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TEAM CHEVY IN NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES (NSCS) COMPETITION:
CHEVROLET ON THE TRACK—AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY:
TEAM CHEVY IN THE GARAGE AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY – PAT SUHY, MANAGER, CHEVROLET RACING – NASCAR GROUP MANAGER:
“First of all, a big congratulations to Kasey Kahne, Kenny Francis and the whole No. 5 Chevy SS crew on the win at Bristol. It was great to see them get to Victory Lane after the near miss in Vegas with such a strong car.
“With the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series heading to Fontana’s fast two mile track this weekend, it will provide additional insight as to how our two new race cars, the Sprint Cup Chevy SS and Nationwide Camaro, stack up against the competition on a track where finding the correct balance between downforce and drag is important. The high speeds and long front and back stretch here mean that the teams have to consider the tradeoff between drag and downforce more than at some of the intermediate tracks where downforce is king. Setting up a car for more downforce typically means it will also have more drag. More downforce allows the car to go through the corners faster, but the added drag will slow it down on the straightaway.
“Crew chiefs and team engineers use aerodynamic data from computational fluid dynamics (CFD), 40% scale and full size wind tunnels along with sophisticated computer based vehicle simulation models to determine the optimum car configuration that will result in the fastest lap times.
“The teams aren’t alone in their quest for speed. Our Team Chevy NASCAR engineering group has the capability to contribute in each of those areas. The Key Partner approach we use, where all of our teams and Chevy engineers work on ‘best common’ solutions has led to the development of superior scale model and full size wind tunnel testing programs that help our teams make the best use of their time; thereby maximizing the gains they see per hour spent. We also have in-house CFD capabilities that all of our teams take advantage of, along with offering vehicle simulation assistance.
“Having two Sprint Cup wins under our belt, and strong cars in the races we didn’t win, is a good indication that we have a competitive package. As the next few races unfold, our teams and Chevrolet engineers will continue to apply what is being learned on a weekly basis to stay ahead of the competition. If everything goes according to plan, this will pay off for us at Auto Club Speedway; resulting in another Team Chevy driver celebrating in winner’s circle.”
TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT:
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – 2nd IN STANDINGS:
“I like the way the track has gotten really wide and you can run at the bottom, at the top or the middle. I love tracks like that. They put on really good races, and there are opportunities to pass when you run a guy down, you can change the line you’re running and get some clean air on your car. You feel confident that if you do the right thing and drive the car well, that you can make a pass. I love that about that race track. The surface has got a good age on it and we even run on the apron some down there in Turns 3 and 4, which is a lot of fun when you can get your car to do that. It’s a wide track; I think the racing there is a lot of fun for a driver.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S/JIMMIE JOHNSON FOUNDATION CHEVROLET SS – 3rd IN STANDINGS:
“I think it’s going to be a fun race. We have a lot of race track to race on. We’re all getting smarter about the cars. I’m excited that Lowe’s is allowing me to have my foundation’s colors on the race car. That combination has been awfully successful for us over the years.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – 7th IN STANDINGS:
“I look forward to just the really wide race track, the speeds will be up, you can move around usually from the white line all the way to the wall, just about run right against the wall on a big, two‑mile race track, and just trying to ‑‑ it’s pretty technical because of the seams there where the track is paved and then it stops and then it starts another paving section, and the seams are pretty thick, they’re pretty wide I guess you would say. So getting on top of those seams can be rough, just figuring out how to get the car go around all that stuff and make good laps. To me I’m really excited because I think we’ll be able to drive harder than we’ve ever been able to drive at Fontana in a Sprint Cup car, and I’m really looking forward to that. I think it’s going to be pretty exciting.”
