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

CHEVROLET ON THE TRACK—HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY:

  • Chevrolet drivers have won three (3) of 14 races at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Victories by current Team Chevy drivers are:
    • Kurt Busch, No. 78 Furniture Row/Wonder Bread Chevrolet SS, has one (1) victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway (’02)
    • Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Axalta Coating Systems Chevrolet SS, has taken the checkered flag first at Homestead-Miami Speedway once (1) (’12)

 

  • A Chevrolet driver has won two (2) of the last five (5) races at Homestead-Miami Speedway
  • A Chevrolet driver has sat on the pole at Homestead-Miami Speedway four (4) times
  • Team Chevy drivers have scored 26 top-five and 61 top-10 finishes at Homestead-Miami Speedway
  • A Chevrolet has led 815 laps (21.8% of possible 3,743 laps) at Homestead-Miami Speedway

 

TEAM CHEVY IN THE GARAGE HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY– PAT SUHY, MANAGER, CHEVROLET RACING – NASCAR GROUP MANAGER:
“Congratulations to Kevin Harvick, Gil Martin and everyone at Richard Childress Racing on the win last weekend in Phoenix.  It was great to see them in Victory Lane in Phoenix again.

“Chevrolet has enjoyed a lot of success in 2013.  To date, across the three NASCAR touring series, Team Chevy drivers have won 28 races. The Chevy SS, in its first year of Sprint Cup competition, won the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and 14 other races on the way to collecting Chevrolet’s 37th Sprint Cup Manufacturers’ Championship, the 11th in a row for Team Chevy.  We have drivers in contention for the Driver’s championships in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series.”

 

“This week, the NASCAR tour makes its way to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the three final races of 2013.  It’s a challenging track for the season finale, and nobody can assume that wrapping up the championship will be easy.  The competition in NASCAR is the toughest in motorsports and nothing is for sure until the checkered flag flies.  I know that our teams and drivers are up to the task, and I am looking forward to three more opportunities to celebrate not only in Victory Lane, but on a couple of championship stages as well.”

TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT: 
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – POINTS LEADER: 
“Well, we’re going to go down there and race as hard as we can. I think the safest place on the racetrack is up front and, if I look back to our Texas performance, we found a way to race smart, stay out of trouble and still get the race won. I would love to win the race and win the championship, but we’ll just have to see how things develop in the race and where we are relative to the 20 (Matt Kenseth). The big prize at the end of the day is what we’re focused on, it’s not so much that individual win, but we need to go down there and be prepared and treat Friday and Saturday like we need to win the race so we can make the car as comfortable and as fast as possible to give us all our options on Sunday.”

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET SS – 3rd IN STANDINGS:

“Homestead (Miami Speedway) has been a great race track for us, whether it was flat or banked. It’s been a race track where we’ve run well. It would be nice to close out my career at Richard Childress Racing with a win there and go out on the right note. RCR is where I got my start and it’s been a great career so far.”

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – 5th IN STANDINGS:

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 AXALTA COATING SYSTEMS CHEVROLET SS – 6th IN STANDINGS:
“A win this weekend, don’t get me wrong - all wins are special. The win we had at Martinsville a few weeks ago was great, but our focus quickly turned to the next race. It’s really cool to win before an off-weekend because you get to enjoy the victory a little bit longer before your attention turns toward the next race. A win going into the off-season? Even better because you are the most recent race winner for a few months.
“It was great to finally get a Sprint Cup victory here. It also was cool to call into the office at Hendrick Motorsports during the offseason and be placed on hold. While on hold, the closing laps of that race is what you heard. And I didn’t tire of hearing that radio call.

 

“I believe we’ve elevated our intermediate track program. The test here went well, so I really believe we can have a strong performance and battle for the victory.”


KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW/WONDER BREAD CHEVROLET SS – 10th IN STANDINGS:
“This is our last chance to take the Furniture Row Chevrolet to Victory Lane. There’s nothing I want more for these Furniture Row guys who have worked so hard all year to give me a fast race car. Though we have a bunch of top-fives (11) and top-10’s (16) we don’t have that W.  A victory would cap off an already successful season for our single-car team. It’s been a great ride with a great bunch of guys and with an outstanding organization led by team owner Barney Visser. Each year when we close out the season at Homestead there is that nostalgic feeling of what happened in 2004 — winning the championship in the first year of the Chase. It was a magical time for me and I am looking from some more magic this weekend in my final ride with the No. 78 flat-black Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet.”

 

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 QUICKEN LOANS CHEVROLET SS – 11th IN STANDINGS:
“I really look forward to Homestead. It’s a really fun racetrack for all of us. For us to go down there and end the season on a racetrack that is very raceable is something I’m happy about. They really did a great job the third time around on redesigning that racetrack. It’s a great place to have a championship weekend for all three series. I’ve not had the best record there, but we did finish third in this race last year. I’d like nothing more than to end the season on a high note and end the season on a good note for everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing.”

KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – 12th IN STANDINGS:
“We’ve had a lot of things happen to us this year, but we’ve battled back the last two weeks. We ran pretty good — fifth at Texas and second at Phoenix — so I’m happy about that. We’ll try to finish off strong at Homestead with another top five. During the offseason, we’ll prepare better for next year and try to have a little more consistent and stronger season from start to finish.”

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD’S CHEVROLET SS – 15th IN STANDINGS:
“I’m ready to head to Homestead for the final race.  Not just to put an end to the season, but to also see if we can finish the job of being the highest non-Chase team in the final points.  Our goal at the beginning of the season was to make the Chase, we came up a little bit short.  If we can complete the task to be the highest of those not in the Chase, I think that will give us something to build on going into 2014.  Homestead is a fun track to race at because teams can run so many lines through the corners, there will be a lot of action on race day and I just hope we will be there at the end for a strong finish in our McDonald’s Chevy SS.”

 

PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 MENARDS/MOEN CHEVROLET SS – 17th IN STANDINGS:

“It’s always bittersweet going into the last race of the season. I’m ready for a bit of a break, but it will be an adjustment not jumping in a race car every weekend. Homestead-Miami Speedway is a track that has a lot of different grooves, which makes it fun for me as a driver. It’s a wide track, which allows for some passing. It’s not just follow the leader. It’s fun to go to Homestead because the track atmosphere is always electric. It’s the last event of the season for the fans and it’s Championship Weekend, so there is so much extra excitement around the races. I’m sure “Slugger” (Labbe, crew chief) and the crew will have a fast Moen/Menards Chevrolet for me, and we are going to do our best to go out and win the last race of the season.”

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – 19th IN STANDINGS:
“The races at Homestead-Miami Speedway are always fun because there is so much on the line in each series with drivers going for the championship. The track is so much different than when we used to go there earlier in my career. It truly is a multi-grooved race track now. You can run the bottom, top and everywhere in between. It is a challenge for both the driver and the crew because we start the race in the late afternoon and usually finish under the lights. The track conditions change a great deal over 400 miles as the temperature drops.”

 

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – 21st IN STANDINGS:
“It’s hard to believe that seven years ago I raced in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the first time. This race is special to me in a lot of ways; its home, my family and friends will all be there and it’s the last time I will race with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and Target. To be honest with you, it’s bittersweet and I’d like to have a good weekend for Target and the team. Nothing would mean more than a win this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.”

DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY – IT’S GO TIME CHEVROLET SS – 27th IN STANDINGS:
“That’s a good question. It was definitely a bigger transition to go from IndyCars to stock cars. It’s just that I was doing it on a smaller platform with the Nationwide Series. I’m really glad that GoDaddy was supportive of the recommended process of getting to Sprint Cup. If I had gone from IndyCar straight to Sprint Cup, it would have been an incredible challenge. I’m appreciative of my partners standing behind the recommended way to do things and to have that patience and belief. Stock cars are definitely a lot different than an IndyCar. Understanding the flow of the races and what the cars do, it was important to have the base of the Nationwide Series experience before going to Cup. It’s still very hard, but it was definitely bigger going in from open wheel.”

MARK MARTIN, NO. 14 BASS PRO SHOPS/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET SS – INTERIM DRIVER FOR THE INJURED TONY STEWART:
“Homestead is a multi-banked racetrack. It’s got that old pavement now, so it’s really great to drive on. When you go down the front straightaway and head off into turn one, there’s not a lot of banking at the entry of that turn, especially if you run the middle of the racetrack or down lower. It’s always a problem with the car feeling loose on the turn in to turn one. Then you just pick your line – you can go from the white line to the wall, wherever you want to run, wherever your car is most comfortable. There’s not  a whole lot of bumps in turn one, but it is a challenge to get through there and get off of turn two. You’ve got a pretty long straightaway to think about getting down to turn three, which feels like a completely different corner – turn three and turn four. The banking comes in a little sooner. The cars are not quite as loose getting in there. You do have the same thing like you do in turns one and two – you can run from the bottom of the track all the way up by the wall. To me, it feels really slippery in that turn, slicker than in one and two and it may be because the sun shines on it more. Spends more time blaring on it. For me, right down on the white line on the bottom, there’s a little bit more grip than anywhere else. If you get your car working down there, there won’t be a lot of people running there. A lot of guys really make hay up by the wall. The only thing I typically do if I run up there is just hit it, so I tend to stay away from it. Work on making my car work on the bottom. If you run the bottom getting up off of turn four, it’s really slick. The car really gets loose. For a mile-and-a-half racetrack, you do more slipping and sliding than you do anywhere else except for Atlanta at Homestead. Pretty slick racetrack”

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Posted by on November 13, 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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