TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE FEDERATED AUTO PARTS 400 RICHMOND RACEWAY RICHMOND, VA SEPTEMBER 12, 2020
RICHMOND: RACE #28The road to the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Championship continues on as the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) will return to “The Action Track” of Richmond Raceway for the ninth annual Federated Auto Parts 400 on Saturday, September 12, at 7:30 p.m. ET. Due to the halt in the season for the COVID-19 pandemic and the revision of the 2020 schedule, this will be the only appearance by NASCAR’s three national series at the .75-mile Virginia track this year. The 400-mile, 300-lap race under the lights will mark the 28th race on the NCS schedule and the second race of the first round of the NCS Playoffs. Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 is the third time that Richmond Raceway has hosted the NCS Playoff’s second race. The 2020 season is the first since 1958 that the NASCAR Cup Series has made just a single appearance during the year.
In addition to the NASCAR Cup Series event, the three-day race weekend also consists of appearances by both the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Gander Outdoors & RV Truck Series. The action kicked off with the return of the NASCAR Gander Outdoors & RV Truck Series for the first time since 2005 with the ToyotaCare 250 on Thursday, September 10, to conclude the series’ regular season. Richmond Raceway will also be the host of a NASCAR Xfinity Series doubleheader, with the Go Bowling 250 on Friday, September 11, at 7:00 p.m. ET, followed by the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 250 on Saturday, September 12, at 2:00 p.m. ET. In compliance with the pandemic guidelines, all events during the race weekend will be run without spectators.
ROUND OF 16 – RACE #2The Federated Auto Parts 400 marks the second race of the Round of 16, the first of four rounds that will determine the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Champion. Following the first race of the Playoffs at Darlington Raceway, two Team Chevy Playoff contenders were the biggest movers in point positions. Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Camaro ZL1 1LE, moved up four positions in the standings, while Alex Bowman, No. 88 ChevyGoods.com/Truck Hero Camaro ZL1 1LE, jumped three spots from eighth to fifth. Heading into the Richmond race weekend, all five Team Chevy Playoff Contenders currently sit above the Round of 16 cutline: Alex Bowman, No. 88 ChevyGoods.com/Truck Hero Camaro ZL1 1LE – 5th in Standings (2,052 points)Victories: 1 (Auto Club Speedway)Top-Fives: 3; Top-10’s: 9; Laps Led: 389; Average Finish: 16.6Stage Wins: 4; Stage Top-Five’s: 14; Stage Top-10’s: 30; Stage Points: 1798-career starts at Richmond; Average Finish: 25.6 Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1 1LE – 7th in Standings (2,045 points)Victories: 2 (Charlotte Motor Speedway and Daytona Road Course)Top-Fives: 10; Top-10’s: 15; Laps Led: 644; Average Finish: 13.1Stage Wins: 6; Stage Top-Five’s: 19; Stage Top-10’s: 36; Stage Points: 2089-career starts at Richmond; Average Finish: 12.8 Austin Dillon, No. 3 DOW NORKOOL Camaro ZL1 1LE – 8th in Standings (2,043 points)Victories: 1 (Texas Motor Speedway) Top-Fives: 3; Top-10’s 8; Laps Led: 80; Average Finish: 16.3Stage Top-Five’s: 3; Stage Top-10’s: 14; Stage Points: 6012-career starts at Richmond; Average Finish: 18.7 William Byron, No. 24 Liberty University Camaro ZL1 1LE – 9th in Standings (2,042 points)Victories: 1 (Daytona International Speedway)Top-Fives: 3; Top-10’s: 10; Laps Led: 97; Average Finish: 15.7Stage Wins: 2; Stage Top-Five’s 9; Stage Top-10’s: 24; Stage Points: 1174-career starts at Richmond; Average Finish: 17.2 Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Camaro ZL1 1LE – 11th in Standings (2,037 points)Top-Fives: 4; Top-10’s: 15; Laps Led: 96; Average Finish: 13.2Stage Wins: 1; Stage Top-Five’s: 6; Stage Top-10’s: 23; Stage Points: 9738-career starts at Richmond; Average Finish: 15.4
BOWTIE BULLETS· Current Chevrolet drivers that have recorded wins at Richmond Raceway include:Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1 1LE, with 3 wins (2007 sweep, 2008)Matt Kenseth, No. 42 McDonald’s Camaro ZL1 1LE, with 2 wins (2002, 2015)Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Camaro ZL1 1LE, with 2 wins (2005, 2015)
· A Chevrolet has sat on the pole position at the .75-mile D-shaped oval 46 times, topping all other manufacturers. Of active drivers, Matt Kenseth ties for the lead in poles at Richmond with three. Career Chevrolet driver Jeff Gordon holds the track’s qualifying record, which was set in September 2013, clocking in at 130.599 mph. · Of the 12 different drivers that have scored the victory at the second race of the Playoffs, Hendrick Motorsports and Chevrolet driver Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1 1LE, leads the way with three wins (2005, 2009 and 2010 – all at Dover International Speedway).
