CHEVROLET ON THE TRACK—RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY:
TEAM CHEVY IN THE GARAGE RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY – ALBA COLON, PROGRAM MANAGER, NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES – CHEVROLET RACING:
“If we evaluate the NASCAR points system, you will notice that every race is equally important in the schedule and all of the races have the same point value. But if you ask a certain group of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers heading to Richmond this coming weekend, they will tell you that there is no race more important on the tour than the upcoming one at Richmond International Raceway. This is the race where dreams will be made or destroyed.
“With only one race to go before the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup gets underway, Richmond is not only a vital race for all the contenders, but especially for those teams on the bubble. Every lap and every position counts. Currently, there are three Team Chevy drivers locked into the Chase, and a possibility for several more to secure spots.
“We always look forward to visiting Richmond, and have a successful history at this unique 3/4-mile D-shaped oval short track. The racing is always exciting, and especially so under the lights. The key is having an adjustable car; and the chassis set-ups are always very important.
“We were very successful the first time we came here earlier in the year. We are looking forward to repeating that performance on Saturday night and to celebrating with our Chevrolet drivers who make the field to vie for Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.”
TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT:
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S/KOBALT TOOLS CHEVROLET SS – POINTS LEADER:
“We obviously would like to have a good run at Richmond this weekend. We’ve been a little streaky there but we had a good test with the rest of the Hendrick teams a couple of weeks ago. But honestly, the only thing that will help us with the Chase is a win. We are obviously leading the points but all that goes away and we won’t be leading once we get out of Richmond unless we win. I’m proud of the fact that we are the point’s leader but you don’t get anything for winning the regular season- no extra points, not even a t-shirt or a mug. Seriously, every point counts and we’d like to have this Lowe’s team start the Chase as the top seed but doing that means we have to win this weekend.”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET SS – 3rd IN STANDINGS:
“This little stretch leading up to the Chase (for the NASCAR Sprint Cup) for us is kind of a trial-and-error period as we go to different styles of race tracks and try different things. Obviously, we won the race at Richmond (International Raceway) earlier in the year on a crazy restart. We ran ok during the first half of the race and ran fairly good toward the end of the night, and one thing we have learned and try to remember about Richmond is that tires are king at that track. I’m hoping we can repeat the outcome we had there in the spring, but the big thing is making sure we can continue to learn things that will help us in the Chase.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 TIME WARNER CABLE CHEVROLET SS – 7th IN STANDINGS:
“It will be good to go to Richmond with a really nice cushion on the guys behind us. We tested at Richmond so hopefully that’s going to pay off for us. I’m ready to make the Chase and get to Chicago.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING/SEALY CHEVROLET SS – 10th IN STANDINGS:
“It’s been our goal at Furniture Row Racing from the beginning of the year to make the Chase and we enter the final pre-Chase race (at Richmond) controlling our own destiny by being in 10th place. We need to get it done on our own Saturday night and not worry about what the other Chase contenders are doing. No single-car team has ever qualified for the Chase and we’re in position to make history. That’s pretty exciting for everyone associated with Furniture Row Racing. Regarding Richmond, it’s a tough track; you can punish your tires and then suffer the last 30 laps of a fuel run. It gets into that old tire-management category and not a lot of people see that. If you play it cool for the first 15 laps you’ll have better tires for the later part of the run. But then if you’re playing it cool on the restart you get swallowed up and slide back and then you have to battle back through those guys with those tires. It’s a tough balance. Turn four at Richmond has been the biggest struggle for me over the last few years just trying to get the drive off that corner. Turn two you drive a lot straighter so you can use both rear tires. But turn four you’re using just that right rear and the left rear wants to come unhooked.”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – 11th IN STANDINGS:
“Winning is our goal this weekend – it’s what we want to do every weekend. Through practice, during qualifying and during the race, we’re doing everything we possibly can to win. I’ve said all along that I think [Chase berths] will come down to the last lap at Richmond, and we’re going to battle all the way to that checkered flag to try and earn one of those spots. We missed it early (in the race) last year, but we were able to make some good changes and the car came to life. This year, I’m hoping we’ll be strong from the drop of the green flag all the way to the checkered flag.
“We were much better the second day of the test, but we still have a weekend full of hard work ahead of us. We must focus on our team and getting the most out of the Drive To End Hunger Chevy SS Saturday night and see how things work out after the race ends. Hopefully, we’ve done enough to earn our spot in this year’s title race.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – 12th IN STANDINGS:
(ON WORKING FOR TEAM OWNER RICK HENDRICK.): “I think it starts with just how Mr. Hendrick treats people. From the top, every single person there (at Hendrick Motorsports) and the management people, all the competition side, everybody that I work with treats everybody with respect, and that starts from Mr. H. You don’t have that everywhere you go. He actually cares about every single person at Hendrick Motorsports. When he’s not around for a week and he’s doing other things, it’s still run the exact same way, and that’s all from him and what he puts into it and his passion he has for racing and for winning.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 QUICKEN LOANS CHEVROLET SS – 14th IN STANDINGS:
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 CESSNA CHEVROLET SS – 16th IN STANDINGS:
“This will be a busy weekend at Richmond. I have the opportunity to drive in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for the first time this season, so Friday will be a busy day between the two garages. Hopefully the extra track time will help us on the Cessna Chevy SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. We have one last shot to make our way into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Saturday night so our guys will be focused on the task at hand. Richmond has always been a fun place to race, so I look forward to having a good weekend in both cars.”
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 PITTSBURGH PAINTS/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – 17th IN STANDINGS:
“Richmond (International Raceway) is a three-quarter mile short track that is uniquely shaped. It races like a track much bigger than that, so as a driver, I’ve got to approach the track differently. It is shaped like a ‘D,’ and there is a really big arch going into turn one, but you carry a lot of speed into turn one, you get hard on the brakes and then the groove opens up as you exit turn two and you can run where your car wants to run. You don’t have to stick to the bottom of the race track; you can run the middle and three-quarters of the way up the track. Turn three is almost like a Martinsville (Speedway) turn. It has a really sharp entrance and it’s not very open. On exit, it opens back up with the ‘D’ shape. We had a decent finish earlier this year at Richmond and we are hoping to build on that this weekend. We’ve had a top-10 streak going the past two weeks, and we are hoping to keep that alive on Saturday night.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – 19th IN STANDINGS:
“Richmond is the race that got away from us earlier this year. Our Target Chevy was strong and if it wasn’t for that untimely caution, we would of gotten that win. We’re looking forward to going back there and getting that win. The guys have done a great job with our cars and we’ve had some great results this last month. I’d love to get a win for Target and this team and there’s no better place to do it than at Richmond this weekend.”
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – 22nd IN STANDINGS:
“Richmond International Raceway has these big, wide sweeping corners in turns three and four while turns one and two are much tighter. The track also has enough width to put on good side-by-side racing. I think it is the perfect-sized race track. I wish we had more 0.75-mile race tracks on the schedule. We always have good racing at Richmond. Over the last few years, the track hasn’t developed a second groove and we’re used to having two or three grooves at Richmond in the past. We don’t have that anymore and it has been disappointing because the racing is so much better with multiple grooves. The racing is still great at Richmond and it is a fun place to visit too.”
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – 27th IN STANDINGS:
“I’ve always enjoyed coming to Richmond. I had fun racing Indy cars here. I liked driving the Nationwide car here. We didn’t have the greatest result but it was still fun. Having done the Cup race in the spring and then a test last week, I feel more confident going in. As I’ve said, it’s nice to go to these tracks a second or third time. The comfort level is obviously much higher.”