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

CHEVROLET ON THE TRACK—TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY:

  • Chevrolet drivers have won 38 of 87 races at Talladega Superspeedway. Wins by active drivers are:
    • Jeff Gordon, No. 24 IMRON Elite Chevrolet SS, has six (6) wins at Talladega Superspeedway (’96,’00,’04,05 & ’07 – TWICE)
    • Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet SS, has five (5) victories at Talladega Superspeedway (’01, ’02 – TWICE, ’03 & ‘04)
    • Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, has gone to Victory Lane at Talladega Superspeedway twice (2) (’06 & ’11)
    • Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, has taken the checkered flag at Talladega Superspeedway once (1) (’10)
    • Jamie McMurray, No. 1 McDonald’s Chevrolet SS, has one (1) win at Talladega Superspeedway (’09)
    • Tony Stewart, No. 14 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, has one (1) trophy from Talladega Superspeedway (’08)

 

  • A Chevrolet driver has won five (5) of the last 10 races at Talladega Superspeedway
  • A Chevrolet driver has sat on the pole at Talladega Superspeedway 29 times
  • Team Chevy drivers have scored 169 top-five and 312 top-10 finishes at Talladega Superspeedway
  • A Chevrolet has led 6,829 laps (41.8% of possible 16,323 laps) at Talladega Superspeedway


TEAM CHEVY IN THE GARAGE TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY – PAT SUHY, MANAGER, CHEVROLET RACING – NASCAR GROUP MANAGER:
“Congratulations to Kevin Harvick, Gil Martin, the No. 29 crew, and everyone at Richard Childress Racing on the win Saturday in Richmond.  It was great to see them get their first victory of 2013!
“Next on the list is Talladega.  Everyone wishes that there was a clear advantage to one race strategy over another at this 2.66-mile superspeedway, but the reality is that there’s almost as much luck involved, as there is skill.  Drivers and crew chiefs have choices to make in terms of how they approach the race: do they race hard and try to stay ahead of the pack, or do they lay back and try to stay behind ‘the big one’ and then work toward the front as the laps wind down?  We’ve seen that there isn’t one right answer since so much depends on not getting caught up in someone else’s wreck.  Both strategies have their merits and risks, and sometimes teams need to change from one to the other in order to be there at the end.

 

“The bottom line is that with a little luck and the great skill of our Team Chevy drivers and crews, we’ll be able to celebrate another win for the Chevy SS on Sunday afternoon.”


TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT: 
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – POINTS LEADER:
Crew Chief, No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, Chad Knuas:
Knaus worked for Stanley Smith Motorsports which was based in Chelsea Alabama in 1991 as a mechanic and fabricator.
“I honestly love going to Talladega. It’s a great race track and one I remember from my childhood. I used to come here with Stanley Smith years and years and years ago. And we would focus so much effort into this race track. Superspeedway racing is probably what got me my start in motorsports so I really do look forward to coming back to Talladega”.

KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 TIME WARNER CABLE CHEVROLET SS – 3rd IN STANDINGS:
“I race. That’s all I really want to do is race cars. I’ve been able to my whole life, and I enjoy it.  I love every bit of it. To be able to think about racing each week, whether we’re doing appearances or testing or whatever it may be during the week and then you get to go and race a Sprint Cup car on Saturday or Sunday from here until the end of November, I’m loving what’s going on.” 

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – 4th IN STANDINGS:
“Talladega is a lottery because the guy who wins has done something right and earned it. You just really don’t have quite as much control over your own destiny here as you do at other racetracks. And I think that will always be the case. But some guys are making it work. Somebody’s going to win the race, and I want to be that guy.”

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET SS – 9th IN STANDINGS:
“I like restrictor-plate racing, but our luck hasn’t been that great lately on that style track. Last season, we thought we were going to have a chance to win coming to the checkers during the second races of the season at Daytona (International Speedway) and Talladega (Superspeedway), but we wound up coming in on a wrecker. We just haven’t gotten the finishes we thought we would at those tracks, even though we’ve had good runs. We’re coming off a win at Richmond (International Raceway), so I’m hoping we can carry that momentum into the race this weekend.”

 

PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 MENARDS/CERTAINTEED CHEVROLET SS – 10th IN STANDINGS:
“Going into Talladega (Superspeedway) there is always an unknown factor. We need to make sure we stay out of trouble and bring home the CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet SS in one piece at the end of the day. With the Gen-6 car it’s going to be hard to make moves and passes at Talladega. We’re going to have to be a little more creative with strategy and how we work the race. I’m going to have to be more patient, because you can’t just pull out and pass with the new car like you used to be able to do. Our goal this weekend is to continue to complete laps and be consistent. If we can do that and be there at the end I think we’ll be in good shape.”

