TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE GEICO 500 TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY TALLADEGA, ALABAMA APRIL 25, 2021
RACE #10 – TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAYThe NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) and NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) make a shift from short-track racing as the they head to the second speedway race of the season: Talladega Superspeedway. Alabama’s 2.66-mile oval features 33 degrees of banking in the turns and is never short on excitement.
Chevrolet has won 41 of the 103 NASCAR Cup Series races at the track since it opened in 1969, and Team Chevy drivers will be looking for another victory in the Geico 500 on Sunday, April 25. In NASCAR Cup Series history at the venue, the Bowtie brand also leads the Series in consecutive wins at Talladega with 13, captured by five different drivers from April 1999 to May 2005.
In the spring 2020 race, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was the runner-up in the JTG-Daugherty Racing Camaro ZL1 1LE. Ty Dillon led three Chevrolet drivers in the top-five in the fall 2020 race with a third-place finish. Chase Elliott won the spring 2019 race.
Chevrolet drivers entered with three or more starts in the 188-lap race hold the top three spots for best average finish: Ryan Preece (11.5; two top-10s in four races); Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (12.7; one win, nine top-10s in 16 races); and Chase Elliott (14.9; one win, five top-10s in 10 races).
Chevrolet has won 18 of the 30 NXS races at Talladega, including the past four. Justin Haley swept the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Talladega in the No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet Camaro SS. Haley currently sits fourth in the Driver Standings through seven races thus far this season. He will seek to score his first victory of the season driving the Kaulig Racing Camaro SS in the Ag-Pro 300 on Saturday, April 24. Heading into the race weekend, Chevrolet leads in the NXS Manufacturer Standings.
CHEVY LEADING AT THE QUARTER POLEChevrolet sits atop the NCS Manufacturer Standings through nine of the scheduled 36 points-races. The Bowtie brand leads all manufacturers with 39 top-10 finishes and has led 568 laps on superspeedways heading to Talladega Superspeedway to top manufacturers.
Alex Bowman, Kyle Larson and Willian Byron have qualified for the Playoffs with victories. Chevrolet also is closing in on 800 NCS victories, entering the race weekend with 798.
BIG NUMBERS ON SHORT TRACKSChevrolet drivers recorded impressive results in the NCS short-track races the past three weeks. Alex Bowman won the Series’ most recent event at the .75-mile Richmond Raceway. A week earlier at .526-mile Martinsville Speedway oval, Chase Elliott scored a runner-up finish. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was runner-up on the .533-mile Bristol Motor Speedway dirt oval. Overall, Chevrolet registered six top-five and 13 top-10 finishes in the three races.
BYRON MOVES TO FOURTH IN STANDINGSWilliam Byron, No. 24 Liberty University Camaro ZL1 LE, moved from sixth to fourth in the NCS Driver Standings with his seventh-place finish at Richmond Raceway. Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Camaro ZL1 1LE, is sixth and reigning NCS champion Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1 1LE, remained seventh. Richmond winner Alex Bowman, No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1 1LE, is 13th.
ON THE WAY TO THE GREENWith no practice or qualifying for the race, the starting lineup is determined by NASCAR’s metrics system that was introduced to the series last year and incorporates results from both individual races and season-long results. Team Chevy’s top-20 starters:4th William Byron, No. 24 Liberty University Camaro ZL1 1LE 8th Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1 1LE11th Austin Dillon, No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Off Road Camaro ZL1 1LE12thKyle Larson, No. 5 HendrickCars.com Camaro ZL1 1LE15th Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Camaro ZL1 1LE17th Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 NOS Energy Drink Camaro ZL1 1LE18th Ross Chastain, No. 42 Caregility/Yorktel Camaro ZL1 1LE19th Daniel Suarez, No. 99 CommScope Camaro ZL1 1LE20th Tyler Reddick, No. 8 Roland Camaro ZL1 1LE
BOWTIE BULLETS.· Chevrolet has 798 NASCAR Cup Series wins to lead all manufacturers.
· Victories by active Team Chevy drivers at Talladega Superspeedway include:Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1 1LE, has one win (April 2019)Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 NOS Energy Camaro ZL1 1LE, has one win (May 2017)
· Chevrolet team, Hendrick Motorsports, leads the NASCAR Cup Series in wins by an organization at Talladega with 13.
· In addition to its 41 NCS wins at Talladega Superspeedway, Chevrolet has amassed 195 top-five and 375 top-10 finishes.
· Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Camaro ZL1 1LE, is tied for most starts among active drivers at Talladega with 40 and is the leader with 21 top-10 finishes. He is also the active leader with 7,215 laps at the track.
· Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 NOS Energy Drink Camaro ZL1 1LE, earned his first NCS victory at Talladega in May 2017.
· Austin Dillon, No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Off Road Camaro ZL1 1LE, has completed all but two of the 2,594 laps run this season.
· Chase Elliott (Daytona Road Course), William Byron (Homestead-Miami Speedway) and Kyle Larson (Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway 2) have stage wins.
FOR THE FANS:· Fans can visit the Team Chevy Racing Display in the Fan Midway at Talladega Superspeedway.· Fans can check out an assortment of Chevrolet vehicles including: Corvette Stingray Convertible 3LT, Silverado 150 Trail Boss, Tahoe Premier, Blazer RS, Camaro 1LZ and Trailblazer LT. · At the Chevrolet Display, fans can also view Chase Elliott’s No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. Chevrolet Display Hours of Operation: Saturday, April 24th: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Sunday, April 25th: 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. TUNE INFOX will telecast the NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 at 2 p.m. ET Sunday, April 25. Live coverage can also be found on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90. FOX will telecast the NASCAR Xfinity Series Ag-Pro 300 at 4 p.m. ET Saturday, April 24.
QUOTABLE QUOTESWILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 4th IN STANDINGSBYRON ON RACING AT TALLADEGA:“Talladega is a lot more open of a track than Daytona with a lot more pushing and shoving. It’s a lot easier to get to someone’s bumper because handling isn’t as important there. You have to be able to push well but also receive a push well. It takes a fast car but one that can handle a push from someone else. For me, I don’t approach it much different than I do Daytona. There are times you want to be conservative, so you can make sure you are there in the end, but you also need to know when it’s time to make aggressive moves. We have had some good runs going there but not the results in the end until recently. I know the No. 24 team will prepare a fast Liberty University Chevy, so if we are still in contention in the end this weekend, I think we have a good shot at the win.”
RUDY FUGLE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1 1LEFUGLE ON RACING AT TALLADEGA:“Hendrick Motorsports takes a lot of pride on building fast cars, especially for superspeedway races. I think that shows every time we get to the track. There’s a ton of hard work put in from the guys and gals back at the shop to make these cars as fast as they are. I think we all showed that at Speedweeks in Daytona earlier this year. While Daytona didn’t end how the No. 24 team would have hoped, we know we had a strong car that was capable of winning, and that should be the same in Talladega. The biggest thing in these races is being around in the end, though. On my end, that means calling the right strategy, not only for us, but for working with our teammates. On William’s side, that means judging the situation he’s in and knowing when to push it and when to bide his time to avoid an incident. Racing at Talladega is always unpredictable but we’ll do everything we can to put ourselves in contention and, hopefully, we will have luck on our side to be there at the end.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 6th IN STANDINGSLARSON ON TALLADEGA STRESS:“Hendrick Motorsports has really fast superspeedway cars, and that makes your job as a driver a little bit easier and a little less stressful. I say that, but Daytona and Talladega are always stressful. There’s always a big wreck that you hope to be in front of or avoid. Talladega has been hard on me. I’ve been upside down on the backstretch, and I broke a rib there a couple years ago in a crash. Daytona went well earlier this year, so hopefully Talladega will go well, too.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 7th IN STANDINGS“To me, superspeedway races and Talladega, just as much as Daytona is, are such a coin flip. There’s no way of really knowing the right place to be at the right time all the time. I feel like there are guys that seem to have a better feel for it than others and know when to be in certain positions and know when something doesn’t feel right. I’ve tried to learn that over the years. I haven’t done a great job of it, but it’s just about positioning yourself in the right place at the right time. Also, having patience and taking runs when you have the opportunity. I also think what makes the guys who are really good at those tracks great is that they know when to quit putting up a fight, when to not throw that big block, knowing they might have another opportunity on the back end rather than crashing. Showing patience in big moments at those tracks are really hard to do, but I think that’s a piece that the guys who win there do all the time.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER OFF ROAD CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 12th IN STANDINGSWHAT WILL IT TAKE TO BE SUCCESSFUL AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY?“Anything can happen at Talladega Superspeedway. It’s a little bit of a coin flip, but my No. 3 team will be doing everything we can to try and win and earn maximum stage points. In order to succeed at Talladega, you have to have a little bit of luck, and use momentum at the very end to take advantage of positions. Its speedway racing. Its drafting. And its chaos, but we’re up for the challenge.”
