Hendrick Motorsports Media Advance: Charlotte

CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY (1.5-MILE OVAL)

LOCATION: CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACES SEVEN AND EIGHT OF 36)
TUNE IN: 6 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, MAY 24 (FOX/PRN/SIRIUSXM)
8 P.M. ET, WEDNESDAY, MAY 27 (FS1/PRN/SIRIUSXM)

Chase Elliott
No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE

Driver Chase Elliott   Hometown Dawsonville, Georgia
Age 24                       Resides Dawsonville, Georgia

2020 Season

  • 5th in standings
  • 6 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 2 top-five finish
  • 3 top-10 finishes
  • 214 laps led

Career

  • 155 starts
  • 6 wins
  • 9 pole positions
  • 46 top-five finishes
  • 77 top-10 finishes
  • 2,058 laps led

Track Career 

  • 7 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 2 top-five finishes
  • 3 top-10 finishes
  • 158 laps led
600 MILES FOR MILLS: In Sunday’s Memorial Day weekend race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the windshield of Chase Elliott’s No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE will bear the name of Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer Stephen “Matt” Mills as part of the NASCAR Salutes and 600 Miles of Remembrance initiatives. Mills was one of 30 U.S. service members killed, including his 22-person SEAL Team 6 troop, when their Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan on Aug. 6, 2011. He was 35 years old.

REMEMBERING A HERO: After graduating high school, Mills enlisted in the U.S. Navy in January 1997. He graduated from basic training two months later and service school training in June 1997. The Arlington, Texas, native reported to the since-decommissioned Spruance-class destroyer Kinkaid, where he served for three years. He then graduated from Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in Coronado, California, in March 2001. Mills completed numerous deployments around the world in support of the Global War on Terror.

TWO RACES, TWO PARTNERS: NAPA AUTO PARTS will serve as the No. 9 team’s primary sponsor for Sunday’s 600-mile NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte. For next Wednesday night’s 310-miler at the 1.5-mile track, the colors of Kelley Blue Book (KBB) will make their 2020 season debut on the hood of Elliott’s Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. NAPA AUTO PARTS announced a two-year extension with Hendrick Motorsports in February. KBB is the vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry. Each week, the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website, KBB.com.

BIG MO: Elliott has some serious momentum at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In 2019, he posted a career-best finish of fourth in the May 600-miler and followed up the performance with a September playoff win on the track’s road course.

SIXTH 600: On Sunday, Elliott will make his sixth career start in the Charlotte 600. In his previous five races, he has earned one top-five finish and two top-10s. In May 2019, Elliott and the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS team ran a strong race, leading 43 laps, collecting a top-five finish in each stage and notching a fourth-place result in NASCAR’s longest race.

1.5-MILE STATS: Elliott, 24, has made 46 NASCAR Cup Series starts on 1.5-mile tracks and is set to make two more over the next week. In his previous 46 races, the Dawsonville, Georgia, native has led 497 laps and scored one win – October 2018 at Kansas Speedway. Along with the victory, Elliott has collected 15 top-five finishes, including three runner-up results, and 24 top-10s on 1.5-milers.

‘TOO TOUGH’ REWIND: Elliott and the NAPA AUTO PARTS team overcame a mid-race speeding penalty to finish fourth in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series return at Darlington Raceway. It marked a career-best finish for the driver at the track dubbed “Too Tough to Tame.” On Wednesday, Elliott led 28 laps and was in position to win the race during the closing laps but was spun late by Kyle Busch and relegated to a 38th-place finish. He is fifth in the Cup series standings going into Sunday’s race at Charlotte.

BEHIND THE 9: Crew chief Alan Gustafson is trying his hand as a host in a new Hendrick Motorsports video series called “Behind the 9” in which he interviews each member of the No. 9 crew. Fans are able to learn about where they came from and the role they serve on the team, with each bringing a unique personality and skillset. Episodes are released every Tuesday on the Hendrick Motorsports Facebook page and YouTube channel. The most recent episode features front-tire changer Nick O’Dell.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEW: Last week, No. 9 team primary sponsor Mountain Dew celebrated its 80th birthday. To mark #HappyDewDay, Mountain Dew released a social media video that showcased some of the great moments the brand has had throughout the years – some of which tie back to Hendrick Motorsports. The team wished the brand a happy birthday by looking back at one of the many great memories from the partnership – Elliott’s October 2018 win at Kansas in the No. 9 Mountain Dew Chevrolet.

