39-TIME MANUFACTURERS’ CHAMPION – NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE
BANK AMERICA 500
CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA
OCTOBER 8, 2016
Team Chevy’s Fab Five Head to Charlotte in Chase of a Championship
DETROIT – (October 4, 2016) – The first round in the quest for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship is complete. Five Team Chevy drivers are advancing to the Round of 12 and the first task they face is this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Getting off to a fast, winning start in this bracket of races is key, because the cutoff race at Talladega Superspeedway in late October looms large.
Chevrolet’s ‘fab five’ consists of three former champions and two fresh-faced youngsters. Six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and seven-time Charlotte winner continues his campaign for a record-tying seventh series title. Stewart-Haas Racing teammates and both former Charlotte Motor Speedway victors, Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch would like nothing more than to come into a race at the team’s hometown track and collect the hardware so they can breathe easier knowing a win will advance them to the next Round of 8.
First time Chase contenders Chase Elliott and Austin Dillon have shown lots of raw speed in 2016. Consistency had led these young drivers to Chase contention, but each is hungry to record his first career victory. Dillon would love nothing more than to do it at a track located not far from his hometown of Lexington, North Carolina; while Elliott looks to continue the family name of winning at CMS, where his father, Bill, is a two-time winner.
Charlotte Motor Speedway is the first race in the second bracket of Chase races, but the only race to be completed at night during the championship battle. Driver’s will have to practice during the day and crew chiefs will have to rely on past history at the track to take an educated guess at what the track will do as the 334-lap/501-mile contest begins at dusk and ends in the late evening.
Fortunately, Team Chevy’s ‘fab five’ has the most successful brand to ever compete at Charlotte Motor Speedway on their noses and under their hoods. The Bowtie Brand has 43 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories at the track that most of the teams and drivers now call home. As the Chase continues, Team Chevy engineers continue to search for speed, consistency and an edge over the competition. If everything goes as planned one of the Chevy Chase drivers or another team from the Bowtie stable will driver their Chevy SS into Victory Lane to score win number 44 for the brand at Charlotte.
The fourth race of the 10-race Chase playoff from Charlotte Motor Speedway is scheduled to begin Saturday, October 8 at 7 p.m. Live coverage of the 334-lap/501-mile contest will be available on NBC, PRN, Sirius NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and NASCAR.com.
TEAM CHEVY FOR THE FANS AT CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY:
· Fans can visit the Team Chevy Racing Display in the Midway Area in front of the main grandstands at Charlotte Motor Speedway
· Fans can check out great Chevrolet vehicles including: Malibu Hybrid, Corvette Stingray, Camaro Convertible, Suburban, Equinox Premier, Silverado 2500, Cruze Premier, Colorado, Impala and Pink Wrapped Silverado in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month
· Fans can also get an up-close and personal look at a variety of show cars including: the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet Camaro, the No. 14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS and the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS
· Also on display is a Chevrolet R07 racing engine complete with electronic fuel injection. Fans can also see a sample of engines, parts and accessories available for purchase from Chevrolet Performance at their local Chevrolet dealer
· Other activities at the Team Chevy Racing Display include a variety of interactive games for adults and kids
DRIVER FAN Q&A APPEARANCES:
· Friday, October 7th
o 2:45 p.m. – Brandon Jones
o 3:00 p.m. – Ray Black, Jr.
