Fontana II: GM Racing preview

CHEVY RACING AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY -- JEFF CHEW, MARKETING MANAGER, NASCAR, CHEVY RACING: "We are looking forward to bringing the Team Chevy Racing Tour to Auto Club Speedway, where fans will have an opportunity to see Chevy's full lineup of award...

CHEVY RACING AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY -- JEFF CHEW, MARKETING MANAGER, NASCAR, CHEVY RACING: "We are looking forward to bringing the Team Chevy Racing Tour to Auto Club Speedway, where fans will have an opportunity to see Chevy's full lineup of award winning cars and trucks, interact with the pit crew for Juan Pablo Montoya, and have some fun at the Kid Zone. Thousands of race fans have visited us trackside so far this year at races across the country, and the feedback has been tremendous."

TEAM CHEVY AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY -- ALBA COLON, GM RACING PROGRAM MANAGER, NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES: "We are really pleased about how things are shaping up for our Chevrolet drivers who are both in and out of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Kansas was a good showing for Team Chevy and we are excited that Jimmie Johnson has moved into the points lead. Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton and Tony Stewart are showing strength and Clint Bowyer isn't out of the hunt with a lot of laps left to race. In fact, Team Chevy drivers occupy the 13th through 17th positions in the standings and Ryan Newman and Jamie McMurray are heading to Auto Club with the momentum of solid performances in the past few races. Mark Martin, Juan Pablo Montoya and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. are right there as well.

"With six races to go, part of the focus for our GM Racing engineers is doing to the necessary work to clinch the 34th Manufacturers' Cup for Chevrolet. It is a combined effort among all of our Chevy teams, owners, and drivers to achieve that goal and we are working together to make that happen.

"In general, Auto Club Speedway has been a good venue for us. It is a rugged two-mile track that provides many challenges. Since the cars are open throttle for long periods of time, it is especially tough in the engine department. The valve train and pistons are the two areas that are always put to the test. We rely on our two great powerhouses, HMS and ECR, who have given Chevrolet such strong horsepower all season long.

"All of our Chevy teams have really stepped-up this year, and we are looking forward to an exciting race this weekend, and another trip to victory lane."

TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER'S SEAT:

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S/JIMMIE JOHNSON FOUNDATION CHEVROLET -- POINTS LEADER: "Excited to go back. We have our Jimmie Johnson Foundation major fund raiser that takes place in my hometown, the area of my hometown I should say. We do a lot of great things, raise some money for a variety of things. This year it is again going to be a grant system for school districts in the area. I'm very excited to go back although there is a lot of work for me going home for the golf tournament and the dinner that is beforehand. But I really enjoy the race track. I enjoy the weather, the atmosphere, In N Out Burger, Mexican restaurants I am fond of in the area. It is always good to go home. There is a certain feeling about it. I won my first race there. My 48th race there and there are a lot of cool things about that race track for me. Oh yea, fish tacos, lots of lime. Post race add a Corona to the mix and we are in good shape."

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL CHEVROLET -- 3RD IN STANDINGS: "In February, I feel like I let one slip away there. I was running the 48 down, and I just brushed the wall and the car went really tight. We still had a good finish and Jeff (Burton) ran really well there, too. We're looking forward to going back. Obviously, a lot can change, it's been a hot summer and the race track will be different, but it's been a good race track for us over the last few years. We need to capitalize this week and make something happen. "We feel good about where we are right now. We had a great car at Kansas and finished third. That's what got us here. We have been consistent and had solid top-five finishes all year. So, we just have to keep doing those things, keep our cars in contention running up front, lead some laps and grab those bonus points when we can, and we'll see where we are when we get to Homestead."

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT/PEPSI MAX CHEVROLET -- 5TH IN STANDINGS: "You have to have good power (at Auto Club Speedway), have to have good balance in the car. Right now there's a lot of stuff going around the garage with teams that are trying to run soft in the back versus stiff in the back and at a track like that, you can really experiment with because the straight-aways are so long and it's a big, fast race track to try to get the spoiler out of the air a little bit. Just trying to work that balance out. We do all that in simulation at the shop and based on what we've been running, what we've been seeing in the garage area that's running good and fast, you try it and if it's not working then you go in a different direction."

