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TEAM CHEVY NASCAR RACE ADVANCE: Iowa Speedway

TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE
Iowa Speedway
June 15-16, 2024

HEADING TO THE HEARTLAND

Iowa Speedway will welcome NASCAR back to its facility for the first time in five years, featuring the NASCAR Cup Series’ (NCS) debut in Sunday’s Iowa Corn 350 Powered by Ethanol. A unique 7/8-mile oval located just outside the state’s capitol of Des Moines – Iowa Speedway has already previously played host to the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS), with Saturday’s HyVee Perks 250 marking the series’ 21st appearance at the track. NASCAR’s highly anticipated trip to the Iowa short track will be celebrated by a sold-out crowd for both days of the doubleheader weekend.

NUMBERS AT NEW TRACKS

Since the beginning of the 2020 season, Iowa Speedway will mark the eighth new track to host an inaugural points-paying race for NASCAR’s premier series. The elite list of recent new venues features a variety of track configurations, including a set of new road courses, a pair of intermediate-style ovals, a dirt track and a street course.

In seven inaugural points-paying NASCAR Cup Series races over the past four seasons, four drivers from three different Chevrolet organizations have earned a combined five victories. In fact, only one other driver from a competitive manufacturer has found victory lane in a NCS inaugural points-paying race in that time span, which was Ford’s Joey Logano (Bristol Dirt – 2021; World Wide Technology Raceway – 2022).

· Daytona International Speedway Road Course (2020) – Chase Elliott

· Circuit of The Americas (2021) – Chase Elliott

· Nashville Superspeedway (2021) – Kyle Larson

· Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course (2021) – AJ Allmendinger

· Chicago Street Course (2023) – Shane van Gisbergen

In four of those events, Team Chevy drivers collected a combined six top-10 finishes – highlighted by a one-two-three finish at Nashville Superspeedway, and a sweep of the top-five at the Chicago Street Course.

PAST WINNERS AT IOWA SPEEDWAY

While it might be the NASCAR Cup Series’ first-ever appearance at Iowa Speedway, a handful of Team Chevy drivers have found success in the NASCAR national ranks at the 7/8-mile oval. Topping the list is Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who is a three-time NASCAR Xfinity Series winner at Iowa Speedway – all of which were recorded in consecutive events (2011 sweep, May 2012). William Byron has made two trips to victory lane at the Iowa short track, with one in the NXS (June 2017) and one in the NCTS (June 2016). The pair of Richard Childress Racing teammates, Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon, also each have a NASCAR national series win on their resume, with Busch owning one NXS victory (July 2010) and Dillon with one NCTS victory (July 2010).

LARSON BACK TO THE LEAD

Despite losing the NASCAR Cup Series points lead following his absence from the Coca-Cola 600, it took just two races for Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson to find his way back to the top. The 31-year-old Elk Grove, California, native turned in a top-10 finish at World Wide Technology Raceway before heading back to victory lane at his home track of Sonoma Raceway.

The green-flag in Sunday’s race at Sonoma Raceway saw then-points leader Denny Hamlin experience an engine failure in the opening laps that forced his departure from the race. Capitalizing on the misfortune, Larson grabbed early points in Stage One. While strategy shook-up the running order for much of the race, a fresh set of tires gave Larson the ability to click-off positions towards the front in the final stage – ultimately leading the final nine laps en route to his third NCS victory of the season. The triumph made Larson the third three-time winner in NASCAR’s top division this season – joining his Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron and Denny Hamlin (Toyota).

Chase Elliott also made a move up the standings following a fourth-place finish at Sonoma Raceway, with the driver of the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 now sitting in the second position with a 14-point deficit to the lead. The 28-year-old Dawsonville, Georgia, native has executed a season of consistency thus far, with Elliott being the only driver to finish inside the top-20 in each of the series’ 16 points-paying races in 2024.

