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

CHEVROLET ON THE TRACK—MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY:

  • Chevrolet drivers have won 26 of 87 races at Michigan International Speedway. Wins by active drivers are:
    • Kurt Busch, No. 78 Furniture Row Racing/Serta Chevrolet SS, has two (2) victories at Michigan International Speedway (’03 & ’07)
    • Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 National Guard “Man of Steel” Chevrolet SS, has made two (2) trips to Victory Lane at Michigan International Speedway (’08 & ’12)
    • Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, has two (2) wins at Michigan International Speedway (’98 & ‘01)
    • Ryan Newman, No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, has two (2) trophies from Michigan International Speedway (’03 & ’04)
    • Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, has one (1) win at Michigan International Speedway (’10)
    • Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS, has one (1) victory at Michigan International Speedway (’06)
    • Tony Stewart, No. 14 Bass Pro Shop/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, has one (1) trophy from Michigan International Speedway (’00)

 

  • A Chevrolet driver has won four (4) of the last 10 races at Michigan International Speedway
  • A Chevrolet driver has sat on the pole at Michigan International Speedway 23 times
  • Team Chevy drivers have scored 147 top-five and 303 top-10 finishes at Michigan International Speedway
  • A Chevrolet has led 6,270 laps (36.3% of possible 17,293 laps) at Michigan International Speedway


TEAM CHEVY IN THE GARAGE MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY – PAT SUHY, MANAGER, CHEVROLET RACING – NASCAR GROUP MANAGER:
“Congratulations to Jimmie Johnson, Chad Knaus and the entire No. 48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS crew on the win in Pocono!  It was truly a dominating performance.  That makes it three wins in a row from three different organizations for Team Chevy in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

 

“The race at our home track in the Irish Hills area of Michigan means a lot to Chevrolet.  Qualifying should be very entertaining.  With speeds up for the Chevy SS race car versus it’s Gen-5 counterpart on 1.5 mile and longer speedways, Turn 1 will be an exciting place for drivers and spectators alike to see the cars entering at well over 210 miles per hour.  It takes great horsepower to generate that kind of speed; which, when coupled with carefully tuned aero balance, provides grip and stability.

 

“Those last two characteristics help give our Chevy SS drivers the confidence to enter the sharp left-hander at speed, knowing they will be rewarded with a fast qualifying lap.  The high speed also means that during the race, engines will be put to the test, running at maximum output and speed for 400 miles.  Finding the balance between power and durability is a challenge in which our Sprint Cup engine builders excel.  It starts with the key engine parts that are designed and developed by Chevrolet Racing engineers, using the same processes and analytical tools that are used on our production engines. Hendrick Motorsports and Earnhardt Childress Racing Engines turn those parts into finished racing engines that have proven to be successful year after year.

 

“It should be an exciting weekend at Michigan International Speedway, and I’m hoping to celebrate another Chevrolet powered victory there on Sunday.”


TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT: 
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – POINTS LEADER:
“The Michigan track surface has had summer and winter on it, and we’ll see how much grip is just in the surface. I would assume we’ll go as fast as we did (last year) if not faster; and with the flatter track, I think the Gen-6 car will outperform the Gen-5. The question really comes down to how much grip is still in the asphalt. I would assume it’s going to be high. On fresh repaves, the grip is always at its highest. I’m not exactly sure how that will play out, but I’m happy that a summer and a winter have been on the track. It will make the racing wider for us, and that’s what we’re all hoping for. We’ve had weird things happen at Michigan, but one of these times it (a win) will happen for us; and I hope it’s this year.”

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD “MAN OF STEEL” CHEVROLET SS – 4th IN STANDINGS:
(ON HIS APPROACH TO MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY)
: “I think you approach it like any other race, but we are going in with a lot more confidence because we ran well there last year. But you’ve got to be patient. I looked through the notes from last year, and we didn’t unload perfect. We had to work to get it right. You don’t go in with confidence that you are going to go there and it will be perfect.  You have the confidence to know that we will get it dialed in.”

 

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET SS – 5th IN STANDINGS:
“It all just depends on how your day is going. It really does. If you’re having a good day, it’s not really hard to tell your guys what you need and everyone is in a good mood. If you’re having a bad day, you can get behind at Michigan really fast. Usually, when you’re hooked up at Michigan, the leaders have clean air and move through traffic pretty well, but if you’re in the middle of the pack, you find yourself getting behind and going a lap down pretty quick. You’re going to end up with a green flag pit stop and a whole bunch of green flag laps. You just have to be going the time the green flag drops and keep yourself in position.”

KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – 8th IN STANDINGS:
(ON FATHER’S DAY): “My dad worked on sprint cars when I was little so I grew up learning about racing. He taught me about the cars, and I also wanted to race and ultimately race for my dad at some point. Because of him is why I race cars and why I got into it. He was the one who taught me first off about the cars, how they worked, how to work on them and I enjoyed it. I’ve learned a lot from him over the years, and it’s been great having him around and having his support at all my races.”

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – 11th IN STANDINGS:

“The track has gone through a winter, but I don’t expect it to have ‘aged’ much since the last time we were here in August. I don’t expect it to be much different. It’s still going to be real fast. The new car is the biggest change. I don’t know how the new car will react on the big race track, but I’m very optimistic heading into the race weekend. I’m looking forward to going fast and getting the Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS dialed in.”

