Hendrick Motorsports Media Advance: DAYTONA 500

DAYTONA 500
Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024
2.5-Mile Oval
2:30 PM ET
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
TV: Fox
Event: NASCAR Cup Series race (1 of 36)
Radio: SiriusXM, PRN

5 KYLE LARSON
Age: 31 (July 31, 1992)
Hometown: Elk Grove, California
Resides: Mooresville, North Carolina
Crew Chief: Cliff Daniels
Standings: 2nd (2023)

No. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media in the drivers’ meeting room at the Daytona International Speedway media center on Wednesday, Feb. 14, from 2:10-2:40 p.m. local time.

2023 RECAP: During the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, Kyle Larson and the No. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM team visited victory lane four times in points-paying races (Richmond Raceway, Martinsville Speedway, Darlington Raceway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway), tied for the series lead (with Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron) with 15 top-five finishes and added 18 top-10s. He also won the non-points All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway in May and led a series-high 1,127 laps during the season en route to a runner-up finish in the point standings. Larson was named one of NASCAR’s 75 Greatest Drivers in its 75th season.

OH SO CLOSE: In 2017, Larson led the field with one lap to go in the DAYTONA 500. However, his Chevrolet ran out of fuel on the final lap and he coasted to a 12th-place finish. In 19 Cup Series starts at the 2.5-mile track, Larson has earned one pole position (2022) and five top-10 finishes.

WINNER AT DAYTONA: In July 2018, Larson won the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway. The Elk Grove, California, native led a race-high 40 laps en route to victory. Notably, the triumph was the 400th national series win for the Hendrick Motorsports engine shop, which supplied horsepower to Chip Ganassi Racing.

STARTING STRENGTH: Larson has started in the top 10 in each of the last 10 races on drafting-style tracks (Daytona, Talladega Superspeedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway) – the longest active streak in NASCAR’s premier series. In 2022, the driver of the No. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM Chevrolet won the pole position for “The Great American Race.”

INDY IN THE DESERT: On Monday night, Larson tested an Arrow McLaren INDYCAR at Phoenix Raceway ahead of his attempt to run the Indianapolis 500 on May 26 in a Rick Hendrick-owned chassis. Larson’s entry is being fielded by Arrow McLaren in partnership with Hendrick Motorsports. Following the 500, the 2021 Cup Series champion will compete in the Coca-Cola 600. Larson won NASCAR’s longest race in 2021. Click here to see scenes from the Phoenix test.

HIGH LIMIT RACING: The 2024 High Limit Racing season begins Monday night, Feb. 12, at East Bay Raceway Park in Tampa, Florida. Larson, the inaugural series champion in 2023, will compete for the 10-race Midweek Money Series championship in the No. 57 entry sponsored by HENDRICKCARS.COM. Secure your tickets for the season-opening “Battle at the Bay” here.

CLIFF’S NOTES: No. 5 crew chief Cliff Daniels and Larson have teamed up for 16 wins since Larson joined Hendrick Motorsports in 2021 – the third-best total among active driver and crew chief pairings. Daniels and Larson have accomplished those wins in 100 races while the best active combination has posted 19 victories in 173 starts.

YOUR CAR NEEDS: This weekend, Larson will drive the No. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. From the convenience of home, HENDRICKCARS.COM 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. The website also makes it easy for customers to find one of Hendrick Automotive Group’s 93 dealership locations nationwide.

WE’RE HIRING: Hendrick Automotive Group is hiring more than 300 technicians at its dealerships throughout the country. Positions are open for all skill levels and offer tuition and training reimbursement. Interested people can apply at HENDRICKCARS.COM.

9 CHASE ELLIOTT
Age: 28 (Nov. 28, 1995)
Hometown: Dawsonville, Georgia
Resides: Dawsonville, Georgia
Crew Chief: Alan Gustafson
Standings: 17th (2023)

No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media in the drivers’ meeting room at the Daytona International Speedway media center on Wednesday, Feb. 14, from 2:10-2:40 p.m. local time.

