TEAM CHEVY NASCAR RACE ADVANCE: World Wide Technology Raceway / Portland International Raceway


The NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) will reunite in the Midwest this weekend for the series’ return to World Wide Technology Raceway (WWTR). Located just outside of St. Louis, Missouri, the 1.25-mile oval just recently entered the scene for NASCAR’s premier series with Sunday’s Enjoy Illinois 300 presented by TicketSmarter marking only the series’ second-ever appearance at the track. For the NCTS, the Illinois oval has been familiar territory over the past two decades. Saturday’s Toyota 200 – the series’ 23rd race at WWTR – starts the five-race countdown as the series begins the final stretch in its regular-season.


The NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) will make the journey to the Pacific Northwest to Portland International Raceway (PIR) this weekend. Hosting the series for only the second time, Chevrolet will make its return to the 1.97-mile, 12-turn road course as the defending winners at the circuit and will look to go back-to-back in Saturday’s Pacific Office Automation 147. 



With the second-half of the NASCAR Cup Series’ regular-season commenced, Hendrick Motorsports’ William Byron is proving to be an early championship threat. The 25-year-old North Carolina native has already notched a series-leading three victories this season – a career best feat in his sixth full-time season in NASCAR’s top series.


Byron is coming off a runner-up finish at his home track of Charlotte Motor Speedway – continuing the momentum of top-10 finishes in the series’ past five events. In 14 points-paying races, the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet team also leads the series in top-five finishes (seven), top-10 finishes (eight), laps led (687) and stage wins (seven). 


World Wide Technology Raceway first welcomed a NASCAR national series race 1997 when the NASCAR Xfinity Series came to town for the Gateway 300. The Bowtie brand took the win in the series’ debut race with Elliott Sadler driving his No. 29 Chevrolet for team owner Gary Bechtel to victory lane. Chevrolet had stout showing in the inaugural event with Elliott leading the manufacturer to 11 of the top-12 finishing positions. Sadler’s triumph was the first of five consecutive NXS victories for Chevrolet at the 1.25-mile Illinois venue – with Dale Earnhardt Jr. scoring back-to-back victories in 1998-1999, followed by consecutive wins courtesy of Kevin Harvick in 2000-2001. 


One year after becoming the first manufacturer to become triumphant in the NASCAR national ranks at World Wide Technology Raceway, Chevrolet added another monumental feat to its name – taking the win in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series’ inaugural race in 1998 with Rick Carelli behind the wheel of the No. 6 Chevrolet for Marshall Chesrown. Since winning the series’ debut race, Chevrolet has gone on to record a series-leading 11 victories at the track. Five of those triumphs have come in the series’ past six appearances at WWTR – most recently by Sheldon Creed and the No. 2 GMS Racing Chevrolet team in the series’ playoff opener in 2021.  


Sheldon Creed, No. 2 GMS Racing Silverado RST

World Wide Technology Raceway – August 20, 2021


Chevrolet has proven to be a frontrunner in NASCAR Xfinity Series road course competition and looks to continue that trend heading into the Portland International Raceway weekend. Road course phenom AJ Allmendinger put Kaulig Racing and Chevrolet in the history books as the inaugural winners at the Oregon road course circuit last season. The triumph was part of a dominant season in road course competition for the manufacturer – with Chevrolet nabbing wins in five of the six NXS road course races in 2022. The Bowtie brand already has one trip to victory lane in the series on a road course this season after Allmendinger defended his winning title at Circuit of The Americas in March. 


A.J. Allmendinger

No. 16 Kaulig Racing Camaro SS

Portland International Raceway – June 4, 2022


A.J. Allmendinger

No. 10 Kaulig Racing Camaro SS

Circuit of The Americas – March 25, 2023



Corvette Racing’s Jordan Taylor will have an encore performance at the NASCAR national ranks this weekend – this time behind the wheel of the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Camaro SS at Portland International Raceway. The Team Chevy driver made his NASCAR Cup Series debut just a few months ago at Circuit of The Americas, filling the seat of the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 for an injured Chase Elliott. Taylor quickly caught the attention of many – qualifying in the fourth-position and going on to show speed throughout the race weekend.