 

PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 CERTAINTEED/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – 12th IN STANDINGS:

“Michigan International Speedway is a really fast two-mile track, and with the new Gen-6 car this year we may experience even faster speeds than we did last year after the track was repaved. I’m excited to get unloaded on Friday and see what our CertainTeed/ Menards Chevrolet has got. I’m going to have some extra seat time this weekend running in the Nationwide (Series) race, so hopefully I can apply what I learn in Saturday’s race to Sunday’s 400-mile event. We’ve had a tough couple of weeks, but I’m optimistic we can turn our luck around this weekend and bring home a good finish and gain some valuable points at Michigan.”

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 BASS PRO SHOPS/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET SS – 13th IN STANDINGS:
“The good thing is we have confidence of the last three weeks in a row. Hendrick horsepower has been huge. Having four of the top-five cars last week at Pocono proves that the Hendrick engine department really has been a factor.  For Ryan and I to finish in the top-five – that is great for SHR (Stewart-Haas Racing).  Danica (Patrick) got going better too so its improvement all the way through. For her first time at Pocono I thought she did pretty well. We are just gaining on it. The good thing is all three of us are getting better at the same time. Really shows the work that SHR is doing.”

KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING/SERTA CHEVROLET SS – 15th IN STANDINGS:
“Michigan is a different track with the new pavement. It has one groove there right now. We were there testing a few weeks back and it was very slick outside just the one groove that’s burned in. That’s right around the middle of the track. Trying to go low the car got real slick and slid up and going high the front-end really pushed bad because there was no grip up there during testing. But once we get under race conditions it should widen out, but it won’t be the same Michigan for a few years until the asphalt settles in. Got a couple of wins at Michigan and enjoyed racing there. But with the new asphalt you feel like you’re on that razor-blade edge.  Our Furniture Row team has picked up the performance level the past month and we need another solid run at Michigan to keep us in the hunt for that Chase position.”

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 QUICKEN LOANS CHEVROLET SS – 18th IN STANDINGS:
“A win in any race right now would be big. It would be very special to be in victory lane at Michigan. It’s close to home for me, and it being in Quicken Loans’ backyard means a lot. It’s Chevrolet’s backyard, as well. So it would have significant importance. But in the grand scheme of things, winning any race would be important for us. We’re heading to Michigan with a sense of renewed confidence. We had a good finish at Charlotte, and, while we didn’t have the finish to show for it, we had a good weekend at Dover. We were fast in practice, and we were fast in the race until we had issues that took us out early. Obviously, Tony (Stewart’s) win there was huge for everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing. Myself and Tony both had good finishes last weekend at Pocono, so we’re certainly feeling good heading into the Quicken Loans 400.”

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD’S CHEVROLET SS – 19th IN STANDINGS:
“The one word that comes to mind about Michigan International Speedway to me is “Fast”!  With the new track surface at Michigan last year, we ran some really fast times, I believe the pole speed was over 200 mph for this race last year.  It will be interesting to go there with the new Gen 6 car for the first time.  I look forward to having McDonald’s back on-board as the primary sponsor for the first time in several weeks too.  We finished 14th in both races last year at Michigan, so we will look to approve on that.”

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – 21st IN STANDINGS:
“It will be faster this year than last year with this new Gen-6 race car. With this car and a little more knowledge about the tires among other things, it wouldn’t surprise me to see us go faster. It does feel fast, but it doesn’t feel as fast as somewhere like Dover (International Speedway). It is big, wide and smooth so the sensation of speed isn’t like it is at a place like Dover.”

 

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – 22nd IN STANDINGS:
“We’ve been good at Michigan since the repave. One of our top-10 finishes came from there in the same race last year and then we almost had another top-10 finish in the fall race until a tire rub. The track is fast and has multiple grooves which allows you to move around and find what works for your car. You have to find the right line in order to have a chance of winning this race. Our Target Chevy’s have been really good this year. The speed is there and the guys have been doing a great job finding the right balance with the cars so I’m looking forward to a strong run this weekend.”

DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – 28th IN STANDINGS:
“Michigan is a wide, fast track. There’s lots of room to move around and try different lines. The intermediate tracks have been a struggle for us this year, but I think we’re improving as a team overall at SHR and I think I’m improving as well. Our goals are the same as they are every week – to improve on qualifying and to race better. The GoDaddy crew has worked really hard, especially in the last month. We’ve tested a lot and that means extra days on the road for everyone. I can’t thank the guys enough for their efforts. They’ve really put in a ton of work and it would be nice to see that work pay off.”

 

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 33 AMERICAN ETHANOL CHEVROLET SS -
“I’m going to be busy running both the No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet Camaro in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the No. 33 American Ethanol Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this weekend at Michigan International Speedway. I’m looking forward to it. I love double duty. It’s fun. I’ve enjoyed the races that I’ve been able to run in the Sprint Cup Series so far this year, and Michigan International Speedway is probably one of my favorite tracks. Michigan International Speedway is a big, fast place. It’s nice and smooth. It’s going to be fun.”

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Posted by on June 12, 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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