CONCORD, N.C.— The four Hendrick Motorsports drivers are switching gears and heading to Talladega Superspeedway this Sunday, ready to take on the 2.66-mile track in Alabama after a stint of short-track races.
With 28 total trips to victory lane, Hendrick Motorsports is the winningest organization on superspeedways in NASCAR Cup Series history. Its points-paying superspeedway wins have come with 11 different drivers, the most of any team at the behemoth tracks of Talladega and Daytona.
Check out these impressive stats from the Hendrick Motorsports drivers at Talladega as the teams get ready to roll out to the Alabama venue.
- Courtesy of Alex Bowman’s win Sunday at Richmond Raceway, three different Hendrick Motorsports drivers have gone to victory lane in the first nine races of 2021, marking only the eighth time in NASCAR Cup Series history a team has done so. Hendrick Motorsports also accomplished it in 2007 and 2009, while Joe Gibbs Racing did it in 2016 and 2019. Other teams with three different winners in the first nine events: Roush Fenway Racing in 2005, Peter DePaolo Racing in 1957 and Carl Kiekhafer Racing in 1956. The earliest in a single season a team has won with four different drivers is race No. 12 by Hendrick Motorsports in 2007 and JGR in 2016.
- Hendrick Motorsports entered the 2021 season within striking distance of one of stock car racing’s most enduring achievements: Petty Enterprises’ all-time team record for NASCAR Cup Series victories. The legendary Petty organization captured the wins record from Carl Kiekhafer Racing more than 60 years ago when Lee Petty took the checkered flag at Orange Speedway on May 29, 1960, for the team’s 53rd victory. Its 268th and final win was delivered by driver John Andretti on April 18, 1999. With Bowman’s win at Richmond, Hendrick Motorsports has earned 266 points-paying Cup Series wins since Rick Hendrick founded the team in 1984 and currently needs just three to break the record at NASCAR’s highest level.
- In 12 starts at Talladega Superspeedway, Kyle Larson has two top-10 finishes. He posted a ninth-place result in his first race at the Alabama track in 2014 while his best finish of sixth occurred in October 2016.
- Through nine races in 2021, Larson has one win, four top-five finishes, secured eight playoff points and has led 379 laps – all second-most in NASCAR’s premier series. He currently sits sixth in the Cup Series driver point standings.
- Chase Elliott has made 21 superspeedway starts in the NASCAR Cup Series. In those races at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, the driver of the No. 9 Camaro has claimed one win, six top-five finishes and led a total of 260 laps. In the last three races on superspeedways, Elliott has two runner-up finishes and a fifth-place result.
- On Sunday, Elliott is set to make his 11th Talladega Superspeedway start in the NASCAR Cup Series. His win at the track in April 2019 was his first superspeedway win at the Cup level. In his previous 10 starts at the venue, the 25-year-old driver has earned the pole position twice – his first start in May 2016 and then in October 2019. Elliott has garnered four top-five finishes and led 170 laps in his Cup Series career at the Alabama track. He also has three Talladega starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with one top-10 finish.
- No. 9 team crew chief Alan Gustafson will call his 33rd Talladega Cup Series race from atop the pit box on Sunday afternoon. He collected his first superspeedway victory at the 2.66-mile track on April 28, 2019, with Elliott and the No. 9 team. In his previous 32 events calling the shots for five different drivers (Elliott, Kyle Busch, Casey Mears, Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon), Gustafson’s teams posted eight top-five finishes, 10 top-10s, 273 laps led and six pole awards.
- So far in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, William Byron and the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE team have been a model of consistency. After nine races, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native has spent 2,086 laps running inside the top 10 – the second-most in the field behind only points leader Denny Hamlin (2,333). Of those top-10 laps, 817 have been inside the top five, which is the sixth-most of all drivers. Currently, Byron has led 138 laps across four races, also good for sixth in the Cup Series. He has the fourth-best average running position of 8.74 so far in 2021.
- Sunday’s race at Talladega will be Byron’s 14th superspeedway start in the Cup Series. In his previous 13, Byron has scored one win (Daytona in August 2020), three top-five finishes and three top-10s with 124 laps led. Since his Cup Series debut in 2018, Byron’s 124 laps led ranks seventh-best among all drivers for most laps led on superspeedways.
- Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, brought home his third career NASCAR Cup Series victory at Richmond Raceway on Sunday afternoon. The Ally-sponsored driver led the final 10 laps of the 400-lap event to claim his first Richmond win and first-ever short-track victory at the Cup level.
- No. 48 team crew chief Greg Ives will call the shots for the 13th time at Talladega on Sunday. The Bark River, Michigan, native has one win there with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2015 after leading 67 laps, along with three top-five finishes and six top-10 results. His drivers have an average start of 6.2 at the 2.66-mile facility. Back in 2017, Ives’ team started from the pole position, and in 2019 Bowman led seven laps en route to a second-place result. In total, his drivers have led 180 laps in 12 Cup events. Ives’ résumé also includes one win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at the track with Regan Smith in 2013. He was a race engineer for the No. 48 team at Hendrick Motorsports from 2006 until 2012. During that time, he was part of two wins, two pole awards and seven top-10 finishes at Talladega.
Be sure to tune in to FOX this Sunday, April 25 at 2 p.m. ET to see the Hendrick Motorsports drivers take on Talladega Superspeedway.