TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE QUAKER STATE 400 PRESENTED BY WALMART ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY HAMPTON, GEORGIA JULY 11, 2021
RACE #21 – ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAYChevrolet will aim for its 11th NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) victory of the season and 41st win at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 11, in the Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart. The Camaro ZL1 1LE has won seven of the past eight NCS races, which includes reigning champion Chase Elliott’s dominating performance at Road America in the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1 1LE for Hendrick Motorsports.
Elliott, a Georgia native, will start from the pole in the 260-lap race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, which will be the second NCS event at the track this season. In the 500-mile race on March 31, Team Chevy recorded two top-five finishes – led by Kyle Larson’s second place – and four top-10’s. Larson, whose 12.1 average finish is the best among active drivers at Atlanta Motor Speedway, swept both stages and led a field-high 269 laps in the March race. In five races on 1.5-mile ovals this season, the driver of the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Camaro ZL1 1LE is the only two-time winner (Las Vegas, Charlotte); has recorded four top-five finishes; and has led the most laps (836).
Team Chevy drivers in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) will also compete on the 1.54-mile oval on Saturday, July 10, in the 163-lap Credit Karma Money 250. JR Motorsports driver, Justin Allgaier, No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro SS, captured his first victory of the 2021 season in the March race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
With a third-place finish, Michael Annett led four Team Chevy drivers in the top-10 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Road America. AJ Allmendinger, who finished fourth, remains second in the Driver Standings. Chevrolet continues atop the Manufacturer Standings.
Chevrolet NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) drivers will take on their second dirt track race of the season as the series heads to Knoxville, Iowa, for the Corn Belt 150 presented by Premier Chevy Dealers at Knoxville Raceway on Friday, July 9. Qualifying heats will determine the starting lineup. Team Chevy’s Zane Smith is fourth in the Driver Standings.
CHEVROLET LEADS THE WAYChevrolet increased its points lead in the Manufacturer Standings in the run to its 40th NASCAR Cup Series title. Four-time 2021 NCS winner Kyle Larson is a scant three points out of the top spot. William Byron is third and reigning NCS champion Chase Elliott is sixth to give Team Chevy three drivers in the top-10 of the driver standings heading into the Atlanta race weekend.
A LOOK AT THE PLAYOFF PICTUREWith top-10 finishes at Road America, Kurt Busch and Tyler Reddick continued to solidify their hold on NASCAR Cup Series Playoff spots. Busch, who has four top-10’s in the past five races, holds the 16th and final place and Reddick is 15th. One spot ahead of Reddick is Richard Childress Racing teammate Austin Dillon. Busch’s Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Ross Chastain, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. have also entered the picture with six regular-season races left.
AND THE AWARD GOES TO …Team Chevy’s Chase Elliott, who in 2020 won his first NASCAR Cup Series championship and named Most Popular Driver by the National Motorsports Press Association, is among four nominees in the Best Driver category of the ESPY Awards. ABC will telecast the ESPYs on Saturday, July 10.
ON THE WAY TO THE GREENWith no practice or qualifying for the 260-lap/400-mile 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:1st Chase Elliott, No. 9 A SHOC Camaro ZL1 1LE6th Kyle Larson, No. 5 Hendrickcars.com Camaro CL1 1LE7th Tyler Reddick, No. 8 Okuma Camaro ZL1 1LE8th Kurt Busch, No. 1 GEARWRENCH Camaro ZL1 1LE9th Ross Chastain, No. 42 Clover Camaro ZL1 1LE13th Austin Dillon, No. 3 BREZTRI Camaro ZL1 1LE16th Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 NOS Energy Drink Camaro ZL1 1LE17th Alex Bowman, No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1 1LE19th William Byron, No. 24 Axalta Camaro ZL1 1LE
BOWTIE BULLETS· Chevrolet has already surpassed its win total from the 36-race 2020 season.· Chevrolet leads all manufacturers with 91 top-10 finishes and 2,226 laps led of 4,923 total this season.· In addition to its 40 wins at Atlanta, Chevrolet has accrued 192 top-five and 385 top-10 finishes.· Chevrolet has recorded four consecutive wins at Atlanta on three occasions: sweeps in 1983-84, 1995-96 and 2003-04.· Career Chevrolet driver Jimmie Johnson scored five wins at Atlanta, including back-to-back wins in March 2015 and February 2016 and March and October 2007.· Kyle Larson paces all drivers with 1,441 laps led thus far this season.· Austin Dillon is tied for the lead with 99.92% of laps completed (4,919). · Hendrick Motorsports has 14 victories at Atlanta Motor Speedway.· Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 1 GEARWRENCH Camaro ZL1 1LE, is one of just two active drivers with three victories (2002, ’09, ’10) at Atlanta· Five Team Chevy drivers have combined for 19 stage wins: Chase Elliott (Daytona RC); William Byron (Homestead, Pocono2, Road America); Tyler Reddick (Road America); Kurt Busch (Nashville Superspeedway, Pocono1); Kyle Larson (Las Vegas, Atlanta x2, Kansas, Dover x2, Charlotte x3, Sonoma x2, Nashville). TUNE INNBCSN will telecast both the NASCAR Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart at 3:30 p.m. ET Sunday, July 11, and the NASCAR Xfinity Series Credit Karma Money 250 at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday, July 10. Live coverage can also be found on PRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90. FS1 will telecast the Camping World Truck Series Corn Belt 150 presented by Premier Chevy Dealers at 9 p.m. ET Friday, July 9.
