Chevy Drivers Pocono Pre-event Quotes

Pocono Raceway

CHEVY RACING AT POCONO RACEWAY, JEFF CHEW, MARKETING MANAGER, NASCAR, CHEVY RACING: “We look forward to bringing the Team Chevy Racing Display back to Pocono Raceway, because, as we saw last year, the race fans who visit the popular track are very interested in experiencing all of the newest Chevy products. Also, racing is a very important part of Chevy’s long history, and sharing that heritage with our fans is very important to us. We've added more elements to the display this year, like the latest GM Performance Parts crate engines and Chevy accessories and performance parts that fans can purchase from their local Chevy dealer, to go along with interactive games, digital photography and other activities for fans of all ages.”

TEAM CHEVY IN THE GARAGE AT POCONO RACEWAY – ALBA COLON, GM RACING NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES PROGRAM MANAGER: “After a really hot Kansas race, Pocono represents a good change of pace for everybody on the circuit. Aside from cooler weather there, it will be dramatically different from the tracks that we have been visiting lately (a.k.a. Charlotte & Kansas). Also, a new twist is being added to the qualifying procedure.

... it lives up to its name ...

Alba Colon

“This track is really different from the other ones that we visit on the tour and it is a favorite track for drivers and fans. The unique nature of the Pocono track, with three distinctive corners and three straights, including the long front straightaway, is always a challenge. Each corner is different, so that makes it hard to find the perfect compromise in the handling package for the car. The track configuration in itself requires heavier use of the brakes than most big tracks. It puts extra wear on the brake components as well as on the engines, much like a road course does. Also, the track is bumpy and rough.

“Pocono is very physically and mentally demanding on the drivers; and presents its own set of challenges for the crew chiefs and engineers in determining the best set-ups for the cars. When you factor in the timing of the cautions, pit stops, fuel mileage, and horsepower, it lives up to its name as one ‘tricky triangle’”.

“Our GM engineers are constantly working together to provide the teams with the latest technologies and to continually improve performance. Each week, our focus is to be much better than the week before, and to be the best in the field. In reviewing our report card to date, 2011 has been a good season for Team Chevy with six wins in 13 races. But every weekend we face tougher competition, and we can’t rest on our success. Our commitment for excellence has never been greater than now, and I am looking forward to another winning race for Team Chevy on Sunday at Pocono.”

TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT AT POCONO RACEWAY:

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET – 2ND IN STANDINGS: HOW DO TEAMS GO ABOUT CALCULATING FUEL MILEAGE?: “Really it’s kind of a basic science. As the runs develop, you see some trends based on speed of the laps. Kind of the fuel-air mixture at times makes a difference if it’s a dense night. Some other small, decimal point adjustments that they make in the overall scheme of things. Really what happens is they plug the gas tank into the car, assume it’s full, judge how much is possibly laying on the ground and then weigh the can and figure that all out through kind of eye balling it and kind of the weight of the gas can when it’s done to see what’s in there. It’s not a very exact science and it’s amazing how close the guys get when they say you’re going to run out on the backstretch and damn if you don’t.”

DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY CHEVROLET – 3RD IN STANDINGS: “Definitely this year, I’ve run some really good cars and I’ve had some real good times racing and being in those cars. I just enjoy competing where I feel like I should be able to compete. I have an opinion, personally about what kind of talent I’ve got and where I should be running in the races. When I’m close to that or doing that or matching that then I get happy and I feel content and satisfied and obviously this year has been a better year for me. It could be even better and hopefully we’ll get to that next level, but for the most part definitely having fun. Definitely having more fun. When the race weekend sneaks up on you week after week after week, you’re not so upset about it. Sitting at home is pretty fun, but now when Thursday and Friday rides around, creeps up on you out of nowhere, you’re not disappointed about it, you’re like, ‘Alright man, let’s go to the next one and let’s see what we can do. Let’s see if we can go out there and make some more good things happen.”

