Atlanta II: GM Racing preview

TEAM CHEVY IN THE RACE TO THE CHASE: With two(2) races remaining until the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Team Chevy has six drivers in the top-12 IMPALA SS ON THE TRACK --ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY: Chevrolet has won 35 of the 100 previous ...

TEAM CHEVY IN THE RACE TO THE CHASE: With two(2) races remaining until the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Team Chevy has six drivers in the top-12

IMPALA SS ON THE TRACK --ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY:

Chevrolet has won 35 of the 100 previous NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS), more than any other manufacturer

* Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont/National Guard College First Impala SS, has four wins at AMS - '95, '98, '99 , and '03 Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's/KOBALT Tools Impala SS, has three (3) AMS victories -- '04 and twice in '07

* Tony Stewart, No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Impala SS, has to AMS wins -- '02 and '06

* Mark Martin, No. 5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST Impala SS, has won at AMS twice -- '91 and '94

* Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Reese's/Shell-Pennzoil Impala SS, won in '01 at AMS

* Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Impala SS, took the victory in '04

CHEVY RACING AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY:

Fans can visit the Chevy Racing Display in the Midway at AMS and get up close and personal with models from great Chevy lineup including: Aveo, Malibu, Impala, HHR SS, Equinox, Traverse, Silverado Crew, Tahoe, Silverado Hybrid, Camaro SS and the sensational Volt

Team owner Richard Childress and Bill Jordan, founder and owner of Real Tree will make a two hour appearance, sign autographs and interact with the crowd in the Chevy display on Sunday. The time is set for 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. The specially-designed Chevy Real Tree Silverado will be the back drop for fans to see.

Fans can get autographs from members of a Team Chevy race team over-the-wall pit crew on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at the Chevy Racing Display

TEAM CHEVY IMPALA SS -- FROM THE DRIVER'S SEAT:

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS: "We've already raced here under the lights, but that wasn't scheduled to be a night race. This place is so fast with multiple grooves that it tends to have great racing. It's just a spectacular track to race in general; under the lights, even more so. I always look forward to our visits here because I think it's one of our best tracks. And we have the luxury of knowing our spot in the 'Chase' is secure, so we can gamble -- if needed -- to go for the win and the 10 bonus points. Wins and bonus points are all we have to gain right now, other than maybe a little bit of momentum, and wins definitely provide huge momentum. These last two races before the 'Chase' starts offer us two more opportunities to collect bonus points. It also gives us the opportunity to show the competition that we'll be a threat to win the championship."

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS: "It was good to take some time during the off-weekend to relax and charge the batteries for the final 12 races. The Chase is right around the corner. Everybody on the No. 48 team needed to do that. Beginning with this weekend in Atlanta, we're all going to need to have a bunch of energy and patience and all that stuff for the Chase. I think that we're there on speed. Our cars are good. We feel very good about the tracks in the Chase. We enjoyed the off weekend but know that we have a lot of work ahead of us now."

MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 CARQUEST/KELLOGG'S IMPALA SS: "After the Atlanta race in the spring (flat tire), I didn't think we could make the Chase. Not with the level of competition in this sport. We had three bad races in a row. And I didn't think there were too many teams that would have that much trouble as well. This season has just been remarkable. And this team has been remarkable. The performance we've had this year is great, and we've really been able to capitalize on that by leading laps and leading the most laps to earn those bonus points. Then we had the four wins on top of that, and all of that together was able to put us back in contention. I still haven't really thought that we are going to make the Chase. When we went into Chicago, we were 13th in points. When they told me we moved up to 11th, I was surprised. I just didn't think that could happen from one race. I still feel like points are very volatile. There is just too much that is out of anyone's control. Certainly performance alone doesn't dictate it. I'm not worried about our performance; I know it will be there. I just don't get wrapped up in predictions or expectations. I have found that that's just not a good thing for me."

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY IMPALA SS: "I don't think it's (track conditions at night) going to change too much. The track is pretty wore down and will slow down over the long runs, but we will be running some pretty fast speeds the first five or 10 laps on new tires under the lights. That place is really, really fast. We are mathematically out of the Chase at this point so we are watching everybody else and seeing how they are going to do. We are trying to help our teammates the best we can and support them in their efforts. I think Hendrick Motorsports has several opportunities to win the championship. We are going to try to win some races and help our teammates the best we can."

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 IMPALA SS: "If I can secure a place in the Chase in Atlanta, I am definitely not going to take any risks. For me, if finishing 10th in Atlanta would mean I make the Chase, we'll do everything in our power to finish 10th or eighth. We're not going....or we are running second, we are not going to do anything stupid and finish 25th and go to Richmond and maybe blow up a motor or something could happen and miss the Chase. No, we have to be smart about what we are doing."

CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 BB&T IMPALA SS: "I think RCR's mile-and-a-half program has improved. We didn't run bad at Atlanta the last time - we finished sixth, which is normal for me. I feel like we can improve on that. I feel like we can get better.

"Atlanta is the fastest race track on the schedule, but the sensation of speed, for me, is that it really isn't much because Atlanta is so big. At Atlanta, the grip is so far down that you almost back into the corner in (turns) three and four. It's a different race track than most of the places we go but it's a lot of fun."

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CAT FINANCIAL IMPALA SS: "I think having the race on Labor Day weekend is good for the race track. I always thought Atlanta's race dates have been wrong. Fans want to go to a place where the weather is nice and the chance of rain is less. A night race on Labor Day weekend makes a lot of sense to me. It makes sense to move this race out of California because it was always hot when we went there. Moving California's race a month later is good because, hopefully, it won't be as hot. Atlanta is giving up a Chase race but, at the end of the day, better weather and night racing is going to be a huge advantage to the race track.

"Last year, teams dealt with the tire debacle. So, based on that, we came to Atlanta with a different set up and, after running a few practice laps, we knew we had to back up and try something else. The grip level is something we're going to have to work on. But, I'm excited about running this race at night. I think the track will open up. The track gets so slick during the race that it becomes a blast to drive on. You have to get up on the wheel and drive the car. It's so much fun. As a race car driver, that's the kind of racing you hope for."

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS: "Atlanta is fast, very fast. You can race all over the race track, from the white line to the wall, and still be competitive. You have to have the complete package to contend for the win there. Horsepower is always important. It's a lot of fun to race on but very fast. I struggle with finding the right feel for me to be comfortable. It's just something that I need to get better at and really focus on getting my car right. I think it will be very exciting for the fans to see some night racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Ed Clark and all his people have done a great job with the track over the last couple of years. It should be a lot of fun for the fans as well as the drivers."

CASEY MEARS, NO. 07 JACK DANIELS IMPALA SS: "We had some good speed when we were in Atlanta last time. The trouble was, it didn't come to us until about halfway through the race. We started off really loose; then got much better during the race. I think the combination of how we ended up in Atlanta and what we learned at Michigan recently -- and how we approached Michigan -- was what helped us a lot. I think we're going into Atlanta with those ideas in regards to how we approach practice and get the most out of those notes and what we need to work on the most during the limited time we have in practice."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Jimmie Johnson , Bill Jordan , Mark Martin
Teams Hendrick Motorsports