Saturday, Sep 23
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Davey Hamilton Jr announced today that MPI (Max Papis Innovations) will be the official steering wheel and trophy provider for Davey Hamilton Jr’s Open Wheel Showdown at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway set to take place on December 1-2, 2023. The two-day event will feature a $50K-to-win Winged Sprint Car race and a $10K-to-win National Midget event along with Super Modifieds.

Along with being the official steering wheel of the event, MPI will also provide a trophy for each main event winner in each class of the Open Wheel Showdown. Additionally, MPI will present the Hard Charger of each respective class with a MPI steering wheel for their efforts.

MPI was founded in 2009 by Max Papis and Tatiana Fittipaldi Papis, in Mooresville, North Carolina. Since then, MPI has become a renowned leader in steering wheel and safety innovation and design for elite motorsports teams, with a rich history of success in NASCAR and IndyCar. Today, MPI produces top-tier products for champions in every discipline of racing imaginable including sprint cars, drifting, off-road, late models, drag racing, karting, and even simracing. MPI continues to channel its expertise into creating revolutionary steering wheels and products for the racing world.

“Having Max and MPI as a part of this event is great. I was a huge fan of Max growing up and seeing what he has done and continues to do for our sport just shows how passionate he is about it. He and my dad have been great friends for years and I am excited to have him involved in this event. “ - Davey Hamilton Jr

“We at MPI have always been committed to unique events that resonate with our values and mission. When Davey presented us with the opportunity to support the Open Wheel Showdown at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, it felt like a natural fit immediately. Our investment in grassroots American racing isn't merely a business strategy—it's a way to give back to the community and support the aspirations of countless racers.

Aligning ourselves with this event further solidifies what we proudly refer to as the 'pride of being part of the MPI family.' It's an exciting moment for us, and we're looking forward to contributing to the event's success.”  - Max Papis

For more information on the Open Wheel Showdown please log onto or follow us on numerous social media outlets.

For more about MPI and their products, visit them on one of their platforms below.




Open Wheel Showdown PR

CHRIS BUESCHER, No. 17 Fastenal Ford Mustang – YOU ARE HEADING BACK TO YOUR HOME STATE OF TEXAS AND TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY, WHAT IS YOUR OUTLOOK FOR THIS WEEKEND? “Yeah, it has been a big change year over year and especially two years over to now. Certainly, it is impressive to see the progression and the change and the success that we have had which has been huge. I haven’t made it this far through a playoff round before so it has been a while since we have been able to participate in the playoffs. I am proud that we did a good job and pretty comfortably made it into the next round. We didn’t expect it to be very difficult for us. I felt like with where we are at right now, we have been really fast at a lot of really good race tracks for us. Kansas, the tire going down there at the end of that race certainly put us in a hole that we didn’t expect to be in and made it a little more stressful for the beginning of Bristol. I think I talked to some of you that qualifying may not have been as good as we wanted but I knew we had a fast race car and were able to work our way up there pretty quick and stay up there in the top five. I am really happy with where we are at. Going back to Texas, we had a tire blowout there last year as well but I think we are mostly beyond that and as we head into a race track that historically hasn’t been my best but we were very fast there last year and I am excited to head back to it. We have been able to get significantly better there. The All-Star race we were a whole lot better than we have been in the past. I feel like we are on the right track here and obviously, it is always a little more exciting to go back to a home track where we have thousands of laps on every other surface there as well as the big track. It is fun to return back and I am just looking for that win on the big track now.”


THE GENERAL MANAGER AND VICE PRESIDENT OF TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY WAS PRETTY OPEN WITH REGARDS TO THE RECONFIGURE AND CHANGES TO THE TRACK. AS A DRIVER, IS THERE ANYTHING, IN PARTICULAR, YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE CHANGED AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY MOVING FORWARD RELATIVE TO THE TRACK ITSELF? “Yeah, the reconfiguration in its current state is not very old but we have seen it time and time again where new asphalt takes a long time to make decent racing. It is very difficult to get it to age appropriately to where it is not a one-groove race track. Turn 1 and 2 is extremely wide when you are talking in terms of pure asphalt but there is no banking change up the hill so essentially you have four or five lanes of race track that are completely unusable. We are limited to two lanes around Texas Motor Speedway right now and this is only because of the introduction of the PJ-1. It has been a tough race track to get the racing back to where we want it. It is a very sensitive race track but that is not abnormal when we talk about mile-and-a-half tracks but we seem to have found something that has gotten it racier than what it has been in the past. I think of some of my favorite race tracks and I am always a proponent of progressive banking. If it is going to be as wide as it is, you have to have some incentive to try to use those outermost lanes. The amount of distance that you would add trying to go up there at Texas, there has to be a significant amount of banking to make that happen. I don't know. I haven’t heard the comments and don't know how small or drastic the changes are that were discussed but I certainly feel like there are things that would cost a ton of money to do to try to make it right. It isn’t my money sitting here, so I can have a bunch of opinions but I don't have the answer. I have a few things that I feel like you could do to try and fix what we’ve got and there are always options to chop it down and rebuild it.”


YOUR WALK-UP MUSIC AT BRISTOL, ‘COUNTRY CLUBBIN’, WHY DO YOU LOVE THAT SONG SO MUCH? “I was just trying to be a little goofy with it and having a good time. I have been listening to a lot of Paul (Cauthen) lately and thought it would be fun to have a good time with the lyrics because they crack me up when I am riding around. I have been in my truck a lot lately so I figured it would be perfect for Bristol.”


YOU HAVEN’T BEEN IN THE ROUND OF 12 BEFORE BUT A LOT OF FOLKS AT ROUSH HAVE. WHAT IS THE BIGGEST PIECE OF ADVICE THEY HAVE GIVEN YOU? “A lot of people have and I think the biggest piece of advice has been that it doesn't get any easier. This is going to be a challenge throughout the whole thing. We have been very competitive and come a long way. I feel like we have some very good tracks ahead of us and I feel like at Texas we were very fast last year and Brad (Keselowski) got a pole there and did very well in the race. Talladega obviously we will be fast. Then the Roval has been very good to us as well. I look at this round, and know we have good tracks, it is just a matter of putting together good races and staying after what we have been up to. It is going to be very challenging. The first round, I won’t say we thought it would be easy but certainly didn’t feel like it was going to be a real challenge for us. Then Kansas really threw a curve ball at us and got us way less comfortable than we wanted to be heading into Bristol. Anything like that can happen, and we know that, but I think that is what the advice has been. Just know that you are going to stay after it and no part of this is going to get any easier along the way.”


HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT WHERE YOU GUYS ARE AT WITH QUALIFYING AND IS THERE TIME FOR IT TO GET BETTER? “That is a fair question. I am not the strongest qualifier. It has never been my biggest quality. I have a lot to figure out there. I have certainly been trying to study it a lot more to try to get it better. I think that we have been a little better this year, off and on, maybe not consistently better, but we have had some things last year that probably led to a little better fire-off speed but hurt us in long run in the races. We have figured out how to get much better for the duration of the race. Maybe some of that has come at the expense of a little bit of fire-off speed. In the grand scheme of things we have elevated our program but to try to fire off for that one or two laps has been tough still. We are trying to study it. I don't have the answer. I know from a personal side of things it is probably one of my weaker spots so I am trying to figure out how to be stronger in that regard. Stage points can certainly add up quick and it is hard to do anything within certain scenarios. There have been some times this year where our group has certainly had a bad qualifying effort and left us very upset at the end of it, but there have also been days where it has helped us and we aren’t mad about it when it helps. You have to take them both and just understand it is a part of it. You have to study hard on it and figure out what it is. I have a computer sitting right here next to me and I was just watching qualifying videos before we dialed in here. So we are into it trying to find those little bits.”


HOW BIG OF AN ISSUE IS THIS COMPARED TO OTHER THINGS YOU ARE FOCUSED ON OR STUDYING FOR THIS ROUND? “It is pretty high up there as a priority to try to figure out how to get our qualifying better because it opens up opportunities for our group on top of the box. It opens up clean air and at a place like Texas, that is a big conversation. Even Bristol, the first stage we really thought we would be able to drive forward, and through whatever reasons it was a complete bottom-feeder race track for an entire stage and we couldn’t make any headway. I felt like we gave away a few that we were pretty positive we would be able to get to the top 10 had it been the same conditions as last year. So, it is pretty high up there because we realize it can affect a lot of our day.”


ANY FAMILY OR FRIENDS STILL LEFT IN PROSPER (TX) AND ARE YOU EXPECTING ANY AT THE TRACK THIS WEEKEND? “Not a whole lot, not from Prosper anyway. My younger sister is still in Texas, so she is coming out and I have a handful of friends that are actually closer to the race track that are going to come hang out with us for the weekend. Yeah, it always gets a little busier when we go to Texas and I get to catch up a little bit and hang out for the Xfinity race and get together to watch it. We don't have much downtime on weekends but we will get to hang out with some friends that are camping there as well. I have some options. The weekend goes quick and I have to stay focused on our job at hand too, on Sunday, and kicking off this round in a good way.”


