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

CHEVROLET ON THE TRACK—INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY:

  • Chevrolet drivers have won 14 of 19 races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Victories by current Team Chevy drivers are:
    • Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet SS, has four (4) wins at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (’94,’98, ’01 & ‘04)
    • Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s/KOBALT Tools Chevrolet SS, has visited Victory Lane at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (4) times (’06, ’08, ’09 & ‘12)
    • Tony Stewart, No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, has kissed the bricks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway twice (2) (’05 & ‘07)
    • Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, has one (1) trophy from Indianapolis Motor Speedway (’03)
    • Jamie McMurray, No. 1 CESSNA Chevrolet SS, has one (1) win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (’10)
    • Paul Menard, No. 27 Duracell/Menards Chevrolet SS, has one (1) victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (’11)

 

  • A Chevrolet driver has won 10 of the last 10 races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
  • A Chevrolet driver has sat on the pole at Indianapolis Motor Speedway eight (8) times
  • Team Chevy drivers have scored 40 top-five and 76 top-10 finishes at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
  • A Chevrolet has led 1,618 laps (53.2% of possible 3,041 laps) at Indianapolis Motor Speedway


TEAM CHEVY IN THE GARAGE INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY– PAT SUHY, MANAGER, CHEVROLET RACING – NASCAR GROUP MANAGER: “Having enjoyed a weekend off, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to action with its annual stop at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  This year marks the 20th running of the Brickyard 400; which, over the years has become one of the most prestigious events to win on the circuit.  There is tremendous historical significance for Chevrolet, as the brothers Louis, Gaston and Arthur Chevrolet used this track to validate their early automotive designs, durability, and speed.  In more recent history, Chevrolet’s Sprint Cup drivers have won 14 of the 19 races run to-date at Indy, including the last 10 in-a-row!

“Winning at The Brickyard is no easy thing to do.  With the prestige and pride that come with winning, everyone shows up with the best equipment. The competition is fierce.  The track itself is challenging, with four relatively flat corners connected by short chutes on both ends, coupled with very long front and back straightaways.  Lap times are a function of cornering speed, which demands maximum downforce and speed down the straightaways, which is assisted by low drag.  The challenge facing Chevrolet SS engineers and crew chiefs is that the drag and downforce are not independent variables that can be changed at will.  Generally speaking, more downforce results in more drag, meaning the teams need to strike the correct balance between the two, while not hurting ‘driver feel’ in order to be fast.

 

“Our Chevrolet and Team Chevy race team engineers use every imaginable tool to find ways to tune the aerodynamic performance.  It starts with sophisticated computational fluid dynamics studies that feed into various reduced and full-scale wind tunnel test programs.  Ultimately, test results are verified on a race car at either a proving ground or a race track test.  With all the data that’s generated, the teams have the best opportunity to show up at the track with an optimized aero package.

“This year’s race, with the all-new Gen 6 cars, should be exciting.  Our teams have had a lot of success so far in 2013 with the Chevy SS, and I can’t wait to see them line-up on Sunday afternoon; and then to see which Team Chevy driver(s) will be there at the end fighting for our 11th win in a row.”


TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT: 
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S/KOBALT TOOLS CHEVROLET SS – POINTS LEADER:
“It took me quite a while to figure out the track. But I feel that tracks that are unique and quirky, one-of-a-kind tracks, I seem to adapt well to them.  Those are tracks like Martinsville, Dover, Darlington, and the Brickyard. There isn’t a track out there like those. In my opinion, once you figure out how to drive those quirky tracks, you’ve got something that doesn’t change. It always takes that line and that rhythm to get it right; and when I show up at the race track, I stay very focused on that particular driving style. We adjust the car to it, and it pays off. So for me, it’s just finding that line; and then once I’ve got it, I seem to own it. At the Brickyard, I found it on my own. I found it through a lot of frustrating test sessions, races, a few crashed cars, and then it finally clicked. I don’t remember the exact moment. I do at Martinsville, but I don’t at Indy. It was just one weekend we came back and the light went off in my mind and I’m like, that’s how! And then we won. That was our first win!”

