TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE
QUAKER STATE 400 PRESENTED BY WALMART
JULY 14, 2018
LUCKY NUMBER 100:
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 driver, Alex Bowman, will make his 100th career Cup Series start this weekend at Kentucky Speedway. This year marks Bowman’s first full-time season at Hendrick Motorsports after becoming the driver of the No. 88 Chevy when Dale Earnhardt, Jr. announced his retirement in 2017. So far, Bowman has recorded one pole, one top five and seven top-10 finishes since taking over the seat of the No.88.
“It is crazy to think that it has already been 100 races! The journey to get to where I am today was rough at times, but I was able to learn and get track time with any team I was with. Being with Hendrick Motorsports is a dream come true and I am happy that my 100th race is with them and the No. 88 team.”
BOWTIE BENCHMARK ON THE HORIZON:
Chevrolet is two Cup Series pole wins away from earning 700 pole awards in NASCAR’s premier series. Currently at 698, the Bowtie Brand has earned four poles thus far in 2018 at the season-opening Daytona 500 (Bowman), Dover and Sonoma (Kyle Larson) and most recently last weekend at Daytona (Chase Elliott). Two more poles in 2018 would achieve a significant milestone for Team Chevy earning more first place starts than any other brand competing at the Cup level.
DID YOU KNOW?
Kentucky Speedway is the only track on the current NASCAR Cup Series schedule in which a Chevrolet driver or team has not collected a victory.
The Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart is scheduled to begin on Saturday, July 14 at 7:30 pm, ET. Live coverage can be found on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN), PRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
BY THE NUMBERS:
Chevrolet has won 39 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer Championships
Team Chevy drivers have scored 776 wins and 698 poles in MENCS competition
Following the first seven Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races held at Kentucky Speedway, Team Chevy drivers have recorded two poles, 13 top-five and 30 top-10 finishes
A Chevrolet has led 367 laps (19.5% of possible 1,876 laps) at Kentucky Speedway
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 CREDIT ONE BANK CAMARO ZL1 – 8TH IN STANDINGS
“Kentucky hasn’t been too good to our team, but we had a really fast Chevy there last season, so hopefully that’s the case when we return this weekend. With the newer repave, it can be hard to get a good racing groove going, but I think the tire dragging does helps some with getting that groove worked in early in the race. The track also drives a little different than some of the other mile-and-a-half’s with Turn 3 configured how it is, which provides some challenges for sure. To put down a good lap, you just have to make sure you don’t overdrive Turn 3 in order to get off Turn 4 with good speed. Our cars have been fast this year at the mile-and-half tracks, so looking forward to a good weekend.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S JIMMIE JOHNSON FOUNDATION CAMARO ZL1 – 12TH IN STANDINGS
“I know for myself Kentucky has just been a hard track for me to figure out. It haunted me in my Busch career. I did run a lot of laps there kind of developing as a Hendrick driver we tested there a lot. I have a ton of laps, but I’ve never really been great there. I think we have had one good race and squandered it away on a restart in ’13 I think it was. But it’s just a really weird place because going into Turn 1 you are climbing up a hill and then quickly descend from the entry to Turn 1 all the way down until you actually turn into Turn 3 or the elevation is going downhill and in Turn 3 you don’t pick up the banking until probably the midway point of the corner, so from entry to Turn 1 to the middle of Turns 3 and 4 there is nothing to lean on and the cars are just hanging on very nervous and edgy and then you get a small portion of time with some grip off of Turn 4 and then you are down the front straightaway.”
ON HAVING THE JIMMIE JOHNSON FOUNDATION ON THE SIDE OF THE NO. 48 CAMARO ZL1:
“It’s just amazing exposure for the Jimmie Johnson Foundation and I’m so thankful that Lowe’s over all these years have allowed us that opportunity and we are kind of able to build in some PR and some other neat programs that go with that. So, excited to have the paint scheme on the car. It has brought us a lot of luck over the years and I would love to have it bring us luck in Kentucky.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 – 14TH IN STANDINGS
“Kentucky has always been an interesting place. The groove doesn’t move around much there, so track position is always important for us at least it has been. Unless you are very superior to everyone else it is hard to move forward just like it is everywhere else. We have actually had some decent runs there somehow, but definitely don’t feel like it’s one of my better places.”
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1 – 15TH IN STANDINGS
“Kentucky was one of my favorite tracks before they paved it. Since they paved it, it is definitely different. I have only tested there, so I don’t really know how it’s going to race and widen out, but I’m looking forward to going there. I definitely liked it a lot before they paved it.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 AAA CAMARO ZL1 – 18TH IN STANDINGS
“Kentucky is one of those places I’ve always been pretty decent at, going back to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series days. We were able to win there, and any time that you head into a track that you’ve been successful at in the past you go in with some confidence. The repave is a few years old now so it should be fun to see how that’s shaping up. We will look forward to Kentucky as one of those places where we feel like we can run well. I think brakes are going to be important there.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CAMARO ZL1 – 19TH IN STANDINGS
“Kentucky is a big weekend for us and our partner Caterpillar. We’ve got a lot of folks and customers from Wayne Supply and Walker Machinery coming so we obviously want to put on a strong show for them. Plus, Caterpillar has a few surprise giveaways planned for race fans at the track. The first one happens on Friday during my Trackside appearance at 5 p.m. We hope to see a lot of Cat Racing fans when we are there. It’s the first time we’ve done anything like this.
“From an on-track standpoint, Kentucky is one of those tracks that I continue to have mixed feelings about. I’ve never been a fan of its configuration, but it is what it is. My results there have been mixed, too, so I hope we are able to unload fast and repeat our performance from back in 2016. We’ll just have to wait and see how it goes.”
