GM Racing pre-race notes

Chevy on Target for NASCAR Driver Weekend Sweep Hampton, GA - On the heals of the announcement that the Impala SS nameplate will return to NASCAR competition on the Chevrolet Car of Tomorrow entry, Chevy drivers have continued their winning ways...

Chevy on Target for NASCAR Driver Weekend Sweep

Hampton, GA - On the heals of the announcement that the Impala SS nameplate will return to NASCAR competition on the Chevrolet Car of Tomorrow entry, Chevy drivers have continued their winning ways by capturing victories in IROC, Craftsman Truck, and Busch Series races. If Chevrolet wins the Bass Pro Shops 500 Nextel Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS), Team Chevy NASCAR drivers will sweep the weekend with four victories.

Kevin Harvick, No. 21 U.S. Coast Guard Monte Carlo SS, won his eighth (8th) NASCAR Busch Series race of the season on Saturday at Memphis Motorsports Park. Harvick won the Sam's Town 250 after a thrilling "green-white-checker" finish at Memphis Motorsports Park. It was his 25th career NBS victory. The win put an exclamation point on his 2006 NBS championship, clinched at Lowe's Motor Speedway on October 13. It is the second NBS title for the Bakersfield, CA native.

"We were here for one purpose. It was checkers or wreckers," said Harvick, who started from the rear of the 43-car field because he participated in final practice for Sunday's NASCAR Nextel Cup race in Atlanta, and missed morning qualifying in Memphis. "The last two cautions really cooled the tires off. I probably ran the car too hard, I knew I needed another caution because my tires were pretty much boiled at that point and just had no grip. I had to drive the car a little bit differently those last couple of laps. It fell our way and we got another win in our Coast Guard Chevy."

Harvick's victory was the 21st NBS victory for Chevy this season. It was 309th Bowtie NBS win out of 763 possible, the most of any manufacturer. Chevrolet hold the record for NBS Manufacturers' championships with 13 titles of the 16 possible including clinching the 2006 crown.

Chevy driver success continued with Martin Truex, Jr., No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Monte Carlo SS, captured the victory in the season finale of the International Race of Champions (IROC) at AMS. The win marked back-to-back AMS IROC wins for Truex, Jr.

"It was just a lot of fun," said Truex, Jr. "Last year I was able to get out front, I think right after the competition yellow. Today was completely different. I didn't know until he crossed the finish line that I had won. It was one of the better races I've been a part of."

Tony Stewart, No. 20 Home Depot Monte Carlo SS, finished third in the 65-lap race and added to his impressive championship-winning resume by claiming his first IROC championship. Stewart, the defending NNCS champion, didn't lead a lap during Saturday afternoon's race, but did exactly what he needed to do to add his name to the trophy along side previous IROC champions and claim the $1 million dollar prize.

IROC race cars are powered by modified versions of a GM 350 cubic inch small block V8 engine.

"Four races (in an IROC season), you can't have many mistakes," Stewart said. "It's always a huge honor just to run in the IROC series. When you get the invite you know you did something good the year before. Standing up there today, it really hit me to see all the past champions' names, Al Unser, etc. To be on a trophy with that list of great names is something I'm very, very proud of. It's not one of those where if you don't get it you've never made it, but it's a neat accomplishment to go against all those other champions puts it a step above even. It's a neat series. Anytime you can go out with that talent and then be the champion of the champions is something that's pretty special."

On Saturday, Mike Bliss, No. 16 Xpress Motorsports/Strutmasters.com Silverado returned to victory lane in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS).

Bliss, the 2002 NCTS champion, captured his 13th truck series career in an exciting race that saw 21 lead changes among nine drivers in the 130-lap race.

"Our Chevy Silverado was fast," said Bliss. "I couldn't believe how good it was. We went free all night but it just never pushed all night and was really good in traffic, and on old tires it just kept going. I ran the bottom the whole day, and usually you don't run the bottom, you go to the top when it slicks up but it ran good on the bottom, and our motor ran great. Mark Smith did a great job on the motors, and we have Strutmasters aboard the next three races left, so it was great. This Chevy was rocking and rolling."

The return to victory lane was Chevy Silverado's fourth victory of 2006. In the 289 NCTS races, Silverado has captured 124 wins, more than any other manufacturer. In addition, Chevrolet has won the NCTS Manufacturers a record six times of the 11 possible through the end of the 2005 season.

A win today in the Bass Pro Shops 500 Nextel Cup race by a Team Chevy NASCAR driver will net Chevrolet a weekend sweep of race victories and one championship.

CHEVY AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY NOTES:

* Chevy has won 4 of the last 7 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series (NNCS) events at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS).

* Chevy has 32 victories - more than any other manufacturer - in 94 possible races at AMS (since 1960)

* Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo SS, leads all active Chevy drivers and Chase drivers with 4 victories at AMS. Gordon leads all active drivers with 976 laps led at AMS.

* If Gordon wins today, he will tie Dale Earnhardt Sr. with 76 career Cup victories

* Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. each have 1 victory at AMS.

* Tony Stewart has best Chevy driver record in last 10 races with most top-10s (9); most laps led (519); fewest DNFs (0); best average finish (6.8 place)

* If a Hendrick Motorsports driver wins today (Gordon, Johnson, Kyle Busch, or Brian Vickers) it will be the 150th Cup victory for HMS

* 21 drivers will start today's race behind the wheel of Chevy Monte Carlo SS

CHEVY NEWS AND NOTES - 2006 SEASON:

* Chevy clinched unprecedented 30th NNCS Manufacturers' Cup Title (26th in NASCAR Modern Era) with Kevin Harvick's victory in September at New Hampshire International Speedway o Harvick's win was also the 400th win for the Monte Carlo brand

* Chevy Monte Carlo SS drivers have posted 20 wins thus far in 2006 o Jimmie Johnson, (5); Kevin Harvick, (4); Tony Stewart, (3); Jeff Gordon, (2); Denny Hamlin, (2); Jeff Burton, (1); Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (1); Kyle Busch, (1), Brian Vickers (1)

* Chevy Monte Carlo SS drivers have led 5,280 laps (one mile), which is 56% of possible 9,416 run this season - more than any other manufacturer

* Chevrolet has 7 drivers in the Chase: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, and Kyle Busch

* Chevrolet has won five of six 2006 Chase races

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Jimmie Johnson , Mike Bliss , Martin Truex Jr. , Brian Vickers , Denny Hamlin , Kyle Busch
Teams Hendrick Motorsports