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 MENARDS/CERTAINTEED CHEVROLET SS – 9th IN STANDINGS:
“Speeds are really high at Auto Club Speedway and the tires fall off quickly. One of our biggest challenges will be trying to make the tires last as long as we can during a fuel run on the CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet. With tire wear we can move around a lot on the track and have multiple racing grooves. It’s all about lane selection at Auto Club as the racing groove is constantly changing. In the beginning of a run we can typically run the bottom groove, but as the tires fall off momentum is important. The higher we can run the more momentum we can carry and we don’t have to be as aggressive with the throttle. We had a good finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, another intermediate track, so hopefully that will help us this weekend in Fontana.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS CHEVROLET SS – 14th IN STANDINGS:
“I am really energized about going to Auto Club Speedway this weekend. I feel like our team is taking some positive momentum to California. We have had a really strong car the last two races in particular and I think we can carry that into this weekend. We will also have the familiar colors for Bass Pro Shops on the car again, so I am excited about having them on the car and seeing some of the guests at the track this weekend.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING/SERTA CHEVROLET SS – 16th IN STANDINGS:
“Auto Club Speedway will test us on the drag that we have built into our cars because the straightaways are really long there. It’s a fast track, especially going into turn one over 200 miles per hour. You definitely feel the speed there. When you’re in the center of turn one your first thought is to slow down because you’re going so fast. That’s when you realize you’re covering a lot ground very quickly and the key there is not to overdrive turn one and to get the car turned, rotated and the power put down off of turn two. This Furniture Row team is coming off a solid performance in Bristol and we want to continue to build momentum with finishes that we’re capable of producing.”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 JIMMY JOHN’S CHEVROLET SS – 17th IN STANDINGS:
“We’ve just figured some things out there, where I want to be on the race track and the team has learned what I’m looking for in the car. To be able to go to a race track where you expect to race for the win is always fun. It seems like year after year you go to different styles of race tracks and the evolution of the car or the setups or tires change. Sometime you’re on and sometimes you’re off, but is seems like Auto Club Speedway has been a very consistent race track for us to be competitive.”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – 21st IN STANDINGS:
“We were hoping for a good point’s day at Bristol. That didn’t happen but we had a strong car during the event. We’ll just put that behind us and focus on Fontana. My team gave me a heck of a race car here last year. Even though it’s a new car (Generation-6, Chevrolet SS), we’re hoping to have that speed and handling again this weekend. But with a better qualifying effort.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 WIX FILTERS CHEVROLET SS – 23rd IN STANDINGS:
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 RUSH TRUCK CENTERS/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET SS – 24th IN STANDINGS:
“It really boiled down to Denny Hamlin and myself. We were at different times the fastest cars on the track, but I was really happy with my car. We didn’t have to adjust very much with it and felt like we had a car that had a lot of adjustability to it later in the day. Really from the drop of the green flag throughthe course of the race and to the part where we actually got rain, we had a dominant car. Denny had spots where he was the fastest and I think he had room to gain to close that ground. They were definitely en route to do that when the rain came, but I think it was really going to be down to the two of us for the rest of the day, regardless of the weather.”
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – 25th IN STANDINGS:
“I think it is harder on the crews. In my opinion, tracks like Auto Club Speedway are why this new Gen-6 car was built. It is a slick two-mile race track. How do you make the racing more fun to watch? The decision was made to make more grip. If we leave there without seeing a better race than we have in the past, it will be disappointing. In my opinion, that race track is exactly what this car was built around.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – 26th IN STANDINGS:
“California has always been one of those tracks we’ve been all over the place with. We either run really well or really bad. It’s a tricky track but it’s one I do like racing at. It’s a really wide track and you can move around. The racing is fun. After the way things have been going for the Target team I’d like to think this weekend will be our turning point. We’ve had great speed just some bad luck with a couple of races so far this season. Everything is there for us to win we just need to pull it all together.”
JJ YELEY, NO. 36 ACCELL CONSTRUCTION CHEVROLET SS – 27th IN STANDINGS:
“I am ready to head out to sunny California and get back to work. Bristol was a challenge last week but my team never gave up and that’s the motto of the Tommy Baldwin Racing team. Our hard work and determination will continue, it will pay off for us in the end.”
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDAY.COM CHEVROLET SS – 28th IN STANDINGS:
“Fontana’s pavement has not aged gracefully (laughs), so it makes for a challenging race. It’s a challenge to set up the car – the seams move the car around a lot. It’s very fast, yet you still have to get the car to rotate and it seems really tight off of (turn) two. It’s one of the tougher places to get the balance right. But if you do strike a good balance in practice, you have a chance to have a really good day on Sunday.”
DAVE BLANEY, NO. 7 SANY CHEVROLET SS – 30th IN STANDINGS:
“Heading out to California is definitely what this No. 7 SANY America team needs. Last weekend we ran into bad luck at Bristol but we’re ready to move on and keep making the progress that the entire Tommy Baldwin Racing organization is capable of making. I have complete faith in my team and hopefully this weekend all of our hard work will pay off.”