Saturday, Jun 10

Hendrick Motorsports Media Advance: Atlanta



Age: 30 (July 31, 1992)


Hometown: Elk Grove, California


Resides: Mooresville, North Carolina


Crew Chief: Kevin Meendering (interim)


Standings: 32nd

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No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


FOURTH IN PHOENIX: Kyle Larson was fastest overall in practice and won his 15th career pole position, earning him the top spot for the start of Sunday’s race at Phoenix Raceway. During the race, the 30-year-old driver won the second stage and led a race-high 201 laps. At the checkered flag, Larson finished in the fourth position at the 1-mile desert oval. 

LEADING LAPS: Claiming the front position for 270 laps thus far, Larson has led the most laps of any driver in the Cup Series in 2023. This mark puts the Elk Grove, California, native tied for fourth with Jimmie Johnson's 2005 tally (and behind Jeff Gordon in 1995 and 2001 and Terry Labonte in 1996) for the most laps led by a Hendrick Motorsports driver through four races. 

THE NO. 5 IS HEATING UP: Larson is one of only five drivers – along with teammates Alex Bowman and William Byron – to earn multiple top-five finishes to start the season. He earned those finishes over the past two weekends at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (second) and Phoenix (fourth). Those two races also rank in the top 10 among his best races based on average position – 1.4 at Phoenix (ranks tied for third) and 2.2 at Las Vegas (ranks 10th). The 2021 Cup Series champion is second in most laps run in the top five (638) and fourth in most laps run in the top 10 (707). 

300TH NASCAR START: This Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Larson will hit a career milestone. The green flag at the 1.54-mile track will symbolize Larson’s 300th start in the Cup Series. He will be the 99th driver to hit this mark. After making his Cup Series debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway for HScott Motorsports, Larson drove for Chip Ganassi Racing (from 2014 to 2020) and has been with Hendrick Motorsports since 2021. He will look to be the eighth driver and the first since Brad Keselowski (at Talladega in October 2017) to be victorious in his 300th Cup Series start. To date with 299 starts, Larson has earned 19 wins, 91 top fives, 148 top 10s, 43 stage wins and one championship.

RACING IN THE ATL: Larson’s 419 laps led at the Hampton, Georgia, venue is the most by a driver without a win and are his sixth-most at a track on the current series schedule. The two-time runner-up finisher at Atlanta has four top-10 results in 10 starts at the track.

PIT POWER: The No. 5 pit crew has the eighth-best average four-tire stop time through four races at 11.493 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).
HENDRICKCARS.COM IS HOME: The Atlanta race marks the first 2023 home race for the No. 5 team. Respectively, the No. 5 driver and crew can be found in their white firesuits this weekend. In addition, Hendrick Automotive Group is celebrating with a new exclusive hat program for fans. For every home race this season (15 total), there will be a unique hat that is released the week of the race and only available for sale at the trackside merchandise haulers, or available to win on Less than 100 of each limited-edition hat will be made available to the public. See this week’s hat, which will be revealed at noon ET on Thursday, here

ATLANTA AUTOMOTIVE NEEDS & BEYOND: The extended Atlanta market is home to nine Hendrick Automotive Group dealerships. Not located in Georgia? You can pick from any one of Hendrick Automotive Group’s 95 dealerships nationwide. Customers can also shop from the convenience of their home by selecting the category, make, model and vehicle packages that are important to them from the nearly 30,000 new, high-quality pre-owned and certified cars, trucks and SUVs available at

WE’RE HIRING: Join 10,000+ others nationwide in working at Hendrick Automotive Group. Hendrick is hiring technicians and other positions at its dealerships throughout the country. Positions are open for all skill levels and offer tuition and training reimbursement. Individuals who are interested can apply at




Age: 32 (Oct. 22, 1990)


Hometown: Hendersonville, Tennessee


Resides: Mooresville, North Carolina


Crew Chief: Tom Gray (interim)


Standings: 41st (owner's points)

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No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


BERRY GOOD SUB: This weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Josh Berry will make his third start for Hendrick Motorsports in the No. 9 filling in for Chase Elliott as he continues to recover from a fractured tibia. At Phoenix Raceway last Sunday, Berry rolled off the grid from the 17th position and powered his way to a 10th-place result. It was his first top-10 finish in the NASCAR Cup Series in just his fourth career start, making him only the seventh driver in the last 15 years to accomplish that feat in four races or less. The effort also made the Hendersonville, Tennessee, native the 29th different driver to score a top 10 for Hendrick Motorsports.

