Sunday, Sep 25

NCS AT ATLANTA 2: Team Chevy Advance

RACE #19 – ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY

The revamped Atlanta Motor Speedway will be the host to a NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) and NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) doubleheader this weekend, marking the first time this season that both series will make a repeat visit to a track. Undergoing a reprofiling following the July 2021 event; a complete repave, increased banking and narrowing of the track width all around the 1.54-mile Atlanta venue provided teams with a superspeedway-style race. A mid-summer return to the track will provide for an additional set of variables for teams to navigate.

 

Chevrolet returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway looking to not only make it four-in-a-row in NASCAR Cup Series wins, but also defend its win title at the Georgia venue in Sunday’s Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart. In the series’ visit to the track in March, William Byron and the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet team battled through a race that saw a record-breaking 11 cautions and 46 lead changes to record their first win of 2022. The victory was celebrated by a strong bowtie presence in the top-10 of the race, with Chevrolet drivers taking four of the top-five and six of the top-10 finishing positions. The win marked Chevrolet’s 42nd trip to Atlanta Motor Speedway victory lane, extending its record as the winningest manufacturer at the track.

 

The NASCAR Xfinity Series takes on round two of action at Atlanta Motor Speedway with Saturday’s Alsco Uniforms 250. The series’ spring appearance at the track saw six Camaro SS drivers among three different Chevrolet teams record top-10 finishes, led by NXS rookie and season opener winner Austin Hill and his No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet team. In 31 NXS races held at Atlanta, Chevrolet has recorded a manufacturer-leading 17 wins… the most recent coming from JR Motorsports’ Justin Allgaier in March 2021. 

CHECKING OFF HIS FIRST

Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick has been within reach of his first career NASCAR Cup Series victory throughout his young career, including scoring five runner-up finishes since his first full-time NCS season in 2020. But it was his 92nd career NCS start at Road America where he was able to accomplish that feat.

 

The 26-year-old Chevrolet driver entered the Road America race weekend under the cutline, with the pressure of a ‘must-win’ situation building as the series nears the end of the regular season. A strong stop on pit road during the final round of pit stops brought Reddick in close proximity to then race leader Chase Elliott, who’s dominating performance throughout most of the race marked him as a favorite to win. With 16 laps to go, Reddick was able to capitalize on a mistake by Elliott in turn five; power his No. 8 Camaro ZL1 to the lead and never look back as he took the checkered flag for the first time in NASCAR’s premier series.

 

A monumental win for Reddick also kept Chevrolet’s NASCAR Cup Series road course win streak going strong, marking the bowtie brand’s ninth-consecutive NCS road course victory. Six drivers from four different Chevrolet teams have contributed to that string of triumphs:

 

Chase Elliott, No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet:

(Circuit of The Americas; May 2021)

(Road America; July 2021)

 

Kyle Larson, No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet:

(Sonoma; June 2021)

(Watkins Glen; August 2021)

(Charlotte ROVAL; October 2021)

 

AJ Allmendinger, No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet:

(Indianapolis Road Course; August 2021)

 

Ross Chastain, No. 1 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet:

(Circuit of The Americas; March 2022)

 

Daniel Suarez, No. 99 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet:

(Sonoma Raceway; June 2022)

 

Tyler Reddick, No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet:

(Road America; July 2022)

A CHEVROLET TOP-FIVE SWEEP

It was a near-dominate performance for the Camaro ZL1 at the 4.048-mile, 14-turn Wisconsin road course circuit. Tyler Reddick took the checkered flag with a brigade of Chevrolet drivers in tow to sweep the top-five finishing positions: Chase Elliott (2nd), Kyle Larson (3rd), Ross Chastain (4th) and Daniel Suarez (5th). Notable road course favorite and NASCAR Xfinity Series point leader, AJ Allmendinger, powered the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Camaro ZL1 to a ninth-place finish to give Chevrolet six of the top-10 finishers.

 

Road America marked the eighth time in 18 NASCAR Cup Series points-paying races that Chevrolet placed six drivers in the top-10.. with six of those races having at least four different Chevrolet teams represented within the top-10. 

