chevy racing–nascar–coca-cola 600 advance

TEAM CHEVY ADVANCECOCA-COLA 600CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAYCONCORD, NORTH CAROLINAMAY 30, 2021RACE #15 – CHARLOTTE The iconic 1.5-mile oval of Charlotte Motor Speedway will be the host to all three NASCAR national series for the venue’s first-ever tripleheader on Memorial Day weekend, one of the most anticipated race weekends in motorsports. Coming off a historic victory at Circuit of The Americas (COTA), Team Chevy NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) drivers will tackle the Charlotte Motor Speedway oval in the 62nd Annual Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 30, one of the NASCAR Cup Series crown jewel races.
In last weekend’s inaugural NASCAR Cup Series event at COTA, reigning NCS champion Chase Elliott brought the Camaro ZL1 1LE to Victory Lane for the fifth time this season. The triumph delivered Chevrolet, the winningest brand in motorsports, its 800th victory in NASCAR’s premier series. 
Next up for the NASCAR Cup Series is the 400-lap/600-mile annual Coca-Cola 600, a test of endurance for drivers as the longest race on the series’ schedule. In the May 2020 doubleheader at Charlotte, Elliott registered a runner-up finish in the Coca-Cola 600 and four days later went on to win the Alsco Uniforms 500. In 122 NCS races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Chevrolet leads all manufacturers with 46 victories, including the inaugural race by Joe Lee Johnson driving a Chevrolet Impala on June 19, 1960.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) drivers will race under the lights to kick-off the tripleheader race weekend in the North Carolina Lottery 200 on Friday, May 28. NCWTS Chevrolet drivers are coming off of a strong showing at COTA, occupying second through eighth-place in the final running order. Reigning NCWTS champion Sheldon Creed remains third in the Driver Standings. Chevrolet looks to return to NCWTS victory lane at Charlotte Motor Speedway after Chase Elliott took the win in the No. 24 GMS Racing Silverado at the series’ May 2020 event. 
NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) drivers will compete in the Alsco Uniforms 300 on Saturday, May 29. Team Chevy drivers, led by runner-up AJ Allmendinger, placed five in the top-10 at COTA. Allmendinger currently sits third in the Driver Standings and COTA third-place finisher Justin Allgaier is fifth. Heading into the series’ 12th race of the season, Chevrolet remains the leader in the Manufacturer Standings.
CHEVROLET LEADS THE WAYComing off the Bowtie brand’s milestone win, Chevrolet remains atop of the NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer Standings. Through 14 races thus far in the 2021 season, Team Chevy drivers have recorded five victories among four drivers: two by Alex Bowman and one each by William Byron, Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott.
William Byron remains second in the Driver Standings, with Hendrick Motorsports teammates Kyle Larson moving to third and Chase Elliott advancing from seventh to fifth to give Chevrolet three of the top-five in the Driver Standings. Joining them in the Playoff Standings are Austin Dillon in 11th, Alex Bowman in 12th, COTA pole winner Tyler Reddick in 15th.  
ALL RECORD-TYING WINS WITH CHEVROLETChase Elliott’s first victory of the 2021 NCS season was the 268th for Hendrick Motorsports, tying Petty Enterprises for the most wins in NCS history. The feat was accomplished in Hendrick Motorsports’ 38th season of NCS competition. From Geoff Bodine in 1984 to Kyle Larson in 2021, 20 different drivers have registered victories. The team has won a race in all but one season, with every trip to Victory Lane in a Chevrolet.
Hendrick Motorsports, which has delivered Chevrolet’s 400th (Terry Labonte), 500th (Jeff Gordon), 600th (Kyle Busch), 700th (Jimmie Johnson) and 800th (Elliott) victories, leads all NCS teams with 20 victories at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
MILESTONE START FOR ELLIOTTChase Elliott will make his 200th NCS start this weekend. The 2020 champion has recorded 12 wins, 65 top-five’s, 104 top-10’s and nine poles – all in a Chevrolet. His victory at COTA locked up a Playoff spot for the sixth consecutive season. Elliott has one victory (May 28, 2020) among five top-10 finishes in nine starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
BOWTIE BULLETS·       Chevrolet leads all manufacturers with 62 top-10 finishes this season.
