TEAM CHEVY NASCAR RACE ADVANCE: New Hampshire Motor Speedway

UP NEXT: NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY

With NASCAR’s top two series now sitting at single-digits in races remaining in their respective regular seasons, the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) and NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) head to the Northeast where the 1.058-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway will play the host for this weekend’s events. The track famously known as the “Magic Mile” is a unique stop on the series’ schedule – with New Hampshire Motor Speedway being NASCAR’s only appearance in the six-state New England region.

 

Courtesy of William Byron’s win at Atlanta Motor Speedway last weekend, Chevrolet will head into Sunday’s Crayon 301 looking for its fourth consecutive trip to victory lane in NASCAR’s premier series this season. NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon powered Chevrolet to its first NCS win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 1995 – with the manufacturer going on to collect a series-leading 19 victories in the NCS’ 51-race history at the venue.

SEASON SUCCESS ON SHORT-TRACKS

Short-tracks have been familiar territory for NASCAR’s premier series this season – already competing at five different venues that measure one-mile or less. As the series gears up to take on the 1.058-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend, Chevrolet heads into the weekend with a strong notebook of success with three short-track wins thus far. 

 

William Byron delivered Chevrolet its first short-track win of the season – scoring his second of four series-leading wins at Phoenix Raceway (one-mile) in March. Byron’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson has recorded both of his points-paying victories of the season on a short-track circuit – the first coming at Richmond Raceway (.750-miles), followed by a win at Martinsville Speedway (.526-miles) just two weeks later. The 2021 series champion also took the checkered flag and the one-million-dollar grand prize in the 2023 NASCAR All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway (.625-miles).

 
 
 

BYRON’S CAREER SEASON CONTINUES

Hendrick Motorsports’ William Byron is on the brink of a milestone feat in his young career with Sunday’s event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway marking his 200th career start in NASCAR’s premier series. The 2023 season is setting up to be a career season for the 25-year-old North Carolina native. Collecting his series-leading fourth NASCAR Cup Series victory of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway last weekend, Byron took over the top position in the points standings as the Team Chevy driver continues to be the front-runner for the series’ regular season title.

 

In addition to leading the series in wins, Byron has also driven his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 to eight top-five finishes, seven stage wins and 742 laps led this season – all of which are series-leading statistics. 

 

Byron’s most recent victory also makes him the winningest driver in the Next Gen era – recording six victories since the debut of the Next Gen vehicle at the beginning of the 2022 NCS season. Also of note, only two drivers in the series are repeat winners in both seasons of Next Gen competition – including Byron and his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson. 

RESULTS PROVING STRENGTH ACROSS CHEVROLET CAMP

William Byron’s win at Atlanta Motor Speedway last weekend was celebrated with a strong showing by the Bowtie brigade with drivers from five different Chevrolet teams taking six of the top-10 finishing positions. To date in the 2023 season, at least four different Chevrolet teams have been represented in the top-10 of a NASCAR Cup Series event on seven different occasions. Taking it one step further, the Bowtie brand has also swept the podium five times this season – including the series’ past two events.

DEFENDING AT THE ‘MAGIC MILE’

JR Motorsports’ Justin Allgaier took Chevrolet back to victory lane at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last season – driving his No. 7 Camaro SS to the manufacturer’s ninth all-time NASCAR Xfinity Series victory at the 1.058-mile oval. The series’ most recent visit to the “Magic Mile” also saw Chevrolet drivers take nine of the top-10 finishing positions in the event. 

 
 

Saturday’s Ambetter Health 200 marks the single-digit count to the end of the series’ regular season – with nine races remaining for drivers to either win or point their way into the 12-driver NXS playoff field. Four Chevrolet drivers have already secured a playoff berth by virtue of a win including Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Hill (three wins), JR Motorsports’ Justin Allgaier (one win), Kaulig Racing’s Chandler Smith (one win) and Jordan Anderson Racing’s Jeb Burton (one win). While still looking to reach victory lane this season, four additional Chevrolet drivers will enter the weekend above the playoff cutline including JR Motorsports’ Josh Berry (+84 points) and Sam Mayer (+46 points), Kaulig Racing’s Daniel Hemric (+41 points) and Richard Childress Racing’s Sheldon Creed (+26 points). 

BOWTIE BULLETS:

·       NASCAR Cup Series victories by active Chevrolet drivers at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:   

  • Kyle Busch – three wins (2017, 2015, 2006)

 

·       In 51 NASCAR Cup Series races held at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Chevrolet has recorded 19 victories and 18 poles – both of which are series-best feats.  

