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 are heading to Charlotte Motor Speedway this week, which is the hometown track for most of the teams that participate in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. It’s always fun and exciting to race under the lights, and this will be our last Saturday night race of the year.
“There are six races to go on the 2012 circuit, and Chevrolet remains steadfast toward reaching its goal of capturing its 36th Manufacturers’ Cup championship and eighth consecutive Driver’s championship in the series.
“With many strong performances at Charlotte on our side, we are ready for the challenges of this 1.5-mile quad oval. The cars that are the most ‘neutral’ in their set-ups are the ones that will be ahead of the game and the competition. As it has been proven race after race, track position will again be a key element to success. And this race requires a lot of patience during the full 501-run, for sure!
“Our Chevy teams need to perform at every race in order to be in contention for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at the season finale in Homestead. We are working extremely hard with each of our teams and team engineers to make this goal a reality.
“We are all looking forward to an action-packed evening of racing on Saturday night and wish all our Chevy teams good luck!”
TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT:
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 MYLOWES CHEVROLET – 2nd IN STANDINGS:
“When they repaved it, it changed things and kind of equalized the field. And we’ve been very competitive. Last year, we had probably the best car and one of the top two or three cars, and I just crashed late after trying to overcome some pit strategy issues we had. So, I feel good. I love that track. We won the All-Star race and ran very good in the 600, so I feel like we’ll be there and be a threat and I need to at this time of the year. We need to be on top of things.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 TIME WARNER CABLE CHEVROLET – 4th IN STANDINGS:
“It’s great to go back to Charlotte as the defending winner. The win in May was a total team effort and was really big for us to get that victory. I think we’ve only gotten stronger since then. I hope we can be back out front and sweep the season here.”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET – 6th IN STANDINGS:
“I am really looking forward to this weekend’s race – this is as excited as I’ve been heading into Charlotte in quite a while. We had a good car here earlier this year and we’ve had some strong runs recently. We just need to continue to run in the top five and be in position to battle for the win at the end of the race.”
“We were really good early in that race (the Coca-Cola 600 in May), and twice we had to come up through the field. I think we can be even stronger this weekend because our setups are better now. Recently, we’ve finally been getting the finishes to match the strong runs we’ve had during races this year. If we continue to do that, we’ll continue to move up in the standings.”
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 MOBIL 1/OFFICE DEPOT CHEVROLET – 7th IN STANDINGS:
“It always seems like it’s a battle of trying to get your car to cut through the center of the corner and keep the forward drive in it. It seems like it’s a sacrifice of one or the other, but the two ends of the track are different. It seems like you can carry a lot more speed through (turns) one and two, and (turns) three and four are a little more thread-the-needle-type corners. Sometimes there isn’t a big difference between the fall and spring races at Charlotte. They’re spread out so far and they’re at the beginning of summer and the end of summer, so a lot of times they can be very similar.”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 JIMMY JOHNS CHEVROLET – 10th IN STANDINGS:
“Charlotte (Motor Speedway) is a track where we haven’t excelled performance-wise in the past. We won the May race there last season, but overall I just never had a great feel for that track. There is nothing wrong with the surface or the shape of the track; we just haven’t gotten the consistent results we would have liked there.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 QUICKEN LOANS CHEVROLET – 14th IN STANDINGS:
“In general, I like this racetrack. I like the speed. I like the banking. When I first went there with Buddy Baker, we drove around in a rental car and, after one lap, I told him I was going to like this place. I always have. It’s a place I like. I’ve been fortunate to have good equipment and I’ve been able to take that good equipment and make it fast. It’s just a combination of team effort and, nine times out of 23; we’ve been able to pull it off (winning the pole). Ultimately, what we all strive for is to be the fastest, to be the best, to be the quickest and get to victory lane. It would mean a lot to me. I think David Pearson was an excellent racecar driver. Still is. Ultimately, it’s just a number, but to be where I am and have a shot at it, that’s cool. But I’m still a long way away. It took me this long to get nine. Not that it took me that long, but it’s not easy to win one, and five more is not going to be easy at all. But I know that, when we go to Charlotte, we know we want to have what it takes to have a shot at the pole. I really enjoy the racetrack – the speed, obviously, and the banking. I’ve always said I really enjoy banked racetracks and this is one of the best and fastest banked racetracks out there. I’ve had fast racecars with Penske Racing and now with Stewart-Haas Racing and just have been blessed with fast racecars. I couldn’t do it without fast racecars. I’ve always told my crew chief, whoever it is at the time, ‘If you give me a straight arrow, I’ll shoot it straight. But don’t expect me to shoot a crooked arrow to the pole.’ And they’ve done a very good job for me.”
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 MENARDS/PITTSBURGH PAINTS CHEVROLET – 16th IN STANDINGS:
“Turns one and two (at Charlotte Motor Speedway) are different from turns three and four. The angles are different and the banking feels different. You have to be able to get back on the gas early and hard when you exit the turns in order to get around there fast. There’s a lot of grip and the tires are usually hard, so the key is getting the car to point off of the corners and get on the throttle hard.”
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET – 19th IN STANDINGS:
“Charlotte Motor Speedway is a place where we have gone and run well in the past, but at this year’s Sprint Showdown and Coca-Cola 600 we just didn’t perform well. I get really frustrated when we don’t run well at Charlotte. I love that race track and normally run well there. It is somewhere we need to run well every time we go there.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD’S CHEVROLET – 20th IN STANDINGS:
“I look forward to anytime that we race in Charlotte. Not just because it is close to home. I really enjoy racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It is hard to believe that this weekend will be the 10th anniversary of my first victory in NASCAR, that came right here at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The time goes by really fast. When you are having a tough time like we have been recently, you look for a place that you really enjoy racing, hoping to turn the momentum in your favor. Hopefully we can have a good run for our McDonald’s team this Saturday night here in front of the home crowd!”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET/KELLOGG’S CHEVROLET – 22nd IN STANDINGS:
“We’ve got a big weekend at Charlotte with Target doing another grocery promotion and Kellogg’s on the quarter panels of the car. It’ll be a busy weekend but fun. Our Target team hasn’t had much luck lately so hopefully we can turn things around in Charlotte. The guys are trying a lot of new things and no one is giving up. We’ll keep working hard to get this program turned around.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW/FARM AMERICAN CHEVROLET – 26th IN STANDINGS:
“This weekend begins a new chapter in my racing career and also a new chapter for Furniture Row racing. The excitement level about driving the No. 78 Furniture Row/Farm American Chevrolet at Charlotte Motor Speedway is at a high pitch and I can’t wait for this weekend to start. Our goal is not only to get ready for 2013, but also be competitive in the final six races. This is a team that is committed and it’s also a team with plenty of potential. The guys are ready, I’m ready and we all look forward to a positive debut.”