Homestead: GM Racing preview

CHEVY RACING AT THE TRACK-MIAMI-HOMESTEAD SPEEDWAY/NASCAR CHAMPIONSHIP DRIVE -- JEFF CHEW, MARKETING MANAGER, NASCAR, CHEVY RACING: "This is an opportunity for race fans and car enthusiasts to see and learn more about two of Chevrolet's hottest...

CHEVY RACING AT THE TRACK-MIAMI-HOMESTEAD SPEEDWAY/NASCAR CHAMPIONSHIP DRIVE -- JEFF CHEW, MARKETING MANAGER, NASCAR, CHEVY RACING:

"This is an opportunity for race fans and car enthusiasts to see and learn more about two of Chevrolet's hottest new products. Plus, they'll be able to visit the Team Chevy Winner's Circle Photo Trailer, where they can get a framed picture with their favorite Chevrolet driver."

TEAM CHEVY AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY-PAT SUHY, GM RACING NASCAR GROUP MANAGER:

"The 2010 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup has come down to the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It should be a great battle among a group of great teams. While it would be nice to say that Team Chevy is in the catbird seat, as we have been the last five years, that's not the case. This year, we have two drivers still within reach of the driver's championship, but don't currently have the lead in the driver's standings. Jimmie Johnson, Chad Knaus and the whole Lowe's 48 team will have to bring their A game this week. They are 15 points behind the leader, which represents the smallest gap between first and second in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup's seven-year history. Kevin Harvick, Gil Martin and the entire Shell 29 team likewise will be focused on getting every point they can.

"There's no doubt that both the 48 and 29 teams will put their best foot forward this weekend. For them, other than the obvious pressure of not having another chance, it will be business as usual. Laser-like focus on unloading with a fast setup, and working through their usual practice routine to come up with the best qualifying and race setups will be key. Qualifying will also be very important, not only for pit stall selection, but to be in a position to lead a lap early in the race and put pressure on the other drivers to do the same. Those five points, along with leading the most laps, will be vital. With the relatively small points variation between finishing positions, those ten points are critical; as is the guaranteed 10 points that first place is awarded over second at the checkered.

"Overall 2010 has been another great year for Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Earning our 34th Manufacturers' Cup, winning 18 races so far, having six of the 12 drivers in the Chase, and leading in too many on-track statistics to mention here, has made it memorable. Our entire team of Chevy Teams has contributed to the Manufacturers' Championship. Each of our Key Partner organizations: Hendrick Motorsports, Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, Richard Childress Racing, and Stewart Haas Racing have made significant points contributions which enabled Chevrolet to secure the prestigious title again this year. I'm proud that Chevrolet is the "manufacturer of choice" among so many top tier teams and proud of how those teams represent us both on and off the track.

"When the checkered flag flies on Sunday, with a little luck and a lot of hard work by our teams, I'm hoping that we'll be celebrating with Chevrolet's 27th NASCAR Sprint Cup driver's champion."

TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER'S SEAT:

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET -- 2ND IN STANDINGS:

"You know, it (a come from behind championship) would probably be received better than the ones in the past, with the runaway show we've had on a couple of them. I don't care how I win it. However we win it, that's cool (laughter). I would love to come back and win from behind and eliminate that stat because that seems to be the only thing that everyone talks about right now. When I look at the way we started the Chase, I'm more frustrated at what we did then, in the fact we didn't capitalize at Loudon. At Texas we missed a pit call late in the race. Everybody behind us had tires on. We ended up ninth. When you go back through the season, look at little things, we've left points on the table. That's unlike us from years past. That's the part we're fighting right now. I know we've been competitive, but not as dominant as we wanted to all year long. We've got to go to Homestead and race for it; there's no doubt about it. I continue to hear that the No. 48 hasn't had to race for it before and we've raced for it all Chase long. Maybe at Homestead we've been able to protect, but we certainly know that's not the case this year and I love where we are. I love putting pressure on these guys and in fact I'm glad we cut their lead in half."

