CONCORD, N.C.— This weekend, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
And Sunday’s race is the second race in the Chase where drivers will compete in the Round of 16 at the 1.058-mile oval track.
“We had a lot of speed at New Hampshire last time out and we know what we need to do when we get there,” Jimmie Johnson said.
Johnson and the No. 48 team won the pole position last time out at New Hampshire. It was Johnson’s first pole at the 1.058-mile oval and he finished 12th after leading just a single lap.
Before you tune in to see where the drivers finish at the Loudon track, check out some key notes to keep an eye on during this weekend’s race in New Hampshire.
BROADCAST INFORMATION: Sunday’s race will air live on NBC Sports Network at 2:00 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, September 23:
11:30 a.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Practice, NBC Sports Network
4:30 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Qualifying, NBC Sports Network
Saturday, September 24:
9:00 a.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Practice, CNBC
11:30 a.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Final Practice, CNBC
Sunday, September 25:
2:00 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Race, NBC Sports Network
THIS WEEKEND’S PAINT SCHEMES: This weekend, Kasey Kahne will debut the No. 5 Great Clips/ Signature by Levi Strauss & Co. Chevrolet SS. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year contender Chase Elliott will drive the No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS. Johnson will race the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS and Alex Bowman will be back in action in the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS this weekend at the Loudon track, where he first subbed for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in July.
KAHNE AT NEW HAMPSHIRE: The 36-year-old earned his 14th Sprint Cup Series career win at New Hampshire in July 2012. Kahne is still looking to earn his first pole award at the 1.058-mile track. In 25 starts, he’s started on the outside pole position five times.
CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENDER: Elliott's debut in the 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup elevated the NAPA AUTO PARTS driver to sixth in the championship standings heading into this weekend’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Elliott led 75 laps en route to a third-place finish last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway – the first race in NASCAR’s 10-race postseason playoff. This gives him a strong boost to stay above the Round of 12 cutoff that will happen after the Oct. 2 race at Dover.
SWANCHO SWAGGER: NAPA engineers have developed cutting-edge NASCAR sweatshirt poncho technology – dubbing their creation the “Swancho.” These limited-edition NAPA AUTO PARTS Swanchos feature Elliott’s headshot on one side with the No. 24 and NAPA logos emblazoned on the opposite side. It’s the only racing Swancho endorsed by Elliott. Visit napa24swancho.com for additional details. The program runs through Sept. 26.
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 100.8 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.
CAREER BEST: Last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, Bowman earned his best NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finish when he crossed the line 10th in the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet SS on Sunday. The 23-year-old, who is filling in for Earnhardt while he continues to recover from a concussion, also led six laps near the end of the race starting with Lap 243, making for a career total of nine laps led in Cup competition. Bowman earned the No. 88 team its first top-10 result since Earnhardt’s second-place finish at Pocono Raceway in June.
BOWMAN AT NHMS: In his first race with the No. 88 team at NHMS in July, the young driver was running solidly in the top 10 before a cut tire relegated him to a 26th-place finish. He’ll return to New Hampshire for his sixth Cup start at the 1.058-mile track, looking to earn his second top-10 finish in just his fourth race in the No. 88 Chevrolet SS. He also has two NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at the “Magic Mile,” earning top-10 finishes both times.