverage concepts; including seven stand-alone restaurants, eleven bars and lounges, two poolside offerings and a 25,000-square-foot multi-dining experience. Additional hotel amenities include a waterfront promenade, two unique rooftop and waterfront pool experiences, 60,000-square-feet of combined convention space, full-service spa and salon, a 7,100-square-foot state-of-the-art fitness center with four group exercise studios with specialty instructor lead classes, three retail and market shops, and an 18-hole championship level golf club exclusive to hotel guests only. The resort is conveniently located within a short drive of Punta Gorda, Fort Myers, Sarasota, St. Petersburg-Clearwater, and Tampa airports. For more information, visit www.sunseekerresorts.com. Follow us on Instagram: @sunseekerresorts and like us on Facebook: @sunseekerresorts.
Texas Recap: Carson Hocevar made his first NASCAR Cup Series start at Texas Motor Speedway last weekend, behind the wheel of the No. 42 Chevrolet. Hocevar had a relatively quiet, but solid outing in the sweltering Fort Worth heat, starting from the 19th position. As the race progressed, he hovered around the top-15, keeping thecar intact and picking up his pace as the race wore on. Late in the going, his Sunseeker Resort Camaro ZL1 made some contact with the outside wall exiting turn four, which resulted in a damaged toe link. Not to be deterred by the setback, the crew repaired the car and sent Hocevarback on his way, where he would rebound and lead the team to the finish in 16th place.
Keep the Momentum Going: In his four Cup Series starts for LEGACY MOTOR CLUB, Hocevar has kept a streak of top-20 finishes alive. The 20-year-old from Portage, Michigan has adaptedto the Next Gen car well withminimal experience . The No. 42 team has finished every lap except for one and has gained ground on the No. 21 in owner’s points, now only 33 markers back.
Superspeedway Statistics: In seven restrictor plate starts in the Truck Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Daytona International Speedway, and Talladega Superspeedway, Hocevar has one top-five and two top-10 finishes. He has led 12 laps in competition at Talladega but was caught up in crashes in both starts. He’ll make his first superspeedway start in a Cup Series car on Sunday.
Double Duty: Hocevar will run in both NASCAR national series races this weekend as the CRAFTSMAN Truck Series makes its annual stop at Talladega. Following a fourth-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway, Carson’s No. 42 Niece Motorsports team has an 18-point cushion to the cutoff point. With only two races left in the Round of 8, the stakes are as high as ever and Talladega will be sure to produce a thrilling event.
Breast Cancer Awareness: As we enter the month of October, LEGACY MOTOR CLUB will carry on a team tradition at Talladega Superspeedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, and Martinsville Speedway. Both LEGACY MOTOR CLUB cars will carry pink ribbons onboard to honor crew members and family and that have been affected by breast cancer.
Paint the Pit Wall Pink: On Tuesday, Hocevar, Erik Jones, along with other Cup and Xfinity Series competitors joined over 50 breast cancer survivors at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the annual “Paint the Pit Wall Pink” event. This event is in its 11th year, and was a meaningful day to drivers and fans who have been affected by the disease. Read more about the event here.
Lambert at Talladega: Luke Lambert has competed in 20 NASCAR Cup Series races at Talladega Superspeedway. Lambert’s Cup drivers have finished inside the top-10 eight times, including two runner-up finishes with Jeff Burton in the fall race of 2011 and Ryan Newman in the fall race of 2017. His cars have led a total of 77 laps on Sundays. In three Xfinity Series races, Lambert’s drivers have finished inside the top-10 every time, including one race win that came last year and one pole from back in 2012.
Quoting Carson Hocevar: This week sees your first ever Cup Series race at a super speedway type track, so how different are you expecting the racing to play out and will you be able to learn in the Truck Series race?
“I am actually really looking forward to running my first super speedway race in the Cup Series this weekend. The results might not show it, but I’ve had a blast racing at Talladega in the Truck Series. We’ve just had some unfortunate luck that’s kept us from finishing well. From everybody that I’ve talked to that’s driven both, I’m anticipating a bit of a different race to play out on Sunday. The Cup guys are so good at managing their cars and taking care of one another out there, that I don’t really feel all that much pressure not to put a foot wrong. Saturday will be a different feeling for sure, we’ve only got an 18 point gap to the cutoff line, and the Truck Series drivers always race aggressive. I feel like I can still learn and take some notes heading into Sunday, but there’s definitely going to be a different mindset. The LEGACY M.C. cars are always super fast at these tracks, and Erik’s been close to winning on a few occasions, so I think if we can play our cards right, we’ll definitely have a shot at it. I can’t wait to try it out.”
Erik Jones, No. 43 Allegiant Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Talladega Superspeedway Stats
-NCS Starts: 13; Best start: 6th (Spring, 2018) Best finish: 3rd (Fall, 2020); Top-5s: 2; Top-10s: 7; Laps Led: 76
-NXS Starts: 3; Best start: 4th (2015 & 2016); Best finish: 5th (2017); Top-5s: 1; Top-10s: 6; Laps Led: 5
-NCTS Starts: 2; Best start: 3rd (2015); Best finish: 4th (2015); Top-5s: 1; Top-10s: 2; Laps Led: 7;
2023 NASCAR Cup Series Season Stats
Starts: 30; Best start: 8th (COTA) ; Best finish: 3rd (Kansas); Top-5s: 1; Top-10s: 6; Laps led: 20; Points position: 26th
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Texas in the Rearview: Erik Jones and the “Dallas vs. Everybody” team had a strong start to the race, with Jones qualifying in 12th position. Jones swiftly advanced through the field, leading for three laps and securing a second-place finish in stage two. He consistently maintained a substantial gap over the third-place driver until a caution prompted a portion of the field to make pit stops. After a four-tire stop, Jones restarted 15th with less than 20 laps remaining. Unfortunately, his shot at a win slipped away as he was involved in a crash on lap 255, ending his day. Jones was credited with a 30th place finish as his car was towed into the garage.
