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

CHEVROLET ON THE TRACK—KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY:

  • Following the first two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race held at Kentucky Speedway, Team Chevy drivers have recorded five top-five and seven top-10 finishes
  • Last season Jimmie Johnson became the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Team Chevy driver to earn the pole at Kentucky Speedway


TEAM CHEVY IN THE GARAGE KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY – PAT SUHY, MANAGER, CHEVROLET RACING – NASCAR GROUP MANAGER:
“Heading to Kentucky Speedway this coming weekend, our teams are looking forward to seeing the fruits of their labor on the race track with the new Chevrolet SS race cars.  We’ve enjoyed a lot of success in the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series races at the flat, bumpy, mile and a half track.  On the NASCAR Sprint Cup side, Chevrolet is coming off of a runner-up finish in last year’s race there, and we’re looking to improve on that this year.

 

“The most challenging thing for our teams are the bumps on the track surface; which makes finding mechanical grip difficult and adds complexity to managing the splitter height, which is the key to maximizing aero performance.  Aside from past experience, an important tool that helps teams deal with the bumps is the 7-post rig that allows teams to test an actual race car on a stationary test machine that reproduces the wheel motion and body motion, and also measures the grip level of the car on the track.  By using a ‘rig-focused approach’, teams can run many more setup combinations and come up with a group of setups they think will work once they arrive at the track.

 

“Our Team Chevy racing engineers developed the 7-post test rig by adding the three body actuators that control the body attitude, to what had been used as a 4-post durability test rig at the Chevrolet engineering center in Warren, MI.  Over the years, 7-post testing has evolved to a point that our Chevy Teams consider having in-house rigs a necessity in order to be competitive in the Sprint Cup Series. On the production side of the business, our high performance Chevrolet vehicles all benefit from using this technology as well.  It’s a great example of technology transfer between racing and production vehicles.”

 

TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT: 
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S DOVER WHITE CHEVROLET SS – POINTS LEADER:
“I love how much character that race track has.  It’s so rough.  The groove moves around and you really are just trying to dodge the big swells and bumps to find grip for your race car.  It’s a track I’ve haven’t had a lot of success at through Nationwide and even going there to test before my Cup career really started.  We tested there a lot and I crashed all the time.  When the race track was back on the schedule I got pretty nervous about things, but I’ve had a couple of good runs and look forward to going back.”

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET SS – 4th IN STANDINGS:
“It’s the newest, oldest track we go to. Kentucky Speedway is a place where our team felt like we needed to try some things, so we decided to test there a few weeks ago. We feel as though we made our car better from the information that we collected during the two days we spent there. We’ll have to see what the weather is like when we go back, but hopefully we’ll have a good baseline of where we need to be for the race.”

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD YOUTH FOUNDATION CHEVROLET SS – 7th IN STANDINGS:
“Kentucky is a little rough, and the groove is not real distinct. So it lends itself to good side-by-side racing. The exit to Turn 4 is really, really wide so you just kind of play around and find a groove that works for you. Every time you change tires you kind of have to be ready to move around a little bit and find out where your car is fast and where that set of tires wants to run on the race track.”

KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 QUAKER STATE CHEVROLET SS – 11th IN STANDINGS:
“I wasn’t a huge fan of that track at first because it’s so rough, wide and just kind of different as far as driving around the track. We tested there so much over the years before it was on the schedule, so I kind of grew not to like it, but I actually liked racing there in 2012 (its second year on the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule). It’s still rough, but it’s a tough track, tough to get a hold of. There are lots of racing lines there. Some don’t work and look like they should and other ones work so you really have to pay attention to that. But I grew to kind of like it, and I’d like to run great there again this year and be upfront and contend for the win.”

PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 MENARDS/SYLVANIA CHEVROLET SS – 12th IN STANDINGS:
“Kentucky (Speedway) is a flat 1.5-mile track, it has high-frequency bumps and is really wide. It’s a track with a lot of character and I enjoy going there. We tested at Kentucky for a couple of days earlier this month and learned a lot. Hopefully the weather will be similar to our test session and we can apply that information to this weekend. It’s always nice to get a little extra track time any chance we can get. I know my guys have worked really hard to give me a fast SYLVANIA/Menards Chevrolet and we’ll see what we’ve got when we turn our first laps of the weekend on Friday.” 