YOU HAVE HAD GOOD FINISHES AT THE ROVAL THE LAST FEW YEARS, DESPITE STARTING OUTSIDE THE TOP 15. WHAT IS THE KEY TO NAVIGATING THAT RACE DESPITE NOT AN IDEAL STARTING SPOT? “The Roval is tricky. There are a lot of areas to get yourself in trouble. There is very little run-off. It is a very unique road course when we talk about how you go about setting up for it. We can be very good in certain areas that can be good passing zones but can give up some overall lap time in order to do that. I feel like we have studied it enough to be confident that the tradeoff is worth it and we should be able to defend the areas that may not be the best passing zones but may cost some speed at the expense of being able to roll forward and not get stuck wherever we are at in the running order. That is the gist of it, basically. We try to set it up for the right areas to make passes and understanding that the raw speed, you can give up a little bit.”


THE ROUND OF 12 HAS A SUPERSPEEDWAY AND THE ROVAL COMING UP. IS THIS GOING TO BE THE MOST UNPREDICTABLE OR MOST STRESSFUL ROUND IN THE PLAYOFFS? “I don't think so. The way I see it, the superspeedway races always have a certain amount of unpredictability but where I am at is I know RFK will be bringing fast Fords to that race. I know we will be in contention to win it, assuming we can survive the chaos. But I think we have seen that same chaos at a lot of different tracks throughout the year. Bristol last year was a train wreck when you talk about cars falling out and having issues. I promise you after losing out on a bunch of points at Kansas, it was on my mind going into Bristol, knowing we would be fast but that there was an array of issues that popped up last year and took really good cars and ruined their days and their playoffs. I don't know that any of these races coming up have me any more stressed out than the Bristol race had me going into it. If we can go to Texas and have a good day and have a rough Talladega, then yeah, the Roval will be more stressful. I don't get too caught up in worrying about it. Martinsville can be very rough. Even Texas last year had a lot of issues too. I don't know that there is any one round that looks worse over another. I am excited for this round because I know we will be fast at all these race tracks and if we can control that part of it and take care of ourselves then it shouldn’t be that stressful on us.”


CAN THIS BE AN OPPORTUNITY ROUND FOR THE 17 TEAM THEN CONSIDERING HOW WELL YOU RUN AT SUPERSPEEDWAYS AND ROAD COURSES? “Yeah, I think that is just it. I think that is what is going to make it maybe a little less stressful for us than some others. That can change in a heartbeat with one bad day before we get to the Roval but as of right now, I am very excited for this round. I feel like all of the race tracks we are going to, out of all the race tracks in the playoffs, Darlington was the one that I felt like we needed the most improvement at and felt like that one was going to be tough and we would have to work really hard to just survive that one. We went there and ran third on the day. I am proud of what everyone has done to get us to this point and proud to say we will look at the race tracks coming up as opportunities at each and every one of them. I don't have one coming up that has me stressed out or down about it or thinking we just have to get through it and get to the next one.”


ARE THE 1.5-MILE TRACKS MAYBE YOUR LAST HURDLE TO BEING COMPETITIVE AT EVERY TRACK, SINCE YOUR BEST FINISH ON ONE THIS YEAR HAS BEEN EIGHTH? “You know, if it weren’t for Michigan I would say that there is maybe a little more merit to it but obviously it is bigger yet but a lot of what we do at Michigan does carry over into our mile-and-a-halves. I think internally we can point to some things through the year at the 1.5-mile tracks that can make us better. I think that in one way, we certainly have gotten better after the first couple of months of the season where we had been to a few and maybe didn’t have our strongest showings but we haven’t had many to lean into, and compare where we have come this season. Kansas would have been the one. Granted, that was not as competitive as we wanted to be there but certainly felt like we had some glimpses of good things there and have some ideas that we certainly want to try going back. Yeah, it is the one that we haven’t been able to run as good at and get that result, but I think on our side we have some good understanding of why that is or some situation that may have happened along the way that leads the stats to say that. Again, Texas we were running third when we blew a tire there and had just run our fastest lap of the race and we were in a really good spot last year. It is a track that I look at as a good opportunity for us to go have a good day still. Putting aside that we haven’t been as strong at the mile-and-a-halfs but we haven’t had many the last couple of months.”


HOW MANY HOURS ON THE SIMULATOR THIS WEEK? “We had a luncheon so it cut an hour out, but we have done three hours this week.”


Ford Performance PR




Age: 31 (July 31, 1992)


Hometown: Elk Grove, California


Resides: Mooresville, North Carolina


Crew Chief: Cliff Daniels


Standings: 4th

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No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


THE BATTLE AT BRISTOL: Kyle Larson finished second in Saturday night’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. After starting 36th, Larson worked his way through the field in the opening 125-lap stage. The 31-year-old driver got up to eighth at the end of stage one. Staying out during the stage break, Larson restarted the second segment in third and took the lead on lap 179. He held the point position for 20 laps before ultimately finishing the stage in third. In the final stage, Larson restarted third and spent the last 138 laps in second, finishing in the runner-up position. This marks his third consecutive top-five finish and series-best 13th top-five of the season. 

ROUND OF 16 REVIEW: Larson earned the second-best average finish through the first three playoff races all-time (2.33), only behind Greg Biffle’s 2008 mark (1.67). During the Round of 16, the No. 5 driver earned the best all-time average finish in the opening round of the elimination playoffs. The next-best average finish (3.00) came from Larson in his championship-winning year of 2021. Larson added six playoff points in this year’s Round of 16 to bring his bonus points total to 23, the fourth-most of all drivers.

THE ROAD TO PHOENIX: The 2021 Cup Series champion is no rookie at navigating the playoff road to Phoenix Raceway. Larson has earned a spot in the Cup Series playoffs seven times and won at six of the seven playoff tracks remaining during his 101 starts with Hendrick Motorsports. With the points reset for the Round of 12, Larson is now 12 markers ahead of the elimination line. So far in the playoffs, he has the most laps run in the top five (804), the second-most laps run in the top 10 (898) and the second-best running position (6.69). 

TURNING TO TEXAS: This weekend the Elk Grove, California, native will race at Texas Motor Speedway. He is currently one of only five drivers to have two or more consecutive top-10 finishes at the Fort Worth, Texas, venue. In 2021, Larson dominated the playoff race and then went on to win the championship. His 2021 victory is one of four instances where the fall playoff race winner went on to become the series champion. 

1.5-MILE STAT SAVVY: During this season’s four races on 1.5-mile tracks, Larson is tied with teammate William Byron for the most top-five finishes (three), has led the second-most laps (248) and holds the fourth-best average finish (9.50). In the Next Gen era (2022-present) on 1.5-mile tracks, Larson ranks second in points scored (409), average finish (9.45) and is one of eight active drivers to win on this track type (Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2022). Note: Races at Atlanta Motor Speedway since 2022 are excluded in this count of 1.5-mile tracks. 

IN 2023: This season, Larson leads the way in top-five finishes (13) and is in a five-way tie, along with Byron, for the most top-10s (15). He’s third in laps led (798), average running position (11.55), laps run in the top five (2,988) and laps run in the top 10 (4,421). Larson has been the second-best driver on restarts, based on information from Racing Insights.  

FOUR TIRES FAST: The No. 5 pit crew has the fourth-best average four-tire pit stop time of the season at 11.155 seconds. In the middle race of the Round of 16 at Kansas Speedway, the squad had the best average four-tire stop time among all teams (10.085 seconds). The team’s five-man pit crew consists of Blaine Anderson (front-tire changer), R.J. Barnette (tire carrier), Brandon Harder (fueler), Brandon Johnson (jackman) and Calvin Teague (rear-tire changer).

HENDRICK, GET SET. GO!: On Tuesday, Hendrick Automotive Group’s Hendrick, Get Set. Go! program gifted New Hanover High School in Wilmington, North Carolina, a $25,000 grant for auto tech education using the excitement of the racing program. Larson, the No. 5 pit crew, head Hendrick Motorsports pit coach Jon Carvin and pit crew development coach Keith Flynn traveled to the event for a question and answer session with students followed by a live pit stop practice in the parking lot. Before getting involved in NASCAR, Flynn was a football and tennis coach from 1985 to 1986 at the school. The Hendrick, Get Set. Go! program’s goal is to connect schools and local Hendrick Automotive Group dealerships for future opportunities for students. Hendrick Automotive Group has seven dealerships surrounding the Wilmington/Jacksonville area. See photos from the event here

HENDRICKCARS.COM IS HOME: This Sunday’s race marks the 13th of 15 home races for the team this season. The Fort Worth, Texas, area is home to two Hendrick Automotive Group dealerships. Respectively, both the driver and crew can be found in their white firesuits this weekend. For every home race this season, there is a unique hat, released the week of the race and only available for sale on the trackside merchandise haulers or available to win on Less than 100 of each limited-edition hat will be made available to the public. This week’s Texas-themed hat will be revealed Thursday, check it out here

WIN A CHEVROLET COLORADO Z71: Want to drive Larson’s 2023 Chevrolet Colorado truck? The 2021 Cup Series champion is giving away his ride to one lucky winner. Fans can donate now to enter a drawing for a chance to take home the Z71 Crew Cab 4WD package with custom features and styling. This special sweepstakes raises funding for the Kyle Larson Foundation’s “DRIVE FOR 5” campaign that supports youth, families and communities in need. The campaign is nearing its fundraising goal of $500,000. Click here to check out this sweet custom ride and enter to win today. The drawing closes on Sunday, Dec. 3, and the winner will be chosen on Monday, Dec. 11. 