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1 – 21ST IN STANDINGS
“Kentucky is usually very fast. It’s a repave, although the surface has worn a little over the last couple of times we’ve been there, so the grip level has started going away a bit. The biggest thing is just trying to be very smooth and not make mistake on restarts. It’s easy to get out of the groove, so you just try to make sure you don’t make a big mistake to cost yourself track position. From there, you just want to have good restarts and try to get to the bottom lane and be aggressive there. We had a tire test there, so that should help us a little bit.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 ARTIC CAT CAMARO ZL1 – 22ND IN STANDINGS
“I feel like we have had some pretty good cars on the mile-and-a-half tracks this year, so hopefully Kentucky Speedway will be no exception. We have had back-to-back top-10 finishes here the last two years. This is a weekend where we will practice and race under completely different weather conditions, so the track is a little bit different from the start of the race to the finish under the lights at night. Looking forward to having some good luck after a couple of bad finishes the last three weeks.”
AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 KROGER CLICKLIST CAMARO ZL1 – 23RD IN STANDINGS
“Heading to Kentucky Speedway is an important race for us. It’s Kroger’s home race, so we’re thrilled to have a lot of Kroger employees and Kroger executives there. For us, it’s kind of like a second home race and we have to go there and perform. Especially coming off of a great weekend at Daytona International Speedway. I’m excited to have a lot of positive momentum going into Kentucky and meeting with Kroger executives and employees at their headquarters in Cincinnati. We haven’t had the greatest luck at Kentucky Speedway the last couple of years. There is always room for improvement, but our 1.5-mile program has gotten a lot better this season and we’ve had good speed. It’s a racetrack that has changed with the reconfiguration and new pavement, so we’re still learning a lot about it since we only race there one time a year. I feel like what we’ve learned in our 1.5-mile program so far this year can really help us. We’re really looking forward to having a great race for all of the Kroger employees and their families.”
CHRIS BUESCHER, NO. 37 GAIN CAMARO ZL1 – 24TH IN STANDINGS
“I enjoyed racing at Kentucky Speedway before the repave, but the repave has been pretty good for me. I think we have had pretty good speed there since the repave, and I know we have speed in our 1.5-mile program. Because of that, I enjoy it more now. It’s a different race track with the two corners being so different there. Turns 3 and 4 are really flat, similar to how Texas Motor Speedway reconfigured their Turns 1 and 2 with their repave, but not quite to the same extent. It’s a tough racetrack to pass at, but it is also a tough racetrack to set a car up for because turns 3 and 4 are so much slower than turns 1 and 2. It’s a unique racetrack and for that I give them props. I like going to places that are a little bit different. You look at all the 1.5-mile tracks and I like going somewhere that has character to it and different attributes. I think it makes it better for me. I like something that’s a little different and a challenge. Ever since joining JTG Daugherty Racing, Kroger has welcomed me into the family with open arms. That’s what makes this weekend so special heading to a track that is so close to their headquarters in Cincinnati. We had a good weekend at Daytona (International Speedway) last weekend, and I’m proud to be able to bring that to Kentucky Speedway and put on a good show for all of our friends and family there.”
DARRELL ‘BUBBA’ WALLACE, JR., NO. 43 PETTY’S GARAGE/MEDALLION CAMARO ZL1 – 25TH IN STANDINGS
“The Camaro ZL1 squad had good runs at Daytona. I felt like our U.S. Air Force Chevrolet was capable of winning, but I got too aggressive pushing the ‘14’ at the end. But, we salvaged a 14th-place finish for us and that was good. We gained some points on Rookie of the Year and now we focus on Kentucky. We want to have a better mile-and-a-half race and get back to running in the Top-15 each week. That’s going to be a big jump, but we’re trying to improve and I like Kentucky. We should have a good shot at it this weekend.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 95 DARK MATTER PRESENTED BY IONOMY CAMARO ZL1 – 26TH IN STANDINGS
“Looking ahead to this weekend at Kentucky, I’m expecting it to be pretty similar conditions as we’ve had there for the past few years. It’s always hot and humid when we go to Kentucky and the track is usually really slick. I think things will be better than last year since there’s a little more wear and tear on the track’s surface, so I think that will help overall because we’ll be able to start moving around more in Turns 3 and 4 than we could before. Kentucky is a tough track because it’s always such slippery conditions when we’re racing there. Kentucky has changed so much over the years and the repaves have really helped since the surface isn’t nearly as rough as it used to be. There’s still some bumps in the track, but overall, I feel that it will be a better race track as time goes on and the surface weathers. We just need to keep learning how it changes from year-to-year as it ages, but it’s a fun and challenging track, and I’m looking forward to this weekend.”
TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICO CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 – 29TH IN STANDINGS
“I love racing at Kentucky Speedway. I’ve done well there in the past in both the Xfinity Series and the Truck Series. I won a truck race back in 2013, and I’ve come close in Xfinity with a second-place finish. I feel comfortable racing at this track. I’m still trying to get the feel of it in a Cup Series car, but I know that I’ll get there. It just takes laps and patience. The track went through a repave back in 2016, and it’s always interesting to learn the new quirks of a track as the repave ages and goes through the seasons. These mile-and-a-half tracks that we visit are all so different from each other because they’re all in different stages of repaves. It keeps us all on our toes, and we have to adjust our intermediate package and our plans with every track we visit. Intermediate tracks have been tough for us this year, so we know that we will have some work to do on Friday in practice. But, I’m confident that we can get our GEICO Camaro ZL1 handling how it needs to for the race.”