o 3:15 p.m. – Blake Koch
o 3:30 p.m. – Spencer Gallagher
o 5:15 p.m. – Regan Smith
· Saturday, October 8th
o 2:30 p.m. – Michael McDowell
o 3:10 p.m. – Tony Stewart
o 4:00 p.m. – Clint Bowyer
o 4:15 p.m. – Kasey Kahne
· Hours of operation: Thurs. Oct. 6th – 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.; Fri. Oct. 7th – 10:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Sat. Oct. 8th – 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
TEAM CHEVY IN NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES (NSCS) COMPETITION:
· Chevrolet has won 39 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturer Championships
· Team Chevy drivers have scored 761 wins and 684 poles in NSCS competition
CHEVROLET ON THE TRACK—CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY:
Chevrolet drivers have won 43 of 115 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Wins by active drivers are:
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, has seven victories at Charlotte Motor Speedway (’03, ’04 – TWICE, ’05 – TWICE, ’09 & ‘14)
Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS, has visited Victory Lane at Charlotte Motor Speedway four times (’06 – TWICE, ’08 & ’12)
Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Busch Hunting Chevrolet SS, has gone to Victory Lane at Charlotte Motor Speedway three times (’11, ‘13 & ‘14)
Jamie McMurray, No. 1 McDonald’s Chevrolet SS, has two trophies from Charlotte Motor Speedway (’02 & ’10)
Clint Bowyer, No. 15 5-Hour Energy Chevrolet SS, has one win at Charlotte Motor Speedway (’12)
Kurt Busch, No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Chevrolet SS, has one win at Charlotte Motor Speedway (’10)
Casey Mears, No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS, has one win at Charlotte Motor Speedway (’07)
Tony Stewart, No. 14 Mobil 1/Rev The Vote Chevrolet SS, has one trophy from Charlotte Motor Speedway (’03)
A Chevrolet driver has won two of the last five races at Charlotte Motor Speedway
A Chevrolet driver has sat on the pole at Charlotte Motor Speedway 31 times
Team Chevy drivers have scored 196 top-five and 388 top-10 finishes at Charlotte Motor Speedway
A Chevrolet has led 13,434 laps (33.1% of possible 40,574 laps) at Charlotte Motor Speedway
ENGINEER EXPERTISE FROM THE GARAGE AREA – PAT SUHY, GROUP MANAGER, NASCAR PROGRAMS
“Congratulations to Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Austin Dillon on advancing to the ‘Round of 12’ to represent Chevrolet in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. With Talladega as the closing race in this round of three, every team involved will be doing everything they can to win one at Charlotte or Kansas…nobody wants to head to the unpredictable Talladega Superspeedway in need of a win to move on to the next round.
“Team Chevy has enjoyed a lot of success at Charlotte Motor Speedway. As fast as the competition moves, keeping up is a tough job. Getting ahead is even tougher. Our group of dedicated NASCAR engineers, along with our team engineers, has put in a lot of effort this year by using every available tool in our collective tool boxes to find speed on the race track. That speed is only one part of the equation though; and at least as much effort goes into the other factors that win, and sometimes lose, races. In addition to raw speed, there are factors like quality and durability, along with the human factors, that truly make NASCAR a team sport. This sport demands excellence from many people in many disciplines to win a championship.
“Sunday’s race should be a good one. I am looking forward to seeing all of our teams, and especially those still in the Chase, get out there, go for the win, and bring a Chevy SS to Victory Lane at the end.”
TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT:
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 BUSCH HUNTING CHEVROLET SS – 2ND IN STANDINGS
“I mean there could be challenges no matter where you go. Charlotte is a really finicky race track and with the way that we practice, most of the practice will be done during the day with the race being at night. Temperature has a huge factor in how the race track changes, how the pace changes, so you have to try to guess a little bit to that. Obviously, the weather could be a little bit of an issue as we creep into the weekend. You have to try to plan and balance all those things to have a good plan, but you have to be ready to abort that plan and come up with a new one on the fly at any given point.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 3M CHEVROLET SS – 6TH IN STANDINGS
“I’m proud of the way we’ve been running. I think we’ve been building and gaining on some things that we’ve been missing. Really really cool to move on, I’m proud of that. Like I said, this group has been doing a really good job. I’m proud of all these guys and we are excited to get on to Charlotte. We had a good car there in the spring and fought hard. Hopefully we can get that next little bit there this weekend.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 41 HAAS AUTOMATION/MONSTER ENERGY CHEVROLET SS – 8TH IN STANDINGS
“It’s always a marquee event, I believe, no matter if it’s the spring or the fall, Charlotte is the only night race in the Chase. A lot of bragging rights because all the race shops are here in Charlotte. It’s just one of those special tracks that is one of the toughest ones to win on and we race there so often. The All-Star race and guys that aren’t in the All-Star race, race in the Showdown, we have the 600-miler, the 500-miler, a lot of laps at Charlotte, kind of makes you feel like the old school days that this is your home track and you want to defend it.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – 11TH IN STANDINGS
I’m thankful to everyone working so hard at Hendrick Motorsports that have put so much emphasis on giving me great cars for the Chase. Last week was a race that got away from us, my team gave me the best car I’ve ever had at Dover – but we are now heading to Charlotte – also one of our best tracks. We had a lot of speed a few weeks ago in Chicago and have led a lot of laps in the last three races. This Chase is tough, every week we have to perform. This track is in Lowe’s corporate’s backyard, it would be great to win at home.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOW COATING MATERIALS CHEVROLET SS – 12TH IN STANDINGS
“Truthfully, some of my best tracks are in this round. Charlotte, Kansas and Talladega. To head into Charlotte Motor Speedway with a better shot at the championship is awesome. The track is so close to home so it will be special to see all of our fans and all of our RCR employees try to come out to the race. I’m looking forward to the second round. I know that is going to be a challenge. I feel like our mile-and-a-half program at RCR has always been pretty solid so I’m excited about Charlotte Motor Speedway.”
