CONCORD, N.C. – This weekend, Hendrick Motorsports and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will return to Daytona International Speedway for the track’s summer event.
The excitement of knowing it’s anyone’s race makes the return to Daytona “fun,” as Jimmie Johnson said.
As the weekend grows closer and the track activity builds, here are a few inside notes to remember as the green flag waves this Sunday:
BROADCAST INFORMATION: Sunday's race will air live on NBC at 7:45 p.m. ET. Can’t make it to a television? Tune into MRN or SiriusXM to catch the Daytona radio coverage. This weekend’s qualifying session will take place Saturday afternoon on NBC Sports Network. Tune in to this weekend’s two practices, also on NBC Sports Network, this Friday. Here is the full broadcast schedule:
Friday, July 3:
3 p.m. ET, Sprint Cup Series Practice, NBC Sports Network
5 p.m. ET, Sprint Cup Series Final Practice, NBC Sports Network
Saturday, July 4:
4:30 p.m. ET, Sprint Cup Series Qualifying, NBC Sports Network
Sunday, July 5:
7:45 p.m. ET, Sprint Cup Series Race, NBC / MRN Radio/ SiriusXM (8:04 p.m. ET green flag)
THIS WEEK’S PAINT SCHEMES: In honor of Shark Week beginning Sunday, July 5, on Discovery Channel, Kasey Kahne will pilot the No. 5 Great Clips/Shark Week Chevrolet SS. Jeff Gordon will return to the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, while teammates Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. will both sport some red, white and blue. Johnson will pilot the No. 48 Lowe’s Patriotic Chevrolet SS and Earnhardt will drive the No. 88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet SS during this weekend’s Independence Day celebration.
HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT DAYTONA: Hendrick Motorsports has achieved 13 wins, 14 pole positions, 52 top-five results, 90 top-10 finishes and 1,753 laps led at Daytona. The organization has five victories at the summer event, with Johnson most recently collecting a win in 2013.
KAHNE AT DAYTONA: According to NASCAR loop data from the last 21 points-paying races at Daytona, Kahne ranks second in green-flag passes (4,572), seventh in laps in the top 15 (2,001), ninth in quality passes (2,825) and 10th in speed in traffic (190.070 mph). Kahne's most recent top-10 finish at the 2.5-mile tri-oval came earlier this year at the Daytona 500 in his first race with new crew chief Keith Rodden.
2-FOR-2 IN 2015: Along with his pole position in the season-opener at Daytona, Gordon won the pole position in May at the only other venue where restrictor plates are mandatory, Talladega Superspeedway.
GORDON AT DAYTONA: Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, leads the following statistical categories at Daytona among active drivers: wins, pole positions, top-five finishes, top-10 finishes and laps led.
JOHNSON AT DAYTONA: In the last 10 years at Daytona, according to NASCAR loop data, Johnson has the sixth-best driver rating of 87.9. During that span, he has an average finish of 20th, leading 225 total laps at the track.EARNHARDT AT DAYTONA: Earnhardt has scored one win, four top-five finishes and eight top-10 finishes during 15 appearances in the annual July event at Daytona. He has led a combined 243 laps during the summer race, including 116 during his win on July 7, 2001.