Charlotte: GM Racing preview

* Chevrolet dominates Lowe's Motor Speedway (LMS) with 33 victories * Team Chevy drivers have won 10 of the 11 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series (NNCS) points-paying events held to-date this season * Chevrolet leads the NNCS Manufacturers' Cup...

* Chevrolet dominates Lowe's Motor Speedway (LMS) with 33 victories

* Team Chevy drivers have won 10 of the 11 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series (NNCS) points-paying events held to-date this season

* Chevrolet leads the NNCS Manufacturers' Cup standings with 96 points, a 35-point lead over second

* Team Chevy drivers occupy seven of the top-10 standings with Jeff Gordon holding the point standings' lead

* Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers with five victories at LMS

Concord, NC - Team Chevy drivers and crews are gearing up for the running of the Coca Cola 600 Sunday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway (LMS). The Coke 600 is the longest, most grueling race of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series (NNCS) schedule. It starts in the daylight (5:30 p.m. EDT) and ends under the lights, some four and one-half hours - plus - later.

With 10 victories in 11 NNCS points-paying races under their belts thus far in the season, Team Chevy drivers head to LMS with tremendous momentum.

Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's/Power of Pride Monte Carlo SS, leads all active drivers with five victories in 11 career starts at the facility he calls "His House". His record at the track basically across the highway from his Hendrick Motorsports (HMS) headquarters is nothing short of impressive.

The defending NNCS champion won three consecutive Coca Cola 600 races from '03-'05. He swept both NNCS points races at the "Beast of the Southeast" in '04-'05. He has 10 consecutive top-10 finishes and has finished no lower than third in the last three years.

"At the All-Star race it seemed like clean air made a difference being in the first two or three cars but outside of that, when I was running mid-pack, I didn't really have a lot for anyone. The cars were pretty equal through the field," said Johnson, who will also drive a Cadillac in Thursday's SCCA SPEED World Challenge sports car race and race in Saturday night's Busch Series race.

"Lowe's Motor Speedway has been a great track for us. We look forward to coming to and we've had a lot of success here. I don't know why it's worked or why it's been this way, but hopefully it'll continue and we'll have that same magic we typically have."

Of course, Johnson's HMS teammate, Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont/Department of Defense Monte Carlo SS, has pretty impressive LMS and NCTS stats of his own. The momentum of three wins to-date in 2007, his most recent two weeks ago at Darlington, and holding the lead in the NCTS standings for seven consecutive weeks adds to his team's being a strong favorite to score the win Sunday night.

In pursuit of his fifth NNCS title, Gordon has four wins at LMS (fall of '99, spring of '94, '97, & '98) and has the distinction of being the youngest driver to win at LMS (at age 22 in '94, which was also his first series victory).

Fresh off his career-first victory at LMS collecting the cool $1 million dollar prize in the Nextel All-Star Challenge, 2007 Daytona 500 champion Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Monte Carlo SS, thinks he has the right package to win again on Sunday.

Kevin Harvick looks to join this impressive group who have followed the All-Star win with a Coca-Cola 600 win: Darrell Waltrip (1985), Davey Allison (1991), Dale Earnhardt (1993), Jeff Gordon (1997) and Jimmie Johnson (2003).

"We had our new Chevy R07 engine in the car for the All-Star," said Harvick. "That was our first crack at it in the car and obviously it ran really well. We were really able to compete. These mile and a half tracks have been our weakness this year; we struggled at Texas and Las Vegas. We ran a different car and different engine package and we were able to be competitive. We put ourselves in a position to have a chance to win and we were able to pull it off."

Mark Martin, No. 01 U.S. Army Monte Carlo SS, is a member of the LMS multiple-victor club. The 2007 Daytona 500 runner-up has four wins at LMS (spring '02, fall '98, '95, & '92).

The Bowtie Brigade arsenal at LMS is armed with additional previous winners at the fast 1.5-mile banked tri-oval. Jeff Burton, No. 31 AT&T Racing Monte Carlo SS has two wins at LMS (spring of '01, '99). Sterling Marlin, No. 14 Pep Boys Monte Carlo SS has one win (fall '01) and two-time NNCS champion Tony Stewart, No. 20 Home Depot Monte Carlo SS, has one win (fall '03).

-credit: gm racing

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Darrell Waltrip , Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Jimmie Johnson , Mark Martin
Teams Hendrick Motorsports