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 JIMMY JOHN’S CHEVROLET SS – 4th IN STANDINGS:
“It’s quite the place to win at. I’m not sure exactly why we run so well at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but it’s a good track to perform well at, and we’ve done so throughout the years. Hopefully we can do the same thing this time around because it’s a fun race to win. We ran well at Pocono Raceway and Auto Club Speedway, so the longer tracks have been treating us pretty well this season. I just hope that continues so we can experience another Brickyard 400 win.”

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – 5th IN STANDINGS:
“I like coming to Indy and like the history of the racetrack. The history there is incredible. It’s been able to survive a lot of things, and here we are racing on it today. It is just incredible. It is a challenging place. It is one groove and you kind of fight getting aero-tight behind people.  You know when you show up for practice what you of need out of your car. We will work hard this weekend and see where we end up.”

 

KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 GREAT CLIPS CHEVROLET SS – 10th IN STANDINGS:
“I lived in Indianapolis for three years and watched tons of (Indianapolis) 500s and Brickyard 400s over the years so I really want to win there. I would just love to at some point in time. I came close a few different times. I gave it away in 2005, and we’ve been close a couple other times and just haven’t got it done. But it’s a neat track. It’s a really precise, technical place that seems like you can just miss your mark by a little bit and really slow down your speed of lap, especially with those long straightaways. So it’s a neat place, and I enjoy qualifying there because you can run so hard and then the race is pretty cool, too.”

 

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 PEPSI MAX CHEVROLET SS – 12th IN STANDINGS:
“I never dreamed I would win one, let alone four. Winning five would be unimaginable. You don’t focus on a number, though. You focus on the handling of the car, getting the car to the front and leading the lap that counts the most. The last one.

 

“This is just a special place. Flying in, I’m always excited and eager to look out the window and see the track. I think I was 11 the first time I flew over the track, and I thought that was the coolest thing. I’ve been fortunate to race here as many times as I have, plus win here four times. I just love this event and competing here.

 

“The four corners look the same, but each is unique with different transitions and bumps. It’s challenging but, as a driver, putting all that together with the dips in the track, the wind and how it’s affecting the car, the radius of the corner and everything else can give you an advantage. I think this track suits my driving style, and the team has given me great cars here over the years. I always come here with confidence.”

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 MOBIL 1/BASS PRO SHOPS CHEVROLET SS – 13th IN STANDINGS:
“No, honestly you can’t. You hear people talk about it when it goes to playoff time or anything like that in any other sport, you pretty much stick to what you’ve been doing and what’s working for you. You don’t come here and try to do anything any different. That’s when you get yourself outside the box.

“The great thing for me is I’ve got a great support structure at Stewart-Haas. It allows me the flexibility to just come here and worry about doing what we do best, and that’s drive. It’s hard to play the owner role and the driver role on the weekends. I mean, I don’t want to sit there and worry about what the tire bill is for the weekend. I want to worry about making sure I know what I need to do as a driver. We’ve worked really hard to establish that system, so we won’t change it when we come to Indy.”

 

KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING/BEAUTYREST CHEVROLET SS – 14th IN STANDINGS:
“Indy has been a tough track for me. It’s been frustrating there just to find the groove over the years. My first time at Indy I got a top-five and never gotten another one since. It might have been blind luck the first time out.  When they diamond cut the service that’s when I started to struggle — since that moment in 2005.  The track is so abrasive on tires it makes it inconsistent to drive in practice versus the race.  It’s like you’re throwing a setup out in the middle of the track and you hope that it sticks for Sunday. That’s the way it has felt for me. But others have won there and have had a better feel for the track.  I had a great experience at Indy back in May testing an Andretti Autosport Indy car. It’s an awesome feeling to race at this historic track and a victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is what drivers want on their resume. But we also have to be concerned about points. We took a big hit at the last race in New Hampshire and need to get back into the top-10. We’re right there, but need to avoid mistakes and being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 CESSNA CHEVROLET SS – 15th IN STANDINGS:

