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

CHEVROLET ON THE TRACK—WATKINS GLEN:

  • Chevrolet drivers have won 16 of 30 races at Watkins Glen International. Victories by current Team Chevy drivers are:
    • Tony Stewart, No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, has five (5) victories at Watkins Glen International (’02, ’04, ’05, ’07 & ’09)
    • Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS, has four (4) wins at Watkins Glen International (’97, ’98, ’99 & ‘01)
    • Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, has one (1) trophy from Watkins Glen International (’06)
    • Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Chevrolet SS, has visited Victory Lane at Watkins Glen International once (1) (’10)

 

  • A Chevrolet driver has won seven (7) of the last 10 races at Watkins Glen International
  • A Chevrolet driver has sat on the pole at Watkins Glen 12 times
  • Team Chevy drivers have scored 53 top-five and 107 top-10 finishes at Watkins Glen
  • A Chevrolet has led 1,243 laps (47.5% of possible 2,618 laps) at Watkins Glen


TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT: 
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – POINTS LEADER:
“I have knocked on the door a little bit and I’ve been a top five, top three guy there.  I just have never been the heat there.  I’ve never been the dominant car.  I hope to change that.  I really enjoy the race track.  If we can run in the top five like we seem to do there that will be a nice day for the points, but I’m itching to have that dominate car and get up there and race with Juan (Pablo Montoya) and the No. 9 (Marcos Ambrose) and hopefully have a shot at winning that thing.”

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET SS – 4th IN STANDINGS:
“The road-course races have been pretty exciting over the past couple of years. Last year’s race at Watkins Glen (International) had a pretty exciting finish from what I remember, and it’s this type of racing that has really become a part of our sport and helps keep things exciting to watch.”

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – 5th IN STANDINGS:
“At Watkins Glen, we’ve got long straightaways and then a 90-degree corner, then a straightaway and another corner. If you make a mistake in a corner, you still can reset the car and get everything figured out to make something out of the rest of the lap. Even sometimes you can do well enough to make up for your mistake and still put down a good time. It is fast there. The tough part is in the chicane and through the carousel. I don’t know if I go through that thing the same way twice, but you try to go through it as fast as you can.”

 

KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – 8th IN STANDINGS:
(ON GAINING MORE CONFIDENCE AFTER EARNING HIS SECOND WIN OF THE SEASON AT POCONO RACEWAY.): “It gives me confidence and gives the whole team confidence – Kenny (Francis, crew chief), the pit crew guys and everybody that’s part of it. It closes the gap. If we finish in the top 10 and get into the Chase (for the NASCAR Sprint Cup), it will be closer to Matt (Kenseth) and Jimmie (Johnson) who already have four wins so I think wins are key for sure. Then just for our points, I mean the Chase is what it’s all about in NASCAR. You need to make it for the sponsors and for the teams. We’ve been right there on the edge with kind of the way our summer went so it was nice to get two wins. It gives us much more hope going in. We’ll just start a lot closer.”

 

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – 9th IN STANDINGS:

“You approach the two tracks differently. Sonoma is a ‘finesse’ track while Watkins Glen is a track that you have to attack and be aggressive. We used to head into road course events feeling confident we would gain points and have a shot at the win. With the competition so much stronger, it’s a battle just to get a top 10 now. But I feel good about our road course program. We had a runner-up finish at Sonoma earlier this year and I felt we learned a lot in the second half of this race last year. And the road course test we did earlier this year was more for this race instead of Sonoma, so I’m hoping that pays off this weekend.

 

“I expect it to be an exciting race, especially the restarts. Like we’ve seen recently on the road courses, the double-file restarts should be wild and crazy. The new Chevy SS has a lot of downforce and drag which helps you get into the braking zones, so I expect the lap times to be quicker here this weekend compared to years past. But the faster you’re going, the more ‘on edge’ you are with the car and the tires.”

