ALLMENDINGER, CHEVROLET REMAINS ON TOP
While it might not have been the day he had hoped for, AJ Allmendinger remained in the lead of the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver points standings with a 25-point lead over second. Chevrolet drivers occupy five of the top-six spots in the driver standings, including Nashville Superspeedway race winner Justin Allgaier, who moved up the NXS playoff grid to third and 32 points out of the lead. Allgaier’s JR Motorsports teammates follow right behind him, with Noah Gragson, Josh Berry and Sam Mayer sitting in the fourth through sixth positions, respectively. Mayer remains in the first points-qualifying position in the standings, with his eighth top-five finish in the last 10 races building his playoff cutline cushion to 162 points.
Looking for its sixth-consecutive NASCAR Xfinity Series Manufacturer Championship title, Chevrolet continues to pull away in the manufacturer standing’s lead, now sitting at a 72-point lead over second. Eight drivers from four different Chevrolet teams have contributed to those points thus far.
DOUBLE DUTY IN WISCONSIN
A handful of drivers will take on the 4.048-mile Wisconsin road course for both the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Cup Series races, including four Chevrolet drivers:
· 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Champion Kyle Larson will make his return to the NASCAR Xfinity Series for the first time since 2018, marking his 109th career start in the series. Larson will be piloting the No. 17 HendrickCars.com Camaro SS, an entry fielded by Hendrick Motorsports. The Chevrolet team will be returning to the series for the first time since 2009, with three races currently on the schedule for the No. 17 Camaro SS: Road America, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course and Watkins Glen International. Larson has 12 NXS wins on his resume, with his most recent coming in his last start in the series at Bristol Motor Speedway (August 2018). His interim Cup crew chief, Kevin Meendering, will also be pulling double duty this weekend handling the crew chief duties for Larson in both series.
· Tyler Reddick will be piloting the No. 48 Big Machine Racing Camaro SS again this weekend, marking his fourth NASCAR Xfinity Series start of 2022. Reddick has 10 career NXS wins to his name, the most recent last month at Texas Motor Speedway when the 26-year-old Chevrolet driver delivered Big Machine Racing its first win in the series.
· Ty Dillon will be making his first NASCAR Xfinity Series start of 2022 at Road America driving the No. 6 Camaro SS for JD Motorsports. In his 157-career NXS starts, Dillon has recorded one win, 34 top-five’s and 91 top-10’s.
· Looking to go three-for-three in NASCAR Xfinity Series road course wins in 2022, AJ Allmendinger will also be taking his road course racing skills to the NASCAR Cup Series field on Sunday in the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Camaro ZL1. Allmendinger has two-career NCS wins, both of which were captured on road course circuits (Watkins Glen – 2014; Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course – 2021).
NCWTS ENDS EIGHT-RACE STRETCH
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) heads into an off-weekend following the conclusion of an eight-week run on the series’ 23-race schedule. The NCWTS kicked off the tripleheader race weekend at Nashville Superspeedway, where Niece Motorsports’ Carson Hocevar led the way for Chevrolet in the final running order in third, his fourth top-five finish of 2022. Joining Hocevar in the top-10 was Max Guitierrez, who piloted the No. 22 AM Racing Silverado RST to an eighth-place finish in just his second-career NCWTS start.
Only two races remain in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular season. Hocevar leads Chevrolet drivers in the NCWTS driver standings in the eighth-position and 75 points above the playoff cutline. While an unfortunate result for GMS Racing’s Grant Enfinger at Nashville, Enfinger remained in the ninth spot and 39 points above the playoff cutline.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will return to competition at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course next Saturday, July 9, with the O’Reilly Auto Parts 150.
· Chevrolet’s Chase Elliott is the defending winner at Road America, who drove his No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to the win in the NASCAR Cup Series return to the track in 2021.
· A road course favorite, Chase Elliott has recorded seven road course victories in his NASCAR Cup Series career; the most of all active NCS drivers. Elliott also ranks third on the NCS all-time road course wins list behind NASCAR Hall of Famers Jeff Gordon (nine wins) and Tony Stewart (eight wins). Elliott’s victories have been recorded at five different road courses, a record in series’ history.
· Chevrolet has won the last eight-consecutive NASCAR Cup Series road course races, dating back to Chase Elliott’s win at Circuit of The Americas in May 2021.
· Trackhouse Racing has gone two-for-two in NASCAR Cup Series road course wins this season, with Ross Chastain taking the win at Circuit of The Americas and Daniel Suarez’s win at Sonoma Raceway. Each victory also marked first-career NCS wins for both drivers.
· Chase Elliott’s victory at Nashville Superspeedway was the ninth win for Chevrolet in 17 points-paying NASCAR Cup Series races, giving the bowtie brand a winning average of .667. Chevrolet also continues to lead in NCS top-fives (40), top-10s (77), laps led (2,375) and stage wins (16).
