CONCORD, N.C.— This weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race marks the second visit to Daytona International Speedway this season.
And, Hendrick Motorsports drivers are prepared to return to the superspeedway with a few new paint schemes.
“Not only is it a big weekend because of the Fourth of July, but I have a cool paint scheme that a girl named Noelia designed,” Kasey Kahne said. “She’s a patient at the Seattle Children’s Hospital, and Great Clips had the kids in the Strong Against Cancer program create designs for this weekend’s car. She put a lot of effort into it and the fans voted for her car to win.”
Chase Elliott, piloting the No. 24 SunEnergy1 Chevrolet SS, is looking forward to get back to the 2.5-mile track.
“The car looks really cool I think,” Elliott said. “It will be a good weekend. Daytona is always fun and the Fourth of July race is always one that stands out.”
Take a look at the key notes below to keep in mind before the green flag waves for Saturday night’s race.
BROADCAST INFORMATION: Saturday’s race will air live on NBC at 7:45 p.m. ET. Can’t make it to the television? Listen to the race live on MRN and SiriusXM to catch the radio coverage. Here is the full broadcast schedule:
Thursday, June 30:
3:00 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Practice, NBC Sports Network
5:00 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Final Practice, NBC Sports Network
Friday, July 1:
4:00 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Qualifying, NBC Sports Network
Saturday, July 2:
7:45 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Race, NBC
THIS WEEKEND’S PAINT SCHEMES: Kahne will pilot the No. 5 Great Clips Strong Against Cancer Chevrolet SS this weekend at Daytona. For the first time in the 2016 season, SunEnergy1 will be the primary partner on board Rookie of the Year contender Elliott’s No. 24 Chevrolet SS. Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS will feature a patriotic theme and Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS.
HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT DAYTONA: Hendrick Motorsports has achieved 14 wins, 15 pole positions, 54 top-five results, 93 top-10s and 1,925 laps led at Daytona. The organization has eight Daytona 500 victories, with Earnhardt most recently collecting a win at the superspeedway in July 2015.
KAHNE AT DAYTONA: Kahne heads back to the track where he made his first start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2004, his rookie season. The 36-year-old earned his best starting spot of third in the July 2012 race. He looks to improve on his best finish of second at the 2.5-mile superspeedway, which occurred in the July 2010 race. In this year’s February race at Daytona, Kahne started and finished 13th.
ELLIOTT'S TOP-10 TEAR: Elliott earned his career-best finish earlier this month at Michigan International Speedway, when he led 35 laps en route to a second-place finish. Only two drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have more top-10 finishes than Elliott's 11 (Kevin Harvick with 13 and Kurt Busch with 14 -- both Sprint Cup champions). Additionally, Elliott is tied for the third-most top-five finishes in the Cup Series with his six top-five finishes, trailing Kyle Busch and Harvick with nine and seven top-five finishes, respectively.
SUPERSPEEDWAY POLE PROWESS: Elliott has laid down quick qualifying laps in both plate races this year, earning pole awards at Talladega Superspeedway as well as in the prestigious Daytona 500. The rookie became the youngest driver (20 years, 2 months and 17 days) to land the top spot in NASCAR's biggest race with a speed of 196.314 mph. Elliott is tied for the second-most pole awards of the season thus far.
LAST DAYTONA WIN: The last time Johnson won at Daytona was on July 6, 2013. Johnson led 94 laps en route to his third win at the superspeedway. That year, he also won the Daytona 500 and his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.
DAYTONA DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR's loop data statistics, Johnson has the sixth-best driver rating at Daytona with a score of 88.7 during the past 10 years at the track. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The maximum a driver can earn in each race is 150 points. The driver rating number is used pre-race as a prediction tool and post-race as a performance evaluator.
EARNHARDT AT DAYTONA: In the four superspeedway points races last season, Earnhardt had an incredible average finish of 1.75, with two wins and a lowest finish of third place. At Daytona International Speedway, the Kannapolis, North Carolina, native has four wins, including two Daytona 500 victories, and is tied with Tony Stewart for the most wins of any active driver at the track. Earnhardt is in a five-way tie for seventh on the all-time Daytona wins list. In this year’s Daytona 500, Earnhardt was making a pass for fifth with 31 laps to go when he spun and hit the wall, ending his day and resulting in a 36th-place finish. The result was an anomaly for the driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS at the 2.5-mile, D-shaped oval, who heads into Daytona as the defending July race winner.