William Byron
No. 24 Liberty University Patriotic FChevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE

Driver William Byron   Hometown Charlotte, North Carolina
Age 22                         Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2020 Season

  • 16th in standings
  • 6 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 1 top-10 finish
  • 4 laps led

Career

  • 78 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 5 pole positions
  • 5 top-five finishes
  • 18 top-10 finishes
  • 298 laps led

Track Career 

  • 2 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 1 top-10 finish
  • 31 laps led
LIBERTY U PATRIOTIC SCHEME: For the second time in 2020, Liberty University will be featured on William Byron’s Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE – but this time with a special patriotic paint scheme. For the Memorial Day weekend race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Byron’s No. 24 car will sport an American flag Liberty University logo on the hood with stars and stripes on the front and rear quarter-panels. The design is part of the annual NASCAR Salutes and 600 Miles of Remembrance programs to honor the U.S. military and those who have lost their lives in service. To see Byron’s paint scheme for Sunday’s race, click here.

SALUTING TWO: As a part of the No. 24 patriotic paint scheme for the Charlotte 600, Byron’s Chevy will feature the names of Army Sgt. Robert Billings and World War II veteran George Rogers, who both had ties to sponsor Liberty University. While serving a second deployment in Afghanistan, Billings was killed Oct. 13, 2012, in an enemy attack on his unit. Like Byron, who is currently in his junior year at Liberty University, Billings was a Liberty student enrolled in its online programs to pursue a criminal justice degree. Rogers, who passed away in August 2019 at age 100, received the Purple Heart and Prisoner of War medals for his service in World War II. He was one of the 75,000 American and Philippine troops captured by Japanese forces while serving in the Philippines and was among the survivors of the Bataan Death March. He spent more than 25 years as an administrator at Liberty before retiring in 1999.

AT IT AGAIN WITH AXALTA: In the second of the back-to-back NASCAR Cup Series races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE will feature the iconic Axalta flames. The mid-week race is scheduled for Wednesday, May 27 at 8 p.m. ET. In 2020, Axalta returned as primary partner on the No. 24 Chevy for 22 races. Moving forward through 2027, Axalta will adorn the No. 24 as the primary sponsor for 14 races per season. For more information on the Axalta extension announced earlier this year, click here.

HOME SWEET HOME: Byron, 22, who grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, has five NASCAR national series starts on the oval at his home track. In 2019, he became the youngest pole winner in the history of the Charlotte 600 at 21 years, 5 months and 24 days. The driver went on to lead 91 laps and post a ninth-place finish, which is his personal best in just two career Cup races there. In the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoor Truck Series, Byron earned the pole position, led 25 laps and earned a 10th-place finish in 2016. He also has two Xfinity Series starts at Charlotte.

KNAUS KNOWS CLT: There’s no better crew chief at Charlotte Motor Speedway than Chad Knaus. Calling the shots for 36 NASCAR Cup Series races on the oval, his teams have posted eight wins, including a sweep of all four races in the 2004 and 2005 Cup seasons. In 19 attempts, he has won the Charlotte 600 four times – all coming with the No. 48 team and driver Jimmie Johnson. In his first 600-mile event with Byron and the No. 24 team last season, the group captured the pole, led 31 laps, and finished with a solid ninth-place finish.

HOMETOWN FAVORITE: Byron is the only current NASCAR Cup Series driver who calls Charlotte his hometown. After visiting the U.S. Legend Cars International headquarters in Harrisburg, North Carolina, with his father in 2012, Byron found himself behind the wheel for the first time the next year competing in the Young Lion Division. He won an incredible 33 of his 69 legend car events in 2013 and went on to lock up the U.S. Legend Young Lions National championship and the Thursday Thunder Young Lion championship at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In 2014, he progressed to the Legend Car Pro Division and signed with the JR Motorsports developmental program. From that point on, Byron hasn’t slowed down, quickly climbing the NASCAR national series ranks before making his Cup Series debut in 2018.