· Seven Team Chevy drivers have combined 16 NASCAR Cup Series stage wins:
Tyler Reddick 2 - Fontana x2
Alex Bowman 1 - Las Vegas
Ross Chastain 3 - Las Vegas, Darlington, Charlotte
William Byron 3 – Phoenix, Atlanta, Talladega
Daniel Suarez 2 – COTA, Charlotte
Chase Elliott 3 – Martinsville x2, Charlotte
Kyle Larson 2 – Bristol, Sonoma
· Chase Elliott is now the fifth different repeat winner in the NASCAR Cup Series thus far. Other Chevrolet drivers on that elite list includes William Byron (Atlanta, Martinsville) and Ross Chastain (COTA, Talladega).
· Chevrolet leads the driver points standing in both the NASCAR Cup Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Chase Elliott remains in the top position in the NCS standings for the 13th consecutive week with a 30-point lead over second; and AJ Allmendinger continues to lead the NXS standings by 25 points. Chevrolet also remains atop both the NCS and NXS manufacturer points standings.
· With its 40 NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer Championships, 33 NASCAR Cup Series Driver Championships, and 823 all-time NASCAR Cup Series wins, Chevrolet continues to hold the title of winningest brand in NASCAR.
FOR THE FANS
· Fans can visit the Team Chevy Racing Display in the Fan Midway at Road America.
· Fans can check out an assortment of Chevrolet vehicles including: Blazer RS, Equinox RS, Trailblazer ACTIV, Silverado 1500 LT Trailboss, Traverse High Country, Camaro 2SS Convertible, Silverado ZR2.
· At the Chevrolet Display, fans can also view Kyle Larson’s No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 show car.
TEAM CHEVY QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSIONS AT THE DISPLAY:
Saturday, July 2
· Myatt Snider: 10:30-10:45 a.m.
· Justin Allgaier and Miguel Paludo: 10:45-11 a.m.
· Josh Berry: 11-11:15 a.m.
· Noah Gragson: 11:30-11:45 a.m.
Sunday, July 3
· Tyler Reddick: 11-11:15 a.m.
· Ty Dillon: 11:15-11:30 a.m.
· Daniel Suarez: 11:45 a.m.-noon
Chevrolet Display Hours of Operation:
Friday, July 1: 9 a.m-4 p.m.
Saturday, July 2: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sunday, July 3: 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
USA Network will broadcast the NASCAR Cup Series Kwik Trip 250 presented by JOCKEY Made in America at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 3. Live coverage can also be found on MRN, the NBCSports Gold App, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
USA Network will broadcast the NASCAR Xfinity Series Henry 180 at 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 2. Live coverage can also be found on MRN, the NBCSports Gold App, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 1 ADVENT HEALTH CAMARO ZL1
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO PREPARE FOR ROAD AMERICA?
"I never quite feel like I'm prepared enough. I'll wake up every day this week and try to be better and will get on the plane to Road America and still be looking at data. I'll look back at the race last year. Even though I won't feel prepared enough, I know we will have good cars with a chance to win another race."
DO YOU LIKE GOING TO ROAD AMERICA?
"I love going to Road America. I'm excited to get there and get on the track. Obviously, I'm a fan of road courses but I really enjoy Road America."
HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR A ROAD COURSE VERSUS AN OVAL TRACK?
"Actual preparation of the car for the road courses is so different from what it used to be since we take oval cars and race them on the road courses and vice versa. On the driver side, it’s something as simple as a visual board, chasing dots, reaction times, getting our eyes to look left and up. For ovals, we kind of look out of the top of our helmet and the banking. We are so conditioned to look left since we've been oval track racers most of our lives. Muscle memory for the right and getting our muscles and bodies to focus to the right because it's not as natural. It's kind of like writing your name with your non-dominate hand, it just doesn't come as natural."
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1
LARSON ON PULLING DOUBLE DUTY AT ROAD AMERICA:
"There are some big differences between the Cup and Xfinity cars, like braking points and sequential shifting in the Cup car versus an H-pattern in the Xfinity car. But getting more track time is worth it while getting an additional race with Kevin (Meendering) calling the shots will help our communication."
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1
ELLIOTT ON HEADING BACK TO ROAD AMERICA:
"I’m excited to get back to Road America. I thought last year’s event was really good. For me, I was always partial to having the Fourth (of July) race at Daytona, but the crowd was really good and the energy was super high, and I think we need to have an energetic race on the Fourth. That’s a big weekend for our country. It’s a race inside our sport that I think is deserving of a lot of energy too, because we are a sport that’s going on this time of year and that needs to be a big event. I felt like the people up there welcomed us with open arms and brought a lot of energy. Anytime you have energy at the track, it makes it fun for everybody involved - whether you’re working inside the sport, you’re a driver, you’re another a fan there, it just makes for a better event, better environment. Last year, I felt was a great example of that. I hope that’s the case again this weekend. I hope the results are the same this weekend and everybody has a big time."
