Johnson leads Chevrolet drivers to second Dover race

TEAM CHEVY IN THE GARAGE DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY– ALBA COLON – PROGRAM MANAGER, NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES – CHEVROLET RACING: “We didn’t take the win last week at Loudon, but Team Chevy took the points lead and that's where we plan to stay for the next eight races.

Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

“Heading to Dover International Speedway this week, with only 1 point separating Jimmie Johnson from his closest competitor, the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is becoming very interesting. With only 45 points separating first place from 12th, the scorecard is very tight. Dover is the perfect place to begin rising above the competition.

“The Dover track is notoriously hard on the race cars, earning it the nickname, ‘The Monster Mile’. A challenging one-mile high-banked concrete oval with bumps and rolls, the crew chiefs must provide set-up options to maximize grip and maintain a stable aerodynamic platform. The track itself seems to be pretty consistent between the two races that are held here each year, which enables our Chevy teams to utilize their notes from last June. Trust me, this track suits some drivers’ driving styles, but for other ones it is not their cup of tea.

“With just eight races to go, Team Chevy continues to focus on winning races and on capturing both the year-end Manufacturers' Cup and Driver's Championships. Our engineers are constantly working hand-in-hand with the team engineers to ensure we always deliver the best engines and technical support in the industry. This time around, we are looking forward to repeating our performance here in June with yet another victory.

“At Team Chevy, we mean business! See you Sunday at the Winner's Circle.”

TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT:

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S/KOBALT TOOLS CHEVROLET – LEADING STANDINGS: “The intensity you have to drive that track (Dover) with. It really fits my style. It’s the closest track we have to being airborne each lap with the drop off into turns one and three. It’s just cool you’ve got to bring your big boy pants every lap there and I love it.”

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET – 4th IN STANDINGS: “Dover is a track that is kind of a two-phase deal. It’s easy to get your car too tight in the center (of the corner) trying to get it to drive up off the corner nice, and it seems like if you get it to rotate through the corner, then it’s way loose off. Those are the two things that you really battle there. It’s the sacrifice of where do you want to be a little bit off to accomplish having a balanced car.”

KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET – 5th IN STANDINGS: “I’ve always liked going to Dover. It’s a tough track, and you carry a lot of speed into the corners. We did really well here last fall and worked hard for a top-10 in the spring. The team has a lot of consistency right now, and we all want to keep that up.”

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/DIET MOUNTAIN DEW CHEVROLET – 7th IN STANDINGS: “Getting into Turn 3 can be difficult. There are some bumps that the rear tires sort of skate across. It can be a challenge to get the car to turn in the middle of the corner. Cars kind of slide the back tires getting in the corner, and then they kind of push through the center at both ends of the racetrack. That really doesn’t show up until race time.”

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET – 8th IN STANDINGS: “Dover is one of those places as a driver that feels really fast. With these kinds of cars, it seems like the forward drive off the corner is the most important thing, but you still have to make your car turn in the center of the corner. As a driver, the car has to be comfortable to be really aggressive. It’s just a fine balance for everything.”

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET – 12th IN STANDINGS: "I am very optimistic based on our performance earlier this year. We were very fast, but we had an issue that kept us from getting a win - or at least kept us from getting a very strong finish. That certainly has me excited about our return trip this weekend. We've been good at Dover at times. It's been a while, though, since we've been as good as we were earlier this year. If we can back that up this weekend, this could be the best opportunity we've had in a long time here.

"I have no doubt that we can get back into this. We're a strong team with fast race cars, but we have to put a string of good results together. If we do that, then there is no telling how far we can move up in the point standings. There is still a long, long way to go. My crew chief Alan Gustafson reminded us last weekend that nine races remained - and that equated to one quarter of our season."

