TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT:
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL/PENNZOIL CHEVROLET – POINT LEADER: "Pocono has a lot of its own characteristics, to say the least. It's a 2.5-mile triangle-shaped race track that has three pretty tricky turns. Turn one is really bumpy, and the tunnel turn has a pretty big curb and it is pretty easy to make a mistake there. Turn three is one of the flattest turns we deal with on the NASCAR circuit. It definitely has its own unique challenges. For me, the trickiest part of Pocono is the tunnel turn. You have to carry so much speed into that turn that there is not much room for error. The tunnel turn is so much harder to get through now than it used to be. A few years ago, there was a flat curb there and you could lean on it a little bit if you needed to. Now, there is a big curb there and, if you hit it, you'll probably be forced up the race track, and the chances of hitting the wall are pretty high."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET – 2ND IN STANDINGS: “We started off June’s race at Pocono pretty good, but then we got real loose. Then we lost a ton of positions on a double-file restart when I lost some momentum. Everybody seemed to ‘freight train’ on by. And then we lost a car in a final-lap crash. Pocono is a challenging track because it has three unique corners. The tunnel turn (turn 2) is a short but really fast corner, and it’s a thrill to go through there when you hit it right. But when you mess up the corner, it really kills your momentum.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET – 3RD IN STANDINGS: "Pocono - it's a triangle. It's bumpy and rough and different and awkward. Pocono is its own animal. I think we were a top two or three car at some points in the June Pocono race. We were at pace to be the fastest car on track. So I feel like we have learned a lot and have closed the gap to that 11 car (Denny Hamlin) at Pocono. I'm hopeful for another top two or three run. Of course I want to win, but those guys seem to have a little bit on everyone. I feel like we've closed the gap some. And hopefully we've learned a little more. Typically that's hard because the races are so close together it's hard to learn a lot in that period of time. But we hope to have closed up the gap more and can give those guys a run at Pocono."
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET – 7TH IN STANDINGS: "Pocono is a challenging race track. The main struggle at Pocono is one of the three corners. A lot of teams will find two corners where they are good and then they'll have one corner where they are not so good. But, a perfect lap is being good in every corner and not sacrificing anything anywhere. Pocono is a very demanding race track physically and mentally. It's one of our toughest tests we have all year. We ran really well and were competitive at Pocono last month. We had a bit of luck on our side late in the race when we broke a suspension component and ran around the track with three shocks. It was a lucky break but it was another opportunity that slipped through our fingers. We made the decision on how to build the shock and it ended up not being the right decision, so that's where we have to separate luck from our doing. It's another example of how we were fast and something got away from us that we have control of. Those are the things we have equity in and have to take responsibility. But, I was really happy with how we ran up until that occurrence. We were just a touch off the (No.) 11 but we have something we can build on."
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/OLD SPICE CHEVROLET - 9TH IN STANDINGS: "It used to be that if you ran good at Pocono then you had a good shot at running good at Indy. I don’t know if it has still correlated the last couple years with the new car. The thing about Indy is it’s glass -- it’s got a couple little bumps here and there, but you go to Pocono and it’s rough and bumpy. The setups are quite a bit different now. The thing is you can’t predict who is going to be good each week. This sport is more competitive than it’s ever been as far as competition and organizations that are competitive. It’s a cool time to be a driver in this series for sure.”
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 THE HARTFORD CHEVROLET - 12TH IN STANDINGS: "Pocono is a race track where I feel we can have a top-five run. The last time there, we led a lot of laps early and circumstances took us out of it at the end. At one point, we were 29th, but we were fortunate enough to get back up to where we needed to be. This is a race track where I think we can get a good run going and help keep us locked in the top 12."
MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM/GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET – 13TH IN STANDINGS: “We really struggled with the handling of our car all day (at Pocono in June). The car would be nearly perfect on fresh tires, but as those tires wore out, we lost all grip on the track and just couldn’t hold our speed. I think we would have had a decent 10th or 12th place finish there at the end, but, as everyone saw, the competition just got crazy on the green-white-checkered restart. When that many cars are on the lead lap and you’ve got two laps to duke it out, we’re all going to run over one another. That’s what happened. It ruined our race and really hurt us in points, but it happens. We just have to take what we learned from that race and apply it this weekend and hopefully gain some of those points back.”
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET – 14TH IN STANDINGS: "I think the difference between a good finish and a bad finish at Pocono is getting the car to turn through the center and really being able to get down into Turn 1. The car wants to go straight into that corner so bad. Getting comfortable enough to be able to be fast through the tunnel (Turn 2) all day long is important. The corners are so different it's so easy to try to improve one thing and just screw up something that wasn't even a problem. So when we've run good, we've had awesome race cars. Hopefully we'll have another one.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 US ARMY CHEVROLET – 15TH IN STANDINGS: ""We're well aware of our position (in the point standings) and well aware of what we need to do. Indy was just another example of how this team operates like our Soldiers. We give 110 percent all the time and never quit. We represent more than one million Soldiers and there's no way that we're going to disappoint them due to a lack of effort or a defeatist attitude. We're going to keep on pounding away and fight for every point. Don't count us out. We weren't as good the last time at Pocono as we have been in the past. We just got caught a little bit behind, but I am confident that has been rectified and we will be challenging come Sunday. I have many fond memories about Pocono, including winning there in the ARCA series. It's a special place in my book and I would like to make it even more special by producing another strong finish."
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 AXE TWIST CHEVROLET – 16TH IN STANDINGS: “Pocono is a unique track that we visit twice a year and it’s the only triangular racetrack we compete on all season long. Due to the unique layout of the track, it forces us to look at a few different aspects of our race car for this weekend’s race. Horsepower is the key at Pocono and you need to have a fast and powerful car since there are three different straightaways. We’ve had really fast race cars this year, ECR has given us some great Chevrolet horsepower, and Juan had a good finish at Pocono last season. So, I’m really looking forward to seeing what we’ll be able to accomplish this weekend in our AXE Twist Chevrolet.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET – 22ND IN STANDINGS: “Pocono wasn’t one of my favorite race tracks early on in my career but our equipment has improved so much over the years that a lot of our good results have come in places we use to struggle at. Earlier this year we had some handling issues but the guys made some good changes and things turned around for us. The way things have been going for us I just hope we can walk out of there with some solid results and not a wrecked race car.”
BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 71 TAXSLAYER.COM CHEVROLET – 31ST IN STANDINGS: "I had a span of about four years there where we just hit on the right set-up of combinations at Pocono. I like the race track. It is one of the most challenging tracks we go to because the three corners are different. It is hard to set the car up for Pocono. It is unique. My success there is based upon having the just right set-up on the car. Everyone points to Turn Three as the corner where you really need the car to handle. I don’t disagree with that point. If you get Turn Three right it helps you to carry speed down the long front straight. Turn Three is the most important corner followed by turns two and one."