This weekend will mark Taylor’s first career NASCAR Xfinity Series start and his first-ever laps at the 1.97-mile Oregon circuit. The 32-year Florida native will be the seventh different driver to pilot Kaulig Racing’s All-Star entry in the series as the Chevrolet organization will look to defend its title in Saturday’s event.


The four-time IMSA Drivers Champion competes full-time in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for Corvette Racing, while also playing a key role as the reserve driver and driver coach for the Garage 56 project.


·       Of the active NASCAR Cup Series drivers who have previously won at World Wide Technology Raceway in either the NASCAR Xfinity Series or NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, two of which are Chevrolet drivers:

        Justin Haley, GMS Racing Silverado in the NCWTS (2018)

       Ross Chastain, Niece Motorsports Silverado in the NCWTS (2019)


·       Only three drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series are repeat winners this season, all coming from Team Chevy (William Byron – Las Vegas, Phoenix & Darlington; Kyle Larson – Richmond & Martinsville; Kyle Busch – Auto Club and Talladega).


·       In 14 points-paying NASCAR Cup Series race this season, Chevrolet continues to lead the series in wins (eight), top-fives (31), top-10s (59), stage wins (15) and laps led (1,851).


·       Chevrolet leads the series in wins across all three NASCAR national series this season with eight victories in 14 NASCAR Cup Series races, eight victories in 12 NASCAR Xfinity Series races and six wins in 11 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races – all with a win percentage of more than 50%.


·       With Grant Enfinger’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win at Kansas Speedway, GMS Racing is tied with Kevin Harvick Incorporated as the winningest Chevrolet organization in NCTS history with 43 all-time wins.


·       Chevrolet’s series-leading eight NASCAR Cup Series wins this season have been recorded by drivers from three different Chevrolet teams: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (JTG Daugherty Racing), Kyle Busch (Richard Childress Racing), William Byron and Kyle Larson (Hendrick Motorsports).


·       Chevrolet drivers have recorded 15 of the 28 NASCAR Cup Series stage wins this season: William Byron (seven; series-leading), Ross Chastain (five), Kyle Larson (two) and Chase Elliott (one).


·       Chevrolet continues to sit atop the manufacturer points standings in all three NASCAR national series, leading by 39 points in the NASCAR Cup Series, 41 points in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and 23 points in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.


·       With its 41 NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer’s Championships, 33 NASCAR Cup Series Driver’s Championships, and 841 all-time NASCAR Cup Series wins, Chevrolet continues to hold the title of winningest brand in NASCAR Cup Series history.  


·       NASCAR Cup Series: World Wide Technology Raceway

Enjoy Illinois 300 presented by TicketSmarter

Sunday, June 4, at 3:30 p.m. ET

(FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90)


·       NASCAR Xfinity Series: Portland International Raceway

Pacific Office Automation 14

Saturday, June 3, at 4:30 p.m. ET

(FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90)


·       NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: World Wide Technology Raceway

Toyota 200

Saturday, June 3, at 1:30 p.m. ET

(FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90)



World Wide Technology Raceway is a pretty new track on the Cup Series schedule, what do you think about going there?

“I obviously have good memories of racing at World Wide Technology Raceway since I won there back in 2019 in the Niece Motorsports truck. I enjoy going to the Midwest and it’s fun because it’s a fairly new market for the Cup Series. The fans are excited to have a race there and the track has all kinds of this planned for them with the concerts and things like that.”


What are you looking forward to about this weekend?

“Looks like it will be another really hot weekend just like it was last year. The track will be slick and I get the chance to drive the Moose Fraternity car again which always fun. Before the race weekend, I’m going to visit Mooseheart which is always an incredible time and then on Saturday I hope to meet quite a few Moose members and fans at the lodge in Illinois.”




What are your thoughts on going back to WWT Raceway?

“I’m looking forward to racing at Worldwide Technology Raceway again in the No. 3 Get Bioethanol Chevrolet Camaro. It’s the only real Midwest track we have right now, and the fans love it. Last year was a great inaugural race for the NASCAR Cup Series and we have good notes to build on. RCR has put in a lot of work on our speedway package, and I feel confident in the effort of my Richard Childress Racing team. It was a fun race and we put on a good show.”