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY CHEVROLET – 14th IN STANDINGS: “At Dover, I like the banking. I like the elevation changes. The concrete provides a different type of racing for us because the track doesn’t change a whole lot. Once you get your car right, you can keep it right for the rest of the race. And for me, for whatever reason, I’ve always adapted well to racing on concrete. To me, the characteristics of the track make it both demanding and fun. It’s really unique how you drop off into the corners and then climb up the hills onto the straightaways. At Dover, the entry into the corners is the toughest part. If you don’t get a good entry, you’re not going to have a good middle or a good exit. You have narrow straightaways and then the track opens a lot in the corners, so there’s a good bit of give-and-take. To me as a driver, it’s just a track that’s a lot of fun. It’s a challenge. If you don’t like a challenge, you don’t like Dover. I really look forward to racing there. It’s fast, it’s demanding. I like the banked racetracks, and it’s one of those.”

PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 MENARDS/CERTAINTEED CHEVROLET – 16th IN STANDINGS: "The corners at Dover (International Speedway) are really wide and then it funnels down into pretty narrow straightaways with walls on either side. So if something happens, there's a strong likelihood that everything is going to stack up. We've seen the straightaways completely blocked before. The spotters have to stay on their toes and drivers have to be looking ahead, which is tough because there's so much banking and it's hard to see very far ahead."

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET – 19th IN STANDINGS: “Dover International Speedway is such a cool race track. You just got to attack it. It is so much fun because everyone is attacking the race track. It is so fast and the grip level changes so much throughout the long green-flag runs. There are also multiple grooves which makes it a really fun race track. There is a price to pay when things go bad because the track is so narrow. It is a huge challenge for the teams, drivers and everyone involved. When you go to Dover (International Speedway), you need to be on your A-game.”

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD’S CHEVROLET – 20th IN STANDINGS: “I always look forward to racing at Dover. It has the nickname Monster Mile for good reason. This track is demanding and you can have things happen really fast. We will have McDonald’s back on the car this week at Dover so hopefully we can put a good run together and get them a solid finish after the last couple of rough weeks that we have had.”

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET – 21st IN STANDINGS: “We got caught up in a mess early on the last time we were there. The Target team repaired the car but we spent the rest of the race just riding around trying to get some additional points. I really do like Dover that was the first place I felt comfortable with the Sprint Cup car. It has a lot of banking, grip and it has fast corners like in open wheel. It is a fun place. If the car is handling right you know it’s going to be a good day but when it’s bad, it makes for a long day.”

KURT BUSCH, NO. 51 PHOENIX CONSTRUCTION CHEVROLET – 25th IN STANDINGS: “Dover is a great track and a place I enjoy racing. It’s one of the tracks that have historically been pretty good for me. It’s a one-mile track but it races much faster than a mile track with the speed you carry around there. One of the things that is really important at Dover is protecting that right-front tire – making sure you don’t wear it out. Then it’s always helpful to have a car that takes off well after a caution.”

DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET - “Dover is a race that’s going to be one of the tougher (Sprint) Cup races I’m going to do. I’m sure it’s going to be a difficult weekend, but the difficult weekends are what’s going to make next year easier. Hopefully it’s one of those tracks where it helps to run both cars (Nationwide and Sprint Cup) – they both help each other. I always like going to Dover. The track is pretty fun and hopefully we can make it to the end this time. I remember everyone telling me how unique and challenging Dover was prior to my first race. At the time, I didn’t have a whole lot to compare that track to. They said it was like a larger version of Bristol, but I hadn’t raced at Bristol yet, either. It’s nice to have more of a handle on what to expect heading in there this time. Dover is fun. It’s fast and it can make for a really long day of racing. I think that’s part of the appeal of it, how demanding it can be. We definitely want to stay out of trouble, which is easier said than done at these types of tracks.”

Source: Team Chevy Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR-CUP
Article type Previews
Tags burton, busch, chevrolet, danica, earnhardt, gordon, harvick, johnson, kahne, mcmurray, menard, montoya, newman, patrick, stewart