NCS AT TEXAS: Team Chevy Advance


With the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) playoff field down to 12 drivers; the playoff points standings are reset and attention is turned to the first of three stops in the Round of 12: Texas Motor Speedway. Sunday’s AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500 sets up arguably one of the most diverse, wildcard rounds of the 10-race playoff stretch. Joining the 1.5-mile Texas oval in this round is NASCAR’s longest oval, the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway; and 2.28-mile, 17-turn Charlotte ROVAL.


While NASCAR’s premier series has made the trip to the Fort Worth, Texas, venue earlier this season, this weekend marks the first points-paying show of the season at the track. The 2021 season saw a Chevrolet sweep the NCS events at Texas Motor Speedway, both captured by Kyle Larson and the No. 5 Camaro ZL1 team. Larson recorded his second-career NASCAR All-Star win in June 2021, later returning to the 1.5-mile Texas venue in October to take the first race of the Round of 8.. a victory that solidified his spot in the Championship 4 that led to his first career NCS championship. Larson’s victory in the 2021 NCS playoff race at Texas brought Chevrolet’s win count at Texas Motor Speedway to 15 to tie Ford in the top spot for all-time NCS wins at the track. 


Of the 12 drivers left in contention for the NASCAR Cup Series championship title, Chevrolet continues to lead the charge with six drivers advancing. With the playoff points standings reset, the 2022 NCS Regular-Season Champion Chase Elliott and the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 team reclaimed the top spot in the standings. With his series-leading 4 wins, 11 top-fives, 18 top-10s and 40 playoff points, Elliott is entering the Round of 8 with a 31-point advantage over the cutline. Joining him in the Round of 12 includes his Hendrick Motorsports teammates Kyle Larson, William Byron and Alex Bowman; as well as Trackhouse Racing’s Daniel Suarez and Ross Chastain, who are competing in the playoffs for the first time in their NCS careers. 


With the next round on deck, Chevrolet is one step closer to defending its NCS Driver and Manufacturer Championships. While leading the NCS driver standings, the bowtie brand also continues to sit atop the NCS manufacturer points standings, heading into the Round of 12 with an 87-point lead.


A look at where the Team Chevy NCS playoff drivers stand heading into race one of the Round of 12, including season numbers and career stats at Texas Motor Speedway:  

Chase Elliott, No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 – 1st in Playoff Standings (+31 points above cutline)

2022 NASCAR Cup Series Regular Season Champion

Victories: 4

Top-Fives: 11; Top-10s: 18; Laps Led: 719  

Average Finish: 11.1; Stage Wins: 5


At Texas Motor Speedway:

Top-Fives: 2; Top-10s: 6; Average Finish: 11.545



Of Note:

– The 2022 season marks Elliott’s seventh consecutive appearance in the NCS playoffs.

– Elliott has advanced to the Championship 4 the past two seasons, winning his first career NCS Driver Championship in 2020.

– Six of his 17 career NCS wins have come in the playoffs.

– Elliott has won at two of the three tracks in the Round of 12, including Talladega Superspeedway (2019); and a two-time winner at the Charlotte ROVAL (2019 and 2020).


Ross Chastain, No. 1 Trackhouse Racing Camaro ZL1 – 3rd in Playoff Standings (+11 points above cutline)

Victories: 2

Top-Fives: 10; Top-10s: 16; Laps Led: 584

Average Finish: 14.2; Stage Wins: 5


At Texas Motor Speedway:

Top-20s: 1; Average Finish: 27.6



Of Note:

– The 2022 season marks Chastain’s first career appearance in the NCS playoffs.

– Chastain has already scored a win at one of the Round of 12 tracks in 2022, with his second-career NCS win coming at Talladega Superspeedway in April.  

Kyle Larson, No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 – 4th in Playoff Standings (+10 points above cutline)

2021 NASCAR Cup Series Champion

Victories: 2

Top-Fives: 11; Top-10s: 15; Laps Led: 341

Average Finish: 13.7; Stage Wins: 3


At Texas Motor Speedway:

Wins: 1; Top-Fives: 4; Top-10s; 5;

Average Finish: 18.429



Of Note:

– The 2022 season marks Larson’s sixth appearance in the NCS playoffs, with 2021 bringing Larson his first trip to the Championship 4.

– During the playoff era (2004-present); Larson leads the series in ‘multiple playoff race wins in a single season’ with five in 2021 (Bristol, Charlotte ROVAL, Texas, Kansas, Phoenix).

– In 2021, Larson took the wins at two of the three tracks that are in the Round of 12, including both the playoff and All-Star races at Texas Motor Speedway; and the annual race at the Charlotte ROVAL. 

