NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY (1.058-MILE OVAL)
LOCATION: LOUDON, NEW HAMPSHIRE
EVENT: NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES (RACE 28 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 2 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, SEPT. 27 (NBCSN/MRN/SIRIUSXM)
No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS / Kasey Kahne
Driver Kasey Kahne Hometown Enumclaw, Washington
Age 35 Resides Mooresville, North Carolina
18th in standings
1 pole position
2 top-five finishes
6 top-10 finishes
48 laps led
27 pole positions
85 top-five finishes
152 top-10 finishes
4,589 laps led
0 pole positions
3 top-five finishes
8 top-10 finishes
305 laps led
FARMERS INSURANCE ON NO. 5 CHEVROLET SS: Farmers Insurance will adorn the hood of Kasey Kahne’s No. 5 Chevrolet SS this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and will be the primary sponsor on the car for two additional Sprint Cup Series races this year: Texas Motor Speedway (Nov. 8) and Phoenix International Raceway (Nov. 15).
KAHNE’S LOBSTER: New Hampshire Motor Speedway is one of 11 tracks where Kahne has notched a career victory. The driver won at the 1.058-mile oval in 2012 after starting on the front row in the second position. He battled to take the lead for most of the race, but with 66 laps to go, Kahne finally took over the top spot and stayed there all the way to Victory Lane where he received the track’s iconic trophy – a lobster. The win marked Kahne’s first at the track and his 14th career victory. Kahne now has 17 career victories.
GOING HOME: New Hampshire Motor Speedway is the home track for three members of the No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS team. Shock engineer Dave Paronto hails from Woodsville, New Hampshire, located approximately 75 miles north of the speedway; engineer Taylor Moyer is from Shoreham, Vermont, a town 147 miles northwest of the track; and engine tuner Tony Bove originates from Burlington, Vermont, a city 167 miles northwest of Loudon, New Hampshire.
FIVE KAHNE: Kahne started the Five Kahne 5K charity run in 2010 with the goal of building an annual event to generate funds for youth causes. 2015 marks the sixth year of the Five Kahne 5K presented by Great Clips. Fundraising efforts, in addition to supporting the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte, have allowed nearly 5,000 children in North Carolina the opportunity to receive free field trips to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Registration for the Oct. 11 event is now available by clicking here.
OMAZE AND THE KASEY KAHNE FOUNDATION: Kahne and The Kasey Kahne Foundation have partnered with Omaze to offer a once-in-a-lifetime experience benefitting The Kasey Kahne Foundation’s mission to support chronically ill children and their families. Through Omaze, fans can bid on the opportunity to be flown out to Phoenix for a race of epic proportions, as the winner will compete head-to-head in a go-kart race with Kahne. Click here to bid.
No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS / Jeff Gordon
Driver Jeff Gordon Hometown Pittsboro, Indiana
Age 44 Resides Charlotte, North Carolina
12th in standings
3 pole positions
3 top-five finishes
13 top-10 finishes
208 laps led
80 pole positions
323 top-five finishes
467 top-10 finishes
24,872 laps led
4 pole positions
16 top-five finishes
23 top-10 finishes
1,373 laps led
Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS, is scheduled to visit the New Hampshire Motor Speedway media center at 3 p.m. local time Friday.
#IRONMANJG: On Sunday when Jeff Gordon takes the green flag, he will break a tie with former Hendrick Motorsports teammate Ricky Rudd and set the record for most consecutive starts in NASCAR history with 789. Gordon currently holds the longest consecutive starts streak from the beginning of a career – he has never missed a race since his Nov. 15, 1992, debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
ONLY GORDON AT NEW HAMPSHIRE: Gordon is the only driver to compete in all 41 Sprint Cup races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS).
NHMS LEADER: The four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion leads all drivers in top-five finishes, top-10s, laps led and laps completed (11,967) at the 1.058-mile track.
NEARING 25K: Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS, is 128 shy of 25,000 career laps led.
RIDE WITH JEFF AT NHMS: More than 600 donors are joining Gordon this weekend to help leave senior hunger in the dust. For Gordon’s last race at NHMS as a full-time Sprint Cup driver, 557 people made donations of $124 or more, which qualified them to have their name on the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS and pit wall banner this weekend. In addition, 47 individuals made donations to have their name appear on the No. 24 pit wall banner.
