CHEVROLET ON THE TRACK—TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY:
TEAM CHEVY IN THE GARAGE TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY – ALBA COLON, PROGRAM MANAGER, NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES – CHEVROLET RACING:
“This weekend Team Chevy heads to Talladega Superspeedway, the fourth and final restrictor plate race of the year. This is the race that everybody, especially the Chase contenders, fears the most during the final 10 races of the season. There is a lot of excitement and stress at the same time! This race can make or break the chasers’ hopes for a championship.
“With five races to go, the points are very tight in both the Driver’s and Manufacturers’ Cup Championship standings. The competition gets better year after year. There is not a clear front-runner yet.
“The right combination of aerodynamics and speed is the recipe for success at this track. Of course, the drivers also need the right drafting partner, a lot of luck, and trouble-free racing.
“It is important to have the best cars and the best engines in the hands of the best drivers, and we have strength in all those areas.
“Chevrolet has enjoyed a lot of success at Talladega, and we are looking forward to a great victory along with a safe and clean race !”
TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT:
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – 2nd IN STANDINGS:
“Honestly, I’ll be anxious to get out of there (laughs). I’m just ready for it to happen; and go on, and race from there. But last year, I don’t think we finished a restrictor plate race; and this year we’ve had two wins; and I think the other was in the top 5. So, I hope this trend of top 5 finishes stays alive in Talladega. That’s what we’re going to need. After Talladega, at that point, you can really race individuals. I think up until Talladega, you’re still racing the field and anything can happen and anybody has a chance. But leaving Talladega, you can really narrow-in on who is left and what that spread is in points.”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 JIMMY JOHN’S CHEVROLET SS – 3rd IN STANDINGS:
“Don’t wreck. That’s the perfect strategy. How you do that I don’t know, but I’m hoping we have the luck we need to make sure that we don’t have any major issues this weekend at Talladega (Superspeedway).”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 AXALTA CHEVROLET SS – 4th IN STANDINGS:
“You have to go into this race with a positive attitude. With the big-pack racing, there is always the chance of the ‘big one.’ But you have to approach this race with a positive attitude; fight to avoid whatever may occur and hope that you come out of it with a race car. It doesn’t even need to be in one piece. It just needs to get across the (finish) line with a decent finish.
“That was a crazy race for us and I couldn’t believe we almost got a top-10 with a car that damaged, but that just shows you anything can happen here and you have to battle all the way to the checkered flag. A lot can and will happen during the race and it could very well shake up the standings.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW/WONDER BREAD CHEVROLET SS – 7th IN STANDINGS:
“It’s shake and bake time — I am so excited to drive the Wonder Bread car that will have a similar look to what Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) drove in the movie Talladega Nights. It’s going to be a lot of fun. Regarding this weekend, it’s so difficult to predict Talladega. You can ride around in the back, charge up front all day and either way your day can end with your car on the hook, like we did in the Talladega spring race. You just hope to have Lady Luck guide you to a top-10 finish. Restrictor plate races have turned into this pattern that it is hard to have any type of strength over any other team. It just comes down to being in the right place at the right time.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 MOUNTAIN DEW/XBOX ONE CHEVROLET SS – 9th IN STANDINGS:
“I’ve really have had a lot of success at Talladega, a lot of great runs. I feel confident when we go there that we are going to have a good car, going to know how to use it. Hendrick Motorsports has done a great job with this car at Daytona and Talladega. Our confidence level is real good, real high. Hopefully, we get an opportunity to have a good race on Sunday and go to Victory Lane. We really feel like we have a good shot at it and feel like it is about that time for us to win one at Talladega.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 WIX FILTERS CHEVROLET SS – 12th IN STANDINGS:
“I wouldn’t say I dread going to Talladega. It’s not my favorite racetrack, but I don’t say I dread it. I love doing what I do. I love driving a racecar, even at Talladega. I think the difference is there’s more potential to get involved in something not of your making there, and that’s frustrating to me. But that’s not just me. Everyone hopes they can avoid the big crash there. And, to be honest, when you’re up front at Talladega, it’s great. When you’re not, it can be miserable. When you’re the recipient of somebody else’s lack of judgment, then it’s not easy to talk about it. And that’s pretty much it. It’s just that there is way more potential for that than there is at most other racetracks. So, I don’t think I’m any different than anybody else. I’d love to win the race but, when I’m the recipient of somebody else’s misjudgment, that’s even more aggravating to me.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – 13th IN STANDINGS:
(ON CARRYING MOMENTUM AFTER THE NO. 5 TEAM’S SECOND-PLACE FINISH AT CHARLOTTE.): “It was nice having a great race at Charlotte. That track always gives us a good boost, and we always leave there with such confidence. Hopefully we can run pretty strong the rest of the year because I don’t want to finish last in the (Chase) point standings.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 CESSNA CHEVROLET SS – 15th IN STANDINGS:
“I guess that the most you can say about a place like Talladega is I hope we can be lucky. That is what it seems to usually come down to at Talladega, you need to be in the right place at the right time. We had a really good car at the Spring Talladega race, but we got caught up in a late race accident that spoiled our hopes of a good finish. We seem to always have really good speedway cars, so I expect this weekend to be no exception. Hopefully we can find some of that luck and bring our Cessna Chevy SS home with a strong finish.”