NOT HOME ALONE: In addition to Byron, two other members of the No. 24 team are North Carolina natives who claim Charlotte Motor Speedway as their NASCAR Cup Series home track. Interior specialist Jacob Bowman hails from Pilot Mountain and fueler Landon Walker is from North Wilkesboro.

Jimmie Johnson
No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE

Driver Jimmie Johnson   Hometown El Cajon, California
Age 44                             Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2020 Season

  • 12th in standings
  • 6 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 1 top-five finish
  • 3 top-10 finishes
  • 22 laps led

Career

  • 657 starts
  • 83 wins
  • 36 pole positions
  • 228 top-five finishes
  • 367 top-10 finishes
  • 18,856 laps led

Track Career 

  • 35 starts
  • 8 wins
  • 5 pole positions
  • 16 top-five finishes
  • 22 top-10 finishes
  • 1,930 laps led
KING OF THE QUEEN CITY: Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson will make his final two starts on the Charlotte Motor Speedway oval on May 24 and 27. With eight total victories there – half of them coming in the marathon 600-mile race – he is the track’s all-time wins leader. In Cup competition, Johnson has led 1,930 total laps (second all-time to Bobby Allison) and posted three pole positions, 16 top-five finishes and 22 top-10s there.

DO IT FOR DEANS: This weekend, Johnson’s No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE will feature the name of Army Cpl. Patrick Deans on the windshield. A native of Winter Garden, Florida, Deans served in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team based in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He died in action on Dec. 12, 2010, in Afghanistan when a suicide bomber attacked his unit, killing five other soldiers and wounding 11. Posthumously, Deans received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, Iraq Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, and the Combat Infantryman Badge. He died two days before his 23rd birthday.

HERO PREVIEW: Last week, Johnson and primary sponsor Ally gave troops stationed in North Carolina a sneak peek at the special No. 48 paint scheme the driver will race in the Memorial Day weekend event at Charlotte as part of the NASCAR Salutes and 600 Miles of Remembrance tributes to military heroes. Johnson interacted with 16 representatives of the Air Force, Coast Guard, Army, Air National Guard and USO during a video conference. The seven-time NASCAR champion thanked the troops for their sacrifice, answered questions and previewed the olive drab-colored paint scheme. During the virtual gathering, Johnson was joined by David Shevsky, chief operating officer for Ally Auto Finance, to announce a $20,000 donation to the USO of North Carolina’s Protect the Force 2020 initiative to support military families facing additional difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Johnson and Ally are each donating $10,000 to the USO’s charitable fund.

SINGLING OUT THE 600: With a fifth win on Sunday, Johnson would tie NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip for the most ever in the Charlotte 600. Johnson’s total of 1,030 laps led in the race is third all-time behind two Hall of Famers: David Pearson (1,252) and Allison (1,176).

DOUBLE TROUBLE: With four on his resumé, Johnson has twice as many Charlotte 600 wins as the next active drivers. Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick each have two.

BROKEN RECORD: Johnson, 44, has won an all-time best eight points-paying races on the Charlotte Motor Speedway oval. He has also gone to victory lane four times in the NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte, the most in history.

1.5-MILE MASTER: With a total of 28, Johnson is the all-time leader in NASCAR Cup Series wins on 1.5-mile intermediate tracks – with 11 more than his closest competitor. On 1.5-milers, he holds the all-time records for top-five finishes (76), top-10s (117) and laps led (5,877). His average finish of 11.67 is the best of all drivers with more than 25 starts. He also has 14 pole positions (fourth all-time) and 18 runner-up finishes (tied with Harvick for the most) on mile-and-a-half tracks.

CROWN JEWELS: The Memorial Day weekend race at Charlotte is considered one of the four crown jewels of NASCAR alongside the DAYTONA 500, the Southern 500 at Darlington and the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis. Johnson, who has 12 crown jewel wins, is one of only four drivers with a career grand slam. The others are Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt and Harvick.