TALKIN’ ABOUT DAYTONA: In 16 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Daytona International Speedway, Chase Elliott has earned three top-five finishes, five top-10s and three pole awards. He’s led 159 laps on the 2.5-mile superspeedway, including two laps last August en route to a fourth-place finish. Elliott earned a runner-up finish in the 2021 DAYTONA 500, his personal best in the season-opening event. The 28-year-old driver is also a two-time Duel at Daytona winner (2017, 2018) and won a points-paying race on Daytona’s road course layout in 2020. In addition, he recorded a win at the venue in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with Hendrick Motorsports affiliate JR Motorsports in 2016.

DRAFTING DATA: Of Elliott’s 18 Cup Series points-paying victories, three have come on drafting-style tracks. The six-time National Motorsports Press Association’s Most Popular Driver Award winner has two victories at Talladega Superspeedway (2019, 2022) and one at the recently reprofiled and reconfigured Atlanta Motor Speedway (2022). Accompanying his three wins across 35 starts on drafting tracks, Elliott has tallied nine top-five finishes, 15 top-10s and 493 laps led.

HISTORY MAKING: In 2016, Elliott became the youngest driver to earn the DAYTONA 500 pole award at the age of 20 years, two months and 17 days. That record still stands today. He earned his second pole for the prestigious event the very next year.

HE’S COMING HOME: 2020 Cup Series champion crew chief Alan Gustafson will make his return home to the “World Center of Racing” for the DAYTONA 500 this week. Gustafson grew up in Ormond Beach, Florida, just down the road from the legendary superspeedway. After graduating from Seabreeze High School, Gustafson enrolled at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to study mechanical engineering. This year marks his 20th season as a Cup Series crew chief.

MOST POLES: Gustafson leads all active crew chiefs with four DAYTONA 500 pole awards. He’s tied with NASCAR Hall of Famers Leonard Wood and Waddell Wilson for the most DAYTONA 500 poles overall. Gustafson’s first DAYTONA 500 pole came with Mark Martin in 2010 and the veteran pit boss also won three straight from 2015-2017, with Jeff Gordon taking the top spot in 2015 and Elliott following suit the next two years.

DYNAMIC DUO: Elliott and Gustafson are entering their ninth season together, becoming the longest active driver and crew chief combo in the Cup Series garage. The duo is currently second among active pairings with 18 points-paying victories. Gustafson and Elliott earned their first Cup Series title in 2020 and the team captured the regular-season championship in 2022.

NEW YEAR, SAME FACES: In 2024, the No. 9 pit crew remains the same as it has since 2018. The 2021 Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew award-winning group is comprised of Chad Avrit (rear-tire changer), Jared Erspamer (tire carrier), John Gianninoto (fueler), Nick O’Dell (front-tire changer) and T.J. Semke (jackman).

NAPA RETURNS FOR 500: For the ninth consecutive year, NAPA Auto Parts will kick off the NASCAR Cup Series season on the hood of Elliott’s No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for the DAYTONA 500. NAPA’s new blue-based primary livery will debut on track this week. Elliott has never started “The Great American Race” without primary sponsorship from the Atlanta-based company. This marks the 11th season NAPA has partnered with Elliott in his NASCAR career.

WHEN NO. 9 WINS, YOU WIN: Fans can visit Hooters on Mondays after Cup Series races this season and ask their server for free fried pickles (with a drink purchase) when Elliott and the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports team finishes in the top 10. If the No. 9 team wins, customers receive 10 free wings with any 10-wing purchase. Learn more at hooters.com/racing.

24 WILLIAM BYRON
Age: 26 (Nov. 29, 1997)
Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina
Resides: Charlotte, North Carolina
Crew Chief: Rudy Fugle
Standings: 3rd (2023)

No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media in the drivers’ meeting room at the Daytona International Speedway media center on Wednesday, Feb. 14, from 2:10-2:40 p.m. local time.

DAYTONA DUELS: William Byron will make his seventh start in the Duel at Daytona qualifying races on Thursday, Feb. 15. In last year’s qualifying race, Byron lined up on the outside row for his duel race but with split pit strategy taking place late in the event, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native finished 10th. However, in 2020, Byron captured his first win in a NASCAR Cup Series event when he started fourth in his qualifying race before going on to score the checkered flag.