 

KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING/DENVER MATTRESS CHEVROLET SS – 13th IN STANDINGS:
“Watkins Glen is a fast road course that has been tough on me over the years. It’s also a race that fits into a gambling scenario instead of a speed race. It’s the stage of the season you don’t want to gamble on fuel because you need a good run to make the Chase. For us at Furniture Row Racing we actually used one of our NASCAR tests at Watkins Glen and I am glad we did. When we went there, we opened up Pandora’s box with some braking issues and were able to master that by the end of the test.  I feel very confident heading back there — not to just to have speed in qualifying but to have speed throughout the race.  We’re coming off a strong third-place run in Pocono and in the next five races it’s going to take those top fives to have a shot at making the Chase. It’s very competitive out there. No one is going to back into the Chase, you’re going to have to earn it.”

 

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 HAAS AUTOMATION 30TH ANNIVERSARY CHEVROLET SS – 15th IN STANDINGS:
“The real key to The Glen is being able to get through the carousel, to carry enough speed getting through the long sweeping corner and coming off of it to get a good run coming off the back chute. The carousel, turn one and getting through the esses are very important. It’s a place where you have to be considerate. Turn one has some rumbles in it. You can wheel-hop pretty easily getting into turn one. The esses are all about finesse going up the hill. And the fastest part of the racetrack is going into the bus stop, where you really have to brake hard. You try to carry as much speed over there and not over brake. You can gain and lose so much time under braking. The bus stop and the carousel are all smooth and finesse for 90-degree turns. You have to get them right. It’s important to be smooth on road courses.”

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALDS/MONOPOLY CHEVROLET SS – 16th IN STANDINGS:
“I am optimistic about heading to Watkins Glen this weekend.  We had a really good car at Sonoma.  We were able to win the pole and run near the front most of the day.  Watkins Glen is a lot different though, as you carry a lot more speed into the corners with the longer straightaways.  This will be a critical weekend for our team as we get down to the last few races to make the cut for the Chase to the NASCAR Sprint Cup.”

PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 SPLASH/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – 19th IN STANDINGS:

“I really enjoy road-course racing and I wish we had more than two road-course races on our schedule. We’ve had fast cars at Watkins Glen (International), we just haven’t had the finishes to show it. Watkins Glen is fun because you can pass anywhere. The best places to pass are going into turn one and coming to turn six. If you can out-brake the car in front of you you’ve got a good opportunity to make some passes. I like the road courses because we get to shift and make both left and right turns. It’s nice to change things up every once in a while. The bus stop can be one of the most exciting parts of the track. If you go in there running two-wide it gets pretty crazy, but if you’re by yourself it’s not too bad. It is probably the toughest spot on the track to pass someone because if they don’t let you go in single file and you drive through two-wide, you’re going to make contact at some point. Usually, people give and take a little more through the bus stop than they do in other parts of the track. I’m really looking forward to going to ‘The Glen’ this weekend.”

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – 20th IN STANDINGS:

“Not really. Watkins Glen (International) is like a superspeedway road course. There are fast and slow corners, but it has these long straightaways and you make up a lot of distance on those straights. It’s mostly handling over horsepower and braking is also very important. There are more opportunities to pass at Watkins Glen compared to Sonoma (Raceway). They are two pretty different race tracks.”

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – 23rd IN STANDINGS:

“We’ve tested a few times this season to prepare for this race. To be honest with you, I think we have a really good shot at a win this weekend. Our road course cars have been fast and as long as nothing goes wrong we’ll be up in the front of the pack at the end. This Target team needs a good finish and I’m hoping it’ll be this weekend.”

DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – 27th IN STANDINGS:
“If you had asked me when I was at Sonoma or anywhere around then, I would have said I don’t feel very good. But our test at Road Atlanta (last week) was very good, and in general I feel very comfortable on road courses. So, it will be nice because the road courses are a real opportunity for me to get the GoDaddy Chevy further up where some of these tracks are a little bit more challenging for me. So, it’s definitely not Nationwide, when you’re racing Cup on the road courses, but I still feel like there’s an opportunity to have a decent weekend if we can nail the balance of the car and qualify well.”

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Posted by on August 8, 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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