NOT ‘TOO TOUGH’: At Darlington Raceway on Wednesday night, Johnson drove through the field from a 37th-place starting position to finish eighth and capture the third top-10 of the season for the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet team. He and crew chief Cliff Daniels were on a mission after an early exit in the Sunday, May 17 event at Darlington when the team was involved in an accident while leading the race. Johnson is a three-time winner at the track “Too Tough to Tame.”

HELMET OF HOPE TO ADDRESS COVID-19: Now in its 13th year, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation’s Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope program assists non-profits that directly support K-12 public education. In 2020, non-profits that provide services to school-age students who have been directly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis are also eligible to be nominated. Until 3 p.m. ET on Friday, June 5, individuals 18 and older can nominate qualified organizations to receive a $25,000 grant, a Blue Bunny Ice Cream party and their logo featured on Johnson’s helmet during a 2020 NASCAR Cup Series race. A total of five organizations will be selected as 2020 Helmet of Hope grant recipients. Since the Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope program launched in 2008, more than $1.3 million has been awarded to 121 charities. Visit helmetofhope.org to nominate a charity.

Alex Bowman
No. 88 ChevyGoods.com/NOCO
 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE

Driver Alex Bowman   Hometown Tucson, Arizona
Age 27                         Resides Concord, North Carolina

2020 Season

  • 3rd in standings
  • 6 starts
  • 1 win
  • 0 pole positions
  • 2 top-five finishes
  • 2 top-10 finishes
  • 154 laps led

Career

  • 159 starts
  • 2 wins
  • 2 pole positions
  • 12 top-five finishes
  • 28 top-10 finishes
  • 628 laps led

Track Career 

  • 7 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 2 top-10 finishes
  • 8 laps led
STARS AND STRIPES SALUTE: During Sunday’s 600-miler at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Alex Bowman’s No. 88 ChevyGoods.com/NOCO Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE will honor U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Scott. W. Brunkhorst. The car will feature a patriotic design with red, white and blue stars and stripes for the Memorial Day weekend race. Check out the scheme here.

A FALLEN HERO: Brunkhorst, whose name will be featured on the windshield of Bowman’s Camaro on Sunday, was in the 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team and the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. The 25-year-old native of Fayetteville, North Carolina, lost his life in Afghanistan on March 30, 2010, from wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with an IED.

DARLINGTON RECAP: Bowman started and finished second in Sunday’s race at Darlington Raceway – both career-bests at the track. The 27-year-old driver led 41 laps and ran inside the top-two positions for 204 of 293 laps with an average running position of 2.8. He left the 1.366-mile venue on Sunday sitting a career-best second in the standings. For Wednesday’s encore race at Darlington, Bowman started from the 19th position after the field was inverted from the finishing order of Sunday’s event. He finished 18th and sits third in the standings going into Charlotte.

GOT THE GOODS: The May 24 and 27 events at Charlotte will again feature partners ChevyGoods.com and NOCO on the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. In addition to the events at Darlington last week, the black and yellow paint scheme was showcased during NASCAR’s recent hiatus at four tracks in the eNASCAR Pro Invitational Series, including Bowman’s first iRacing win at Talladega Superspeedway on April 26. In January, Hendrick Motorsports announced its partnership with ChevyGoods.com, which includes primary sponsorship of Bowman for 26 events. Associate brands that will be featured are Adam’s Polishes, NOCO and Truck Hero.

BOWMAN AT CHARLOTTE: Bowman has seven NASCAR Cup Series starts at the Charlotte oval, including top-10 results in his two most recent races there: ninth in May 2018 and seventh in May 2019. The Tucson, Arizona, native has also competed in four Xfinity Series events at the track, including his first career NASCAR national series victory in October 2017.

1.5-MILE STATS: Bowman has 50 combined starts at eight different 1.5-mile tracks with one win, three top-five finishes and 11 top-10s. The driver’s first Cup victory came at Chicagoland Speedway on June 30, 2019, after leading 88 laps. His average finish of 7.89 over the last nine races on 1.5-mile tracks is the second-best of all drivers, and his six top-10 finishes over the last nine are tied for second-most. He has led 177 laps in the last nine events at 1.5-milers.