Kevin Harvick, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
Kevin Harvick, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Ashley Dickerson, ASP Inc.

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 OKUMA CHEVROLET – 4TH IN STANDINGS: “I enjoy driving the track. It’s fun to try to get your car set up right because the corners are so different and there are some bumps and things that give the race track character. This part of the season over the past several years has been really good. Pocono’s a fun race track to race on. The past couple of years, it’s come down to strategy and we’ve been solid. It’s got that unique patch in turn 3 that seemed to kind of lose some grip last year, so hopefully that’s gone and it’ll be kind of even from top to bottom as far as which groove you choose. It’s a fun track, and really rough in Turn 1 on the bottom. A lot of times you run through the middle. If your car’s working really good you can run anywhere you want through Turn 1. The tunnel turn is a really fast corner that you run right at the bottom. It’s got a really big curve at the bottom that you really don’t want to hit at all, because it jumps you up in the air. It’s a challenging race track, and has three totally different turns. The tunnel turn is a very challenging corner. It’s very inviting to drive the car in too far and then you push up in the center of the corner. When you get it right, it’s a really, really fun corner to go through because it’s really fast and the car’s right on the edge getting into the corner and you’re in the gas really early on exit. The car just kind of has that loose swing as you come up off the corner and you’re right up against the wall. It’s really flat. There’s a little bump in the middle of it that you hit. It’s really fun when your car is right. If it’s not right, you lose a lot of time there."

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 MOBIL 1/OFFICE DEPOT CHEVROLET – 8TH IN STANDINGS:“All three corners are different – that’s the most challenging part. It seems like you can always get your car good in two of the three corners, but the guys who are contending for the win are the guys who can get their car good for all three corners, which is very hard to do. It seems like if we can get our car to go through the tunnel turn well, then we’re normally able to get it to go through the rest of the racetrack well. The tunnel turn seems to be our toughest turn on the racetrack. Getting through turn two and the last corner of the racetrack that’s flat, long and sweeping – those seem to be the toughest two corners to get through. And if you’re a little bit off, you’re a bunch off. If there’s a guy who can get all three of those corners right, then that’s the guy who’s going to win the race.”

CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVROLET – 9TH IN STANDINGS:“It’s fun. I’ve gotten to where I enjoy Pocono. I think it’s one of the tracks that we can win at. It (the patch) has (changed the racing), but it’s starting to wear out now. I think by the time we come back this year, we’re going to be going back down around the bottom of the track and making some head way.I’ll never forget the day when I was catching Jeff (Gordon) and getting ready to pass him. He was four or five car lengths ahead of me and we went down into turn one. All of the sudden, his brakes went out. I’ll never forget until the day I die how fast he accelerated away from me because I was hard on the brakes and decelerating myself. He stayed the same speed. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I couldn’t believe how fast he went off into that corner. It really opened my eyes to how fast you’re going.”

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET – 10TH IN STANDINGS: “Pocono is about as complex as the road courses are. Road courses, you get a lot of different turns and straightaways. You can easily package that into three or four different corners the way a car drives. Pocono is very different in all three corners, so it’s very complex when it comes to setting the car up and from the driver’s standpoint. 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. Fuel mileage can also be crucial at Pocono. The bigger the racetrack, the more sensitive it is when it comes to fuel mileage. Each lap is 2.5 miles, there. Getting back to pit lane when you’re close to running out of fuel, it tends to be a place where the driver really has to manage his fuel when the crew chief asks you to save some fuel. There are a lot of great things that could happen at Pocono that we don’t really have at some other racetracks. You get to places like Pocono, Indianapolis and Michigan and fuel mileage can be as much of a crew chief’s friend as a foe.”

