Share This Post

DeliciousDiggGoogleStumbleuponRedditTechnoratiYahooBloggerMyspaceRSS

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

TEAM CHEVY IN NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES (NSCS) COMPETITION:

  • Chevrolet has won 37 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Manufacturers’ Championships
  • Team Chevy drivers have scored 719 wins and 648 poles in NSCS competition

 

CHEVROLET ON THE TRACK—PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY:

  • Chevrolet drivers have won 17 of 35 races at Phoenix International Raceway. Victories by current Team Chevy drivers are:
    • Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, has four (4) victories at Phoenix International Raceway (’06 – TWICE, ’12 & ‘13)
    • Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s/KOBALT Tools Chevrolet SS, has four (4) wins at Phoenix International Raceway (’07, ’08 – TWICE & ‘09)
    • Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet SS, has two (2) trophies from Phoenix International Raceway (’03 & ’04)
    • Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, has taken the checkered flag first at Phoenix International Raceway twice (2) (’07 & ‘11)
    • Kurt Busch, No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, has one (1) victory at Phoenix International Raceway (’05)
    • Ryan Newman, No. 34 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, has one(1) victory at Phoenix International Raceway (’10)
    • Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS, has one (1) win at Phoenix International Raceway (’11)
    • Tony Stewart, No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, has one (1) victory at Phoenix International Raceway (’99)

 

  • A Chevrolet driver has won six (6) of the last 10 races at Phoenix International Raceway
  • A Chevrolet driver has sat on the pole at Phoenix International Raceway 16 times
  • Team Chevy drivers have scored 85 top-five and 160 top-10 finishes at Phoenix International Raceway
  • A Chevrolet has led 4,357 laps (31.1% of possible 13,989 laps) at Phoenix International Raceway

TEAM CHEVY IN THE GARAGE PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY– ALBA COLON, PROGRAM MANAGER, NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES – CHEVROLET RACING:
“Good things happen to those who wait; and the fans that waited patiently got to see an exciting race and a very popular win in the late hours last Sunday evening.

“Congratulations to Mr. Rick Hendrick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Steve Letarte, and the entire No. 88 National Guard Chevy team on their great Daytona 500 win.  Also, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, rookie Austin Dillon, and Casey Mears did a super job of finishing in the Top 10.

 

“This week, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves to Avondale, Arizona, where we will concentrate on the challenges of Phoenix International Raceway.  We all love this one-mile track, but new rules will be in place for our Chevy SS and the other Gen-6 race cars.  This is where we’ll all begin to get into the tempo of the 2014 schedule and see how we stack-up against the competition.  This though track demands the right balance in the race car set-ups in order for the drivers to obtain the optimum performance; which obviously translates into a winning performance.

 

“During the off-season, the teams spent a lot of hours at the wind tunnel, different tracks and shake rigs, testing the new rules packages.  There has been a lot of preparation on behalf of everybody involved in the sport, and we will finally get to see the results of that hard work. The key is to find that sweet spot that will make the cars perform their best.

 

“In addition to the new racing package, teams will get into the rhythm of a new qualifying procedure; and a lot of strategies will be in place.  I can’t wait to get to Phoenix and see how everything unfolds.

 

“Phoenix International Raceway has been really good to Team Chevy drivers, and we are looking forward to continuing our success with some more exciting racing here on Sunday.”

TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT: 
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – POINT’S LEADER


JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 PEPSI MAX CHEVROLET SS – 4TH IN STANDINGS

“I feel we have made some great improvements with how competitive we are at Phoenix and a lot of that is just confidence in how far you can push the car. And the grip level has improved – it was like a razor’s edge when they first repaved and reconfigured the track. It was difficult to judge where that ‘edge’ was. The last race here I thought we had a car capable of winning or finishing top three, but we had some difficulty on a late-race restart (and finished 14th). Better restarts are something I’m focusing on this year.”

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – 5TH IN STANDINGS
“With all the rule changes we have had this year, Phoenix is going to be an interesting race. I think everyone will be in the same boat and it’s going to be somewhat of a crap shoot. We have had some good luck and some bad luck there, so we will always be hoping for the best.”

