CHEVROLET ON THE TRACK—CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY:
TEAM CHEVY IN THE GARAGE CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY – ALBA COLON, PROGRAM MANAGER, NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES – CHEVROLET RACING:
“We always look forward to Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where we face the longest race on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit, the Coca-Cola 600. This is a really exciting race for everybody involved in the sport. For most of the teams, this is their home turf and there is a pride to win in your own backyard.
“Team Chevy congratulates Jamie McMurray, Kevin Manion and the entire No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/NWTF Chevrolet SS team for winning the Sprint Showdown at Charlotte last weekend. Also, congratulations to Jimmie Johnson, Chad Knaus, and the entire No. 48 Lowe’s Patriotic Chevrolet SS team for such a remarkable performance and victory of the All-Star race.
“Running 600 miles is more than just an endurance race. In addition to being both mentally and physically tough for the drivers and crews, there are many other challenges to such a long race. Going from day to night, the track surface will change more dramatically than at any other track on the tour. The new Gen-6 cars are way faster. And, as it has been proven many times in the past, track position will again be a key element to success.
“Last Saturday’s All-Star race was very important for our Chevrolet teams and their engineers to try different race set-ups, engine combinations, and other elements that we can use not only for this race, but for other 1.5-mile tracks going forward. It was an unbelievable opportunity to evaluate the performance of the race cars, make notes, and see what will likely work for the Coca-Cola 600. Some teams will bring back the same cars they raced at the All-Star; other teams won’t. But what is important is the invaluable knowledge acquired that they will be able to use at this race.
“We are looking forward to celebrating another great win for Team Chevy evening!”
TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT:
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S PATRIOTIC CHEVROLET SS – POINTS LEADER:
“I think it’s (the Chevy SS) proven out to be a fun car to drive, a reliable car. I think that some of the components on the car like the piece of the body are a little fragile at times. So on a short-track I’m most concerned there that some just casual contact will really create a problem. We won’t have that in the 600. I don’t know why I’m really bringing it up other than the car is so durable. On short-tracks I have a little bit more concern about the Gen-6 car and being able to hurt it easier than you would expect to. On a bigger track like this I don’t see any problems. The car has been very durable, very fun to drive and fast.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – 4th IN STANDINGS:
(ON MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND.): “This weekend is a great time to acknowledge the sacrifices that the military make for us and give them the recognition they deserve. We’re running a special camo paint scheme this weekend for the National Guard. Our sport does a great job of acknowledging and recognizing the military and its involvement in our sport has always been pretty huge. It’s important to recognizing them and acknowledge them and give them credit for their sacrifices.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 TIME WARNER CABLE CHEVROLET SS – 6th IN STANDINGS:
(ON HIS MINDSET DURING A RACE WEEKEND.): “I get a little bit jittery because of the excitement and the feeling of just wanting to go whether that’s the anticipation of qualifying or the race or even practice. Two minutes until practice starts, it’s like ‘man, just let us go early, I just want to get on the track.’ So I get nervous and have more anxiety because of the excitement more than anything. I think that is one of the things that I strive for. I enjoy that, and I like it when you feel that pressure. It’s a good thing.”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER FOLDS OF HONOR CHEVROLET SS – 10th IN STANDINGS:
“Man, the Coca-Cola 600 is a long race. For drivers, our bodies have adapted to running 400 or 500-mile events. This event is unique not only because we have to mentally prepare ourselves for that extra 100 miles, but the team also has to set the car up to go from day to night. It’s a challenging race and a lot can change or happen. We were fortunate to win this race in 2011 and it came down to the last lap and fuel mileage, so you just never know how things are going to play out.”
