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

TEAM CHEVY IN NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES (NSCS) COMPETITION:

  • Chevrolet has won 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Manufacturers’ Championships
  • Team Chevy drivers have scored 703 wins and 635 poles in NSCS competition


CHEVROLET ON THE TRACK—LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY:

  • Chevrolet drivers have won 16 of 33 races at Phoenix International Raceway. Wins by active drivers are:
    • Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s/KOBALT Tools Chevrolet SS, has four (4) victories at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) (’05, ’06, ’07 & ‘10)
    • Jeff Burton, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS, has two (2) wins at LVMS (’99 & ’00)
    • Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, has made one(1) trip to Winner’s Circle at LVMS (’01)
    • Tony Stewart, No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Racing Chevrolet SS, has gone to Victory Lane at LVMS once (1) (’12)
  • A Chevrolet driver has won five (5) of the last 10 races at LVMS
  • A Chevrolet driver has sat on the pole at LVMS once (1)
  • Team Chevy drivers have scored 28 top-five and 50 top-10 finishes at Las Vegas
  • A Chevrolet has led 1,275 laps (37.7% of possible 3,373 laps) at Las Vegas


TEAM CHEVY IN THE GARAGE LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY – PAT SUHY, MANAGER, CHEVROLET RACING – NASCAR GROUP MANAGER:
“It’s been an exciting couple of weeks watching the new Chevrolet SS finally show what it can do under actual racing conditions.  Based on the strong qualifying and race performances in Daytona and Phoenix, it seems that the car is going to be very competitive.  This is the payoff for the long hours our Chevy Racing and Chevy team engineers have spent working on the new race car.  So much attention to detail has been required; including running computer simulations, testing in wind tunnels, evaluating the cars on our own GM Yuma Proving Grounds and at NASCAR race tracks throughout the development process.

 

“Last weekend in Phoenix we saw the first race where NASCAR’s new chassis rules, which are aimed at increasing mechanical grip, were used to their full effect by our teams. The cars were set up for maximum aerodynamic downforce.  Combining those factors with a softer Goodyear tire combination allowed for speeds nearly as fast as last fall’s race, even though the track has aged and given-up some grip.

 

“As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves to the fast mile and a half circuit in Las Vegas, we’ll see the impact of those chassis changes and the improved overall downforce of the Chevy SS, which will be magnified as speed picks-up significantly compared to what we saw last week in Phoenix.

 

“Since we understand that in racing, you’re only as good as last weekend’s result, we have continued to test and learn more about the performance of the cars and how to tune them for optimum performance.  With all of the hard work that’s preceded this weekend, I’m confident that Team Chevy will have another strong showing; and that a Chevy SS or two will be in contention for the win.”

TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT: 
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – POINT’S LEADER:
“We ran well all day. It was a competitive race and it was fun to race that hard with Tony at the end for a win. He was killing everyone all day on the restarts and he got me at the end. It was a good day for the Kobalt Tools Chevy. I hope we are in the same position again this weekend.”

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY ORANGE CHEVROLET SS – 2nd IN STANDINGS:

 

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – 8th IN STANDINGS:
“There are some bumps down in turns 1 and 2 that you really need your car to get through. They’re in the low line – the preferred line. In turns 3 and 4, you’ll usually run low. If your car is not working through the bumps in turns 1 and 2, you can run above them, and I really like (turns) 3 and 4 because you have a lot of different options through there, as well. You can definitely change your entry into turn 3 and your line through the corner to get the most out of the car.

 

“Testing is very important. When you have telemetry on the car, it gives us the opportunity to learn more about the loads and the bumps and what the car is going through, like ride heights of the front splitter. It gives us the opportunity to gather so much valuable information that we can use for the race on Sunday. Every lap we log helps us understand and learn more about our new No. 24 Chevy SS.”


JJ YELEY, NO. 36 ACCELL CONSTRUCTION CHEVROLET SS – 13th IN STANDINGS:
“What I like about Vegas is that you can really race in several grooves. It gives you an opportunity to change your line and look for more speed throughout the race”

 

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – 15th IN STANDINGS:
“We’ve had a lot of 2013 test sessions at 1.5-mile tracks. There are going to be a lot of questions at Las Vegas (Motor Speedway) for every team. The new Gen-6 cars are really fast with a lot of grip. Goodyear is building better tries than they have ever built while the cars have more downforce and engines have more power than ever. Add all that up and it means we are going to go really fast. Las Vegas is a rough track and not very smooth anymore. There are just so many challenges and unknowns heading into Las Vegas and that’s what everyone is worried about. You can test all day long, but it isn’t the same as racing. Until everyone brings their best effort to the track, you really don’t know where you stand. We feel like we’ve had good tests, but things tend to be different come race time.”

 

PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 MENARDS/SCHROCK CHEVROLET SS – 17th IN STANDINGS:
“Going to Las Vegas (Motor Speedway) will give us the first true indication of how the new Gen-6 car is going to react. All the tests we have done with the new car we’ve seen high speeds. It’s definitely been faster than the old car in race conditions. I think there’s a good possibility we might see a new track record in Vegas. We’re going to the track a day early to test on Thursday, so I really think we are going to learn a lot about how the Schrock/Menards Chevrolet is going to handle. What we gain from the extra day of testing will be crucial to our strategy for the rest of the weekend.”

