Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Chevy drivers talk Pocono

TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT: 

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER
CHEVROLET SS – 4th IN STANDINGS:

“The first thing is you’ve got to survive the restart. The track is really fast and the thing I like about what they did at Pocono is that all the bumps are now kind of swells instead of extreme bumps. Each corner is fast. Turn 1 is a corner where you drive in and down shift. The key to Pocono is getting up off the corners and in the throttle and being able to stay in the throttle really in all three (turns).”


KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – 9th IN STANDINGS:
(ON WORKING FOR TEAM OWNER RICK HENDRICK.): “I think it starts with just how Mr. Hendrick treats people. From the top, every single person at Hendrick Motorsports, the management people, all the competition side, everybody that I work with treats everybody with respect, and that starts from Mr. H, and you don't have that everywhere you go. He actually cares about every single person at Hendrick Motorsports. When he's not around for a week and he's doing other things, it’s still run the exact same way, and that's all from him and what he puts into it and his passion he has for racing and for winning.”

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – 10th IN STANDINGS:
"This is a very challenging track, but I love racing here. In June, we had a fast race car but we struggled early in the run. We need to find some more speed early in the run while also having a fast car over the long runs.

“I love the fight in this team, Last year, we battled hard all day long and got into a position to battle for the win. We got a little bit of a 'gift' at the end to win, but we worked hard to put ourselves in a position to take advantage of any miscue. It was Alan's (Gustafson, crew chief) birthday and he had family with him, and my family was here with me, too. It was just a special win."

"We've had some fast race cars, but we just need to string together some strong finishes. It seems like every time we get some decent finishes, something happens to halt that momentum. We have six races left before the Chase, and we need to make the most of them so we can earn a spot. If you earn a spot, the points reset puts you right back in the title hunt."

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – 11th IN STANDINGS:
“It’s getting better. The good thing is that it’s lost just enough grip to where it’s making it easier to lay rubber in the race track now and a lot easier to see it. The track is in good shape. You always fight water pumping-up through the track here, so other than that it was actually pretty perfect there in June.”

KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING/DENVER MATTRESS CHEVROLET SS – 14th IN STANDINGS:
"Pocono is fun, you just get up on the wheel there because all three corners are different and they change throughout the race. I think we did really well last time at Pocono. Qualifying got rained out and we started 20th and then raced straight up to seventh immediately. Then we hit a brick wall and was stuck in seventh all race long and even finished in seventh. To break through we have to be a little better in turn three – turn three was loose in and tight off. Our Furniture Row Chevrolet wasn’t griping the racetrack the right way in turn three.  We know what we did wrong and now it’s a matter of filtering what would be the best approach for the next time there. We need a strong run this weekend after a disappointing 14th place finish in Indianapolis. We’re not that far out from a Chase position, but so are a number of other teams. We need to be mistake free and find a way to seal the deal in the late stages of the race."  

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 CESSNA CHEVROLET SS – 15th IN STANDINGS:

"I am looking forward to heading to Pocono this weekend. We had a pretty decent run there in June and I feel like we have made some gains on our cars since then. We are getting down to crunch-time to try and make the Chase so our guys are extremely focused on the task at-hand."

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 HAAS AUTOMATION 30TH ANNIVERSARY CHEVROLET SS – 16th IN STANDINGS:
“It’s one of my favorite race tracks just because it is so difficult. It’s really fun to drive. I like it because it’s challenging. Each corner is different – different radius, different banking, different bumps. Each straightaway is a different length. It just seems like it’s a driver’s racetrack and a crew chief’s racetrack because he has to get the car to the driver’s liking in all three corners. It’s all about matching up the combination of how the crew chief sets up the car relative to how the driver drives the racecar to make a happy package and have a shot at victory. It’s fun to have unique situations and unique racetracks. We look forward to going to Pocono each and every time.”

PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 TARKETT/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – 19th IN STANDINGS:
“I enjoy going to Pocono Raceway. It is a challenging and distinctive track. We are used to having four corners almost every weekend and only having three at Pocono changes things up. All the corners are very unique, so you have to approach each one differently. Pocono also has very long straightaways, so we carry a lot of speed going into the corners. We had a decent Menards Chevrolet their earlier in the year, but had some bad luck with a tire going down on the last lap. We tested at Pocono earlier in the season and we learned a lot. We’ll use some of that data and apply it to this weekend’s Tarkett/Menards Chevrolet and hopefully have a great handling car on Sunday.” 

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 FXI GUTTER CLEAR365 CHEVROLET SS – 20th IN STANDINGS:
“I feel good about going back to Pocono (Raceway). We ran well there in June, but didn’t finish as high as we should have. I feel like we can build on that with these Gen-6 cars. We can also apply some stuff we learned last weekend at Indianapolis (Motor Speedway). Not a lot of information because of the mechanical issue, but a little bit more now that Pocono has a smoother surface. Pocono is a fun race track and one of the hardest on the schedule even after the repave. You have to be aggressive there and drive really hard.”


JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – 23rd IN STANDINGS:
"It's hard to believe we're getting ready to head back to Pocono already. I'm hoping the Target team can have a better result than the last time we were there. We finished in the top-15 but felt like we had a better car than the result. This is a track I enjoy racing at and we'd like to keep our momentum going from last week at Indy."


DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – 26th IN STANDINGS:“It’s a neat place, definitely a unique track. It was helpful to test there before the last race, especially since Friday practice was rained out during the race weekend. It’s good to go to these places a second and third time. It’s just part of the learning process. I feel more comfortable going there this time than last time and I’m sure I’ll feel even more comfortable next year. Going to these tracks a second and third time helps.”



More blog entries from The Auto Racing Journal

(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
(the book of great NASCAR stories)

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Anecdotes by Tom Gillispie

Monday, July 22, 2013

Moore family at Hickory

THE MOORE FAMILY (FROM LEFT, DAUGHTER
EMILY, DAN, WIFE PHYLLIS AND SON DANIEL)
ARE BIG INTO RACING AND SPONSORSHIP
AT HICKORY MOTOR SPEEDWAY.
(PHOTO BY NICK AND SHERRI STEARNS)
Moore family enjoys time spent
at Hickory Motor Speedway

Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2013 11:34 pm | Updated: 11:35 pm, Thu Apr 11, 2013.
HICKORY, N.C. -- Dan Moore might be one of the most involved people at Hickory Motor Speedway.


Moore, a Conover resident, has raced in the Street Stock and Limited Late Model divisions in the past, and now he’s racing in the Late Model division. His children — Emily and Daniel — are racing Renegades on a part-time basis, and his business — WrenchRags — is sponsoring the Renegades division.

It’s like he’s trying to do everything after a long, long wait.
Moore grew up in Thomasville and graduated from Thomasville High, but he waited until his 50s to go racing.
“It (racing) was always a life-long dream,” Moore said. “A guy said, ‘Why not buy a car and go racing?’ Our company was having an outing at the racetrack, and we bought a Mustang dirt car, a 4-cylinder.”
He raced a year and a half on dirt at Antioch and Cleveland County speedways. Dirt was fun, he says, but he got tired of the mud and dirt, and he hated bringing home a torn-up dirt car. So he got an asphalt car and ran Renegades for a season at Hudson’s Tri-County Motor Speedway.
Then he moved to Street Stocks at Hickory two years ago.
“My biggest accomplishment was two years ago when I ran Bristol (Motor Speedway) in a Street Stock race and finished second,” he said. The race was a preliminary for another show.
Last season, he raced Limited Late Models.
This year, Moore finished 15th in each of the first two Late Model races, in 21- and 19-car fields, respectively. He ran 11th last Saturday in a 21-car field.
Moore says his children raced two or three races each last year.
“It’s truly become a family sport for us,” he said.
But he added that he worries about Emily, 30, and Daniel, soon to be 26.
“I was a nervous wreck, but I was not worried about them,” he said. “I worry about them wrecking each other. If they wreck each other, they’re on their own. They’re super competitive, and there’s a sibling rivalry there.
“Both decided they want to try it. We started with one car, and they were going to share it. They’d take turns racing. The first race was my son’s turn, and in practice she wrecked and totaled the car. So sharing didn’t last.”
Moore says he doesn’t expect them to race more than “six or eight times” this year.
On March 22, Daniel Moore finished fifth in a five-car Renegades race. Emily says that race was mostly a practice for Daniel, since he hadn’t planned to race. They ran over to the shop to get their car, since they didn’t want to see a four-car Renegades race.
“I enjoy seeing them run, but not at the same time, but they’re both adults,” Moore said. “For me, racing is a passion. For them, it’s fun.”
Emily, a 2001 graduate of Newton-Conover High, says she’s waiting for her car to be ready.
“I think it’s a lot of fun,” she said. “It’s stressful. When I’m behind a car, it can be nerve-wracking. I love the competitiveness of it, (and) I look forward to getting back out there.”
Moore says he didn’t race until his 50s because of his business and having to raise children.
“I didn’t have the opportunity when I was younger,” he said.
Now, he says, racing gives him a break.
“It’s hard for me to get away from work as a business owner, but that’s my solitude,” he said. “It’s hard to say it’s relaxing. In a lot of ways, it’s kinda like being a kid.
“When you’re a kid, you build model cars and roll them down a hill and crash them. It’s the same now, just a bigger car. Half of the fun is building the car.”
Emily says she learned about Moore’s racing bug on a family vacation.
“We were watching TV at the beach, and (Moore) turned to me and said, ‘Did I mention that I bought a race car?’ That’s how I found out about it,” she said.
Moore’s wife Phyllis doesn’t race, but she helps out.
“Without her support, we wouldn’t be doing this,” he said. “And on her NASCAR license, she is listed as car owner.”
“She’s a huge support out there,” Emily added. “She goes out there every Saturday and has the hauler stocked with food and beverages, and she’s always running errands.
“And she likes to remind (Moore) that it’s her car.”
Moore says the racing Moores keep kidding Phyllis about trying her hand at racing.
“She says she isn't ready, but we have a car ready if she wants to try it,” Moore said.
Incidentally, there’s another Dan Moore who races Late Models in North Carolina; in fact, he’s already won twice at Caraway Speedway in Sophia.
“People who know me say they saw where I won,” Moore said. “I guess I need to go down there (Caraway) and run. That would confuse them.”
Contact: I can be reached at tgilli52@gmail.com or nc3022@yahoo.com. Also, my Twitter handle is EDITORatWORK.