Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 5 Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media in the Phoenix Raceway media center on Friday, March 8, at 2 p.m. local time. 

JACKPOT IN VEGAS
: Last Sunday during the 267-lap race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Kyle Larson led a race-high 181 laps en route to his first NASCAR Cup Series victory of the 2024 season and his 24th career Cup Series win. He won both stages and captured the maximum available points at Las Vegas to move into the points standings lead. 

ONE OF TWO: Last October, Larson led a race-high 133 laps and won both stages before capturing the victory at Las Vegas. He is one of only two drivers to win both stages and triumph in consecutive races at one circuit. 

DOMINANT PERFORMANCE(S): At Las Vegas last week, it marked the fifth time the Elk Grove, California, native won a race for Hendrick Motorsports when leading more than 65 percent of the laps in a race. Based on percentage of laps led, Larson has five of the eight most dominating wins in the Cup Series since the start of 2021.

WEST COAST WINNER: Larson’s seven wins on the West Coast place him third among active drivers in that statistical category and tie him for eighth on the all-time list. Six of those victories have come at Hendrick Motorsports, with one occurring at Phoenix Raceway. In the 2021 championship race, Larson led a race-high 107 laps, including the final 28 circuits, following a clutch pit stop to secure the Cup Series title.

DOUBLE: Larson completed 172 laps in an IndyCar test at Phoenix earlier this year. In May, Larson will compete in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. HendrickCars.com will be the primary sponsor on both entries as the 31-year-old attempts to complete all 1100 miles (#Hendrick1100). See the livery for the two races here and learn more about his attempt here

DOUBLE DOUBLE: Larson’s eight top-five finishes and 12 top-10s at the 1-mile track are tied with Las Vegas for his most at a track. In addition, he has started in the top 10 in his last eight Phoenix starts, tied for his longest top-10 starting streak at all tracks. Over the past six races there, the 31-year-old driver ranks third in laps led (311) and points scored (209) among those entered in Sunday’s race.

TOP OF THE BOARD: Larson’s 205 laps led through three races in 2024 are his most ever led through the first three races of a season – the sixth time a Hendrick Motorsports driver has more than 200 laps led through this point. In fact, Larson leads all drivers in 2024 in laps led (205), stage wins (two), stage points (47), race points (118) and laps raced (407) in the top five.

CLIFF’S NOTES: No. 5 crew chief Cliff Daniels and Larson have teamed up for 17 wins since Larson joined Hendrick Motorsports in 2021 – the third-best total among active driver and crew chief pairings. Daniels and Larson have accomplished those wins in 103 races, while the best active combination has posted 19 victories in 176 starts. 

MEET & GREET: Race fans can stop by JINYA Ramen Bar’s central Phoenix location (5120 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ, 85012) on Saturday from 5-6 p.m. local time for a meet & greet with the 2021 Cup Series champion. JINYA, a contemporary Japanese dining establishment with over 60 restaurants in North America, is the Official Restaurant partner for Larson and the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports team. 

VALVOLINE ON BOARD: Valvoline will make its first of three appearances this year as a primary sponsor of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 this weekend at Phoenix. Its other primary races will be Sonoma Raceway (June 9) and the Chicago Street Race (July 7). Valvoline Global is a worldwide leader in automotive and industrial solutions, with sales in more than 140 countries. Established in 1866, the company’s heritage spans over 150 years and includes the world’s first branded motor oil. To learn more, visit www.valvoline.com. See every angle of the No. 5 Valvoline Chevy here


  

  

  
No. 9 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
LAS VEGAS LOOK BACK
: Chase Elliott and No. 9 team qualified 11th for last Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The 28-year-old driver finished 15th in stage one and advanced to sixth to end the second segment, earning valuable stage points. The Hendrick Motorsports driver continued to log laps inside the top 10 in the final stage before ultimately taking the checkered flag in the 12th position. Following Las Vegas, Elliott and the No. 9 team are tied for sixth in the Cup Series points standings.