 

HITTING DOUBLE DIGITS WITH EIGHT-TO-GO

With 18 NASCAR Cup Series races in the books, the Camaro ZL1 has hit the double digit win count. Tyler Reddick’s first career victory at Road America marked the 10th win for Chevrolet in 2022. Along with more than double the wins than its manufacturer competitors, the bowtie brand also continues to lead in top-fives (45), top-10s (83), laps led (2,427) and stage wins (16).

 

Reddick became the 13th different driver to notch a NASCAR Cup Series win and Playoff berth thus far this season. That elite list now includes seven Chevrolet drivers: Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, William Byron and Alex Bowman; Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez; and Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick.

 

A look at the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Standings heading into the Atlanta race weekend:

 

 

·       For the 14th-consecutive week, Chase Elliott remains atop the NCS driver points standings. Chevrolet’s Elliott, Ross Chastain and William Byron continue to sit at a three-way tie for drivers that have accumulated the most playoff points (13).

 

·       Erik Jones (19th; -85 points) and Austin Dillon (20th; -94 points) remain in the top-20 of the standings, but on the outside looking in as drivers battle for the final three remaining positions in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series playoff field.

 

·       Looking for its 41st NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer Championship title, Chevrolet continues to lead in the manufacturer points standings, increasing its points lead to 56 over second. 

 

OH SO CLOSE IN WISCONSIN

Making his first appearance in the NASCAR Xfinity Series since 2018, Kyle Larson was en route to what was almost a perfect day. Piloting the No. 17 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro SS, Larson’s return to the series started with a pole win; the eighth in the series for Chevrolet in 2022. Taking the lead on lap one, Larson went on to sweep the stage wins and led a race-high 31 laps before getting passed on the final lap, resulting in a runner-up finish.

 

The 29-year-old California native led Chevrolet to three top-fives and six top-10s, with five different Chevrolet teams being represented in the top-10 including: JR Motorsports’ Josh Berry (3rd) and Noah Gragson (8th); Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Hill (4th); Kaulig Racing’s AJ Allmendinger (6th); and Jeremy Clements, piloting his family owned and operated team to a ninth-place finish.

 

Another race down as the series approaches the end to the regular season, AJ Allmendinger remains in the top spot, with a nine-point lead over second. Also remaining consistently at the top, Chevrolet inches closer to its 24th NASCAR Xfinity Series Manufacturer Championship title with a 67-point lead over second. In 16 NXS races, Chevrolet has recorded 10 wins, 55 top-fives and 106 top-10s, all of which are manufacturer-leading statistics.

 

BACK TO WORK AT MID-OHIO

With just two races left in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS), teams will be faced with not only the pressure of the looming playoffs, but the unknowns that come with an inaugural visit to a track. For the first time in the series’ history, the NCWTS will take on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn circuit of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 150.

 

With five drivers having already clinched a spot in the series’ playoff field by virtue of a win, five spots remain for Chevrolet drivers to either point or win their way into the championship title run. Heading into the Mid-Ohio race weekend, two Chevrolet drivers currently sit above the playoff cutline with Carson Hocevar in the eighth-position (+75 points), followed by Grant Enfinger in ninth (+39 points). While currently on the outside looking in, Derek Kraus was able to close the gap to the top-10 to just 29 points below the cutline following the series’ last race at Nashville Superspeedway.

 

A familiar face from the Chevrolet team ownership side will make an appearance in the series’ Mid-Ohio debut. Trackhouse Racing’s Justin Marks will make his 39th career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start this weekend behind the wheel of the No. 41 Niece Motorsports Silverado RST. This will be Marks’ first national series start since 2018. Mid-Ohio holds a special place in Marks’ racing career as the venue where the 41-year-old Missouri native record a win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2016.

 

BOWTIE BULLETS

·       Chevrolet has recorded a manufacturer-leading 42 wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway, with the most recent coming from William Byron in March 2022. In addition to its wins, Chevrolet has accrued 25 poles, 198 top-fives and 395 top-10s.

 

·       Chevrolet team Hendrick Motorsports leads the NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway with 15 victories among seven drivers: Darrell Waltrip (1989), Ken Schrader (1991), Jeff Gordon (1995, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2011), Jerry Nadeau (2000), Jimmie Johnson (2004, 2007 sweep, 2015, 2016), Kasey Kahne (2014) and William Byron (2022).

 

·       With his win at Road America, Tyler Reddick became the fifth first-time NASCAR Cup Series winner of 2022, tying the modern era record for the most first-time winners in a single NCS season. Reddick also became the seventh different Chevrolet driver to score a win in NASCAR’s premier series this season.

