CONCORD, N.C. – The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Kentucky Speedway this weekend, and the 1.5-mile track is a type on which Hendrick Motorsports has excelled throughout its history.
The organization’s 57 wins on 1.5-mile tracks leads all active teams, 12 more than the next-closest team, Joe Gibbs Racing. Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon lead all drivers for most 1.5-mile track victories, earning 28 and 17 wins, respectively. Among active crew chiefs, No. 48 team crew chief Chad Knaus owns the most wins on 1.5-mile tracks with 27 and No. 24 team crew chief Darian Grubb ranks second with 11.
See below for more key stats and figures as Hendrick Motorsports heads to Kentucky Speedway.
- In seven races at Kentucky Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports has posted two poles, six top-five finishes, 15 top-10s and 216 laps led. The venue, which began hosting NASCAR's premier series in 2011, is the only active track where Hendrick Motorsports has not produced a win in the Cup Series. The organization has finished in every position from second to 14th at the track at least once.
- Chase Elliott is set to make his third Cup Series start at Kentucky Speedway this weekend. Last season, the NAPA AUTO PARTS team collected a third-place finish at the 1.5-mile speedway after starting 12th. No. 9 team crew chief Alan Gustafson has earned six top-10 finishes at Kentucky, tied for the most all-time by a crew chief at the venue.
- There are still five racetracks on the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series schedule – six including the Charlotte ROVAL – where William Byron will make his first Cup start, including this weekend’s race at Kentucky Speedway. However, the Cup Series rookie participated in a tire test there in May and he has raced at the 1.5-mile track previously in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Camping World Truck Series and the ARCA Racing Series. In Xfinity last season, he earned a top-10 finish in the July race, but a loose wheel forced him to pit road in the September event and he finished 18th. In the truck race the prior season, Byron started third and led 70 laps en route to his fourth of seven wins in the series in 2016.
- At Kentucky Speedway, seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Johnson leads the charge for most laps led by an active driver without a win. Johnson has led 203 circuits around the 1.5-mile track with a best finish of third. Kentucky is one of the three tracks on the Cup Series circuit where Johnson has yet to find Victory Lane, along with Chicagoland Speedway and Watkins Glen International.
- The first five times the NASCAR Cup Series raced at Kentucky Speedway, Johnson and the No. 48 team didn’t finish outside the top 10. He has also started inside the top 10 for six of his seven career starts at the venue. Knaus is tied for the second-most top-10s earned by a crew chief at Kentucky all-time.
- This weekend at Kentucky Speedway, Alex Bowman will make his 100th career NASCAR Cup Series start. Through 18 races in 2018, Bowman has earned a career-best finish on a track 12 times, including each of the last four races. He is currently on the longest top-10 streak of his career with three consecutive top-10 results. During that three-race span, he ranks fifth in points earned among all drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series.
- Bowman has also finished inside the top 10 in the last two events on a 1.5-mile tracks. Four of Bowman’s six top-10 stage finishes this season have come in the last five races.
- So far in the 2018 season, Elliott and Johnson have both earned 17 top-10 stage finishes, tied for the second-most among all Chevrolet drivers. Byron is behind his teammates in fourth with seven top-10 stage finishes and Bowman is sixth on the list, earning six top-10 stage finishes.