William Byron, No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 – 5th in Playoff Standings (+6 points above the cutline)

Victories: 2

Top-Fives: 5; Top-10s: 8; Laps Led: 671

Average Finish: 16.8; Stage Wins: 4


At Texas Motor Speedway:

Top-Fives: 1; Top-10s: 3; Average Finish: 14.429



Of Note:

– The 2022 season marks Byron’s fourth consecutive appearance in the NCS playoffs.

– Bryon’s career-best finish in the NCS playoffs came in 2021, finishing the season 10th in the final standings.

– Byron scored top-10 finishes in all three races of the Round of 16 including an eighth-place at Darlington Raceway; sixth-place at Kansas Speedway; and third-place at Bristol Motor Speedway.




Alex Bowman, No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 – 10th in Playoff Standings (-6 points below the cutline)

Victories: 1

Top-Fives: 4; Top-10s: 12; Laps Led: 136

Average Finish: 15.7; Stage Wins: 2


At Texas Motor Speedway:

Top-Fives: 2; Top-10s: 2; Average Finish: 24.5



Of Note:

– The 2022 season marks Bowman’s fifth consecutive appearance in the NCS playoffs.

– Bowman has raced his way into the Round of 12 in each of his NCS playoff appearances; making it to the Round of 8 in the 2020 season to score a career-best sixth in the final standings.

– Two of Bowman’s 12 top-10 finishes of 2022 came in the Round of 16, recording a 10th-place finish at Darlington Raceway and a fourth-place finish at Kansas Speedway. 

Daniel Suarez, No. 99 Trackhouse Racing Camaro ZL1 – 11th in Playoff Standings (-6 points below the cutline)

Victories: 1

Top-Fives: 6; Top-10s: 11; Laps Led: 246

Average Finish: 16.4; Stage Wins: 2


At Texas Motor Speedway:

Top-Fives: 2; Top-10s: 3; Average Finish: 17.333



Of Note:

– The 2022 season marks Suarez’s first career appearance in the NCS playoffs.

– Suarez has three top-five finishes on road course circuits in 2022 including his first-career NCS win at Sonoma Raceway; and fifth-place finishes at Road America and Watkins Glen. 

Chevrolet All-Time NASCAR Cup Series



Manufacturer Championships:

1st Chevy Title: 1958

Most Recent Title: 2021

Highest Number of Consecutive Titles: 13 (2003-2015)


Driver Championships:

1st Chevy title: Buck Baker (1957)

Most Recent: Kyle Larson (2021)

Highest Number of Consecutive Titles: 7 (2005-2011)





For the second consecutive season, Kaulig Racing’s AJ Allmendinger has been named the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) Regular-Season Champion. The 2022 season is only the second full-time campaign in the series for the 40-year-old California native, with Allmendinger now taking the regular-season title in both. The Chevrolet driver has been a consistent fixture atop the points standings this season; taking the lead after the Richmond event on April 2 and never looking back. Allmendinger – who’s recorded three wins and a series-leading 23 top-10s in 26 points-paying races – will enter the series’ playoff run with 15 additional playoff points as he competes for his first career NXS championship crown. 


With the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular-season complete, eight Chevrolet drivers have officially punched their ticket into the 12-driver playoff field to compete for the series’ championship title. Joining the NXS Regular-Season Champion AJ Allmendinger in the post-season battle include all four JR Motorsports teammates, Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier, Josh Berry and Sam Mayer; NXS rookie Austin Hill; Daytona (August) winner Jeremy Clements; and Allmendinger’s Kaulig Racing teammate Daniel Hemric.


With the playoff points standings reseeded for the start of the race to the championship, Noah Gragson and the No. 9 JR Motorsports Camaro SS team has claimed the top spot on the leaderboard. With his six wins – including the past three consecutive races – and his series-leading 15 top-fives, 13 stage wins and 51 playoff points; Gragson enters the Round of 12 with a 46-point lead over the playoff cutline.


The NXS playoffs consist of two, three-race rounds, with one final race at Phoenix Raceway to determine the champion. The first of three races in the NXS Round of 12 gets underway on Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway with the Andy’s Frozen Custard 300. Chevrolet is heading back to the 1.5-mile Texas venue as defending winners at the track after Tyler Reddick drove the No.48 Big Machine Racing Camaro SS to the win in May, with four fellow Team Chevy drivers in tow to give the bowtie brigade a sweep of the top-five finishing positions. 