 

·       Chevrolet led 52 of the 62-lap race at Road America. Chase Elliott, who sits second on the most laps led leaderboard for 2022, led a race-high 36 laps en route to his 12th top-10 finish of 2022. Race winner Tyler Reddick led the final 16 laps to the checkered flag.  

 

·       Tyler Reddick’s win at Road America marked Chevrolet’s ninth-consecutive NASCAR Cup Series road course win.. a feat that dates back to Chase Elliott’s win at Circuit of The Americas in May 2021.

 

·       Chevrolet heads into the Atlanta Motor Speedway race weekend with 10 NASCAR Cup Series wins in 18 points-paying races, including a streak of the last three. The bowtie brand also continues to lead in NCS top-fives (45), top-10s (83), laps led (2,427) 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

 

·       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 14th consecutive week with a 33-point lead over second; and AJ Allmendinger continues to lead the NXS standings by 9 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 824 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 Displays in the Fan Midway at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

·       Fans can check out an assortment of Chevrolet vehicles at the Fan Midway including: 2022 Blazer Premier AWD, Camaro ZL1, Corvette Z51, Equinox RS, Tahoe RST, Traverse Redline, Silverado 1500 ZR2, Silverado 2500 LTZ.

 

TEAM CHEVY QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSIONS AT THE DISPLAY:

Saturday, July 9

·       Bayley Currey & Ryan Vargas: 12:30 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

·       Jeremy Clements: 1:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

·       Sheldon Creed: 2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

 

Sunday, July 10

·       Justin Haley: 12:30 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

·       Noah Gragson: 1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

 

Chevrolet Display Hours of Operation:

·       Saturday, July 9: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  

·       Sunday, July 10: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 

 

TUNE IN

USA Network will broadcast the NASCAR Cup Series Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart on Sunday, July 10, at 3 p.m. ET. Live coverage can also be found on the NBCSports Gold App, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

 

USA Network will broadcast the NASCAR Xfinity Series Alsco Uniforms 250 on Saturday, July 9, at 5 p.m. ET. Live coverage can also be found on the NBCSports Gold App, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

 

FS1 will broadcast the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 150 at Mid-Ohio on Saturday, July 9, at 1:30 p.m. ET. Live coverage can also be found on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

 

QUOTABLE QUOTES

ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 1 JOCKEY CAMARO ZL1

ANY KEY LEARNINGS FROM THE FIRST ATLANTA RACE THAT WILL HAVE YOU BETTER PREPARED FOR THIS WEEKEND’S RACE?      

"It's full superspeedway style, think of Daytona and Talladega. We need our car to be very efficient in the air and the least amount of drag and still have grip, and not be too loose or tight. You're going to fight the handling at Atlanta because the corners are so much tighter than Daytona and Talladega. We don't really fight handling too much at those two tracks. Atlanta is a place you'll still need to handle well. Without practice at Atlanta, we need to handle good or we will be in trouble and we'll be swinging at it in the race if that's the case."

 

SEVERAL PEOPLE HAVE SAID THAT THE NO. 1 TEAM IS THE TEAM TO BEAT THIS YEAR FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP. WHAT IS THAT LIKE?

“Unbelievable. Showing up and having speed in the No. 1 car every weekend is incredible. Honestly though, it was harder for me to show up six years ago and race when my focus throughout the week was, do we have all of the sponsorship we need, do we have enough money to buy tires.

 

Do we have an R07 motor or an SB2 motor, that was more of a challenge, and then try to go race on scuffs and development pit crews? Now, Trackhouse reminds me often to just drive the car and don’t worry about tires, don’t worry about the body build of the car, and what springs, just drive the car and that’s made it easier on me and lets me focus. I think we are a competing Cup team and we have your casual top-10 car every week and if you run in the top-10 and top-five enough, you’ll win races and put yourself in position.”

 

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 BASS PRO SHOPS / TRACKER OFF ROAD CAMARO ZL1

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON RACING AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY THIS WEEKEND?

