CONCORD, N.C. – Hendrick Motorsports is back on the East Coast this weekend. This Sunday, drivers will compete at Martinsville Speedway, where the organization has been to Victory Lane the most often of any track on the schedule.
Below is a closer look at Hendrick Motorsports' history at Martinsville along with what to look out for this weekend.
- At Martinsville, Hendrick Motorsports holds the team record for wins (24), top-five finishes (78), top-10s (125) and laps led (9,241). The 24 wins are the most by any team at any track all-time, ahead of Junior Johnson and Associates' 21 wins at Bristol. Hendrick Motorsports' 20 wins at Dover International Speedway and 19 wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway are third and tied for fourth all-time, respectively.
- Nicknamed the "Paperclip,” the track has been the site of many first-time achievements for Hendrick Motorsports, including the organization's first NASCAR Cup Series win in 1984 with driver Geoff Bodine. That race also marked the first laps led by the then-one-car team. Darrell Waltrip earned his first of nine wins for Hendrick Motorsports at the Virginia track in the September 1989 race and Chase Elliott made his first career NASCAR Cup Series start for the organization on March 29, 2015, at the venue. Starting with its first win at the track in April 1984, Hendrick Motorsports has won 34 percent of the races at Martinsville (24 of 70). It has won at least one race at Martinsville Speedway in 19 of the 35 seasons since and gone on a three-race win streak at the track on four different occasions.
- Elliott is set to make his eighth NASCAR Cup Series start at Martinsville Speedway this weekend. He has finished inside the top 10 in three of his last four visits to the track. In the one race he finished outside of the top 10 – the 2017 playoff race at the track – he led 123 laps and was spun from the lead with three laps to go. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native has collected a top-10 result at the last four short-track races – the second longest active top-10 streak on short tracks.
- William Byron has improved his average qualifying position during the first five races of the season by almost 10 spots, from 22.6 in 2018 to 13.4 in 2019. Since attending his first Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway in 2006 as a fan, Byron has since moved through the NASCAR ranks and is now poised to make his fifth start at the paperclip – his third in the Cup Series. Building off of his first Cup Series race at Martinsville, where he started and finished 20th, Byron qualified a track-best 11th in the fall but his day was cut short when an incident on pit road after Stage 1 left him with brake issues, relinquishing him to a 39th-place finish. If Byron were to win Sunday’s race, it would be his first NASCAR Cup Series win and the first win of the season for Hendrick Motorsports
- Jimmie Johnson has the third-best winning percentage at Martinsville Speedway all-time. In 34 starts, he has nine wins, which means he has won 26.5 percent of the time he has raced at Martinsville. Johnson’s most recent win at Martinsville came on Oct. 30, 2016. The win – his second of three in the playoffs that season – placed Johnson in the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where he earned his record-tying seventh NASCAR Cup Series championship
- Alex Bowman has six starts in the NASCAR Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway. His best finish of seventh came in the spring event in 2018 after the No. 88 team started 16th. It was Bowman’s first top-10 finish at the track and his first of the 2018 season. If Bowman were to win Sunday’s race it would be his first NASCAR Cup Series win, and the first win of the season for Hendrick Motorsports.