Larson’s victory also quickly moved Chevrolet back atop the NCS manufacturer points standings, with the Bowtie brand holding an eight-point advantage heading into the Iowa race weekend. On top of leading the manufacturer points standings across all three NASCAR national series, Chevrolet also continues to maintain a winning percent of at least 50 percent in each series with eight NCS wins, nine NXS wins and eight NCTS wins.

ROOKIE REPEAT

Just one week following his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory, Shane van Gisbergen paid a second trip to victory lane after powering his No. 97 Kaulig Racing Camaro SS to a hard-fought win at Sonoma Raceway. An automatic favorite heading into any road course event, the 35-year-old Auckland, New Zealand, native started the weekend at the Northern California circuit by capturing his first career pole. Van Gisbergen went on to tally his first career stage win and led a race-high 32 laps en route to the victory. The rookie is now just the series’ third repeat winner of the season – joining fellow Team Chevy driver Austin Hill and Chandler Smith (Toyota). The triumph extended Kaulig Racing’s series-best road course record in the NXS to 11 victories – all recorded in partnership with Chevrolet.

Chevrolet in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Iowa Speedway:

For the first time since July 2019, the NASCAR Xfinity Series will make its return to Iowa Speedway, with Saturday’s 250-lap race marking the series’ 21st appearance at the track. Chevrolet has tallied four NXS victories at the 7/8-mile venue, including the series’ inaugural event courtesy of Brad Keselowski behind the wheel of a JR Motorsports-prepared Chevrolet. JR Motorsports has earned three of Chevrolet’s four NXS victories at Iowa Speedway, with William Byron collecting the victory in June 2017 and, most recently, with Justin Allgaier in June 2018. Richard Childress Racing’s NXS program has also made a trip to victory lane at the track – recorded by Elliott Sadler in Aug. 2012.

Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Brad Keselowski, No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet NXS Inaugural Race Win at Iowa Speedway

Aug. 1, 2009

Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Justin Allgaier, No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet

Chevrolet’s Most Recent NXS Win at

Iowa Speedway – June 17, 2018

BOWTIE BULLETS:

· Chevrolet will pace the field in the doubleheader race weekend at Iowa Speedway. The Camaro SS will lead the NASCAR Xfinity Series in Saturday’s HyVee Perks 250; and the Camaro ZL1 will lead the NASCAR Cup Series in Sunday’s Iowa Corn 350 Powered by Ethanol.

· With 43 races complete across NASCAR’s three national series this season, Chevrolet has a winning percentage of 58.1% with 25 victories (NASCAR Cup Series – eight wins; NASCAR Xfinity Series – nine wins; NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series – eight wins).

· Victories by active Chevrolet drivers in the NASCAR national ranks at Iowa Speedway:

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – three NXS wins (2011 sweep; May 2012)

William Byron – one NXS win (June 2017) and one NCTS win (June 2016)

Justin Allgaier – one NXS win (June 2018)

Kyle Busch – one NXS win (July 2010)

Austin Dillon – one NCTS win (July 2010)

· Since the beginning of the 2020 season, seven different tracks have hosted an inaugural points-paying race for NASCAR’s premier series, with four drivers from three different Chevrolet organizations earning a combined five victories in those events.

· In 88 points-paying races in the Next Gen era, Chevrolet leads all manufacturers with 45 victories – a winning percentage of 51.1%.

· With his victory at Sonoma Raceway, Kyle Larson is the second driver to hit a double-digit win record in the NASCAR Cup Series’ Next Gen era with 10 triumphs. Larson’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron leads the series’ all-time win record in the Next Gen era with 11 victories.

· With its 42 NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer Championships, 33 NASCAR Cup Series Driver Championships, and 859 all-time NASCAR Cup Series wins, Chevrolet continues to hold the title as the winningest brand in NASCAR Cup Series history.