 

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 AMERICAN ETHANOL CHEVROLET SS – 9TH IN STANDINGS

“Phoenix International Raceway is a track I’ve been looking forward to for several weeks. I’m a rookie and I have a lot to learn – I know I’ll have a lot to learn all season. I feel like I showed my rookie stripes quite a bit during the Daytona 500, but Phoenix is a track where I’ve made a ton of laps as a driver, so I’ve been looking forward to entering that race in the No. 3 American Ethanol Chevrolet. I’ve raced there in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series so I feel like I have a good feel for the track. It’s a handling track where it’s very important to work on your car and make sure it’s right for the race. Getting off of each corner is important, and so is corner entry. I feel like I am working well with Gil Martin and the entire No. 3 team and we have a great chance to show everyone what our Richard Childress Racing organization is capable of doing.”

 

CASEY MEARS, NO. 13 GEICO CHEVROLET SS – 10TH IN STANDINGS


KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 JIMMY JOHN’S CHEVROLET SS – 12TH IN STANDINGS


JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 CESSNA CHEVROLET SS – 13TH IN STANDINGS

“Phoenix is an area and track that I enjoy visiting, so I always look forward to this trip.   It is going to be interesting with the new qualifying format for everyone.  Our guys have put in a lot of work over the off season to get ready.  Once you get past Daytona you will start to get an idea early in the season of where the program is headed.  I’m looking forward to getting into the Cessna Chevy this weekend and build some momentum from our top-15 finish at Daytona.”

REED SORENSON, NO. 36 CHEVROLET SS – 15TH IN STANDINGS

“We had a great run in Daytona, and I am looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of my No. 36 TBR Chevy. I enjoy working with Todd, he is a huge asset to the team, and I know these guys have been working hard to get the cars ready to go for this weekend in Phoenix. Hopefully we can have another solid run, and continue the momentum for the start of the season.”

KURT BUSCH, NO. 41 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET SS – 20TH IN STANDINGS

(ON THE NEW NASCAR QUALIFYING FORMAT.): “Tire management will be key.  A set of sticker tires versus scuffs can be three tenths.  Three tenths on the stopwatch in normal qualifying is 1st to 25th.  So that’ll be interesting to see how that is balanced out.  You can’t cool the cars down during qualifying runs.  So we’ll have to let the rough edges drag in the beginning of qualifying sessions to see what patterns develop.  But places like Phoenix the tires don’t drop off very quickly.  Vegas, they’re okay, but Fontana, you’re going to get that one good lap and then you’re going to wish you had stickers on, and that’s when it’s going to be very difficult to control a car at qualifying speeds with old tires. So tracks that are abrasive on the tires, that’s when you’re going to see a big discrepancy in qualifying results.”


RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 QUICKEN LOANS CHEVROLET SS – 21ST IN STANDINGS

“The key to running well there is handling in all four corners. Each one is unique and you really cannot favor one corner over another. Plus, you have to have a good qualifying effort there because of track position. It’s a tough place to pass. So qualifying will really be of interest here even more so because of the new qualifying format that NASCAR is implementing for the Sprint Cup teams this weekend. I think the fans will like fitting it all in a certain time slot. It will be a lot more entertaining and more of a must-see event versus watching an hour to 90 minutes of one car on the track at a time. For us, as competitors, it is to know that we are going to get multiple opportunities to bust off a good lap. You still have to bust off your best lap at the right time to win the pole, but the strategy that goes into it is the game changer. From a crew chief standpoint, there is a lot more that goes on in qualifying. It’s not just the driver versus the race track anymore. I have said this many times when people criticize me for being a good qualifier and not winning as many races is it’s just the car and the driver and the race track. Now you are throwing in track conditions, other competitors, timing, strategy of air pressure and things like that. A place like Martinsville you can be quick on your third or fourth lap. So how many laps do you run? How hot do you let the engine get? The crew chief has a lot to do with qualifying in 2014 than ever before. It’s going to be interesting to watch and it will be interesting to hear what the fans have to say.”

 

AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 CLOROX FRAGANZIA CHEVROLET SS – 24TH IN STANDINGS
“I’m looking forward to Phoenix, I’m excited about that.  I think we’ve got a good shot there if things run like they did here (at Daytona).  I finished 11th last year there in the No. 51 car.  It’s a fun race track to me.  It’s technical, so I always enjoy it.  They (RCR) did have a good test there so hopefully we can go there and feed off of them.”

JUSTIN ALLGAIER, NO. 51 BRANDT PROFESSIONAL AGRICULTURE CHEVROLET SS – 25TH IN STANDINGS

“I’m looking forward to Phoenix. I ran well there last year in the Nationwide Series, and it was one of the tracks I made four Sprint Cup starts at last season. In the Cup race last year, I had a good run going for it being my first time there in a Cup car, and unfortunately got damage from an accident. It’s not a restrictor plate race, so this will be the first time this season that I will run a lot of laps in practice. It’s also the first race for the new qualifying format, so it will be interesting to see how that works out. Overall, I just want to have a solid run in the BRANDT Chevy.”

KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS- 29TH IN STANDINGS

(ON THE NEW NASCAR QUALIFYING FORMAT.): “I like the qualifying format. It brings a little more excitement to Friday and adds some drama so I like it as a driver. Basically, it’s an hour program, and you get a few chances to make those laps and get a pole award so that’s great.”

 

PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 PITTSBURGH PAINTS/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – 30TH IN STANDINGS

“I always look forward to going to Phoenix International Raceway because the size and layout of the track make for some fun racing. After coming from a place like Daytona International Speedway last weekend where the aero package is everything, it’s different racing at PIR because it doesn’t mean as much. I’m looking forward to a good race because the new surface has aged a little bit more than our last visit. We’ve ran well at Phoenix in the past and I’m looking for the entire No. 27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menards team to have a great run. Speaking of the track, I would like to congratulate the entire facility on their 50th anniversary of operation.”

 

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 BASS PRO SHOPS/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET SS – 32ND IN STANDINGS
“Daytona is a restrictor-plate race and, unlike Daytona, guys can’t get in a line at Phoenix and go to the front. Daytona and Talladega (Ala.) have always just been two different forms of racing. With the draft being so important at those two tracks, it’s more of a team deal than an individual deal. What happens at Phoenix and the races after that has to be done on your own. You can’t help each other at Phoenix. You just have to go race.”


MICHAEL ANNETT, NO. 7 ACCELL CONSTRUCTION CHEVROLET SS – 34TH IN STANDINGS

“I enjoy short track racing and it killed me to sit out this weekend this time last year. Phoenix is really unique and it’s a lot of fun to drive. After watching tape of last year’s Cup race here, I can tell the key to a successful weekend is track position, so I’m eager to see what Bono [Manion, crew chief] has up his sleeve for when the race progresses.”


KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 CLOROX CHEVROLET SS – 35TH IN STANDINGS

“I’m excited for this weekend and getting back out west for some racing in the Target Chevy SS. Phoenix is a fun race track and I came close to winning a truck race there a couple years ago. We have some work to do after getting off to a rough start at Daytona, so we need to come away with a solid finish this week.”

DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – 37TH IN STANDINGS

“We ran well there in the November 2012, my first race with (Tony) Gibson (as crew chief). Unfortunately, we haven’t left there without a torn up race car. We got caught up in accidents in November of 2012 and then again in November 2013. We cut a tire and crashed last spring, so it’d be nice to have a good clean run with the GoDaddy car. I like Phoenix and Gibson has won there a few times. Hopefully our luck will turn around and we can have a good smooth run and get back on track.”

 

MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVROLET SS – 40TH IN STANDINGS

“The racetrack is definitely a lot different since it was repaved.  The biggest difference now is the track changes a lot throughout the weekend for some reason. I don’t know if it’s the dirt blowing around in the desert or what. We get there and start practice and it seems like the track is really slick and really dirty and it’s hard to get a hold of. But as we start laying down rubber, it changes the grip all throughout the weekend. For me, it seems when the race starts the car is nothing like it was in practice. Last year, I probably had the best car in happy hour as far as the lap tracker goes, but when we started the race I said, ‘this car is nothing like it was yesterday.’ That’s the challenge in Phoenix. Obviously Phoenix is already a difficult racetrack because the turns are so much different. Turns three and four are kind of a flat, big-wide sweeping corner like New Hampshire, Turns one and two are a little tighter with more banking like Richmond. And so trying to balance out the banking differences and the radius differences make it hard to get the car working good in the corners.”

 

BRIAN SCOTT, NO. 33 WHITETAIL CHEVROLET SS:

“I’ve always enjoyed racing at Phoenix. It’s one of my favorite tracks to go to. Since the repave a few years back, the track has gotten really racey. Practice is pretty touch and go, because you’ve got to wait for the track to set in and the rubber to get down on the track. It’s a track where you’ve really got to stay on point with the track changes and be ahead of the competition on making adjustments to your car. That team is typically the one who ends up in victory lane.”

Share This Post

DeliciousDiggGoogleStumbleuponRedditTechnoratiYahooBloggerMyspaceRSS
Posted by on February 26, 2014. 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

Leave a Reply