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 MOBIL 1/REV THE VOTE CHEVROLET SS – 13TH IN STANDINGS
“It always seems like it’s a battle of trying to get your car to cut through the center of the corner and keep the forward drive in it. It seems like it’s a sacrifice of one or the other, but the two ends of the track are different. It seems like you can carry a lot more speed through (turns) one and two, and (turns) three and four are a little more thread-the-needle-type corners. Sometimes there isn’t a big difference between the fall and spring races at Charlotte. They’re spread out so far and they’re at the beginning of summer and the end of summer, so a lot of times they can be very similar.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET/BELKIN QP CHEVROLET SS – 14TH IN STANDINGS
“The Dover race was pretty tough for the Target team, and definitely not how we wanted to exit the Chase, but we’re going to keep racing hard and work for wins these next seven weeks. There are some good tracks left for our team, and Charlotte is one of them. Our cars have been strong and have definitely gotten better on the mile and a half tracks, so I’m looking forward to a good race this weekend.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD’S CHEVROLET SS – 15TH IN STANDINGS
“Charlotte is always one of my favorite places to race. After suffering some bad luck last weekend at Dover it would be a good place to get back on track. We have really make a lot of gains on the mile-and-a-half tracks this year and the guys have be bringing really fast cars to the track. Although it is disappointing for our team to have been eliminated from Chase competition last week, we still maintain our focus of trying to win some races before the end of the season and pick-up some positions in the point standings.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 GREAT CLIPS CHEVROLET SS – 17TH IN STANDINGS
“I really like Charlotte. It’s a track where you can search around for different lines that will work for your car better. It’s also a place where you can keep your speed and momentum up. It’s a cool place to win at because we’re so close to home and a lot of the Hendrick Motorsports team members come out to the track to cheer us on. So it’s always a little extra special when a Hendrick Motorsports car ends up in Victory Lane at Charlotte.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – 18TH IN STANDINGS
“It is a great track, first of all, but it is at home so that’s what makes it special. It’s nice to have all of your friends, family and team at the track watching. We travel a lot so to come back here and race is a nice change especially when it falls towards the end of our season. I also think it is such a special place with everyone in racing because of the history of our sport. If you look at this area and what the track in my eyes has really done for the city of Charlotte, and all the surrounding areas, it is a different kind of special.”
AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 KROGER/STOUFFER’S/STOUFFER’S KITCHEN CHEVROLET SS – 19TH IN STANDINGS
“Going into Charlotte Motor Speedway, we have a good baseline for sure. We will have a brand new race car and that’s why I’m excited about going there. The track in theory should be completely different. If it gets cooler, the track gets a lot quicker. We didn’t have the fastest car last time there, but we had a pretty consistent car. We ran top 15 most of the day. I think going back there we can be a little bit better. We definitely have somewhere we can start from and have a car that’s well-balanced.”
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 ASPEN DENTAL CHEVROLET SS – 23rd IN STANDINGS
“I like Charlotte. It’s really nice for the crews because it’s a home race for them. They get to sleep in their own bed and a lot of their family and friends are there. So you want to give them a good performance. It’s fun for me at Charlotte because a lot of the crews have young kids, so it’s fun to meet them and see them around the hauler during the race weekend. It’s just a bit of a different experience than a lot of the tracks we go to.”
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 VALVOLINE/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – 25TH IN STANDINGS
“I hope it’s cooler this weekend than it was back in May. Typically the cooler the weather, the less the top groove comes in and you’re stuck to the bottom of the track since that’s where the grip is made. It’s definitely temperature sensitive. We do have a couple practices at night, which is unique there because we don’t practice at night very often. We’ll get to learn a lot of things during those night practices and can apply them to the race.”
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 5-HOUR ENERGY CHEVROLET SS – 27TH IN STANDINGS
“I really enjoy Charlotte. In a way, it’s like a home track for everyone, so each team puts up a good fight for the win. It’s always good racing– especially since we’re racing under the lights and for the final wins of the season.”
ALEX BOWMAN, INTERIM DRIVER, NO. 88 AXALTA CHEVROLET SS:
“It’s always cool to come to Charlotte because you’re at home. My family and a lot of the team members’ families will come out to watch us, which is really nice. As far as the racetrack itself, there are two really unique corners – (Turns) 1 and 2 are really simple, while (Turns) 3 and 4 are really challenging. I’m looking forward to getting going. I love night racing there – the track gets really fast, and it should be a lot of fun.”