CONCORD, N.C. – This Saturday, Hendrick Motorsports heads to Bristol Motor Speedway where teammates Chase Elliott, William Byron and Alex Bowman, who all have yet to officially lock into the next round, will fight to make the Round of 12 in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.
Regular season champion Kyle Larson has clinched his spot in the next round after collecting enough playoff points to advance.
Entering Bristol, Hendrick Motorsports has won eight of the 28 elimination races held since 2014, including three in 2020: the Charlotte ROVAL, Martinsville Speedway and Phoenix Raceway. The team has won at least one elimination race in each of the last three seasons.
Take a look at some of the best stats for Hendrick Motorsports at Bristol as its teams get ready for “The World’s Fastest Half-Mile.” Tune in this Saturday, Sept. 18 at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN to see the organization battle to secure four spots in the next round of the playoffs.
- In 12 starts on the concrete Bristol Motor Speedway, Larson has two top-five finishes – a pair of runner-up finishes in 2018 – and seven top-10s. The driver of the No. 5 Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE has led 200 or more laps on two occasions at the Tennessee venue.
- Larson has accumulated 53 playoff points this season through five race wins (five points per win), 13 stage victories (one point per stage win) and by winning the NASCAR Cup Series regular season championship (15 points). The drivers ranked second and third in playoff points combined have 53 points.
- This weekend, Elliott will make his 11th Cup start on the concrete configuration at Bristol. In his 10 previous events held on the .533-mile oval, the driver of the No. 9 Hooters Chevrolet secured three top-five finishes, five top-10s and led 310 laps – the most laps led for Elliott at a track where he has not won a points race. In addition, Elliott also led 60 laps en route to winning the non-points NASCAR All-Star Race held at Bristol in July 2020. The 25-year-old driver also holds the longest active streak for races led at Bristol (five) and has won three of the last six stages at the track.
- The Cup Series is heading to the first cutoff race of the playoffs and Elliott has previously proven to excel with a little extra pressure. He and the No. 9 team have won the last three playoff elimination races (2020 - the Charlotte ROVAL, Martinsville Speedway, Phoenix Raceway).
- With only eight races left in the 2021 Cup Series season, Byron is continuing to have a career-best season at the highest level of competition in the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. So far, he has collected one win (Homestead-Miami Speedway), a series-leading two pole awards (Road America and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course), nine top-five finishes and 16 top-10s (tied for the third-most) all while leading 276 laps and collecting three stage wins. In his Cup career, 2021 represents the most top-five finishes, top-10s, laps led, and stage wins the 23-year-old driver has collected in a single season.
- This weekend, Byron will make his seventh Cup Series start at Bristol Motor Speedway. He has a best qualifying effort of second at “The Last Great Colosseum,” lining up alongside Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott in April 2019. In his six starts at Bristol, Byron has a track-best finish of eighth, which came last year in the spring event. In the most recent night race in September 2020, Byron found himself running inside the top 10 before being collected in an on-track incident, ending his evening early.
- Bowman has 10 Cup Series starts at Bristol with two top-10 results. His best performance at the half-mile Tennessee venue came in 2018 when he brought home a fifth-place finish after 500 laps in the spring race. Earlier this season, the series visited the track for the first Cup event on dirt where Bowman finished 22nd after rolling off seventh. In 2013, he made two starts at the facility in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, capturing one top-15 finish.
- Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, has made 32 paved short-track starts in his seven-year Cup Series career with one win (Richmond), two top-five finishes and seven top-10s. He has collected the ninth-most points (238) at short tracks in the last eight short-track events since the start of 2020