JEFF GORDON, NO. 13 DUPONT CHEVROLET – 13TH IN STANDINGS: “It is just long. I mean, 500 miles at Pocono is like 600 miles Charlotte. It is just very long. The corners are all unique and challenging, so, when you have a long race and you have challenging turns like you have at Pocono, and if the weather is warm too, it can make for a very long day that can be very challenging mentally and physically. They are going to let us shift this time so I am pretty excited about going back to shifting at Pocono. That is one thing, getting the gearing right and getting those shifts smooth. And power. You have got to have good horsepower. At a place like that, the straightaways are so long but, you know, you have three distinct corners that are all unique and different. Trying to get the car balanced to go those three corners fast is also a big challenge. I think taking away the shifting eliminated some opportunities to pass. I think by bringing it back is going to make it yes, more competitive. More exciting racing I believe.”

Mark Martin, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Mark Martin, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE/GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET, 14TH IN STANDINGS: “Well, it looks like Mother Nature may be our biggest competitor right now. (LAUGHS.) We’ve struggled a bit at Pocono in both races last year. The tires would be so, so good at the start of the run, but as soon as they wore out we were just too loose. We showed improvement in the second race and I think we learned a lot. Hopefully we’ll unload off the truck pretty good and not be fighting the handling too bad early on.”

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET – 15TH IN STANDINGS: "Pocono is a long race. It is one of those places where you think, we should just run 400 miles there, you know? It almost makes the Coca-Cola 600 seem short! It's very challenging because it's really old asphalt and it's really bumpy and every corner is different. So to get the car right, is really hard. You've just got to learn to drive it where it's okay in a couple of turns. If you can get it good in two out of three (turns), you're good. Our Target Chevrolet has been good there over the last few years so we’re expecting a strong finish this weekend.”

PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 PITTSBURGH PAINTS/MENARDS CHEVROLET – 20TH IN STANDINGS: "Pocono is very similar to Indianapolis, and we had a really good test there a few weeks ago. All of the things that we learned will transfer over to Pocono, I'm sure. You have to set the car up for three different corners and a long straightaway. It's definitely a unique place. It's a great track. The mountains are really nice. It's a nice change from the bigger cities that we go to. I really like going to Pocono."

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET – 24TH IN STANDINGS: “I haven’t really thought that we’ve been in position to win races there (at Pocono). We’ve run solid top six, top seven but being able to win there, we haven’t quite gotten there yet. We struggle with getting the car to rotate in (turns) one, two and three and still get off of four and five. I don’t get why every race track we go to has four corners and Pocono has five, yet it really has three. I have yet to understand that. However, it’s very difficult to get the car right on both ends of the race track. This biggest thing is it’s so rough. The thing about Pocono is you start your braking while you’re still going straight. So you really don’t get the sensation of speed like you do at Texas (Motor Speedway) or somewhere like that. But, when you get there (to the turn), you’re going a lot faster than you should be. It gets really, really rough. The car is bouncing around and moving around a lot. It will get your attention, but it doesn’t feel that fast. When something goes wrong in turn one, you feel like you’re going really fast. A lot of that speed sensation goes away because you’re straight-line braking.”

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD’S CHEVROLET – 27TH IN STANDINGS: “Pocono is a fun place to race, but it is a difficult track to get set up just right with all three corners being so different. Trying to find a balance to get through each of the different corners is a challenge. Horsepower is also key. You need to motor past people up off the corners, especially off turn four with that long front straightaway. I look forward to having a strong run in our McDonald’s car this weekend. We certainly need to have a swing of good luck here soon and this would be a great place to make that happen.”

REGAN SMITH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING CHEVROLET – 29TH IN STANDINGS: "If we can have an error-free race I think we can come out of Pocono with a strong finish. We were decent there last year, and after only five career races at Pocono I am understanding the tunnel turn and the configuration of the track much better. It's a different place and experience is important. Pocono is where we need to start nailing down consistent performances in our Furniture Row Chevrolet. Lately, it's been one good race, one bad race. You can't have that, we need to start stringing some good runs together. The potential is there, but we need to avoid mistakes and mechanical issues."

-source: team chevy

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Mark Martin
Teams Richard Childress Racing , Hendrick Motorsports
Tags chevrolet, pocono, sprint cup