QUOTABLE QUOTESKYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 2nd IN STANDINGSLARSON ON LEADING LAPS BUT FINISHING SECOND AT ATLANTA IN MARCH: “I definitely learned a lot in the moment, but I can learn even more by rewatching the race. You learn from everything – the good races and you definitely learn from the ones you feel got away. The track will certainly be different with the temperatures and the heat, so we’ll need to learn quickly and adapt quickly so we can hopefully battle for stage wins, the race win and the playoff bonus points that goes along with that.”
CLIFF DANIELS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1 1LEDANIELS ON ATLANTA IN JULY VERSUS MARCH: “The track will be a lot different. In March, the track temperature was not warm and the ambient air temperature was pretty mild. We’re trying to anticipate what the track will do with more sunlight exposure, a hot ambient temperature and a really hot track temperature that will take a lot of grip out of the cars, in general, and change the balance. Hopefully, we anticipate that correctly and also just make sure we manage the race correctly – not going too hard at the beginning of the run to ensure we have enough at the end of a run. I think we have learned a lot since then, so hopefully we can apply that and be really good on Sunday.”
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 3rd IN STANDINGSBYRON ON RETURNING TO ATLANTA: “Atlanta is typically a track where you’re always fighting loose with really limited rear grip. You’ll also have some front grip issues, as well, with the way tires wear. It’s really about managing it all throughout the run. You want to be able to wrap that white line and be good down low for as long as possible in a run. Hopefully for us, we have that grip in the car that we need.”
BYRON ON RETURNING TO A TRACK IN THE CUP SERIES FOR THE FIRST TIME WITH CREW CHIEF RUDY FUGLE: “I feel really good about going back to a track for the first time with Rudy in the Cup Series. We can really work on those little details this time that we wanted to work on before but opted to get a good baseline the first time around. So far, the things we have worked on in the simulator recently for Atlanta seem really good. I’m excited to get back there and I think we’ll run better than eighth like we did in the spring.”
RUDY FUGLE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 24 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1 1LE FUGLE ON RETURNING TO ATLANTA: “I’m excited to be going back to Atlanta this weekend. I enjoy the challenge that Atlanta brings and how weather sensitive it can be. I think I’m more excited that this will be the first racetrack we’re going back to that I now have experience with the Cup cars. We formed a good baseline in the March race, and while conditions won’t be the same as it was then, I think we’re going to be rolling off the truck a lot closer to where we want to be, setup-wise. Sunday’s race will be more about executing the small details and putting the ‘full package’ together, where last time we we’re just trying to learn as much as we could as a group and find what William wanted most out of the car. I think Sunday will be a good race to show just how far this No. 24 team has come so far this season.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 A SHOC CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 6th IN STANDINGSELLIOTT ON HOW DRIVERS HAVE TO ADAPT TO ATLANTA’S UNIQUE TRACK? “You know, Cup racing at Atlanta and kind of the way it has evolved, you are saving, but you are also not. It’s really more about having your car driving really good so that you can push hard and not slip tires and that has really became the game, I feel like. It’s not as much riding around and just kind of biding your time and waiting for the last 15-20 laps of a run because you can’t make up those big chunks of time at the end of a run like you maybe could years ago. Nowadays, it’s just hard to do. It’s more about being able to push, having your car just perfect so that you can run as hard as you need to run and slip your tires the least amount as you can. That to me results in the best finish nowadays, in my opinion.”
