TEAM CHEVY NASCAR RACE ADVANCE: Nashville Superspeedway

TRIPLEHEADER IN TENNESSEE

With the series-wide off-weekend in the rearview mirror, all three NASCAR national series will make their return to competition this weekend to take on Nashville Superspeedway. The longest concrete-only oval in NASCAR, the 1.33-mile track was revived when it welcomed NASCAR back in 2021 – also marking the return of racing at Nashville Superspeedway for the first time in a decade.

 

While the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) have a history at Nashville Superspeedway that dates back to the track’s grand opening in 2001, Sunday’s Ally 400 will mark only the third-ever appearance by the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) at the Tennessee oval – with Chevrolet looking to make the trip to victory lane for the third consecutive season. 

TARGETING A THREE-PEAT

Since the NASCAR Cup Series first made its mark at Nashville Superspeedway in 2021, Chevrolet has been the only manufacturer to hoist the custom guitar in victory lane. The Bowtie brand’s back-to-back triumphs at the Tennessee oval came alongside Hendrick Motorsports – with Kyle Larson taking the win in the inaugural event in June 2021, followed by teammate Chase Elliott’s victory in June 2022.

 

On top of the victory, Larson and the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 team have proven to be a top contender at the track. With a series-best average finish of 2.5, the 30-year-old California native is one of only two drivers to have finished inside the top five in both NCS races at Nashville Superspeedway – with fellow Team Chevy driver Ross Chastain joining Larson on that list. Larson also leads the series in laps led with 264 of the 600 laps completed at the track – posting an impressive laps led percentage of 44%. 

 

Kyle Larson, No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1

Nashville Superspeedway

June 20, 2021

 

Chase Elliott, No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1

Nashville Superspeedway

June 26, 2022

NASHVILLE KNOW HOW

The NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series’ roots run deeper at Nashville Superspeedway – previously competing at the track from 2001 through 2011. Eight active NASCAR Cup Series drivers have posted a win in NASCAR’s national ranks at Nashville Superspeedway with four coming from the Bowtie brigade.

 

Joining Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott on that list includes another set of teammates – Richard Childress Racing’s Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon. Busch has claimed four victories at the Tennessee oval throughout his storied career with two NXS wins (April 2010 & April 2011) and two NCTS wins (June 2009 & June 2021) to his name. Chevrolet’s most recent NCTS winner at the track, Dillon drove the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Silverado to the victory in July 2011. 

 

STENHOUSE JR. BUILDING MOMENTUM

JTG Daugherty Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. started the 2023 season in the best way possible by claiming the victory in the season-opening Daytona 500 and an early berth into the playoff field. The 35-year-old Mississippi native followed up that victory with an impressive campaign throughout the first-half of the regular-season. Stenhouse Jr. has driven his No. 47 Camaro ZL1 to five top-10 finishes thus far with each recorded on a different race track configuration – superspeedway (Daytona International Speedway), road course (Circuit of The Americas), dirt track (Bristol Dirt), short-track (Martinsville Speedway) and a 1.5-mile oval (Charlotte Motor Speedway).

 

Heading into the final 10-race stretch of the NASCAR Cup Series’ regular-season, Stenhouse Jr. is one of four Team Chevy drivers that have already clinched a playoff spot by virtue of a win – joining William Byron, Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson. 

LOOKING BACK AT A RECENT MILESTONE

After a two-week break in the schedule, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series returns to the track with just four races remaining in its regular-season. Chevrolet is the series’ most recent winner courtesy of Grant Enfinger and the No. 23 GMS Racing Silverado RST team’s victory at World Wide Technology Raceway.

 

The victory – Chevrolet’s seventh in 12 NCTS races – also marked a milestone victory for GMS Racing. With now 44 all-time NCTS wins, GMS Racing has earned the title of the winningest Chevrolet team in NCTS history. A partner with Chevrolet since the team’s inception in 2012, GMS Racing has also accounted for two of Chevrolet’s 14 NCTS Driver Championship titles (2016 and 2020).

 

“Maury Gallagher, Mike Beam and everyone at GMS Racing have been great partners to Chevrolet since the organization entered the Truck Series a decade ago,” said Dayne Pierantoni, GM Racing Program Manager for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. “We’ve had an incredible history together both on and off the track, and their partnership has been a key component to Chevrolet’s success in the series.”

