Friday, Jun 09

Hendrick Motorsports Media Advance: COTA




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


ATLANTA ACTION: Kyle Larson made his 300th start in the NASCAR Cup Series last weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. During qualifying on Saturday, the 30-year-old driver solidified a ninth-place starting position for Sunday’s race. In the final stage of the race, the driver of the No. 5 quickly advanced back into the top-10. Larson continued his momentum forward up to second, until the leader spun and collected him in an on-track incident, resulting in a 31st-place result.

COUNTING THE CIRCUITS: Larson has led a series-best 270 laps through five races in 2023. This season, his 687 laps run in the top five are second to teammate William Byron and his 795 laps run in the top 10 are the fourth-most. 

COMING BACK TO COTA: This Sunday, the No. 5 team will compete at the first road course of the season, Circuit of The Americas (COTA). The March 26th race will mark Larson’s third Cup Series start on the 20-turn Austin, Texas, track. Larson has completed all 123 of the laps attempted on the 3.41-mile road course. In 2021, Larson led four laps on the course and finished in the runner-up position behind teammate Chase Elliott.

FOUR IN THREE: Of Hendrick Motorsports’ 26 road course wins, Larson has contributed the third-most victories to that total. With four road course triumphs, the 30-year-old driver sits behind Elliott (seven wins) and team vice chairman Jeff Gordon (nine wins). He is tied for second on the all-time list for drivers that have won at the most different number of road courses. Larson’s four road course wins have come at three different tracks: Watkins Glen International (two), Sonoma Raceway (one) and the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL (one). 

ROAD COURSE RANKS: Larson’s four road course victories since the start of 2021 mark the most of any driver. He is tied for second for wins by active drivers on road courses. Larson's record three road course wins in 2021 are the most won by one driver in a single season. His five stage wins on serpentine layouts are tied for second. During that stretch, he has been a part of three one-two finishes with Larson topping Elliott on two occasions and Elliott besting Larson once. 

BOTH ROADS TAKEN: Prior to coming to Hendrick Motorsports for the start of the 2021 season, Larson had three poles, one top-five finish, four top-10s and 69 laps led in 14 road course starts. In 13 road courses races since 2021, he has four wins, one pole, seven top-five finishes, seven top-10s and 155 laps led. 

FOUR TIRES FAST: The No. 5 pit crew ranks in the top 10 through five races based on their average four-tire stop time of 11.764 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).

HOME RACE HATS: Last weekend at Atlanta, Hendrick Automotive Group kicked off its inaugural 2023 home race with a new exclusive hat program for fans. This Sunday’s home race at COTA is no different. Each home race this season (15 total) will feature a unique hat, which will be released the week of the race. Less than 100 of each limited-edition hat will be available for sale at the trackside merchandise haulers and one will be available to win on This week’s Texas themed hat will be released Thursday and can be found here.

HENDRICKCARS.COM IN AUSTIN: The Austin, Texas, automotive market is home to two dealerships. Not located in Austin? 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: 31 (May 10, 1991)


Hometown: Orlando, Florida


Resides: Apopka, Florida


Crew Chief: Tom Gray (interim)


Standings: 39th (owner's points)

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No. 9 UniFirst Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


TAYLOR-ED FOR THE 9: This weekend at Circuit of The Americas (COTA), road racing standout Jordan Taylor will fill in as the driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 as Chase Elliott continues to recover from a fractured tibia. The 31-year-old Taylor becomes the 14th driver to make his NASCAR Cup Series debut with Hendrick Motorsports. The Orlando, Florida, native currently competes full-time in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for Corvette Racing and is a 31-time IMSA Class winner. Taylor co-drove with NASCAR Hall of Famer and current Hendrick Motorsports vice chairman Jeff Gordon in the 2017 24 Hours of DAYTONA, scoring the overall victory. He also earned the overall victory in 2019 24 Hours of DAYTONA. Taylor has won multiple titles in his career, including the 2013 GRAND-AM Daytona Prototype championship, the 2017 IMSA Prototype championship and back-to-back IMSA GTLM championships in 2020 and 2021. He also plays a significant role in the Garage 56 program – a partnership between NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet and Goodyear – serving as a driver coach and reserve driver for the team. 
COTA HISTORY: While this Sunday marks Taylor’s first career start in a stock car at COTA, he has had past success at the Austin, Texas, based road course. Taylor placed first overall in the 2016 and 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship events at the venue. 