TWENTY FOUR TO THE FRONT: In five of the last nine DAYTONA 500 races, the No. 24 has started from the front row – in 2015 with Jeff Gordon and in consecutive seasons, 2016 and 2017, with Chase Elliott all from the pole position. Byron most recently added to that stat by becoming the second-youngest DAYTONA 500 pole winner in 2019 (at 21 years, two months and 12 days), which also marked his first pole in the Cup Series. He wound up back on the front row for the 2021 DAYTONA 500.

BACK AT THE BEACH: During his time in the Cup Series, Byron has 12 starts at Daytona International Speedway. In that time, he has collected one win, two top-five finishes, three top-10s and led 95 laps. However, his stats don’t accurately depict Byron’s success at the 2.5-mile oval. Not only is this the venue where he collected his first pole award (2019 DAYTONA 500) and his first Cup Series win (2020 summer race), but he also won the Duel qualifying race in 2020. Additionally, Byron was in position to capture the win during the summer race in 2019 before inclement weather ended the event early, leaving him with a runner-up finish. Byron’s success at Daytona doesn’t end there. During his 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship campaign, he qualified third in the July race and led 29 laps to score the victory, becoming the youngest driver with an Xfinity Series win at Daytona at 19 years, seven months and one day.

SUPER ON SUPERSPEEDWAYS: When it comes to tracks that involve drafting, Byron is normally running upfront. He has three points-paying wins on these types of tracks – his first Cup Series win at Daytona in August of 2020 and at the reconfigured Atlanta Motor Speedway in March of 2022 and in July of 2023. Since the start of the 2022 season, he has led 226 laps at drafting tracks and also has four consecutive top-10 finishes on that style of track – the longest active streak in the series.

RUDY RETURNS: Crew chief Rudy Fugle enters his fourth season with Byron at the Cup level and will climb on top of the No. 24 pit box for his fourth DAYTONA 500 and his seventh Cup Series start at the 2.5-mile oval this Sunday. In 2021, the duo started both races at the Florida-based track from the front row. Despite running up front in every Daytona event they’ve raced at together in the Cup Series, misfortune has struck the No. 24 as they have been collected in on-track incidents before the checkered flag on five occasions. Aside from those six Cup starts, the Livonia, New York, native has nine other starts at Daytona, with seven coming in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series. Fugle has one runner-up result, one top-five finish and two top-10s across those seven races. One of those Truck Series starts was with Byron, where the duo qualified and finished 13th.

AT IT AGAIN WITH AXALTA: Once again, Axalta will be back onboard Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. This is Axalta’s 32nd year of partnership with Hendrick Motorsports and has been a primary partner for three of Byron’s 10 wins at the Cup Series level. Earlier this year, Axalta unveiled their new 2024 paint scheme that will be debuted at Daytona. For a closer look, click here.

BEACH BUMS: Kicking off Speedweeks in “The Sunshine State,” two crew members on the No. 24 team will be making their way back home for the first points-paying race of the 2024 season. Engineer Brandon McSwain grew up approximately 100 miles from the “World Center of Racing” in Auburndale, Florida. While just a few miles down the road from where McSwain grew up, engine tuner Ben Proctor calls Lakeland, Florida, home.

48 ALEX BOWMAN
Age: 30 (April 25, 1993)
Hometown: Tucson, Arizona
Resides: Concord, North Carolina
Crew Chief: Blake Harris
Standings: 20th (2023)

No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media in the drivers’ meeting room at the Daytona International Speedway media center on Wednesday, Feb. 14, from 2:50-3:20 p.m. local time.

FRONT OF THE FIELD: Last year at Daytona International Speedway, Alex Bowman and the No. 48 Ally Racing team won the pole position for the DAYTONA 500. Bowman reigned from the front of the field for the start of the 2023 edition of “The Great American Race” with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson by his side. In an overtime finish, Bowman took the checkered flag fifth, becoming the first driver in 22 years to score a top-five finish from the pole.