RETURNING IN 2021: On May 16, Bowman announced via Twitter that he would be back at Hendrick Motorsports in 2021 after signing a one-year contract extension with the team. Since joining the 12-time NASCAR Cup Series champions full-time in 2018, the driver has two wins (Chicagoland in 2019 and Auto Club Speedway in 2020), 10 top-five finishes, 23 top-10s and one pole award (2018 DAYTONA 500). He competed in the Cup Series playoffs in 2018 and 2019 and has already secured a berth in 2020 by virtue of his victory at Auto Club.

IVES AT CLT: For the eighth time in his NASCAR Cup Series career, crew chief Greg Ives will call the shots at the Charlotte oval for the No. 88 team. His cars have posted one top-five finish and three top-10 results, including last year’s seventh-place finish with Bowman in the 600-mile event. The Bark River, Michigan, native was also a NASCAR Xfinity Series crew chief for four Charlotte events in two years for JR Motorsports. In 2014, Ives led driver Chase Elliott to the pole position in the fall race that saw the team lead 66 laps and finish eighth. All told, the crew chief has two top-10 results at Charlotte in the Xfinity Series and has led a total of 94 laps there. In addition, he was a race engineer for seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson between 2006 and 2012 when the No. 48 team won the 2009 Charlotte fall event and captured seven top-10 finishes and two pole awards at the track.

HOMETOWN TRACK: Two members of the No. 88 team claim Charlotte Motor Speedway as their home track. Scott Denton, the backup transporter driver, grew up in Belmont, North Carolina, and attended his first NASCAR race at the 1.5-mile venue back in 1988. Jackman Dustin Lineback grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina, and attended East Carolina University from 2007-2011. While at ECU, Lineback played football for the Pirates while earning his degree. Learn more about Lineback here.

Hendrick Motorsports

HENDRICK’S HOUSE: Car owner Rick Hendrick has 28 major NASCAR Cup Series wins at the Charlotte Motor Speedway facility. His teams have won 19 points-paying races on the 1.5-mile oval and one on the track’s road course known as the ROVAL. Hendrick Motorsports has also posted a record eight NASCAR All-Star Race wins at Charlotte.

LET’S MAKE IT 12: Hendrick Motorsports has won a record 11 times in the 600-mile race at Charlotte. No other team has more than six victories in NASCAR’s longest race. An all-time record five different drivers have earned Charlotte 600 wins for car owner Hendrick: Jimmie Johnson (4), Jeff Gordon (3), Darrell Waltrip (2), Kasey Kahne and Casey Mears.

HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: Hendrick Motorsports is the all-time leader with 19 points-paying NASCAR Cup Series wins on the 1.5-mile Charlotte oval. The team has earned more victories at only two racetracks: Martinsville Speedway (23) and Dover International Speedway (20). Hendrick Motorsports is headquartered approximately one mile from Charlotte Motor Speedway.

A WIN FOR THE BOOKS: No team has ever produced eight different winners at any racetrack, but a Charlotte victory by Chase Elliott, William Byron or Alex Bowman would alter the record book. Hendrick Motorsports has won Cup Series races with seven drivers at three tracks: the Charlotte oval, Pocono Raceway and Talladega Superspeedway. Wood Brothers Racing has gone to Victory Lane with seven different drivers at venerable Daytona International Speedway.

600 WINNERS: There are eight drivers in NASCAR history who have earned three or more wins in the 600-mile race at Charlotte: Waltrip with five, Johnson with four, and Bobby Allison, Buddy Baker, Dale Earnhardt, Gordon, Kahne and David Pearson with three. Waltrip, Johnson, Gordon and Kahne all won NASCAR’s longest race while driving for Hendrick Motorsports.

