CONCORD, N.C.— Coming off a win at Martinsville Speedway last weekend, Hendrick Motorsports is headed to compete once again at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday.
Jimmie Johnson clinched the first spot in the Championship 4 last weekend at Martinsville and is looking to take home another win this weekend at the Lone Star State.
“Obviously, we want to win more races,” Johnson said. “If we can have success at Texas, that will only put us in Miami with more confidence and more speed in our car. The work is far from over. There’s one race at the end and it's winner-take-all. There are no layups.”
Meanwhile, Chase Elliott is ready to head to Texas for the second time in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car after claiming a top-five finish at the track this spring.
“For us, we want to improve from where we were in the spring,” Elliott said. “Our goal is to try to be a contender each week. As I’ve said for a while, you can’t control how things are going to go.”
Before tuning in this weekend to watch the drivers compete in Fort Worth, Texas, check out some key notes to keep an eye on below.
BROADCAST INFORMATION: Sunday’s race will air live on NBC at 2 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, Nov. 4:
12:30 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Practice, NBC Sports Network
6:30 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Qualifying, NBC Sports App
Saturday, Nov. 5:
10:30 a.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Practice, CNBC
1:30 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Final Practice, NBC Sports Network
Sunday, Nov. 6:
2 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Race, NBC
THIS WEEKEND’S PAINT SCHEMES: This weekend at Texas Motor Speedway marks the final time of the season AARP Foundation and its Drive to End Hunger program will adorn Kasey Kahne’s No. 5 Chevrolet SS as the primary sponsor. Elliott will pilot Kelley Blue Book’s final primary race on the No. 24 Chevrolet SS in 2016. Johnson will race the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS and Alex Bowman will drive the No. 88 Chevrolet SS for the final three races of the season, starting with climbing behind the wheel of the Nationwide Chevy this weekend at Texas.
HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT TEXAS: Hendrick Motorsports has earned eight wins, 34 top-five finishes, 60 top-10s, six pole positions and led 2,252 laps at Texas Motor Speedway. Johnson has reached Victory Lane in three of the past four events at the track, including a sweep in the 2015 season.
KAHNE AT TEXAS: In April 2006, Kahne earned the pole award at Texas as well as the win. He led 63 laps to sweep the weekend in just his fourth start at the Fort Worth, Texas, track. The 36-year-old is one of three drivers to capture the pole and win in the same weekend at the mile-and-a-half track. In this year’s spring race, Kahne ended the day in the eighth position.
REIGNING ROOKIE: Elliott leads the 2016 Rookie of the Year contender standings heading into Texas Motor Speedway by 61 points over second-place Ryan Blaney and 90 points over third-place Chris Buescher. Elliott has accumulated a total of 287 rookie points this year through the first 33 races. He has yet to win his first race, but claims nine top-five showings – the most by a rookie since Carl Edwards scored 13 in 2005.
YOUNG GUN IN THE LONE STAR STATE: The rookie will be looking for his first-career Cup Series victory and has had some good luck in the Lone Star State. In 2014, Elliott led 38 laps en route to his first trip to Victory Lane in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
CLOCKED IN: Johnson’s win at Martinsville automatically advances him to the Championship 4 round at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season finale. The win also tied Johnson with teammate Jeff Gordon for most wins all-time at the half-mile, paperclip-shaped track.
STRONG IN TEXAS: In this race one year ago at Texas, Johnson proved to be a Chase-contender spoiler of sorts. Johnson was no longer eligible for the championship after being knocked out of the Round of 12, but led six laps en route to his sixth win at the 1.5-mile track.
MARTINSVILLE RECAP: Gordon competed in his final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race driving the No. 88 Chevrolet SS this past Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. The driver filled in for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in eight races on the 2016 circuit, logging two top-10s -- at Dover International Speedway and Martinsville Speedway. Gordon climbed into the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS for the final time Sunday before claiming his best finish of the season -- sixth place. Gordon’s sixth-place result breaks his tie with Richard Petty, moving him into sole possession of first on the list for the most top-10 Cup finishes at Martinsville of all time with 38 and extends his all-time record for lead-lap finishes (39) at the paperclip. Gordon also will continue to hold the record for the least DNF’s at Martinsville, having been running at the finish in every single one of his 47 races at the half-mile short track.
BOWMAN TO CLOSE OUT 2016: Bowman will drive the No. 88 Chevrolet SS for the final three races of the season, starting with climbing behind the wheel of the Nationwide Chevy this weekend at Texas. Texas Motor Speedway will be his eighth of 10 scheduled starts as a substitute for Earnhardt. In his previous seven starts, Bowman has run in the top 10 in each event and produced his best finish of seventh at Kansas, another 1.5-mile track. Combined, he’s earned two top-10 finishes and three top-15s driving the No. 88 Chevrolet SS in 2016.