NSCS: Hendrick Motorsports Media Advance: Texas

TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY (1.5-MILE OVAL)
LOCATION: FORT WORTH, TEXAS
EVENT: NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES (RACE 34 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 2 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, NOV. 8 (NBC/PRN/SIRIUSXM)

No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS / Kasey Kahne
Driver Kasey Kahne   Hometown Enumclaw, Washington
Age 35                        Resides Mooresville, North Carolina

2015 Season

18th in standings
33 starts
0 wins
1 pole position
3 top-five finishes
10 top-10 finishes
66 laps led

Career

429 starts
17 wins
27 pole positions
86 top-five finishes
156 top-10 finishes
4,607 laps led

Track Career

22 starts
1 win
1 pole position
5 top-five finishes
7 top-10 finishes
224 laps led

FARMERS INSURANCE ON THE NO. 5 CHEVROLET SS: Farmers Insurance will adorn the hood of Kasey Kahne’s No. 5 Chevrolet SS this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway for the 12th time this season. It will be the primary sponsor on the car for one additional Sprint Cup Series race this year: Phoenix International Raceway (Nov. 15).

NO. 5 CHEVROLET WILL FEATURE TERRY LABONTE DECAL: Labonte, commonly called “Texas Terry,” will be the first Texan to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame since its inception in 2010. Kahne, the current driver of Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 5 Chevrolet, will run a congratulatory decal on his car this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway to recognize Labonte for his career in the No. 5 as he prepares for his Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Jan. 22, 2016. Labonte ran 387 Sprint Cup Series races in his career for owner Rick Hendrick and accumulated 12 wins, 64 top-five finishes and 125 top-10 finishes. Labonte won the 1996 championship, which was the second championship for Hendrick Motorsports.

TEXAS LOOP DATA: According to NASCAR loop data, in the last 10 years at Texas Motor Speedway, Kahne ranks seventh in quality passes (36.2 percent, 761 passes), eighth in fastest laps run (3.9 percent, 271 laps), eighth in green flag passes (1,531 passes), ninth in green flag speed (173.405 miles per hour), ninth in laps in the top 15 (63.9 percent, 4,494 laps) and 10th in average speed late in a run (171.249 miles per hour).

VICTORY AT TEXAS: Kahne raced his way to victory at Texas on April 9, 2006, after starting from the pole position and leading 63 laps. Three of the 29 Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from the pole position, including Kahne’s victory.

1.5-MILE TRACK STATS: Kahne has collected eight of his 17 career Cup wins and 11 of his 27 pole positions on 1.5-mile tracks.

No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet SS / Jeff Gordon
Driver Jeff Gordon   Hometown Pittsboro, Indiana
Age 44                      Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2015 Season

1st in standings
33 starts
1 win
4 pole positions
5 top-five finishes
18 top-10 finishes
252 laps led

Career

794 starts
93 wins
81 pole positions
325 top-five finishes
472 top-10 finishes
24,916 laps led

Track Career

29 starts
1 win
2 pole positions
9 top-five finishes
13 top-10 finishes
691 laps led

Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, is scheduled to visit the Texas Motor Speedway media center at 2 p.m. local time Friday.

GORDON IN CHAMPIONSHIP 4: Jeff Gordon led the final 22 laps at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday en route to his ninth win at the Virginia short track. Gordon’s first win of 2015 – and 93rd career victory – means he will be one of four drivers battling for the championship in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 22.

LONE VICTORY IN THE LONE STAR STATE: On April 5, 2009, Gordon secured his lone victory in the Lone Star State. That win was his 82nd career victory in NASCAR’s premier division.

ONLY GORDON: Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, is the only individual to compete in all 29 Sprint Cup events at Texas Motor Speedway.

NEARING 25K: Gordon is 84 shy of 25,000 career laps led.

ANOTHER TITLE FOR GORDON: Axalta Coating Systems (NYSE: AXTA), a leading global manufacturer of liquid and powder coatings, and Gordon announced a new multi-year partnership in February. Gordon was named Axalta’s Global Business Advisor and will serve as special advisor to Charlie Shaver, Axalta Chairman and CEO, bringing his winning skills and innovative thinking to Axalta, its leadership team and its customers worldwide.

No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS / Jimmie Johnson
Driver Jimmie Johnson   Hometown El Cajon, California
Age 40                             Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2015 Season

14th in standings
33 starts
4 wins
0 pole positions
12 top-five finishes
19 top-10 finishes
508 laps led

Career

504 starts
74 wins
33 pole positions
205 top-five finishes
311 top-10 finishes
17,659 laps led

Track Career

24 starts
5 wins
1 pole position
12 top-five finishes
18 top-10 finishes
1,017 laps led

FIVE COWBOY HATS: Jimmie Johnson has won in his last two attempts at the 1.5-mile speedway near Fort Worth, Texas. In this race one year ago, Johnson led a race-high 191 laps en route to his fourth victory at Texas. Earlier this season in April, Johnson won for a fifth time at the track after leading 128 laps and edging runner-up Kevin Harvick by 1.107 seconds.

TWO IN A ROW: At the last outing in Texas, Johnson’s second straight victory at the track marked a record fifth in his career in the Lone Star State which currently is the most all time among drivers in the sport. It was the third win of the 2015 season for Johnson.

STELLAR IN TEXAS: Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Texas Motor Speedway with an 8.417 and is the only active driver with an average starting position at Texas inside the top 10. Johnson has also won the last three consecutive “Chase” races at Texas Motor Speedway (2012, 2013 and 2014).

TEXAS DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Johnson has the series-best driver rating at Texas with a score of 107.2 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.