“I’m ready to get to Indy this week.  Our team is very focused right now and we are ready get back to action this weekend in Indianapolis.  We have worked hard to put ourselves in a good position over the last few weeks with some solid finishes.  Indianapolis is one of the places that is special to win with all the history and traditions at the speedway.  I feel that our cars are getting better every week and the Brickyard would be a great place to get on a roll as we head closer to the Chase.”

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – 17th IN STANDINGS:
“It’s definitely not easy. You have to be aggressive and push yourself. The corners look the same, but they drive completely different. Turns one and three are at the end of those long straightaways and you would think they are the same, but they aren’t. Turn three has way more grip than turn one, while turn two has the least amount of grip. Then you get into turn four and realize it has the most grip. Most people don’t know this, but all of the corners also have different banking which makes it unique. It’s a really interesting race track.”

 

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 QUICKEN LOANS/THE SMURFS CHEVROLET SS – 19th IN STANDINGS:
“I don’t care what I drive around Indy, I love being there. I just like everything about it. I like the facility, obviously. And, to me, the special thing about Indy is, obviously, I’ve had great experiences, but it’s about the track. It doesn’t matter what kind of car I drive there, I’ve had great experiences, memories. So that’s what I like so much about it. And I love the tradition. The older I get, the more I realize how much history and tradition plays a role in what’s important and what matters and what means the most to you.”

PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 DURACELL/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – 20th IN STANDINGS:

“Indy (Indianapolis Motor Speedway) is a place where I spent a lot of time at when I was younger. It will always be a very special place for me since it’s the track where I got my first (NASCAR Sprint) Cup Series win. We’ve had a tough month so far, and we are looking forward to our luck changing this weekend. I’ve run well at Indy in the past, and I’ve got a brand new No. 27 Duracell/Menards Chevrolet for this weekend. I’m ready to get on track after having a weekend off and get back in the swing of things. Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the greatest race track in the world and it’s always a pleasure to walk in the gates at ‘The Brickyard’.”

 

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – 23rd IN STANDINGS:
“We’re excited to go back to Indianapolis. Jamie (McMurray) and I tested there earlier this month and the cars were really good. It seems as though every place we test at this year we run really well at (Richmond, Dover) so expectations are high. I think it would be very special to win at Indianapolis. After winning the ‘500’ here and to be able to win in NASCAR I think, would be amazing. It’s funny because when I was at Indianapolis in Formula One, I was very close to winning a couple times, and it never happened.”

DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – 27th IN STANDINGS:
“I don’t care what I drive around Indy, I love being there. I just like everything about it. I like the facility, obviously. And, to me, the special thing about Indy is, obviously, I’ve had great experiences, but it’s about the track. It doesn’t matter what kind of car I drive there, I’ve had great experiences, memories. So that’s what I like so much about it. And I love the tradition. The older I get, the more I realize how much history and tradition plays a role in what’s important and what matters and what means the most to you.”

 

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 33 MYCOGEN SEEDS CHEVROLET SS – MAKING FIRST NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES START AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY:
“It would be unbelievable to win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. There is so much history at Indy and I love going there. I’ve been able to go to the Brickyard 400 for a long time with my family. Last year, running the inaugural NASCAR Nationwide Series race with my brother was really, really special. That’s just history right there. To make my first Daytona 500 start and my first Brickyard 400 start in the same year is pretty cool. Mycogen Seeds is based in Indy and both RCR and Mycogen have legacies of success, so I’m excited to partner with them for this race. I hope to showcase both of our companies’ successes this weekend.”

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Posted by on July 24, 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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