RECORD HOLDER: The Tucson, Arizona, native is the only driver to start on the front row in six straight DAYTONA 500s (2018-2023) and is the only driver to start on the front row six times in the history of the crown jewel race. This sets him ahead of the five-way tie of drivers with five front-row starts each, a list that includes Jeff Gordon. Bowman has won the pole three times (2018, 2021 and 2023) and scored the outside starting position three times (2019, 2020 and 2022).

DETERMINED IN DAYTONA: This year, Bowman will compete for his fourth pole position and seventh front-row start in the DAYTONA 500. His success at this 2.5-mile superspeedway has helped contribute to Hendrick Motorsports’ claim of eight of the last nine pole positions for the season-opening points race and 11 straight poles by manufacturer Chevrolet.

FIRST 500: Collin Hoeffner, the No. 48 team’s new tire specialist, will approach Daytona this weekend to compete in his first DAYTONA 500 and points-paying race with the Ally Racing team. Hoeffner worked his first Cup Series race in April of 2023 at Richmond Raceway and joined the No. 48 team just ahead of 2024.

OUR ALLY: The No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 returns to the track looking pretty in purple. In 2024, the online banking company is affiliated with Hendrick Motorsports for a sixth season, driver Bowman for a fourth season and serves as the Official Consumer Bank of NASCAR for a second year.

SEE IT WITH YOUR OWN EYES: Want a closer look at the new 2024 Ally Racing “digital camo” paint scheme? Visit the Ally Fan Zone Stage at Daytona to lay eyes on this year’s primary scheme, doubling as F1 graphic designer, Sean Bull’s, first NASCAR masterpiece. Not at the track this weekend? Check out the updated “digital camo” primary paint scheme here.

LIVE FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT: This Sunday, Bowman fans can ride along and #Rally48 from the driver’s seat by tuning into NASCAR’s in-car camera on the No. 48 Chevy. Visit nascar.com/drive to experience the driver’s perspective during this prestigious race.

N.G.W.S.D: National Girls and Women in Sports Day (N.G.W.S.D) was on Feb. 7, 2024. The annual day is designed to honor the achievements of girls and women in sports and break gender stereotypes built around the sports industry. The No. 48’s primary partner, Ally Financial, has several influential women in leadership who help make the racing program a success including Chief Marketing and Public Relations Officer Andrea Brimmer, Executive Director of Marketing Bridget Sponsky and Ally Racing’s Brand & Partnerships Manager Jessica Stroupe. At the 2022 espnW Women + Sports Summit, Ally announced a pledge to achieve equal spending in paid advertising across women’s and men’s sports programming over the next five years. Additionally, Ally launched Watch the Game, Change the Game – a new national advocacy initiative spanning broadcast, digital and social media channels aimed at rallying viewership of women’s competitions. In May of 2023, Ally reached the 1-year milestone of their 50/50 pledge and was ahead of schedule nearing a 60/40 split in its sports paid media spending across men’s and women’s sports.

Hendrick Motorsports

2023
All-Time
DAYTONA 500
Races

2023All-TimeDAYTONA 500
Races361,34540
Wins10*301*8
Poles7246*16*
Top 542*1,232*30*
Top 1067*2,112*51*
Laps Led2,44079,757*1,320
Stage Wins19*981

*Most **Most (tie)

FABULOUS 40: In 2024, Hendrick Motorsports is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Among the categories that the Rick Hendrick-owned organization holds the NASCAR Cup Series record for are all-time wins (301), poles (246), laps led (79,757) and championships (14). The organization has won at least one race in each of the last 38 seasons. In addition, the team has at least three victories in each of the past 30 seasons, the longest streak by a team in the Cup Series.

MEET THE TEAM: Hendrick Motorsports is hosting a media event on Thursday, Feb. 15, at 3 p.m. ET, at the Chevrolet Experience Center in the Daytona International Speedway infield. The team will make several special announcements related to its 40th anniversary in NASCAR. Team owner Rick Hendrick, vice chairman Jeff Gordon, drivers Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, William Byron and Alex Bowman, plus crew chiefs Cliff Daniels, Alan Gustafson, Rudy Fugle and Blake Harris will be on hand.