WINNING MOMENT: Elliott has one win at Phoenix Raceway, which he captured in the 2020 season finale to secure his first Cup Series championship. The six-time National Motorsports Press Association Most Popular Driver started the race at the rear of the field and maneuvered his way to the front, leading a race-high 153 laps en route to the victory. 

PHOENIX 411: The driver of the No. 9 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will make his 16th Phoenix Cup Series start on Sunday. In his previous 15 races at the track, he’s amassed one win (November 2020), five top-five finishes and eight top-10s. Elliott has paced the field for 546 laps at the 1-mile oval, which is his second-most on active tracks. Since the start of 2020, he has led 390 laps at Phoenix, the second-most among active Cup drivers in that span. Additionally, the 2020 Cup champion’s average start of 6.53 at the track is his second-best on active tracks, only trailing Sonoma Raceway (6.43).

EVERY MILE A MEMORY: In 56 Cup starts on tracks measuring 1 to 1.37 miles in length (Darlington Raceway, Dover Motor Speedway, Nashville Superspeedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Phoenix and WWT Raceway), Elliott has earned four wins. His first came at Dover in 2018, followed by his championship-winning performance at Phoenix in 2020. His two most recent victories came in 2022 at Dover and Nashville. Accompanying his wins are 22 top-five finishes, 29 top-10s and 1,246 laps led across those starts.

THE GREAT GUSTAFSON: On Sunday, Alan Gustafson will call his 39th Phoenix race as a Cup Series crew chief. In his previous 38 starts there, the veteran team leader has collected four wins, 12 top-five results, 24 top-10s and 977 laps led. Gustafson’s four wins are tied with NASCAR Hall of Famer and Hendrick Motorsports vice president of competition Chad Knaus for the second-most by a crew chief at Phoenix and came via four different drivers: Kyle Busch in 2005, Mark Martin in 2009, Hendrick Motorsports vice chairman Jeff Gordon in 2011 and Elliott in 2020. Coincidentally, Gustafson has visited victory lane at the track with both the youngest driver (Busch at 20 years, six months and 11 days of age) and the oldest driver (Martin at 50 years, three months and nine days of age). 

DYNAMIC DUO: Elliott and Gustafson are in their ninth season together and are currently the longest active driver and crew chief combo in the Cup Series garage. The duo is ranked second among active pairings with 18 points-paying victories. Gustafson and Elliott earned their first Cup Series title in 2020 and the team captured the regular-season championship in 2022.

COMING HOME: No. 9 team fueler John Gianninoto, who grew up in Tucson, Arizona, will compete in front of his home crowd this weekend. Gianninoto graduated with honors from Catalina Foothills High School and was an offensive lineman for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas football team – earning his first letter in 2007 and becoming a team captain in 2010. In 2012, he participated in the NFL’s Carolina Panthers training camp before signing with Hendrick Motorsports that September. Gianninoto set a Guinness World Record in 2018, teaming with Sunoco for the most vehicles refueled by an individual in one hour (148).

KELLEY BLUE BOOK IS BACK: This weekend is the first of two primary races for No. 9 team partner Kelley Blue Book. In addition to this Sunday’s race, the Cox Automotive brand will be the primary partner on the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in the Cup Series playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway on October 6. Get a look at all the angles of the 2024 scheme here

No. 24 RAPTOR Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
WINNING WAYS: William Byron’s 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season is off to a career-best start thanks to his win in the prestigious DAYTONA 500. Last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Byron’s car suffered an overheating issue due to a trash bag on track that derailed his run, but he was able to persevere and secure a top-10 result. Even with the bad luck, Byron is one of six drivers to finish in the top 10 in two of the three events this year. He now sits fourth in the 2024 Cup Series points standings – the highest he has ever been at this point in the season (his previous best was 13th after three races in 2021). He has 11 Cup Series wins, with 10 coming since the start of 2021 – second to Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson (18).
NEXT GEN DUO: Since the Next Gen Cup Series car was introduced in 2022, Byron and crew chief Rudy Fugle have a series-leading nine wins. The duo leads Hendrick Motorsports teammates driver Kyle Larson (eight wins) and crew chief Cliff Daniels (seven wins).
SIMILAR IN SIZE: This Sunday’s race at Phoenix Raceway will mark Byron’s 44th start on tracks 1 to 1.37 miles in length (Dover Motor Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Nashville Superspeedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Phoenix and WWT Raceway). In his previous 43 starts, the 26-year-old driver has collected two pole awards, two wins (one each at Phoenix and Darlington in 2023), 10 top-five finishes, 19 top-10s and 535 laps led. 
VENTURING TO THE VALLEY OF THE SUN: Heading to a track where he has found success in multiple NASCAR national series, Byron will return to Phoenix for the 13th time in his Cup career. This time, he is the defending spring race winner. Across his 12 Cup Series starts at the 1-mile oval, he has two top-five finishes, seven top-10s (tied for his most at a track with Kansas Speedway), 186 total laps led (his fifth-most at a track) and three stage wins (his most at a track). Making eight appearances at the desert track since the start of 2020, Byron has led 171 laps (the fifth-most by a driver) and has six top-10 finishes (tied for the third-most with Larson). In fact, in the four Next Gen races at Phoenix, Byron leads all drivers in points earned (184) and laps run in the top five (917) while running the third-most laps (1,150) in the top 10. 
RUDY’S PHOENIX PERFORMANCE: Going to Phoenix for the seventh time in his Cup Series crew chief career, Rudy Fugle has one win (March of 2023), two top-five finishes, four top-10s with 171 laps led in those previous six races. Aside from his Cup Series starts, Fugle has 11 national series starts under his belt at the Avondale, Arizona, facility, with eight coming in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series. Fugle has four pole awards in those Truck Series races and has led his drivers to pace the field for 471 laps. While Fugle has only one Truck Series win at Phoenix, he also has two runner-up results, four top-five finishes and six top-10s. In 2016, Byron and Fugle dominated the truck race, leading 112 laps before an engine failure resulted in a 27th-place finish.
DOUBLE DUTY: Byron is pulling double duty at Phoenix this weekend. In addition to Sunday’s Cup Series race, he’ll drive the No. 17 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro for Hendrick Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity Series on Saturday afternoon. This will be the first race for the No. 17 HendrickCars.com Chevy in 2024 and the first of four Xfinity Series races for Byron this season. 
MCSWAIN MANIA: For Byron’s four Xfinity Series races, No. 24 lead engineer Brandon McSwain will climb on top of the pit box and the Phoenix race will mark his debut as a crew chief. The duo worked together in the Xfinity Series when McSwain was a race engineer at Hendrick Motorsports affiliate JR Motorsports, collecting four wins in Byron’s 2017 championship campaign. They also have two Xfinity Series starts at Phoenix together, where Byron started on the front row and finished in the top four in both races, including a victory ahead of the title race in November. Since 2019, McSwain has been an engineer on Byron’s Cup Series team. 
RAPTOR® TOUGH: For the first time in 2024, Byron will sport his new RAPTOR® paint scheme that will run the majority of the season on the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. RAPTOR® is a durable protective coating designed to tolerate the toughest climatic conditions and can be applied to a wide range of items, including truck beds, lawnmowers, outdoor furniture and more. With 16 pre-mixed colors available, it’s easy to personalize anything you want to protect. RAPTOR® is available at local paint distributors, auto parts stores and online retailers. For a better look at Byron’s new No. 24 RAPTOR Chevy, click here.
 

