CONCORD, N.C. – The Round of 12 of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs commences this weekend at Dover International Speedway, and the venue has been one of the most fruitful for Hendrick Motorsports over the years.
Take a look at some key takeaways to keep in mind below as the race weekend arrives.
- A single organization has won at least 20 times at a track just three times in history, and Hendrick Motorsports owns two of those achievements. The organization's 20 Dover wins are its second-most behind its 24 at Martinsville Speedway, which are the most all-time at any track. Since 2009, the organization has won at Dover in all but two seasons (2011, 2016).
- This weekend marks the 100th race at Dover International Speedway. Hendrick Motorsports has a history of finding Victory Lane in the 100th race at a track, starting with Jeff Gordon at Daytona International Speedway in February 1997, then Jimmie Johnson at Darlington Raceway in March 2004 and this April at Talladega Superspeedway with Chase Elliott.
- At the three Round of 12 venues in 2019, Hendrick Motorsports leads the Cup Series in poles (one), runner-up results (three), top-five finishes (six), top-10s (eight), laps led (334) and average finish (9.83). The organization's one win is tied for the most.
- Hendrick Motorsports has won at least once in 15 of the 16 seasons of the playoffs, with the 2017 campaign as the only outlier. Its three drivers still in the playoffs are tied for the most from a single team, and its six playoff wins at Dover are the most all-time.
- Of the four races that have spilled into NASCAR's version of "overtime" at the "Monster Mile," Johnson has won three of them. Those three races were in September 2005, May 2015 and June 2017. Elliott won the fourth, which came in October 2018.
- Half of Elliott’s wins have come during the playoffs, and 2019 is his second straight season with a win in the playoffs. Since 2016, the 23-year-old driver has scored three victories during the playoffs, tied with teammate Jimmie Johnson for the fourth-most playoff wins in that span.
- In the last year, Elliott has won on every track in this round of the playoffs (Dover – Oct. 7, 2018; Kansas – Oct. 21, 2018; and Talladega – April 28, 2019). A win at any of the three tracks would lock the No. 9 team into the Round of 8. Elliott collected top-five finishes at all three tracks earlier this season, led the most laps (235) and scored the most points (156) of all drivers. He holds the second-highest average finish (3.3) at the three tracks this season behind only teammate Alex Bowman (2.0).
- Elliott has garnered six top-five finishes in seven starts at Dover International Speedway, four of which were top-three finishes. Among those top-three finishes was his win in overtime last season and a runner-up result in 2017. His six top-five finishes at Dover are his most at a single track in his Cup career. Elliott currently averages a finish of 4.43 at the one-mile oval, the best average finish by an active driver on a track with a minimum of three starts.
- Sitting 11th in the driver points standings after last weekend’s race, William Byron is currently just five points below the cutoff line with three races to make up the ground (Dover International Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and Kansas Speedway). In the same three races earlier this season, the sophomore driver collected 79 points, ranking eighth among the current playoff drivers.
- Byron qualified on the front row alongside Hendrick Motorsports teammate Elliott and led five laps in the rain-delayed race at Dover in May en route to a career track-best eighth-place finish. The 21-year-old driver owns the most front-row starts of any driver in the NASCAR Cup Series this season with 10.
- Since the 22nd race of the season at Watkins Glen International – Cliff Daniels’ first race as Johnson’s crew chief – the No. 48 team has captured seven top-10 starting positions in the last eight races. The group has earned a pair of top-10 finishes in that span.
- Not only has Johnson shared tremendous success throughout his career at Dover, it was the site of his most recent win. On June 4, 2017, he led only seven laps but it was enough to put him in position to drive the No. 48 Chevrolet to Victory Lane for the 11th time at the one-mile concrete oval, which is the all-time record at the track. The victory tied him for sixth on the all-time wins list in the sport.
- Johnson is just one win shy of having the most wins all-time at a single track in the modern era (since 1972). He currently has 11 wins at Dover, behind only NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip's 12 at Bristol.
- This is the second consecutive season in which Bowman has made it to the second round of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. At each of the next three tracks, the driver of the No. 88 Chevy finished as the runner up earlier this season. The Tucson, Arizona, native and Elliott are the only two drivers to finish in the top five in each of the three races on the Round of 12 tracks earlier this season. Bowman scored the second-most points at the three tracks earlier this year, earning 143 points total.