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NASCAR: Team Chevy – Drivers’ Pre-Race Notes & Quotes at Daytona

CHEVROLET ON THE TRACK—DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY:

  • Chevrolet drivers have won 42 of 132 races at Daytona International Speedway. Victories by current Team Chevy drivers are:
    • Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Axalta Coating Systems Chevrolet SS, has five (5) wins at Daytona International Speedway (’97,’98, ’99, ‘04 & ‘05)
    • Tony Stewart, No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Ducks Unlimited Chevrolet SS, has visited Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway four (4) times (’05, ’06, ’09 &’12)
    • Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet SS, has two (2) trophies from Daytona International Speedway (’01 &’04)
    • Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Budweiser Folds of Honor Chevrolet SS, has two (2) victories at Daytona International Speedway (’07 & ’10)
    • Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s Dover White Chevrolet SS, has two (2) wins at Daytona International Speedway (’06 & ’13)
    • Jamie McMurray, No. 1 Cessna Chevrolet SS, has visited Winner’s Circle two (2) times at Daytona International Speedway (’07 & ’10)
    • Jeff Burton, No. 31 Kwikset Chevrolet SS, has one (1) win at Daytona International Speedway (’00)
    • Ryan Newman, No. 39 Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet SS, has visited Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway once (1) (’08)

 

  • A Chevrolet driver has won five (5) of the last 10 races at Daytona International Speedway
  • A Chevrolet driver has sat on the pole at Daytona International Speedway 41 times
  • Team Chevy drivers have scored 183 top-five and 361 top-10 finishes at Daytona International Speedway
  • A Chevrolet has led 6,959 laps (36.3% of possible 19,965 laps) at Daytona International Speedway


TEAM CHEVY IN THE GARAGE DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY – ALBA COLON, PROGRAM MANAGER, NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES – CHEVROLET RACING:
“There is something really special about celebrating the 4th of July holiday at Daytona International Speedway. We always enjoy spectacular racing under the lights, and this weekend promises to be an exciting one.
“This race marks the halfway point of the season, the 18th of 36 points-paying races in the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.  Our Chevy teams have done well so far; but are still working on a daily basis to achieve consistency, which is the key to success in this sport.

 

“In our second visit to Daytona this year, we are looking to capitalize on what we learned at the Daytona 500 in February. In addition to the lessons learned during that race, the teams have been able to improve their aerodynamic and engine packages in their Chevrolet SS race cars.  And on this Superspeedway, it is very important to have the right combination of aerodynamics and speed.  You also need to have the right drafting partners; and to simply just do your best to stay out of trouble.

 

“We are very close to the start of the Chase, so every point and every win counts more than ever.  The ones who escape the “big one” at Daytona, and get a decent finish with valuable points attached, will leave feeling relieved and lucky.

 

“We are looking forward to some great racing and to celebrating a Chevrolet win in Victory Lane on Saturday night.”


TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT: 
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S DOVER WHITE CHEVROLET SS – POINTS LEADER:
(ON HOW MUCH SET-UP’S CHANGE FROM FEBRUARY TO JULY): “They do.  The asphalt there is pretty new and very forgiving.  It’s changing.  It’s been a couple of years at least that we have had that surface down.  Grip level will go away.  I think the speeds will slow down a touch, but I’m not sure it’s going to be a huge swing for us.  They put down an asphalt that is going to last a long time, so it won’t change too much.” 

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER FOLDS OF HONOR CHEVROLET SS – 4th IN STANDINGS:
“This hasn’t been normal for us, but the superspeedways have been our Achilles’ heel throughout the first part of the season. Hopefully we’ve gotten that bad luck out of the way, because I always look forward to the superspeedway races. There was a lot of talk about spoiler sizes back in the beginning of the season, but I haven’t heard of any definite changes yet. It’s going to be an interesting race. Obviously, it will be a lot hotter than it was in February, so that will make for some different racing conditions this time around. I’m looking forward to getting back to Daytona International Speedway. I always like our chances every time we go to a superspeedway. I just hope we have a little better luck this time around.”

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – 6th IN STANDINGS:
“I really enjoy racing at Daytona. I’m really excited about what the racing is going to be like. We saw a unique way the race played out at Daytona for the 500. I’m interested to go back and see what, if any differences there are or if we have a similar race. I love the racetrack and love going down there so I look forward to it.”

KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CHEVROLET SS – 11th IN STANDINGS:
(ON WHAT IT’S LIKE BEING A DRIVER FOR HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS.): “You don’t have to worry about so many things. I just focus on myself, communicating with the team and how we can all pull together and win. We have everything it takes to win, and I get to drive every week. As a driver, you don’t get that very often. (Team owner) Mr. (Rick) Hendrick gives all of us that opportunity. There is nothing I have even asked for because there is more than enough.”

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 AXALTA COATING SYSTEMS CHEVROLET SS – 12th IN STANDINGS:
“It’s a different aero package and this new Generation-6 car has a lot of drag but a lot of down force in it. It’s a little bit different in the draft. Earlier this year here we saw where you could upset the cars a little bit more when you got up close to them and outside of them. Everybody was running the high line and protecting their position in the Daytona 500. It just didn’t seem like enough drivers really wanted to get organized to get the bottom lane working. They were pretty committed to staying in that outside lane, so that made it very challenging. Everybody kind of protected their position until those crucial moments in the closing laps. The only unknown is when that big wreck is going to happen and what is going to cause it. Sometimes it happens when you least expect it, but you can be assured that when you get a full group of cars in the closing laps racing for a win, it’s going to happen. It’s just whether or not you get caught up in it or not.”


KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING/BEAUTYREST CHEVROLET SS – 14th IN STANDINGS:
“We’ve done our homework and will arrive at Daytona with the best package possible for raw speed. At the past two superspeedway races we’ve had good cars, but not much luck. We suffered an early accident in the Daytona 500 that put us six laps back, and in Talladega, we were running fifth with six to go when I went airborne. Our Furniture Row/Beautyrest Chevrolet can be a contender Saturday night.  We’re just hoping that our number is not pulled in the crash derby roulette wheel at the end of the race. We’re in the Chase hunt and need to avoid major slips in the next nine races. A solid finish at Daytona will be a big boost in our quest of making the Chase.” 

 

PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 RHEEM/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – 15th IN STANDINGS:
“They repaved Daytona (International Speedway) a couple of years ago and from that point until now, the track has lost a lot of grip. In the Daytona 500, we found that we had to lift during the race to slow the cars up enough to have some grip. When we go back this weekend in the heat of the summer, I think the track will be even more slippery. It’s probably going to come down to how the car handles, a lot like it used to be before the repave. Every time we go back, handling becomes more and more important and I don’t see that changing this weekend. We have already tested our Rheem/Menards Chevrolet twice this season at Daytona, so hopefully we can use what we learned from those tests and apply it this weekend.”


TONY STEWART, NO. 14 BASS PRO SHOPS/DUCKS UNLIMITED CHEVROLET SS – 16th IN STANDINGS:
“The biggest challenge was Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle because when they hooked up, I didn’t think there was anybody that could beat them. But we were able to stay in touch with them, and I got a great restart with Kasey Kahne helping me. We just had to try to separate Matt and Greg there. Once we got them pulled apart, I think Matt tried to reconnect with Greg, and we carried enough momentum to get back around in front of him and get down on that bottom line. I tried to back up to Matt to make sure they didn’t get a huge run on us. They were coming on the outside in (turns) three and four and the last wreck happened, and we were just fortunate enough to be leading still.”

 

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE CHEVROLET SS – 18th IN STANDINGS:
“We definitely had speed in all three of the Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolets when we unloaded at Daytona in February, there’s no doubt about that. But, it doesn’t mean that we’ll be just as fast when we unload there this weekend. The other teams have likely done their homework to make their cars faster, just as we’ve done. I was really proud of the team’s effort throughout Speedweeks in February, and I hope we’ll be able to capitalize on what we accomplished in February, apply what we’ve learned about these cars since then, and have that same edge this weekend. As a driver, you have to put yourself in position, and this isn’t different than any other race track. It just seems that you can get caught up in someone else’s mistakes that much easier at Daytona.”

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 CESSNA CHEVROLET SS – 19th IN STANDINGS:
“I am ready to head to Daytona this weekend.  Our team has been really busy with testing and keeping up with the hectic schedule that we have had over the last few weeks.  We have been running really well for the last couple of months, but have struggled to put together some good finishes.  Hopefully we can carry the momentum of a strong run and a second-place finish at Kentucky to Daytona.  Daytona is usually a race that is about being lucky and staying out of trouble to be in contention at the end.  Our team has been strong at here in the past and I expect we will be the same this weekend, but we will need to have some luck fall our way to bring home good finish.”

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 KWIKSET CHEVROLET SS – 21st IN STANDINGS:
“It is always a struggle at Daytona (International Speedway) because it is hot in the day when you qualify and practice, but at night it is normally pretty nice. I don’t think of the Coke Zero 400 as being a hot race because it cools off so much when the sun goes down. There is a huge difference between day and night at Daytona especially with the handling of the cars. Since the repave, that hasn’t quite been a major issue. However, the track has been starting to lose some grip recently and I think this will be the first race where handling becomes an issue during the race.”

 

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – 23rd IN STANDINGS:
“Daytona is always so unpredictable and now that we’re at the halfway point of the season, the Target team needs a good finish to help make up some ground. We’ve been stuck around 22nd in the points and we need a good finish. You go out there on race day and try to play it safe but you just never know. We were running up with the lead pack at the Daytona earlier this year and still got caught up in a mess.”

DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – 27th IN STANDINGS:
“I’ve always like the superspeedways like Daytona and Talladega. It’s a high-speed chess match. Obviously it’s a big weekend with it being the Coke Zero 400 and me having a good partnership with Coke Zero. Hopefully we can build on what we had at Daytona in February and have a good run with the GoDaddy Chevrolet SS.”

DAVE BLANEY, NO. 7 FLORIDA LOTTERY CHEVROLET SS – 31st IN STANDINGS:
“Heading to Daytona, it will be good to have the Florida Lottery back on my No. 7 Chevy. We had a good run in February with a 17th place finish, and we’re hoping to have some luck and avoid the ‘Big One’ for another good finish for TBR and Florida Lottery.”

 

JJ YELEY, NO. 36 GOLDEN CORRAL CHEVROLET SS – 34th IN STANDINGS:
“I am honored to be driving the No. 36 Golden Corral Chevy that Scott Bates designed for me. We’ve had a lot of great runs at the Superspeedways in the past, and I believe we will be feeding the kids again this weekend at Daytona’s Coke Zero 400.”

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Posted by on July 3, 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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