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 DURACELL/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – 17th IN STANDINGS:
“Racing at Talladega (Superspeedway) is always a crap shoot. The biggest thing about racing there is trying to avoid the inevitable ‘Big One’. We had a good run going for us last fall and then we got caught up in a final lap melee. If we can avoid trouble and keep our No. 27 Duracell/Menards Chevrolet clean this weekend, I think we’ll have a good shot to run up front on Sunday. With the Gen-6 car it’s harder to make moves and passes in restrictor-plate races. We’re going to have to use strategy to our advantage and try and start up front and stay up front.”
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – 20th IN STANDINGS:
“The biggest thing is the new cars draft differently, but that’s about it. My concern at Talladega Superspeedway is missing the big wreck and getting to the end of the race with a clean car and a good finish. It’s been a horrendous restrictor-plate year for the No. 31 team. Last year, luck was on our side and we had a top-five average finishing position at places like Daytona (International Speedway) and Talladega and this year, there hasn’t been a restrictor-plate race where we haven’t been involved in a wreck. It’s really frustrating, but the fans like to see pack racing so we will figure out a strategy before the race and go with it.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – 21st IN STANDINGS:
“Talladega is unpredictable. To tell you the truth, you don’t know how things are going to go until the very last lap. You play on strategy and decide if you’re going to hang back or run up with the pack but that’s the only thing you’re in control of when racing there. The Target Chevy was good the last time we raced at Talladega and we opted to run with the pack. Unfortunately an electrical issue happened and we weren’t able to get the finish I think we deserved.”
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY BREAST CANCER AWARENESS CHEVROLET SS – 28th IN STANDINGS:
“I feel more comfortable. I felt really comfortable at Daytona in general, but I think that I’m realizing how important it is throughout the race to try things and practice taking runs and thing like that and being a little bit more brave with not worrying about what happens as a result; and knowing that as long as you don’t lose the draft, you can be set up for the end of the race. I’ve lost the draft and that’s not good either.
“But I was ready at the beginning. I think as a race car driver when you get to this level, you’re ready for anything that comes at you. But as I said at the beginning of the season coming from Daytona that you have to at least know what your car do and get a run and get by somebody. I’m more apt to practice that now in practice and in the race.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 14 BASS PRO SHOPS/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET SS – INTERIM DRIVER FOR THE INJURED TONY STEWART:
“Steve Addington and all of the guys at Stewart-Hass racing have been great to work with. I really enjoyed racing with them at Michigan International Speedway in August. I have a ton of respect for Tony Stewart and I am thankful for this opportunity to drive equipment other than my grandfathers. I think that’s the ultimate honor – to know that there are car owners in the garage area other than my grandfather that think highly enough of me as a driver that they would put me in their equipment.”
JUSTIN ALLGAIER, NO. 51 BRANDT CHEVROLET SS –
“I’m looking forward to racing at Talladega. I will have a new crew chief this weekend on Sprint Cup side, Jimmy Elledge. He was my Nationwide crew chief the past two seasons at Turner Scott Motorsports, and I’m looking forward to working with him again. The Phoenix Racing team has won at Talladega before, so that gives me a little extra confidence going into the weekend. Overall, I just need to be there at the end and we should have a shot at winning.”