Age: 27 (Nov. 28, 1995)


Hometown: Dawsonville, Georgia


Resides: Dawsonville, Georgia


Crew Chief: Alan Gustafson


Standings: 18th

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No. 9 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


BUILDING CONSISTENCY: Chase Elliott and the No. 9 team are a force to be reckoned with as of late in the NASCAR Cup Series. Together, they’ve accumulated four consecutive top-10 finishes – tied for the longest active streak. Over those last four races, the five-time National Motorsports Press Association Most Popular Driver is tied for the best average finish (6.25), has led 49 laps and scored the fourth-most points (142). Elliott’s current streak of top-10s is his most since having six straight in the summer of 2022.

OWNING IT: The No. 9 team advanced to the Round of 12 for the owner championship. The team’s three top-10 finishes in the opening round of the playoffs – eighth at Darlington Raceway, sixth at Kansas Speedway and seventh at Bristol Motor Speedway – catapulted the No. 9 to eighth in the owner standings. Now that the points are reset for the Round of 12 following Bristol, the No. 9 team is seeded 12th, 13 markers below the elimination line for the Round of 8. 

LOOKING BACK: Last season at Texas Motor Speedway, Elliott started the 334-lap race from the sixth position. The 2020 Cup Series champion raced inside the top 10 for much of the first stage, ultimately ending it in 13th after pitting during a caution prior to the stage break. In the second stage, Elliott worked his way to the lead, pacing the field for 44 laps. He was still out front when he had a right-rear tire go down and his No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 sustained heavy damage after contact with the wall, ending his race early. 

LONE STAR NUMBERS: Elliott has made 12 Cup Series starts at the Fort Worth, Texas, track. In those starts, the 27-year-old driver has garnered two top-five finishes, six top-10s and led a total of 88 laps – half of those circuits coming in last year’s race. While Elliott is winless at Texas in the sport’s top series, he collected his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory at the 1.5-mile track in April 2014. In five Xfinity Series starts there, Elliott accumulated three top-five finishes, five top-10s and an average finish of 5.00.

1.5-MILERS: This weekend at Texas, Elliott will make his 76th start on a 1.5-mile track in the Cup Series. Along with two victories (Kansas in 2018 and Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2020), he has collected 22 top-five finishes – eight of which are runner-up results – and 38 top-10s on 1.5-milers. In his previous 75 races on this track length, Elliott has led 1,040 laps. During his most recent mile-and-a-half start at Kansas, the Dawsonville, Georgia, native started fourth, led 47 laps and finished inside the top 10 in the first two stages en route to a sixth-place result. Note: Races at Atlanta Motor Speedway since 2022 are excluded in this count of 1.5-mile tracks. 

AG AT TEXAS: No. 9 team crew chief Alan Gustafson is set to call his 35th Texas Cup Series race on Sunday. In his previous 34 starts at the track, the Ormond Beach, Florida, native has eight top-five finishes and 17 top-10s with 392 laps led. His best finish of second came in 2014 with NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon. 

KBB IS BACK: The Texas race marks the second of two primary races for No. 9 team partner Kelley Blue Book. In January, it was announced that Kelley Blue Book extended its sponsorship of Elliott and Hendrick Motorsports with a two-year contract renewal. Earlier this season, Josh Berry, filling in for the then-injured Elliott, drove the Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to a 10th-place finish at Phoenix Raceway. Get a look at all the angles of the 2023 No. 9 Kelley Blue Book Chevy here.




Age: 25 (Nov. 29, 1997)


Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina


Resides: Charlotte, North Carolina


Crew Chief: Rudy Fugle


Standings: 1st

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No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media at the Texas Motor Speedway media center on Saturday, Sept. 23, at 10:30 a.m. local time.

’: William Byron completed the Round of 16 with a ninth-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway to advance to the Round of 12. As the points reset, he regains the lead in the NASCAR Cup Series playoff standings, 25 points above the elimination line for the start of the next three-race round. After 29 races, Byron leads the series in wins (five) and stage wins (eight). The 25-year-old driver’s series-leading 877 laps led are also a single-season career-best. He is tied for the series lead in top-10 finishes (15) and is third in top-fives (10). In addition, Byron ranks second in average running position (10.30), laps run in the top five (3,222) and laps run in the top 10 (4,514).

1.5-MILE MOMENTUM: Byron is no stranger to success on mile-and-a-half tracks during his Cup Series career. Since the start of the 2021 season (not counting races at Atlanta Motor Speedway since its reconfiguration in 2022), he has two wins (Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2021 and Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2023), two runner-up finishes, seven top-fives and 13 top-10s on 1.5-mile tracks. In fact, in the four races on that track length this season, Byron has the best average finish (5.25), most laps led (277) and is tied with teammate Kyle Larson for the most top-five finishes (three). Since the inception of the Next Gen car (2022-present), he has collected the third-most points (405) and the fifth-best average finish (10.18) on 1.5-mile tracks. 

TEXAS TOUGH: Throughout his entire NASCAR career, Byron has always run well at Texas Motor Speedway. In eight Cup Series starts at the Lone Star State track, Byron has four top-10 results, including a track-best finish of second in 2021. In both starts at the Fort Worth, Texas, facility with crew chief Rudy Fugle, he has one top-five finish, two top-10s, 97 laps led and an average finish of 4.50. In the six starts prior to that, he had two top-10 results, 24 laps led and an average finish of 16.50. Byron also has five other national series starts at the 1.5-mile oval, with an average finish of 3.50 in two NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series starts and 6.00 in three NASCAR Xfinity Series races. Together with Fugle, they won the 2016 Truck Series race. 

FUGLE HAS ‘NO LIMITS’: Sunday marks Fugle’s third Cup Series points-paying event atop the pit box at Texas. In his two previous Cup Series starts, the Livonia, New York, native has one top-five finish and two top-10s. However, Fugle has 18 other national series races under his belt at Texas, with 15 coming in the Truck Series. He has visited victory lane at the “No Limits” track five times in the Truck Series – the most for him at any track on the circuit. Among those wins are a 2016 triumph with Byron and a sweep of the 2019 races. In his 15 Truck Series starts, Fugle’s drivers have also racked up seven top-five finishes, 11 top-10s and 493 laps led. 

PIT ROAD PROWESS: Through 29 races in the 2023 season, the No. 24 pit crew remains in the top spot with the fastest average four-tire pit stop time of 11.011 seconds. The No. 24 pit crew consists of Spencer Bishop (jackman), Jeff Cordero (front-tire changer), Orane Ossowski (rear-tire changer), Ryan Patton (tire carrier) and Landon Walker (fueler).

LIBERTY U IS BACK: For Sunday’s race at Texas, Byron will sport his Liberty University paint scheme. Featuring a white base with navy flames and red accents, the Liberty University No. 24 will be sure to stand out on track. Liberty University has a long history with Byron starting back in 2014 in the late model ranks. Liberty University has been Training Champions for Christ since it was founded in 1971. Located in the mountains of Central Virginia, Liberty is a liberal arts institution with 17 colleges and schools that offers more than 600 degree programs from the certificate to the doctoral level, on campus and online. Working on an undergraduate degree in strategic communication, Byron is now in his junior year at Liberty University through its online program. You can see the No. 24 Liberty University Chevy here


48 Alex Bowman


Age: 30 (April 25, 1993)


Hometown: Tucson, Arizona


Resides: Concord, North Carolina


Crew Chief: Blake Harris


Standings: 20th

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No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


BRISTOL RECAP: Last Saturday, Alex Bowman raced on the concrete layout at Bristol Motor Speedway for the 13th time in his NASCAR Cup Series career. The driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 started the 500-lap event in 13th place. He narrowly missed out on stage points in the second segment and spent the first half of the final stage inside the top 10. The 30-year-old driver went on to finish 13th.

INTERMEDIATE INTIMIDATOR: Bowman has proven to have speed at tracks 1.5 miles in length in the Next Gen era (2022-present). He has the third-best average finish (9.75) on that track length in the Next Gen car and has notched one win (Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2022). In Bowman’s three starts on 1.5-mile tracks in 2023, he also has the third-best average finish (8.33). Two weeks ago, he notched a 10th-place finish at Kansas Speedway and finished third at Las Vegas in March. Note: Races at Atlanta Motor Speedway since 2022 are excluded in this count of 1.5-mile tracks. 

TEXAS TWO-STEP: Bowman’s best finish at Texas Motor Speedway are a pair of fifth-place finishes. Both of those results, where he also started fifth, came in the playoff races of 2019 and 2020.

SET FOR THE RESTART: The Tucson, Arizona, native ranks as the fifth-best driver on restarts in 2023, according to data from Racing Insights. That mark is the second-best among the Hendrick Motorsports quartet, as teammate Kyle Larson is second in this statistical category. 

HEAD HONCHO: Crew chief Blake Harris will return to his home track this Sunday at Texas. The Maypearl, Texas, native grew up racing dirt go-karts before moving on to dirt stock cars and asphalt trucks. Harris spent the early part of his Cup Series career with Furniture Row Racing where he became the car chief for Kurt Busch in his 2013 season and was also a car chief for Martin Truex Jr. from 2014 to 2021 (at Furniture Row and Joe Gibbs Racing). He was an integral part of Furniture Row’s 2017 championship season when the No. 78 team won eight races and led 2,253 laps. In 2022, he joined Front Row Motorsports as a crew chief and was named as Bowman's 2023 crew chief on the No. 48 in October 2022. In two starts atop the box at Texas, Harris' drivers have one top-five result and an average finish of 6.50.

