CONCORD, N.C.— This weekend, Hendrick Motorsports is headed to Atlanta Motor Speedway.
The Georgia track is considered home to the organization’s rookie, Chase Elliott. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native will hit the track for the first time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this Sunday.
“It’s definitely special to me,” Elliott said. “Atlanta is 100 percent my home track, so I’m excited to get back there and experience that.”
Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team found Victory Lane last year, the driver’s fourth win at the 1.54-mile track. He currently holds the all-time record for wins on 1.5 mile tracks.
Tune in Sunday to catch the action and read below for key notes to keep in mind during this weekend’s race at Atlanta.
BROADCAST INFORMATION: Sunday’s race will air live on FOX at 1 p.m. ET. Can’t make it to the television? Listen to the race live on PRN and SiriusXM to catch the radio coverage. Here is the full broadcast schedule:
Friday, February 26:
11 a.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Practice, FOX Sports 1
5:45 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Qualifying, FOX Sports 1
Saturday, February 27:
11:30 a.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Final Practice, FOX Sports 1
Sunday, February 28:
1 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Cup Race, FOX/ PRN/ SiriusXM
THIS WEEK’S PAINT SCHEMES: Kasey Kahne will pilot the No. 5 Panasonic Toughbook Chevrolet SS this Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Elliott will drive the No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS, while teammates Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. compete in the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS and No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, respectively.
HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT ATLANTA: Hendrick Motorsports has 13 wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the most recent of which came last season thanks to Johnson. The organization has earned 55 top-five finishes, 84 top-10s and five pole positions at the Georgia track. Car owner Rick Hendrick's first Atlanta Motor Speedway Sprint Cup win came on March 19, 1989, with driver Darrell Waltrip. The organization has posted Atlanta victories with six different drivers: Waltrip, Ken Schrader (1991), Jeff Gordon (five wins), Jerry Nadeau (2000), Johnson (four wins) and Kahne (2014).
NEW RULES: This weekend’s event at Atlanta will be the debut of the new base rules package that the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will run on non-superspeedway tracks in 2016. The 2016 package is based off of the low-downforce package that was used during the Cup events at Kentucky Speedway and Darlington Raceway in 2015.
KAHNE AT ATLANTA: This weekend, Kasey Kahne -- driver of the No. 5 Panasonic Toughbook Chevrolet SS -- returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway, where he has three wins in the Sprint Cup Series. His most recent win was in August 2014, which secured his spot in the season’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. In just his fifth start at the 1.54-mile speedway, Kahne swept the March 2006 weekend by winning the pole award and the 500-mile race. Statistically, intermediate tracks bode well for Kahne, with eight of his 17 wins coming at a 1.5-mile speedway.
ELLIOTT AT ATLANTA: Elliott -- a Dawsonville, Georgia, native -- will compete for the first time at his home track of Atlanta Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this weekend. The two-time Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Driver of the Year (2013, 2014) will make his debut at the track in the No. 24 Chevrolet with NAPA AUTO PARTS, an Atlanta, Georgia-based company, adorning the hood. Elliott grew up just one hour away from NAPA AUTO PARTS headquarters and a mere 90 miles from the high-profile speedway.
JOHNSON AT ATLANTA: Last year at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Jimmie Johnson started the event from the 37th position but swiftly made his way through the field. He led 92 of the 325 laps en route to his 71st career win. It was Johnson’s fourth win at the track.
EARNHARDT AT ATLANTA: Dale Earnhardt Jr. has one win at Atlanta Motor Speedway, which came in 2004. The Kannapolis, North Carolina, native led 55 of 325 laps, including the final 16 laps of the event, en route to victory. Earnhardt has earned two poles at Atlanta, one in 2001 and the other in 2010. Atlanta is one of three tracks where the 41-year-old has multiple poles. He also has earned two poles at both Texas Motor Speedway and Michigan International Speedway.