CONCORD, N.C. – The NASCAR Cup Series is on its way to Dover International Speedway this weekend for the opening race of the NASCAR playoffs Round of 12.
And at the venue, Hendrick Motorsports has compiled 19 wins, 15 runner-up results, 64 top-five finishes, 104 top-10s and 6,678 laps led, all of which are all-time records at the track. Johnson most recently visited Victory Lane for the organization at the track in June 2017.
As the Hendrick Motorsports teammates head to the “Monster Mile,” check out some of the key facts, figures and moments from the organization’s history at Dover.
- The 2018 season marks the 13th consecutive season in which Hendrick Motorsports has sent at least two drivers into the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, the most of all organizations. Hendrick Motorsports has placed at least three drivers in the playoffs in 11 different seasons, also the most of all teams.
- The organization has accumulated 41 wins during the playoffs, the most all-time. A Hendrick Motorsports driver has made the Championship 4 in two of the four seasons in the current format, and won the championship in seven of the 14 seasons with a playoff system. Chase Elliott, Jimmie Johnson and Alex Bowman qualified for this year's playoffs. However, Johnson's 2018 championship run was cut short after he was eliminated following the Charlotte race.
- Bowman became the eighth different driver that Hendrick Motorsports has taken to the playoffs, the most of all organizations in Cup Series history. He joins Elliott, Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne, Mark Martin and Kyle Busch on the list.
- Hendrick Motorsports' 19 wins at Dover are tied with Charlotte Motor Speedway for the organization's second-most at a track. Those 19 wins have come via five different drivers – Johnson (11), Jeff Gordon (5), Geoff Bodine, Ken Schrader and Ricky Rudd.
- Elliott and the No. 9 team secured their spot in the next round of the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs by finishing sixth and earning 42 points at the Charlotte Motor Speedway "roval" last weekend. It marks Elliott’s third consecutive season competing in the Round of 12. Since the start of the playoffs in 2017, Elliott owns the third-best average finish in playoff races (9.6) among NASCAR Cup Series drivers.
- The Round of 12 consists of Dover International Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and Kansas Speedway – all venues where Elliott has performed well in the past. In his three previous starts at those three tracks in 2018, the 22-year-old driver averages a starting position of 9.3 and finishing position of 9.0. Earlier this season, the driver of the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 finished third at Talladega, marking his best restrictor-plate result. During the 2017 playoffs, Elliott collected top-five finishes at both Dover (second) and Kansas (fourth).
- This season, Elliott tied his longest career top-10 streak, spanning six races. In the last 10 races, Elliott has led 235 laps and finished inside the top 10 eight times, including finishes of sixth or better in the last two races. He and the No. 9 team have been trending upwards in the last 10 races with an average finish of 9.1 – significantly better than the team’s 14.4 average finish during the first 19 races of the season. In the last six races, Elliott’s average finish of 7.07 ranks him second among his competitors behind only Kyle Larson.
- Elliott has garnered four top-five finishes in five starts at Dover International Speedway, three of which were top-three finishes and one was a runner-up result. Elliott averages a starting position of 11.2 and a finishing position of 5.0 at the one-mile oval and has led 138 laps, all during the October 2017 visit to the "Monster Mile" – his most ever in a single race. Elliott finished in the top three in both of his rookie appearances at Dover in 2016 – something only Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch and Davey Allison have done in their rookie seasons.
- William Byron has only made one NASCAR Cup Series start at Dover International Speedway, earning a 14th-place finish in the spring race this season. The 20-year-old driver has experienced success at the one-mile oval in the other NASCAR national series. In his first NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the track nicknamed the “Monster Mile,” Byron finished sixth and scored an Xfinity Dash 4 Cash win. In the fall of 2017, he earned the pole for the Xfinity race and led 62 laps before finishing third. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native also has one start at the concrete oval in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2016, when he started on the pole, led 80 laps and finished 11th.
- Johnson has more wins at Dover (11) than 28 other drivers on the entry list for the race this weekend have in their NASCAR Cup Series careers. Johnson’s last win at Dover was on June 4, 2017, which was also his historic 83rd win, tying Cale Yarborough for sixth on the all-time wins list. In May, Johnson scored a ninth-place finish at the one-mile concrete track.
- Johnson and his No. 48 Lowe’s for Pros Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 have led 3,105 laps around the “Monster Mile” – the most laps led all-time at the track. The driver who is closest in laps led to Johnson is NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison with 2,803 laps led at the venue. Success came almost instantly at Dover for Johnson, as his first win at the track was accomplished in his first start on the concrete track on June 2, 2002. That same season during his rookie campaign, Johnson swept the Dover events, also winning the September race after starting 10th and leading 170 laps.
- Bowman and the No. 88 team clinched a spot in the Round of 12 after finishing last weekend’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the fourth position. During the Round of 16, Bowman averaged a starting position of 8.3 and a finishing position of 11.7. It marks the first time in the driver’s career that he has advanced to the Round of 12.
- Bowman captured two top-10 stage finishes last weekend at the "roval," earning valuable stage points to help him advance in the playoffs. On five different occasions, Bowman has finished at least five positions better than his average running position at tracks this season. Before the 2018 season, Bowman had yet to capture a top-five finish, but so far this season he has earned three. The driver finished fifth at Bristol Motor Speedway in the spring, third at Pocono and fourth last weekend at Charlotte.
- 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. If Byron or Bowman wins at Dover, it will extend the record to the 10th time a driver has recorded his first career Cup Series win while driving for Hendrick Motorsports.