In 26-points paying races, Chevrolet drivers have accumulated 19 wins, recorded by eight drivers from five different Chevrolet teams. The first came right out of the gate with Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Hill in the series’ season opener at Daytona International Speedway. The manufacturer has gone on various impressive win streaks throughout the season, including seven in a row that started with Noah Gragson’s Talladega win in April. Entering the Texas race weekend, Chevrolet is riding streak of five consecutive victories. 16 of Chevrolet’s manufacturer-leading 19 wins of the season have come in the series’ past 18 races, giving Chevrolet drivers and teams a wave of momentum heading into the post-season race to the championship. Gragson’s career-best and series-leading sixth win of 2022 at Bristol Motor Speedway also gave the bowtie brand its 496th all-time NXS win, with the manufacturer entering the playoffs just four wins away from its milestone 500th all-time win in the series.


Looking to capture its sixth consecutive – and 23rd all-time – NXS Manufacturer Championship, Chevrolet continues to pull away in the manufacturer points standings. With just seven races remaining, the bowtie brand now leads its manufacturer competitors by 125-points in the standings. 


The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) began the series’ Round of 8 last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, marking the first of three final chances for playoff drivers to win or point their way into the Championship 4. GMS Racing’s Grant Enfinger had a strong opening round in the playoffs; recording three top-five finishes – including a win – in the first three races. Enfinger and the No. 23 GMS Racing Silverado RST team took on the Round of 8 in similar fashion, bringing his Chevrolet-powered machine home in the fourth-position at Bristol to continue his playoffs top-five finish streak. 



The NCWTS will be back in action on October 1, with a 250-mile race at the famed Talladega Superspeedway holding the spot as race two of three in the series’ Round of 8. 


·       Victories by active Chevrolet drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway include:

       Kyle Larson, No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 (Defending Winner; 2021)

       Austin Dillon, No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Camaro ZL1 (2020)


·       Kyle Larson swept the NASCAR Cup Series events at Texas Motor Speedway in 2021, capturing his second-career NASCAR All-Star win in June, later returning to take the first race of the NCS Playoffs Round of 8 at the track in October.  


·       Chevrolet has recorded 15 NASCAR Cup Series wins (tied for the most) and a series-leading 15 pole wins at Texas Motor Speedway.





·       Career Chevrolet driver, Jimmie Johnson, leads the NASCAR Cup Series in a variety of measures at Texas Motor Speedway, including the most wins (7), runner-up finishes (5), top-fives (16) and laps led (1,152).





·       Six Chevrolet drivers advanced to the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 12, giving the bowtie brand 50 percent of the playoff field for the second consecutive round.





·       With the NASCAR Cup Series playoff standings reseeded going into the Round of 12; 2022 NCS Regular-Season Champion Chase Elliott reclaimed the top spot with a 31-point advantage over the cutline. Elliott continues to lead the series in wins (4), top-fives (11), top-10s (18) and laps led (719).





·       For the second consecutive season, AJ Allmendinger has claimed the NASCAR Xfinity Series Regular-Season Championship. The 2022 season is only Allmendinger’s second full-time campaign in the series, with the Kaulig Racing driver now taking the NXS Regular-Season Championship title in both.





·       Eight Chevrolet drivers have clinched a spot in the 12-driver NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff field. JR Motorsports’ Noah Gragson – who leads the series in wins (6), top-fives (15), stage wins (13) and accumulated playoff points (51) – now sits atop the NXS driver points standings, 46-points over the cutline.





·       Three of the top-five NASCAR Cup Series drivers that have led the most laps thus far come from the bowtie brand, led by the 2022 NCS regular-season champion Chase Elliott (719 laps). Joining Elliott in the top-five of that chart includes William Byron in second (671 laps) and Ross Chastain in fourth (584 laps).





·       In 29 NASCAR Cup Series points-paying racing, Chevrolet continues to lead all manufacturers in NCS race wins (16), top-fives (69), top-10s (127), laps led (3,329) and stage wins (23). With a double-digit lead in wins over its manufacturer competitors with only seven races remaining in the 2022 season; Chevrolet has already clinched the most NCS wins recorded in a single year among all manufacturers.




·       Seven Team Chevy drivers have combined 23 NASCAR Cup Series stage wins:

       Tyler Reddick 2 – Fontana x2

       Alex Bowman 1 – Las Vegas, Kansas

       Ross Chastain 4 – Las Vegas, Darlington, Charlotte, Pocono, Richmond

       William Byron 4 – Phoenix, Atlanta, Talladega, Darlington

       Daniel Suarez 2 – COTA, Charlotte

       Chase Elliott 3 – Martinsville x2, Charlotte, Atlanta x2

       Kyle Larson 3 – Bristol, Sonoma, Pocono


·       Reigning NASCAR Cup Series and NASAR Xfinity Series Manufacturer Champions, Chevrolet, continues to lead in the manufacturer points standings in both series. The bowtie brand leads the NCS manufacturer points standings by 87-points, with the manufacturer’s lead in the NXS standings expanding to 125-points.





·       With its 40 NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer Championships, 33 NASCAR Cup Series Driver Championships, and 830 all-time NASCAR Cup Series wins, Chevrolet continues to hold the title of winningest brand in NASCAR. 


·       Fans can visit the Team Chevy Racing Display in the Fan Midway at Texas Motor Speedway. 

·       Fans can check out an assortment of Chevrolet vehicles including: 2023 Corvette 3LT, Tahoe RST, Silverado 1500 High Country, Colorado Bison, Camaro ZL1, Silverado ZR2 and the Blazer EV.

·       At the Chevrolet Display, fans can also view Kyle Larson’s No. 5 Camaro ZL1 show car.


Team Chevy Driver Appearances at the Display:

Saturday, September 24

·       Jeb Burton: 11:30 a.m.

·       Brandon Brown: 11:45 a.m.

·       Sheldon Creed & Austin Hill: 12:00 p.m.

·       Nick Sanchez: 12:15 p.m.


Sunday, September 25

·       Ricky Stenhouse Jr: 10:30 a.m.

·       Austin Dillon: 11:30 a.m.

·       William Byron: 12 p.m.


Chevrolet Display Hours of Operation:  

Saturday, September 24: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Sunday, September 25: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.  


Tune In: 

USA Network will broadcast the NASCAR Cup Series AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, September 25. 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 Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 24. Live coverage can also be found on the NBCSports Gold App, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.



Did you learn anything in the Sprint All-Star race that you think will be important in this Playoff race?

“In the spring we were flying in Texas. I would like to not fly as high (laughs). With the two ends being so different, you gain so much speed with the banking and you have to slow down a lot in turns 1 and 2. Keeping the balance on both ends is important. We obviously learned stuff in the All-Star race but now there is a lot more on the line.”


Since its newer pavement at Texas, do you think we’ll see more drastic things with the new car?

“It does actually. It has a lot of grip until you lose it, so when you do lose it you crash, or we blow tires.


I think the whole field has gotten better with not blowing tires as easily. I don’t know how long they’re going to leave Texas the way it is, so it’s probably time to enjoy it for what it is.”



Larson on lessons learned during last season’s playoffs:

“Be clean and let the other teams make the mistakes. Honestly, if you can just finish you don’t have to do anything crazy in the first couple rounds. Don’t take yourself out of stage points or a good finish and you can advance. Once you get to the Round of 8, that’s obviously when you need to get some top-five finishes or a win. You just don’t want to take yourself out of any race or get any DNF or anything like that where you put yourself in a must-win situation because winning is really difficult to do. You just want to keep yourself in contention every race.”



Daniels on the challenges of setting a car up for Texas Motor Speedway:

“Texas (Motor Speedway) is definitely a different style intermediate track with less banking in (turns) one and two and a tighter corner radius than (turns) three and four. It’s actually fun to try to set up a car because the ends are so different. With some hotter temperatures this weekend compared to when we were there for the All-Star Race and with the groove widening out with resin or whatever they spray, 500 miles is a long race but I hope it can be a pretty fun day.”



Elliott on racing at Texas:

“I’d love to go to Texas (Motor Speedway) this weekend and have a good, solid run and start this round off on a high note. We didn’t get to run the full All-Star Race earlier this year, but I still feel like we got enough track time to have good notes as we head back there. We just need to put a good weekend together and execute a solid day. If we can do that, then we have as good a shot as anyone to get a win and lock ourselves into the next round.”



Gustafson, crew chief of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on preparing for the Round of 12:

“This is going to be a tough round, but we know what we need to do to keep our playoff run going. Execution and putting together three solid races is going to be key. Each of these races in this Round of 12 has its own unique set of challenges. There isn’t really much room for error, but if you make a mistake, you have to regroup quickly and do what you can to maximize the day and get as many points as you can. Our group is really good at that and I think we are fully capable of advancing.”



