"Second place is just the first-place loser." - Dale Earnhardt Sr.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Chevy drivers at Homestead
TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT:
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET – 2nd IN STANDINGS: “My focus is going down there and winning the race. We typically haven’t had to have that mentality going into this race, but we have shown we can race for the win. We did it in 2010 against Denny (Hamlin), finished second and won the championship. This 48 Lowe’s team can do it again. We have nothing to lose and can gamble and take chances. Brad (Keselowski) doesn’t have that luxury. This isn’t over. This team never gives up and we don’t intend to, now.” KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET – 3rd IN STANDINGS:“I’m excited to finish off the season strong at Homestead. We usually qualify really well there, and we’ve had strong finishes the last couple of years. The track always has multiple grooves, which I really like.” KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET – 8th IN STANDINGS:"It's been a good track for us. We were good on the flat surface, but have run well with the new configuration, too. Homestead has been one of those tracks we've been fortunate to go to where everything kind of fits the styles of the way our cars are built to run and my driving style. It's definitely been a good race track for us and we're looking forward to going down there and closing out the season strong this week."
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET – 9th IN STANDINGS:“You go off into turn one, and when you get into the banking, you lift. If your car is good, you can go and not use any brake, or very, very little brake. You stay one lane off the bottom, past the transition – it’s a little less banking on the lower level toward the apron – so you stay one level above that. As soon as your car settles in you can really just mash right back in the gas and just ride that second level around down onto the backstretch. And then you do exactly the same thing going into turn three. A lot of times in turn three, because of the wind direction there, you can actually go into the corner a lot harder and a lot further, actually turning into the corner before you get off the gas. And it’s the same thing, once that car settles in; you get on the gas and ride it around to the frontstretch. It’s a pretty smooth racetrack.” JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT 20 YEARS CHEVROLET – 10th IN STANDINGS: “DuPont gave a young guy with a dream a shot - and I'll never forget that (regarding celebrating 20 years with DuPont at Homestead this weekend). They have been a partner in so many more ways than just sponsoring our team. Over two decades, not only have they supported the business of racing at Hendrick Motorsports and my career, but we have built very strong relationships with all of the DuPont employees. After a few years into the sponsorship, I started to consider myself a DuPont employee - which is an honor. So I just want to thank all of my 'co-workers' for being my most loyal supporters for the last 20 years." DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/DIET MOUNTAIN DEW CHEVROLET – 12th IN STANDINGS:“Homestead has turned into a really good racetrack. We are able to move all over the track and look for speed in different places. The cars seem to respond to that. The track is very unique even though it looks quite simple. It is really a challenge. Both corners are very different from each other and require the cars to handle differently in each corner. And then you have other things like the wind. But it is a fun place to race.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY CHEVROLET – 14th IN STANDINGS: “I really look forward to Homestead. It’s a really fun racetrack, I think, for all of us. For us to go down there and end the season on a racetrack that is very raceable is something I’m happy about. They really did a great job the third time around on redesigning that racetrack. It’s a great place in my opinion to have a championship weekend for all three series. For me, it’s kind of bittersweet this weekend. We want to win another race. We’re not in the Chase for the Championship. But each and every race, no matter what, we are there to win. It’s our last race with the U.S. Army as a sponsor. That’s going to be special and a little bit emotional from that standpoint. I’ve not had the best record there, but we’ve been getting better here these last three weeks, so we would like to build on that momentum, end the season on a high note and really go into 2013 with something to be proud of. I just want to have the season end on a good note for everybody.” PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 MENARDS/DURACELL CHEVROLET – 16th IN STANDINGS:“Homestead (-Miami Speedway) is a wide track and has a lot of different grooves that you can run, which is neat for a driver. Other than that, it’s kind of a boring race track to be honest.”
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET – 19th IN STANDINGS: “Honestly, I am. However, I am also excited about the preparations we are making for the 2013 season. This type of year grinds you down. Having a positive attitude goes a long way, but at the same time you need to be a realist and understand what is going on. I am ready for this year to end so we can focus our efforts on 2013. I love racing, but it is time to stop so we can restart for 2013.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS CHEVROLET – 20th IN STANDINGS:“It’s hard to believe that we are down to the final race of the season. I am looking forward to Homestead-Miami race; I really enjoy racing there since they reconfigured the track. Hopefully we can finish out our season strong with a good run in the Bass Pro Shops Chevy. I know our guys will be ready for some down time with their families around the holidays, before we get back into full swing for 2013 preparation. This is a week where we really get to reflect on everything that has happened over the last 38 weeks, and start looking forward to making 2013 even better for our team.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET – 22nd IN STANDINGS:“It’s hard to believe it’s the final race of the season. I’m happy to get a bit of a break but also anxious to get started back up again. To tell you the truth, we’ve had a really tough season. But we’ve made a lot of gains and with all of the changes heading into 2013 I’m pretty excited. The Target team never gave up this year and I’ll tell you, this is one of the best group of guys I’ve worked around. We’ll go at it one more time at Homestead and then set our sights on winning a championship in 2013.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW/FARM AMERICAN CHEVROLET – 25th IN STANDINGS:"Homestead is one of the weirdest tracks for me because of all the excitement that has happened through the years there as well as all of the disappointments. That's what the final race is. I am always a little anxious to get there and also apprehensive at the same time. If you look at my past history at Homestead it's either a top-five or a win, or a DNF, a parts failure or wreck. It seems like it's been win or bust there. As a team we've had a nice progression these past five weeks. We're coming off back-to-back top-10s and it would be nice to finish strong, but it's not the end of the world. I've seen enough so far to know that our Furniture Row Racing team will be going into the offseason with plenty of confidence. The newness has worn off and you can feel it in our debriefing meetings. We now have a little sarcasm and fun compared to the beginning when it was a little tense. We have made a big transition in a short period of time."