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 13th IN STANDINGSBOWMAN ON SUNDAY’S WIN AT RICHMOND RACEWAY: “Getting the win on Sunday was big is so many ways. It was a huge goal for our team to be able to get Ally into victory lane this season, and we are so pumped to get them their first points-paying victory. The 48 team has put together some amazing short-track cars the last two weeks and it has definitely showed. I drive these places so wrong sometimes, so it is truly on this team for bringing such a fast car. Being locked into the playoffs is a good spot to be in, but our approach every week is to win. There isn’t a sit-back-and-relax mode with Hendrick Motorsports or this 48 team. We are focused on winning each and every week for everyone back at the shop, our team and our amazing partners.”
BOWMAN ON GOING SUPERSPEEDWAY RACING THIS WEEKEND: “No one sleeps going to Talladega. Hendrick Motorsports always builds amazing superspeedway Chevrolets and I feel like every time we unload there, we have a chance to win. There are so many unknowns at tracks like this. You can be in contention to win at one moment and loading up a wrecked car the next. Working with our teammates is key, but you have to be able to work with everyone on track. Racing in ‘Dega this weekend is really special because this was Rowdy (Harrell’s) home track. If we could pull off a win this weekend, I know that would mean the world to him.”
GREG IVES, CREW CHIEF, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1 1LEIVES ON CLAIMING THE WIN AT RICHMOND: “I felt like we had a really good long-run car and I think we passed a lot of cars on Sunday. Probably the most quality passes of anyone on the racetrack, honestly. We had great speed and that is credited to everyone here at Hendrick Motorsports, my engineer Tim O’Brien and car chief Austin Konetski. They put in a lot of hours and a lot of pride into their work. That definitely shows each week when we unload. The Ally pit crew does an awesome job. We had a tire get away, but that was on all of us. All in all, adversity was there and we overcame it.”
IVES ON WHAT THE NO. 48 ALLY THROWBACK PAINT SCHEME MEANS TO HIM: “I enjoyed driving. I enjoyed the aspect of setting up the car, putting it on the track and feeling what it did. This paint scheme kind of chose me. I was so surprised that Alex, Ally and everyone at Hendrick Motorsports pulled this off and wanted to pay tribute to me. To me, I am going to deflect it back to all of those grassroots racers that give all of their time, energy and life to this great sport that we love called racing. Whether it is on the NASCAR level or a local short track. Hopefully, people can get behind the story and understand what it meant to me.”
TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 ROLAND CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 22nd IN STANDINGS“This is a style of racing that I really do enjoy a lot when things go right but can be extremely frustrating when they don’t. It feels like the last two or three plate races we’ve had never even got going before stuff happened and affected our day. But this is a fresh weekend for us. Our No. 8 Roland Chevrolet team just has to be smart on Sunday. Last fall at Talladega, we got damage on the first lap. Luckily, we were able to salvage it and come away with a top-10 finish by avoiding other wrecks, but that still affected our day in a major way. Then at this year’s Daytona 500, where everyone remembers how we had the wreck on Lap 14. It’s frustrating because I know how strong of a superspeedway program we have at RCR, we just need a little luck to go our way and to be smart to maximize our day.”
DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 COMMSCOPE CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 23rd IN STANDINGSDID DAYTONA GET YOU EXCITED FOR TALLADEGA?“Oh yes. At Daytona, we got caught in someone else’s mistake early on, and even though I made it through the wreck, my car got killed on the grass. So frustrating, such a shame. But at the same time, I’m very excited for what is coming this year. If we are as fast this weekend as we were in Daytona then I think we will have good race.”
WHAT IS THE KEY TO TALLADEGA?“Stay out of trouble, avoid the wrecks and make it to the end. “
ARE YOU AT A DISADVANTAGE AS A SINGLE CAR TEAM AT TALLADEGA? “Obviously, teammates are very important to being successful at Talladega. We may be a one-car team with our CommScope Chevrolet, but we are very much a part of the Chevrolet family and we have our strong alliance with the RCR teams. If we are as fast as we were in Daytona, we won’t have any trouble attracting drafting partners”
ERIK JONES, NO. 43 TUSKEGEE AIRMEN CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 26th IN STANDINGSTALLADEGA IS CONSIDERED A WILD CARD WHEN IT COMES TO FINISHES. WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE TO BRING HOME A WIN?“Talladega (Superspeedway) is definitely a wild card, but I enjoy it. As a driver, I have been close to a win a couple of times the last few times that we have been to Talladega. The way I look at superspeedway racing – as long as you are putting yourself in that position time-after-time, eventually one of those races is going to go your way and you are going to win one of them. We have been up front and been in contention. We just need to figure out how to close it out. I feel like every time we are there, the last lap we have a shot to go up and win it, and just haven’t quite done it yet. It is a great opportunity for us to win and that is the way I look at it. Just giving ourselves the opportunity to go out there and hopefully win a race and get Richard Petty Motorsports into the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.”