SAVE THEM ALL: Bowman and primary partner Ally are teaming up this year to bring back the Best Friends Animal Society donation effort. This week, the duo will make charitable contributions to the Humane Society of North Texas, which serves the local community in Fort Worth. Bowman and Ally will donate $4,800 to Best Friends and the Humane Society of North Texas. Ally will increase its donation to $10,000 if the No. 48 team wins.

DAY ‘N’ NITE: During Sunday's race at Texas, the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will adorn its “day” scheme. This scheme hosts a white base with bright plum, grapefruit, and seafoam stripes down the side. Check out all the angles of the ride here.

A TEAM OF RACERS: This Friday and Saturday, No. 48 setup mechanic Travis Braden will get behind the wheel of a Super Late Model race car at Five Flags Speedway in the Blizzard Series races. Braden joined Hendrick Motorsports and the No. 48 team before the start of the 2023 Cup Series season. His racing record includes winning the 2019 Snowball Derby, a victory in his first ARCA Menards Series race at Indianapolis Raceway Park in 2015 – beating the current driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 William Byron – and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Rookie of the Year Award in 2011.




Hendrick Motorsports








































Top 5










Top 10










Laps Led










Stage Wins











*Most **Most (tie)

CLOSING IN ON 300: Hendrick Motorsports is just one points-paying victory away from its milestone 300th win in the NASCAR Cup Series. Twenty drivers have combined to reach the organization’s current total of 299, which is the most Cup Series wins by any team. With eight points-paying victories in 2023, the team has posted its 36th multi-win season in the Cup Series while maintaining a streak of at least two per season for the past 30 years. The organization has gone to victory lane at more racetracks (31) than any other active team. 

PLAYOFF ADVANCEMENT: For the 10th straight season, Hendrick Motorsports has had at least two drivers advance to the Round of 12. William Byron (five wins) and Kyle Larson (three wins) remain in the playoff field. In addition, the Nos. 5, 9 and 24 teams are battling for the owner championship.

CHAMPIONSHIP COUNT: The Rick Hendrick-owned team has a series-best 14 Cup Series championships. NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2024 inductee Jimmie Johnson accounts for half of those with seven (2006-10, 2013 and 2016). NASCAR Hall of Famer and team vice chairman Jeff Gordon racked up four titles (1995, 1997-98 and 2001). NASCAR Hall of Famer Terry Labonte (1996), Chase Elliott (2020) and Larson (2021) each have one championship for the team. Nine of those titles have come in the playoff era (2004-present). 

RECORD SETTERS: Hendrick Motorsports has posted a series-best 56 wins in the playoffs, which is 20 more than the closest team. Johnson has the most with 29 victories. Among the current driver lineup, Elliott and Larson top the board with seven wins apiece in the playoffs followed by Alex Bowman with one. 

LONE STAR LOWDOWN: With 10 points-paying wins at Texas Motor Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports is the winningest team at the Fort Worth, Texas, track. Johnson accounts for seven of those and he also holds the track record for most Cup Series wins. Gordon, Labonte and Larson each have one win at the 1.5-mile venue. In 18 playoff races at Texas, Hendrick Motorsports has won a Cup Series-best six times. Johnson is responsible for five wins, while Larson’s 2021 win in the Round of 8 stands as the other victory. On three occasions in team history, the Texas playoff race winner went on to win the championship (Johnson in '07 and '13 and Larson in '21).

NO LIMITS TO LEADING: In the past two races at Texas, the Concord, North Carolina-based team has led 62% of the laps run (416 of 668). Over that span, Larson leads all drivers with 275 laps led. Byron has paced the field for 97 laps, while Elliott has been out front for 44 circuits. 

NEXT GEN NUMBERS: In the Next Gen car on 1.5-mile tracks, Hendrick Motorsports is tied for the most victories at three. The most recent of those victories came in March with Byron at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Since the start of the 2022 season, Larson (409) and Byron (405) rank second and third in points scored on 1.5-mile tracks. When it comes to average finish with the Next Gen on 1.5-mile tracks, Larson (9.45) ranks second, Bowman (9.75) is third and Byron (10.18) rounds out the top five.

MILE-AND-A-HALF MUSCLE: So far in 2023, there have been four races on 1.5-mile tracks (two at Kansas Speedway and one each at Las Vegas and Charlotte Motor Speedway), Byron (5.25) has the best average finish in those events, Bowman has the third best (8.33, although he has run in only three of those races) and Larson is fourth (9.50). Across those four races, the team has one win, seven top-five finishes, 10 top-10s, one pole position and 585 laps led.

STUDYING THE TRENDS: In each of the last seven 2023 Cup Series races, Hendrick Motorsports has had a driver finish in the top five. Those top fives came at Michigan International Speedway (Larson), the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course (Elliott and Bowman), Watkins Glen International (Byron), Daytona International Speedway (Elliott), Darlington Raceway (Larson and Byron), Kansas Speedway (Larson) and Bristol Motor Speedway (Larson). 




Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on why success at Texas Motor Speedway is key to advancing in the Round of 12: "Looking ahead to Talladega (Superspeedway), it’s a little crazy and there are typically a lot of crashes. So, you put a lot of pressure on this race this weekend, or at least I do, to do a good job. I like Texas (Motor Speedway). Our No. 5 Chevy team won there a couple of years ago (in 2021). We hope to do that again and have another good day."

Cliff Daniels, crew chief of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on racing at Texas: "Going into Texas (Motor Speedway) this weekend, we have some strong runs behind us from the last couple of weeks, which is good to have that little bit of wind in our sail and momentum. We’ve had this layout of the Texas track since 2017 and it is such a tough place for an intermediate (track). The two ends are so different with not a lot of banking and a tight radius in (turns) one and two and then a lot of banking and a bigger radius in (turns) three and four. So, it’s a tough place. Our mindset is to get a good solid car on the track and execute a good race to make sure we are there at the end."

Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on the team's efforts on 1.5-mile tracks in the owner playoffs: "Kansas (Speedway) was super refreshing. I thought we were much improved. I was doing a better job driving and our pit stops were really good. Everything felt solid and that was super satisfying because we put a lot of effort into being better. I put a lot of effort into pushing myself in areas that I feel like need to be worked on. Anytime you put the effort and time into different areas and you see the results, you can kind of get that report card and it be an improvement, I think that's encouraging for everyone involved. We didn't win, but we were up there battling with those guys that did. If you're in that fight and you're in that hunt, the wins will come. The good news is all the pieces of the puzzle, in my mind, are there. We’ve just got to put it together."

Alan Gustafson, crew chief of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on continuing a successful run in the owner playoffs: "I think certainly for us, it was a solid first round of races. We've had some good cars and solid finishes. We just want to continue to take that next step and be able to consistently improve. I think we’re going in the right direction and things are coming together. Even our races that are a little bit off, we're still inside the top 10, which is great. I think that's what it takes. I’m looking forward to upping the ante a bit at Texas (Motor Speedway) and delivering with better performances than we had in the first round."

Gustafson on racing at Texas: "Texas (Motor Speedway) is a really unique track. The corners being split the way they are, they are quite a bit different. It makes it a bit difficult to get your car to drive good at. It’s going to be really hot there, so the track will be slick. Your hope is, as a competitor, that there's more than one lane, the track widens out a bit and you can pass and compete and move forward. Last year, Texas was a race that we were concerned about and wanted to perform really well at. We were at the time of the tire failure. So, we'll take some of those lessons learned and try to apply them this weekend."

William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on the playoff race at Texas: "I’m looking forward to Texas (Motor Speedway). It will be hot there and slick, which will lead to guys making mistakes. We just need to not be one of them and stay ahead of all that. We need to try to win it or at least maximize our points day. You have to take advantage of every opportunity you get if you want to run for a championship. There’s only 12 cars left. You need to execute. This is the time to really show what you have."

Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on his approach to the Round of 12: "The first round we had a bigger points cushion and those were three more traditional oval tracks. I don’t want to say you could relax, but it was a round where you could really start looking ahead to other races. You could run your races, not really try anything crazy and advance. Now in this round, you need to take one race at a time and really focus on Texas (Motor Speedway). That’s the race we probably have the most control over and can get the most amount of points. Coming out with a win would obviously relieve a lot of stress going into Talladega (Superspeedway) and the (Charlotte Motor Speedway) ROVAL. Two races that are kind of wildcards. It’s definitely a tough round."

Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on the remaining seven races of the season: "We have seven races left to get it right. Our team has done just about everything except win and the way we all see it is that we have seven shots to win in front of us. We have had the same mindset every week regardless of the situation. While we may not be in the playoffs, we still have a shot to win races and I think this team is plenty capable. Hendrick Motorsports gives us all the tools we need to compete at a high level. Heading to Texas (Motor Speedway) this weekend is just as good of a chance as any other week on the schedule."

Blake Harris, crew chief of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on returning to his home track: "I like going to Texas Motor Speedway because I get the chance to go home, see my family and race at a place I grew up going to. Obviously, that in itself makes it special, but I also really enjoy the track. It has some unique challenges after they did the repave and trying to figure out how to go fast with those challenges in mind is what I enjoy about being a crew chief. Alex (Bowman) and I will go there for the first time this weekend together. Hopefully, we can be competitive and learn a lot in the process. Hendrick Motorsports has a good notebook for this track and I know our team is going to be prepared for whatever unfolds this weekend."