Through the Chaos: Earlier in the year, Jones faced overtime uncertainty as he restarted in 15th place with just two laps remaining. With “The Big One” unfolding right in front of the No. 43, Jones made a swift move to the apron to dodge the wreckage, gaining valuable positions as the caution flag waved. Ultimately, he finished the day just one position short of a top-five finish, marking his highest finish of the season at that point.
Super Speedway Status: Erik Jones boasts an impressive record across 60 Cup Series starts on tracks exceeding two miles. This includes 12 top-five finishes, 25 top-10 finishes, and a visit to Victory Lane at Daytona in 2018. Jones has also led 231 laps at super speedways, with three laps led in his most recent attempt at Talladega in the spring. His average finish on these tracks stands at 17.4, while his average starting position is 17.5. Notably, in his last three outings at Talladega, Jones has achieved a streak of three consecutive sixth place finishes.
Big Numbers: Over the course of his last seven races at Talladega, Erik Jones boasts an impressive average finish of 8.7. His performance has been remarkably consistent, with only one finish falling outside of the top-10 when he was involved in a wreck on the final lap during the spring of 2021. Across these seven races, Jones has showcased his ability to run up front, having led laps in five of the starts, tallying an impressive total of 71 laps led during this stretch.
Dave In ‘Dega: During his time with JR Motorsports, crew chief Dave Elenz coached five drivers to nine starts. In those nine starts, Elenz’s drivers have earned an average starting position of 8.6 with one top-five, and five top-10 finishes, leading for a total of 65 laps. In his three Cup Series starts, Elenz and Erik Jones have earned three sixth-place finishes at the 2.66-mile asphalt tri-oval, totaling 51 laps led.
Paint it Pink: On Tuesday, it was announced that Kurt Busch had “passed the torch” to Erik Jones as the Erik Jones Foundation (EJF) will work in partnership with Kurt Busch’s Windows of Hope program for a third season. Jones’ foundation will support its efforts in the area of “cancer prevention and early detection and care”. Every driver in the field for the race at CMS will run a uniquely colored pink window net to signify breast cancer awareness, which will then be autographed and put up for auction through the EJF, which will receive the proceeds to then be donated to multiple beneficiaries to support early cancer detection. The auction for the signed pink window nets will open on October 9th and close on October 16th.
Erik Jones on his partnership with Kurt: “It’s been so great that Kurt (Busch) would let us take this program over, and a huge thanks to him. It’s been a program that I have had a lot of fun watching and participating in over the last few years and it’s really a huge day for The Erik Jones Foundation. We have worked a lot on the cancer side of things with Melanoma, and early detection, but we haven’t been able to do anything with breast cancer which for us is close to the heart with my mom going through it. So, to have a program that has continued to round the foundation out is really important, it has been a big goal of ours to continue to grow these pillars and each side of the foundation, but just really excited to see the window nets on the car and be able to have a program in the Cup Series like that. You see the other guys and what they do, so to have a program of our own with the foundation is super special.”
Quoting Erik Jones: “Talladega has been good to us for the last couple of years. I think with the NextGen car, we have had a ton of speed in the No. 43. I am hoping we can put it all together and have one go our way. We have been in contention to win a handful of them in the last few years, and we just need one to play out the right way for us to have a shot in the end. I am looking forward to getting out there and hopefully getting a win with the No. 43 team.”
ABOUT LEGACY MOTOR CLUB:
LEGACY MOTOR CLUB is a professional auto racing club owned by businessman and entrepreneur Maurice J. Gallagher and seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion (NCS) Jimmie Johnson. The club competes full-time in the NCS fielding the Nos. 42 and 43 Chevrolet Camaro entries, respectively, along with the No. 84 part-time entry for Johnson in 2023. Richard Petty “The King” serves as team ambassador.
In 2021, Gallagher acquired Richard Petty Motorsports and renamed the team to Petty GMS. With the addition of Johnson to the ownership structure in 2023, the organization rebranded to LEGACY MOTOR CLUB (LEGACY M.C.). With a unique title signifying a nod to car clubs of past eras, LEGACY M.C. is an inclusive club for all motorsport enthusiasts to celebrate the past and future legacies of its members, while competing for wins and championships at NASCAR’s elite level.
Based in Statesville, N.C., LEGACY M.C. operates alongside GMS Racing (GMS), which currently fields three full-time entries in the NASCAR Truck Series. Since the formation of GMS in 2012, Gallagher and Mike Beam, team president, have shared incredible success. GMS Racing captured the 2015 ARCA Racing Series championship, the 2016 and 2020 NASCAR Truck Series championships and the 2019 and 2020 ARCA East championships, accumulating over 65 wins across six national racing circuits.
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