MIAMI TICKET PACKAGE: Johnson will host a Q&A with kids and their parents on Championship Sunday — Nov. 22 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Package price is $148, which includes two tickets, pit passes and a Q&A with the six-time champion. To purchase, click here.

No. 88 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet SS / Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.   Hometown Kannapolis, North Carolina
Age 41                                Resides Mooresville, North Carolina

2015 Season

11th in standings
33 starts
2 wins
0 pole positions
15 top-five finishes
20 top-10 finishes
265 laps led

Career

574 starts
25 wins
13 pole positions
142 top-five finishes
244 top-10 finishes
8,112 laps led

Track Career

26 starts
1 win
2 pole positions
5 top-five finishes
15 top-10 finishes
448 laps led

MARTINSVILLE WRAP-UP: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet SS, overcame handling issues in the early going at Martinsville Speedway to score his 15th top-five finish of 2015. His fourth-place result helped him gain a position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings, placing him 11th, just 10 points outside of the top 10 with three races remaining. His Hendrick Motorsports teammate Gordon earned his first victory of 2015 and secured a spot in the four-driver final round of the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup at the Homestead-Miami finale.

KELLEY BLUE BOOK: Kelley Blue Book, the vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry, will adorn the hood of Earnhardt’s No. 88 Chevrolet SS this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Earnhardt also ran the Kelley Blue Book scheme at Atlanta Motor Speedway earlier this year.

SUCCESS ON 1.5-MILE TRACKS: This season, Earnhardt has had strong runs on 1.5-mile tracks, earning an average finish of 10.9 in nine races. At Texas, the Kannapolis, North Carolina, native has an average finish of 14.2 in 26 races, but in the last two seasons, excluding a 43th-place result due to an incident in the opening laps of the April 2014 race, his average finish is a stout 3.7. While he hasn’t been to Victory Lane since winning his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in his first start at the 1.5-mile oval on April 2, 2000, at age 25, he’s earned two top-five and eight top-10 finishes in the 11 most recent races at the facility, dating back to 2010. The 41-year-old driver has two poles at the Lone Star State track, earning the top starting spot in April 2001 and in April 2008, his first pole with Hendrick Motorsports.

QUALITY PASSES: Earnhardt leads all active drivers in the quality passes category. Quality passes are the number of times a driver passes another car that is running in the top 15 while under green flag conditions. The driver of the No. 88 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet has recorded 863 quality passes at Texas, 30 more than the next closest driver.

TEXAS LOOP DATA: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Earnhardt has the ninth-best driver rating during the last 10 years among active drivers with a 91.9. The No. 88 Kelley Blue Book driver ranks third in the number of laps in the top 15 with 5,229 and he holds a solid ranking in many of the speed categories: average speed early in a run (eighth – 177.164), average speed late in a run (third – 171.558), fastest laps run (ninth – 256) and green-flag speed (fifth – 173.74).

Hendrick Motorsports

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT TEXAS: Hendrick Motorsports drivers have earned seven wins, 30 top-five finishes, 53 top-10s, six pole positions and 2,245 laps led at Texas Motor Speedway. Johnson has reached Victory Lane for the organization in each of the past two races at the track.

ORGANIZATION STATS: To date, Hendrick Motorsports has totals of 238 victories, 205 pole positions, 977 top-five finishes and 1,629 top-10 finishes in Sprint Cup competition. Its teams have led 64,932 laps since 1984.

QUOTABLE /

“Texas is a fast track. The cars usually slide around a lot, which is great for our racing – that’s how we pass in a Cup car there.  Your heart rate is up a little higher when you’re at Texas compared to most tracks.  When things happen there they’re usually big. It’s a tough track to win at. We’re really serious about it and we want to get a win.”

Kasey Kahne on Texas Motor Speedway

“Terry is a nice guy. He’s really soft spoken – a really good guy. I remember him driving the No. 5 car around the track when I was a kid, specifically him gutting it out at Phoenix and winning the race. I remember thinking how cool it was when the No. 5 and No. 24 used to race against each other that year. And of course Terry winning the Southern 500 when I was a little older. Terry has a lot of history with the No. 5, so it means the world to have his name on the car this weekend. He won his first championship in 1984 and then ended up at Hendrick in 1994. I think that move really rejuvenated his career. He ran really well and won a championship in the No. 5 car. I think it’s really cool that he won his championships so far apart. It really shows what kind of a driver he was and what he meant to the sport. It’s fitting that he is being inducted into the Hall of Fame.”

No. 5 team crew chief Keith Rodden on Terry Labonte

“It was really a chance of a lifetime. Everybody doesn’t get the opportunity to drive for a team that’s as good as they are and a team that has an opportunity to win a championship. That just doesn’t happen all the time. It was a great organization, great team and you’ll not find a better owner to drive for than Rick Hendrick. For us to win some races and win a championship was really incredible.”

Terry Labonte on driving for Hendrick Motorsports

“Now that we are locked into (the Championship 4), I think we can learn some things this weekend at Texas that could help us at Miami. Texas is a fast racetrack that has multiple grooves. We’ll be searching for a good balance between clean air and track position while also managing tire wear.”

Jeff Gordon on learning at Texas

“The last race in Texas showed some pretty fantastic racing. The surface of this racetrack really allows for that to happen. It’s going to be an exciting race and we are going for three in a row there.”

Jimmie Johnson on racing at Texas

“We’re still working hard to try to win one of these last three races. I enjoy going to Texas, and I think we’ll have a shot at it there. I want to end up inside the top 10 in points at the end of this season, so each good finish gets us closer to that. I’ve got a lot of faith in this team and the things we can accomplish.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. on racing at Texas