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL/PENNZOIL CHEVROLET -- 3RD IN STANDINGS:

"I feel excited (about Homestead) because the worst we can finish in the points is third. We have a great race track for us, and we have nothing to lose and everything to gain. There's really nothing else that matters at this point. Just throw it all out there, and if it gets rough, it gets rough. If it doesn't, then we just go race and see where it all falls in the end. It's still a no pressure, no lose situation for us, and I like it. The Homestead track is unique. You can charge turn one a little bit more than you can at most places, because as you get through the corner, the banking seems to get steeper all the way through, and you have options. You can run the top, you can run the bottom, you can run the middle, or you can split the middle-top or middle-bottom and make your car turn. It's just a unique race track, and it seems to fit the guys that like to move around and make their cars work in different spots. It has been a great race track for us. We've had great results over the past several years there. It's a race track that kind of fits my driving style. We've run well there, and I don't think there is anything that should keep us from doing that this time, either."

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET -- 6TH IN STANDINGS:

"We've had some good runs here in the past; we just haven't been able to get that win. We want to get that win because winning is what drives us. We're not trying to win because of a statistic, although it would be pretty cool to have won at every track. Homestead is a fun, fast race track. It has big, sweeping corners but, because of the South Florida summers, the track seems to lose more and more grip. The groove seems to widen out and move up to the top of the race track. It creates very challenging situations because it's very fast but the grip's not fantastic. The grip goes away pretty fast from new tires, so getting the balance right is very challenging. You don't want to be the guy that costs somebody the championship because you did something dumb racing for 10th place," said Gordon. "But I think those guys also have to recognize that you're trying to win the race. If it's for any place other than a race win, I'm probably going to give them a little bit of extra room knowing there is a championship on the line. But if we're battling for a win, I don't care who it is. I'm going to race them hard just like I would any other weekend to try to win the race."

TONY STEWART, NO 14 OFFICE DEPOT/OLD SPICE CHEVROLET -- 9TH IN STANDINGS:

"At Homestead, you go off into turn one, and when you get into the banking, you lift. If your car is good, you can go and not use any brake, or very, very little brake. You stay one lane off the bottom, past the transition -- it's a little less banking on the lower level toward the apron -- so you stay one level above that. As soon as your car settles in you can really just mash right back in the gas and just ride that second level around down onto the backstretch. And then you do exactly the same thing going into turn three. A lot of times in turn three, because of the wind direction there, you can actually go into the corner a lot harder and a lot further, actually turning into the corner before you get off the gas. And it's the same thing, once that car settles in; you get on the gas and ride it around to the frontstretch. It's a pretty smooth racetrack."

CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVROLET -- 11TH IN STANDINGS:

"We're decent at Homestead. We've never really been able to run up front and lead laps. I've had a car that I thought was capable of winning there, so yeah I think we're pretty solid there. Its better (the progressive banking is)...actually way better. Now, you can search around different running lines and find grip and where your car works best. You're not just locked into one line on the race track. From that standpoint, it's definitely better and I think it has made for a lot more competitive racing for the fans. This season has gone by faster than any other season I've ever had. It seems like I've been a lot busier. We've just been tuned in as a group trying to get better with the No. 33 car. Ever since the penalty last month, it has kind of taken the wind out of our sails...out of my sails too. I'm ready for the season to be over and do something different for a little while."

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET -- 12TH IN STANDINGS:

"I thought we had a great chance to win that race. We were really, really strong. The last run of the race wasn't as good as the previous runs. That was the case for a lot of the drivers. Most of the time, you'll see one car that runs well then falls off but, in this case, there were three or four of them. It was like a battle amongst them. We just weren't as good at the end of the race. If the race was 50 laps shorter, we would have won the race, but it wasn't. We feel like we have a good set-up going there. It's a fun race track. When they changed the race track, I was really against it. I thought they had screwed it up, but they made it a lot better. It's turned into a really fun race track. I think you definitely have to hunt for the best line (due to progressive banking). As a driver you have to be open to trying different lines so you can find which line works best for your car. The problem lies when you are trying to get your car set up during practice. You question yourself as to what line you want to run. It's really easy to set your car up for one line then move somewhere else and find out that it doesn't work as well. You really have to be committed to where you want to run and stay there."

MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET -- 13TH IN STANDINGS:

"My only goal this weekend is to win the race. That's what I want to do for this race team. And it will make the offseason feel so much better (laughs). It's going to be one heck of a race, that's for sure. These fans are going to get their money's worth. There will be no lack of excitement and no lack of drama. It will be fun watching my teammate out there trying to win his fifth championship. I really hope for him and everyone at Hendrick Motorsports that he brings another one home. I don't think this season is what anyone expected - the media, the fans, anybody. With the way 2009 went, I believe we all thought we'd be fighting for a championship this weekend in 2010. But that's not the way it worked. The summer months were brutal, and there was a time that we all got so frustrated and really didn't know what was going wrong. Then after New Hampshire in September, we just seemed to really figure it out. We've gotten it back, and we're definitely on the right track. We've had good consistent finishes, and we're running up front and leading laps again. That's the way this team should be performing. Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) is one of the smartest people I've ever met, and I've never doubted his abilities. He has a great team here, and this is exactly how we wanted to be finishing the season. It gives us a lot to look forward to in 2011."

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS CHEVROLET -- 14TH IN STANDINGS:

"This year has been filled with so many highs, Daytona, Indy, Charlotte, the pole awards and many other great finishes! I could not have asked for a better year on the track, and looking to the birth of our first child, in December, off the track as well. This year has truly been amazing. Heading down to Homestead for Championship Weekend, is something that the entire team is looking forward too. This has just been a dream season for all of us and we hope to end the season on a high note. We have worked hard on our 1.5-mile tracks throughout the year so it should be a good weekend for us."

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY CHEVROLET -- 15TH IN STANDINGS:

"We want to continue where we left off in Phoenix except to gain one position. That finish broke a string of four subpar results and hopefully put our U.S. Army Chevrolet back on the right track. As is the wish of every team for the final race, we want to have a strong finish so we have something positive to reflect on during the off-season. We won a race this year and had a number of good finishes, but yet we still came up short of making the Chase. It goes to show how competitive the Sprint Cup field is and how you have to maintain a high level of energy week in and week out. We have what it takes and I am confident that our Stewart-Haas Racing team can return to Chase status in 2011."

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET -- 17TH IN STANDINGS:

"This has been a crazy year for the Target team and to end it at my home track means that much more for me. We're hoping for a good run. We've struggled with our mile-and-a-half program but we're hoping to end it on a high note. We've been preparing for next year and that still remains our focus heading into this weekend."

DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY CHEVROLET -- 19TH IN STANDINGS:

"Homestead has been one of my toughest tracks since they changed the configuration of it. We've ran good, but I just don't seem to really have a line. There are a million different ways you can go through the corner but I haven't really figured out which one suits me the best. We seem to run good till it gets dark, but this race is going to be run in the afternoon, starting early, so that should help us actually. It keeps the groove up off the bottom of the race track for a longer period of time."

JOE GARONE, GENERAL MANAGER FURNITURE ROW RACING'S NO. 78 CHEVROLET, regarding the support from the NASCAR community following Monday's accident on Interstate 25 in Colorado that heavily damaged the team's transporter and motor coach. The team's transportation drivers escaped serious injuries.

"Words cannot describe how grateful we are to Richard Childress Racing for immediately stepping up and offering us a fully-loaded racing hauler for this weekend's race in Homestead. Furniture Row Racing also wants to extend a sincere thank you to the NASCAR community for the outpouring of support we have received since the accident. It has been overwhelming and truly shows the spirit of brotherhood that embodies our sport."

BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 09 C&J ENERGY CHEVROLET -- 31ST IN STANDINGS:

"Homestead is a great place to end the season. I always enjoy going back to a track where I run relatively well and have won before. The banking is different here than at any other track, so being able to run different lanes is fun and exciting. This is place that has gone through a lot of changes, but it seems to get better each time. We are really excited to have the C&J folks in Homestead. There isn't a better way to end the season then to have your sponsors there. We had a good run last weekend for C&J Energy Services, and we are hoping to be better this weekend. Everybody wants to end the season on a high note and we are no different."

-source: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson , Chad Knaus
Teams Richard Childress Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing , Furniture Row Racing , Hendrick Motorsports