2017 Talladega II: Chevrolet NASCAR Monster Energy Race Preview
PRETTY IN PINK:
In partnership with the American Cancer Society for the seventh consecutive season, Chevrolet is participating in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer campaign (MSABC). This weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, Chevrolet will host 25 survivors and their guests on Saturday morning, providing them hot laps around the 2.66-mile track with Chevy drivers Austin and Ty Dillon. They will be treated to a hospitality experience complete with breakfast, a unique activity, driver question and answer session, autographs, photos and tickets to the race.
Chevrolet will once again campaign a pink Chevrolet SS pace car this weekend at Talladega. For every lap the pink pace car “leads” the field under caution, Chevrolet will donate $350 per lap, (up to $50,000) to the MSABC program.
CHEVROLET TOP 40:
Did you know? Talladega Superspeedway is one of six tracks on the current Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) schedule where Chevrolet has 40 or more victories. Chevrolet eclipsed the 40-win mark at the 2.66-mile superspeedway when Dale Earnhardt, Jr. took his Chevrolet SS to victory at in May of 2015. Chevrolet leads all other manufacturers with exactly 40 wins at Talladega.
CHEVY HISTORY MINUTE:
Chevrolet has a rich history at Talladega Superspeedway. Long-time Chevrolet ambassador, Dale Earnhardt, leads almost all statistical categories at the 2.66-mile track. He holds the record for most wins with 10, most top 5’s with 23, and most top 10’s with 27 to his credit. Of active drivers, his son, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the No. 88 Chevy SS, leads with six wins at Talladega.
TIED FOR THE TOP:
Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and Hendrick Motorsports have campaigned the Chevrolet brand within their race teams since the inception of each organization. Chevrolet has enjoyed a 48-year relationship with RCR and a 34-year partnership with Hendrick Motorsports. Both organizations have found immense success at Talladega Superspeedway; and they are currently tied for the top spot on the all-time win list at ‘Dega with 12 wins each.
ALL-TIME WINS LIST:
Lifetime Chevrolet driver and seven-time Cup Series champion, Jimmie Johnson, currently has 83 career Cup Series victories. A trip to Victory Lane this weekend would tie Johnson with Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allision for fourth on the all-time Cup Series wins list.
The Alabama 500 is scheduled to begin on Sunday, October 15th at 2 pm, ET. Live coverage can be found on NBC, MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
BY THE NUMBERS:
Chevrolet has won 39 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer Championships
Team Chevy drivers have scored 775 wins and 693 poles in MENCS competition
Chevrolet drivers have won 40 of 96 races at Talladega Superspeedway. Victories by current Team Chevy drivers are:
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, has six victories at Talladega (’01, ’02 – TWICE, ’03, ‘04 & ’15)
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, has gone to Victory Lane at Talladega Superspeedway twice (’06 & ’11)
Jamie McMurray, No. 1 McDonald’s Chevrolet SS, has two wins at Talladega Superspeedway (’09 & ‘13)
A Chevrolet driver has won one of the last five races at Talladega Superspeedway
A Chevrolet driver has sat on the pole at Talladega Superspeedway 34 times
Team Chevy drivers have scored 185 top-five and 348 top-10 finishes at Talladega Superspeedway
A Chevrolet has led laps 7,668 (42.2% of possible 18,192 laps) at Talladega Superspeedway
FOR THE FANS:
Fans can visit the Team Chevy Racing Display in the Fan Midway at Talladega Superspeedway
Fans can check out great a great assortment of Chevrolet vehicles including: Camaro, Colorado, Equinox, Tahoe, Traverse, Trax, Malibu Premiere, Silverado 1500, Silverado 2500, MSABC Silverado, Bolt EV, Corvette Stingray and Cruze
At the Chevrolet Display, fans can view the No, 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS and No. 3 DOW Chevrolet SS show cars. The 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 race car and the 2018 Camaro ZL1 production car that paced the 2017 Brickyard 400
Also on display is a Chevrolet R07 racing engine complete with electronic fuel injection. Fans can also see a sample of engines, parts and accessories available for purchase from Chevrolet Performance at their local Chevrolet dealer
