Hendrick Motorsports Media Advance: New Hampshire




Age: 30 (July 31, 1992)


Hometown: Elk Grove, California


Resides: Mooresville, North Carolina


Crew Chief: Cliff Daniels


Standings: 8th

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No. 5 Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


NECK-N-NECK IN NEW HAMPSHIRE: With three second-place finishes at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Kyle Larson has the most runner-up results at the track of any NASCAR Cup Series driver all-time without a win there. He is tied for the fourth-most stage points earned (19) at the 1.058-mile track in the last two premier series races. In 12 Cup Series starts on “The Magic Mile,” he has completed 98.9% of his laps attempted, led 16 laps and scored four top-five finishes. The 30-year-old driver’s average finish of 12.5 at the Loudon, New Hampshire, track is sixth-best among drivers in Sunday’s field. 

LEADING LAPS: Larson is second in laps led this season (592), adding four circuits to that tally at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He trails only teammate William Byron (741) in this statistical category. The driver of the No. 5 has led 103 more laps than the third-place competitor. He ranks fourth in both laps run in the top five (1,821) and laps run in the top 10 (2,973).

TALLYING TOP FIVES: Larson is tied with Byron for the most top-five finishes in points-paying Cup Series races in 2023 (eight). Counting his win in the non-points All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway, the Elk Grove, California, native, has finished in the top five at nine different tracks: second at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, fourth at Phoenix Raceway, first at Richmond Raceway, first at Martinsville Speedway, second at Kansas Speedway, fourth at WWT Raceway, fifth at Nashville Superspeedway and fourth at the Chicago Street Course. In addition, he is in a three-way tie for the fifth-most top-10 finishes (nine).

MILE-RANGE MUSCLE: Sunday’s race at New Hampshire marks Larson’s 62nd start on tracks 1- to 1.37-miles in length (Darlington Raceway, Dover Motor Speedway, Nashville, New Hampshire, Phoenix and WWTR). In his previous 61 starts at tracks in that length range, he has collected three pole awards, three wins, 27 top-five finishes, 39 top-10s and 2,281 laps led. This season, he won the pole and led 201 laps at Phoenix and also contended late for the win at Darlington and WWTR.

PIT CREW POWER: Through 19 races this season, the No. 5 pit crew ranks second overall in average four-tire pit stop time at 11.079 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).

EXTRACURRICULAR: In accompany to Larson’s full-time Cup Series schedule, the HendrickCars.com driver is running in several sprint car events. On Tuesday at Attica Raceway Park in Attica, Ohio, he won the feature race to become the first driver to win back-to-back at the Brad Doty Classic. Larson will also race in two events at Eldora Speedway in New Weston, Ohio. The first will see him race for the chance to win over $1,000,000 in Thursday’s Eldora Million. He will then compete in the prestigious Kings Royal (on Friday and Saturday), where a 40th King will be crowned in the $175K-to-win race. Catch the action on DIRTVision.com

VALVOLINE ON BOARD: This weekend at New Hampshire, Valvoline will make their second appearance of 2023 as the primary sponsor of Larson’s No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Valvoline Inc. (NYSE: VVV) is a leading worldwide marketer and supplier of premium branded lubricants and automotive services, with sales in more than 140 countries. Established in 1866, the company’s heritage spans more than 150 years, during which time it has developed powerful brand recognition across multiple product and service channels. Valvoline ranks as the No. 3 passenger car motor oil brand in the DIY market by volume. Off the track, Valvoline is the preferred lubricant of Hendrick Automotive Group, which operates 95 car dealerships across the United States. Check out Larson’s No. 5 Valvoline Chevy here.




Age: 27 (Nov. 28, 1995)


Hometown: Dawsonville, Georgia


Resides: Dawsonville, Georgia


Crew Chief: Alan Gustafson


Standings: 23rd

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No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


RECAPPING THE ATL: At his home track of Atlanta Motor Speedway, Chase Elliott started 23rd in Sunday night’s NASCAR Cup Series race. He worked his way inside the top 20 in the first stage, finishing 18th. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native followed that up with a 12th-place result in stage two after battling inside the top 10. Elliott was running in the 13th position in the final stage when weather enveloped the track while the race was under caution. Officials were ultimately forced to call the race with just 185 of the scheduled 260 laps completed, ending Elliott’s chances of defending his race-winning performance at the track last season. 