ON IT IN AUSTIN: The No. 9 team has a strong history at COTA. In just two races there, the team has a series-best average finish of 2.50 and captured a victory at the track in 2021 with Elliott. Last year, the No. 9 Chevrolet earned a fourth-place result. The No. 9 squad is the only team to place in the top five in both COTA races. 

RECAPPING THE WIN: Elliott and the No. 9 team scored the victory in the inaugural Cup Series race at COTA. It was a wild and wet affair, with rain steadily pouring on the track throughout the race. Elliott was in the lead with 14 laps to go when the race was halted due to standing water on the track. The event was called shortly after and the Dawsonville, Georgia, native was declared the winner. It was the No. 9 team’s first of two victories during the 2021 season and the milestone 800th win for Chevrolet. 

ROAD COURSE WARRIORS: Since 2018, the No. 9 team has visited victory lane seven times across five different road courses. The team’s most recent win on a serpentine track came in 2021 at Road America. Last season, Elliott led the team to three top-five finishes and four top-10s across six starts on road courses. He started from the front row three times, including two pole awards (Road America and Watkins Glen International).  

RETURN OF UNIFIRST: This weekend at COTA, UniFirst Corporation (NYSE: UNF), a North American leader in providing customized work uniform programs, corporate attire and facility service products, will serve as the primary sponsor on the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. This will mark the first of three races that UniFirst will partner with the team in 2023. Its colors will also be on board at Kansas Speedway in May and at Richmond Raceway in July. Get a look at all the angles of the UniFirst Chevrolet here

CHEVY STAGE: Taylor will stop by the Team Chevy display at COTA on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. local time for a Q&A session with fans.




Age: 25 (Nov. 29, 1997)


Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina


Resides: Charlotte, North Carolina


Crew Chief: Brian Campe (interim)


Standings: 28th

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No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


24 IN ’23: William Byron and the No. 24 team are off to a hot start in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season. So far this year, Byron has led the second-most laps (240) behind only his teammate Kyle Larson (270). After five races this year, he leads the series in wins (two) and laps run in the top five (706). On top of that, the 25-year-old is tied for both the most stage wins (three) and the second-most top-five finishes (two). He is also tied for third in top-10 finishes in a stage (seven) and is third for laps run in the top 10 (866). 

PIT ROAD PROWESS: In the first five races of 2023, the No. 24 pit crew has an average four-tire pit stop time of 11.356 seconds – the fourth-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 also had the best four-tire pit stop in the 2023 DAYTONA 500 with a time of 11.278 seconds.

ROAD COURSE RESULTS: This Sunday’s race will mark the third Cup Series race for Byron at Circuit of The Americas (COTA). In his first two starts at the 3.41-mile road course, Byron has two top-15 finishes, an 11th (2021) and a 12th-place result (2022). His average finish at COTA of 11.50 ranks seventh-best in the Cup Series and is second-best for him personally based on average finish across all tracks on the schedule. In 21 Cup Series road course starts, Byron is one of 11 drivers to earn multiple stage wins (two).

DOUBLE UP: Byron is pulling double duty at COTA this weekend. In addition to Sunday’s Cup Series race, he’ll drive the No. 17 Chevrolet Camaro for Hendrick Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday afternoon. Axalta, of which its Raptor brand is a primary sponsor for Byron's Cup Series ride, will also serve as an associate partner on his Xfinity Series car. This will be the first race for the No. 17 Chevy in 2023. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native has four wins in the series, which all came in his 2017 championship campaign with Hendrick Motorsports affiliate JR Motorsports.

GOT 99 PROBLEMS, BUT WINNING AIN’T ONE: With his two victories to start the year, 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.

LIBERTY U IS BACK: This Sunday at COTA, Byron will once again sport his updated Liberty University paint scheme. Featuring a white base with navy flames and red accents, the No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will be sure to stand out on track. Liberty University has a long history with Byron dating 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: 20th

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No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


ATL REWIND: In the fifth NASCAR Cup Series race of the 2023 season, Alex Bowman started 15th in the 400-mile event at Atlanta Motor Speedway after Saturday’s qualifying session. The driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 finished the first stage in 14th and the second stage in third. On the day, he earned a 14th-place finish at the 1.54-mile venue.  