GOING FOR 60: A win at Charlotte Motor Speedway would be the 60th for Hendrick Motorsports on a 1.5-mile racetrack in the NASCAR Cup Series. The team’s 59 points-paying wins are an all-time record, nine ahead of second-place Joe Gibbs Racing, 18 ahead of third-place Roush Fenway Racing and 31 ahead of fourth-place Team Penske. Hendrick Motorsports has sent 11 different drivers to victory lane at 1.5-mile venues.

ON THIS DATE: On May 24, 1998, Gordon started from the pole position and led 53 laps en route to his third career win in the Charlotte 600. His No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team dominated the 1998 season by winning 13 points races and the third of the driver’s four career NASCAR Cup Series championships.

FOUR FOR FOUR: Last season, Hendrick Motorsports became the second team in NASCAR history to have at least four of its cars finish inside the top 10 in the Charlotte 600. In the May 26, 2019, race, Elliott finished fourth, with Bowman seventh, Johnson eighth and Byron ninth. Roush Fenway Racing placed five cars in the top 10 in 2006.

MAKING A POINT: Two of Hendrick Motorsports drivers are in the top five in the NASCAR Cup Series standings after six 2020 races with Bowman third and Elliott fifth. Elliott’s three stage wins this season leads the series, while Bowman is one of four drivers with a race win. This season, Bowman ranks second in average running position (7.98) and Elliott is third (8.53).

ORGANIZATION STATS: To date, Hendrick Motorsports has totals of 12 championships, 257 race victories, 226 pole positions, 1,076 top-five finishes and 1,848 top-10 finishes in points-paying NASCAR Cup Series competition. Its teams have led more than 69,000 laps since 1984. With Bowman’s victory at Auto Club Speedway, the organization has won at least one race in 35 consecutive seasons, the longest all-time streak.

QUOTABLE / 

Chase Elliott on the tradition of racing on Memorial Day weekend:
“The 600 is a race I always look forward to. It’s great to be a small part of what NASCAR does around Memorial Day. The sport has done a great job recognizing the real heroes. The very least we can do is show appreciation for all the men and women who are serving our country. We can never say thank you to them enough. I look forward to continuing the tradition this weekend.”

Alan Gustafson on the work that’s gone into NASCAR’s return to racing: “It was good to be back racing at Darlington. We’ve been going through a lot of preparation to get ready and had a lot of communication via Microsoft Teams and video chats. There are different work groups at the shop and another group that is working from home. We are learning a lot in preparation for the upcoming weeks and are making sure we are in a good position to succeed and win. I feel good about it. We’ve done a lot of work so now it feels good to be back racing.”

William Byron on racing at Charlotte and the No. 24 team’s mentality: “The races at Charlotte are going to be critical for our team. There are a lot of points up for grabs at the 600 and we need to keep building those points to overcome misfortune from earlier in the season. It’s a home race for me as well so there’s a bit of added motivation to run up front. We ran well there last year in both the All-Star Race and the 600 so I’m excited that we’ll have back-to-back races there. I think we will definitely be in contention for the win and that’s an exciting feeling.”

Byron on the meaning on racing on Memorial Day weekend:
“Racing on Memorial Day weekend is always special. It’s a time for us to try do something small to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice so we can continue to do what we love. It’s also special for me, not only because I’m racing where I grew up, but because I’m able to honor those who share connections to Liberty University. It gives me even more motivation and satisfaction to be able to run well, and I hope I’m able to make them proud again on Sunday.”

Chad Knaus on the work that’s gone into NASCAR’s return to racing:
“It has been a lot of work by everyone at Hendrick Motorsports to get back to competition in such short order. I’m really proud of the organization working to get us back to the track so quickly. The guys in the shop are working harder than ever to make sure we unload with the best equipment possible and I think that showed across the board on Sunday and Wednesday at Darlington and will continue to show the more we race.”

Knaus on the meaning of success at Charlotte Motor Speedway:
“I love racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The track is really starting to develop character again from when it was repaved in 2006. Aside from that, it’s literally in the backyard of Hendrick Motorsports. Being able to get a win in not only such a historic race like the 600, but winning within sight of our campus is always a great feeling for the team and the organization as a whole. Now we’ll have two chances to race there in one week. It will be similar to when we prepare for the All-Star Race and then the 600 just a week later. I always look forward to those races in the normal schedule so I’m more than ready to run there twice in one week this time as well and hopefully it will be a Hendrick Motorsports sweep.”

