TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE
DIGITAL ALLY 400
KANSAS CITY, KANSAS
MAY 11, 2019
ELLIOTT RETURNS ON A ROLL:
In October 2018, Chase Elliott became the youngest (22 years, 10 months, 23 days) winner of a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway. “I think as it has aged that outside lane has really prevailed and I think that will continue to be that way,” said the driver of the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1, who is coming off a victory and fifth-place finish in the past two events. Elliott will be making his 125th MENCS start.
FIRST IN KANSAS:
Groundbreaking for Kansas Speedway was held on May 25, 1999. Jeff Gordon in a Chevrolet won the inaugural MENCS race on the 1.5-mile oval on Sept. 30, 2001, and followed with a victory in the next race at the track. Gordon added another win in 2014.
EVEN FURTHER BACK:
The first NASCAR national series race contested in Kansas was on July 29, 1995, at Heartland Park Topeka. Ron Hornaday Jr., driving a Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt Inc., won the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race.
FS1 will telecast the Digital Ally 400 live at 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday, May 11. Live coverage can also be found on MRN 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 780 wins and 705 poles in MENCS competition.
* Chevrolet leads all manufacturers with 12 wins in the 26 races at Kansas Speedway. Victories by current Team Chevy drivers:
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1, has three wins (2008, ’11, ’15).
Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1, has one win (2018).
* The next start for Landon Cassill, No. 00 Star Com Fiber Camaro ZL1, will be his 300th in MENCS competition. He’ll be the 66th driver to reach the mark.
* Kurt Busch, No. 1 Global Poker Camaro ZL1, is among three drivers to have competed in all 26 MENCS races at Kansas Speedway.
* Johnson has three MENCS pole starts at Kansas Speedway.
* Chevrolet leads all manufacturers with 10 pole awards in the 26 races.
* Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet) leads all teams with seven wins at the track.
* Johnson leads MENCS active drivers with nine top-five and 17 top-10 finishes in 25 starts at the track.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 – 7th IN STANDINGS “Kansas has become a cool place. I think as it has aged that outside lane has really prevailed and I think that will continue to be that way. I think it’s going to be a top lane-dominant racetrack as it continues to wear and age, and as time goes on even more than it already is. So that makes it difficult. It’s hard to make a lot happen in a hurry when everybody is riding the wall and up in those top grooves. That’s the challenge of it is trying to pass and move forward. It’s a difficult thing to do when everybody is griping the top.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 1 GLOBAL POKER CAMARO ZL1 – 8th IN STANDINGS “Kansas Speedway is one of those sneaky fast mile-and-half tracks, its very fast and the pace that we can run there in the draft can challenge the engine sometimes, right to the limit of the rev-chip. Then with the set-up there, being a night race, early in the year and going back its a day race for the Playoffs. Kansas is a track, if you show well there it really helps you solidify your mile-and-half program. One of the biggest challenges at Kansas Speedway is keeping up with the wind conditions, a lot of times we’ll have different wind directions from day-to-day and that will swap each end of the track. The Kansas Speedway is in its prime from a track conditions standpoint, low grove, middle groove and high groove. You go where the other guys aren’t. You can get that big run of speed in the high groove, but speed early-on, with new tires, is generated in that low groove.”
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1 – 13th IN STANDINGS
ON LAST WEEKEND’S FINISH: “We are coming off two great weekends. Talladega is a speedway, so there is a lot of luck involved in that one. Dover, however, is just physically exhausting. We had a shot at the win and that is all that you can ask for. I have to give credit to Greg (Ives) and the No. 88 guys. They put a great car together last weekend and they should definitely be proud of Monday’s execution. We will continue moving forward with this momentum and try to finish one spot better on Saturday night.”
ON WHAT MAKES KANSAS UNIQUE: “Kansas Speedway is cool because it’s newer pavement, but it’s widened out a lot. You can run from the bottom to the top. That is one of the only newer paved places that you can do that right now. I enjoy going there as much as it widens out.”
“This is one of my favorite tracks to be honest. I feel like when you run at night versus during the day, the track doesn’t change much and feels really the same. The top always comes in, which makes the racing fun. This is a race that I definitely look forward to coming to.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 CREDIT ONE BANK CAMARO ZL1 – 15th IN STANDINGS
“It feels really good to be coming off of a solid race for our team. The last month had been pretty rough, so to put together a complete weekend in Dover, from qualifying to the race, was great for us. It was also good to see another race where the Chevy’s were really competitive. Kansas has been a pretty good track for our team, with two top-fives there last year, so I’m excited to head to a track where we’ve been strong. We just need to keep putting together good weekends, and keep putting our Chevy in a position to win races.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 AMERICAN ETHANOL CAMARO ZL1 – 18th IN STANDINGS
A LOT OF THE 1.5-MILE TRACKS LOOK A LOT ALIKE BUT YOU SAY THEY’RE NOT WHEN YOU RACE THEM. HOW IS KANSAS UNIQUE COMPARED TO SOME OF THE OTHER 1.5-MILE TRACKS?
“Kansas has really done a good job with their banking. There’s a line right up by the fence that has a little extra grip. There’s an angle up there that I don’t think all the tracks have figured out yet; but Kansas got it right. So, you can run from top to bottom there. The bottom is a preferred group for a while but it becomes too tight to try and run around there in (Turns) 1 and 2 sometimes, or whatever the balance is of your race car. I’ve enjoyed that track since they’ve repaved it. I wish everybody else could do as good a job as Kansas did in their repave.”
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 UNIFIRST CAMARO ZL1 – 19th IN STANDINGS
HAS KANSAS GOTTEN BETTER AS THE ASPHALT HAS AGED OVER THE YEARS? “It’s definitely aged. I think the tire Goodyear has brought has been really good for that track. It has been able to lay rubber and we’ve been able to run up the track pretty quickly. Even with cooler temperatures, I think the track has taken rubber pretty quickly. Not sure why that’s been the case, but it’s been a really fun race there the last couple years because of that. Kansas Speedway is one of my favorite tracks because if you feel like you’re struggling on the bottom you can immediately move to the top and be competitive. I’ve enjoyed this track really in all three series and am excited to get there this weekend.”
TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICO CAMARO ZL1 – 22nd IN STANDINGS
“The good thing so far this year is that we’ve had speed at the intermediate tracks. We’re still working on what we need for the car to handle how we need it to during the race, but I think we’re certainly getting there. We have seen our short-track program grow in a positive direction this season. Matt (Borland, crew chief) and I feel very confident in our communication with one another. The next step is fine-tuning our mile-and-a-half program, and we’re getting closer and closer with each track. We’ve shown speed in qualifying, which is a plus. We’re just looking forward to carrying that speed over into consistency throughout the race. We’ve been great at the end of races, but we’ve been a little bit behind at the start. Once we get all of that ironed out, our GEICO Racing team is going to be a really strong, competitive team at these intermediates.”