  

  
No. 48 Ally Best Friends Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
  
LEADING LAPS: Last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Alex Bowman and Hendrick Motorsports teammates Kyle Larson and William Byron led multiple laps each at the 1.5-mile intermediate Nevada track. Bowman led from the front of the field for three laps, accruing 26 laps led at the venue to date. The 30-year-old driver heads to Phoenix Raceway this weekend, where he holds his personal record for most laps led in a single race. In November of 2016, he led 194 circuits at the 1-mile venue.

AT HOME IN ARIZONA: The Tucson, Arizona, native has made 17 NASCAR Cup Series starts at his home track. Bowman earned his first Cup Series pole position at Phoenix in November of 2016, subbing for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and finishing in the sixth position. Last spring, he finished ninth as Hendrick Motorsports placed all four of its cars in the top 10. In total, Bowman has two top-10 finishes and has completed 95.2% of his laps attempted. On West Coast tracks, Bowman has two wins (Auto Club Speedway in March of 2020 and Las Vegas in March of 2022), tied for seventh among active drivers with teammate Byron.

“PAW-SOME” PAINT SCHEME: On Tuesday, Ally Racing and Hendrick Motorsports released a new “paw-some” paint scheme. This weekend, Ally will boast co-primary sponsor Best Friends Animal Society, sporting a pet-themed scheme for a fourth straight year for the spring race at Phoenix. This colorful scheme will also be on track at Pocono Raceway on July 14. View all angles of the No. 48 Ally Best Friends Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 here

FAST CREW:  Speed and consistency on pit road is crucial in the sport’s premier series. Last weekend in Las Vegas, the No. 48 Ally Racing pit crew tied with one other competitor for the fastest median pit stop time (9.39 seconds) out of all 37 entries. The five-man crew is composed of Andrew Bridgeforth (rear-tire changer), Jacob Conley (fueler), Brandon Grier (tire carrier), Allen Holman (jackman) and Donnie Tasser (front-tire changer).

SHOWING SUPPORT AT SHELTERS: Since 2021, Bowman and Ally have supported Best Friends. For this season (and since the beginning of the 2022 campaign), the pair are committed to a combined weekly donation of $4,800 to a Best Friends network partner local to each weekend’s race. Phoenix’s beneficiary is Heidi’s Village, which fosters a community where animals are treated with respect, dignity and compassion. You can see the shelter’s animals available for adoption here

ALLY AT THE TRACK: Ally will have a special set-up for NASCAR fans in the fan zone at Phoenix. Guests will be able to spin the “Victory Wheel” for a chance to win “Bowman Bucks” to exchange for cool prizes. For the first time since the 2024 DAYTONA 500, visitors can also enter in person to win a Hendrick Motorsports 40th Anniversary Edition Chevrolet Camaro street car through Ally’s “Win Your Wheels fueled by HendrickCars.com” sweepstakes. Not at the track? Enter at Ally.com/sweepstakes/nascar. The sweepstakes will end on Sept. 20, 2024.

BEHIND THE WHEEL WITH BOWMAN: This Sunday, Bowman fans can ride along and #Rally48 from the driver’s seat by tuning into NASCAR’s in-car camera on the No. 48 Ally Best Friends Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Visit nascar.com/drive to experience a driver’s perspective during the race.
 
FABULOUS 40: In 2024, Hendrick Motorsports is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Among the categories that the Rick Hendrick-owned organization holds the NASCAR Cup Series record for are all-time wins (303), poles (246) and championships (14). With William Byron’s win in the 2024 DAYTONA 500, the organization has now won at least one race in each of the last 39 seasons. Kyle Larson’s win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway marks the record 31st consecutive season that the team has won at least two times. 

LEADERS IN THE FIELD: Entering Sunday’s race at Phoenix Raceway, Hendrick Motorsports is three laps led away from 80,000 circuits out front in the sport’s top series. To date, the organization’s 79,997 laps led is a distance of 105,321 miles. The team’s first laps led came by Geoff Bodine in the same race he went on to win at Martinsville Speedway on April 29, 1984. Across 35 different tracks, 29 drivers have led laps in team history with vice chairman Jeff Gordon atop the board at 24,936 laps led. Click here for a look at laps led and wins by track, year and driver.