ALAN GUSTAFSON, CREW CHIEF, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1
GUSTAFSON ON WHAT MAKES ROAD AMERICA HARD TO PREPARE FOR:
"Road America is different. I love the track. It’s a great visual road course. Braking zones are the first thing that come to mind there, though. You need to be good in those. There’s some really big braking zones that are difficult. The car needs to be able to change direction well and have stability at the same time. You can’t swing the back to change directions. If you do that, then there’s more that the driver has to manage. There’s also the course intricacies that you have to prepare for. There’s a few tight 90 degree corners, the carousel, the kink – a high-speed left. That’s what makes it so difficult. There are so many styles of corners there that make it harder. I think stability in the braking zones and consistency out of the car are the biggest things to hone in on. You key in on one area and want the front tires to be responsive and follow his hands. If we can do that without the back sliding, then that’s ultimately the best thing. We’ll try to do that this weekend at Road America. I’m looking forward to the challenge."
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 RAPTORTOUGH.COM CAMARO ZL1
BYRON ON HIS THOUGHTS FOR ROAD AMERICA THIS WEEKEND:
"I’m excited to head to Road America. I’ve always enjoyed racing there in both series. I feel like it’s one of my strongest road courses that we race at. I finished sixth there in the Xfinity Series in 2017 and, while the Cup race didn’t end the way we wanted, we had a strong run going there all day with a stage one win and a second-place finish in stage two. We have some notes to work off of for this year’s race but the Next Gen car adds an element of unknown still. We’ve really had to work on our road course package this year, and I think we’re starting to get in a better place after Sonoma (Raceway). We just have to keep it moving in the right direction and I think we have a good chance of doing that at Road America this weekend."
RUDY FUGLE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 24 RAPTORTOUGH.COM CAMARO ZL1
FUGLE ON PREPARING FOR ROAD AMERICA:
"Road America presents its own set of challenges compared to other road courses we run at. It’s the longest course we compete on and it’s also the heaviest-braking road course on the schedule. We don’t have a ton of notes heading into this race since last year was the first Cup Series race there. But we had a good race, and the No. 9 won, so we have a good starting point. Plus we’ve had two Next Gen road course races already this year. We have more notes going into this weekend than in the past especially since we’re using the same tire as we did at COTA (Circuit of The Americas). I think some trends will stay the same as well, including that you want to make sure you’re good in the braking zones but also you want to have more grip and drive off in the slower corners of the course. That gives you better lap times."
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1
BOWMAN ON REBOUNDING FROM THE ALLY 400:
"It is always frustrating to not be able to finish a race – just hurts a little more when it’s the Ally 400. Our guys do a phenomenal job of forgetting a bad week and refocusing for a good week and I know we will do that this week for Road America. Greg (Ives, crew chief) will put together a game plan, our guys will build a fast No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and be ready for the green flag this Sunday."
GREG IVES, CREW CHIEF, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1
IVES ON HIS CONFIDENCE HEADING TO ANOTHER ROAD COURSE:
"Alex (Bowman) is working really hard on his end to make sure he is studying his notes, prepping for the weekend and leaving no stone unturned for road courses – Road America is no different. We didn’t get a chance to compete in Nashville, so the No. 48 team is focused on putting our best foot forward and bouncing back in a strong way at Road America. Our guys have put together a great No. 48 Ally Chevy and I am confident that we will run well this Sunday. Adding that we will pit in the opposite direction this weekend, our pit crews have also been putting in the time to get ready for an unusual set of circumstances. We just have to go out there and do our best at what we can control and be there at the end for a shot at winning."
DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 JOCKEY CAMARO ZL1
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT SEEING ROAD AMERICA – A ROAD COURSE – ON THE SCHEDULE NEXT?
"I would be lying to you if I told you I’m not extremely excited about every single road course because I believe that we can win in every single one of them. We have good cars. I have a very good team behind me. I feel like I’ve done a good job with the tools that have been given to me and it’s been fun. So, I’m really looking forward to it. I know it’s going to be a lot of fun for me; and hopefully we can have another strong shot.”
ARE YOU THE FAVORITE TO WIN AT ROAD AMERICA?
“Honestly, I don’t know. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter to me. I think at COTA, we we’re extremely strong. Our car broke early and we did what we had to do to finish the stage and survive. But in my opinion, we were very, very strong; even stronger than Sonoma. In Sonoma, we had a very good car. We did a very good job calling the race."
HAVE YOU STARTED THINKING ABOUT THE PLAYOFFS?
"Honestly, I haven’t thought about the Playoffs yet. We still have 2 ½ months before that. I feel like there is still a lot of things to be done before that. It feels good to know that we’re locked-in. But as a race car driver, at least for me, we know that being locked-in doesn’t mean a lot. For me, it means a lot when you have a lot of points in the bank – when you have more than a win, but also at least a few Playoff points. That’s when you start becoming a strong contender in the Playoff races. Hopefully we can get a couple more wins and some more Playoff points. That would be nice."