CONCORD, N.C.— This Memorial Day weekend kicks off the fifth annual NASCAR: An American Salute initiative.
And Hendrick Motorsports drivers are ready to take on the 600-mile race Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Cars across the track will be adorned with tributes, including patriotic paint schemes on two Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolets.
“NASCAR has always had a close relationship with the military of our country, and honors a family weekly who has lost someone,” said Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Stars & Stripes Chevrolet SS. “We always have service men and women out to the track as guests.”
Tune in this Sunday to catch all the action, but before you do, check out the notes below to keep an eye out on what to watch for before the green flag drops at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
BROADCAST INFORMATION: Sunday’s race will air live on FOX at 6 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:
Thursday, May 26:
2 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Practice, FOX Sports 1
7 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Qualifying, FOX Sports 1
Saturday, May 28:
10 a.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Practice, FOX Sports 1
1 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Final Practice, FOX Sports 1
Sunday, May 29:
6 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Cup Race, FOX/PRN/SiriusXM
THIS WEEK’S PAINT SCHEMES: Kasey Kahne will debut the No. 5 LiftMaster Chevrolet SS for this weekend’s race. NAPA AUTO PARTS will be the primary partner on board Rookie of the Year contender Chase Elliott’s No. 24 Chevrolet SS. Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet SS will be patriotic themed and Earnhardt will debut No. 88 Nationwide Stars & Stripes Chevrolet SS.
HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT CHARLOTTE: Hendrick Motorsports has 18 wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which ranks first all-time among teams at the 1.5-mile oval. Johnson most recently won the 600-mile event there in May 2014 and has an all-time record seven career victories at Charlotte. Johnson's Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kahne ranks second among active drivers with four wins at Charlotte. The organization has 57 top-five finishes and 90 top-10 finishes and has led 4,725 laps at Charlotte since 1984.
KAHNE AT CHARLOTTE: There is no better place for Kahne to visit this weekend than Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kahne has amassed four wins (twice in 2006, 2008 and 2012) at the 1.5-mile track, which ranks second among active drivers. Three of the four wins came in the strenuous 600-mile race. In addition to taking the checkered flag several times at Charlotte, Kahne also has three runner-up finishes at the Concord, North Carolina, track. While the Enumclaw, Washington, native still looks to notch his first pole position start at Charlotte, he’s come close several times with nine top five starts, including three from the outside pole position. Kahne has led the second most laps at Charlotte with 1,106, and is second in wins among active drivers, both behind Johnson.
LOOKING FOR A WIN: Consistency continues for Elliott as he has earned four top-five finishes in the past six races, accumulating eight top-10 finishes through the first 12 races. Only three drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have more top-10 finishes this year (Harvick, Kyle Busch and Kurt Busch -- all Sprint Cup champions). The Dawsonville, Georgia, native secured his first top-10 finish of 2016 at his home track, Atlanta Motor Speedway. He earned his career-best finish, third, at Dover International Speedway earlier this month.
ALL-TIME AT CHARLOTTE: Johnson has a total of seven Sprint Cup wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway with four coming in the 600-mile event. His victory in 2014 broke a tie with NASCAR Hall of Famers Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip, making Johnson the all-time series points-paying win leader at Charlotte.
EARNHARDT AT CHARLOTTE: Earnhardt has yet to win at the 1.5-mile oval, but if you throw out the DNF for engine trouble in the spring of 2013, the Kannapolis, North Carolina, native has an average finish of 15.2 in the last five years (2012-2016) and a career total of six top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. Charlotte Motor Speedway is also the site of his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start (May 1999) and first Cup pole (May 2000).