SONOMA, Calif. – With the off weekend behind them, Hendrick Motorsports has made its way across the country focused on a Sonoma Raceway victory.
- With the first road course race of the year, drivers and teams are geared up for the challenge and looking forward to the addition of the historic carousel being brought back after a 20-year hiatus. This Sunday, teams will compete on the 12-turn, 2.52-mile road course at the California track where Hendrick Motorsports holds numerous records. The organization has earned six victories, nine pole positions, six runner-up results, 31 top-five finishes, 54 top-10s, and 650 laps led there. The team has secured at least one top-10 finish in all but two of the 29 Sonoma races in which it has competed.
- Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, is one to watch this weekend. In his seven road-course starts, the driver has collected two top-five finishes and four top-10s with an average finishing position 3.67. This weekend marks his fourth Cup Series start at the California track. Road courses are a family tradition for the Elliotts, with Chase and his NASCAR Hall of Fame father, Bill, each claiming their first Cup Series wins on a road course.
- Last year, William Byron made his Sonoma Raceway debut in the Cup Series, qualifying eighth and finishing 25th. Prior to that, the No. 24 Hertz Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 driver had two NASCAR starts at the road course, where he finished in the top five twice in the K&N Pro Series. Leading Byron this weekend is crew chief Chad Knaus who will climb atop the pit box for the 19th time at the track. Knaus won there in 2010.
- Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson will make his 18th appearance at Sonoma this weekend. Johnson has one win, four top-five finishes, nine top-10s and has led 143 laps at the road course. The El Cajon, California, native has the second-best average running position of all current drivers there at 11.34 and an average finish of 11.0. He has spent 77 percent of all laps run in the top 15 and has led 143 circuits around the now 12-turn, 2.52-mile track.
- West Coast native Alex Bowman has moved up in the NASCAR rankings thanks to his strong performance in the last six races. In that span, the No. 88 Axalta team has shot from 21st to 10th. Within those six events, the driver has averaged a starting position of 11.2 and finishing position of 6.3. He is tied for the most top-10 finishes among all Cup Series drivers during that span with five. This Sunday, Bowman will make his fourth start at Sonoma. With a victory this weekend, he would become the second driver to get his first win at the venue and one of 15 drivers to get their first career win at a road course, joining teammate Elliott. Bowman posted an average finish of 9.0 on road courses last season, the sixth-best of all drivers. In addition, he ranked sixth in points scored on road courses in 2018.
Be sure to catch Hendrick Motorsports in action this weekend as its teams take on Sonoma Raceway on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.