|Hendrick drivers not among favorites Sunday|
LOCATION: AVONDALE, ARIZONA
EVENT: NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES (RACE 35 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 2:30 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, NOV. 15 (NBC/MRN/SIRIUSXM)
HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT PHOENIX: Hendrick Motorsports drivers have earned nine wins, nine pole positions, 42 top-five finishes and 71 top-10s at Phoenix International Raceway. Those nine wins are spread among five drivers, with Johnson accounting for four. Gordon recorded the organization’s most recent Phoenix victory in February 2011, prior to the repave of the one-mile oval. The organization took home two second-place finishes in the 2014 events at the track thanks to Earnhardt and Gordon, respectively.
DOUBLE DIGITS: A Hendrick Motorsports win this weekend would mark its 10th at Phoenix. Currently, the organization has double-digit victory totals at 10 active Sprint Cup Series tracks: Martinsville (23), Charlotte (18), Dover (18), Pocono (17), Darlington (14), Daytona (14), Atlanta (13), Talladega (12), Bristol (10) and Richmond (10). Hendrick Motorsports has nine wins at four different tracks: Fontana, Indianapolis, New Hampshire and Phoenix.
ORGANIZATION STATS: To date, Hendrick Motorsports has totals of 239 victories, 205 pole positions, 978 top-five finishes and 1,632 top-10 finishes in Sprint Cup competition. Its teams have led 64,938 laps since 1984.
“I think the track is really similar at Phoenix both early in the year and late in the year. I don’t think it changes a whole lot, which is unusual because most of our other racetracks do. One thing that’s great about racing in Phoenix is the fans. Every time we go there they have the place filled up with people – it’s fun, it’s exciting and it’s entertaining. I like that side of it. I go jogging and running around different areas out there. It’s just a great part of the country. It’s fun to be out there racing.” - Kasey Kahne on Phoenix International Raceway
“I just remember thinking: ‘Yes, yes yes! I knew we could do it.’ Then when I saw all of the guys jumping over the wall – that’s what it’s all about.” - Kahne on what he remembers from winning at Phoenix in 2011
“We tested at Phoenix and I thought it went well. Martin Truex Jr. was extremely fast at the test. (Kevin) Harvick wasn’t there, but I think we all expect him to be fast this weekend.
“I’m glad we’re not in a ‘must-win’ situation. We’re going to battle hard, though, and hopefully carry some momentum into Miami.” - Jeff Gordon on expectations for Phoenix
“Phoenix is going to be an exciting race that is for sure. You have cars that have to win to make it to the championship round, guys who just want to go out and win a race this year, I can just see a killer race playing out.” - Jimmie Johnson on racing at Phoenix
“I’m just so happy to be where we are at right now. I’m so honored and have been so fortunate with great cars, a great sponsor, great teammates and look forward to that day we can tie such an incredible talent. There are really no words to describe how that will feel if it happens. I never could have dreamed this up.” - Johnson on being one race away from tying Dale Earnhardt Sr.
“The shape of the track is unlike anything else. You go to a lot of tracks and you feel like you see some of the same things at a lot of different racetracks, especially the mile-and-a-half tracks – they’re all kind of very similar. But nothing’s like Phoenix. Nothing has the dogleg on the back straightaway and the banking and all that stuff with variable banking. The turns are all so different from each other, so it’s a fun challenge for the crew chiefs and the teams to try to set a car up to get around all those different corners and different styles of banking. And the track was recently paved, so it’s a real challenge to pass, which can be fun, but as the track’s aged over the last couple years it’s gotten more enjoyable and more fun to sort of set up how you drive the corners, but it’s a challenge. You can’t wear the tires out or abuse them or you’ll lose one like we did in the spring when our car was super loose. You have to get your car handling better.” - Dale Earnhardt Jr. on racing at Phoenix
- Hendrick Motorsports