READY FOR SOME MAGIC: This weekend, the Cup Series heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway. In nine starts at the track in NASCAR’s premier series, Elliott has two top-five finishes and three top-10s. In his most recent performance at “The Magic Mile,” the 27-year-old driver started the 301-lap race second and finished the first two stages in fourth and third, respectively. In the final stage, Elliott paced the field for 13 laps, before ultimately taking the checkered flag in the runner-up spot. That result was part of the No. 9 team’s summer streak last year that saw Elliott record five consecutive finishes of second or better. The 2020 Cup Series champion has led 99 laps at the Loudon, New Hampshire, track and has started inside the top 10 all but three times, including rolling off the grid third or better in each of the last three events. Over the last two races there, he has the second-most stage points (28). 

SIMILAR TRACK PERFORMANCE: In 53 Cup starts on tracks measuring 1- to 1.37-miles in length (Darlington Raceway, Dover Motor Speedway, Nashville Superspeedway, New Hampshire, Phoenix Raceway and WWT Raceway), Elliott has four wins. His first came at Dover in 2018 and was followed by his championship-winning performance at Phoenix in 2020. Last season, he won at both Dover and Nashville. Accompanying his wins are 22 top-five finishes, 28 top-10s and 1,246 laps led across those starts on this track type. 

GREAT GUSTAFSON: Veteran crew chief Alan Gustafson has called 30 Cup Series races atop the pit box at New Hampshire. The Ormond Beach, Florida, native has collected two wins with two different drivers in his career on the 1.058-mile track, the first with Kyle Busch in 2006 and the second with Mark Martin in 2009. Along with Gustafson’s two wins, he has eight top-five finishes, 14 top-10s and 563 laps led. Most recently, he led the team to a second-place finish with Elliott in 2022 at “The Magic Mile.” 

TO THE POINT: Elliott gained one spot in the Cup Series point standings following Atlanta and now sits 23rd, 60 markers outside of the provisional cutline for a playoff spot. With seven races left in the regular season, the Hendrick Motorsports driver needs to gain an average of nine points per race against the bubble to advance to the playoffs on points. While pointing his way in isn’t impossible, the most straightforward way for Elliott to lock himself into the playoffs is with a victory. He has earned three of his 18 career Cup Series wins across two of the seven tracks left in the regular season (Pocono and Watkins Glen International). At four of the other tracks, he has nearly taken home the hardware, finishing runner-up at New Hampshire, Richmond Raceway, Michigan International Speedway (three times) and Daytona International Speedway (twice). 

DOUBLE DUTY IN THE POCONOS: On Wednesday, it was announced that Elliott will run the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Pocono Raceway on Saturday, July 22, before climbing behind the wheel of the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet for Sunday’s Cup Series event. The 2014 Xfinity champion will drive the No. 17 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, which is his first start for Hendrick Motorsports’ Xfinity Series program. Across 82 races in the series, Elliott has five wins, 34 top-five finishes, 66 top-10s and 689 laps led. He won the title in his rookie season driving for JR Motorsports. 




Age: 25 (Nov. 29, 1997)


Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina


Resides: Charlotte, North Carolina


Crew Chief: Rudy Fugle


Standings: 1st

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No. 24 RaptorTough.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


RAIN IS A GOOD THING: After qualifying 18th at Atlanta Motor Speedway, William Byron went to work, making his way through the field during Sunday evening’s NASCAR Cup Series race. By the end of stage one, Byron had worked his way up to the fifth position. However, during the stage break pit sequence, the No. 24 team was assessed a pit road penalty for a safety violation that forced Byron to start at the rear of the field. Trying to overcome the lost track position, he was unfortunately involved in an on-track incident on lap 80 that forced him to come down pit road for repairs, ultimately putting him one lap down. However, Byron was able to regain his lap on the next caution and began working his way through traffic. With weather looming, crew chief Rudy Fugle used an alternate pit strategy that allowed his driver to restart the final stage in third. Byron ultimately took the lead on lap 167 and maintained that position until the race was shortened due to weather after 185 laps completed. The 25-year-old driver earned his fourth win of the season. 

WINNER, WINNER: With four race wins in 2023, Byron leads the Cup Series field with the most victories. In fact, he now has eight wins total in his career at NASCAR’s top level. The first four wins came across 182 Cup Series starts, while his last four came across 17 starts. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native also has scored six wins in the Next Gen era, the most of any driver. The victory at Atlanta also marked the 101st victory for the No. 24, which is now tied with the No. 3 for fourth on the all-time wins list by car number. The iconic number is one triumph away from moving into a tie for third with the No. 2 at 102 wins.

NEW NO. 1: With seven races left in the regular season, Byron is now leading the driver points standings. With a 21-marker lead over second, he is looking for his first regular-season championship and the extra 15 playoff points that come with it. To this point of the campaign, Byron leads the series in average running position (8.80), laps led (741), wins (four), stage wins (seven) and laps run in the top five (2,509). He is tied with teammate Kyle Larson for the most top-five finishes (eight) and has the second-most top-10s (11) and laps run in the top 10 (3,272).