“I’m anxious to get to Atlanta Motor Speedway. We had a fast Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Off Road Chevy in March, but we didn’t get to finish the race so I feel like we have some redeeming to do there. We were leading when we crashed, so I know our team is capable of running well at Atlanta. It’s going to be important to run well, and to try to win. Atlanta Motor Speedway has been a great track for us in the past, and I think it can be again. We have one race under our belts now with the new asphalt and running the NextGen cars, and I think everyone has learned a lot. There was some aggressive driving and blocking going on in March. It’ll be interesting to see how this race plays out.”

 

KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1

LARSON ON THE LAST RACE AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY WITH THE NEW RACE PACKAGE AND TRACK CONFIGURATION:

"Our HendrickCars.com Chevrolet definitely had speed at Atlanta (Motor Speedway) earlier this year. We battled from the back to the front I think two times. We were going for the stage win but the push (from another car in turn four) just upset my car a little too much and we wrecked. It’s a product of this racing and product of pushing; trying to draft and get your lane going."

 

TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 ALSCO UNIFORMS CAMARO ZL1

HOW MENTALLY DRAINING WAS THE RACE EARLIER THIS YEAR AT ATLANTA?

“We’re zipping around a mile-and-a-half at really high speeds, running upper 180s (miles per hour) for the entire lap. Not a lot of rest down the straightaways and the corners are so long and all the aggressive pack racing that we had really drains you mentally. I surprised after that race by the physical toll that it had. Normally speedways like Daytona and Talladega are a mental drain but it seemed like Atlanta was both. It’s going to be hotter when we go back this weekend with our ALSCO Uniforms Chevrolet so it’s going to be even more of that.”

 

ATLANTA IS THE FIRST RACE THAT THE NEXT GEN CAR WILL BE COMPETING AT FOR THE SECOND TIME; THE FIRST TRACK THAT YOU WILL GO BACK TO FOR THE SECOND TIME.

“That was an interesting one in my opinion because it’s a speedway type race like Daytona and Talladega. I thought we were pretty good when we were there in March. Unfortunately, we cut a tire that took us out of that race. It’s going to be interesting to see compared to the first time that we were there. It sounds like they made a number of improvements to the racetrack. It will be interesting to see how some of those details of the track have been changed.”

 

CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1

ELLIOTT ON RETURNING TO ATLANTA:

"This weekend’s race will be a lot like the first one. I think the difference will be teams now have had a few months to kind of dial in and understand exactly what’s going on underneath the car. I think all the cars are just going to drive better when we come back and typically when that happens, the aggression level will increase and people are going to be more apt to put themselves in compromised situations throughout the event. There were a lot of things going on to start the year and I think a lot of people were just trying to survive. Whereas this time everyone is going to be a little bit more comfortable, so decision making will be a little more questionable for a lot of the field I would say."

 

MORE FROM ELLIOTT ON ATLANTA:

"For me, I want to try to get to the end. Five hundred miles at Atlanta was one of the longest races of the year in March from my seat. That being said, when you’re in a bit of a marathon event like that, you’ve got to survive. You want to be around there at the end. So, if you can be on the lead lap and not have any damage to your car, you’re probably going to have a shot at it at the end of the event. So for me, I’m just like, 'man, let’s get to the end and we’ll run then for the win hopefully.' You never know. You try to take each circumstance for what it is and make the best decision you can."

 

NOAH GRAGSON, NO. 16 GOLD FISH CASINO SLOTS CAMARO ZL1

“I’m super excited to be in the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Camaro ZL1 this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but this time with Gold Fish Casino Slots onboard. Atlanta is the place I made my first start with this team, and since then, we’ve really made some great gains as a team to improve each race we’ve run together.”

 

WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1

BYRON ON HIS THOUGHTS FOR SUNDAY’S RACE AT ATLANTA:

"I’m excited to go back to Atlanta (Motor Speedway). I think the track is going to be slicker than the last race there in March. It’s still going to race like a superspeedway race but I think we’re going to be working on the handling of our cars more than we did last time with the heat. I’m honestly interested to see how that plays out and what the conditions end up being like. We’ll have to really adapt throughout the race since we have no practice this time. Just like a lot of these weekends this season, we’ll just have to see how it goes once we get there and get on track."