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – 13th IN STANDINGS:
“I think it would be cool to win at Kentucky and knock it off the list.  I’d love to win at every track – that would be a special accomplishment and I need to win here before more tracks are added to the schedule! Prior to last year’s race, I might have considered this to be one of my worst tracks, but we had a good car and a good run here last year – one that we want to improve upon. Of course, we have the Generation-6 car here for the first time. We’re learning every single week with the new Chevrolet SS, and we’re learning every single trip to Kentucky. Hopefully, we can put it all together so we can check this one off the list.”


TONY STEWART, NO. 14 BASS PRO SHOPS CHEVROLET SS – 15th IN STANDINGS:
“I guess the biggest thing about it is for those of us who haven’t run Nationwide or Truck races there, we still only have two races at that track. So, we’re still figuring out. It’s got a lot of bumps, so that makes it very challenging. Trying to figure out exactly where to be, where to try to get around some of the bumps, how to get through them better, how to get the car to go through them better – those are challenges that kind of make it fun, because it’s not just flat and easy to get around.”

KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING/SERTA CHEVROLET SS – 17th IN STANDINGS: 

“Kentucky is a hot track the way the race lays out with so much practice time during the day it’s tough to figure out how to get the car dialed in for the night race. With all those variables plus being a bumpy racetrack it leaves it wide open for who can find the right package to dial a car in. Kentucky is a little different – because it’s a much flatter mile-in-a-half and it’s much bumpier. You have to build a lot of forgiveness into the car and allow it to absorb the bumps. At the same time it creates a lot of body roll and now you’re tossing the car around and waiting longer times for suspension movements to happen. You just have to roll with it. But the other thing is at the end of the Kentucky race when the pace s so fast you want the car to be rigid again to get those lap times. So that’s the hard part for adjusting to Kentucky Speedway. The big thing for our Furniture Row/Sealy Chevrolet is to continue our momentum from Sonoma and build on our point standing.”

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 QUICKEN LOANS CHEVROLET SS – 18th IN STANDINGS:
“I look forward to going to Kentucky. I was one of the first drivers to win at Kentucky Speedway back in the ARCA series when they opened the place up in 2000. I think it was actually the track’s third race at that point, or something like that. I started on the pole, led a lot of laps and ended up winning the race, which was a pretty big feather in our cap at that point in time. It was my third start for Penske Racing in the ARCA series and I ended up getting my first pole and my second win. So it was a pretty big deal for me and that team at that point in time. Then, going back to Kentucky for the first time with the Sprint Cup Series in 2011 was pretty cool for me. And for us to have such a good run there made it even better.”

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – 20th IN STANDINGS:
“It’s pretty rough, much rougher than anywhere we go. Atlanta (Motor Speedway) is rough, but it is more of a wavy rough. Kentucky Speedway is just plain and simple rough with these big bumps. The grip level is not great either so you are able to slide around a little bit, especially when the weather is hot. It’s a challenge with the splitters on these cars. Splitters don’t like to be hitting the race track and to get the splitter off of the ground while being able to turn at the same time is very difficult.”

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 HELLMANN’S CHEVROLET SS – 21st IN STANDINGS:
“I am hoping that Kentucky Speedway is the place that we can try to turn the tide on some of the tough luck we have had the last several weeks.  Our team has been really strong and we have had cars capable of top-five and top-10 finishes, we just keep having issues that are eliminating us from those strong finishes.  We finished 15th at Kentucky last year, and I think we are a lot better team right now, so hopefully we can get the Hellmann’s Chevrolet SS up front for a strong showing.”

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – 23rd IN STANDINGS:
“Kentucky is one of the newest tracks on the schedule and one that the Target team has been pretty decent at the last couple of times. That was the first place I ever tested a Cup car for Chip (Ganassi) so I have a lot of memories heading back to that track every year. It’s always hot there and during the race, the track conditions will change a lot. You have to keep up with the handling and find the right balance otherwise you’ll go straight to the back. It’s tough to because we practice during the day so the set-up will change for the night race.”

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Posted by on June 26, 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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