CONCORD, N.C. – This weekend, the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series season wraps up at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
And over the years, Hendrick Motorsports has had its share of memorable moments at the 1.5-mile Florida track.
At the venue, Hendrick Motorsports drivers have earned two wins, three pole positions, 14 top-five finishes and 29 top-10s. The organization's most recent win at the track came just two seasons ago as Jimmie Johnson clinched his record-tying seventh NASCAR Cup Series title after he led the final three laps of the race. At least one Hendrick Motorsports driver has finished inside the top 10 at Homestead for 16 consecutive races, the longest streak all-time at the track.
As the Hendrick Motorsports teammates look to add to these numbers this weekend, check out some of the key facts, figures and moments from the organization’s history at Homestead.
- With one NASCAR Cup Series race remaining in 2018, Hendrick Motorsports has amassed three wins – including the organization's milestone 250th victory – two pole positions, 16 top-five finishes and 46 top-10s. The three wins came at three different tracks – Watkins Glen, Dover and Kansas, all courtesy of Chase Elliott. The organization extended its streak of winning at least one race per season to 33 years (1986-2018).
- Hendrick Motorsports has a NASCAR Cup Series record 58 total wins on 1.5-mile tracks, 13 more than the next closest team, Joe Gibbs Racing. Hendrick Motorsports has earned at least one win on a 1.5-mile track in a record 25 consecutive seasons. Elliott most recently extended that streak from 24 to 25 seasons with his Oct. 21 victory at Kansas, becoming the 10th different driver to win for the organization on a 1.5-mile track.
- With one race remaining, Elliott and the No. 9 team have had a strong performance during the 2018 season. The 22-year-old driver collected his first three career NASCAR Cup Series victories (Watkins Glen, Dover, Kansas) – two of which came during the Round of 12 in the playoffs – 11 top-five finishes, 20 top-10s and 325 laps led. The 22-year old has averaged a starting position of 11.0 and finishing position of 12.4 throughout 2018.
- In the last 16 races, Elliott has earned three wins, seven top-five finishes and 12 top-10s, garnering an average finish of 10.0. The driver of the No. 9 Chevy also led 306 laps – an improvement over his 19 laps led in the first 19 races.
- Elliott is set to make his 34th 1.5-mile track start this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In the third-year driver’s previous 33 starts on tracks of the same length, he has led 245 laps and averaged a starting position of 13.8 and a finishing position of 14.0. Elliott has collected one win, 11 top-five finishes – two of which are runner-up results – and 18 top-10s. Over the last two visits to a 1.5-mile track (Texas and Kansas), Elliott has the best average finish of all drivers (3.5).
- This weekend, No. 9 team crew chief Alan Gustafson will call his 14th race from atop the pit box at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In his previous 13 races at the venue, Gustafson has collected one win (2012 – Jeff Gordon), three top-five finishes, six top-10s and 220 laps led. The Florida native also started from the pole position in 2014 with Jeff Gordon.
- With his top-10 performance at ISM Raceway last Sunday, William Byron clinched the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series rookie of the year title. This is his fourth rookie of the year title in as many years (2017 – NASCAR Xfinity Series, 2016 – NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, 2015 – NASCAR K&N Pro Series East). He joins Gordon (1993), Kyle Busch (2005) and Elliott (2016) as the fourth Hendrick Motorsports driver to earn a rookie title. Byron is only the second driver – joining Erik Jones – to win all three NASCAR national series rookie of the year titles in consecutive years. He is also the third-youngest driver to earn the title, behind Joey Logano and Busch.
- With just one race remaining in the 2018 season, the 20-year-old has racked up four top-10 finishes and led 61 laps through 35 points races. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native will be paired up with seven-time champion crew chief Chad Knaus for the 2019 season, which will start with a test session in Fontana, California, in January.
- Byron has a stout – albeit short – résumé at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In the Xfinity Series in 2017, he started sixth and finished third at the 1.5-mile track, securing the series championship in the process. In 2016, he started on the pole and won the Truck Series race, leading 31 laps.
- No. 24 team crew chief Darian Grubb has scored two wins at Homestead-Miami Speedway, one of which came in November 2011 with Tony Stewart to cap off their championship season and the other was in 2013 with Denny Hamlin. This weekend will mark Grubb’s last race as crew chief for Byron before he assumes the role of technical director in 2019.
- As the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet takes its final spin at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Johnson will reflect on the history he and Lowe’s have made together. It began with three races in 2001 at Charlotte, Atlanta and Homestead. Then, on Feb. 17, 2002, Johnson led the field at the Daytona 500 as a rookie pole-sitter for the "Great American Race." Just nine races later, Johnson captured his first NASCAR Cup Series win at Auto Club Speedway and took Lowe’s to Victory Lane for just the second time in NASCAR Cup history. It would be the first of 83 wins for Johnson and Lowe's, which is second all-time for a driver-sponsor combination. Former teammate Jeff Gordon had 87 wins with Axalta as his partner and Richard Petty had 60 wins with his iconic partner.
- Another incredible pairing will come to an end this weekend, as No. 48 team crew chief Knaus and Johnson will start their 602nd race together, their last as a crew chief-driver duo. Together, they are the longest active driver and crew chief pairing, with more starts than the second- and third-longest active pairings have combined.
- Johnson and Knaus have enjoyed 17 straight seasons together (2002-2018), accumulated 81 wins – the second-most all-time – and a record-tying seven championships. They are the only driver-crew chief pairing to make the playoffs every year since its inception (2004-2018).
- Knaus and Johnson’s joint résumé also includes: a Daytona 500 win, four Brickyard 400 wins at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, two Southern 500 wins at Darlington Raceway, four Charlotte Motor Speedway 600-mile wins and four NASCAR All-Star Race wins. Johnson and Knaus are the only driver-crew chief pairing with a four-race win streak in the last 20 years, a feat they accomplished in 2007.
- Bowman has three previous NASCAR Cup Series starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway, with his best finish of 16th coming in 2016. The Tucson, Arizona, native piloted the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet in the 2016 season finale for Hendrick Motorsports as a fill-in driver for Earnhardt. That same year, Bowman drove the No. 88 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in his first series start at the track. The driver was on his way to a top-10 finish when he was spun around coming to the checkered flag and scored with a 14th-place finish.
- The 2018 season has been Bowman’s best career Cup Series season to date. The 25-year-old won the pole for the Daytona 500 this season, his second career pole – both of which came while driving with Hendrick Motorsports. The 25-year-old driver made the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs for the first time in his career and advanced to the Round of 12
- Bowman had his best finish on a track at 18 venues so far in 2018. Until this season, the driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 had not finished inside the top five. This season, Bowman finished inside the top five on three occasions. Prior to 2018, Bowman had three top-10 finishes. Going into Homestead this weekend, the Arizona native has earned 11 top-10 finishes this season alone.