 

·       Only four drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series are repeat winners this season – three of which come from Team Chevy:

  • William Byron: series-leading four wins (Las Vegas, Phoenix, Darlington & Atlanta 2)
  • Kyle Busch: three wins (Auto Club, Talladega, WWTR)
  • Kyle Larson: two wins (Richmond & Martinsville)

 

·       In 19 points-paying NASCAR Cup Series race this season, Chevrolet continues to lead the series in wins (12), top-fives (47), top-10s (86), stage wins (17) and laps led (2,225).

 

·       Chevrolet leads the series in wins across all three NASCAR national series this season with 12 victories in 19 NASCAR Cup Series races, nine victories in 17 NASCAR Xfinity Series races and eight wins in 14 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races – all with a win percentage of more than 50%.

 

·       With William Byron’s win at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports now sits at 297 all-time NASCAR Cup Series victories – all recorded with Chevrolet.

 

·       Chevrolet drivers swept the podium in the NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway last weekend – the manufacturer’s fifth podium sweep in NASCAR’s premier series this season.

 

·       Chevrolet’s series-leading 12 NASCAR Cup Series wins this season have been recorded by drivers from four different Chevrolet teams: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (JTG Daugherty Racing), Kyle Busch (Richard Childress Racing), William Byron and Kyle Larson (Hendrick Motorsports) and Ross Chastain and Shane van Gisbergen (Trackhouse Racing).

 

·       Chevrolet drivers have recorded 17 of the 38 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 73 points in the NASCAR Cup Series, 50 points in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and 37 points in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

 

·       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 its 41 NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer’s Championships, 33 NASCAR Cup Series Driver’s Championships, and 845 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: Crayon 301

Sunday, July 16, at 2:30 p.m. ET

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

 

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series: Ambetter Health 200  

Saturday, July 15, at 3 p.m. ET

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

QUOTABLE QUOTES:

ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 1 KUBOTA CAMARO ZL1

Why has qualifying become so important, especially for a guy like yourself?

“Qualifying is something that I’ve worked on getting better at. It’s really important to have a good starting spot. Especially now since everyone’s cars are so close together. It’s really small things that add up to be really beneficial. Obviously winning the pole at Nashville was a huge deal to me because I just haven’t been good at it. The team is really trying to help me improve and Nashville showed that. It was a great weekend all around, obviously, but qualifying is very important, especially at a track like New Hampshire. It’s not long and you can be a lap down pretty quickly there. It also helps with pit stall selection and certain stalls can be crucial to maintaining or gaining track position on pit road which can make the difference in winning a race or not.”

 

What would it mean to you to win this weekend at New Hampshire and Phil Surgen’s home track?

“Phil is generally a pretty quiet guy but it would be fun to pull into victory lane in his neck of the woods. Winning a race is always special, but winning at a home track with family and friends is even more special. I hope we can do it this weekend and get our second win this season.”

 

 

KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 VALVOLINE CAMARO ZL1

Larson on racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:

“I like New Hampshire (Motor Speedway) a lot. It’s different than the other tracks we go to. It’s really flat. Kind of like a bigger short track in a way. It’s really rough into turn three and it’s difficult. You have to be really patient with yourself and your car. It’s easy to get frustrated there if you’re not turning into the middle well, you’re loose in or your car is bouncing too much. It’s always hard to get the right feel there and I enjoy that challenge.”

 

 

CLIFF DANIELS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 5 VALVOLINE CAMARO ZL1

Daniels on building on the team’s 2023 short-track success:

“New Hampshire (Motor Speedway) is a tough track. We, as Hendrick Motorsports, have a little bit of a tough recent history there. I feel like our cars kind of get trapped in the sixth-to-10th (position) range. Obviously, our expectations are a lot higher than that. We are getting to work in all the areas that we can to try and better ourselves and level up our game. Our short-track package has been strong this year, obviously, with our wins coming on short tracks this year. That certainly doesn’t mean we can rest. We need to be sharp about what we need to do to execute for a good weekend. It starts with running good in practice and hopefully getting a good spot in qualifying, which leads to the pit pick that can really set you up for success. The race always seems to have some sort of asterisk in it for a mix up in strategy, an untimely caution, or whatever it may be. So, we just need to be on our toes and make good decisions throughout the day.”

 

 

CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1

Elliott looking ahead to New Hampshire:

“A few weeks ago, we were one of the cars that got to do the tire test, so that was nice. We had a good run there last year. Kind of gave one away, I didn’t do a very good job there on the last run and that was frustrating. Loudon hasn’t been the greatest track for me in general, so the fact that we even had a shot to win was nice. I’m looking forward to going back. I thought we had a solid test. We weren’t the best, but I thought we made some gains and that’s always a good thing.”