WINNER WINNER NO. 9: Last season with Elliott behind the wheel, the No. 9 team was impressive on drafting-style tracks. The team scored two wins – Atlanta in July and Talladega Superspeedway in October – and only finished outside of the top 10 in one occurrence across six starts at Daytona International Speedway, Talladega and Atlanta. Last summer, Elliott led a total of 96 laps en route to his victory at Atlanta, sweeping both stages along the way. The Talladega win last fall was the most recent visit to victory lane for the No. 9 team. It was part of a series-leading five wins on the year for Elliott and the team.

THE BERRY LOWDOWN: Berry, a full-time competitor in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for JR Motorsports, has four Xfinity starts at Atlanta. He’s started from the front row twice and his best finish at the track is second, which he earned last July. Across 10 starts at drafting tracks in Xfinity, the 32-year-old driver has two top-five finishes, three top-10s and 48 laps led. This weekend will mark his first superspeedway-style start in the Cup Series.

HOME GAME: Four of the No. 9 team’s partners are based in the Peach State, with NAPA Auto Parts, Hooters, Kelley Blue Book and Coca-Cola all being headquartered in Atlanta. This weekend, NAPA’s blue, yellow and white colors will be back on board the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. It will mark the company’s ninth race as the primary partner of the team at Atlanta. NAPA was also the primary partner on the No. 9 for last July’s victory. See all the angles of the 2023 NAPA paint scheme here.

MAN OF THE PEOPLE: Fans will have two opportunities to see Berry on Sunday before he suits up for the 400-mile race at Atlanta. First, he’ll stop by the Chevy display for a Q&A at 11:40 a.m. in the Fan Zone and then head over to the Trackside Live stage for an appearance at noon ET.




Age: 25 (Nov. 29, 1997)


Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina


Resides: Charlotte, North Carolina


Crew Chief: Brian Campe (interim)


Standings: 29th

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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 Atlanta Motor Speedway media center on Saturday, March 18, at 10:45 a.m. EST.  

: Coming off a NASCAR Cup Series win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, William Byron and the No. 24 team didn’t let up there at Phoenix Raceway. After qualifying third, Byron quickly took over the lead on lap two and never looked back, capturing the stage one win. Restarting alongside Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson for the start of stage two, Byron settled into the second position and ended the stage in the runner-up spot. As the final stage began, he continued to run within the top five but a late-race caution restacked the field. Crew chief Rudy Fugle made the call for two right-side tires under the yellow, allowing his driver to race off pit road in second and line up on the front row. Byron battled with Larson in the final laps before ultimately making the pass for the win, scoring back-to-back wins for the first time in his Cup Series career. 

GOOD COMPANY: The victory at Phoenix marked Byron’s sixth Cup Series career win. He joined elite company, becoming the seventh-youngest driver to capture six Cup Series wins at 25 years, 3 months, and 12 days. Those who accomplished the same feat at a younger age are all Cup Series champions – Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch and Richard Petty.

MY GENERATION: With two wins in 2022 and now two wins already in 2023, Byron has four total wins in the Next Gen car. He is tied for the second-most wins in the new car, just one win behind Elliott, his Hendrick Motorsports teammate.

CATCH ME UP FRONT: So far this season, Byron has led the second-most laps (240) behind only Larson with 270. His 240 laps led in 2023 are the seventh-most among Hendrick Motorsports drivers all-time through four races. In fact, in two of the four races this year, Byron has an average running position of 1.7 at Las Vegas and a 2.5 at Phoenix – both races he took home the checkered flag.

24 IN ’23: Byron and the No. 24 team are off to a hot start in the 2023 season. After four races this year, he leads the series in wins (two), stage points (49), average running position (6.79) and laps run in the top five (654). On top of that, the 25-year-old is tied for the most stage wins (three) and top-five finishes (two). Byron ranks second in top-10 finishes in a stage (six), laps led (240), laps run in the top-two positions (423) and laps run in the top-10 (768). 

PIT ROAD PROWESS: The No. 24 pit crew has an average four-tire pit stop time of 11.139 – the third-best average in the field. 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). The No. 24 pit crew once again had a strong hand in this past Sunday’s win at Phoenix, helping Byron pick up two positions on pit road during the final stop, setting him up for the front row for the final two restarts of the race.

GOT 99 PROBLEMS, BUT WINNING AIN’T ONE: With his wins at Las Vegas and Phoenix, Byron continues to make his mark on the legacy of the No. 24 at the Cup Series level. Those two wins bring the No. 24 one victory away from 100. Currently fifth with 99 wins, the No. 24 is only behind the No. 3 with 101, the No. 2 with 102 wins, the No. 43 with 200 wins and the No. 11 with 228 wins on the all-time list.

THE ATL ARCHIVE: Byron has seven Cup Series starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but this Sunday will be only his third at the 1.54-mile track since the reconfiguration prior to the 2022 season. In this race last year, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native rocketed to the front of the field, leading 111 laps before going on to score his first win of the 2022 season. His spring win made him the fourth-youngest winner at Atlanta at 24 years, 3 months and 20 days. In both starts at the Georgia-based venue last year, Byron led 152 laps – the most of any driver.