 

Austin Dillon, No. 33 Chevrolet Silverado

GMS Racing’s First NCTS Win

New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Sept. 26, 2015

 

Grant Enfinger, No. 23 Chevrolet Silverado RST

GMS Racing’s 44th All-Time NCTS Win

World Wide Technology Raceway – June 3, 2023

BOWTIE BULLETS:

·       Chevrolet is the only manufacturer to win in the NASCAR Cup Series at Nashville Superspeedway: 

Chase Elliott, No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 – June 2022

Kyle Larson, No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 – June 2021

 

·       Of the eight active NASCAR Cup Series drivers that have won in the NASCAR national ranks at Nashville Superspeedway, four come from Team Chevy: 

Kyle Busch – Four (NASCAR Xfinity Series – April 2010 & April 2011; NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series – June 2009 & June 2021)

Chase Elliott – One (NASCAR Cup Series – June 2022)

Kyle Larson – One (NASCAR Cup Series – June 2021)

Austin Dillon – One (NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series – July 2011)

 

·       Only four drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series are repeat winners this season – three of which come from Team Chevy (William Byron – Las Vegas, Phoenix & Darlington; Kyle Larson – Richmond & Martinsville; Kyle Busch – Auto Club and Talladega). Byron and Busch are tied atop the leaderboard with three wins each.

 

·       In 16 points-paying NASCAR Cup Series race this season, Chevrolet continues to lead the series in wins (nine), top-fives (35), top-10s (68), stage wins (17) and laps led (2,032).

 

·       Chevrolet leads the series in wins across all three NASCAR national series this season with nine victories in 16 NASCAR Cup Series races, eight victories in 14 NASCAR Xfinity Series races and seven wins in 12 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races – all with a win percentage of more than 50%.

 

·       With Grant Enfinger’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win at World Wide Technology Raceway, GMS Racing is now the winningest Chevrolet organization in NCTS’ history with 44 all-time wins in the series.

 

·       With William Byron’s win at Darlington Raceway, Hendrick Motorsports now sits at 296 all-time NASCAR Cup Series victories – all recorded with Chevrolet.

 

·       Chevrolet’s series-leading nine 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 17 of the 32 NASCAR Cup Series stage wins this season: William Byron (seven; series-leading), Ross Chastain (five), Kyle Larson (two), Kyle Busch (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, 47 points in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and 33 points in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

 

·       With its 41 NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer’s Championships, 33 NASCAR Cup Series Driver’s Championships, and 842 all-time NASCAR Cup Series wins, Chevrolet continues to hold the title of winningest brand in NASCAR Cup Series history.  

TUNE IN:

NASCAR Cup Series: Ally 400   

Sunday, June 25, at 7 p.m. ET

(NBC, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90)

 

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series: Tennessee Lottery 250  

Saturday, June 24, at 3:30 p.m. ET

(USA Network, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90)

 

 

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Rackley Roofing 200

Friday, June 23, at 8 p.m. ET

(FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90)

QUOTABLE QUOTES:

ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 1 WORLDWIDE EXPRESS CAMARO ZL1

How big is the off weekend so you can prepare to go hardcore into the 10 races before the playoffs?

“I feel like my life is pretty relaxed as it is. I get up every day and try and drive a racecar to the best of my ability, but I fit enough downtime in the week to be comfortable with myself. I feel prepared for the race when I drive to the airport each week.”

 

Is there any added pressure because you’re going into Nashville?

“I don’t think there is any added pressure. We do a lot of extra activities there but as far as competition, it’s a pretty normal weekend. It’s a unique track but I prepare for it just like any other track.”

 

How would you prioritize stage points versus wins? Of course the goal is to win the race but are you conscious of stage points throughout the race?

“Ultimately everything is built for the end of the race for our strategy. But when we run good we get more stage points and that’s why we’ve been able to rack up regular season points. We haven’t really been biased to get more stage points and give up the end result of a win because it’s about the end for us.”

 

 

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 HUK PERFORMANCE FISHING CAMARO ZL1

Do you expect the track to change a lot during the weekend?

“I think the track is going to change quite a bit. It changed in the past when the PJ1 track spray was applied. As the track rubbers up, you can move up or down as needed. Since the Nashville Superspeedway is a concrete track, you want to race on a clean track. Once it rubbers up, you can make up time by racing in a lane without rubber build-up.”

 

When you think of Nashville Superspeedway, what are some of the memories and experiences that come to mind for you?

“It’s always fun to race at Nashville Superspeedway, and it’s even more special to race under the lights. I love the atmosphere that the Nashville race fans bring to the race weekend. I was fortunate to get a win there in the NASCAR Truck Series, and I would love to get to victory lane in the NASCAR Cup Series. Nashville Superspeedway has one of the coolest trophies on the circuit, and I hope we can bring it back to North Carolina.”