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET -- 9TH IN STANDINGS: "It is different than any other race track we run on as far as I am concerned. It has real low grip, very flat corners, a lot of speed. It is completely different than Atlanta. It is completely different than (Las) Vegas. Vegas is very high grip, completely different. So we have three very distinctive mile-and-a-half and two-mile race tracks. You can perform well at one and not well at the others. If we do our jobs and we do the best we can do, then that is all we can do. We have to optimize who we are. We have to be the best we can be. I can't worry about the No. 48 (Jimmie Johnson) or the No. 11 (Denny Hamlin) or the No. 17 (Matt Kenseth) and whether they are going to be the best they can be. I can't control that. All I can try and control is being the best we can be."

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/OLD SPICE CHEVROLET -- 10TH IN STANDINGS: "We're not out until we're mathematically out. Who would have dreamed we would have two weeks in a row like we had the first two weeks. So it's proof it can happen. Talladega is still on the schedule (laughs) so that can jumble everything up too. So, we've just got to go out and do what we did at Kansas and that's just go out and try to win the race and take what it gives us."

CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 THE HARTFORD CHEVROLET -- 12TH IN STANDINGS: "California is one of those deals where you better show up fairly close or you are going to struggle. You might get yourself a decent top-10 finish but you are going to fight long and hard for it all weekend long. We were very good out there in the spring race and hopefully we can carry that on. That is a track that has been kind of hit or miss for me. But, coming off that spring race, I've got a lot of excitement. We have a lot better equipment. That was early in the year and our cars have changes a bunch since then. So, I think we can improve on that."

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 TORNADOS CHEVROLET -- 13TH IN STANDINGS: "We had a really good car in February at California. Our No. 39 Chevy was good all day long. We were mixing it up, and it really was the most competitive that I've been at California in a long time. At least that's the way that I felt even though we had the engine failure. We were working forward every run the entire race, and we showed what we are capable of out there on a couple of those long runs. I mean, two laps before the engine failure put us out of the race, I was racing for the lead. When we came to California in February, I felt like we had made some big improvements as a team on our speedway program. I think we've made some big gains on that program over this year, too. So we're looking forward to the return trip to California. Our finish in February wasn't indicative of how we were running, and it's one of those finishes that we have pointed to and said that it hurt us when it came to the Chase and not making it this season. We definitely want to show how strong our program is and get a good finish at California this weekend."

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD'S CHEVROLET -- 14TH IN STANDINGS: "I don't know what it is about racing at Fontana, but it's a track that I really enjoy coming to on the circuit. Auto Club Speedway is more of a driver's track where you as the driver can really dictate your times by which line you choose on the race track. Sometimes the high line works better and as the track changes, it could move to the middle or bottom groove, just depending on how your car seems to handle. That's really what makes California a fun track to race on. Obviously we came out here in February with a lot of excitement around the Daytona 500 victory and the subsequent media tour, but our team came out of the gate strong with my team winning the pole award and Juan's team starting outside pole. With that, and our really consistent performance since Chicago, we're hoping to come away with a another strong effort at Auto Club Speedway."

MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM/CARQUEST AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET -- 15TH IN STANDINGS: "When we raced in Fontana in February, our car was really, really good. We led some laps and had a strong weekend out there and finished fourth. Since then, we've gone from the wing back to the spoiler and that, obviously, threw a wrench in our performance this year, but I really see improvement in this team. We got some things figured out at Dover a few weeks ago. And then, after starting from the rear in Kansas, had a very strong race car and drove up to another top 15 finish. We're still not where we want to be, but we're getting closer. Hopefully that will continue to improve this weekend and we can get another showing like we did earlier this year."

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET -- 16TH IN STANDINGS: "Our program has gotten stronger this year and we've been happy with the turn around of our performance at Auto Club Speedway. If it wasn't for a blown motor in the spring I think we could of easily competed for a top spot at the end of the day. The Target team is looking for some redemption heading back to California this time around."

DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET -- 17TH IN STANDINGS: "We have had some decent runs at California, but just haven't had the luck. The thing about California is that you can hunt around as the groove changes. You've got to have that adjustability in your setup. My teammates have been good there, and they are a good reference."

-source: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams HART