LAST YEAR LOOK BACK: Last season, Hendrick Motorsports notched a series-best 10 wins and placed two drivers – Byron and Larson – in the Championship 4. Larson won four races as well as the non-points All-Star Race and finished second in the final standings. Byron won a best-in-series six times and placed third in the final standings. Elliott and Bowman each missed time with injuries and Elliott led the No. 9 team to the Round of 8 in the owner’s playoffs. The season saw the organization earn its 300th Cup Series victory (Byron at Texas Motor Speedway) and the engine department earn its 500th national series win (Larson at Darlington Raceway). The four-car team led the Cup Series in wins (10), top-five finishes (42), top-10s (67) and stage wins (19).

SETTING THE FIELD: The starting lineup for the DAYTONA 500 is set in a very different manner than any other race. Wednesday’s single-car, two-round qualifying will only set the front row for the DAYTONA 500. The remaining order of qualifying will determine the field for the two 60-lap Duel at Daytona races on Thursday night. The rest of the starting ineup for the 40-car field in the DAYTONA 500 will be set by the results of twin 150s. The duel qualifiers also represent the first chance for drivers to earn points in 2024 with the top-10 finishers in each race earning as many as 10 points (for the win) all the way down to one point (for 10th).

POLE POWER: With 16 poles for the DAYTONA 500, Hendrick Motorsports leads all Cup Series organizations by a wide margin (the next closest team has six). Those 16 poles account for 40% of the poles for DAYTONA 500s that Hendrick Motorsports has competed in. Nine drivers have combined for the 16 poles: Bowman (three), Ken Schrader (three), Elliott (two), Gordon (two), Jimmie Johnson (two), Byron (one), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (one), Larson (one) and Mark Martin (one). The organization has won eight of the last nine poles for “The Great American Race” with all four active drivers securing at least one pole position in that stretch. On top of that, Hendrick Motorsports engines have won nine straight DAYTONA 500 poles.

OPPOSITE ENDS: Elliott’s 2016 pole position still stands as the youngest pole winner in the event’s history at 20 years, two months and 17 days. In fact, Hendrick Motorsports has five of the six youngest pole winners in DAYTONA 500 history. At the other end of the spectrum, Martin’s 2010 pole at 51 years old has held as the oldest pole winner in the crown jewel race’s storied past.

FRONT ROW FOCUS: There have been nine instances of a front row sweep for the Rick Hendrick-owned team at the DAYTONA 500. Six of those have occurred in the last nine years (2015, 2017, 2019, 2021, 2022 and 2023) including four of the last five. Last year, Bowman (first) and Larson (second) held the top two starting spots. In addition, the organization has had at least one car start on the front row in each of the last nine DAYTONA 500s.

DUEL DOMINATION: Hendrick Motorsports’ 16 wins in the Duel at Daytona races are tied for most among all teams in the Cup Series. Gordon leads the way with five victories followed by Earnhardt Jr.’s three. Elliott and Johnson each have two wins. Byron, Schrader, Benny Parsons and Darrell Waltrip each have tallied one win. The 2015 wins by Earnhardt Jr. and Johnson mark the organization’s lone sweep of the qualifying races.

GREAT AMERICAN VICTORIES: The eight wins for the Concord, North Carolina, based team in the prestigious season-opening event are the second-most by all teams and the most among active teams. Gordon’s three wins (1997, 1999 and 2005) are the most for the organization. Johnson has two wins (2006 and 2013), while Geoff Bodine (1986), Earnhardt Jr. (2014) and Waltrip (1989) each picked up one apiece for the squad. The five different drivers to win for one team in the DAYTONA 500 are tied for the most.

HIGH FIVE: With a win in Sunday’s DAYTONA 500, Hendrick Motorsports would become the first organization to win the race in five different decades. Currently, it is one of two organizations – Petty Enterprises is the other – to win the DAYTONA 500 in four different decades.

OVAL-WHELMING SUCCESS: The Daytona oval has been the site of much success for the 14-time championship-winning Cup Series organization. Their 42 wins at the 2.5-mile superspeedway have come in the following ways: the Duel at Daytona (16), DAYTONA 500 (eight), Clash (seven), Coke Zero 400 (seven) and NASCAR Xfinity Series races (four). In addition, Elliott won at the Daytona Road Course in 2020.