No. 48 Lowe’s ProServices/Hitachi Chevrolet SS / Jimmie Johnson
Driver Jimmie Johnson Hometown El Cajon, California
Age 39 Resides Charlotte, North Carolina
7th in standings
0 pole positions
11 top-five finishes
17 top-10 finishes
467 laps led
33 pole positions
204 top-five finishes
309 top-10 finishes
17,618 laps led
0 pole positions
10 top-five finishes
18 top-10 finishes
322 laps led
LOWE’S PROSERVICES ON THE HOOD: Jimmie Johnson will race the No. 48 Lowe’s ProServices/Hitachi Chevrolet SS in this weekend’s race at New Hampshire. Lowe’s Commercial Services are designed to help customers save time and money and make their businesses run smoother. Stores across the country have a dedicated ProServices team ready to help by offering five percent off everyday purchases with a Lowe’s Business Credit Account, quick-turn, customizable quotes on volume purchases, providing an order ahead option and pulling materials for pick up, giving reduced delivery rates and offering bulk discounts on supplies used the most. The Lowe’s ProServices paint scheme has seen Victory Lane twice this season with wins at Texas and Dover.
JOHNSON IN NEW HAMPSHIRE: Johnson has earned three lobster trophies at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in his career. He swept both events in 2003 and earned another victory in 2010. Johnson has an average start of 11.6 and an average finish of 10.7 at the 1.058-mile track.
NEW HAMPSHIRE DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Johnson has the fourth-best driver rating at New Hampshire with a score of 100.9 during the past 10 years at the track. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The maximum a driver can earn in each race is 150 points. The driver rating number is used pre-race as a prediction tool and post-race as a performance evaluator.
LOWE’S RACING HYPE VIDEO: For the Chase, Lowe’s Racing is creating a series of videos to rally fans around Team 48 as Johnson vies for a seventh championship. The first of the videos titled “The Hunt For SE7EN” was recently released and can be viewed here.
ICYMI LOWE’S BIRTHDAY GREETING FOR SIX-TIME: In the true spirit of partnership, Lowe’s employees from Moore, Oklahoma; Charlotte, North Carolina; Rancho Santa Margarita, California; and Las Vegas submitted birthday greetings for their driver. Johnson was able to view the greeting on his phone and was treated to cupcakes in honor of his 40th. The video can be viewed here.
DOVER TICKET PACKAGE: The Jimmie Johnson Ticket Package will grant fans access to an exclusive question-and-answer session with the six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and 10-time Dover winner before he takes to the track on Sunday morning. For just $60, fans have the opportunity to receive one adult ticket & one junior ticket (ages 14 and younger) in the lower section of the turns for the Oct. 4, 2015, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Purchase here.
KANSAS TICKET PACKAGE: Jimmie Johnson is offering kids (ages 12 and younger) the chance to join him for an exclusive Q&A before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway on Sunday, October 18.The special offer includes an adult and youth admission to the exclusive Q&A with Johnson, one FanVision radio scanner and two special edition Jimmie Johnson credentials. Please call 866-817-7223 or click here to purchase.
No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS / Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hometown Kannapolis, North Carolina
Age 40 Resides Mooresville, North Carolina
10th in standings
0 pole positions
12 top-five finishes
17 top-10 finishes
204 laps led
13 pole positions
139 top-five finishes
241 top-10 finishes
8,051 laps led
0 pole positions
8 top-five finishes
15 top-10 finishes
368 laps led
CHASE UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, currently ranks 10th in the 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings. The driver of the No. 88 Chevy SS has 2,038 points and trails leader Matt Kenseth by 14 points after last weekend’s Chase opener at Chicagoland Speedway. Going into the second event of the 10-race playoff, Earnhardt has a 10-point lead on Jamie McMurray, who sits 13th, the cutoff for the Challenger Round. The Challenger Round ends the third race of the Chase at Dover International Speedway, after which 12 drivers will advance to the Contender Round and continue their championship bids.
LOOKING FOR A LOBSTER: Earnhardt has yet to win at the 1.058-mile oval and claim the prized rock lobster traditionally given away at New Hampshire. However, the driver of the Nationwide Chevrolet SS has finished inside the top 10 in each of the last four events at the track.