FOR THE FANS:

  • Fans can visit the Team Chevy Racing Display in the Fan Midway at Iowa Speedway.
  • Fans can check out an assortment of Chevrolet vehicles at the Team Chevy Racing Display including: Traverse Z71, Trax Activ, Silverado 2500 HD, Blazer EV, Colorado Trailboss, Silverado 1500 ZR2, Corvette Stingray, Tahoe Z71
  • Fans can also view William Byron’s No. 24 Camaro ZL1 show car.

Team Chevy Driver Appearances at the Display:

Friday, June 14

Connor Zilisch: 12:45 p.m. – 1 p.m.

Brandon Jones: 1 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Sammy Smith: 1:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Shane van Gisbergen: 1:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Mason Mitchell: 4 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Saturday, June 15

Sam Mayer: 9:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Austin Hill: 9:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Jesse Love: 9:45 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Zane Smith: 11 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Anthony Alfredo: 11:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Justin Allgaier: 12:15 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 16

Ross Chastain: 2:45 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Alex Bowman: 3:05 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.

Chase Elliott: 3:20 p.m. – 3:35 p.m.

AJ Allmendinger: 3:35 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Kyle Busch: 3:45 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Kyle Larson: 4 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Chevrolet Display Hours of Operation:

Friday, June 14: 12 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 15: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Sunday, June 16: 11 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Manufacturer Points Standings

Chevrolet: 582
Toyota: 574 (-8)
Ford: 548 (-34)

Manufacturer Points Standings

Chevrolet: 530
Toyota: 492 (-38)
Ford: 434 (-96)

Manufacturer Points Standings

Chevrolet: 458
Toyota: 425 (-33)
Ford: 384 (-74)

TUNE-IN:

NASCAR Cup Series

Iowa Corn 350 Powered by Ethanol

Sunday, June 16, at 7 p.m. ET

(USA Network, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90)

NASCAR Xfinity Series

HyVee Perks 250

Saturday, June 15, at 3:30 p.m. ET

(USA Network, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90)


QUOTABLE QUOTES:

ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 1 Busch Light FOR THE FARMERS CAMARO ZL1

What kind of challenges do you expect at Iowa in the Cup Series?

“Yeah, it’s a new track for the Cup car and we’ll all be learning together. There’s some repaved spots from the last time some of us were there for Xfinity and Trucks, so it has been a while for me and for most of us.”

Do you think there is any advantage this weekend if you’ve raced at Iowa before for Xfinity or Trucks?

“For sure. If nothing else, it makes you feel more confident when you’re driving out through about 20 miles of corn fields, and bean and wheat and ag. Most people are going to think they’re going the wrong way, but go 20 miles past the last building and you’ll get there.”

How do you think the atmosphere is going to be since it’s sold-out?

“It’s huge. We’ve seen what they’ve been doing with IndyCar there and that atmosphere has grown. I remember being there in Xfinity and Trucks and the fans hollerin’ they want a Cup race. So they’re finally getting it and it sounds like ticket-wise they’ve shown their support. You know its a little bit of a risk for the series and the sport to go out to an unproven track for Cup. It sounds like the fans are going to make the drive and fill that place up.”

KYLE BUSCH, NO. 8 ZONE CAMARO ZL1

You have two NXS starts at Iowa, scoring a dominating victory in 2010 and a second-place finish in 2009. Is there anything from that past experience that you can use at the Cup race?

“I have enjoyed my past races that I’ve run at Iowa. Running there in the Xfinity Series and a Pro Series East race there years ago was pretty fun. I think the track is going to be vastly different than I remember it with the old asphalt. The new asphalt in the various parts of the racetrack will make it way different.”

Is racing at Iowa similar to Richmond?

“As similar as Iowa and Richmond are to each other in their size and how they look, the tracks are not even close to each other at all in how they race. I feel like the biggest challenges at Iowa with the Next Gen Cup car will be the aero deficiencies in traffic and how wide the new asphalt is that allows for you to work your way outside of the wake of the other cars in front of you.”