MR. 200: This Sunday’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway will mark Byron’s 200th Cup Series start. In his previous 199 races in NASCAR’s top division, the driver of the No. 24 has eight wins, 10 pole awards, 34 top-five finishes, 73 top-10s and 2,346 laps led. 

I WALK THE LINE: Byron will make his 41st start on tracks 1- to 1.37-miles in length (Darlington Raceway, Dover Motor Speedway, Nashville Superspeedway, New Hampshire, Phoenix Raceway and WWT Raceway). In his previous 40 starts at tracks in that length range, he collected one pole award, two wins, eight top-five finishes, 17 top-10s with 431 laps led. This season, Byron has won at Phoenix and Darlington. 

LOVIN’ LOUDON: Early in his career, Byron got off to an unbeatable start at “The Magic Mile.” Making his debut at the 1.058-mile oval in the 2015 ARCA Menards Series East race, he qualified on the pole and led 68 of 70 laps to take home the checkered flag. Byron followed it up the next year by dominating the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race where he started from the pole and led 161 of 175 laps en route to his sixth of seven victories in 2016. Moving up to the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2017, Byron earned a top-five finish after starting seventh and finishing third. He has five Cup Series starts at NHMS, with four top-15 finishes and a best finish of 11th occurring twice (once in 2020 and then again in 2022).

RUDY PUTS THE MAGIC IN ‘MAGIC MILE’: Byron isn’t the only one who enjoys racing at New Hampshire. His crew chief Rudy Fugle does as well. Currently, Fugle has two Cup Series starts under his belt with a best showing of 11th coming in last year’s race with the No. 24 team. The Livonia, New York, native has four other national series starts at the 1.058-mile oval. In three Truck Series starts, he has earned one pole award and two wins, including a victory with Byron from the pole position in 2016. In fact, Fugle’s drivers have an average starting position of 2.3 and an average finishing position of 3.0 at New Hampshire in the Truck Series.

PIT ROAD PROWESS: After 19 races in the 2023 season, the No. 24 pit crew remains in the top spot with the fastest average four-tire pit stop time of 10.973 seconds. 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 team also has three of the fastest four-tire stops of the season, which rank sixth (9.383 seconds), eighth (9.443 seconds) and ninth (9.504 seconds) overall.
HEADING HOME: Two crew members of the No. 24 team call New Hampshire their home track. A part of the No. 24 team since 2019, car chief Tyler Jones hails from South Royalton, Vermont, less than 100 miles northwest of “The Magic Mile.” Cordero, who has been the front-tire changer since last season, calls Salem, Connecticut, home, which is less than 200 miles south of the venue. 

RAPTOR® TOUGH: For this weekend’s race at New Hampshire, Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will have RaptorTough.com back on board. RAPTOR® is a durable protective coating that is designed to tolerate the toughest climatic conditions and can be applied to a wide range of items, including truck beds, lawnmowers, outdoor furniture and more. With 16 pre-mixed colors available, it’s easy to personalize anything you want to protect. RAPTOR® is available at local paint distributors, auto parts stores, and online retailers. For a better look at Byron’s No. 24 RaptorTough.com Chevy, click here.


48 Alex Bowman


Age: 30 (April 25, 1993)


Hometown: Tucson, Arizona


Resides: Concord, North Carolina


Crew Chief: Blake Harris


Standings: 22nd

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No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


LOUDON LOWDOWN: Alex Bowman has trended upward in his NASCAR Cup Series results at New Hampshire Motor Speedway during the past few years. The driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 had his career-best finish at the 1.058-mile venue in July 2021, taking the checkered flag in ninth. Bowman has also qualified in the top 10 in two of the last three races in New Hampshire, including his top start of fifth in the 2021 event. 

ONE-MILE SUCCESS: The driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet has had success at another track in the 1-mile range on the Cup Series schedule, Dover Motor Speedway. In Bowman’s 12 starts at Delaware’s “Monster Mile,” he has one win (May 2021), five top-five finishes, five top-10s and led 142 laps. In addition, he earned a top-10 finish at another 1-mile track, Phoenix Raceway, in March of this year.

PLAYOFF FOCUS: With seven races left in the regular season, Bowman enters New Hampshire 44 points below the provisional playoff cutline. He currently needs to gain an average of seven markers on the cutline. The 30-year-old driver has wins at the next two tracks (Pocono Raceway and Richmond Raceway), with both victories coming during his four-win season of 2021.

