CHEVROLET ON THE TRACK—KANSAS SPEEDWAY:
TEAM CHEVY IN THE GARAGE KANSAS SPEEDWAY – ALBA COLON, PROGRAM MANAGER, NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES – CHEVROLET RACING:
“Congratulations to Jimmie Johnson, Chad Knaus, Rick Hendrick and the entire No. 48 Lowe’s/KOBALT Tools Chevrolet SS team for their dominance and win at Dover last weekend. Nobody knows how to drive that track better. And for that reason, Jimmie was able to break the seven-win tie with Richard Petty and Bobby Allison to become the all-time winner at Dover with eight victories. It was an amazing accomplishment!
“Also, hats off to Dale Earnhardt Jr. for finishing second with a really strong performance.
“This weekend we head to Kansas Speedway, where our Team Chevy drivers and teams are looking forward to continued success. The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is amazingly close; but with seven races remaining, both championships (Manufacturers’ & Driver’s) are far from being decided.
“This marks our second visit to Kansas Speedway this year, and the teams have been able to build their set-up books. But we have a little wrinkle this time because Goodyear is bringing a different tire. With the great debut of its multi-zone thread tire at Atlanta Motor Speedway race in early September, they are coming with the second application of the concept for this weekend’s race. The racing should be much improved; and we are all looking forward to that.
“To help everybody adapt to the new tire, all the teams will have an opportunity to test on Thursday. We are anxious to take advantage of more time on-track!
“It will be a great weekend at Kansas, and I’m looking forward to making a visit to Victory Lane to celebrate on Sunday.”
TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT:
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – 2nd IN STANDINGS:
“Well it’s been resurfaced recently and the right tire, the tire has changed again. There will be a lot going into the test session on Thursday to understand the tire to get the most out of it. I know it’s not really relative to racing and the race itself, but I’m just impressed what that area has done around the race track, the sports venues that are there and the retail stuff. I think we all look at that example and say ‘why don’t we have more of that’ this works so well. Our sport is really the centerpiece of what goes on around there. I enjoy going to the track. There are certainly challenges with the newer surface and new tire we will have. We will just have to get out there and see.”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET SS – 4th IN STANDINGS:
“Kansas (Speedway) will be a little different this time because of the tire change Goodyear is making for this race. Because of the tire change we have an open test day at the track before the race weekend begins, so we’ll have some extra time to get used to the racing surface and what’s going on with the aging and wear. In general, it depends on the environment the track is in that will change the racing surface. The asphalt they use to pave these race tracks now is made to last a long time on roads and it’s really not the right asphalt to use for a racing surface. Tracks seem to age a little slower than they did in the past and it’s not really what we’re used to.”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 AXALTA CHEVROLET SS – 5th IN STANDINGS:
“I really enjoyed racing on the tire in Atlanta, and I’m looking forward to racing on it again this weekend. Even though it’s been a couple races since it’s been repaved, I still think of Kansas as a ‘new’ repave. There’s more grip with the soft-side of the new tire and I hope it provides more forgiveness on the smooth track. And gives us a better feel for the grip level.
“If Matt (Kenseth) and Jimmie (Johnson) continue to post wins and good finishes, it’s going to be difficult to catch them,” said Gordon. “But I like how our team has stepped up during the Chase and we need to be ready to take advantage if they have a bad race. When running the way we are right now, you really look forward to the next race.