·       Chevrolet drivers Alex Bowman and Tyler Reddick have earned the pole for races this season. Chevrolet has 719 total pole starts.
·       Kyle Larson paces all drivers with 778 laps led.
·       Austin Dillon has completed 99.89% (3,795) of the 3,799 total laps.
·       William Byron (21 years, 4 months, 21 days) is the youngest pole winner at Charlotte in 2019.
·       Career Chevrolet driver Jimmie Johnson has eight wins in 37 starts at Charlotte to lead all drivers.
·       Kyle Larson in 2013 and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in 2011 are the two active NCS drivers that made their first NCS starts at Charlotte. 
·       Austin Dillon earned his first NCS win at Charlotte Motor Speedway when he drove his No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet to victory lane in the 2017 Coca-Cola 600. 
·       Kurt Busch leads active drivers with 39 starts at Charlotte.
·       Ross Chastain recorded a NCS career-best fourth-place finish at COTA. 
·       Chase Elliott’s victory at COTA was his fourth consecutive top-10 finish.
·       Chase Elliott (Daytona Road Course), William Byron (Homestead-Miami Speedway) and Kyle Larson (Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway 2, Kansas Speedway, Dover International Speedway 2) have scored stage wins, for a total of 8 for Chevrolet.
TUNE INFOX will telecast the NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 live at 6 p.m. ET Sunday, May 30. Live coverage can also be found on PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90. FS1 will telecast NCS qualifying at 11:05 a.m. ET Saturday, May 29. FS1 will also telecast the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at 8:30 p.m. ET Friday, May 28, and the NASCAR Xfinity Series Alsco Uniforms 300 at 1 p.m. ET Saturday, May 29.
QUOTABLE QUOTESWILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 2nd IN STANDINGSBYRON ON HIS THOUGHTS FOR CHARLOTTE: “This is a big race for us, both Hendrick Motorsports and for myself, growing up in Charlotte. It’s technically a hometown race for all of us and this was always my favorite racetrack growing up. Regardless of how I’ve run the year before, it’s a great feeling pulling up to that track every time. With how we’re running right now, I feel like we have positive momentum on our side and I feel like we have a chance to win. We just need to keep building off of the things we’ve been working on this year and we’ll be in contention. It’s going to be a great race for us.”
BYRON ON WANTING TO BREAK THE ALL-TIME WIN TIE FOR HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS: “It would mean a lot to be the driver who breaks the all-time Cup Series win record for Hendrick Motorsports, especially if it happened at Charlotte. Not only is this race huge for me being my hometown, but it’s really where I became a fan of Hendrick Motorsports. I used to watch Jeff (Gordon) and Jimmie (Johnson) be so successful at Charlotte. To then be able to get win No. 269 would be historic for everyone involved but just a whole extra meaning at my hometown track. Charlotte is what gave me my love of racing and Hendrick Motorsports.”
RUDY FUGLE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1 1LEFUGLE ON THE IMPORTANCE OF SECURING THE WIN NO. 269 FOR HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS: “I think everyone in the organization, in the sport, and even outside the sport knows how important the overall win record is, in general. It’s been a goal that has been set since before I arrived at Hendrick Motorsports. To now be in a position with the organization where our team could be the ones to break that record, it’s monumental. I think I can speak for everyone when I say I’m pretty sure all four Hendrick Motorsports teams feel that way, especially heading into Charlotte race week. Charlotte is already a special place for all of us to race at because usually our friends and family are here and it’s a race that holds a lot of history, aside from it being within walking distance of the race shop. You could technically drive the race car over there without a hauler, it’s that close. It’s a special weekend with something even more special on the line, and I hope we get the job done.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 METROTECH CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 3rd IN STANDINGSLARSON ON HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS POSSIBLY BREAKING THE RECORD FOR THE MOST CUP SERIES WINS BY AN ORGANIZATION: “I know it’s going to be special to Mr. Hendrick because every time I talk to him, he brings it up. Now that we’re really close to it, we can all taste it. One more win and he breaks it, and I hope I’m the guy that can do it. I’m happy that I’m one of the drivers that contributed to his record. He’s had a long career of success and a lot of great drivers, and It’s just an amazing accomplishment.”
