Indianapolis: GM Racing preview

TEAM CHEVY ON THE TRACK -- INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY: Team Chevy drivers have won 10 of the 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS)-more than any other manufacturer Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Impala SS, leads...

TEAM CHEVY ON THE TRACK -- INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY:

Team Chevy drivers have won 10 of the 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS)-more than any other manufacturer

Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Impala SS, leads all drivers with four (4) Brickyard wins

Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's/KOBALT Tools Impala SS, has two (2) IMS wins

Tony Stewart, No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Impala SS has two (2) IMS wins

Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Impala SS, won in 2003 at IMS

Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Impala SS, won the famed Indy 500 in 2000; Only driver in history to drive in the Indy 500, Brickyard 400 and U.S. F1 Gran Prix at IMS

TEAM CHEVY - FROM THE DRIVER'S SEAT -- INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY:

TONY STEWART, NO 14 OLD SPICE/OFFICE DEPOT IMPALA SS -- ON HIS BEST MEMORIES OF IMS: 'I think every memory was huge. I mean, the thing that I remember most was every day after school was over, I rode my bike to school every day, and your parents beat it in your head to stop at stop signs and wait for green lights before you cross the road. I played Frogger going home, basically with a bicycle, trying to get home as fast as I could trying to get the TV on. That's my biggest memory is just growing up and watching, loving the opportunity to get home. I didn't care how much homework I had. It was the last priority when the month of May was going on and whatever coverage was on TV. You were just glued to it. There wasn't any one particular moment; it's just been something that's been a huge, huge part of my life. But it would be that much more special to win it as a team owner, too. It's been so much fun working with this group of guys, and even if I didn't win it, if Ryan (Newman) won the race, I would have the same feeling of gratification just being a part of it and being able to help Ryan realize his dream. I think it would mean just as much to be the winning car owner for Ryan as it would be for me to win it as a driver and owner, also."

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS -- ON THE BRICKYARD HOLDING A SPECIAL PLACE? "The Brickyard is always special. It is just for me such an important race for us. For me and my career, I am just so thrilled and excited that I have won at the Brickyard. I still feel that way. It is still an extremely important race for us to go and compete at. I think it is still important for motorsports, important for NASCAR. But just for me personally, I just love going and competing there with the history and knowing me going there as a kid, going to the museum and doing different things. Just walking around that track, thinking what a dream it would be to someday race there. Now, getting the chance to do it is fantastic. More than most race tracks, Indianapolis Motor Speedway is about the team," said Gordon, who will host the 8th annual Gordon's Celebrity Bowl on Thursday to benefit Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. "It's about good communication prior to the race in setting up the car. It's about the pit crew being solid throughout the race. And it's about good communication during the race while tuning on the car that will hopefully get you to Victory Lane. "And earn you that special, gritty kiss with the bricks that we all want."

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S/KOBALT IMPALA SS: ON FIRST IMPRESSION OR WOW IMS FACTOR: "I did not realize that the straightaways were that long and the corners were that tight, especially in a stock car. There's a fair amount of braking that's needed to get through turns one and three, and it took me by surprise. And, one of the coolest moments I experienced in the race my rookie season was coming around to take the green flag. And, when you look down the front stretch into turn one, with the fans on both sides of the track and so close, and in the hard turn that it makes, that spectacle and that view is just amazing. It's just like a 90 degree turn down the end of this tunnel full of color. It's really special. When you pull on the track, it takes your breath and you're trying to understand where you're at and what you're doing. But, when you have a chance to actually race in the event that's there that weekend, if it's the 500 or the Brickyard 400, it's amazing the experience and how it changes in your mind. The track is a tricky track. Clouds blow over, it changes the track dramatically, and speed, and how the car handles. All four corners are different and technical. The true character of that track shows up and the challenge of that track presents to everybody that shows up. And for a lot of years, it's haunted me. But, here, the last couple times, it's been good to me."

RYAN NEWMAN, NO., 39 HAAS AUTOMATION/U.S. ARMY IMPALA SS -- ON THE SIGNIFICANCE OF RACING AT IMS: "I'm a big racing historian. I like the history of the sport, and I've always said to know that people A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti and Jim Hurtubise and Mel Kenyon, all those people have been through here at some point walking the same path out to the pit lane and driving the same line on the racetrack. That to me means more than anything else, just the history of all of auto racing here at this racetrack. It's a great race. It's a unique racetrack. We all know that. It's a lot of fun, especially when you're up front. It seems like the straightaways become forever, and you can just sit there and relax and drive the race car. It's a great racetrack, a lot of great fans, both Tony and I being from this area, meaning Indiana, with the open-wheel side of things, the racing that we've done all across every part of Indiana pretty much. I would speculate there's very few racetracks in this state that either one of us hasn't raced at. It's just a great place to come back and enjoy the racing and the fans."

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET IMPALA SS - ON DIFFERENCES BETWEEN OPEN WHEEL AND STOCK CARS AT IMS: "You know I only ran there once in 2000 and it was all a little bit of a rush. We got late to practice because we were in Japan racing in the CART Series at the time. It was fun. We had a great time but I think right now in NASCAR it seems to be a lot of fun. I think the driver really plays a big part on the car. It's very different when you run the Indy cars, you run wide open all the way around and here you have to brake, you've got to lift, you've got to time it a little bit more. I know tires were a big issue last year and I think this year it will be fine. You might see a little bit of the same thing on Friday like you always see in Indy but by the time the race comes it will be fine."

MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 CARQUEST/KELLOGG'S IMPALA SS - ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WINNING AT IMS VERSUS OTHER TRACKS: "This race does mean more to me. Definitely. I usually don't feel that way. I usually say a win at Martinsville (Va.) is equal to a win in the Southern 500 (Darlington, S.C.). And it really is. But the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard are definitely separate of that. The rest, well, a win is a win to be honest. But those two are separate. We feel good about where we're at as a team right now and how our cars are performing and how our communication is going. We're ready for Indy. It's going to be fun for sure. I would definitely kiss the bricks. I hope to. I don't know about the fence climbing though. That and back flips are things I would think twice about. I think I could climb the fence, I just don't think that I should."

-credit: gm racing

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya