Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Chevy drivers talk Atlanta

TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT: 

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S DOVER WHITE CHEVROLET SS – POINTS LEADER: 
(ON HOW THE CHEVROLET SS WILL PERFORM AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY) “I think the extra downforce is going to be nice.  It’s going to help the cars drive a little better.  Maybe promote better tire life.  The cars will drive a little easier.  That track is so old and abrasive and awesome that any assistance you can have to help drive it a little straighter will save the tires.”

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 JIMMY JOHN’S CHEVROLET SS – 4th IN STANDINGS:
“Atlanta (Motor Speedway) has been a great race track for us the last few years. The asphalt is really worn out, and the speed of the car changes a lot from the start of a run to the finish of the run. It makes for some good racing as the cars start moving around and sliding around the track.”

DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD ‘RACE TO ACHIEVE’ CHEVROLET SS – 7th IN STANDINGS: 
“I always enjoy racing at Atlanta because I feel like I can run really good there. It always seems like I’ve had pretty good cars and had good speed pretty much every time. I’m looking forward to getting in the car and hopefully it’s comfortable and got good speed.”

KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – 8th IN STANDINGS:“Since the first time I went there, Atlanta has always been one of my favorite racetracks. It kind of reminds me of racing at Eldora Speedway. When you run the outside at Atlanta right up by the wall, it feels really similar to racing a dirt track in a winged sprint car. I like that feeling you get -- that sensation of being beside the wall. And then the tires fall off, and it gets really slippery. Atlanta is just fast and rough. You have a lot of things you’re kind of working through throughout a race run and just trying to get the balance of the car to be good throughout 45-48 laps. It’s tough to get it right. I’ve just always liked racing there, it’s a good one.”

KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING/BEAUTYREST CHEVROLET SS – 12th IN STANDINGS: “We had a fast Furniture Row Chevrolet in Bristol but yet took a blow in points because of a part failure. We’re not out of it (the Chase), but we have to nail these next two races with solid results. We bounced back from finishing in the 30’s before and that’s exactly what we have to do starting with the Atlanta race. Regarding the Atlanta track, you have to find the balance between this new style of setup with the rear dropped low to the ground. But it will be tough because of how bumpy the track is, how much the asphalt chews up the tires and that you’re going to need your downforce later in the run. So it will be an interesting balance of speed versus getting your car dialed in for a 50-lap run. It’s great to start the race at 7 p.m., the sun is out and then it goes into nightfall so it’s not quite as dramatic as the Coke 600 but it has a lot of the same qualities. Atlanta ranks in the top three for me in regards to speed, enjoyment, success and knowing my way around the track.”

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – 13th IN STANDINGS:
"This has always been such a fun race track - one we always slide around on. The surface - with its abrasiveness - provides the teams and drivers with a huge challenge. And that challenge is what makes it so fun.

"We just need to do our job and get the best results possible these next two races and see how things shake out. We'll go out every practice and try to get everything out of the car. You'll have 'ups' and you'll have 'downs' throughout race weekends. It's how you manage the peaks and valleys that allow you to stay focused."

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 ASPEN DENTAL CHEVROLET SS – 15th IN STANDINGS:
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BAD BOY BUGGIES CHEVROLET SS – 16th IN STANDINGS:“This will be a critical weekend for our team if we are able to maintain a chance to stay in contention for the Chase.  We have had pretty good cars on all the 1.5 mile tracks this year, so hopefully we can continue that trend in Atlanta.  We will have E-Z-GO as the sponsor on the car for the first time this season, so I am excited to meet all the guests this weekend as this race will be close to their headquarters in Augusta, Ga.”

PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 MOEN/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – 17th IN STANDINGS:
“Atlanta (Motor Speedway) is one of my favorite tracks. I’ve had some good races there in the past and we’ve got some momentum heading into this weekend after our sixth-place finish at Bristol (Motor Speedway). It’s a track that races really well and it’s a lot of fun, especially with it being a night race now. The race track itself has older pavement, which makes it hands down the raciest track we go to on the schedule. It’s kind of a throwback track that we all enjoy going to.”

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

“The backstretch at Atlanta Motor Speedway is short, but most of the action is in the D-shaped frontstretch. The most unique thing about Atlanta is the grip level. The grip level is just so different from all these tracks that have been recently repaved. I always like to say that Atlanta has multiple personalities. The difference between the handling of the car in race and qualifying trim is amazing. When you make a qualifying run, you attack the track, but in race trim you run it smooth, similar to the way we used to run Darlington Raceway in the 1990’s. Atlanta is a fun race track because it has multiple grooves, but it is challenging because the car’s handling changes so much throughout a run.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – 21st IN STANDINGS:
“I’ve always enjoyed racing at Atlanta. It’s one of the first race tracks I learned to run the high line at and I realized that it suited my driving style. The Target team has had pretty good results from Atlanta and I’ve come close to winning it a few times. Our cars have been really good and we’ve had great speed so this should be an exciting weekend for us. I’d really like to give Target another win before the season is over.”


DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – 27th IN STANDINGS:“The first time I raced there was last year and I did both Nationwide and (Sprint) Cup. That seems like a long time ago and that was only my fifth Cup start, so I feel a little more confident and knowledgeable than I did a year ago. It’s a fast place. The tires definitely go off with the surface and the line moves around a lot. It’s a big weekend with a lot going on for GoDaddy, Coke Zero and Chevrolet, so there’s a lot off the track as well. But I’m looking forward to it.”

MARK MARTIN, NO. 14 BASS PRO SHOPS/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET SS – INTERIM DRIVER FOR THE INJURED TONY STEWART: I’ve just got to have some more time. Being familiar with all this stuff may be a little over-rated but to be real honest with you, I was quite challenged in Bristol and I don’t feel like I was able to rise to the challenge. We learned so much and even if we just had one more day before last week’s race to work together a little bit, it would have helped us a ton. It’s just a matter of time.”

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 33 ADVOCARE CHEVROLET SS – MAKING FIRST NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES START AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY: "I think the grip level is key at Atlanta Motor Speedway. You have to really get after it, stay consistent and not slip the tires. The drivers who have been able to find a line right around the bottom have been very successful. We were able to come from almost a lap down to third last year in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race once we figured out a few things with the car, and I think some of those same things we learned will be useful to us this year in both the Nationwide race and the Sprint Cup Series race. Hopefully, we can have a good run."


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