LARSON ON THE DAY-TO-NIGHT TRANSITION IN THE 600: “Definitely looking forward to the 600 and getting back on a mile-and-a-half track where we have been one of the strongest cars all year long. Charlotte is a different mile-and-a-half compared to the other ones we’ve run so far. It’s really bumpy and the transition from day to night is challenging. For whatever reason, I’ve always struggled with that transition, so I’m really looking forward to taking on that challenge in a Hendrick Motorsports car. It’s a long race. We need to keep our nose clean, stay in the hunt and not doing anything too flashy until the end.”
CLIFF DANIELS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 5 METROTECH CAMARO ZL1 1LEDANIELS ON POSSIBLE INTERNAL HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS TEAM RIVALRY TO SECURE RECORD FOR MOST WINS BY ORGANIZATION: “Absolutely we want to get that win for Mr. Hendrick, but that rivalry has not been spoken. All four of our teams are strong right now, and it would be special for us to get that victory for the organization and Mr. Hendrick. It’s not anything that any of us have ever talked about, but it’s unspoken that we all want to get that win for the company.”
DANIELS ON 1.5-MILE TRACK SUCCESS IN 2021 AND TRANSLATING THAT TO CHARLOTTE: “We’ve certainly looked at each mile-and-a-half track races run this year and any common thread we can pull from each to apply to Charlotte. We have been strong but there are no guarantees in this business. Other teams are working hard, so we have to keep upping our game, as well.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 5th IN STANDINGSELLIOTT ON RACING 600 MILES: “Charlotte is always a challenge every year. 600 miles is a long time in the car, but honestly enough the race doesn’t really seem that much different. I know it’s a long race to watch and it is a long race, but behind the steering wheel it really does not, or so far, it does not feel that much different. I don’t know that my preparation will be much different, but obviously it is a huge race. It’s a race we all want to win. It’s a race you want to end your career and say that you have won so hopefully we can knock that off the list this weekend.”
ELLIOTT ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE NASCAR SALUTES INITIATIVE: “Memorial Day weekend, I feel like, has always been centered around the 600 for NASCAR for as long as I’ve been around, have watched or been a part of it. NASCAR has really done a fantastic job of honoring the men and women who have served our country and I feel like they have shown a great example of that at the 600 every year. It’s a tradition that we need to carry on, a tradition that should be carried on, and that’s not saying thanks enough, but it’s a small way to honor those folks who you might not hear about or know about otherwise.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER OFF ROAD CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 11th IN STANDINGSDO YOU GET EXCITED GOING INTO A PLACE LIKE CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY, WHERE YOU’VE WON BEFORE? “Yeah, I am. I’ve got Nashville Superspeedway after that, too. I won the last NASCAR Truck Series race at Nashville Superspeedway and finished third in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race there before they closed it down. Both Charlotte Motor Speedway and Nashville Superspeedway are two really key races where we know we have to go there with guns loaded and see if we can pop off a win. They’re places we can do it, so we’re pumped to get to those two tracks.” THE COCA-COLA 600 HAS A LOT OF MEANING TO YOU. IT’S THE LOCATION OF YOUR FIRST NASCAR CUP SERIES WIN, YOUR HOME TRACK, THE RACE IS ON MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND, AND YOUR’E A MEMBER OF THE COCA-COLA RACING FAMILY. WHAT MAKES THE COCA-COLA 600 CHALLENGING? “Not making any mistakes and having a clean race is challenging. You’re in the car for a long period of time. It’s hot. You come down pit road a lot and there’s a lot of chances for error. My goals going into the Coca-Cola 600 are to have a clean race and find myself in a great position toward the end. Obviously, if you have the speed to win, that’s even better, but having a clean race is part of having a chance to win it. I think a lot of people have taken themselves out of that race with early mistakes. We’ll do our best to be there at the end. I think the long races have suited me in the past. We’ll see what we got. I think we’ve got some good history there and a good baseline setup. Our 550-horsepower package has been pretty strong. Charlotte Motor Speedway takes a little different mechanical idea than some of the 1.5-mile tracks that we go to. I always look forward to that track.” WHAT DID WINNING THE COCA-COLA 600 MEAN FOR YOUR CAREER?“I think, more than anything, winning the Coca-Cola 600 gave me confidence to know that I have a win in the NASCAR Cup Series. Driving the No. 3 Chevy means a lot to me, and to be able to put that number back into victory lane for RCR and for my family is important. The first win means so much to so many. It goes a long way. It gave me confidence leading into some of the other wins that we’ve gotten to know that we’ve been in those situations, been able to make something happen and finish it off. Finishing it off I think is a big part of some of the NASCAR drivers; the guys that finish it when it matters.” WHAT WOULD A WIN IN THE COCA-COLA 600 THIS YEAR MEAN? “I have a lot of memories at Charlotte Motor Speedway. I’ve been able to win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Cup Series there, and now we’re just trying to win at Charlotte in the Cup Series again. We’re in a pretty good position in points but we need a win to lock us into the NASCAR Playoffs and it would be nice to do that at my home track. It’s the Coca-Cola 600 and I’m a member of the Coca-Cola Racing Family. We always fight for who finishes best in the Coca-Cola 600.” TALK ABOUT YOUR PATRIOTIC PAINT SCHEME THIS WEEKEND. “Bass Pro Shops does a lot for our military, so it’s cool to be able to show that with this beautiful, patriotic paint scheme this weekend. It’s Memorial Day weekend and we want to honor all of our military. They are the men and women who really make this country what it is. Freedom isn’t free. We’re also honoring a Navy SEAL on the windshield header this weekend. Chief Special Warfare Operator David A. Fegyo. He gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and we’re proud to honor him this weekend.” ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY PATRIOTIC CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 12th IN STANDINGS“The Charlotte oval is one of my favorite tracks. It is where I got my first career NASCAR win back in 2017 in the Xfinity Series event and it is just a special place. We were really strong in the 600 last year and led the most laps, but just didn’t get the finish to show for it. Our mile and a half program is really strong and I feel like Hendrick Motorsports continues to build fast cars for these tracks.”
“Running the Ally patriotic scheme this weekend is going to be extra special. The Charlotte 600 is always a special event because of Memorial Day weekend and everything NASCAR, the track and the teams do to honor fallen military members. We are honoring Captain Matthew Brewer on the windshield of our No. 48 Chevrolet on Sunday. Captain Brewer took his own life earlier this year after struggling with CTE and PTSD symptoms following his stint with the United States Marines. I had the opportunity to speak with his family last week and I know how special it is for them to see his name on our car this weekend.” GREG IVES, CREW CHIEF, NO. 48 ALLY PATRIOTIC CAMARO ZL1 1LE“It is always tough when they put the marquee numbers out there. It is always sweeter when you are the one to break the record. Chevrolet’s 800 wins couldn’t be accumulated without those our team’s wins and that is what we have to remember. It is great that we are at these numbers, 800 for Chevy and 268 for Hendrick Motorsports. We all have helped get there and that is what we have to remember when we think, man I wish that was us capturing that special win. Very proud of everyone’s efforts and very happy for the No. 9 team.” “It is definitely not something that is easy for sure. It is a marathon movie. If anyone knows about marathon movies, I’m sure that the people over quarantine know how bored you can get watching long movies. Keeping the team active and fun is what we have to shoot for. Getting a good night’s rest the day before is important. You have to find your energy through your team in order to keep everyone awake and pumped up during those long green-flag runs.” TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 ALSCO UNIFORMS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 15th IN STANDINGSOVER THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS, YOU AND THE NO. 8 TEAM HAVE BEEN ABLE TO PUT SOME SPACE BETWEEN YOU AND THE PLAYOFF CUT LINE. WHAT HAS IT FELT LIKE TO HAVE THAT MOMENTUM HEADED INTO THE SUMMER STRETCH? “It’s great, but we can’t lift off the gas pedal. We have to continue to push from here until Phoenix at the end of the year. Regardless of our circumstances, we need to keep focusing on what changes we’ve made that have helped us perform and get this