XFINITY RIDES AGAIN: This weekend marks the first of 10 NASCAR Xfinity Series races for Hendrick Motorsports in the No. 17 Chevrolet Camaro with primary sponsorship from HendrickCars.com. Byron will be behind the wheel for the first of his four races in the ride, while No. 24 Cup Series lead engineer Brandon McSwain will be the crew chief for those races. Chase Elliott (two races), Larson (two races), Alex Bowman (one race) and Boris Said (one race) will also compete in the entry and 2014 Xfinity Series champion crew chief Greg Ives will be the pit boss for those races.

EDGE OF SEVENTEEN: Since its return to the Xfinity Series in 2022, Hendrick Motorsports has made 10 starts across the last two years. In those races, it has accumulated three pole positions, three runner-up results, six top-five finishes and seven top-10s. The No. 17 carries special significance to the Hendrick Motorsports family as it is the same number Ricky Hendrick drove and won with in the Truck Series. In its history, Hendrick Motorsports has earned one Xfinity Series championship (2003) and 26 race wins in the series.

RULES PACKAGE DEBUTS: The Cup Series race at Phoenix marks the first time that the 2024 short-track package will be on track. The package includes 2023 short track/road course splitter stuffers, no engine panel strakes, a three-inch spoiler (was previously two inches), a simplified diffuser and simplified diffuser strakes. This will be used at all upcoming tracks 1 mile or shorter as well as road courses, with the exception of Bristol Motor Speedway and Dover Motor Speedway. Teams will have an extended practice of 50 minutes on Friday, March 8, to shake down the new package.

BAKER’S DOZEN IN THE DESERT: The Rick Hendrick-owned organization has a series-best 13 wins among nine drivers at Phoenix. Jimmie Johnson tops the board with four, followed by Gordon with two victories. Kyle Busch, Byron, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Elliott, Terry Labonte, Larson and Mark Martin have each tallied one triumph at the 1-mile track for the team. Elliott and Larson’s wins came in the 2020 and 2021 championship races. The organization also leads the way in poles (15), top-five finishes (56), top-10s (102) and laps led (3,530) at the Arizona venue. The team’s six straight wins at Phoenix from 2007 to 2009 are the longest such streak for the organization and the third-longest streak (of one team winning at one track) in Cup Series history. 

SPRING REWIND: In last year’s spring race at Phoenix, Hendrick Motorsports dominated the event as the team earned the win and led 265 of the 317 laps run. Byron notched the victory as he got the better of Larson in an overtime finish. Larson scored the pole position and led a race-high 201 laps. In addition, Bowman and Josh Berry (filling in for an injured Elliott) notched top-10 finishes as all four cars placed in the top 10. This was the 28th and most recent time that the team had all four drivers finish in the top 10 of a race.

PARK IT ON THE POLE: In the last six races at Phoenix with qualifying, the Concord, North Carolina-based team has taken the pole position on four occasions. Last year, the squad swept the top starting spot in races at the 1-mile track with Larson starting first in the spring and Byron lining up from the front in the title race. Entering this weekend, Hendrick Motorsports is four poles away from 250 in the Cup Series.

SETTING THE STAGE: Larson’s two stage wins at Las Vegas put Hendrick Motorsports at 101 stage wins, which is tied for second among all Cup Series teams. Elliott leads the team with 37, followed by Larson (34), Byron (21), Bowman (six) and Johnson (three). 

WEST SUCCESS: Of the last 23 races on the West Coast, 11 have resulted in victories for Hendrick Motorsports. Larson has six wins, while Byron and Bowman have each scored two victories and Elliott has one. The team’s 45 wins on the West Coast are the most in the series by 22 over the next highest team. In the past four full seasons, the organization has won at least two races out west. 

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