QUOTABLE /

Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on racing on superspeedways: “We’ve run well but we just don’t have the results to back it up – whether it was running out of fuel or getting involved in an accident late in the race battling for the win. I watched a lot of video to see what others are doing to make it to the end and hopefully I can do that and battle for the win on Sunday.”

Cliff Daniels, crew chief of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on watching past speedway races: “We do a lot of tape watching together. We have grown a lot as a team in our approach to speedway racing, how to execute the race, how to execute the pit stop, how to get the car upfront and maintain track position if we have it – or figure out a way to get it if we don’t. I want to say the last handful of speedway races we have been upfront, in the top 10 or even in contention to win late in the race. That also seems to be the eye of the storm of the wreck and it hasn’t worked out for us.”

Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on what it would mean to win the DAYTONA 500: “It would be awesome to check that box. We’ve had a couple of opportunities, but my biggest reason for really wanting to win the (DAYTONA) 500 is because Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) has never won it. He’s from down there (Ormond Beach) and I know it’s a big deal to him. I just think it would be a really cool thing for him. Being a hometown guy like that, he’s come so close, so many times. When you work with a guy like that who has had a lot of success, it is kind of rare to be able to help him achieve something he has not already achieved. That would be a big one.”

Alan Gustafson, crew chief of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on being one-half of the longest-tenured driver and crew chief pairing in the garage: “I think it’s a great thing. You want to be able to build lasting relationships and be able to endure success and failures together. I think that’s a good depiction of some things we believe in around here – working together and continuing to grow a relationship and still having a relationship that’s super productive, positive and exciting. This is our ninth year. So, yeah, I’m excited about that. I love our relationship. What’s most exciting to me is the opportunity and the blank canvas we have this year to continue to build something that’s good.”

William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on his excitement to start the season: “Technically the season started with the Clash (at the Coliseum) but I’m ready to get to Daytona (International Speedway) and really get the season going. Usually, we start the season with a couple of bad races and then pick up the pace a few races in. This time the goal is to hopefully get off to a better start. We want to be around at the end of the DAYTONA 500, going for a win and then back that up with a solid run at Atlanta (Motor Speedway). I know the team has been putting in the work to have us ready to get going, I’m just ready to go execute.”

Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on how he feels about Daytona Speedweeks: “I love to prepare for how to execute the full week there. Most times we worry about executing a weekend. This is what we live for and look forward to. We have to prepare the car just to qualify and then you swap the car over for the duel race. After that, we take the information from the race to apply to practice and then make final adjustments before the biggest race of the year on Sunday. Whoever wins the race on Sunday, their life is going to change. They will be a DAYTONA 500 champion and that’s what we want to be with our Axalta Chevy. I’m more excited to get to Daytona than I have been in a long time.”

Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on building off his career-best finish in last year’s DAYTONA 500: “I feel like I learned a lot last year at (super) speedways in general. The DAYTONA 500 is tough. It’s a long day. There are a lot of ways to crash and I feel like I’ve shown a lot of those ways to crash. Last year, obviously we finished well (fifth) and had a good day with a good result. We’re hoping to improve on that just a little bit and continue to learn, execute and have a good day. I want to put myself in the right position and know what moves I need to make – and not make – so that our No. 48 Ally team can be in contention there for a win at the end. I’m looking forward to getting back to it at Daytona (International Speedway).”

Blake Harris, crew chief of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on the team’s preparation for the DAYTONA 500: “I think we prepare for qualifying the same way we did last year – by going all in as a company. It’s a big deal to Alex (Bowman), Ally and Mr. (Rick) Hendrick to put that Chevy on the front row, so we are going to put all effort forward into that. At the same time, above that, is being able to go and contend for the win. We had a good shot there last year at the end of the race. We put ourselves in contention to win at a couple of superspeedway races in 2023. Statistically, superspeedways were strong for Alex last year. We’re certainly putting an emphasis on the importance of winning the DAYTONA 500 but approaching it as a byproduct of our processes and preparation.”

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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