 

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD’S CHEVROLET SS – 12th IN STANDINGS:
“Finishing good at Talladega seems to always be just a matter of luck.  You have to be in the right place at the right time.  The last race there we led more laps than anyone and ended up 34th at the finish after getting wrecked with about five laps to go.  If we can come out of Talladega with a good finish for our McDonald’s team, I will feel real good about the next several races and where we are in the point’s picture.  I know we will have a good car this weekend, we just need to have some good luck along the way.”

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 IMRON ELITE CHEVROLET SS – 14th IN STANDINGS:

* Making 699th start this weekend in Talladega
“I’m certainly very anxious to see because Talladega is a bigger, wider race track compared to Daytona. In Daytona, I feel like we learned a lot about being patient and picking and choosing your moments to try to make passes. I certainly tried to make some that didn’t work out and cost us a lot of positions. The unknown is with this bigger, wider track, are we going to be able to complete those passes that we weren’t able to earlier this year at Daytona?  Handling was a big issue at Daytona when you were around other cars on longer runs. That doesn’t normally seem to be the case at Talladega, but we won’t know until we start drafting in practice and run the race. At Daytona, it was extremely exciting during the closing laps and that always seems to be the case at Talladega, too. I think that is something the fans will see again this weekend. Edge of the seat for them. ‘White knuckle’ for the drivers.”

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET SS – 16th IN STANDINGS:
“I wouldn’t say I dread coming to Talladega. It’s not my favorite race track, but I don’t say I dread it. I love doing what I do. I love driving a racecar, even at Talladega. I think the difference is there’s more potential to get involved in something not of your making there, and that’s frustrating to me. But that’s not just me. Everyone hopes they can avoid the big crash there. And, to be honest, when you’re up front at Talladega, it’s great. When you’re not, it can be miserable. When you’re the recipient of somebody else’s lack of judgment, then it’s not easy to talk about it. And that’s pretty much it. It’s just that there is way more potential for that than there is at most other racetracks. So, I don’t think I’m any different than anybody else. I’d love to win the race but, when I’m the recipient of somebody else’s misjudgment, that’s even more aggravating to me.”

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – 19th IN STANDINGS:
“It will be interesting to see what is going to happen at Talladega (Superspeedway). The Daytona 500 was very much a single-file race and there is a good chance that drivers will be more aggressive at Talladega. That was the calmest Daytona 500 I’ve ever been a part of and I don’t anticipate seeing that at Talladega. Eventually, I think drivers will start pushing the issue a little bit more and try to make stuff happen. Single-file racing is boring in the car and boring to watch so I think drivers will mix it up more this weekend.”

KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING/SERTA CHEVROLET SS – 20th IN STANDINGS:
“The restrictor-plate races turn in to more of a crap shoot. You see if your number is going to come up and be the lucky guy at the end of the day.  The way you have to stay patient all day, stay out of trouble and be on the lucky side of things – it’s a tough combination to line up and get exactly right.  Over the years I’ve had good consistent finishes just haven’t broke through for a Cup win at a Superspeedway. So as of late I’ve been pushing hard to get that win and then I end up in wrecks. I just have to go back to the basics to try and survive and hopefully our number will come up at the end. You can’t expect to win. You have to find little things that will help you have an advantage at the end of the race.”

 

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 BASS PRO SHOPS CHEVROLET SS – 22nd IN STANDINGS:
“Well, I’m not any happier about it than I’ve always been, but we’ve had a lot of success at restrictor-plate tracks, especially Talladega. We’ve run in the top-two there a gazillion times. I’m glad we’re halfway decent at it, but it’s still always frustrating when you have to rely on what everybody else does. It’s not what you do. It’s what you do along with somebody else who decides that they’re going to follow you and help you. That’s the part that frustrates you as a driver.”

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 CLOROX CHEVROLET SS – 24th IN STANDINGS:
“When you come out of Turn 4 on the last lap, you forget who was your friend. Talladega is a place where you have to be loyal to people until you get to the tri-oval. At that point, it’s every man for himself. It’s always been that way.”

DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDAY.COM CHEVROLET SS – 26th IN STANDINGS:

“I feel like I’ve learned some lessons from Daytona about the draft, and that unfolds at the end if you are in the right place at the right time. I think that when we talk speedway racing, there’s a lot of luck involved. Like I said, right place at the right time…there are a lot of people that have a good chance of winning Talladega I think. Hopefully we are one of them at the end of the race. But, we won’t know that until end of the race.”

 

DAVE BLANEY, NO. 7 SANY CHEVROLET SS- 29th IN STANDINGS:
“I am looking forward to heading to Talladega this weekend. We have had some pretty good races in the past and as we all know, restrictor plate racing is a bit of a game of chance. I’m hopeful we get lucky and pull off a good finish for this No. 7 SANY Chevy.”

 

JJ YELEY, NO. 36 GOLDEN CORRAL CHEVROLET SS – 32nd IN STANDINGS:
“We had a great finish with Golden Corral at Daytona and lots of kids are free with my Top-10 finish. I am looking to do the same this time around and feed some more kids!”

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Posted by on May 1, 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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