LIBERTY U IS BACK: This Sunday, Byron will sport his updated Liberty University paint scheme for the first time in the 2023 season. 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. For a better look at Byron’s new Liberty University paint scheme, click here


48 Alex Bowman


Age: 29 (April 25, 1993)


Hometown: Tucson, Arizona


Resides: Concord, North Carolina


Crew Chief: Greg Ives (interim)


Standings: 23rd

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No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


PHOENIX REBOUND: Last Sunday, Alex Bowman continued to flex his racing muscles, finishing ninth at Phoenix Raceway – his best result at the 1-mile venue since his 2016 appearance in the No. 88 when he placed sixth. The driver of the No. 48 finished the first stage in 14th and the second stage in 12th, before notching his fourth consecutive top-10 finish in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season. 

CAN’T TOUCH ME: Bowman is carrying a lot of momentum heading to Atlanta Motor Speedway for this Sunday’s race. Through four races, the 29-year-old driver has his best marks at this point in a season with two top-five finishes, four top-10s and an average finish of 6.25. He also won the pole position for the DAYTONA 500, has led 31 laps and has an average starting position of 8.50. Bowman is one of five drivers with multiple top-five finishes – including teammates Kyle Larson and William Byron – and the only driver to finish in the top 10 in all races this season.

BEST IN SHOW: Bowman joins some of the Hendrick Motorsports greats to start a season with four consecutive top-10 results. Ricky Rudd (1991), Terry Labonte (1997), Jimmie Johnson (2005 and 2006), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2013) and Jeff Gordon (2014) have all accomplished the same feat.

AB IN ATL: This Sunday, the Cup Series takes on the repaved and reconfigured Atlanta venue for the second year. In the last four races at the 1.54-mile track, two of which came on the old Atlanta surface, Bowman has scored two top-five finishes and three top-10s. His 10th-place finish in March 2022 was on the new configuration. In July 2022, Bowman started the race in eighth and finished the first stage in second, before being caught in an on-track incident that ended his day early due to the damaged vehicle policy.

LET THEM COOK: The No. 48 Ally Racing pit crew holds the fourth-fastest pit stop of the 2023 season. On lap 185 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the five-man crew made a four-tire pit stop of 9.776 seconds. The over-the-wall crew is made up of rear-tire changer Andrew Bridgeforth, fueler Jacob Conley, jackman Allen Holman, tire carrier Scott Riddle and front-tire changer Donnie Tasser.

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 Street Paws, which serves the local community in Atlanta. Bowman and Ally will donate $4,800 to Best Friends and the Street Paws. Ally will increase its donation to $10,000 if the No. 48 team wins on Sunday. 

DAY ‘N’ NITE: The No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will adorn two versions of its primary scheme during the 2023 Cup Series season. The No. 48 Ally Chevy "day" scheme will host a white base with bright plum, grapefruit, and seafoam stripes down the side. This version of the primary scheme will appear at races that take place during the day. When the lights come on over the racetrack, the black-based No. 48 Ally Chevy "night" scheme will be sported with a similar design to its daytime counterpart. This weekend, the No. 48 machine will adorn the “day” scheme. Check out all the angles of the new look here




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CLOSING IN ON 300: William Byron's win at Phoenix Raceway puts Hendrick Motorsports seven points-paying victories away from 300 in the NASCAR Cup Series. Twenty drivers have combined to reach the organization’s current total of 293 wins, which is the most in the sport by any one team. 

ATOP THE BOX: For this weekend’s race, Kevin Meendering (No. 5), Tom Gray (No. 9), Brian Campe (No. 24) and Greg Ives (No. 48) will fill in as crew chiefs. While appealing penalties assessed by NASCAR coming out of Phoenix, Hendrick Motorsports has elected not to request deferral of personnel suspensions. Meendering and Ives have a wide range of experience as crew chiefs and currently lead the organization's NASCAR Xfinity Series efforts. Gray, the former lead engineer on the No. 9, will be serving as a crew chief in the Cup Series for the first time. Campe, Hendrick Motorsports' technical director, has experience as a Xfinity Series crew chief, but Atlanta will also be his first Cup Series race atop the pit box.

MULTITUDE OF WINS: Byron’s latest victory gave Hendrick Motorsports its 36th multi-win season in the Cup Series. In each of the last 30 seasons, the organization has won at least two races. 

BEST IN THE WEST: In the last two races of the 2023 season (at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Phoenix), Hendrick Motorsports has led 506 of the 588 laps run (86.05%), ran one-two for 401 laps (83.76%), tallied four stage wins, two race wins, five top-five finishes and seven top-10s. Sunday's race at Phoenix saw the organization place all four of its drivers in the top 10 - Byron in first, Kyle Larson finished fourth, Alex Bowman placed ninth and Josh Berry in 10th. 