· Team Chevy drivers Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Camaro ZL1 1LE, William Byron, No. 24 Liberty University Camaro ZL1 1LE, and Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1 1LE, are three of only four drivers to finish in the top-10 in both tracks under 1-mile this year.
LEADING AT THE ACTION TRACKRichmond Raceway welcomed NASCAR’s premier series to its venue when it hosted its first NASCAR event in 1953. Since the inaugural event, this weekend’s Federated Auto Parts 400 will mark the NCS’s 128th race at the .75-mile Virginia venue. Through NASCAR’s history at Richmond, Chevrolet has made its way to victory lane 38 times with 17 different Team Chevy drivers and teams, more than any other manufacturer. GM brands Pontiac, Buick and Oldsmobile have accounted for an additional 15 wins at the track. The Bowtie Brand has also recorded 234 top-five finishes, 484 top-10’s and led a total of 15,309 laps. STARTING LINEUPFor the remainder of the 2020 NCS season, the starting lineups will be determined by a competition-based formula, combining the following metrics from the previous race event: 15% of a fastest lap time position, 25% of the driver’s final race finish position, 25% of the owner’s final race position and 35% of the Owner points position. Here are Team Chevy’s top-20 starters for Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400:3rd Austin Dillon, No. 3 DOW NORKOOL Camaro ZL1 1LE4th Alex Bowman, No. 88 ChevyGoods.com/Truck Hero Camaro ZL1 1LE5th William Byron, No. 24 Liberty University Camaro ZL1 1LE8th Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Camaro ZL1 1LE12th Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1 1LE18th Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1 1LE19th Matt Kenseth, No. 42 McDonald’s Camaro ZL1 1LE TUNE-INNBCSN will telecast the 400-lap, 300-mile Federated Auto Parts 400 live at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 12th. Live coverage can also be found on the NBC Sports Gold App, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. QUOTABLE QUOTES:ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 CHEVYGOODS.COM/TRUCK HERO CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 5th IN STANDINGS“We have struggled at Richmond in the past. The last three weeks have been pretty good to us and we have some momentum going into this weekend’s race. We had as strong run in Darlington last weekend and are sitting in a good spot in the playoff standings. As a team, we have to go into Richmond and capitalize on stage points and keeping the car clean. This ChevyGoods.com/Truck Hero team have been working hard on our short-track program and I know that we are capable of having a strong race on Saturday night.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 7th IN STANDINGS“I think the pressure of being in the playoffs is a good thing. You just have to embrace it and recognize that you’d much rather be in the position of having a chance than not. It’s a good opportunity and we can turn that into motivation to try to do better.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOW NORKOOL CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 8th IN STANDINGSWHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON RICHMOND RACEWAY?“Richmond Raceway is one of the tracks the No. 3 team has circled as a definite place where we can gain maximum points and compete for a win. It will be crucial to our Playoff run. It’s funny because there was a time in my career when I did not run well at Richmond at all. It was a thorn in my side, but over the years that has changed. Richmond has become a much better place than it used to be for me. We have a couple of sixth-place finishes there, and had a fast car last September but ran into issues. I think the low downforce package has really helped our team at that track.