Hendrick Motorsports PR

Trevor Bayne, Driver of the No. 19 Interstate Batteries Toyota GR Supra

Back in the Saddle. Trevor Bayne will make his third start of the 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series season in this weekend’s Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Bayne previously drove in last month’s Xfinity Series event at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, where he led 26 laps before getting caught up in a race-ending accident. His most recent outing came last weekend at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, where he finished seventh.


● Texas Tamed. Bayne made his first career Xfinity Series start in 2009. He’s totaled 163 Xfinity Series starts in the nine seasons since. It was during the 2011 season the Tennessee native picked up his first series win at none other than the 1.5-mile oval at which the series races this weekend. Bayne qualified 10th for that year’s November event at Texas and ran a steady race. He took the lead for good with six laps to go.


● In Good Company. The 2023 NASCAR season is Bayne’s second racing on a part-time basis for Joe Gibbs Racing. He competed in nine Xfinty Series races in 2022, scoring five top-five finishes and seven top-10s. Driving the No. 18 JGR Toyota, Bayne qualified on the pole and led 46 laps at Homestead-Miami Speedway in October, and led in six of his nine races last year for a total of 176 laps. This weekend at Texas, Bayne adds another item of note to his resume by racing the iconic Interstate Batteries paint scheme. When he jumps into the No. 19 Interstate Batteries Toyota GR Supra on Saturday, he officially joins the exclusive Team Interstate brotherhood, which includes Hall of Fame drivers Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin and Matt Kenseth.


Trevor Bayne, Driver Q&A

You go into the race weekend as a former winner at Texas. How much does that help when you go to a track where you are a former winner? How does it impact your confidence?

“It’s always a good confidence boost when you’re racing at a track you’ve won at before. It just brings this added level of ‘I can do this’ to your mentality that you can’t get from anywhere else. I think it showed a lot in my first start this season in Daytona, where I hopped in the car for the first time in almost a year and ended up getting to the front and fighting for the win before the night was over. I know Joe Gibbs Racing is going to bring me a fast Interstate Batteries Toyota GR Supra, so I’m excited to get out there and compete for my second Texas win.”


You have nine Xfinity Series starts and 17 Cup Series starts at Texas. What have you learned a little about what it takes to be successful at Texas?

“Texas is a unique track because you’d expect it to race like a traditional mile-and-a-half, but the surface makes it one-of-a-kind from the rest. You really have to understand what you want out of your car and work to have a setup that reflects it. With track position being so important, it becomes a battle of finding speed for qualifying and then, once the green flag drops, it becomes an all-out battle for track position. You have to be physical, know when it’s the time to give or to take, and you have to stay consistent as the race wears on.”

How exciting is it to be racing an Interstate Batteries car this weekend at Texas?

“It’s always exciting to race a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in their Xfinity program. I’ve won a couple of poles and led laps in those cars, so I’m going into the weekend knowing that we will have what we need to be successful. The Interstate Batteries car is legendary in our sport and it’s kind of surreal for me to say I’m getting to drive that car. It’s certainly an honor, and to be able to run that scheme at Texas – their home track – is even more special.”



The high-speed world of motorsports has long been dominated by men, but the tide is turning as women increasingly break through barriers and make their mark in various disciplines. While challenges persist, female racers, engineers, and team owners are leaving an indelible mark on the sport, inspiring a new generation of enthusiasts. In this article, we'll explore the remarkable journey of women in motorsports, celebrate their achievements, and discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion in this thrilling arena.

Pioneering Women in Motorsports

Janet Guthrie, an aerospace engineer turned racing driver, is one of the early trailblazers in motorsports. In 1977, she became the first woman to qualify and compete in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500, paving the way for future generations of female drivers.

Shirley Muldowney, known as the "First Lady of Drag Racing," is another inspirational figure. She shattered gender norms in the male-dominated world of drag racing, becoming the first woman to earn an NHRA Top Fuel championship in 1977.

Danica Patrick, a former IndyCar and NASCAR driver, made history as the first woman to lead laps in the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500. Her groundbreaking achievements further underscored the capabilities of women in motorsports.

Women Across Different Motorsport Disciplines

In NASCAR, female drivers like Shawna Robinson and Jennifer Jo Cobb have made significant strides. Danica Patrick's transition from IndyCar to NASCAR garnered much attention, as she raced competitively in the Sprint Cup Series.

Formula 1, the pinnacle of motorsports, has seen women like Maria Teresa de Filippis, Lella Lombardi, and Susie Wolff break through barriers. As a testament to their skills, women like Tatiana Calderón and Jamie Chadwick continue to make strides toward securing Formula 1 seats.

In drag racing, Brittany Force became the first woman in nearly 35 years to win the NHRA Top Fuel championship in 2017, showcasing the incredible talents of female racers in this high-octane sport.

Behind the Scenes: Women in Motorsport Management

While women have excelled as drivers, their contributions extend beyond the racetrack. Claire Williams, former Deputy Team Principal of the Williams Formula 1 team, played a pivotal role in the team's success. Her leadership brought a fresh perspective to the sport.

Michele Mouton, a former rally driver, co-founded the Audi Sport rally team and served as its manager. Her influence and expertise in motorsports management have left a lasting legacy.

Overcoming Challenges

Despite their accomplishments, women in motorsports have faced adversity, including unequal opportunities and stereotypes. However, organizations like Women in Motorsport and initiatives promoting gender diversity are working to dismantle these barriers.

Statistics show that female participation in motorsports is on the rise. According to a report by, the number of female racing license holders has increased by 68% over the past decade, illustrating the growing presence of women in the sport.

Current Rising Stars

Today, promising young talents like Hailie Deegan are making waves in motorsports. Deegan, a rising star in NASCAR, is already celebrated for her achievements in various racing series. Her potential is undeniable, and she serves as an inspiration to aspiring female racers.

The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are vital for the continued growth and appeal of motorsports. Embracing a diverse talent pool not only broadens the sport's fan base but also fosters innovation and creativity within teams.

As we celebrate the accomplishments of women in motorsports, it's crucial to recognize the ongoing efforts to make the sport more inclusive. Initiatives like Dare to Be Different are actively encouraging young girls to pursue careers in motorsports.

Resources for Motorsport Enthusiasts

For motorsport enthusiasts looking to delve deeper into the world of racing and vehicle history, here are several authoritative resources to explore: is a leading source for news, analysis, and in-depth coverage of motorsports from around the world. They provide up-to-date information on various racing series, including Formula 1, NASCAR, IndyCar, and more.

FIA - International Automobile Federation: The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) is the governing body for motorsport worldwide. Their website offers official regulations, news, and insights into the motorsport world, including Formula 1, World Rally Championship (WRC), and other international competitions.

Women in Motorsport: The FIA's Women in Motorsport initiative aims to promote gender diversity and inclusion in motorsports. Their website provides resources and updates on efforts to support women in the sport.

Dare to Be Different: Dare to Be Different is a global initiative that encourages and inspires young women to pursue careers in motorsports. Their website offers valuable insights, stories, and information about events and programs aimed at aspiring female racers.

EpicVIN: When it comes to researching vehicle histories, VIN check by EpicVIN is a reliable and comprehensive resource. Whether you're interested in a vehicle's racing history or its overall background, EpicVIN provides detailed data and insights.

The Official NASCAR Website: For fans of NASCAR, the official NASCAR website offers news, race schedules, driver profiles, and an in-depth look at the world of stock car racing.

Formula 1 Official Website: Formula 1 fans can find everything they need to know about the sport on the official Formula 1 website, including race results, team information, and exclusive content.

NHRA - National Hot Rod Association: If you're passionate about drag racing, the NHRA website provides the latest news, event schedules, and detailed information about the world of drag racing.

These resources offer a wealth of information and are trusted by motorsport enthusiasts and professionals alike. Whether you're interested in following current events, exploring the history of motorsports, or learning more about women's contributions to the field, these websites are excellent starting points for your motorsport journey.


Women in motorsports have broken down barriers, shattered stereotypes, and made history. From legendary pioneers like Janet Guthrie to the rising stars of today like Hailie Deegan, these remarkable women have shown that talent knows no gender. As we continue to celebrate their achievements, let us also champion diversity and inclusion in motorsports, ensuring that this thrilling world remains accessible and welcoming to all.

NASCAR Xfinity Series Overview


•  Event: Andy's Frozen Custard 300 (Round 28 of 33)

•  Date: Saturday, Sept. 23

•  Location: Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth

•  Layout: 1.5-mile oval

•  Time/TV/Radio: 3:30 p.m. EDT on USA/PRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio


Cole Custer Notes of Interest


• Cole Custer is looking to continue his strong start to his 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff run in Saturday’s Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang opened his playoff run last Friday night at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway by qualifying on the pole, winning Stage 1 of the race and finishing second in Stage 2, then continuing to be a fixture in the top-three before taking the checkered flag fourth. He arrives at Texas third in the playoff standings, 39 points above the top-eight cutoff heading in to the second of three races in the Round of 12. While Texas has proven to be a difficult track for many competitors, Custer had solid runs there during his prior stint in the Xfinity Series from 2017 to 2019. His November 2018 victory locked him into that year’s Championship 4, and his eighth-place finish in 2019 helped vault him into the Championship 4 for the second year in a row. He scored runner up finishes in the final standings both years.