What makes WWT Raceway so unique and challenging to drive?

“It’s a tough track with differences between the two ends. There will be a lot of shifting, so managing the transmission and not over-revving the engine will be key for 300 miles. Turns 1&2 are tighter corners. You really have to get the car turned early so you can get that long exit down the backstretch. You’re in the corner for a long time through Turns 3 and 4. It’s a flatter corner, and you’re always trying to balance the two corners to make the best car you can. You have to give up a little bit in Turns 1 and 2 to be good in Turns 3 and 4 and vice versa. What corner do you want to be good at?”


St. Louis isn’t known for its racing heritage, but the interest is picking up since the NASCAR Cup Series has gone there. Talk about the St. Louis market and what it means to NASCAR in general.

“The Midwest is key to our sport. Going there and being around the fans is always fun. I raced dirt tracks in St. Louis and around the area a lot. There are some great dirt tracks out in Missouri, so for me, I feel like I’ve been racing there for a while. I ran Gateway in the NASCAR Truck Series a few years ago, and that track always puts on a great race. The staff has done a great job in bringing it back and rejuvenating the track to make it an exciting place to go race and for the fans to enjoy.”


What’s your favorite thing about the race weekend other than the race itself?

“Usually, it’s the National Anthem for me. When they play the Anthem, there’s always a flyover, and that gets me pretty pumped up and ready to get into the car and do what I’ve been working on all week.”




Larson on racing in St. Louis:

“I’m excited to see the NASCAR Cup Series return to St. Louis. Last year, we finished 12th, but I think our team learned a lot throughout the race. The No. 5 team is definitely hungry for a better finish, myself included, but 2022’s experience and notes certainly help us build confidence for this weekend.”




Daniels on what the team has learned since last year’s trip to WWT Raceway:

“To be honest, last year at St. Louis we weren’t very good, disappointingly so. I think at the time there were some things we needed to evolve with our short-track package and since then, we have done that. We’ve had some great short-track races this year and taken a lot from what learned at Phoenix (Raceway) earlier this year. We’re just trying to figure out how to put that together in the right way and hopefully put a great foot forward for this weekend. I will say the track did a great job last year and I think the track is going to race well this year. We certainly enjoy going there and enjoy the race. Obviously, only been there once, but hopefully this year we put a better car on track and turn it into an even more fun experience.”




You ran very well last year at Gateway, scoring a second-place finish and leading the most laps (66). What are the keys to running well there?

“We had a really good run there last year. We were kind of mired there in traffic for a little bit but once we got out front our car was pretty fast. We were able to lead the most laps. To me, Gateway is a tough track. There’s a lot of shifting there. The braking is very technical. The two ends of the track are entirely different from one another so that’s kind of an interesting take on it as well. Turns 1 and 2 are vastly different than 3 and 4, so how you attack each end of the racetrack is really different. I had a couple of late-race restarts last year that came down to me and (Joey) Logano. I just messed up on one of the restarts and let him get alongside of me and then tried to throw a slide job and wasn’t quite able to secure the win. I feel like we’ll be real close to that and we can win there.”


Gateway has a unique shape and design. Can you compare it to any other track? Phoenix perhaps?

“Gateway is just so different. The long straightaways kind of remind you a little bit of Martinsville with the braking technique that it takes to get into the corners in Turns 1 and 2 being like Martinsville, but then down in Turns 3 and 4 it reminds you of Turns 1 and 2 at Phoenix. Gateway is just tough, one that you don’t really compare to anywhere else. It’s its own unique animal.”


How aero dependent of a racetrack is Gateway? The track surface looks worn out but is tire wear a factor?

“Gateway is a little bit aero dependent for sure. Anywhere you go that you’re traveling 60 miles per hour there’s aero dependency. It’s a fun little racetrack. You can run low and you can run high. I seemed to find success there last year running a little bit higher. Other guys were working their way all over the track. The track surface is aged. It’s pretty worn but doesn’t lend itself to a lot of tire wear. Tire fall off happens a little bit when the tires get hot, but last year we didn’t see any issues where we had to pit and put tires on, or that putting tires on made a big difference.”   