 

RUDY FUGLE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 24 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1

FUGLE ON HOW TRACK CONDITIONS WILL DIFFER FROM THE MARCH RACE AT ATLANTA:

"Obviously, we had a good showing at Atlanta (Motor Speedway) in March and some of those notes will definitely transfer over for this weekend. However, the track has been sitting in the sun and baking since we were there last. It’s almost a similar situation as when we run the DAYTONA 500 to then racing 400 miles in August in that it’s much cooler the first time we race at Daytona (International Speedway) and then handling becomes a bigger factor in the summer race. We’ll still be drafting this weekend, but track grip will be down and handling will play a bigger role. Since we don’t have practice this time around, I think more guys will show up guessing a little bit on their handling to start the race. I think there will be more ebbs and flows of who is good at the start and then who is good at the end once they have some time to work on their cars. It’s going to be more about who can keep up with track conditions while being around at the end of the race to give yourself a shot."

 

JUSTIN HALEY, NO. 31 LEAFFILTER GUTTER PROTECTION CAMARO ZL1

“I’m excited to get to Atlanta because I feel confident in our Speedway program and our ability as a race team to go out there and compete for a win this weekend. We typically do really well and have speed at these types of tracks, so hopefully we can be there at the end.”

 

ERIK JONES, NO. 43 FOCUSFACTOR CAMARO ZL1

“This time around at Atlanta will definitely be tougher. I think this time with the heat, I’m sure it’s not going to be cool in Atlanta in July, it will be a lot more of a handling race than when we were there in the spring. We had a good car in the spring, we just fell back on that last restart. It’s going to be way more of a handling race. I think we’re going to have to bring somewhat of a different car build, a different mentality going in. You are not going to be able to really run it as hard as you could last time, so I think it will be more racier for us. More lanes, more moving around, running up top I hope, so it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out, but definitely more handling.” 

 

RICKY STENHOUSE JR., NO. 47 KROGER / BALL PARK BUNS CAMARO ZL1

“We’ve got some unfinished business to take care of at Atlanta Motor Speedway. I was in the shop this week and the team feels good about how the car went together. It’s as close to the other one as it can be. We’re looking forward to Sunday.”

 

ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY MILESTONE CAMARO ZL1

BOWMAN ON HEADING BACK TO ATLANTA:

"We had a good No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 last time we were at Atlanta (Motor Speedway). Obviously, there are still a lot of challenges with the Next Gen car and the repave, but our guys work hard to put us in the best position every weekend and I am confident that they will look at the information we have from last time to improve on our car. The racing is pretty technical, so I am looking forward to getting out there in our new scheme and trying to get it to victory lane on Sunday."

 

GREG IVES, CREW CHIEF, NO. 48 ALLY MILESTONE CAMARO ZL1

IVES ON THE MOMENTUM BUILT AT ROAD AMERICA:

"We had an opportunity to score stage points in the first stage at Road America and I felt confident that Alex (Bowman) could drive to the front, so we took a gamble for points, and it paid off. We weren’t happy with our finish, but we will definitely take the 33 points he earned on track last weekend. It was a step forward after not finishing the race at Nashville (Superspeedway), so we will lean on the success, work on what we can control, and look to be there at the end this Sunday in Atlanta."

 

DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 FREEWAY INSURANCE CAMARO ZL1

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON ATLANTA THIS WEEKEND?         

"It’s a fun race. Things change quickly on that track now. One second you are in the lead then all of a sudden you can be in the middle of the pack. You know you are going to have an up and down day no matter what. So, you just hope in the end you will be up front with a chance to win. In March we were able to do that. Our car was good and we had some really good pit stops. That's going to be important again this Sunday."

 

ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE PROGRESS OF TRACKHOUSE RACING?

“We have fast cars, great pitstops and everyone is working together. We are nowhere close to where we know we can be so we have to keep working and getting better each week. We want to be at our best when the playoffs start."

 

HOW IMPORTANT HAS THE NEXT GEN CAR BEEN TO NASCAR AND TRACKHOUSE’S SUCCESS IN 2022?

"I think it's important that without the Next Gen car, we wouldn't be talking about Trackhouse Racing, probably most likely we wouldn't be talking about 23XI. The Next Gen car has brought a lot of opportunities to current new teams. I'm sure it's going to continue to do that in the near future. I think that has been extremely, extremely important factor. Justin Marks has mentioned this to me several times. From the first time we sat together to talk about partnering together, he said this project is around the Next Gen car. I feel like that's an incredible idea that NASCAR and everyone was able to put together to make it happen. "

 

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