CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY (1.5-MILE OVAL)
LOCATION: CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA
EVENT: NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES (RACE 30 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 7 P.M. ET, SATURDAY, OCT.10 (NBC/PRN/SIRIUSXM)
No. 5 HendrickRideAlong.com Chevrolet SS / Kasey Kahne
Driver Kasey Kahne Hometown Enumclaw, Washington
Age 35 Resides Mooresville, North Carolina
17th in standings
1 pole position
2 top-five finishes
8 top-10 finishes
48 laps led
27 pole positions
85 top-five finishes
154 top-10 finishes
4,589 laps led
0 pole positions
9 top-five finishes
13 top-10 finishes
1,106 laps led
‘RIDE ALONG’ WITH NO. 5: Sister companies Hendrick Motorsports and Hendrick Automotive Group have partnered for a four-race sponsorship built around the Hendrick Ride Along Sweepstakes. The program started at Darlington Sept. 4-6 and will continue through this weekend’s Oct. 10 event at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
1.5-MILE TRACK STATS: Kasey Kahne has collected eight of his 17 career Cup wins and 11 of his 27 pole positions on 1.5-mile tracks.
CHARLOTTE LOOP DATA: According to NASCAR loop data in the last 10 years at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kahne ranks second in fastest laps run (676 laps), second in green flag passes (1,769 passes), third in average running position (12.056), third in average driver rating (100.1), third in average speed early in a run (178.782), third in laps led (894 laps; 11.8 percent), third in average quality passes (43.7 average; 917 passes), fourth in green flag speed (176.603 miles per hour), fifth in average speed late in a run (174.820 miles per hour), and fifth in laps in the top 15 (65.1 percent).
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.
DOUBLE DUTY: Kahne will be performing double duty this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, driving the No. 88 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports. Friday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race will mark Kahne’s sixth start of the season in that series. His best NXS finish of 2015 (third) came earlier this year at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
HENDRICKRIDEALONG.COM: The Hendrick Ride Along Sweepstakes adorning the hood of Kahne’s Chevrolet SS is a part of Hendrick Automotive Group’s promotion to win a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ride in a stock car with Kahne. The all-expenses-paid trip to Charlotte, North Carolina, includes the ride along, travel, accommodations and a full behind-the-scenes tour of Hendrick Motorsports. Fans can register between Sept. 2 and Oct. 31 by visiting www.HendrickRideAlong.com or visiting their local Hendrick Automotive Group dealership.
HENDRICK AUTOMOTIVE GROUP: Encompassing 97 dealerships from the Carolinas to California, Hendrick Automotive Group is the largest privately held automotive retail organization in the United States. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, the company employs more than 10,000 people in its dealerships, collision centers and accessories distributor installers in 13 states. For more information, please visit www.HendrickAuto.com.
No. 24 3M Chevrolet SS / Jeff Gordon
Driver Jeff Gordon Hometown Pittsboro, Indiana
Age 44 Resides Charlotte, North Carolina
7th in standings
3 pole positions
3 top-five finishes
14 top-10 finishes
208 laps led
80 pole positions
323 top-five finishes
468 top-10 finishes
24,872 laps led
9 pole positions
17 top-five finishes
24 top-10 finishes
787 laps led
Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 3M Chevrolet SS, is scheduled to visit the Charlotte Motor Speedway media center at 4 p.m. local time Thursday.
GORDON A CONTENDER: Jeff Gordon is one of 12 drivers that advanced to the Contender Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. This round consists of three races – Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway – with the Chase field cut to eight following the Talladega event. All 12 drivers will start the round tied with 3,000 points.
AT CHARLOTTE: Gordon’s 17 top-five finishes and 24 top-10s are most among active drivers at the 1.5-mile track, while his nine pole positions are tied for most among active competitors.
SITE OF FIRST WIN: On May 29, 1994, Gordon led the final nine laps at Charlotte to capture his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory. He now sits third all-time with 92 career wins.
ANOTHER FIRST AT CHARLOTTE: In October of 1993 at the 1.5-mile track, Gordon won his first career pole position in NASCAR’s premier division. Overall, Gordon is third all-time with 80 career Sprint Cup poles.
CHARLOTTE TOPS LIST: The driver of the No. 24 3M Chevrolet SS has nine pole positions at Charlotte Motor Speedway – his most prolific track in terms of number of pole positions. Second on that list is Martinsville, where he has set the fastest lap during qualifying on seven different occasions.
NEARING 25K: Gordon is 128 shy of 25,000 career laps led.
