Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Chevy drivers turn to Texas


TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT:

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S DOVER WHITE CHEVROLET SS – POINTS LEADER: 
“We ran really well at Vegas, and California didn't go as well as we wanted, but it's a much different racetrack than what we have at Texas.  I would say that Texas and Vegas are closer together than Texas and California.  We'll go there and see.  We're still learning this car on the big tracks.  Fontana we were certainly trying some things, and smarter leaving there, and I know that these guys will work hard and give me a great car this coming race.”

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – 3rd IN STANDINGS:
“I enjoy racing at Texas. It’s a mile and a half, like a lot of tracks we run on in the series, but this track has got some oddities to it that make it different than most of the other 1.5-mile tracks. The exits, to Turn 2 especially, are a real challenge. And the bumps and stuff are pretty challenging on the bottom of both corners. The entry to (Turn) 1 is always a lot of fun. It’s really fast and just trying to get the car through the middle is a challenge there. Texas is a unique place.”

KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 TIME WARNER CABLE CHEVROLET SS – 5th IN STANDINGS:
“Every day I wake up and know that I'm part of Hendrick Motorsports and it feels good. Then to get a win early in the season in such a competitive series and do it in the No. 5 car, I feel really good about that. It's great to get those post-win calls from Mr. H (Hendrick), and when he's excited and happy that we were able to pull it off and put an entire race together and win, it makes it all pretty exciting and fun.”

PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 QUAKER STATE/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – 9th IN STANDINGS:
“I think Texas (Motor Speedway) is going to be a lot like Auto Club Speedway. The tires fall off quickly and the groove moves around a lot. The setups that work with fresh tires probably aren’t going to work with old worn out tires, so well have to calculate that into our adjustments. The track also has a lot of bumps that you have to drive around, kind of like the seams at Auto Club Speedway. The track has a lot of character to it, which makes it a fun 1.5-mile speedway to drive. After Martinsville, I’m looking forward to going out west and hopefully we can get back on track and start finishing in the top 10 again.”

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 CROMAX PRO CHEVROLET SS – 12th IN STANDINGS:
"We went into California with some concerns. I felt like we ran better at California than we did at Las Vegas, but we still have some things that we're working on for Texas to make improvements. You're always learning from your experiences and I think there are some things we learned in California that will make us better at Texas. We're just going to stay focused on each race and continue to work on bettering our intermediate program.

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BELL HELICOPTERS CHEVROLET SS – 13th IN STANDINGS:
“Texas will be an important gauge for our team.  Obviously, having a strong mile-and-half program is important, with as many of those tracks that we run at, so it will be good to see where we are.  We had a good car on the first mile-and-half track at Las Vegas, but we will work to improve on the run that we had there.  Coming off of the strong weekend in Martinsville, we hope to carry some positive momentum into the Lone Star State.  This weekend will be the first race for our team with Bell Helicopters on as primary sponsor.  They are based in Fort Worth also, so we really want to represent them with a strong showing. ”

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 RHEEM CHEVROLET SS – 14th IN STANDINGS:
“The track is just worn out. It’s becoming a lot more like Atlanta Motor Speedway than it has in the past because the grip level has gone down, which is a great thing for racing. It’s got some pretty good bumps in it, which gives it some character. The cars fall off a tremendous amount as you go through the run while you still carry a lot of speed, so it’s definitely a handling race track. You’ve got to move all around to try and find a line that works for your car, and you definitely have to drive it hard every lap just to keep up.”

KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING/SERTA CHEVROLET SS – 19th IN STANDINGS:
"After Martinsville, I am really looking forward to Texas, which should be our kind of track.  Texas was my first top-10 with Furniture Row Racing (8th in November) and I am looking forward to having another strong run there. Our problem so far is that we're making this more difficult than what it should be. We haven't had a clean race this year due to a combination of bad breaks, mechanical issues and mistakes. We managed to work through some of those problems in Bristol and California where we had strong finishes, but it caught up to us in Martinsville with too many issues.  We lost a lot of (Sprint Cup driver) points in Martinsville and need to turn things around at Texas and get some of those points back.  I always enjoy going to Texas Motor Speedway and appreciate what the staff -- led by Eddie Gossage -- has done with its creative promotional work to help grow our sport."

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 MOBIL 1/BASS PRO SHOPS CHEVROLET SS – 22nd IN STANDINGS:
“I’ve always liked Texas. I’ve been there clear back in my Indy car days in ’96. The fans in Texas and the people that come to Texas Motor Speedway are really appreciative of the drivers and the teams. They’re just really passionate about their racing. They have a great promoter with Eddie Gossage out there. It’s just a fun track, it’s a fun weekend, and it’s a place where we run really, really run fast. It’s a fast track. That makes it one on the schedule that you look forward to because you know you’re going to get to let your legs stretch out, so to speak, and run some quick lap times.”

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 QUICKEN LOANS CHEVROLET SS – 23rd IN STANDINGS:
“I always look forward to racing at Texas. I love the speed at Texas. It’s a fast race track. Texas is actually one of the fastest tracks we go to all year, so you have to be on top of your game because things can happen pretty quickly. It’s a track I’ve always liked, although it doesn’t necessarily show in my finishes. It’s a smooth, fast racetrack and there are multiple grooves, so it’s fun to race there. The asphalt has aged the track to the point it has gotten better and better each time we come back. What I mean is, the track has basically gotten wider. It’s gotten a bit more character. A little more bumpy, which is fine. I like it. I think, in general, the track has gotten wider and racier each time we’ve come back. It’s got less grip, but that’s fine. I’d rather slide around a little bit and be in charge of my racecar than be stuck to the race track.”

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – 24th IN STANDINGS:
“Texas Motor Speedway is a really fun and fast race track. It’s one of those places that requires throttle a lot of the time. It’s also a rough race track with fairly low grip levels. Texas should be a huge challenge for us with the new Gen-6 car. We’ve learned that the new car doesn’t like hitting the splitter on the bumps and Texas is a track that has many of those bumps. That will be an issue for sure. Having an extra test day will be beneficial for all teams, especially for the No. 31 team because we have been behind on the 1.5-mile program.”

DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDAY.COM CHEVROLET SS – 26th IN STANDINGS:
“I think more than anything with Texas, it’s the fact that it’s a real high-banked, fast track and those are the kind of tracks that I’ve liked the most because I feel that load in the corner because you’re able to carry so such speed though because of that banking. I feel like it translates more to a feeling I was familiar with from Indy car. So I like going to Texas.”

JJ YELEY, NO. 36 ACCELL CONSTRUCTION CHEVROLET SS – 27th IN STANDINGS:
“I love racing at Texas Motor Speedway - there is nothing not to love about this track and the show that Eddie Gossage puts on. As we head into Texas we are hoping to gain some positions in the points this weekend with a solid finish. We have a good car for this weekend and glad to be back racing on the mile and a half track.”

DAVE BLANEY, NO. 7 SANY AMERICA CHEVROLET SS – 29th IN STANDINGS:
“We are looking forward to getting back to racing on the mile and a half track at Texas. Our guys have been working hard to get the car ready for this weekend and hope that we have a better finish than this past weekend.”

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET/KELLOGG’S CHEVROLET SS - 30th IN STANDINGS:
“To be honest with you I’d like to think all the bad luck is out of our system and that our luck is going to turn around. It’s been a rough start to the season and we need to start working on points and finishing races. The cars and speed are there, it’s that we haven’t been able to pull it all together or something weird happens. It’s hard to see the Target guys work so hard and not finish where we should. Texas has been one of those tracks that we either finish really well or end up middle of the pack. Hopefully this will be one of those good weekends.”

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