FRONT RUNNING: Through four races this season, Hendrick Motorsports has led 542 laps. That mark is the second-most in the organization’s history through this point in the season and 10th all-time among all teams at this point in the season - 797 laps led in 1995 is the most by the team through four races. With 270 laps led by Larson and 240 by Byron, the squad is the first to have two drivers with at least 240 circuits out front through four races in a season.

HOPEFUL HARBINGER: Byron’s two wins in the first four races marks the eighth time that the 14-time Cup Series championship-winning organization has accomplished that feat. In five of the previous instances, the team went on to win the title: Jeff Gordon in 1995 and 1997 and Jimmie Johnson in 2006-07 and 2010. 

GREAT EIGHT: The Rick Hendrick-owned team has seen eight drivers win at Atlanta – the most among all organizations. Gordon and Johnson each won five times at the Georgia oval. Darrell Waltrip, Ken Schrader, Jerry Nadeau, Kasey Kahne, Chase Elliott and Byron have one victory apiece. 

BREAK OUT THE BROOMS: In last season’s two races at Atlanta, the Concord, North Carolina, based team nabbed both wins. Byron won the spring race, which was the first on the repaved and reconfigured track that utilized the superspeedway rules package. Elliott was victorious for his first home track win in the Cup ranks. Overall, Hendrick Motorsports led a series-best 278 laps at the 1.54-mile track last year, exactly 191 laps more than the next closest team. Byron and Elliott ranked one-two in laps led with 152 and 125, respectively. 

TAKING STOCK: Hendrick Motorsports has been to victory lane 16 times at the Georgia venue. That total is the most among all Cup teams and is the fifth-most victories for the organization at any one particular track. Martinsville Speedway (27), Dover Motor Speedway (22), Charlotte Motor Speedway (21) and Pocono Raceway (19) stand as the only tracks where the team has compiled more wins. 

DRAFTING DOMINANCE: Hendrick Motorsports has 31 all-time wins on drafting tracks (Daytona International Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and as of last year, Atlanta). That total is 11 more than the next closest organization. 

LEADERS OF THE PACK: Since the start of the 2022 season, Hendrick Motorsports leads the following categories on drafting tracks: wins (three), laps led (430) and average start (9.86). The organization is tied for the most poles (two) and top-10 finishes (10) during that span.




Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on the season so far: "We had a shot to win in Daytona and I crashed. In Fontana, we had the mechanical issue early in the race, but fixed it and the last two runs of the race we were by far the fastest car. In Vegas, we were the second-best car to William (Byron) and finished second. In Phoenix, again, we had a great car there and had a shot to win late. No win in the column, but I’m super pleased with our performance and look forward to every upcoming race. I feel like no matter where we go right now, we will have a shot at a good finish and hopefully some wins along the way."

Josh Berry, driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on his first top-10 finish in the NASCAR Cup Series and looking ahead to Atlanta Motor Speedway: "The top-10 finish at Phoenix (Raceway) was really cool for us to accomplish. And for Atlanta (Motor Speedway), we just want to keep building on what we've been doing and just continue to improve. Atlanta is going to be a tough race without a doubt, but Hendrick Motorsports has been really strong there. I think if we can just stay out of trouble and hopefully stay up front, we'll have a chance of getting a good finish." 

Berry, on what has helped get him more comfortable with the car and acclimated with the team: "It was amazing what a week of preparation did for us at Phoenix (Raceway). Just being around each other and spending some time in the sim and just getting a little bit more comfortable with each other has definitely helped a lot. This week, I’ve also spent some time with Eddie (D’Hondt, spotter) and getting our communication better as well, which is going to be really important in Atlanta. I think we just keep pushing in that same direction. We’re trending better and better each time we go on the racetrack, so Atlanta should be fun.” 

William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on his confidence heading to Atlanta: "This past offseason we really took the time to evaluate where we were and what we needed to get better as a team. I think this year has shown that so far, especially to have two strong runs and wins so soon. Everyone is putting in the time and effort to make sure we are improving. Now we’re heading back to Atlanta (Motor Speedway) as the defending winner of this race last year, and two wins under our belts. It gives us an extra boost of confidence but we’re not going to let up."

Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on his consistency to start 2023: "It’s been a goal of mine for so long to get more consistent. Having finished in the top 10 in all four races so far gives me a lot of confidence in what the No. 48 Ally Racing team is doing this season. It helps that I have liked a lot of the tracks we start at this season, but we keep bringing fast race cars and maximizing every opportunity that comes our way. Atlanta (Motor Speedway) races more like a superspeedway with the repave so it’s a little bit of a tossup, but I am ready to continue the streak we are on."


Speedway Digest Staff

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