Byron on preparation for Texas:

“I’m interested to see how racing at Texas (Motor Speedway) goes this weekend. We’ve always had speed there but I think in the spring we just were a little off on our setup since it was the first time at Texas in the Next Gen car. Our mile-and-a-half program is the one I think we needed to work on the most this season but I think, especially after Kansas (Speedway) a few weeks ago, that we’ve really improved on those style of tracks. With how this round shapes up there’s a lot of emphasis on Texas and leaving there with as many points as possible and that will be our goal, just like how we did last round. As long as we have a good Saturday, I think we’ll be in a good place for the race and then it’s all about execution on Sunday.”



Fugle on what he expects at Texas this weekend:

“I think we have some good notes heading into this weekend’s race at Texas (Motor Speedway). We learned a lot from Kansas (Speedway) a couple weeks ago, and with us using the same tire as we did for that race, a good portion of those notes should translate. The biggest difference is going to be how much hotter it is and where the resin is applied on the track. From what we’ve been told, the resin is being applied like it was for the All-Star Race earlier this year, so we have those notes as well. Just with the heat and tire compound though, I think handling is going to play a much bigger factor this weekend than it did for the All-Star event. We’ve really focused on that this week, so we hopefully unload close to where we need to be and focus more on fine-tuning than anything.”



Dillon’s thoughts on racing at Texas Motor Speedway:

“I’m looking forward to heading to Texas this weekend with my No. 42 Petty GMS team. We have been working on our intermediate package and I believe this weekend should be fun to see how some of these changes play out on track. Ever since the surface was reconfigured a few years ago, it has presented us drivers with such a challenging course to attack. Hopefully, the use of the resin will help promote some good passing opportunities, because the speeds are up and clean air is always king at this place. I’m excited to welcome our friends at Black Rifle Coffee Company back onboard our Camaro, and hope to give everyone a good run for 500 miles in the Lone Star state.”



“Texas was a tough race for us during the All-Star race. We got voted in by the fan vote and just really struggled all night. We were on a path that I feel like wasn’t working with our mile-and-a-half program at that point. I think we’ve gotten it quite a bit better and know what we need to do better for that race coming back. Hopefully those things will play out for us. I like Texas a lot. I’ve been able to win a hand full of races there in the Xfinity Series and the Truck Series, so I want to get strong there in the Cup car and contend for a win with our FOCUSfactor Chevy.” 



Bowman on being named the 2022 Halifax Humane Society’s Humanitarian of the Year: “It is really cool to be nominated for the award. Helping animals is a big passion of mine and something that I really value. Without Ally and Best Friends Animal Society helping me get the money and resources to Best Friends network partners across the country, none of this would be possible. I am honored to receive this award, but there is still a lot of work to be done. Hopefully we can win a few more races before the season ends and get even more money to the pets who need it.”


Bowman, on what it takes to make it to the Round of 8:

“Our team is really focused on taking it one race at a time. We did that in the Round of 16 to get to where we are now. The crew is really fired up right now and all of us are putting in the time to give ourselves the best chance of success. Greg (Ives) is really focused and leading us really well right now. I think that if we continue to pay attention to the small details and stay focused on one race at a time, we can go really far this postseason. We have Texas (Motor Speedway) circled right now and that’s all that matters.”



Ives on advancing to the Round of 12:

“Despite the mechanical issues, we had a fast car in Bristol and glad we made it to the next round of the playoffs. Our team has worked hard to give Alex (Bowman) really fast race cars and Alex has been locked in on performing and the team is feeding off of his energy. We have a lot of momentum right now and I told the team we don’t have to hit home runs. We just need to get on base and maximize the results. Texas (Motor Speedway) is the next race we all have our focus on.”



What are your thoughts on going to Texas and beginning the Round of 12?

“We can’t wait to get to the track. Not only do we have a big weekend planned with Daniel’s Amigos, but Texas is one of my favorite tracks. We know we are better than what we showed at Bristol. Texas, Talladega and the Charlotte Roval are three of my better tracks. We know we can advance, now we have to show everyone else.”


How tough is the mental reset after a struggle at Bristol?

“You have no idea how easy it’s going to be for me to reset because that car was not fun. For me, to be able to make it to the next round with the way the car was driving, is a huge plus. Thank you to everyone on our team. They did a very good job. We had the speed, but there were a lot of mistakes; on pit road, myself, overall. We’ll come back stronger for the next round.”


What is Daniel’s Amigos?

“Daniel’s Amigos was just an idea. I always wanted to do something special for the Latinos, and was just trying to come up with ways to bring this community to the race track and give them a special, cool experience.


After several conversations with Coca-Cola and NASCAR, we were able to make it happen in 2019 at Auto Club Speedway in California and it has just grown from here. It has taken a lot of work by Coca-Cola and NASCAR to make this happen, but I am super excited about it.”