 

What are your expectations for Nashville Superspeedway this weekend?

“My expectations are to qualify in the top 10, have a great run try and win the race in the No. 3 Huk Chevrolet, be aggressive with pit strategy when we can, and take home one of those guitars.”

 

 

KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1

Larson on racing at night at Nashville Superspeedway:

“I think more night racing is better. It’s a better show for the fans. You get some sparks and stuff like that. It should be cooler at night too, so that will be good. I do love night racing.”

 

 

CLIFF DANIELS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1

Daniels on how the team is preparing for the Nashville race:

“We are certainly looking forward to going to Nashville (Superspeedway). Love going there. Love the track. It’s a super unique track. It’s concrete and both ends are a little bit different from each other, which adds character and is a little bit fun. We are certainly studying everything we can from recent intermediate races and our experience there last year to try to get it all right for this weekend. A lot of it is going to be about execution at the end. The race starts in the evening, so the sun will be out and then it will transition into nighttime, which is a little bit different of an aspect. I think it’s going to be fun and we are just trying to check all the right boxes.”

 

 

KYLE BUSCH, NO. 8 CHEDDAR’S SCRATCH KITCHEN CAMARO ZL1

What are the main things that you’ve learned about Nashville Superspeedway in two previous races? What are the main things you need from your car?

“The big thing about Nashville Superspeedway is its different characteristics from other mile-and-a halves or mile-and-a thirds that we race on, which are primarily asphalt. Nashville is all concrete so that surface is definitely different than the rest of them and what transpires throughout a run with the tire wear and things like that is definitely interesting. The biggest things that you need to be fast at Nashville are good brakes, good stopping power, being able to get to the bottom of the track, turn the center of the corner, throttle up and exit out of the corner without being too tight or too loose. Being able to have a good car that can roll the bottom has been really good for me at Nashville over the years. A lot also depends on if they put resin down or spray the track with any traction compound, because that also kind of changes whether you let the car move up the racetrack any or not.”

 

Can you tell a significant difference between the concrete surface at Nashville Superspeedway versus other tracks like Dover Motor Speedway or Bristol Motor Speedway?

“I don’t know that I can necessarily pick out the differences between the concretes at those tracks. I would say that they’re probably the most similar versus talking about worn-out Auto Club Speedway asphalt track versus a brand-new Atlanta Motor Speedway. Those are vastly different than each other, but with concrete I don’t think you can really tell much difference.”

 

 

CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1

Elliott on racing at Nashville:

“Much like Dover (Motor Speedway) and the other concrete tracks, it’s very tough to get the balance right. It doesn’t feel as fast as a place like Dover. Nashville actually feels kind of slow, to me at least. The corners are sharper than similar track layouts we race at. That kind of stood out to me last year. I was like, ‘man, the corners are sharper than I remember them being,’ but we got that figured out.”

 

 

ALAN GUSTAFSON, CREW CHIEF, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1

Gustafson on heading back to Nashville after last year’s win:

“The tire is significantly different than our last visit. It changes a lot of the set-up philosophies and what you’re trying to accomplish. I think for us, winning there obviously was great. We got DQ’d in the race the year before, so to go back and win and kind of vindicate ourselves was really nice. Unfortunately, I just don’t think that with the tire change there’s going to be a lot that carries over. I think it’s going to be – I don’t want to say starting over, that’s a bit dramatic – but certainly quite a bit different setup wise. Everybody will kind of be back on level ground trying to understand what this tire needs for the track. It’s a great race. In the short time we’ve run there, it’s become one of the more marquee events. So, to have won there and get the guitar trophy is super cool.”

 

 

AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 16 CELSIUS CAMARO ZL1

“Last year we had a good run in the Cup car at Nashville. It feels like another unique oval which make it a lot of fun for me to drive. It’s not your typical short track; it’s like a crossbreed. Nashville has some speed, but it drives like a short track, and you can maneuver around the racetrack as it widens out. I’ve had a lot of fun the last couple years between Xfinity and Cup. Hopefully, we can go there and do the same; it’s definitely a race track I’ve looked forward to going to over the last two years.”

 

 

WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1

Byron the team’s goal for the rest of the regular season:

“Obviously, Sonoma (Raceway) didn’t go the way we would have liked heading into the off weekend, but I also don’t think that one race defines where we are as a team. I’m glad to be going to Nashville (Superspeedway), a track that I feel like we can run really well at. With 10 races left in the regular season, the goal now is to gain as many points as possible to either secure the regular season championship or at least get ourselves the highest seeding we can for the playoffs. With the way we’ve been running this season, I think we have a good chance to do that.”