3-FOR-3M: 3M’s new corporate tagline “Science. Applied to Life.” will appear on the No. 24 Chevrolet SS in all three Contender Round events. This weekend marks the ninth time 3M has been the primary sponsor of the No. 24 Chevrolet SS in 2015.
No. 48 Lowe’s Red Vest Chevrolet SS / Jimmie Johnson
Driver Jimmie Johnson Hometown El Cajon, California
Age 40 Resides Charlotte, North Carolina
14th in standings
0 pole positions
11 top-five finishes
18 top-10 finishes
467 laps led
33 pole positions
204 top-five finishes
310 top-10 finishes
17,618 laps led
4 pole positions
13 top-five finishes
17 top-10 finishes
1,733 laps led
RED VEST CHEVY: To celebrate Lowe’s 265,000 employees, Jimmie Johnson will drive the Lowe’s Red Vest Chevrolet SS this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Johnson debuted the Red Vest Chevrolet SS last November when he drove it to Victory Lane at Texas Motor Speedway. The red vests Lowe’s employees wear have become symbolic of the company’s commitment to its customers and providing outstanding service each and every day. In fact, Lowe’s announced Monday a $500,000 donation to the American Red Cross to help those in the southeast impacted by Hurricane Joaquin.
SEVEN TIMES A WINNER: Johnson has a total of seven Sprint Cup wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway, with three coming in the 500-mile event. His victory in May of 2014 broke a tie with NASCAR Hall of Famers Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip, making Johnson the all-time series points-paying win leader at Charlotte.
PINK FOR OCTOBER: Johnson will sport a special Lowe’s hat and Mission towel in the month of October to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Both the hat and towel will have the color pink in an effort to bring awareness to the disease. Johnson’s hat can be purchased here.
CHARLOTTE DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Johnson has the series-best driver rating at Charlotte with a score of 109.6 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.
KANSAS TICKET PACKAGE: 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, Oct. 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. Call 866-817-7223 or click here to purchase.
MARTINSVILLE TICKET PACKAGE: The Jimmie Johnson Martinsville Ticket Package is $48 for adults and $24 for youth and includes a ticket in the Bill France Tower to see the race. Fans who have already purchased a race ticket can add on the Jimmie Johnson Martinsville Ticket package for just $10. The question-and-answer session with Johnson and NASA Rockets 2 Racecars activities will be held in the Martinsville Speedway hospitality area on Sunday, Nov. 1. To purchase call 1-877.RACE.TIX or go to www.MartinsvilleSpeedway.com.
No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS / Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hometown Kannapolis, North Carolina
Age 40 Resides Mooresville, North Carolina
11th in standings
0 pole positions
13 top-five finishes
18 top-10 finishes
204 laps led
13 pole positions
140 top-five finishes
242 top-10 finishes
8,051 laps led
1 pole position
6 top-five finishes
12 top-10 finishes
360 laps led
WELCOME, CONTENDERS: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, held off Jamie McMurray at Dover International Speedway to secure his place in the Contender Round of the 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup by virtue of a tie-breaking, third-place finish. The Contender Round consists of three races: Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. Across the three races earlier this season, he earned an average finish of 2.33 and earned a win at Talladega. The point standings have been reset going into the round, which places the No. 88 driver in what is essentially a 12-way tie for the top spot.
COMING HOME: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Charlotte Motor Speedway, the closest track to both Hendrick Motorsports’ headquarters and Earnhardt’s hometown, where he earned a third-place finish in the 600-mile race earlier this spring. He has yet to win at the 1.5-mile oval, but excluding a did-not-finish result for engine trouble in the spring of 2013, the Kannapolis, North Carolina, native has an average finish of 12.6 in the last four years and a career total of six top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. The track is also the site of his first Cup start (May 1999) and first Cup pole (May 2000).
LOOP DATA: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Earnhardt ranks seventh among drivers for green-flag passes during the last 10 years at Charlotte, completing 1,615 of them. In that span, the driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevy SS is scored as the ninth fastest driver on restarts, and ranks 11th among drivers in fastest laps run (202) and 14th in laps led at the 1.5-mile oval (162).
NATIONWIDE SWEEPS: Nationwide recently announced the Nationwide Race to Vegas sweepstakes. Fans can enter to win a trip to the 2016 Las Vegas race weekend, where they will attend the race and meet Earnhardt. Visit nationwide.com/NW88JR for program details.