Jimmie Johnson on the meaning of racing on Memorial Day weekend: “Memorial Day is a special time, and I’m so thankful that everyone associated with NASCAR puts out a big effort for all the men and women who have served our country. Both my grandfathers served, and my brother-in-law served. To have Cpl. Deans on my car and run a special paint scheme is a big honor for me to recognize the individual and all those who have lost a loved one.”

Johnson on how special Charlotte Motor Speedway is to him and running what are likely his final two points races on the oval:
“It’s hard to pick one thing that I love about Charlotte. Driving-wise, it’s a lot like Dover, ironically. It’s similar in the straightaways and the corners. I took well to it. Chad (Knaus) took well to it, and Hendrick Motorsports historically always has had good cars there. Chad’s crew chief style and my driving style really just put the icing on the cake, and we just made it work. There has always been a neat ‘Hendrick experience’ as a Hendrick Motorsports driver to go to that track and know you’re going to have more power than anyone and a better car. Mr. H (car owner Rick Hendrick) just glows when we’re able to perform the way we have in his backyard for him. It makes me smile every time I think about him jumping on the door of the car when I gave him a lift to victory lane. Another good Mr. Hendrick story is that I won a free car from him for winning the pole in the 600. He leaned in at qualifying and wished me luck and said, ‘You win the pole, you can have the car of your choice.’ So I won the pole and called him on the way home and held him to it, which was super cool. My first Cup Series start was there. Gosh, I lost one of my best friends there, Blaise Alexander. I will always have a lot of really good thoughts and memories there, and a pretty sad one, but there is no doubt I’ll have a flood of emotions when we start our engines these next two races. I’m going to miss it.”

Army Cpl. Patrick Deans posted the following on his Facebook page about one month prior to his death:
“A Veteran is someone, who at one point in their life wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount up to, and including, their life. That is beyond honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer remember that fact.”

Alex Bowman on the transition from Darlington to Charlotte:
“This weekend will be a little different since we are able to qualify. That will give us a little more knowledge about the car before taking the green flag. We had strong cars in Darlington, and I am confident that everyone back at Hendrick Motorsports is building dominant Chevrolets for the Charlotte events.”

Bowman on the importance of racing on Memorial Day weekend:
“It is always special honoring the men and women in the Armed Forces, and we will have United States Army Staff Sgt. Scott W. Brunkhorst on our ChevyGoods.com/NOCO machine. Scott passed away in 2010 from injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with an IED. It will be an honor having him on board and hopefully we can put the car in victory lane for his family and friends.”

Greg Ives on the physical aspect of the Charlotte 600:
“The Charlotte 600 race is one that shows strength and endurance of the team, from driver to pit crew. Being the third race in a week will be a test for Alex’s physical conditioning and our ability to adjust the car through changing track conditions. We are looking forward to getting back to the racetrack and represent Scott W. Brunkhorst and his family.”

TRENDING / 

This Sunday, each Hendrick Motorsports driver will be honoring the service, sacrifice and life of a fallen service member on their windshield during the 600-mile race @CLTMotorSpdwy.

@TeamHendrick via Twitter
5/21/20, 2:30 p.m. ET

Follow Hendrick Motorsports on
FACEBOOK     TWITTER     INSTAGRAM     YOUTUBE   

Media Contacts / 

Morgan Overstreet
Chase Elliott and the No. 9 team
704-455-3400
moverstreet@hmsracing.com
@Hendrick9Team
Ashly Ennis
William Byron and the No. 24 team
704-455-3400
aennis@hmsracing.com
@Hendrick24Team
Amy Walsh Stock
Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team
704-455-3400
astock@hmsracing.com
@AllyRacing
Kelsey Tucker
Alex Bowman and the No. 88 team
704-455-3400
ktucker@hmsracing.com
@Hendrick88Team
Total Page Visits: 25 - Today Page Visits: 1

Leave a Comment