•  Saturday’s Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 will mark Custer’s seventh Xfinity Series start at Texas. In his prior six visits to 1.5-mile oval, he has earned four top-fives, including his November 2018 victory, where he bested runner-up Tyler Reddick by .162 of a second. Custer earned back-to-back fifth-place finishes in his first two Texas starts in April and November 2017, then a fourth-place finish in April 2018. His eighth-place finish from the fourth starting position in the November 2019 race was his most recent in the Xfinity Series at the track.


•  While the Cup Series playoff contenders will be beginning their Round of 12 this weekend at Texas, Custer and his 11 other Xfinity Series playoffs drivers will be in the middle race of their Round of 12. After his fourth-place finish last weekend at Bristol, Custer is looking forward to finishing the round at two of his best tracks – the Texas oval, and the 2.28-mile, 17-turn Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval. He’s finished outside the top-eight just once at Texas, and in his two prior starts on the Roval, he posted finishes of seventh in 2017 and eighth in 2018.


Riley Herbst Notes of Interest


•  After racing from last to eighth in last Friday’s Food City 300 at Bristol, Riley Herbst hopes to keep the momentum rolling at Texas Motor Speedway this Saturday. He’s ready to showcase the speed of his No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang at the fast, 1.5-mile oval in the Texas heat. While Herbst isn’t competing for a championship this year, he’s still focused on his main goal of the season – earning his first career Xfinity Series victory. He’s come close on several occasions this season, but bad luck seemed to find him on track and take him out of contention. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, Herbst and the No. 98 team have six more chances to showcase their competitiveness as they race among the playoff drivers and hope to post what they feel is a long-overdue victory.


•  Saturday’s race will mark Herbst’s seventh Xfinity Series start at Texas. Of his six prior appearances, Herbst has finished in the top-12 four times with a best of fifth earned in his last start there in September 2022. Since joining SHR in 2021, he’s never finished outside the top-12 at Texas. He scored an eighth-place finish and a fifth-place finish, respectively, in last year’s two events at the track. SHR has one Xfinity Series win at Texas – Custer’s November 2018 triumph.


•  In last November’s race at Texas, Herbst and the No. 98 team proved to be resilient in the Texas heat. The Las Vegas native started the 200-lap race 11th and struggled with a loose-handling racecar in the initial laps. After dropping to the rear for a penalty during the day’s first round of pit stops, Herbst made quick work of his drive back toward the front. By the end of Stage 2, he was sitting 12th, then restarted ninth for the final stage. Chaos ensued on multiple occasions during the last 100 laps, and Herbst used his savvy driving skills to maneuver his way around two accidents, working his way to fourth on a lap-126 restart. He stayed in the top-five until his final scheduled green-flag pit stop on lap 169 and resumed in 15th. The race went caution-free until the checkered flag and Herbst was able to work his way into the top-10 by lap 182 and ultimately to fifth by the checkered flag on lap 200. It was his seventh top-five of the season.


Cole Custer, Driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang


You’re heading to Texas Motor Speedway for the first time this season. You’ve been honest about how it may not be your best track on the circuit, but you’ve had some solid runs there – including your November 2018 win that advanced you to the Championship 4. What is your team doing to prepare for this middle race of the Round of 12 to help you advance?

“We’re just going over a lot of details, you know. It’s about trying to go over every single year that we’ve been to Texas and trying to understand what we need to bring to the racetrack to compete for a win. I feel like we’ve had a good mile-and-a-half package this year, especially at Kansas a few weeks ago. It’s just trying to make sure we’re good for Texas. It’s kind of an oddball in the intermediate tracks because it is so difficult, so we’re trying to go through all the details so we can get our car just right for the weekend.”


You’ve mentioned that Texas is unlike other intermediate tracks because of how difficult it is for a driver. What about it makes it so difficult?

“The two ends of the racetrack are just so different. It’s an intermediate track, but there is just so much variation in the track. You’ve got big bumps, which makes the handling pretty hard. Then you’ve got a daytime race in the Texas heat, which makes the track super slick. All of that, in addition to the high speeds that we run there, make it really tough to get your racecar’s setup just right. I’m still excited to head to Texas, but this is definitely the one track in the first round that we had some concern with just because it’s been all over the place for us. I trust that the No. 00 team will bring me a fast Ford Mustang like they do every week, though, so hopefully we can be up front when the checkered flag flies.”


Riley Herbst, Driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang


The Xfinity Series only goes to Texas once a season now, but you’ve had some strong runs there in the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang in your prior two seasons. In addition, you’re coming off a top-10 run at Bristol where you started last and finished eighth. How confident are you heading into this weekend?

“I think you can’t be too confident, but there is confidence that we’re finding our stride again as a team. We’ve had some bad luck this season, but we’ve never lacked in speed. It’s just about being smart and putting yourself in the right position. I’ve learned a lot at Texas in my career, and I’m hoping that we can continue that success this weekend. Bristol was such a strong race and really showed the speed we bring to track. Not many drivers can go from last to eighth and run in the top-five at one point. I’m proud of how this No. 98 team never gave up, even in the rough times. I’m hoping we can use these final races to focus on finding victory lane, which was our original goal this season.”


How do you approach Texas, and what have you learned since your first start at the track in 2020?

“Texas is a beast of its own. It’s a super-fast, 1.5-mile track in the Texas heat, so you know it’s going to be a challenge. It’s a day race, too, which makes it even more challenging. With that said, it should be a lot of fun, and I’m excited to go back this weekend. I performed well there in 2022, so I’m hoping to continue that trend. The key is having a fast No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang, which we always bring, and staying out of trouble. It seems like your typical intermediate track, but it’s crazy how fast it is. We just have to keep our focus, and we can get a good finish there.”



Race Information

Round: NASCAR Cup Series race no. 30 of 36 (Playoffs Round of 12)

Track Location: Texas Motor Speedway - Fort Worth, Texas

Race Name: Auto Trader EchoPark Automotive 400

Broadcast: Sunday, September 24th at 3:30 PM ET live on USA Network (TV), PRN (Radio), and SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90

Team Entrants:


Carson Hocevar, No. 42 Sunseeker Resort Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


Texas Motor Speedway Stats

-Carson Hocevar will make his first NASCAR Cup Series start at Texas on Sunday

-NCTS: Starts: 3; Wins: 1 (2023), Best Start: 3rd (2021); Top-5s: 2; Top-10s: 2; Laps Led: 5

2023 NASCAR Cup Series Season Stats

-Starts: 4; Best Start: 15th (Darlington, Fall); Best Finish: 11th (Bristol); No. 42 Owners Points: 32nd

2023 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Season Stats

-Starts: 20; Wins: 3 (Texas, Nashville, Richmond); Best Start: 2nd (North Wilkesboro & Bristol); Top-5s: 10; Top-10s: 12; Laps led: 255; Current Points Position: 3rd (+18 to the cutline)


About Sunseeker Resort: Opening in 2023, Florida’s newest luxury resort located in Charlotte Harbor is the first resort property of Sunseeker Resorts, a wholly owned subsidiary of Allegiant Travel Company. Sunseeker Resort Charlotte Harbor occupies over 22 waterfront acres with 785 guest rooms, including 189 Signature Sunsuites™. Set upon the Peace River and Florida Gulf Coast, this premier resort offers 20 original food and beverage concepts; including seven stand-alone restaurants, eleven bars and lounges, two poolside offerings and a 25,000-square-foot multi-dining experience. Additional hotel amenities include a waterfront promenade, two unique rooftop and waterfront pool experiences, 60,000-square-feet of combined convention space, full-service spa and salon, a 7,100-square-foot state-of-the-art fitness center with four group exercise studios with specialty instructor lead classes, three retail and market shops, and an 18-hole championship level golf club exclusive to hotel guests only. The resort is conveniently located within a short drive of Punta Gorda, Fort Myers, Sarasota, St. Petersburg-Clearwater, and Tampa airports. For more information, visit Follow us on Instagram: @sunseekerresorts and like us on Facebook: @sunseekerresorts.

Confirmed for More: On Sunday, LEGACY MOTOR CLUB™ announced via social media that Carson Hocevar will continue to drive the No. 42 Sunseeker Resort Chevrolet in the following two races at Texas Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. The driver lineup has not been confirmed just yet for the remainder of the 2023 season, but news on that front can be expected to break in the coming weeks.

Bristol Recap: Carson Hocevar had an incredible night in only his fourth NASCAR Cup Series start last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. Starting from the 16th position, it didn't take the rookie long at all to break into the top-10. Working his way around the top of the racetrack while most of the other drivers ran the bottom groove, the driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet caught the eye of many by climbing all the way up to fifth place at the conclusion of stage two. Hocevar was on the cusp of snatching his first-career top-10 finish that night, but was bumped to 11th in the closing laps of the race. Nothing to be ashamed of, as the result marked the best finish all season for the No. 42 team.

Destined for Greatness: In three races driving LEGACY MOTOR CLUB's No. 42 car, Hocevar has produced race finishes of 17th, 20th, and 11th, and he has completed every lap but one. With how tough the competition is in NASCAR's elite division, for a rookie to show up with little-to-no experience and record these types of results is nothing short of impressive. Though Carson's plans for the 2024 season have not been announced yet, there's no doubt that he has a bright future lying ahead.