STILL BEST: Through the first five races this year, Bowman has the best average finish of all drivers in the Cup Series. His average finish of 7.80 is best by two positions and is the ninth-best average finish all time through five races by a Hendrick Motorsports driver. Additionally, Bowman has two top-five finishes, four top-10s, 31 laps led and an average starting position of 9.80. The 29-year-old driver also has led laps in three of five races and tallied his sixth straight front row start in the DAYTONA 500 when he captured the pole position in February. 

AWESOME IN AUSTIN: This Sunday, the Cup Series heads back to Austin, Texas to take on the first road course of the 2023 Cup Series schedule at Circuit of The Americas (COTA). Bowman has turned laps at the serpentine track twice in NASCAR’s premier series, finishing in the top 10 in both appearances (eighth in May 2021 and second in March 2022). The Tucson, Arizona, native has an average finish of 5.00 – third-best of all active drivers. Bowman’s average finish at COTA is his best among active tracks with the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL close behind (6.00 in four starts).

TRUCKIN’ IN TEXAS: On Saturday, Bowman will strap into the No. 7 Chevrolet Silverado for Spire Motorsports in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series. will serve as the team’s primary sponsor while Ally, Bowman’s full-time sponsor in the Cup Series, will be showcased on the truck’s lower-rear quarter panels. He ran this race last year and was contending for the win on the final lap, before an on-track incident relegated him to a 25th-place finish.

GOT THAT DOG IN ‘EM: 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 (rear-tire changer), Jacob Conley (fueler), Allen Holman (jackman), Scott Riddle (tire carrier) and Donnie Tasser (front-tire changer). 

HOMETOWN HERO: Parker Winebrenner, aerodynamics engineer for the No. 48 Ally Racing team, will return to his home state this weekend at COTA. A native of Houston, Winebrenner began working with interim crew chief of the No. 48 team Greg Ives and Bowman just before the duo’s first win at Chicagoland Speedway in 2019. His motor sports career started when he worked on a Trans Am TA2 Chevrolet Camaro test car in January 2018 at COTA. Winebrenner went on to work for Napoleon Motorsports and helped in the Pirelli World Challenge, which both competed at COTA, before making his way to Hendrick Motorsports. 

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 PAWS Shelter of Central Texas, which serves the local community in Austin. Bowman and Ally will donate $4,800 to Best Friends and the PAWS Shelter of Central Texas. Ally will increase its donation to $10,000 if the No. 48 team wins on Sunday.  
: 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: Hendrick Motorsports is 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. With two wins this season, Hendrick Motorsports achieved its 36th multi-win season in the Cup Series. In each of the last 30 seasons, the organization has won at least two races. 

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 Raceway, 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 is the former lead engineer on the No. 9, while Campe is Hendrick Motorsports' technical director.

XFINITY RIDES AGAIN: Hendrick Motorsports will make the first of its four starts in the Xfinity Series this season at Circuit of The Americas (COTA). William Byron will drive the car this weekend. The entry will also make starts at Sonoma Raceway with Kyle Larson, Watkins Glen International with Alex Bowman and Darlington Raceway with Larson. Ives and Meendering will oversee the effort. The organization has one championship and 26 wins in the series with Tony Stewart recording the last victory to date at Daytona International Speedway in 2009. Last year's four races in Xfinity marked the team's first entries in the series in 13 years. In those four starts, the team earned two pole positions, two runner-up finishes and three top-fives. 

EDGE OF SEVENTEEN: For the Xfinity races, the Chevrolet Camaro will carry the No. 17 with sponsorship from The No. 17 carries special significance to the Hendrick Motorsports family as it is the same number Ricky Hendrick drove in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series. That number has won 39 times in Xfinity Series history and two of the four drivers to win in it – Darrell Waltrip and Terry Labonte – would go on to win in the Cup Series with the Rick Hendrick-owned organization. 

DISHING ON DEBUTS: Jordan Taylor will become the 14th driver to make his Cup Series debut for Hendrick Motorsports and the first since Byron in 2018. Rob Moroso's 14th-place finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October 1988 stands as the best finish by a driver making their top series debut with the team. 

IN THE KNOW: This weekend's race at COTA will be the first time that teams will be on a road course to use the rules package designed to have a decrease in downforce for most short ovals and road courses. Teams will get a 50-minute practice session on Friday, starting at 1:05 p.m. local time. In the event of wet weather, teams will have Goodyear rain tires available for use with white lettering on the sidewalls. Sunday's race will also mark the first race without predetermined cautions (for stage breaks) since the advent of stage racing in 2017. The last race held before the introduction of stage racing occurred at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Nov. 2016, won by Jimmie Johnson for his record-tying seventh Cup Series title and Hendrick Motorsports' 12th Cup Series championship.