 

 

RUDY FUGLE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1

Fugle on having a longer practice session this weekend:

“Having a Friday practice gives us a good chance to try a thing or two that we normally wouldn’t have time to do. We can try different springs or different geometry that we haven’t run or been able to run before. It’s not a bunch of time to try a lot of things, but we’ll take that opportunity to make ourselves better. Nashville (Superspeedway) has always been kind of its own animal. The banking is similar to some other tracks, the corners are narrow and it’s concrete. When they put the resin down, it’s really a race-y track. I’m excited to get there and hopefully put on a good show, especially with it being a night race now.”

 

 

NOAH GRAGSON, NO. 42 BLACK RIFLE COFFEE COMPANY CAMARO ZL1

“Nashville in one of my favorite cities so to race there is really cool. I’m feeling better and so happy to return this weekend. I’m thankful to Grant (Enfinger) for helping us out at Sonoma, it’s very hard to step away, but I was able to rest and recover and I’m ready to get after it.”

 

 

ERIK JONES, NO. 43 ALLEGIANT CAMARO ZL1

“Nashville is a track where we don’t have as much on track experience as the rest of the Cup Series tracks, but I have gotten the chance to work the simulator and try to learn the track a little more over the past week and I feel confident in what we have. Obviously, things are a little different on track and in the car, I hope we can compete and bring home a solid finish for the No. 43 Allegiant team.”

 

 

ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1

Bowman on heading to the Ally 400 this weekend:

“It is really cool to have Ally have such a big presence at Nashville (Superspeedway). I think that they go all in on everything they do and to have this race be such a big weekend is really neat. We flew in a couple of weeks ago and built bikes for the Boys and Girls Club of Middle Tennessee, so it goes to show that Ally is committed to making a difference in the sport of NASCAR. I think it is really cool that I get to help them build the sport I love.”

 

 

BLAKE HARRIS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1

Harris on heading to Nashville for the first time with the No. 48 team:

“I think this weekend means a lot to me. Obviously, it is my first time at the Ally 400 with the No. 48 team and knowing how much Ally puts into this weekend, I want to do well for everyone at Ally and Hendrick Motorsports. Last year, we did okay with the No. 34 team and got a top-10 stage finish, but I think we are capable of doing better. Overall, I am excited to go and hoping to get Alex (Bowman) the guitar in victory lane.”

 

 

DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 TOOTSIES ORCHID LOUNGE CAMARO ZL1

What is going to happen in these next 10 races?

“There are a lot of things still to happen. We have a lot of wildcard races coming up like the Chicago Street Circuit, road courses, things like that. I think we will be OK. We are getting better and better. Points wise we are about the same as we were last year, but speed wise we are probably a bit better. Our challenge has been execution this year. We have been fast at 90-percent of the tracks.”

 

Are you thinking about points and playoffs?

“No, I try not to even think about those things. My belief is if you focus on today, not tomorrow or next week or next year, then everything will take care of itself. If we run good Sunday and follow it up with more good runs then we will be fine playoff and points wise.”

 

How do the short practice times impact race weekends?

“When you have limited practice there are two things that matter. The drivers don’t have much time to familiarize themselves with the track and you have little time to make major setup changes. That’s why you see drivers entering the Xfinity, truck and ARCA races some weekends. We also put a lot of time in the simulator back at the shop. As for making changes, the winning car usually shows up at the track that way. We put a lot of work into getting the car right before we get to the track. You can make changes at the track, but it it’s the work at the shop that matters most.”

 

 

GRANT ENFINGER, NO. 23 CHAMPION POWER EQUIPMENT SILVERADO RST

What are your thoughts and expectations heading into the last few races before the playoffs?

“We are heading into the last few races of the regular season with confidence. We are trying to collect as many points as we can so we are in a good spot when the playoffs start, but our main goal is still to win more races. Our GMS Racing guys are building good Chevys, and our No. 23 team is starting to hit our stride. Track position and clean air is important at Nashville so hopefully we can unload close and qualify well. We will have a lot of our friends from Champion Power Equipment in attendance so hopefully we can give them a reason to celebrate.”

 

 

RAJAH CARUTH, NO. 24 BORN DRIVEN SILVERADO RST

Nashville is another one of those facilities that you have yet to make a start at, so what has been the biggest key in preparing you for this race weekend?