LAPS IN THE TOP 15: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Earnhardt ranks third among drivers for laps run in the top 15 during the last 10 years at NHMS. In that span at the 1.058-mile oval, the Kannapolis, North Carolina, native has spent 74.9 percent of his laps running in the top 15.
DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Earnhardt is ranked sixth in the driver rating category with an average score of 97.5 in the last 10 years at NHMS. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The maximum a driver can earn in each race is 150 points. The driver rating number is used pre-race as a prediction tool and post-race as a performance evaluator.
NATIONWIDE’S #GOODLUCKDALE CAMPAIGN: Fans can send a tweet with the hashtag #GoodLuckDale to Nationwide’s No. 88 Twitter account, @nationwide88, where 88 tweets will be randomly selected for Earnhardt to sign. Athletes Peyton Manning, Ryan Sheckler, Paul Rodriguez and Alex Morgan have sent in their good luck messages.
HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT NEW HAMPSHIRE: At Chicagoland Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports has nine wins, six pole positions, 42 top-five finishes and 69 top-10s. Kahne most recently visited Victory Lane for the organization at the track in 2012.
ORGANIZATION STATS: To date, Hendrick Motorsports has totals of 237 victories, 204 pole positions, 970 top-five finishes and 1,615 top-10 finishes in Sprint Cup competition. Its teams have led 64,768 laps since 1984.
“What a day. I just remember being so pumped to get another win for Hendrick Motorsports. We had a really strong team that day. My guys put in a great effort and I remember having so many other drivers and fans reach out to me with their support and congratulations. It was a great feeling that afternoon. Even Mario Andretti sent me a tweet. It was pretty unbelievable to get a tweet from Mario.”
Kasey Kahne on winning at New Hampshire in 2012
“Loudon is a really tough racetrack. It’s hard to call a race there. Tires do matter a little bit. It’s tough to find that balance of track position versus tires and getting your car to handle correctly. The restarts there are crazy. Sometimes the inside lane gets bottled down by the outside lane and everyone gets started bouncing around in Turns 1 and 2. There are a lot of near misses there. That’s tough. The traffic is tough there. It’s a really hard track, but we’ve run really well there in the past and I’m looking forward to getting back and seeing what we can do this time.”
No. 5 team crew chief Keith Rodden on racing at New Hampshire
“When I think of things I’ve accomplished in NASCAR, the Iron Man record is one I think ‘…damn, that’s a tough thing to do,’ especially when you see what happened to Kyle (Busch) or Denny (Hamlin) or Tony (Stewart). It could be an illness or a broken bone or an accident or a lot of things that can easily take you out of one race.
“Since I was five years old, I have missed only one race that I was scheduled to do and that was because of poison ivy.”
Jeff Gordon on the verge of setting a new consecutive starts record
“New Hampshire is a scrappy track – it’s tough. We qualified well last time out but didn’t have the finish we needed. As you can tell, the Chase is going to be intense, and drivers are going to be fighting for every inch on the racetrack. Dover is a cut-off, so everyone is going to be going for it with two races to go.”
Jimmie Johnson on racing at New Hampshire before an elimination race
“We’ve got a pretty good track record at New Hampshire. I think we’ve gotten top 10s in the last four races there, and hopefully the guys have worked on some things to improve and we’ve got a competitive car going into this week. It’s a very flat track — the corners are flat and there’s not a lot of banking to lean on, so the car gets a little loose on entry and tight in the center. It’s really hard to get a car to get around there exactly like you want. You’re never extremely thrilled or happy with the way the car runs. There’s always something that it needs to do better, even when the car is really fast. Your line can’t vary but maybe half-a-foot or a foot each lap. You have this very small groove to race in, there are seams on the track that the tires do not like to touch, and you have to run in this little alley all day long, so it’s a bit of a challenge, but a fun one.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. on racing at New Hampshire
“We need to be competitive at both New Hampshire and Dover. We need to run 10th, 11th or 12th at the worst so that we can get into that next round without being a top-five car, but after that it’s going to have to be a top-five car. We know that, we understand that, so we’re trying as hard as we can to improve things and get to where we need to be to be able to race for the championship. (No. 88 team crew chief) Greg (Ives), the guys, we’ve all been putting in a lot of time and hard work away from the track, going over notes and trying to get better.”
Earnhardt on advancing in the Chase