CONCORD, N.C.— This weekend, Hendrick Motorsports heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for some New England racing.
And the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS will have a fill-in driver – Alex Bowman.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. will miss the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race due to concussion-like symptoms and Bowman was pegged to climb behind the wheel.
“It’s definitely not the circumstances that I want to get an opportunity like this,” the 23-year-old driver said. “Obviously I’m hoping Dale feels better, but at the same time it’s the best opportunity I’ve ever had in my life.”
Kasey Kahne most recently won for the organization at the New England track and brought home the lobster.
“New Hampshire is a tough track,” Kahne said. “Obviously track position is very important due to the track’s size and it can also be a tough place to navigate traffic. I remember winning there in 2012 for Hendrick Motorsports and what a great feeling that was.”
Tune in this Sunday to catch all the action and take a look at the key notes below to keep in mind before the green flag waves at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
BROADCAST INFORMATION: Sunday’s race will air live on NBCSN at 1:30 p.m. ET. Can’t make it to the television? Listen to the race live on PRN and SiriusXM to catch the radio coverage. Here is the full broadcast schedule:
Friday, July 15:
4:30 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Qualifying, NBC Sports Network
Saturday, July 16:
10:00 a.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Practice, CNBC
12:30 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Final Practice, NBC Sports Network
Sunday, July 17
1:30 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Race, NBC Sports Network/PRN/SiriusXM
THIS WEEK’S PAINT SCHEMES: This weekend at New Hampshire, Kahne will pilot the No. 5 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS. New Hampshire marks the final time this season that the red-and-white colors of Quicken Loans will adorn the No. 5 machine. NAPA AUTO PARTS will be the primary partner on board Rookie of the Year contender Chase Elliott’s No. 24 Chevrolet SS this weekend. Jimmie Johnson will drive the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS and Bowman will drive the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS.
HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT NEW HAMPSHIRE: At New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports has nine wins, six pole positions, 42 top-five finishes and 72 top-10s. Kahne most recently visited Victory Lane for the organization at the track in 2012.
NEARING 1,000: Cars fielded by Hendrick Motorsports have recorded 999 top-five finishes since the team was founded by Rick Hendrick in 1984. The owner's first Sprint Cup top-five also was his first win -- with driver Geoff Bodine on April 29, 1984, at Martinsville Speedway. This season, the organization has recorded 19 top-fives among its four drivers. Hendrick Motorsports posted a team record 57 top-five finishes in 2007. The organization has earned 42 top-fives at New Hampshire, making it one of 13 racetracks where owner Hendrick has tallied more than 40.
KAHNE AT NEW HAMPSHIRE: Kahne returns to the site of his 14th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win this weekend. After starting the July 2012 race from the outside pole position, Kahne went on to take the checkered flag with a 2.738-second lead over Denny Hamlin after leading 66 laps. In Kahne’s 24 starts at New Hampshire, he’s taken the green flag from the second position five times.
SEASON STANDINGS: Elliott currently sits eighth in the standings with 492 points. The rookie trails points leader Kevin Harvick by 107 markers. The 20-year-old is younger than any other driver currently inside the top 16 – the amount of drivers NASCAR takes into its playoffs – while also being the highest ranked rookie.
JJ’S LOBSTER COLLECTION: Johnson and the No. 48 Lowe’s team have earned three lobster trophies at New Hampshire Motor Speedway over 28 starts. They swept both events in 2003 and earned another victory in 2010. Johnson has an average start of 12.2 and an average finish of 11.2 at the 1.058-mile track.