LaJoie on driving for Hendrick Motorsports this weekend:

“The last 24 hours have been surreal. Despite the circumstances, I’m very appreciative of Mr. Hendrick for the opportunity to fill in for a championship team and driver. I also can’t thank my Spire Motorsports family enough for working with Hendrick Motorsports to make it come to fruition. The level of preparation and expectations to succeed are everything I expected them to be. I was able to spend time with Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) and the No. 9 guys at the shop and the pursuit of perfection is evident the second you walk through the door. I’m ready to climb through the window and get to work.”




“Gateway was a racetrack I didn’t get to practice at last year since I was running the Xfinity race at Portland. Once I got in a rhythm on the racetrack, I really enjoyed it. It’s a unique oval; downshifting twice in this car in turn one and really heavy on the breaks. I had a lot of fun with it, hopefully we can go back there and base it off our success last year and have a good weekend.”




Byron on his thoughts for this weekend:

“Gateway (WWT Raceway) is a track that we need to make some improvements at. We’ve really been focusing on that this season though, not only getting better and staying consistent, but really focusing on those tracks that we seem to not be as strong at. It’s going to be a really hot weekend, just like it was last year. I think we have a better idea of what to expect this year than we did last year, and we’ve been unloading close to what we need this year, which is promising. I’m optimistic for this weekend with how we’ve been executing so far this year.”




Fugle on the eventful week for the team:

“It’s been a busy week for the No. 24 team after the rain out from Charlotte (Motor Speedway) and the tire test at Michigan (International Speedway). This team never quits and I think this season we’ve shown that. We weren’t the best at Gateway (WWT Raceway) last year but even this year we’ve already improved at some of the racetracks we weren’t great at before this year. That’s been one of our goals this year and so far we’ve executed that. Hopefully, this weekend is no different and we can have a better showing.”




“Gateway has always been a fun track for me in my racing career, and it’s where I got my first NASCAR win in the Truck Series. We had a good finish at Gateway last year and a great race overall as a team. That gives us some confidence going into the weekend.”




“I’m looking forward to St. Louis and hope we get to practice and qualify. The weather is really hurting us – when we don’t have a chance to make laps and have to start by the metric, we have to work hard to move forward and have been having some bad luck. I ran well in the trucks at this track so I am looking forward to getting some laps in the No. 43 Sunseeker Resorts Chevrolet.”




“St. Louis is a great track, since it was new last year on the Cup schedule, we haven’t had the opportunity to run there as much as the other tracks, but when we do have the opportunity to compete there we have run well. Last year we didn’t have a great start, but we worked our way up to a top-ten finish. With Bommarito back on the car this year I feel like we need to have that same goal in mind. It is going to be our first time back on the road in a while and transitioning from a 600-mile race in Charlotte to a 300-mile race changes your mindset a bit, but I am excited to get back out there and race for a win.”




Bowman on racing at WWT Raceway:

“WWT Raceway is a little bit unnatural for me. It kind of has a Loudon (New Hampshire Motor Speedway) –Phoenix (Raceway) feel to it – two places that are not my favorite. I am just trying to understand what I need to do. I think it is going to be driver-input sensitive and I think we will be able to manipulate the race car a lot. I have been in the simulator a lot, just trying to be better and lean on my teammates – looking at their data. I am just trying to understand what I am going to want in the race car and how to go execute.”




Harris on his approach to Sunday’s race at WWT Raceway:

“It’s a super unique racetrack. There is nothing really like it that we go to in the (NASCAR) Cup Series. We will have to go apply a lot of what we have learned this year at short tracks. Track position is really important here, so we are going to focus on qualifying well and getting some short-run speed in our No. 48 Ally Camaro, especially after last week’s pit road debacle and having our qualifying position determined by the NASCAR metric system. Qualifying well leads to good pit selection and that leads to good track position, so our weekend starts with qualifying well. Our pit crew handled everything that was thrown their way in Charlotte, but we know it was something that affected our race and our ability to compete for a win at the end.”




Do you enjoy racing at World Wide Technology Raceway?