Other activities at the Team Chevy Racing Display include a variety of interactive games for adults and kids
TEAM CHEVY QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSIONS AT THE DISPLAY:
Friday, October 13th
1:15 p.m. – Paul Menard
2:30 p.m. – Kaz Grala, Justin Haley and Johnny Sauter
2:45 p.m. – John Hunter Nemechek
Sunday, October 15th
9:10 a.m. – Ryan Newman and Luke Lambert (crew chief)
9:25 a.m. – Jamie McMurray
9:45 a.m. – Austin Dillon
10:10 a.m. – Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and Chase Elliott
10:30 a.m. – Kasey Kahne
Chevrolet Display Hours of operation: Fri. Oct. 13th - 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Sat. Oct. 14th - 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Sun. Oct. 15th – 8:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 FIRST DATA CHEVROLET SS – 2ND IN PLAYOFF STANDINGS
“As soon as the playoffs started, I definitely had Talladega circled as one the tracks to watch out for. I feel like our Chevy’s have been much better this season at the superspeedways, but a lot of times at places like Talladega it feels like the race can be a little out of your hands. But, there is still a lot that we can control, like doing our job on pit road to try to maximize our position and hopefully stay up front. Anything can happen at Talladega, and I’m sure it will be a stressful race, but if we execute we should be alright.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 NAPA CHEVROLET SS – 4TH IN PLAYOFF STANDINGS
“I think there is something the driver can do to be a factor at Talladega. There are guys that have been consistently winning at those races over the past number of years. Anytime you see something consistently happen there is obviously not just luck involved in it. The guys who have embraced it and have been willing to want to figure it out seem to excel and we would like to be amongst that group.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – 7TH IN PLAYOFF STANDINGS
“Talladega is indeed a wildcard race. I’m happy it’s not a cut off for the Round of 8 but we really need to make it through the race and have a good finish. We don’t want to go to Kansas fighting to stay alive in the hunt for an eighth championship.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 CESSNA CHEVROLET SS – 8TH IN PLAYOFF STANDINGS
“Talladega is all about survival. I don’t know if anyone looks forward to going to Talladega, just because of all of the unknowns. I would not say that I like superspeedway racing; I would say that I have been fortunate at that style of racing and we have had really fast cars at those tracks. We ran really well at Talladega in the Spring race and finished second; we’ve been pretty successful there as a team. We’ll go and try to score as many stage points as possible and win the race to hopefully secure a spot in the next round of the Playoffs”.
CHEVROLET DRIVERS NOT IN PLAYOFF CONTENTION:
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 AMERICAN ETHANOL CHEVROLET SS – 13TH IN PLAYOFF STANDINGS
"Yeah, I've done a lot of different things there and finished a lot of different ways. I do love the speedways. It's been fun."
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – 14TH IN PLAYOFF IN STANDINGS
“I think we can do well at Talladega. Unfortunately, you can’t control everything at Talladega, though. Sometimes you are unlucky and that's just part of what happens there. We had a strong finish there earlier this year and all we can do is focus on everything we can control.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – 15TH IN PLAYOFF STANDINGS
"We are doing a little bit of everything. We really want to go out there and win races. This past weekend at Charlotte, we made the final 12 in qualifying and ran up in the top 10 before getting in a wreck. We remain focused. But with that said, we want to go out and do the best job we can and not make a mistake that might cost someone a championship. I remember my first start back in 2000 in Phoenix. I qualified next to Bobby Labonte and right in front of Dale Earnhardt Sr. when they were racing for a championship with two races to go in the season. The point I am trying to make is you don't want to go out there and make a mess for someone else, but at the same time, you want to go out there and win for yourself, your sponsors, your team and your fans. This weekend in Talladega should be interesting. We all know what can happen there with one wrong move. We'll just have to do our best, stay out of trouble and hope the fans see a great race."