Previous Texas Winner: Back in April, Hocevar put his name on the map by winning his first-career NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race at Texas. Driving the narrative of coming so close countless times, he had finished in the top-five 10 times before he was finally able to pull through and score his maiden victory. In a dramatic finish that saw the leaders take each other out of contention on the white flag, Hocevar was able to sneak by and lead one lap - the final lap - on his way to victory lane. This weekend will be the first time that he returns to Texas since that day, this time in his first Cup Series start at the track.

Tough Trucker: With only three races remaining in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series season, Carson Hocevar is poised to advance and secure his first berth in the Championship 4. Last race at Bristol Motor Speedway, the driver of the No. 42 Silverado RST began his Round of 8 stretch by qualifying on the outside pole and finishing second in stage one. Continuing with the theme of gaining stage points, he then went on to finish seventh in stage two, and used an alternate strategy by staying on the racetrack to leapfrog some added track position. On old tires, Hocevar was able to hold on and finish in the fourth position, notching his 10th top-five finish of the year. The trucks are off this week, but entering the next event at Talladega, Hocevar has a slight gap of 18 points to the cut line, currently posted third in the points standings.

Lambert at Texas: Luke Lambert has made a total of 18 starts at Texas Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Cup Series since 2011. His drivers have finished in the top-20 nine times, with Ryan Newman being his lone driver to score a top-10 finish back in 2016. Lambert's cars have typically qualified pretty well at Texas in the past, starting in the top-10 on five separate occasions. His drivers have also led 25 laps in the process. In the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Lambert has made four starts, earning one pole (Spring, 2022) and one win (Fall, 2022) that capped off his team's incredible stretch of four-in-a-row.

Quoting Carson Hocevar: Heading back to Texas, a track that you've won at before, what kind of emotions do you have as you make your first Cup start there?

"I’m super excited for Texas, going back to where I first won but also coming off the best Cup race I’ve ever had is momentum that I couldn’t expect to have. Looking forward to getting to Texas and trying to keep our speed and attitudes on a high and put together another solid race with our No. 42 Sunseeker Resort / LEGACY M.C. group!"


Erik Jones, No. 43 Dallas Vs. Everybody Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


Texas Motor Speedway Stats

-NCS Points-Paying Starts: 10; All-Star Starts: 1; Best start: 2nd (Fall 2019); Best finish: 4th (Spring 2018, Fall, 2018, and Spring, 2019); Top-5s: 3; Top-10s: 7; Laps Led: 113

-NXS Starts: 6; Wins: 3 (Spring, 2015, Spring, 2017, and Fall, 2017); Poles: 2 (Spring 2015, Fall 2016); Top-5s: 6; Top-10s: 6; Laps Led: 368

-NCTS Starts: 3; Wins: 1 (Fall, 2015); Poles: 1 (Spring, 2015); Top-5s: 1; Top-10s: 1; Laps Led: 185

2023 NASCAR Cup Series Season Stats

Starts: 29; Best start: 8th (COTA); Best finish: 3rd (Kansas II); Top-5’s: 1; Top-10's: 7; Laps Led: 17; Current points position: 25th


There’s only one time per year where you can catch all three USAC National divisions on one track on one weekend at one time.


USAC Silver Crown, USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Cars and USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midgets.  Oh my!


This is that time.


The 41st running of the 4-Crown Nationals presented by NKTELCO arrives at Rossburg, Ohio’s Eldora Speedway this Friday-Saturday night, September 22-23.


There’s so much to see and so much to watch play out. From tight championship races between Logan Seavey and Kody Swanson in the Silver Crown series to Justin Grant and Brady Bacon’s duel for the Sprint Car title and to the wildest Midget events of the year on the series’ only half-mile dirt oval.


All three USAC series will be racing for a winner’s share of $10,000 on Saturday night. Similarly, there’s 10,000 reasons to attend the 4-Crown this weekend. Here are some of the top storylines that headline this year’s edition of USAC’s homecoming event, a tried-and-true tradition since 1981.





The final dirt race of the 2023 USAC Silver Crown season happens this weekend at Eldora with a field of 36 entries, the most in 22 years, which will make the race just to get into the 26-car field a challenging ordeal in itself.


Two of those entries find themselves in the throes of a heated championship battle once again for the third consecutive season – Logan Seavey and Kody Swanson.


Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) enters the event just one point ahead of Swanson (Kingsburg, Calif.). To put how close this modern-day Gary & Larry Show has been in recent years, consider this. After the Eldora round in 2021, Swanson led Seavey by one. After Eldora in 2022, Swanson and Seavey were tied. However, on both occasions, Swanson wound up with the ultimate championship glory.


But Eldora has been a personal ATM for Seavey of late, having won the last two 4-Crown Silver Crown races in 2021-22 while leading 91 of the 100 total laps. Swanson finished a best of 2nd in 2015 and won the pole in 2017, and also notched a 4th in 2019, 5th in 2016, 5th in 2018 and another 5th in 2021.






Likewise, Justin Grant and Brady Bacon find themselves intertwined in the USAC National Sprint Car title race for the second year in a row.


Grant (Ione, Calif.) finished ahead of runner-up Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) in 2022, and at press time, they remain in the same order with just nine points of separation between the two.


Grant has won five times in his USAC National Sprint Car career at Eldora, including this past May during #LetsRaceTwo. Two of those five victories came during the 4-Crown in 2016 and just last year in 2022.


Similarly, Bacon owns a 4-Crown USAC Sprint Car win in 2014, and added a #LetsRaceTwo triumph in the spring of 2018, his most recent series victory at The Big E.


Grant and Bacon are among the five past 4-Crown USAC Sprint Car winners in this weekend’s field at Eldora along with Robert Ballou (2007), Thomas Meseraull (2015) and C.J. Leary (2017).





One USAC National Midget show is wild at Eldora. But on 4-Crown weekend, everybody gets a double-dose of the biggest edge-of-your-seat race of the season.


A stout field of around 20 cars and drivers are expected to be on hand for the pair of 25-lappers on Friday and Saturday night.


Two past 4-Crown midget stars will be in this weekend’s field as they make their season debuts in USAC National Midget competition – Rico Abreu and Chris Windom.


Windom enters Eldora as the two-time and defending 4-Crown Midget champion, having won each of the last two rounds in 2021 and 2022. The 2020 series champ will wheel a car owned by CB Industries who has won the past three USAC Midget races at Eldora, including Mitchel Moles in the BeFour the Crowns program in 2022. Windom is pursuing a quest to become the first driver to win three consecutive 4-Crown Midget features.


Meanwhile, Rico Abreu (St. Helena, Calif.) returns to USAC National Midget racing for the first time since 2020, and for the first time at the 4-Crown since a fourth-place run in 2019.


Abreu, the 2014 USAC National Midget champ, has captured 4-Crown Midget wins twice in his career in 2013 and 2016. This time around, he’ll be behind the wheel of a car owned by 2016 USAC National Midget champion Tanner Thorson.


Moles (Raisin City, Calif.) scored in his first ever race on the banks of Eldora in 2022 and returns for a rare midget start during the 2023 season aboard the Reinbold-Underwood Motorsports No. 19T.





Jack Hewitt’s sweep of all four divisions at the 1998 4-Crown Nationals and Kyle Larson’s USAC sweep of the 2011 event are monumental moments in the 40-year history of the event. A quarter of a century after his miraculous feat, Hewitt will serve as this weekend’s grand marshal.


Three drivers this weekend will take their shot at going three-for-three with rides in all three USAC divisions during this weekend’s event.


Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) has won each of the past two Silver Crown races at Eldora in 2021-22, and has come close to solidifying the deal in all three, finishing second in both the USAC Sprint and USAC Midget portion in 2021. He’ll pilot his yearlong rides in the Abacus Racing midget, the 2B Racing sprint car and the Rice Motorsports/Abacus Racing Silver Crown car.


Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) owns a somewhat similar 4-Crown resume as Seavey. Grant has won twice with the USAC Sprint Cars during the 2016 and 2022 event. In 2016, he took second in the USAC Silver Crown finale, and in 2018, came home as the runner-up in the midget.  Grant will wheel familiar rides in the RMS Racing midget, the TOPP Motorsports sprint car and the Hemelgarn Racing Silver Crown machine.


Mitchel Moles (Raisin City, Calif.) is somewhat new to the 4-Crown experience but has already picked off a win in the midget at Eldora in 2022. He ran 7th in the ensuing USAC Sprint Car race that same weekend. But this weekend will mark his first Silver Crown try at Eldora. He’ll be in the seat of the Reinbold-Underwood Motorsports midget and sprint car, plus the Hans Lein Silver Crown car.





One of the entertaining extracurricular aspects of the 4-Crown Nationals is drivers jumping in unfamiliar rides and giving it a go – a tradition that back to the inaugural edition in 1981 when Steve Kinser hopped into Johnny Vance’s Silver Crown car and sprint car in a last-minute deal, and promptly put both in victory lane.


This weekend’s 4-Crown Nationals field will have its share of new names in new seats. First, in Silver Crown, 2018 4-Crown Silver Crown runner-up Kevin Thomas Jr. (Cullman, Ala.) will be in the seat of the John Haggenbottom No. 24. Matt Westfall (Pleasant Hill, Ohio) will return to his own No. 54 for the first time since 2021 when he finished second at the 4-Crown.