 

 

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

Gustafson on how the team is approaching the rest of the regular season:

“It’s really pretty simple to me. We do the best we can every week. I think people expect some grand plan, but we just try to do the best we can. We put our effort and heart and soul into each and every week. We bring the best car we can to the track and try to extract every point we can out of every single weekend. We’ve just got to give it our best effort, minimize mistakes and be prepared. That’s all we can do and the rest will take care of itself. If we can’t perform well enough to make it in or win, then we’re probably not going to do very well in the playoffs anyway. So, my focus is to do the best we can and meet our potential. If we do that, then we’ll make it and I know we’ll be successful.”

 

 

AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 16 NUTRIEN AG SOLUTIONS CAMARO ZL1

“New Hampshire is really flat. It’s tough to set the car up there and get it to turn but still have rear grip in it. I’ve been on both ends of having success but also have struggled. With this car, I enjoyed it last year but definitely needed to be a little bit better getting around the racetrack. Being up front here is critical but with the long runs we typically get, it’s easy to burn off the tires. It’s a challenging racetrack that we have struggled at as a company, but we have to potential to be better at.”

 

 

WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 RAPTORTOUGH.COM CAMARO ZL1

Byron on holding the points lead:

“We’ve still got seven races until the playoffs, and we’ve just got to keep inching up on it. We can’t have any major bad weeks. Atlanta (Motor Speedway) looked like it was going to be a bad week and we overcame it. It’s a good lesson to learn, but I think we’re coming up on two tough tracks that we’ve got to really hone in on with Pocono (Raceway) and Loudon (New Hampshire Motor Speedway).”

 

 

RUDY FUGLE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 24 RAPTORTOUGH.COM CAMARO ZL1

Fugle on what makes New Hampshire a difficult track:

“New Hampshire (Motor Speedway) is one of the toughest on the schedule. The way to make these Next Gen cars go fast is to have them low to the ground but at the same time, all of your grip goes away if you’re too low. We live in a 30-thousandth window. We want all the grip but not to lose all the grip and that’s New Hampshire in a nutshell.”

 

 

NOAH GRAGSON, NO. 42 SUNSEEKER RESORTS CAMARO ZL1

“New Hampshire hasn’t been one of my better tracks but we got a handle on it in the Xfinity Series. It’s a fast track and the fans up there are super cool, they love racing. I just want this No. 42 team to go there, execute all day long and come home with a respectable finish.”

 

 

ERIK JONES, NO. 43 ALLEGIANT CAMARO ZL1

“New Hampshire is fun. I enjoy going there, the fans are always huge supporters of our race coming to town and we have a great crowd every year so it’s always fun to go up to Loudon. The track itself is a tough place, it changes so much with whether they put down the resin or don’t put down the resin, it seems like it really changes the race a lot and what you need out of your racecar. You have to adjust for that and figure out what you need from your car to go out and run well. It always seems like if you have a good turning car, you will go out and run well in New Hampshire. Hopefully, we can find that out and get some good track position early since track position is so important there, so I hope we can get it turning good and get out front.”

 

 

ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1

Bowman on his position in the point standings:

“Obviously, this is not where we want to be. With the way the season started and then having to deal with my injury and a points penalty, we aren’t in a bad spot, but we have our work cut out for us. This weekend is another opportunity to go lock ourselves into the playoffs and that is what we are focused on.”

 

 

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

Harris on his thoughts heading to New Hampshire:

“Unfortunately, Alex’s only time at Loudon last year ended early. Since then, we have had the No. 9 team run really well there towards the end of that race and they also did a tire test this year. We have a lot of data and a lot of good short-track data – Richmond (Raceway) was a strong race for us and I think there will be some things applicable from there. We will try to take all of that information, apply it to our No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 this weekend and go compete for a win.”

 

 

DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 SLAM! FOUNDATION CAMARO ZL1

Are you ready for a busy week of racing?

“Yes, we are testing in Texas on Tuesday and Wednesday then racing in the Governor’s Cup in Vermont on Thursday before going to New Hampshire for racing Saturday and Sunday so it’s going to be a busy week. I like racing so it’s kind of cool for me. I didn’t grow up late model racing so these races are a new experience for me. I don’t know what to expect but everyone tells me Thunder Road in Vermont is a really cool track. I can’t wait.”

 

What are your thoughts on working with SLAM!, Pitbull, IA Capital, Ramirez to raise scholarship money in New Hampshire?

“That’s really good stuff. We visited SLAM! in Miami and it was amazing to see the students. They did a news conference with me and just the students. It was like being in the media center at a NASCAR race. This money will go toward giving these kids a chance at doing something they want to do in life and that’s always something I want to be part of and help out. It would be nice if we can get a lot of television time for SLAM! Sunday and pull into victory lane.”

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