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 MENARDS/SERTA CHEVROLET SS – 11th IN STANDINGS:
“The Coca-Cola 600 has a lot of prestige associated with it. It’s one of those races like the Brickyard or the Daytona 500 that everyone would like to win. It’s the only 600-mile race on the schedule, which makes it really unique. Once the engines fire though you kind of lose track of how long you are in the car. It goes by pretty quick and I don’t really notice the extra 100 miles. We’ll have a long night ahead of us and we’ll need to make sure we keep up with the adjustments on the Serta/Menards Chevrolet as the track conditions change throughout the evening.”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – 12th IN STANDINGS:
“The race starts during the day and the track changes a lot when the sun goes down. You have to be ready to stay on top of the adjustments – almost get ahead of them instead of getting behind on them. It’s a very long race, and I like long races because it suits my style. But the car has to be right. You can’t go into this race thinking ‘oh, we’re just going to cruise at the beginning and wait for the track to come to us. That used to exist, but it doesn’t anymore. You start charging from the drop of the green flag.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BAD BOY BUGGIES CHEVROLET SS – 15th IN STANDINGS:
“After night in the Sprint Showdown and the Sprint All-Star race I am really looking forward to getting back to Charlotte this week. Our car was really good all night long, especially in the Sprint Showdown when we were able to run in clean air. The 600 is such a long race that you just have to manage your equipment and keep yourself in position to be a factor in the end, hopefully we can back-up the effort with the Bad Boy Buggies Chevy SS. One of the things I really enjoy about this Memorial Day weekend is all of the military displays and activity that they have to show appreciation for our veterans and active duty military.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 QUICKEN LOANS CHEVROLET SS – 17th IN STANDINGS:
“It all depends on how hot it is. If it’s a superhot day, it’s very demanding because this is a fast race track. It’s very physical. Your transitions from day to night and those types of things are very critical for how successful you are that night. It takes a good crew chief to make the right adjustments. Being comfortable in the car is one thing, but staying cool and staying hydrated is extremely important with the duration that we’re in the race car. I always say the most important thing I do that day is to make sure the air conditioning is working. The Coca-Cola 600 is a great race. We’ve run second there in the past. It’s the longest race and one of the most demanding, as well. It all depends on the characteristics of the weather, the track and everything that night – if it’s a 90-degree day, or if it’s a 65-degree day. You just never know. I enjoy it. I enjoy this race track. I enjoy being close to home. I enjoy the fact all our friends and family get to come out and enjoy a good race.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING/SERTA CHEVROLET SS – 18th IN STANDINGS:
“First and foremost the Coca-Cola 600 is a weekend the NASCAR community honors and pays tribute to our fallen heroes who have fought for our freedom and paid the ultimate sacrifice in the process. I urge all NASCAR fans to keep these great Americans in their thoughts on this Memorial Day weekend.
“The Coca-Cola 600 is a marathon and it’s a pace that you have to be mentally prepared for. The daytime run is important but it’s not as important as nightfall when you get into the final 200 miles of the race. I’ve always broken the race into thirds – the first 200, then the next 200 miles and then the final stretch run to the end. That’s when it really pays to have the car dialed in. The daytime portion of the race – it’s ok if you want to lead laps and be up front. But it’s at the end of the day when the track cools down and the mileage is taking its toll on some of the other teams. And now you’re messing with the best of best and you have to go beat them at night. It’s a long day and that’s the mentality you have to have. It’s a big celebration to win the Coke 600. It would be a great day for our Furniture Row Racing/Sealy Chevy team to be able to hoist up the trophy in the longest race of the year and also at one of the most prestigious races.”
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CHEERIOS CHEVROLET SS – 20th IN STANDINGS:
“Track position is so important in a long race like the Coca-Cola 600. If you don’t push your car, you won’t realize what it can and can’t do. You just can’t ride around, and you must put your car in position to learn from it and know what you have as the intensity picks up at the end of the race. You have to run hard every lap if you want to accomplish your goals. The temperature change definitely affects the track more here and at Indianapolis Motor Speedway than anywhere else for some reason.”
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 BASS PRO SHOPS/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET SS – 21st IN STANDINGS:
“Any time you win a race at Charlotte, it’s big. It’s a speedway with a lot of history and, obviously, the Coke 600 is a huge event. I’m a big fan of shorter races nowadays, but the 600 is truly a special event, with it being on Memorial Day weekend and the history of the Coke 600, when it was known as the World 600. There’s just a lot of tradition that surrounds the month of May in Charlotte. So, this is a big race. This is an important race to win.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – 22nd IN STANDINGS:
“We learned quite a bit from the Showdown last weekend and our teammate, Jamie, was fast so I think the Target team will be good this weekend. If I didn’t have that pit road penalty there would of been a chance for us to advance too. Our mile-and-a-half program has really stepped up and we have a lot of good tracks coming up on the schedule so now is the time for us to gain on the points. We’re not out of it yet.”
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – 28th IN STANDINGS:
“Yeah, and I always go back to it. It’s really dependent on the car. I mean essentially I had better results in my Cup races last year than I have had this year other than Martinsville and Daytona. So we have had a couple of really good highs but the rest of them have been not so good at all. So I don’t think I unlearned things from last year, it’s just a matter of getting the car to a place where it does what we all want it to do as drivers on the team. So I feel comfortable, yes. There is a lot of stuff that I don’t worry so much about and I can just get in the car and go. But things I am more familiar with are looking at a tire sheet, or understanding what happens to a car in the corner and being able to translate to Tony Gibson. But it really all comes to being comfortable with the car that you have underneath you to be able to go do the job you need to do.”
DAVE BLANEY, NO. 7 SANY CHEVROLET SS – 30th IN STANDINGS:
“Last weekend was a great opportunity for us to get the No. 7 SANY America Chevy SS ready for this weekend’s race. We learned a lot during the practice session and showdown; we have some good notes and are ready to go for 600 long miles afternoon.”
JJ YELEY, NO. 36 WORLD TRADEX CHEVROLET SS – 32nd IN STANDINGS:
“It’s been so nice being home this week, not just for myself, but for the entire TBR team. These guys at the shop have been working very hard to get the No. 36 Chevy SS ready to go for the Coca-Cola 600. We are also looking forward to having the guys from World TradeX back on the car again this weekend. It’s going to be a long race on Sunday, but we are energized and ready to go!”