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 MOUNTAIN DEW CHEVROLET SS – 22ND IN STANDINGS
“I’d like to fly under the radar a little bit. I don’t want to put too much pressure on us – it messes up the way you think, the way you use strategy in the race, everything. But Talladega is a great track and a great opportunity to win. I expect to race up front and expect our car to be strong, and our guys expect us to work hard and be toward the front all day. That is what we are going to have to do to try to win. I think we need to be leading the race with 50 to go or at least on the front row for those last few restarts. But. I think we’ll also have a chance to win at Martinsville and Texas, and some of these other tracks we go to.”
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 KNAUF/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – 23RD IN STANDINGS
"We've had good luck this year on the superspeedways, so knock on wood that it will continue this weekend with the Knauf / Menards Chevrolet. We've had a few top-five and top-10 finishes this year and we're hoping for more. We don't ride around. We try to race up front and be ahead of the wrecks, but sometimes you're in the middle of them and have to do your best to avoid them. A big crash at a restrictor-plate track can happen anywhere. My spotter Stevie Reeves does a good job getting me through them and, like I said, knock on wood we've been pretty lucky so far this year."
TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICO CHEVROLET SS – 24TH IN STANDINGS
“I’m looking forward to going back to Talladega. I raced well there in the spring, both in the Cup Series and the XFINTIY Series. Our GEICO Chevy team has unloaded with a fast setup at every superspeedway race this year. I led laps in Daytona this summer and had a real shot to win. It can be intimidating that anything can happen at Talladega and a lot of factors are out of your control. We’ll just need to have solid pit stops and keep our nose clean in the first 187 laps to have a chance on the last lap to get the win.”
CHRIS BUESCHER, NO. 37 BUSH’S CHILI BEANS CHEVROLET SS – 25TH IN STANDINGS
“For our No. 37 Bush’s Chili Beans team this weekend, our strategy is the same as always on superspeedways: don’t wreck. My superspeedway record on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series side hasn’t been super great, but we’ve finished two of three superspeedway races this season with top-15 finishes, so I’ll call that an improvement. Our teammate (AJ Allmendinger) and I have tried the strategy of staying towards the back of the pack the past several superspeedway races and that has worked out, so I think that’ll be the game plan again this weekend. Hopefully we can be there at the end and get a really good finish and keep improving these last six races of 2017.”
AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 KROGER CLICKLIST CHEVROLET SS – 26TH IN STANDINGS
“Talladega, I’m not really sure what to say about it. Last time I was there I ended on my roof on the back straightaway one of these races you just hope and pray. I’ve had some strong runs there, I’ve had some disappointments, some scary moments, but one of these races that for the fans is always exciting. For us drivers, a little nerve racking, but in general, a chance for us to go win. Great golf there. I always love the weekend, I get to golf a lot. But 500-miles of craziness and you know the last 20 laps you will be on the edge of your seat, drivers and fans.”
MICHAEL MCDOWELL, NO. 95 K-LOVE CHEVROLET SS – 27TH IN STANDINGS
“Talladega is another shot for us to try to go win a race. We are so good at Daytona, another superspeedway, where we were running in the Top-5, had a shot at winning the race, made the wrong move on the last lap, and we were still able to finish 4th. We have a great superspeedway program. I am very comfortable and confident at those places. Talladega has been a little more hit or miss for us. Hopefully this weekend we can get positioned up front and miss the big one.”
Chevrolet Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Statistics
Total (1949 – 2015): 39
First title for Chevrolet: 1958
Highest number of consecutive titles: 13 (2003-2015)
Years Won: 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Total (1949 – 2016): 31
First Chevrolet champion: Buck Baker (1957)
Highest number of consecutive titles: 7 (2005 – ’11)
Years Won: 1957, 1960, 1961, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016
Record for total race wins in single season: 26 – (in 2007)
Laps Led: 1,903
Top-five finishes: 47
Top-10 finishes: 97
CHEVROLET IN NASCAR SPRINT CUP CUMULATIVE STATISTICS:
Total Chevrolet race wins: 775 (1949 – to date)
Poles Won to Date: 693
Laps Lead to Date: 230,349
Top-Five Finishes to Date: 3,921
Top-10 Finishes to Date: 8,054
Total NASCAR Cup wins by Corporation, 1949 – To-Date