BROOKLYN, Mich. – After Hendrick Motorsports captured its 250th win last weekend at Watkins Glen International, Michigan International Speedway awaits.
Through 230 starts at the venue, the organizations has compiled eight wins, 52 top-five finishes, 98 top-10s, 11 pole positions and 2,478 laps led at the two-mile, D-shaped track.
As Hendrick Motorsports chases after win No. 251 this weekend, here’s a closer look inside the 250th victory and how the organization has performed at Michigan over the years.
- With Chase Elliott's win last weekend at Watkins Glen International, Hendrick Motorsports earned its 250th points-paying NASCAR Cup Series win. The victory came 34 years, three months and seven days after the organization's first win at Martinsville Speedway on April 29, 1984. In that time, the organization has won with 17 different drivers – the second-most all-time – at a total of 26 different tracks across 19 states. Those drivers have ranged in age from 20 (Kyle Busch in 2005) to 50 (Mark Martin in 2009). Twenty-four crew chiefs have contributed to the 250 wins with seven different car numbers representing the organization in Victory Lane.
- The one constant throughout the victories has been Chevrolet, the only manufacturer with which Hendrick Motorsports has won. Since Hendrick Motorsports' founding in 1984, its 250 wins are the most of all active teams, 95 victories ahead of Joe Gibbs Racing.
- Over the past three races, Hendrick Motorsports has improved its average finish to 10.5 versus 17.42 from the prior six races. In the three-race span, it has amassed one win, three top-five finishes, seven top-10s and 100 laps led in addition to its first three stage wins of the season.
- Elliott secured his 2018 NASCAR playoff berth with his win at Watkins Glen, and two of his teammates are currently in position to join him: Johnson and Bowman. The three teammates in playoff position are tied for the second-most among all teams in the NASCAR Cup Series.
- With Elliott earning his first Cup Series win at Watkins Glen, Hendrick Motorsports now holds the record for the most first-time Cup Series winners with nine. The win also puts Elliott as the ninth-youngest first-time winner in the Cup Series (22 years, 8 months, 8 days), and the youngest road-course winner of all time. If William Byron or Alex Bowman wins at Michigan, it will extend the record to the 10th time a driver has recorded his first career Cup Series win while driving for Hendrick Motorsports.
- The organization swept both races at Michigan International Speedway in 2014 for its most recent wins at the two-mile oval. Hendrick Motorsports’ eight NASCAR Cup Series victories at Michigan have come via five different drivers: Jeff Gordon (three), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (two), Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin and Ricky Rudd.
- This weekend at Michigan, Elliott is set to make his 100th career NASCAR Cup Series start. In his previous 99 starts, the Dawsonville, Georgia, native’s career average starting position is 11.7 and his average finishing position is 13.9. He has completed 27,521 laps and is currently ranked fifth in the playoff standings.
- If Elliott brings home the checkered flag at Michigan, he would join the ranks of five other drivers – Lee Petty (1953), Junior Johnson (1959), Rex White (1960), Fred Lorenzen (1965), and Carl Edwards (2007) – who have won their 100th Cup start. He would also join Dick Linder (1950), Jim Reed (1958), Ned Jarrett (1959) and Billy Wade (1964) as drivers who earned their first two Cup wins in consecutive races. Elliott collected his first two NASCAR Xfinity Series wins in consecutive races in April 2014 at Texas Motor Speedway and Darlington Raceway.
- Over the last three races (New Hampshire, Pocono, Watkins Glen), Elliott and the No. 9 team have made gains. The third-year driver has collected 48 stage points and 150 total points, both the most among all drivers. The three stage wins are the most of all Chevrolet drivers in 2018 and also the most of all drivers in the last three races. Elliott’s average running position of 3.88 over the last three races is also the best of all drivers. The driver of the No. 9 Chevy has led 89 laps and averages a starting position of 6.3 and finishing position of 4.3 during that span.
- Elliott currently holds the best average finish (4.6) of all time at Michigan. He has finished inside the top 10 in all five career NASCAR Cup Series starts at the two-mile oval, giving him the series' longest active streak of starts prior to a finish outside the top 10 at Michigan. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native has collected three top-five finishes – all of which were runner-up results – at the track. Elliott also averages a starting position of 8.6 at the venue.
- For the second week in a row and the third time this season, Byron scored a top-10 finish in the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 last Sunday. With an eighth-place finish and eight extra points from a third-place finish in Stage 1, Byron moved up one spot to 20th in the overall point standings. Byron’s latest two finishes – sixth at Pocono and eighth at Watkins Glen – tie him for fifth among current Cup drivers with the best average finish over the last two races.
- Byron will make his second Cup Series start at Michigan this weekend. The rookie of the year contender earned a top-15 finish at the track in early June after qualifying 14th and earning points in both stages before coming home 13th in the rain-shortened event.
- Byron has also experienced success at the two-mile oval in the other NASCAR national series. In his lone Xfinity Series race at Michigan, he started fourth and finished second, just missing the win after leading eight of the final nine laps of the race. Byron rebounded to win the next two Xfinity Series races at Iowa and Daytona. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native has one start at the Brooklyn, Michigan, track in the Camping World Truck Series in 2016, when he qualified third and led nine laps en route to a fourth-place finish.
- Over the last three races, Jimmie Johnson’s average running position has ranked ninth among all Cup Series drivers, and in four of the past five races, his average running position has been higher than his race finish. The El Cajon, California, native has spent 43 laps running in the top two in the last five races, more than he had in the prior 17 races of 2018 combined.
- At Michigan, Johnson has the fifth-best driver rating among current drivers and an average finish of 16.1 at the track. Of all current drivers, Johnson has led the most laps around Michigan International Speedway with 687 – over 200 laps more than his next closest competitor. After a few close calls and near misses, Johnson scored his first win at Michigan on June 15, 2014, leading 39 laps en route to the checkered flag.
- Of all drivers who have won on tracks of two miles in distance, Johnson and NASCAR Hall of Famers Bill Elliott and Richard Petty all have seven, behind Hall of Famers David Pearson and Cale Yarborough, who each have nine. When it comes to wins at the next four tracks on the schedule, Johnson has earned the second-most of all current drivers with 10.
- In the last seven races, Bowman has captured one top five finish, four top-10s and six top-15 finishes – the same statistics he amassed over the first 15 races of the season. In the most recent seven races, the Tucson, Arizona, native's average finish has improved to 13.71 versus 15.87 in the first 15 events of the campaign. Over the past two races, Bowman's average finish of 8.5 is tied for seventh among all NASCAR Cup Series drivers.
- Bowman has six previous Cup Series starts at Michigan International Speedway. Two of those starts came with Hendrick Motorsports, once in 2016 and again earlier this season. In the June race this season, Bowman and the No. 88 team qualified 21st and brought home the 16th-place finish after turning 133 laps on track. The driver has made four starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at the track, where he averages a starting position of 7.8 and a finishing position of 14.0. Bowman’s lone NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at the two-mile speedway came in 2015 when he started 16th and finished 11th. In 2012, the driver ran one event at the track in the ARCA Racing Series, starting third and finishing as the runner-up after leading 12 laps.