HOW DO YOU ANSWER THE FOLKS THAT DISMISS YOU AND YOUR TEAM IN THIS YEAR’S NASCAR PLAYOFFS? A LOT OF PEOPLE DO NOT EXPECT YOU TO MAKE IT PAST THE FIRST ROUND..“I love being dismissed. I think it’s great. I feel like that’s what propels us. We sneak up on people. I was very close to making it to the third round in the NASCAR Playoffs a couple year’s back but missed it by one point to Denny Hamlin. He went on to transfer and we missed it by one point at Talladega. I know from that experience that every point matters, and we just need to go out there and do our job during round one. Each of the three races in Round One – Darlington, Richmond and Bristol – are strong tracks for us. The real key will be Stage points. You have to get points. We’re going to continue to do what we did at Darlington, which is to be very aggressive in getting those points. Hopefully we will mess up a lot of brackets.” WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 9th IN STANDINGS“Richmond is a difficult track. It’s pretty slow in the middle of the corner and that’s what makes it interesting and a challenge at the same time. You’re fighting for front grip and also rear grip on the exit of the corners. It’s all about getting the car pointed in the right direction and driving straight off the corner. Richmond has very normal characteristics for a short track but at the same time it’s a lot slicker than a lot of places we go. I think with the race being at night, the biggest thing will be keeping up with the track changes.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 1 MONSTER ENERGY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 11th IN STANDINGS“There are three keys to our team being successful this weekend at Richmond Raceway. 1 – gain points in Stage one, 2 – gain stage points in Stage two and 3 – have a chance of winning the race. If we can’t win, we just need to try and have the best finish possible to gain as many points as possible. Richmond is a track that really chews up the tires, really, really bad. As far as the tire strategy goes, we’ve got to find the sequence that we know we want to have as an ideal strategy. We need to make the right calls on what we choose to adjust and when to pit. Richmond is just a couple hours from where my wife Ashley grew up, west of Washington DC. When I come to Richmond Raceway it feels like home. Mainly just because of the cool atmosphere around the race track with the fairgrounds and the way things are set up at the track, it gives you that hometown feel. But when the lights turn on it’s a playoff race.”
TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 CAT RENTAL STORE CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 19th IN STANDINGSWHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS HEADING TO RICHMOND RACEWAY WITH THIS CURRENT AERO PACKAGE?“Richmond Raceway is a place I’ve still been doing a lot of learning at. I’ve ran a decent amount of races there, but I still feel like there is a lot of learning left for me to do. It’s a long race on Saturday night, so there’s a lot of time for me to get settled in and try to figure out what to do to be more consistent at that track. We need to be focused and not make any mistakes there, knowing it’s a track I find more challenging. This weekend is a really good opportunity for both myself and the entire No. 8 Cat Rental Store team to take solid notes and learn all we can to be in a really good spot when we kick off the 2021 season next year. That is really our goal for the reminder of the season, to help set ourselves up to be even better next year.”
BUBBA WALLACE, NO. 43 DOORDASH CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 23rd IN STANDINGSTALK ABOUT YOUR THOUGHTS GOING INTO RICHMOND. “As a team, we struggle really, really bad during the day but as soon as it turns night our No. 43 DoorDash Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE comes to action. It will be fun. It’s a short track, and I’ve always loved racing at the Richmond Raceway – no matter how good or bad we have been. It is just one of those short-track mentalities; getting in there and using the bumper a little bit to move people out of the way.”
TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICO CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 28th IN STANDINGS“Richmond is a racetrack I have a lot of confidence at. I think we will see a lot of coming and going throughout the race, with some guys taking off well at the start of a run and then others that get better on the long run. For drivers, that is fun. Knowing when to be aggressive, when to take care of your tires until it’s time to make a move, that’s when the driver gets to shine and show their ability more. Our Germain Racing team is committed to finishing out this season strong. We are going to work hard all night and get the best result possible for our GEICO Camaro ZL1 1LE.”