LET THEM EAT: The No. 48 pit crew flexed their muscles on pit road last Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, clocking in the fastest four-tire pit stop of all crews at 10.177 seconds.  The five-man crew consists of Andrew Bridgeforth (rear-tire changer), Jacob Conley (fueler), Allen Holman (jackman), Scott Riddle (tire carrier) and Donnie Tasser (front-tire changer).    

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 Canine Commitment of New England, which serves the local community in New Boston, New Hampshire. Bowman and Ally will donate $4,800 to Best Friends and Canine Commitment of New England. Ally will increase its donation to $10,000 if the No. 48 team wins on Sunday.   
DAY ‘N’ NITE: The No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will adorn two versions of its primary scheme during the 2023 Cup Series season. This weekend, the No. 48 Ally Chevy “day” scheme will be on track and it features 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. Check out all the angles of the schemes here




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HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Team owner Rick Hendrick turned 74 on Wednesday. Since 1984, the NASCAR Hall of Famer has overseen the organization with the most NASCAR Cup Series championships (14), wins (297) and poles (244).

ON THE BALLOT: The seven-time championship-winning duo of crew chief Chad Knaus and driver Jimmie Johnson are among the nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2024. The pairing made the No. 48 Chevrolet one of NASCAR’s most iconic numbers. They won an unprecedented five titles in a row from 2006 to 2010 as well as championships in 2013 and 2016. Johnson earned 83 victories for the team. After earning 82 triumphs atop the pit box, Knaus transitioned to his current role as vice president of competition at Hendrick Motorsports. Both appear on the 10-person Modern Era ballot, of which two will be elected with the third member of the class being selected from the five-person Pioneer Ballot. The Class of 2024 will be revealed following Voting Day on Aug. 2.

CLOSING IN ON 300: Following William Byron’s win at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports is just three points-paying victories away from its milestone 300th in the Cup Series. Twenty drivers have combined to reach the organization’s current total of 297, which is the most Cup wins by any team. With six points-paying victories in 2023, the team has posted its 36th multi-win season in the Cup Series while maintaining a streak of at least two per season for the past 30 years. The organization has gone to victory lane at more racetracks (31) than any other active team.

MILESTONE MOMENTS: In addition to 300 Cup Series wins, Hendrick Motorsports is approaching several other major milestones. With 244 pole awards, the team is just six away from 250 at the Cup level. In addition, Hendrick Motorsports engines have recorded 495 NASCAR national series victories and need just five more to reach 500.

NEED FOR SPEED: The Garage 56 contingent from Hendrick Motorsports is back across the pond for the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which runs from Thursday to Sunday. Drivers Jenson Button and Mike Rockenfeller will serve as the wheelmen. The festival is an annual celebration featuring modern and historic racing vehicles. The event is famous for its hill climb at the grounds of Goodwood House in West Sussex, England. Garage 56, an all-star collaboration between Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR, Chevrolet, Goodyear and IMSA, completed last month’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

FINE NINE: In its history, Hendrick Motorsports has nine wins at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with five drivers visiting victory lane in The Granite State. Jeff Gordon and Johnson each won three times at the 1.058-mile facility. Kyle Busch, Mark Martin and Kasey Kahne have one victory apiece. 

BACK IN TIME: Kahne earned the last win for the storied organization at the Loudon, New Hampshire, track in July 2012. That is the company’s longest drought at an active track. Since the organization’s last New Hampshire victory, they have won 93 times on 26 different tracks and racked up four championships. At the time of that win, the four current drivers for Hendrick Motorsports had made just one national series start between them (Larson at Kentucky Speedway in June 2012). 

FOUR THROUGH 19: Since the start of the 1986 season, Hendrick Motorsports has had 16 instances where a driver has earned four wins in the first 19 races of the year. Byron is the most recent and joins Kyle Larson (2021) as the second driver for the team to do it in the last three years. The others to accomplish this in team history are Tim Richmond (1986), Darrell Waltrip (1989), Gordon (1995-1999, 2004 and 2007), Johnson (2007, 2010, 2013 and 2015) and Martin (2009). 

STILL STREAKING: In the past nine points-paying races dating back to Dover Motor Speedway in May, Hendrick Motorsports has had at least one driver finish in the top five. This matches the longest such streak by a team since Hendrick Motorsports had nine straight (from Atlanta in March to Kansas Speedway in May) in 2022.

LEADERS OF THE PACK: With its series-leading 1,440 laps led in 2023, Hendrick Motorsports has been at the front of the pack for 29.63% of the season. The squad has led laps in all but two of the 18 points-paying races: Atlanta in March and the Chicago Street Race in July. Byron (741) and Larson (592) rank first and second, respectively, in the statistical category.




Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, 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 of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, 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, driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on 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 of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, 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.”

William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, 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 of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, 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.”

Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, 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 of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, 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.”


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