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 QUICKEN LOANS CHEVROLET SS – 20th IN STANDINGS:
“Personally, for me, I really like Las Vegas. I always say it’s my kind of racetrack because I like the ones that have hills, and this track has some great banking. As far as the track goes, they’ve made some changes to it over the past few years. The track is higher-banked. It has a rougher surface in that there are more bumps. The track has some character to it. Over the past couple of years, the bumps in the track have typically been pretty tricky, but that’s something I like. We have some good notes from what we’ve done there the past few years and I really hope we can build on those.”

 

DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDAY.COM CHEVROLET SS – 22nd IN STANDINGS:
“Obviously Phoenix was tough all around. It was a bad finish, we took a hit in the points and our car was destroyed. You always hate to destroy a car, but especially with the new ones, it really hurts the team because everyone is trying to build new cars as quickly as possible. So I really feel bad for all the guys because it’s just more work for them. So hopefully we’ll have a better outing at Las Vegas with the GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS. We’ve had good results in the Nationwide Series and I think the test day on Thursday will be beneficial. Any track time at a place we race is helpful for me as the learning process continues. It gives us a chance to learn more about the car and helps Tony Gibson and I build a notebook. The more track time the better.”

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 MOBIL 1 RACING/BASS PRO SHOPS CHEVROLET SS – 23rd IN STANDINGS:
“You know, there’s really no key to it. It’s just like anywhere else you go. You just have to have a well-balanced car. It seems like track position is really, really key there, but as long as you can get your car driving well and stay ahead of it, it seems like as the day changes, or the longer the day goes, the more the track changes and the more you have to stay up with it. You just can’t have any mistakes there because you cannot afford to lose the track position, and you have to be able to stay up with the changing track conditions as the day goes on.”

 

JUAN PABLO MONOTYA, NO. 42 AXE APOLLO CHEVROLET SS – 24th IN STANDINGS:
“We did a test session at Charlotte Motor Speedway at the end of last year and we were really happy with our Target Chevy so I’m expecting good things this weekend. The two tracks are very similar. We had good speed and handling. After last weekend, I’m anxious to get back out on the track too. We had such a strong run going for us and I had a lot of fun out there. It was nice to put the Target Chevy back out in front and lead some laps. I’d like to do that every weekend.”

 

DAVE BLANEY, NO. 7 SANY CHEVROLET SS – 25th IN STANDINGS:
“It’ll be interesting to see how the Gen 6 car races on a fast 1.5 mile track. There are still some unknowns, but we’ve got a great bunch of guys that work hard to stay ahead of the curve.”

 

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD’S CHEVROLET SS – 28th IN STANDINGS:
“We have started the season with a little bit of a deficit after Daytona and Phoenix, but I felt we had good speed in our McDonald’s Chevy last week, we just took a gamble on fuel strategy that didn’t pay-off for us.  I expect to have a good car again this weekend in Las Vegas and hopefully we can have some Las Vegas luck along with a fast car.”

 

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 RHEEM CHEVROLET SS – 30th IN STANDINGS:
“I think the cars are obviously really fast because they have more down force. Everyone’s anticipation of getting to Las Vegas (Motor Speedway) and getting all of the cars on the race track at the same time is pretty high, just for the fact that no one can tell you exactly what’s going on. You really don’t know what will happen until you get into 100 percent race conditions. The test on Thursday, and the race, will at least give us a direction of where we need to go after the weekend so we can work on things. It’s going to be interesting and we’ll see very fast, high speeds.”

 

KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – 31st IN STANDINGS:
“I just feel more comfortable now that I’m in my second year here. I know my surroundings. I feel like I understand what I’m doing, where I’m at, the team and the people. I think we have a good shot, and I’m excited to be at Hendrick Motorsports, excited to be a part of it and we just need to put a big effort in it. It just feels good to be somewhere, be stable and feel confident about where I’m at and to feel really comfortable about it. I have the best teammates, owner and crew chief so to be able to work with all those guys on a consistent basis is great. I’ve never been in a position like this so I feel really good about it.”

 

KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING CHEVROLET SS – 32nd IN STANDINGS:
“Las Vegas is my hometown and Las Vegas Motor Speedway is my home track. Though it’s great to see all the people who have supported me over the years, Vegas has been a tough track for me. Hopefully this is the year we can break through in our Furniture Row/Serta Chevrolet SS.  What’s tough about Vegas is when we first get there the track is real dirty due to all the traffic in the parking lots. On race day the track is really loose.  Turns three and four are slick because of the sun beating down in that location while turns one and two are in the shade. It’s a challenge to keep up with the track conditions.  As a team we need a breakthrough race after producing subpar finishes the past two weeks even though we had cars capable of running up front.” 

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 51 TAG HEUR CHEVROLET SS:
“I’ve had a lot of success at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. I won there in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series my rookie year, so it’s a track that means a lot to me. I’ve also had some disappointment at Vegas. We wrecked on the first lap in the Truck Series before. I remember we battled a tight-handling condition during the NASCAR Nationwide Series race here last year and finished in the top-10. I think that was one of my first mile-and-a-half races in the Nationwide Series. We’ve learned a lot since then as a team. It’s a very slick track and it will be fun to race in both the Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this weekend. I’m hoping to learn a lot and to bring home some good finishes.”

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Posted by on March 6, 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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