Westfall had competed all year long in the BCR Group No. 81 before the two recently parted ways. Now occupying the seat of the 81 is upstart Trey Osborne (Columbus, Ohio). Additionally, winged sprint car competitor Zach Hampton (Mooresville, Ind.) will make his series debut in the Armstrong Racing No. 99.


In the midgets, Holly Jones (formerly Holly Shelton) will make her return to the series after finishing 5th, 6th and 6th in the Gold River, California native’s only three Eldora starts between 2016-18. Moles, as previously mentioned, will make his debut in a third Reinbold-Underwood midget.


Two-time winner Rico Abreu returns to the fray with Tanner Thorson Racing after winning the 2013 and 2016 4-Crown events. Furthermore, 2022 USAC East Coast Sprint Car champ and current series point leader Briggs Danner will make his USAC National Midget debut in the E. Schneider & Sons No. 98.





On Friday, September 22, at Eldora, the BeFour the Crowns program will feature the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship, USAC Silver Crown Qualifying & Qualifying Race and the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars. Spectator gates open at 2pm Eastern with the drivers meeting taking place at 5:30pm and cars on track at 6pm. General admission tickets are $35 for adults and free for ages 12 and under. Reserved tickets are $40 for adults and $10 for ages 12 and under.


On Saturday, September 23, at Eldora, the 41st running of the 4-Crown Nationals presented by NKTELCO features the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship, USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship, All Star Circuit of Champions and the USAC Silver Crown National Championship. Spectator gates open at Noon Eastern with a driver autograph session taking place from 3-4pm in the Fan Zone. The drivers meeting will take place at 4:30pm and cars on track at 6pm. General admission tickets are $40 for adults and free for ages 12 and under. Reserved tickets are $45 for adults and $10 for ages 12 and under.



Interstate Batteries Racing Notes

● Texas is Twice as Nice This Weekend. Interstate Batteries, the founding partner at Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), is doubling down for the first time ever this weekend in the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth by taking over the primary sponsorship of two NASCAR Cup Series entries. The famed Interstate Batteries medallion will adorn the hoods of both the No. 20 JGR Toyota Camry TRD of driver Christopher Bell and the No. 54 JGR Toyota Camry TRD for driver Ty Gibbs.


● No Double Vision Here. While both paint schemes will highlight the Interstate Batteries brand, they will not be without their differences. Bell will sport the 2023 Interstate Batteries scheme that has appeared on each of the JGR cars at various times throughout the season.  Gibbs will sport a scheme with a matte-black base and Interstate Batteries branding in green with gold accents.


Christopher Bell, Driver of the No. 20 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry TRD in the NASCAR Cup Series

Let the (Second Round) Games Begin. Bell is among the 12 drivers who have advanced to the second round of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, which kicks off this weekend with the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas. The playoff standings have been reset following last weekend’s Round of 16 finale at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, showing Bell in seventh place, five points above the Round of 8 cutline heading into the 30th race of the 2023 season.


● No Red River Rivalry Here. College football season is in full swing and one of the most storied rivalries in the sport is that between the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas. The Red River Rivalry has been going strong since 1929 and is referred to as such in honor of the “Red River," which runs along much of the border between the states of Texas and Oklahoma. Hailing from Norman, Oklahoma – a mere three hours from Texas Motor Speedway – Bell is considered a bit of a hometown kid when it comes to racing at Texas. That’s something he has in common with his primary sponsor for this weekend’s 400 mile race in the Lone Star State. Interstate Batteries, the outrageously dependable battery brand, is based in Dallas, a few short miles from the Texas oval. This is the fourth of five races at which Bell will pilot the Interstate Batteries-branded Toyota Camry. Interstate Batteries wraps up its 2023 primary role at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway next month with Bell and the No. 20 team.


● Taming Texas. Bell is a five-time NASCAR Cup Series winner and he would like nothing more than to make this weekend’s race at Texas his sixth series win. In four career Cup Series starts at Texas, Bell has earned a pair of third-place finishes – each coming in the track’s fall races in 2020 and 2021. Prior to his Cup Series career, Bell was a regular in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The 2019 season was his last as an Xfinity Series regular – a season in which he scored eight wins, the final of which was at Texas during the track’s fall race. In total, Bell has five starts at Texas in Xfinity Series competition, scoring one win, three top-five finishes and four top-10s. 


Ty Gibbs, Driver of the No. 54 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry TRD in the NASCAR Cup Series

● Just a Little Bit Closer. Ty Gibbs makes his 45th career start in the NASCAR Cup Series this weekend at Texas. While he is not part of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series playoff field competing for the season title, he still has plenty for which to race. Sitting at the top of that to-do list is scoring his first career Cup Series win – a feat he came close to achieving during last Saturday night’s Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol. To date, Gibbs has a trio of top-five finishes on his 2023 Cup Series racing resume, including his fifth-place finish at Bristol last weekend where he led a total of 102 laps before eventually losing the lead to teammate and eventual race-winner Denny Hamlin with less than 150 laps to go. 


● Texas History. The 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway oval is a track at which Gibbs has pevious Cup Series racing experience. He competed in the 2022 edition of the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400, qualifying 16th, completing every race lap and finishing 20th. In addition to his lone Cup Series start in the Lone Star State, Gibbs participated in a pair of Xfinity Series races – both during the 2022 season in which he won the Xfinity Series championship. The 20-year old’s best Texas effort was a third-place finish he earned during last November’s Xfinity Series race.


Christopher Bell, Driver Q&A

It’s been a full year since the NASCAR Cup Series has raced at Texas. It’s a track that has seemed to be feast or famine for you. What are your expectations as you head into the weekend?

“This Texas race is the first 400-mile race we’ve been in at the track. That will probably drive the intensity and make every lap more important. Last year, we had tire issues that really set us back, but I feel like our intermediate track program should set us up well this weekend. This race is going to be a very important race when it comes to being able to transfer to the next round in the playoffs. After this, we have Talladega and then the road course at Charlotte.”


You’ve had quite the streak in qualifying – earning the top starting spot in each of the first three playoff races. How important is qualifying up front, particularly at a track like Texas?

“Having a good starting spot is important because you start out with great track position. The other part of it is that it usually means you have a pretty good racecar. We put ourselves in good position. I’m really proud of the Camrys that this 20 group have been able to bring to the races since we’ve started the playoffs. Adam (Stevens, crew chief) and the entire team have been doing a great job of being prepared every week.”


What does it mean to be part of this special sponsorhip program Interstate Batteries is executing this weekend with both you and Ty driving cars with Interstate branding?

“Driving the Interstate Batteries car is kind of a right of passage at JGR – it’s like you are officialy part of the club. It’s a big deal to everyone at Interstate Batteries and everyone at JGR – they are the team’s founding partner. It’s an honor to be able to drive that car and would be even more special to win with it and at Texas.”


Ty Gibbs, Driver Q&A

What are your thoughts about this weekend’s 400-mile race at Texas?

“I enjoy racing at Texas and it’s cool that Interstate Batteries has given me a black car for this event. It’s a big weekend for them with myself, (Christopher) Bell and (Trevor) Bayne all running the Interstate Batteries scheme. They are an important part of Joe Gibbs Racing and the founding sponsor, so hopefully we can give them a great weekend.”


Interstate Batteries is the founding partner at JGR. How special is it to be racing the Interstate Batteries colors at its home track this weekend? 

“Norm Miller has been great to JGR all the way back to 1991, when my grandfather started this whole thing. He’s just a great guy, and Lain Hancock is doing a great job, and it’s more than a sponsorship – they’re part of the family. And I hope we can put them in victory lane.”



For the first time since it joined Trackhouse Racing in 2022, the Kubota Tractor Corporation's orange paint scheme will adorn Daniel Suárez's No. 99 Chevrolet in a NASCAR Cup Series race.

Suárez will drive the Kubota Chevrolet in Sunday's 500-mile race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

Kubota and Trackhouse Racing announced in November that Ross Chastain and Suárez would carry the Grapevine, Texas company's paint scheme in seven races in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season.

With the sponsorship, Kubota became the Official Tractor Company of Trackhouse Racing. Chastain has driven the Kubota scheme five times in 2023 and will again at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway on Oct. 22.

“I feel like I am joining a new family,” said Suárez who became the first Mexican driver to win a NASCAR Xfinity title in 2016 and a Cup race in 2022. “Ross has told me so many good things about Kubota and their equipment, so I’m looking forward to joining him in Kubota Country.”

Kubota is the U.S. marketer and distributor of Kubota-engineered and manufactured machinery and equipment, including a complete line of tractors of up to 200 Gross hp* performance-matched implements, compact construction equipment, consumer lawn and garden equipment, hay tools, commercial turf products and utility vehicles.

If history is any indicator, Suárez should have the Kubota Chevrolet at the front of the field in Texas. He has top-12 finishes in four of the last six races at the 1.5-mile oval.

Suárez has a busy weekend planned in Texas in addition to racing. On Saturday at 5 p.m. CDT he'll appear at Portillo’s for autographs and pictures. The event at 4560 Destination Drive, The Colony, Texas, is open to fans. He'll also appear at the Chevrolet display at the race track on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

USA Network will televise Sunday's race at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Trackhouse Racing PR

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