RULERS OF THE ROAD: At 26 wins, Hendrick Motorsports has the most all-time triumphs on road courses in Cup Series history. The two closest teams in this statistic have combined for only 22 wins. Since their inaugural season in 1984, the organization has won 28.57% of road course events (26 wins in 91 races). The team also tops the board among Cup Series teams on road courses in poles (24), top-five finishes (80), top-10s (138), laps led (2,172) and stage wins (13). 

COUNTING 'EM UP: Seven different drivers have accounted for the 26 road course wins in team history and those seven winners are the most for a Cup Series team on road courses. Jeff Gordon leads the way for the team with nine victories (which are also the most among all drivers) followed by Elliott with seven and Larson has four. Tim Richmond had three wins followed by Johnson, Geoff Bodine and Ricky Rudd with one victory apiece.

WINNING ALL OVER: To date, Hendrick Motorsports has won on seven of the eight road courses they have competed on. Watkins Glen is the winningest road course for the squad with 10 wins followed by Sonoma at seven. The Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL and Riverside International Raceway have each been home to three wins. COTA, the Daytona International Speedway Road Course and Road America have had one victory each by the team. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course is the only layout with left and right turns where the squad has yet to record a victory.

STUDYING THE TRENDS: In the last 20 road course races, the Concord, North Carolina-based organization has won 11 times. Only one other team has more all-time wins on road courses (14) than the number of wins Hendrick Motorsports has scored in the last 20 races on serpentine layouts. 

ONE-TWO TIMES FOUR: There have been four occurrences where the team has finished one-two on a road course. In 2019, Elliott and Bowman finished one-two at the Charlotte ROVAL. In 2021, Elliott and Larson finished in the top two at COTA. That same year, Larson topped Elliott in one-two finishes at Sonoma and Watkins Glen. All four of those finishes have come in the last 16 road course races. 

TAKE ME TO THE LEADER: Hendrick Motorsports’ 542 laps out front are the third-most in team history through five races. The only higher marks came in 1995 (953 laps led) and 1996 (699 laps led). Those two seasons resulted in the first two of the organization’s 14 Cup Series championship-winning years.




Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on racing at Circuit of The Americas: "We’ve gotten both COTA’s I feel like. (We got) the monsoon the first year, which was my first-ever time really racing in the rain. So that was a blast. We came up a little short there because it started raining a little too hard and we had to call the race short. We were in position to win that one. Last year, I didn’t qualify well, didn’t race well and did a terrible job on restarts. I look forward to going back to hopefully do a better job behind the wheel, having a better setup under us and having a better opportunity to race for a win would be great."

Jordan Taylor, driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on the expectations and preparation for his first NASCAR Cup Series start: "Any driver wants to be at the front and battling for the win, but I think I have to keep my expectations in check. Everyone in the Cup Series these days is good on every form of racing, whether it's a superspeedway, short track or a road course. I know that it's going to be a big uphill battle, battling these guys. I'm glad we do have an extra (practice) session to kind of understand it. From a driver's perspective, I have the belief that I can figure out how to drive the car and then it just comes down to the little details of pit stops, pit lane speed. I'm used to pushing a button on the steering wheel and it controls my pit lane speed. In NASCAR, you have to control it all yourself. So little details like that are the things that I've been bouncing off Chase (Elliott); little tricks of the trade and what to expect. Even little things like coming into the pit box, knowing how to launch the car and things like that. I know it’s going to be a big challenge, but I’m looking forward to it. I’m really grateful for the opportunity."

William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on running two races at COTA: "I’m really optimistic for this weekend, especially running double duty. We’ve always seemed to run well at COTA but just need to be a step better. I think the No. 24 team has shown that this year already. The only real difference for this race is that there are no longer true stage breaks, but that just changes how we work our strategy. If we go out and execute, we should be in a good spot for both races in the end. Hopefully, we can go out and not only get Mr. (Rick) Hendrick a win in the No. 17 but also Liberty University a win in the No. 24."

Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on pulling double duty at COTA: "I am excited to go truck racing at COTA this weekend. Last year, we had a lot of speed and I am hopeful we have the same this weekend. It would be really neat to have wins in all of NASCAR’s national series and this weekend gives me another chance to add that to my resumé. I also like running the truck because it helps me for Sunday’s Cup Series race."

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