TALLADEGA VICTORY TOUR: Last week, Earnhardt visited the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta as part of the Talladega Superspeedway Victory Tour to promote its 500-mile event on Oct. 25. NASCAR’s 12-time most popular driver surprised one of his biggest fans, Austin, a 12-year-old from the CURE for Childhood Cancer program, with garage passes to Talladega for the fall race. Earnhardt then received his own surprise, a visit from 2014 College Football Hall of Fame inductee and former Washington Redskins player Dave Butz, who gave the driver a game-worn helmet – the first and only helmet Butz has ever given away. For a behind-the-scenes photo gallery, click here.
AXALTA BECOMES A PRIMARY SPONSOR OF THE NO. 88 TEAM IN 2016: Axalta Coatings Systems (NYSE: AXTA) will continue its long-standing partnership with Hendrick Motorsports after agreeing to a contract extension that will expand its presence and take one of the most enduring sponsorships in NASCAR through 2018.Beginning in 2016, Axalta will become a primary sponsor of the No. 88 Chevrolet SS team of driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. for 13 Sprint Cup Series races annually, an increase of three per season. Axalta will also be featured as a major associate sponsor during all non-primary events.
HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT CHARLOTTE: Hendrick Motorsports has 18 wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which rank tied for second for the organization behind only Martinsville Speedway, where it has recorded a team-best 22 wins. Johnson most recently won for the organization at the track in 2014 and has an all-time record seven career victories at Charlotte. Johnson’s Hendrick Motorsports teammates Gordon and Kahne rank second and third, respectively, among active drivers in wins at Charlotte. The organization has 17 pole positions, 57 top-five finishes and 89 top-10s and has led 4,722 laps at Charlotte since 1984.
FINDING VICTORY LANE: Hendrick Motorsports’ 18 wins at Charlotte are tied with Dover International Speedway for the organization’s second-most at a track. The Charlotte victories have come via seven different drivers — Johnson (7), Gordon (5), Darrell Waltrip (2), Kahne, Terry Labonte, Casey Mears and Ken Schrader.
ORGANIZATION STATS: To date, Hendrick Motorsports has totals of 237 victories, 204 pole positions, 971 top-five finishes and 1,620 top-10 finishes in Sprint Cup competition. Its teams have led 64,768 laps since 1984.
“I always really enjoy Charlotte. You can keep your momentum up, keep your speed up, you can move your line around and find something that works better for your car a lot of times there and some tracks you can’t do that. Charlotte has worked really well for me throughout the years. It has some really high-load spots in the car that you need it to be turning really well through. It’s always really fun to win there because it’s so close to home, it’s close to the teams and we have a lot of team members there cheering on the Hendrick Motorsports cars so it’s neat when a Hendrick Motorsports car wins at Charlotte.”
Kasey Kahne on racing at Charlotte
“The 5Kahne is something we came up with about six years ago. It’s just a run on the Charlotte fall weekend. We get as many people together as possible and go run 3.1 miles. We have music and Great Clips is cutting hair. There is so much support from people whether it’s our sponsors, the fans and volunteers. The fans are so much behind everything that we do as a driver or as a team and they have supported the Kasey Kahne Foundation since we started it. That’s awesome. It’s really cool to have that support. The other drivers, owners and volunteers come and help out and support and you need all of that to make a foundation right and to put smiles on kids’ faces. We have been really fortunate to have that and it makes you feel good and it makes you want to keep building the program and making it better and better.”
Kahne on the 5Kahne
“The goal was to advance, and now we reset (the points) and see what we can do in the next three. I’m excited about this weekend because we ran well and led some laps at Chicago, so hopefully we run well and are competitive at the remaining intermediate tracks like Charlotte this weekend.”
Jeff Gordon on advancing in the Chase
“After 14 years of partnership, I know what the red vest means to everyone at Lowe’s. It’s why I’m proud to have red on my car at Charlotte and Lowe’s as part of my team. With the elimination last week, of course there is disappointment, but it’s part of it. We are looking forward to going to each track without pressure and with the mindset to win.”
Jimmie Johnson on driving the No. 48 Lowe’s Red Vest Chevrolet SS
“I hate some guys don’t get to make it and some guys do, but I’m glad we are able to move on to the next round. It kind of resets and hopefully we don’t make any more mistakes and make it too hard on ourselves to try to get to that next round. Now, it’s time to regroup and prepare for the next race. I’m proud of our Nationwide team, and I’m ready to race this weekend at Charlotte. I just have that good confidence in my guys. They really support me and pump me up and give me the confidence to go out there and work hard. We have been building this team for a long time.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. on advancing in the Chase
Proud of #Team24 for making it to round 2 of #TheChase. We haven’t had the best year so far but we continue to fight together as a team!
@JeffGordonWeb via Twitter
10/4/15, 9:32 p.m.