Chevy Racing–NASCAR–Phoenix–Bowtie Bullets

TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE
BLUEGREEN VACATIONS 500
ISM RACEWAY
AVONDALE, ARIZONA
NOVEMBER 10, 2019

BOWTIE BULLETS:
CHECKING ON CHEVROLET CONTENDERS
Heading into the cutoff race for the final round of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, Chevrolet drivers Kyle Larson is tied for sixth and Chase Elliott is eighth. Next up is the 312-lap race on the one-mile ISM Raceway. “It’s just all eyes on Phoenix,” said Elliott, driver of the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1.

HOW CHEVY CONTENDERS HAVE FARED
How the drivers fared at ISM on March 10 and in November 2018 playoff race:
Elliott – Start 2, finish 14 (March) Start 2, finish 23 (2018)
Larson – Start 31, finish 6 (March) Start 8, finish 3 (2018)

Their career-best start and finish at ISM:
Elliott – Start 2 (March 2019, November 2018) * Finish 2 (November 2017)
Larson – Start 2 (March 2018) Finish 2 (March 2017)
* Elliott is tops among active drivers with an average starting position of 5.4 in seven races at the track.

FREQUENT VISITOR TO WINNER’S CIRCLE
Chevrolet leads all manufacturers with 23 victories in 46 races at ISM Raceway with six different nameplates (Lumina, Monte Carlo, Monte Carlo SS, Impala, Impala SS, and SS). A Team Chevy driver has sat on the pole 17 times at ISM Raceway.

TUNE-IN:
NBC will telecast the race live at 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Nov. 10. The NBCSports Gold app will stream the race and live coverage can also be found on MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

BY THE NUMBERS:
* Victories by current Chevrolet drivers at ISM Raceway:
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1, has four wins (November 2009, April and November 2008, November 2007).
Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Camaro ZL1, has one win (April 2005). Last week, Busch signed a multi-year contract extension to drive the Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.
* Johnson holds the MENCS track qualifying record of 143.158 mph set on Nov. 15, 2015.
* Johnson is tied for the most lead-lap finishes (27) among active drivers in 32 races at the track.
* Chevrolet has recorded 108 top-5 and 209 top-10 finishes at the track.
* Johnson needs one win to tie Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip (84) for fourth on the all-time list.
* Ty Dillon, No. 13 GEICO Military Camaro ZL1, has been running at the finish in the past 43 races – tops among current drivers.
* Chevrolet has surpassed 100 top-10 finishes for the season.
* Chevrolet has won 39 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer Championships.

QUOTABLE QUOTES:
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 CAMARO ZL1 – 7th IN STANDINGS
“Phoenix has been a pretty good place for us. We’ve had some strong runs there and competed for wins, and I think we’ll have another competitive Camaro there this weekend. Our team has never made it this close to a shot at the final four, and even though we’re not in great place in the points, we’re excited about our chances this weekend. I think our strategy has been good the last two races, we just didn’t have things work out on track in our favor last weekend. It sounds like the traction compound will be applied this weekend similar to last weekend, and I think that plays into my ability to move around during the race to find speed. So, we’ll head to the track this weekend ready to do what we can to have a good race and hopefully advance.”

CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 – 8th IN STANDINGS
ON THE PHOENIX RACE THIS WEEKEND AND WITH THE FLIP-FLOP OF THE START/FINISH LINE, HOW MUCH MORE INTENSE ARE RESTARTS THERE?
“They are definitely different. You can be really brave and sometimes make something work. Other times, you get really aggressive and you find yourself right back in the same spot your started in. You weigh that out, when it’s time to do that and when it’s not. We’ve seen guys make up a lot of ground on restarts and the closing restarts in the past couple of races. There’s a time and there are different opportunities that I think it can work better than others and it just depends on the situation and who’s in front of you and what kind of gap there is to the people around you and all kinds of situational things that you just have to make split second decisions as to what feels right and what’s not.”

WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 HERTZ CAMARO ZL1 – 10th IN STANDINGS
IT’S BEEN TWO RACES NOW AT ISM RACEWAY, BUT IS IT STILL WEIRD TO HAVE THE START/FINISH LINE FLIPPED? DID IT TAKE TIME TO GET ADJUSTED TO IT?
“Last year in the fall we had that configuration and it was really weird. I think it made for a lot of action for the Playoffs though. For the restarts there, you can fan out so much now that it’s kind of like Pocono Raceway is. I think restarts are going to be a premium time to pick up positions and make the biggest moves. After that it will be difficult to make much ground up, I think. Late race restarts especially are going to be hairy there. I’m interested to see how it is though after having a couple races under my belt with the reconfiguration. I think it’s going to be a wild race, but especially being during the playoffs and a cutoff race for some of the other guys.”

ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1 – 12th IN STANDINGS
“ISM Raceway is one of the tracks that I circle on the calendar. I still feel like the 2016 race was the win that got away. This 88 team had an amazing car from the time we unloaded to the time we went green in the race. We have had some bad luck there these last few races, so I am looking forward to redeeming myself this weekend.”

“A race win at my home track would be extremely special. I think anytime that someone wins at their home track is something that sticks with them forever. Being so close a few years ago was tough, but this team doesn’t give up. We want a win in Phoenix and we know that we have been close before and can unload a good car this weekend.”

TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICO MILITARY CAMARO ZL1 – 24th IN STANDINGS
HOW ODD IS IT TO YOU TO STILL SEE THE START-FINISH LINE FLIP-FLOPPED?
“I’m getting pretty comfortable with it now. I think the first couple times were pretty tricky, but it is truly unique. ISM Raceway is one of my favorite tracks on the circuit and all of the short tracks are places that we star as a team, where we feel we can run well and have a good opportunity for a great finish. I look forward to going to ISM and finishing the year out really strong.”

DOES THE WIDE-OPEN SPACE YOU HAVE ON THE RESTARTS MAKE IT EVEN CRAZIER?
“Oh definitely, because we are going to use it. If we have space, we will absolutely use it. Especially with this package that we have run all year. It creates more hectic restarts and if there are holes to fill, we are going to fill them.”

DANIEL HEMRIC, NO. 8 CAT LARGE DOZERS CAMARO ZL1 – 25th IN STANDINGS
HOW DIFFERENT IS RACING AT ISM RACEWAY WITH THE RECONFIGURATION AND THE START-FINISH LINE BEING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DOGLEG?
“It is kind of an on-going debate inside the haulers about the racetrack, because what I am referring to as Turns 1 and 2, others are calling Turns 3 and 4. In all seriousness, you have to be on the same page with your crew chief and spotter throughout the weekend because it is still so new and different. Whenever you take off on the restarts, get up through the gears and go down into the new Turn 1 it so different than restarts use to be at ISM Raceway. Everyone used to talk about how you had to get off the old Turn 2 to make a good lap. Well, now your coming-to-green lap is off the old Turn 2, which is the new Turn 4, and you have to go through that twice to make a complete lap and that changes lap times. There is a lot of time to be made up on that end of the racetrack now. I can’t believe how different the visuals of the track from inside the race car are now that the track has been reconfigured. I remember my first laps on the track after the change and when you come off what is now Turn 2 and you feel like you’re at a totally different racetrack, with the motorhomes on the backstretch and the grandstands wrapping around Turns 3 and 4, the restart box, the start-finish line, all of it. It feels like a completely new racetrack and I feel like we’ve seen it race like one each time we’ve been back since.”

BUBBA WALLACE, NO. 43 UNITED STATES AIR FORCE CAMARO ZL1 – 27th IN STANDINGS
THOUGHTS GOING INTO PHOENIX. HOW DOES THIS TRACK RANK FOR YOU?
“Our short-track program is lacking in strength; however, ISM Raceway has always been good for us. We have always had a lot of speed there and always have had a good race. I am excited to get there. It is a place where when I first arrived, I couldn’t really figure-out the track and something started clicking. Hopefully, our Richard Petty Motorsports team can continue that good luck streak.

“It is going to be hot; next-to-last race of the season. That’s when you start thinking ‘Is the season over with yet?’. Then, we go right into Homestead-Miami Speedway weekend.”

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