“Gateway is a track that I’ve had success at and run well at, so I’m excited to go back there. I don’t know what it is about that track — I just really like the feel of it and how you have to race it from a driver’s standpoint. It’s a really neat race track with having two different corners and both ends of the race track being completely opposite. I like to think Turns 1 and 2 race like a short track and we are shifting down there, then Turns 3 and 4 race like a traditional mile race track, like a Loudon. Aero is really important and makes it hard to pass. You need to qualify well and do everything you can to keep your track position. I’m excited to go there in a KBM truck and see what we can do.”


Is it important to end this five-week stretch of races with a strong run headed into two weeks off?

“We are coming to the end of a five-week stretch where there have been some bumps in the road, but it is crucial to end on a high note. You want to have some momentum going into a couple weeks off and then be ready to make a push to get into the playoffs in the final four weeks of the regular season. We just need to execute and have a good day on Saturday.”


How do you prepare for the heat that you’ll experience this weekend?

“It’s going to be 95 degrees and hot on Saturday. This place is notorious for that, during the summer it feels like it’s one of the hottest places on Earth. You need to hydrate during the week, work out and eat healthy. We do a lot of cardio and some heat training as well. Nothing that we are not used to, but it’s definitely going to be more demanding from a physical standpoint inside the truck.”




What are your thoughts on returning to World Wide Technology Raceway given your strong runs there in the past?

“I enjoy running at WWT Raceway because it’s a little different style track. It has some intermediate and some short track tendencies. Heading into the last half of the season, the No. 23 team is more determined than ever to be a contender for more wins this year. The team has been putting in the work, and I feel our organization has shown more speed through the last four races. I am confident that we will return to WWTR strong, and will continue to push ourselves to get back to victory lane.”




Rajah’s thoughts on this weekend in Gateway:

“I feel really good about heading back to World Wide Technology Raceway this weekend. This is the track that I made my NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series debut at last year, and ran inside the top-10 for a good portion of the day. We had a speeding penalty and some other stuff happen, but my team and I were still able to rebound for an 11th-place finish that day. I feel really good to go back to a place that I’ve raced at in a truck before. Additionally to have the support of the Wendell Scott Foundation and promote their new book, Born Driven, on our truck this weekend is really a blessing especially with having the Scott Family there. We are in the back yard of the Steward family, and I have been very appreciative of all they have done for my career as well.


I feel extremely confident about our chances to run well throughout the weekend in practice, qualifying, and the race. We continue to look at building upon our momentum with a good result for Maury Gallagher, Mike Beam, Ron Booth, Chevrolet, our body hangers, everybody at GMS Fabrication, Butlerbuilt Seats, Alpinestars, and Competition Cleaning. I’m very excited.”




You’ve never raced at Gateway before, but are there any tracks that you have raced at before that seem similar?

“I’m looking forward to getting to a new track that’s similar to some of the tracks that I’ve been to before. I like to think that Gateway is pretty similar to Milwaukee, which I’ve raced at a couple of times in the ARCA Menards Series for GMS Racing. It’s going to be good to get to a track that has a little bit of a short track feel, but where still aerodynamics are still important. I’m happy to get our No. 43 Chevrolet out onto the racetrack for our first race with them as a partner of ours!”




This will be your first Truck Series race at a track less than 1.5 miles this year. Are you looking forward to it?

“The 51 team had a lot of speed at Gateway last year and I think our sim time leading up to this week went really well, so I feel like it will be a good race for us. We just have to put together a whole race. We have had great qualifying speed and race speed in the trucks, our pit crew has done a really great job all year, but I just have to do a little better job of putting the races together.”


What does it take to be successful at World Wide Technology Raceway?

“I think you have to be ok with your truck being a little bit on the edge. I think track position is a huge thing there because it is really tough to make up ground once you lose it. Qualifying is going to be important, and the restarts are going to be especially important this week. You have to take care of your truck because you are going to be using up the transmission and using up the brakes. The biggest thing is that you have to stay mentally focused all day and do your job — especially with how hot it is going to be Saturday. I work hard to be in shape and hopefully with it being a little hotter this weekend that will come into play a little bit.”