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NASCAR Sprint Cup: Team Chevy – Drivers’ Pre-Race Notes & Quotes at Kansas

CHEVROLET ON THE TRACK—KANSAS SPEEDWAY:

  • Chevrolet drivers have won seven (7) of 14 races at Kansas Speedway. Wins by active drivers are:
    • Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s/KOBALT Tools Chevrolet SS, has two (2) wins at Kansas Speedway (’08 & ‘11)
    • Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, has visited Victory Lane at Kansas Speedway twice (2) (’01 & ’02)
    • Tony Stewart, No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, has two (2) victories at Kansas Speedway (’06 & ’09)
    • Ryan Newman, No. 39 Code 3 Associates Chevrolet SS, has one (1) trophy from Kansas Speedway (’03)
  • A Chevrolet driver has won four (4) of the last 10 races at Kansas Speedway
  • A Chevrolet driver has sat on the pole at Kansas Speedway seven (7)  times
  • Team Chevy drivers have scored 29 top-five and 58 top-10 finishes at Kansas Speedway
  • A Chevrolet has led 1,352 laps (36.7% of possible 3,686 laps) at Kansas Speedway


TEAM CHEVY IN THE GARAGE KANSAS SPEEDWAY – ALBA COLON, PROGRAM MANAGER, NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES – CHEVROLET RACING:
“This weekend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves to Kansas Speedway, where our Team Chevy drivers and teams are looking forward to showcasing all the hard work they have been putting into their new Chevrolet SS race cars.

“When we were here last fall, the track had recently been repaved. Since then, the teams have had the opportunity to test their 2013 vehicles and gather important data.

 

“All the Chevy teams are working really hard to figure out various set-ups and to understand what exactly the new Gen 6 car wants and needs.  With seven races under our belts, and after watching how the new cars perform on superspeedways, short tracks, and mile-an-half tracks, we have a better knowledge of what is required to improve. Our goal is to achieve positive results at all types of tracks, and Kansas Speedway will provide us with yet another opportunity to do that.

 

“We always enjoy our visits to Kansas, and we are looking forward to some great racing action on Sunday.”

 

TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT: 
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S/KOBALT TOOLS CHEVROLET SS – POINTS LEADER:
“I know they all look the same, but Kansas has its own flow for sure. Maybe it is more like a Chicagoland (Speedway) feel the way the track drives. Charlotte (Motor Speedway) is different than any of them we run on. The banking feels more; the asphalt acts differently with the race cars. Texas (Motor Speedway) is an old surface, but the entry and exit of the corners is very narrow. You have to turn a lot sharper, especially on corner exit than you do at the other tracks which is kind of odd because it looks very, very similar. There are differences between them all, but I would put Kansas and Chicago in the same group.”

 

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – 6th IN STANDINGS:
“I’m really anxious to get out there and see how quickly I can get ahold of the racetrack. The guys that I’m going to be racing against have a race on me there.  I feel a little bit behind the eight ball with that deal, but I’m looking forward to getting there and seeing what kind of speed we have.  I think we tested really well before we had the crash (in August 2012).  I thought we had good speed.”

 

KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE 85TH ANNIVERSARY CHEVROLET SS – 7th IN STANDINGS:
“It’s our second year at Hendrick Motorsports, and Kenny (Francis) and the No. 5 team continue to work hard. We can be consistent, and we’ve already proven that we can win races and if you make the Chase (for the NASCAR Sprint Cup) and play it right in those final 10, you definitely have a shot to win the championship. I think the way Hendrick Motorsports operates as a team, and the way our engines run, the No. 5 Chevy will continue to be strong all season long.”

PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 MENARDS/PITTSBURGH PAINTS CHEVROLET SS – 10th IN STANDINGS:
“We had a good run the last time we were at Kansas Speedway, finishing third. Our Menards Chevrolet was really fast and we stayed in the top five for most of the race. We had a good solid car and the race was pretty uneventful for us. With the repave last year, the racing groove has mostly been on the bottom of the track. As the track wears during the hot Kansas summers, the groove will spread out. I don’t expect to see it as much this spring, but when we come back in the fall I expect the groove to widen even more. Hopefully we can build off of what we learned last fall and bring home another solid finish this weekend.”

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BAD BOY BUGGIES CHEVROLET SS – 12th IN STANDINGS:
“I don’t remember exactly how we ran last year, but anytime you see new pavement as a driver you kind of cringe. They obviously did a great job repaving the track, but sometimes a great job doesn’t result in a great race. I remember the race being fairly good last year for a newly paved race track. It will be interesting to see how much grip the pavement has lost when we go back to race there this year because they have such rough winters and you have no idea how the track will react. As the race track ages, I think the racing will get better. With the surface being fairly new a lot of strategy, two tires or no tires, will be a factor in order to keep track position.”