“We had a disappointing start to that weekend, but this team worked hard and the backup car was fast. Our setups have evolved a lot since then, so we’ll work hard again starting with Thursday’s test and see if we can have another strong car for Sunday’s race.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 CODE 3 ASSOCIATES CHEVROLET SS – 7th IN STANDINGS:
“No, because they haven’t repaved it since they repaved it, so it hasn’t changed (laughs). We did the tire test at Kansas a few months ago and it hasn’t changed much. It’s still super-fast. I don’t think the variable banking has really come into play, quite yet, but we’ll see if that changes by the time we unload there this weekend. It seems like these racetracks, going back to Michigan, which was a newer repave, that it’s really sensitive to not only how many racecars, but also what kind of racecar – be it a Nationwide Series car or a Camping World Truck – gets on the racetrack before the Sprint Cup cars do. To me, when we finished the Michigan race, we drove around the track in the rental car on our way out of there and I thought to myself, ‘Man, this place is just getting ready to race.’ There were three grooves where we could actually race each other. If we can get to those conditions before we race rather than after we’ve raced, it’s going to make a world of difference. I think it’s all going to depend on how the rubber lays down, how fast the track is, and if we get to sliding around in practice and widening out the groove to see if the track will have changed for the racing conditions on Sunday.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW/DENVER MATTRESS CHEVROLET SS – 9th IN STANDINGS:
“The Kansas track is very smooth and it’s fast so you can be aggressive with shock control, sway bars and other things. Kansas is definitely its own animal but it compares more to a Michigan and the smoother race tracks that we run on versus the rough ones like Chicago and Atlanta. The mile-and-a-half tracks like Kansas are so important in the Chase. We have five races on the 1.5s. You need a strong average finish on these tracks just to make sure you’re holding serve. Bonus points to win is what changed the Chase. When you win and get those extra points it definitely helps in the standings. So our goal is to go out there and win in Kansas. That’s everybody’s goal. But the first thing we need to do at Furniture Row Racing is to get it together because we didn’t come away with good finishes at the last two races (13th & 21st) after finishing fourth in the Chase opener at Chicago. We need to turn things around.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 TIME WARNER CABLE CHEVROLET SS – 10th IN STANDINGS:
“We had a lot of speed the last time we were at Kansas, but just had a bit of bad luck. For two weeks in a row we’ve had fantastic race cars. I’m proud of my guys for bringing such good cars to the track. We are bringing a new chassis this weekend, and I’m hoping we unload fast.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 TIME WARNER CABLE CHEVROLET SS – 13th IN STANDINGS:
“Kansas City is a pretty tough area, part of the country. The weather is cold and hot, things like that. A lot of heat and real cold. If not this one, it will definitely be the next one, I would think. The temperatures are going to be really cool , so there probably won’t be quite as much falloff. You’ll still have a lot of heat in the tires, you’ll start slowing down some. If you have a good handle on the car, you’ll be able to drive by the other guys. The track is really wide. I think Kansas is a great racetrack. Hopefully this weekend we’ll put on a great show.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 CESSNA CHEVROLET SS – 14th IN STANDINGS:
“I am anxious to get to Kansas because we will have a test day on Thursday with the new multi-compound tire that Goodyear is going to bring, just like what we ran at Atlanta a few weeks ago. Kansas is such a different surface in comparison, it’s really hard to get a hold of when the track is green, so this will be a real benefit for our team. There will be some guys that hit on some stuff during the test day that will probably help them for the race . I just hope we can be one of those teams and continue this pattern of good finishes with our Cessna Chevy SS.”
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 SPLASH/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – 17th IN STANDINGS:
“Kansas is a fun track to race on, especially with the new pavement. It’s really fast, one of the fastest tracks we race on all year. With the new pavement, the racing groove is narrow and mostly on the bottom of the track. As we continue to run races there, the groove will build up and get wider. It should be a good race and I’m looking forward to going back. We had a really good car there earlier this year and got a top-10 finish. We ran really well there last year also, so we’re looking for good things for our Menards/SPLASH Chevrolet SS this weekend.”
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – 20th IN STANDINGS:
“It’s important to understand when you go back to a place which has been recently repaved that you might be going back to a completely different race track. It has been a hot summer in the Midwest part of the country and that typically changes race tracks quite a bit. We have to be open-minded when it comes to our setup for Kansas Speedway. It will also be nice to have that extra day of practice on Thursday leading into the normal race weekend. It will give the Caterpillar team the opportunity to test setups and learn how the track surface has evolved.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – 22nd IN STANDINGS:
“The Target team has had a rough couple of weeks so I’m hoping we can turn things back around this weekend in Kansas. We had a strong car the last time we were there and if it wasn’t for a costly mistake on pit road, I feel like we would have had a top-10 finish. Plus teams get to go in a day early to test the new Goodyear tire so this is a big help. The more track time the better.”
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – 28th IN STANDINGS:
“We had a rough weekend at Dover, so we’re obviously hoping to rebound at Kansas. I’ve always liked it there and hopefully we can bounce back a bit. It’s been an exciting week – I was up in New York with Chevy and GoDaddy raising awareness for breast cancer research. We unveiled the pink GoDaddy Chevy SS and also had the pink Chevy Camaro SS pace car up there – both in Times Square. So it’s been a busy week, but for a good cause. I’m proud to have partners like GoDaddy and Chevy that take part in important causes like this and I’m excited to be running a pink car for the month of October.”
MARK MARTIN, NO. 14 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS CHEVROLET SS – INTERIM DRIVER FOR THE INJURED TONY STEWART:
“It’s just – it’s pretty straightforward. It’s smooth and right on the bottom of the race track, right on the white line is the way around it and it’s pretty uneventful. It’s got big sweeping front straightaway and the back straightaway is pretty straight so that means that turn four opens up a lot, turn three is tight going in and turn four opens up a lot because you don’t have to turn down straight you can sweep out with that straightaway and then the entry to one is opened up but the exit of two is tight because of the straight back straightaway. So it makes all of the turns – all four of them – a little bit different which is cool. And the biggest challenge there now is just to get your car stuck to the race track harder than the next guy – no bumps to deal with or other major issues. It’s just making your car grip the race track.”