Do you think adding another short track race to the Cup schedule is a good thing?

“I have always been a supporter of short track racing and enjoy racing at the short tracks, but with this Next Gen Cup car, it is probably one of the biggest challenges we’ve ever had of putting on good racing at short tracks.”

AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 16 ACTION INDUSTRIES CAMARO ZL1

“It’s always fun to go to a track I haven’t been to before. Iowa Speedway is a unique oval that isn’t similar to most of the tracks we race at. I’m looking forward to running both the Xfinity and Cup races this weekend and having that extra time on track.”

DANIEL HEMRIC, NO. 31 CIRKUL CAMARO ZL1

“There are a lot of unknowns this weekend in the Cup car at Iowa. I always enjoyed racing there in other series, but this will be a different animal. I’m looking forward to the challenge of another short track with this No. 31 group.”

RICKY STENHOUSE JR., NO. 47 KROGER / NOS ENERGY DRINK CAMARO ZL1

How much confidence do you have entering the race at Iowa after your success there in the XFINITY Series in 2011 and 2012 with three consecutive victories?

“Yeah, it’s been a while since 2012, since I’ve physically been on the race track. I ran SIM (simulation) this week, which was kind of nice getting back and making laps at Iowa and some of those little nuances of that track that I kind of remember were kind of still there. But a totally different race car and it will be obviously totally different with the repave in sections, but definitely a lot of confidence going there. Any time that you can go back to a track that you have a 50 percent win rate feels pretty good. It will be cool to get back there. I know the fans are super pumped. A little Sunday night race so that will be cool in primetime. And going to a track that Cup has never been too and it’s been a while since NASCAR has been there as well. I know there’s a lot of hype around it, which is great!”

DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 KUBOTA CAMARO ZL1

What are your thoughts on Iowa Speedway?

“I like that track. We had a lot of success there in the past. I won six poles in the Xfinity Series and two of them came in Iowa and we had a good race driving Kyle Busch’s truck a few years ago. But I haven’t been back in a while so getting that practice on Friday will help a lot.”

Is Iowa an important market for NASCAR?

“I am a big fan of taking our sport to new places. When people get to see the cars on the track for the first time and feel the energy, see the speed, they become fans for life. I’m always going to be for visiting new places and I think people coming to see our race on Sunday are going to be coming back for a long time.”

You have had fast cars the last two weeks, does that give you more optimism?

“Of course it does. We were top-10 at Charlotte but we were penalized right before the rain stopped the race so we thought we were going to get a better finish. We struggled at St. Louis but we qualified well and ran pretty good at Sonoma. We want better, but we are showing progress. My team and I tried a lot, and learned a lot the last couple of months but now it is time for us to start getting good finishes. You just can’t turn it on once the playoffs start so we want to create a lot of momentum going into the playoffs.”


Chevrolet NASCAR Cup Series Statistics

Manufacturers Championships:

Total (1949-2023): 42

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, 2023

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)

2024 STATISTICS:

Wins: 8

Poles: 5

Laps Led: 1,431

Top-five finishes: 30

Top-10 finishes: 61

Stage wins: 10

· Chase Elliott: 1

· Kyle Larson: 7

· Ross Chastain: 1

· William Byron: 1

CHEVROLET IN NASCAR CUMULATIVE STATISTICS:

Total Chevrolet race wins: 859 (1949 to date)

Poles won to date: 748

Laps led to date: 250,606

Top-five finishes to date: 4,328

Top-10 finishes to date: 8,921

Total NASCAR Cup Wins by Corporation, 1949 to Date:

       General Motors: 1,193

       Chevrolet: 859

       Pontiac: 154

       Oldsmobile: 115

       Buick: 65



       Ford: 830                                                           

       Ford: 730

       Mercury: 96

       Lincoln: 4



       Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: 467

       Dodge: 217

       Plymouth: 191

       Chrysler: 59



       Toyota: 186


About Chevrolet

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands. 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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