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 11th IN STANDINGS“Going to Atlanta this weekend it is going to be a super-hot and slick for 400-miles. It’ll be a good time. I think Atlanta is a great racetrack. We had a good run there earlier this year and ended up third. We need a good solid finish this weekend and the No. 48 Ally team has been working hard on our intermediate Chevrolet.”
GREG IVES, CREW CHIEF, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1 1LE “Atlanta has been a good track for our team. We have been able to come out of there with some good runs. The track has some high tire fall off, but you are going to have some teams short pitting and other strategies going on throughout the field.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 BREZTRI CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 12th IN STANDINGSDO YOU FEEL CONFIDENT IN YOUR CURRENT POINTS SITUATION, OR ARE YOU HOLDING YOUR BREATH? WHAT IS YOUR STRATEGY AS WE CLOSE IN ON THE NASCAR PLAYOFFS?“Anything can happen, that’s for sure. We’re just going to stay on the same program we’ve been on all year long, which is to get as much as we can out of every race. We’ll work hard to stay in the grind.”
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY AND EXPECTATIONS FOR THIS WEEKEND? “We finished sixth at Atlanta Motor Speedway earlier this year, and I think we can improve on that. We were really fast, but we had a few struggles on pit road. We will probably take something similar to what we took to the first Atlanta race and just try to get as much track position as we can get.” TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 OKUMA CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 13th IN STANDINGS“I love when it gets hot at racetracks. The hotter it gets, the slicker the track surface gets, so I’m really looking forward to racing on Atlanta’s old surface this weekend. We had a really good car during our first trip to Atlanta in the spring. I just unfortunately got into the wall a little bit early on in that race, and that really set us behind a little bit. But we had really good speed that weekend, just lacked the cautions to get back on the lead lap. I’m looking forward to having some redemption this weekend. I know we can run well at Atlanta and am looking forward to continuing our momentum with the No. 8 Okuma Chevrolet this weekend.” DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 GOOD SAM CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 22nd IN STANDINGSWHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS GOING TO ATLANTA? “We were very fast there last time and I see no reason why we won’t be again on Sunday. We want a good run. We were really disappointed about Road America because we knew we were fast.” CAN YOU MAKE A PLAYOFF PUSH? “We have some very good racetracks coming up. We ran great at Atlanta and we have road courses at Watkins Glen and Indianapolis and I really like road course racing. Our superspeedway program has been good this year as well so we are optimistic for Daytona.” HOW HAS THE TEAM’S PROGRESS BEEN SO FAR THIS SEASON?“This team is so young and I think we are getting better every single day. I feel like we are much better than last week and we will be much better next week than we are today. I like that. That was one of the goals at the beginning of the year and that was to see progression and I think everyone has seen that. I am happy with the progress, but it is not good enough and we are always looking for more. “Things look really good for Trackhouse Racing. Justin (Marks) and the crew have been very supportive and I like how we are doing business. The future is bright and I am really excited.” ERIK JONES, NO. 43 PETTY’S GARAGE CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 26th IN STANDINGSWHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THE RACE EARLIER THIS YEAR AT THE TRACK THAT YOU CAN CARRYOVER TO THIS RACE?“I think we have learned a lot about our 1.5-mile program at Atlanta (Motor Speedway). We struggled in that race. I think we know what we need to change going back. Hopefully, we can go and tweak on our Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE and just have it be a little bit faster. We lacked overall speed when we went there for the first race this season. The handling wasn’t really that far off – we needed some more speed out of our car. I feel like we all know what we need to do going back, and as long as we can apply that to our No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Camaro ZL1 1LE. I think we are going to be in pretty good shape.
“It is going to be a hot race – it is going to be a tough race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the summertime. It is not going to be easy. It will make it very challenging.” COREY LAJOIE, NO. 7 BOSS BABY: FAMILY BUSINESS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 29th IN STANDINGS“I’m looking forward to sliding our Chevy Camaro around Atlanta for what will be the final race on the abrasive surface before the repave. We’re also partnering with NBC and doing some really fun things to promote the movie, “The Boss Baby: Family Business” now in theaters & streaming on Peacock.”