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD’S CHEVROLET SS – 13th IN STANDINGS:
“Kansas is always a good trip for me.  Being close to where I grew up.  I also enjoy racing at Kansas Speedway, I think that with the cars we have had the last few weeks our mile-and-half program is coming along nicely.  Our team just needs to concentrate on what we have been doing and have a good strong run for our McDonald’s Chevy.  If we can continue in that direction, hopefully we can piece together a string of good finishes.”

 

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – 15th IN STANDINGS:

“There was a preferred line, but we were able to make some passes and use some pit strategy to run inside the top-five. Track position was important and it may play a role again on Sunday. We’ll do everything we can to get it and keep it. Qualifying well on Friday is obviously the best way to start with good track position. It limits the amount of traffic you’re in early and it also helps with pit stall selection since that is based on qualifying results.”

 

“We ran well and led laps last weekend and the pit crew had great stops all night. Sure, we’re frustrated with the result. But it’s easier to take compared to running 25th like we did at Las Vegas. It’s going to be tough with the new pavement and the new (Generation-6) car. We are going to be challenged. The tires are extremely durable so that makes it very ‘edgy.’ I think we have made gains, so I’m confident we can make improvements when we get there, but we are really going to have to be on our game.”

 

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 CODE 3 ASSOCIATES CHEVROLET SS – 17th IN STANDINGS:
“It’s faster, obviously. We had a lot of grip with the tire compound that Goodyear brought last year, which is equally as important a part of the repave as the asphalt that’s used. We learned last year what a difference it made when the sun came out, what it did to the race track. It allowed us to lay more rubber down, and move around more. The more laps we turned, the more rubber we put down and the more the track changed.” 

 

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 BASS PRO SHOPS/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET SS – 22nd IN STANDINGS:
“It will have changed some just due to weather. The thing with the track last fall is that it was so smooth – even the transitions were smooth. We knew going in that it would have a ton of grip and a ton of speed, but it was smoother than most highways you go down. The key is getting more rubber on the racetrack. The more rubber that gets transferred, the better the racing surface is. It was better by the end of the race weekend last year and it will keep getting better the more laps we run.” 

 

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 AMERICAN ETHANOL CHEVROLET SS – 23rd IN STANDINGS:

“With the new pavement at Kansas Speedway, everything changed quite a bit. I am looking forward to going back there this weekend. We didn’t do so great there last year, but improving on the 1.5-mile tracks has become a major focus for the No. 31 team. I think we’ve done that with offseason testing. This will be the first smooth 1.5-mile track we’ve raced on with this new Gen-6 car. I think we are going to have to change things up with our setup leading into the weekend.”

 

KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING/SERTA CHEVROLET SS – 24th IN STANDINGS:
“With all that fresh asphalt in Kansas we’ll have a lot of throttle on time. It’s going to be fast there. We don’t need all the extra downforce because of the fresh asphalt.  You want to get the car out of the air and down low to the ground. If you check up out of the gas a little bit you lose a ton of time. The moments you lift out of the gas you want it to be small because the place is so fast. You just have to keep your foot down on the pedal and jam it hard in the corners. For our Furniture Row Racing team this should be a good track. It’s similar to California where we had a top-five finish and also similar to last week in Texas where we qualified on the front row and ran in the top-five before having a part failure. Our Furniture Row Chevrolet SS has the speed; we just need to have a clean race. Too many things have gone wrong lately.”

 

DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDAY.COM CHEVROLET SS – 26th IN STANDINGS:
“I mean it just ends up feeling more comfortable.  More comfortable with the car, more comfortable with everything that has to do with the Cup Series.  I am adjusting to more work though.  There is a lot more going on.  You basically have over a month worth of extra work just because you are at the track one day.  Then there is lots of testing, but for me as a rookie drive in the Cup Series that is a great thing.  Definitely keeping me a lot more busy, but we’ve got all the 10 crew we have a really good relationship.  We have a lot of fun and I’m really happy to be working with this group.”

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – 27th IN STANDINGS:
“We’ve been working really hard on our mile-and-a-half program. We’ve had some good results testing at Charlotte with the new car and our cars have been fast. Kansas has a lot of grip so that will work in a favor. I’ve been saying it for weeks now – this Target team needs a good run and to start to make some gains on the points. It’s hard to see everyone work so hard and not get the finishes we deserve.”

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Posted by on April 17, 2013. Filed under Breaking News,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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