CONCORD, N.C. – Restrictor-plate racing returns to the NASCAR Cup Series this weekend at Daytona International Speedway.
The organization has earned 24 wins in restrictor-plate races, the most all-time by a single organization. Jeff Gordon earned half of the organization’s total with 12 restrictor-plate wins.
As Hendrick Motorsports heads to Daytona this weekend, here are some key facts, figures and moments from the organization’s history at the superspeedway.
- Hendrick Motorsports has achieved 14 wins, 18 pole positions, 54 top-five results, 94 top-10s and 2,024 laps led at Daytona. The organization's 14 wins ranks second all-time at Daytona behind only Wood Brothers Racing with 15. The organization's 2,024 laps led are the most all-time at Daytona, nearly 300 more than Richard Childress Racing's 1,734. Hendrick Motorsports' most recent victory at Daytona was courtesy of Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the July 2015 race.
- Six different drivers have won for Hendrick Motorsports at Daytona – the second-most all-time behind Wood Brothers Racing's seven. Gordon (six wins), Jimmie Johnson (three wins), Earnhardt (two wins), Darrell Waltrip (one win), Tim Richmond (one win) and Geoff Bodine (one win) all visited Victory Lane at the track for the organization.
- In addition to Hendrick Motorsports' 14 points-paying wins at Daytona – eight in the Daytona 500 and six in the July race – the organization has also secured 15 Duel wins, six Clash wins and four wins in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at the track.
- The last two times a team has swept the top two finishing positions at Daytona has been Hendrick Motorsports, a feat the team has achieved a total of five times. The organization is also the only team to sweep the top three finishing positions at Daytona, courtesy of Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte and Ricky Craven in 1997.
- Chase Elliott is set to make his sixth points-paying NASCAR Cup Series start at Daytona this weekend. In his previous starts, the 22-year-old driver has led 50 laps and averages a starting position of 6.4, winning the pole two consecutive times for the Daytona 500. Elliott won a Duel at Daytona in each of the last two seasons, and was in position to win the 2017 Daytona 500 before running out of fuel from the lead on Lap 198 of 200.
- Elliott has also competed at Daytona seven times in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, highlighted by a victory in the season-opener in February 2016 and collecting two top-five finishes and three top-10s. Elliott finished ninth in his lone ARCA Racing Series start at the 2.5-mile track in 2014.
- No. 9 team crew chief Alan Gustafson has earned back-to-back Duel wins at Daytona with Elliott in 2017 and 2018. He also has two runner-up finishes at Daytona, both in the July race and both with Kyle Busch (2006, 2007) – the 2007 second-place result to Jamie McMurray was the closest margin of victory ever in the summer race (0.005). Gustafson has also won four Daytona pole awards, two with Elliott and one each with Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin.
- While William Byron has only one Cup Series start at Daytona, he’s already a Daytona winner. In his championship-winning 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series season, Byron led 29 laps and scored a victory in the July 1 race at Daytona after starting third, making him the only driver to win after leading the most laps in the last 11 Xfinity races at Daytona. His average finish at Daytona in two Xfinity Series starts is fifth.
- In April’s race at Talladega, Byron led a total of 14 laps, becoming the youngest driver in Cup Series history to lead double-digit laps in a plate race at 20 years and five months old. Byron’s crew chief, Darian Grubb, has found Victory Lane three different times in restrictor-plate races with three different drivers.
- Johnson is currently second on the list of active drivers for most restrictor-plate wins with five, behind only Brad Keselowski's six. He has won three times at Daytona International Speedway and twice at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson’s most recent win at Daytona came in 2013, when he won both the Daytona 500 and the 400-mile race in July before going on to win his sixth NASCAR Cup Series championship in the same season.
- On three occasions at Daytona, Johnson has been involved in a Hendrick Motorsports one-two finishing effort. In July 2015, Johnson finished just behind former teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. In February of 2013, Earnhardt was in Johnson’s rear-view mirror as the driver of the No. 48 Chevy cruised to his second win in the "Great American Race." Johnson finished in the runner-up position in July 2004 as NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon won the 400-mile event.
- Earlier this season, Bowman and the No. 88 team sat on the pole for the Daytona 500 and led a total of 13 laps. This weekend, Bowman will make his fifth NASCAR Cup Series start at the 2.5-mile speedway. The 25-year-old’s best finish came back in 2014 when he finished the race 13th. So far in 2018, Bowman has led the most laps by a Chevrolet driver at plate tracks with a total of 39 laps led. Bowman has two starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Daytona with an average starting position of 10.0 and an average finishing position of 11.5.
- No. 88 team crew chief Greg Ives has called the shots seven times for the No. 88 team at the Florida track. The Michigan native has one win at the track with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2015 after the team qualified on the pole and led 96 of 161 laps. Ives has three pole positions and two top-five finishes at the superspeedway in the Cup Series.
- Daytona has produced 18 first-time winners, the most all-time at a track. Elliott, Byron and Bowman all have the chance to become the 19th driver to win their first career race at Daytona this weekend.