TEAM CHEVY IN THE GARAGE KANSAS SPEEDWAY – ALBA COLON, PROGRAM MANAGER, NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES, CHEVROLET RACING: “This weekend we head to Kansas Speedway, a track where Team Chevy has enjoyed a lot of success in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Due to the track being re-paved, NASCAR has included two test sessions between October 17 and 18, before the teams start their official race weekend practices on Friday morning. Also, NASCAR is providing the teams an opportunity to bring their new 2013 race cars and test them too.
“Team Chevy drivers are looking forward to the test sessions. It will be a new opportunity to build their set-up books and prepare for any challenges the new surface may bring. The teams will be extremely busy gathering a lot of data and figuring out the right set-up and balance for the vehicles.
“In reviewing our report card to date, and with five races to go in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, there is still a lot of work to be done to be able to win the Manufacturers' and Driver's Championships. Every week we face though competition and we are really aware of that. At Team Chevy, our engineers continue to work hard at delivering the best tools to our teams to ensure they are in position to win the next five races.
“We always enjoy our visits to Kansas, and we’re looking forward to some great racing action at Kansas Speedway this weekend.”
TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT:
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET – 2nd IN STANDINGS: “(Testing prior to the Kansas Race) It’ll help set the stage for 2013, but the cars will be so much different when we come back that it’s going to be hard. But at least we’ll have a data file. That’s what’s really key for the teams is to get a current data file set. So, we’ll have that and I think it’s the right call to let the teams and drivers get on the track. Let’s validate the tire that it’s right in real conditions and let everybody get a feel for it so when we show up on Friday and the NASCAR timer is official that we’re prepared and ready to go racing.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET – 5th IN STANDINGS: “It’ll be good to get on the track for a couple extra days. The most important thing will be getting rubber down on the new pavement. The test will help with that. It should make for some better racing on Sunday, and hopefully we can learn some things for the other mile-and-a-half tracks that are coming up.”
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET – 8th IN STANDINGS: “It does, that’s what I liked when we went to Homestead (Fla.) in ’99. I felt like nobody had an advantage over me there. Nobody knows the secrets at a new race track unless they’ve tested, and even then they may not know the secrets. It’s a whole new ballgame and it’s totally up for grabs. It’s really anybody’s race.”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET – 9th IN STANDINGS: "This is a trip to the 'unknown. I'll get my first look at the changes on Wednesday, so I really don't know what to expect until then. I liked the old surface, but I'm sure there were reasons - whether it was the foundation or the construction - the track needed a repave. Whatever they put in front of us, we'll just do our best as a team to adapt to it and make the car as fast as possible on the new surface."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET – 10th IN STANDINGS: “I’m not a big fan of repaving anywhere, to be honest, and I enjoyed racing on the old surface at Kansas. However, I understand they had some issues with the track that made (repaving) necessary, so obviously it’s what they had to do. Paul (Menard) and the No. 27 team went out there for the Goodyear test in August, so we have some data to go off of entering the weekend that should help us. The guys that took part in the test had good things to say about the track, so we’ll see what we’ve got to work with when we get there on Wednesday.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 CODE 3 ASSOCIATES CHEVROLET – 14th IN STANDINGS: OF NOTE: This weekend will be Ryan Newman’s 400th Sprint Cup Series Start “I have to be honest, I hadn’t thought about it being my 400th career start in the Sprint Cup Series until I was asked. To me, that’s just a number. The biggest thing to me is it’s nice to be able to live my dream, so whether it’s my fourth start or my 400th start, it doesn’t matter to me because I am doing what I love. I guess the longevity of it says I’m at least successful at what I do, so it’s nice to be able to be successful doing something I love and making a good living doing it. I’m thankful to have this opportunity and for all the people who have played a role in my racing career, whether it’s giving me money for tires to get to the racetrack when I was a kid, or changing tires for me in the Sprint Cup Series today.”
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 MENARDS/CERTAINTEED INSULATION CHEVROLET – 16th IN STANDINGS: “We tested at Kansas Speedway after the repave and the groove was starting to come in already. The racing will probably be single-groove when we go back there, but I think the middle groove will somewhat come in. The biggest challenge there is going to be getting on pit road. The transition from the banking to the apron is very abrupt and it’s going to be hard on the splitter.”
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET – 19th IN STANDINGS: “I talked to a lot of people who already tested at Kansas Speedway and got a lot of different opinions. I expect a one-groove race track. I know track officials are working hard to put rubber on the track with test sessions and Richard Petty Driving Experience cars. I just don’t know what the impact of all that will be.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/ARTIC CAT CHEVROLET – 20th IN STANDINGS: “We have made some changes to the car that we are taking to Kansas this weekend, so I am glad that we will have some extra time to practice on the new surface. I’m hoping that Kansas will be a good track for us. Our teammates on the No. 42 car tested at Kansas a couple of weeks ago so we have some feedback from their test as a starting point. Anytime you go to a track with a new surface you will have a lot of grip, so I expect Kansas Speedway to be no different. All the guys at the shop have been working really hard to figure out where we need to improve and I think we’re heading in the right direction.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TAYLOR SWIFT/TARGET CHEVROLET – 22nd IN STANDINGS: “It’ll be interesting to see how the new track surface turned out and how different it will be. You’re walking into a lot of unknowns this time around. Thankfully we get a few days before the race weekend to test it out and get our cars ready for the actual race. The Target team has typically been pretty good at Kansas but it’s a whole new deal now. It’s anyone’s race to win.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW/FARM AMERICAN CHEVROLET – 26th IN STANDINGS: "Kansas has been one of those tracks where I have run well but can't seem to seal the deal. Back in April I had a strong run going until an axle broke. But that was with a different team, and the main focus this week with Furniture Row Racing is to continue our learning process. This will be our second race together and the big plus is the two extra days of testing at Kansas. This is exactly what we need at this time to sort things out -- more seat time and more team communication. There’s so much to get done in a short period of time and we're working at a rapid pace. We'll get it done, this is a team that is totally committed."
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY RACING CHEVROLET: “The reason we picked Kansas in the first place was because there is extra testing and it will give me the opportunity to get more laps and get more comfortable. I think that a new surface evens it out a little bit more competition-wise because no one is perfectly prepared from previous races with the setup. So, the extra testing will be good and that’s why it went on the schedule.”
Source: Team Chevy Racing