NAPA AUTO PARTS: The 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season comes to a close this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. NAPA AUTO PARTS will adorn the hood of the No. 24 Chevrolet SS for Chase Elliott’s final race as a rookie. NAPA has been a dedicated partner this season on board Elliott’s Chevy as the primary partner for 24 races of the 36-race series and has been a major associate partner for the additional 12 events. In 2016, Elliott accumulated 17 top-10 finishes so far, and while he has yet to win his first race, he claimed 10 top-five showings – the most by a rookie since Carl Edwards scored 13 in 2005. Hendrick Motorsports, NAPA and Elliott are looking forward to many more years of success on the track.
REIGNING ROOKIE: Elliott leads the 2016 Rookie of the Year contender standings heading into the season finale by 65 points over second-place Ryan Blaney and 98 points over third-place Chris Buescher. Elliott has accumulated a total of 297 rookie points this year through the first 35 races. This weekend at Homestead-Miami, a panel will meet and reward favorable conduct in the following categories: conduct with NASCAR officials in the garage and pit areas; conduct and awareness on track; personal appearance and relationship with the media. The panel rates each driver, with scoring ranging from a maximum of 10 to a minimum of one. Total points will be averaged from each panel member’s ballot. The points derived from the panel will be added to the entry, competition, and bonus points after the final race of the season to determine the overall Sunoco Rookie of the Year winner. In addition to the points earned from the panel, the highest-ranking rookie in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship receives 10 bonus points.
GUSTAFSON THE PROBLEM SOLVER: The MOOG Problem Solver of the Race is presented following each NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event to the crew chief that improves the most from the first half of the race to the second half of the race, utilizing the 40 best lap times (10-lap segment on road courses). Heading into the race weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS crew chief Alan Gustafson leads his fellow crew chiefs with the highest amount of individual race awards (five). If he can retain his lead through the season finale, he will be honored at the NMPA Myers Brothers Luncheon on December 1.
— MOOG Parts (@moogparts) October 3, 2016
MARK, SET, GET ANIMATED: Nickelodeon shifted into high gear with their series of six race car-themed episodes of the hit animated preschool series “Blaze and the Monster Machines” featuring Blaze, a high-octane race car and guest voice appearances from superstar race car drivers including Johnson, Elliott and Kahne. Five of the episodes have already aired with Elliott as a special guest in four of them. He will be featured in the final episodes of the series: “The Polar Derby,” premiering Dec. 9 on Nickelodeon. Elliott voices the race car character “Mark Set-Go” – a sensational race starter who kicks off each racing adventure with rock-star style and a signature rhyme.
CHOOSE CHASE: Voting for the 2016 National Motorsports Press Association Sprint Most Popular Driver is in full swing. Since the award’s inception in 1953, 19 different NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have been crowned NMPA Sprint Most Popular Driver including Elliott’s father Bill, who earned the award 16 times. Elliott has been ranked in the top 10 for the 2016 class. Voting ends at 11:59 PM EST on Nov. 20, 2016. The name of the driver receiving the most votes will be posted Dec. 4, 2016.
Driver Quotes | Chase Elliott
“I would say the biggest thing about Homestead is just trying to stay disciplined. It seems like over the past couple of years it’s easy to jump that line and make a mistake. Obviously running around that close to the wall, like you do there, produces a lot of lap time and I think if you can do it correctly that makes for a fine line of jumping it and hitting the wall. Once you hit the wall in these cars it’s really hard to recover. It’s definitely going to be a learning process never having run a Cup race there before. I think it will be interesting. The XFINITY Series cars are a little more forgiving when it comes to hitting the wall and being able to continue. The way the Cup cars are and the way the fender curves around the tire, a lot of times you get tire rubbing issues as soon as you hit it. It’s a big risk versus reward but I think it will be fun. I watched the race from the spotters’ stand down there last year and I got to see Jeff (Gordon) run his last race, at the time, which was really cool. I’m excited to get back and give it my best shot.”
NASCAR Homestead-Miami Speedway TV Schedule (all times ET)
Friday, November 18
12:30 pm – Sprint Cup Practice on NBCSN
6:00 pm – Sprint Cup Qualifying on NBCSN
Saturday, November 19
10:00 am – Sprint Cup Practice on CNBC
1:00 pm – Sprint Cup Final Practice on NBCSN
Sunday, November 20
2:45 pm – Sprint Cup Race on NBC
Founded by Rick Hendrick in 1984, Hendrick Motorsports is the winningest team in NASCAR Cup Series history. At the sport’s premier level, the organization holds the all-time records in every major statistical category, including championships (14), points-paying race victories (291) and laps led (over 77,000). Headquartered in Concord, North Carolina, the team fields four full-time entries in the NASCAR Cup Series, including the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 driven by 2020 champion Chase Elliott.