“One of the biggest keys for preparation this weekend since I haven’t been to Nashville before stems from the fact that it’s a concrete surface. I’ve raced a lot at Bristol and Dover in my short career already, and I felt like I’ve been pretty solid at those tracks. I’m definitely relying on that experience as well as a lot of iRacing to help get me ready and know where I’m at visually on the track for Friday. At the same time, it’s no different than any other race for our No. 24 team. We treat every race like it’s a playoffs race and give it our best. I’m confident that we will have a fast Wendell Scott Foundation Chevrolet this Friday night.”

 

 

DANIEL DYE, NO. 43 CHAMPION CONTAINER SILVERADO RST

Your performance in Gateway had to be a big confidence booster to you, so how do you think your first start in Nashville will go knowing that you are capable of running up front?

“Yeah, I’m definitely looking forward to going back to another intermediate track. I think after St. Louis, we’re feeling pretty good about what the No. 43 team is capable of doing each and every week. We’re going to be racing the same truck as what we ran at Kansas, so hopefully some of our speed can translate there since we were able to have a good run with it in Kansas City. I’m thankful for having Champion Container onboard our Chevrolet this weekend for the second time this year; the truck looks good and we are going to try our best to give it a good run!”

 

 

CHASE PURDY, NO. 4 BAMA BUGGIES SILVERADO RST

How will you approach the final four races of the regular season with currently being below the cutoff?

“Obviously, we need to take it race-by-race, but everyone on this Bama Buggies team knows that we have a goal to accomplish and the only way to accomplish that goal is to go out there and be able to run up front and collect as many points as possible the next four weeks.”

 

Nashville is a unique track. How do you approach racing there?

“It’s a fun race track that I personally really like. It’s definitely a track that is full of its own challenges. One being that it’s not like our typical ovals, this one is concrete, so in my opinion there is going to be a lot of rubber laid down. By the time we get to our race Friday evening, both Xfinity and Cup will have had hour-long practice sessions after our practice and qualifying. What I remember from last year is that after we got through the first stage, you could run a little bit of the second groove in Turns 1 and 2 and Turns 3 and 4. We preach that track position is key every week, but I think that track position is going to be even more important this week at Nashville.”

 

 

JACK WOOD, NO. 51 ROWDY MANUFACTURING SILVERADO RST

Nashville is a unique track. How do you approach racing there?

“From the first time I went there it was kind of a place that clicked with my driving style. In the Truck Series there is so much on-throttle time at most the intermediate tracks that we go to, but Nashville is definitely a little different in how you drive it. It’s a place that fits what I do well and ever since the first time I raced there I feel like it’s a place that I understand. I’ve been trying to study up on the things that I’ve done right in the past as well as the things I’ve done wrong and I’m trying to go into this race more prepared than ever — hopefully it will pay off.”

 

With Nashville being a concrete track, how does that affect the racing?

“It affects things quite a bit with the way that the rubber goes down and how temperature sensitive it is. I think it makes it fun because the place widens out a lot more over the course of the race compared to other places that we go to and it’s a lot smoother too. I think it creates side-by-side racing, which is better, and it just creates more opportunities to work yourself up through pack. A lot of the other tracks that the Truck Series goes to, track position is important and not that track position isn’t important at Nashville, I just think if you have a fast truck it’s probably going to show a little better than say a track like Texas.”

 

 

CHRISTIAN ECKES, NO. 19 INSTACOAT PREMIUM PRODUCTS SILVERADO RST

On racing at Nashville and the final four races of the regular season:

“Nashville is going to be important for our team as we get down to the end of the regular season. We’ve done a good job at scoring some playoff points, but we always want more and that’s what we’re going to try to do this week with our Instacoat Premium Products Chevrolet. Every point counts and we’d love to gain another spot or two in the point standings to finish the regular season as good as we can. Nashville can be a good track for us to hopefully challenge for another win. It’s similar to some of the intermediates that we’ve been fast at all year. It’s a much different surface with the concrete and it’ll be a fun challenge for our team.”

 

 

JAKE GARCIA, NO. 35 QUANTA SILVERADO RST

On the stretch run in the regular season and making his Nashville debut:

“Nashville is a unique, shorter intermediate than what we’re typically used to. The corners are a little flatter and it seems like clean air and track position have always been critical there. We’ve worked hard on our Nashville package in the sim, so hopefully we’ll unload close with our Quanta Services Chevrolet. We still want to make the playoffs, but the best way to do it would be to continue to improve and run in the top-five to give ourselves a shot to win a race. Our team has done a good job of closing out races with good finishes most of the year, so hopefully we can do that again on Friday night.”

GM PR