momentum going. We have to keep pressing on our strengths and working on our weakness. That’s something we’ve been able to do well over the past few races. This weekend will be important to keeping our climb up the standings going. We’ve worked hard to make our 1.5-mile program better all year, and this weekend will be a good chance for us to check and see how we stack up. I know the team has been working hard on our No. 8 Alsco Uniforms Chevrolet and we’ve put together a solid plan for the weekend, so I’m excited to get out on track Friday to see what we can do.” THIS WEEKEND IS THE FINALE OF THE NASCAR SALUTES REFRESHED BY COCA-COLA PROGRAM WITH THE COKE 600, RECOGNIZING AND HONORING THE MILITARY ALL WEEKEND LONG. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE PART OF SUCH A SPECIAL WEEKEND FOR THE SECOND TIME IN YOUR CAREER? “It’s really important to me to be able to honor our military and remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. To be able to participate in my second Coca-Cola 600 with Alsco Uniforms and reflect throughout the weekend on those who keep our country safe is really special. It is because of the bravery and sacrifice of soldiers like Army Staff Sergeant Brian F. Piercy that we are able to be free to race like we do every single weekend. I know myself and the No. 8 team will be doing everything we can to make his family proud this weekend.” DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 CAMPING WORLD CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 24th IN STANDINGSTHE COCA-COLA 600 IS SUCH A LONG RACE. HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR THAT? “As a human being you try and perform at 100 percent the entire time, but when you’re running a marathon, you’re not going to be as strong in the last 30 minutes. That’s normal. Fatigue is setting in, your muscles are tired, you’re running out of fluid, and you’re hungry. Racing is the same way, especially in the Coca-Cola 600. We start running out of energy and your mind gets tired after four hours of racing. But I look to this race as a marathon and you have to be on top of your game for the last part of this race. So, I always try to keep that in my mind when I’m in the car. This isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.”
WHAT HURTS THE MOST AFTER THE COCA-COLA 600? “It’s a combination of things. Your neck is tired, your lower back is tired, legs are tired and you’re just fatigued. You definitely feel it the next morning after a 600-mile race. You feel like you worked out a lot the day before, and you did inside the car. Two-and-a-half of these 600-mile races and I could be home in Monterrey, Mexico. It’s crazy to think of it that way.” IS IT IMPORTANT TO STAY IN SHAPE? “Working out is a lifestyle for me. I like to feel well and it helps me in the racecar, but it also helps me mentally. You lose a lot of weight in the racecar, and you have to be strong not only at the start of the race, but also at the end of the race. At the end of the day, you don’t win a race at the beginning when everyone is fresh, you win the race at the end when everyone is tired, and I feel like being in shape gives me that advantage at the end.”
ERIK JONES, NO. 43 PETTY’S GARAGE CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 26th IN STANDINGSWHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS HEADING INTO CHARLOTTE AND THE LONGEST RACE OF THE SEASON?“This race weekend is always cool. I really enjoy racing at Charlotte (Motor Speedway). We’re at home for the weekend and getting to sleep in our own beds, so that’s always a good feeling. The Coca-Cola 600 is also a really big race for us and the sport. It’s cool to get to run it every year and have the chance to go out there and be in it, along with it being Memorial Day weekend and everything that Charlotte does pre-race to honor those have served is really cool to see every year. I always look forward to this race and getting to race at home for the weekend.”
COREY LAJOIE, NO. 7 DIAMOND CREEK WATER CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 30th IN STANDINGS“Memorial Day weekend for the Coke 600 is one my favorites. It’s a home race and statistically one of my best 1.5-mile race tracks. We also get a practice, which is rare this season. It’s on Friday night so the track will change a ton between practice on Friday night to Qualifying on Saturday afternoon. The race track always makes a big shift throughout the course of 600 miles, so you need to have some adjustability built into your car. We’ve had some solid runs the last several weeks so I’m looking forward to collecting another solid run this weekend with Diamond Creek Water onboard.”