Kansas: GM Racing preview

TEAM CHEVY IMPALA SS INSIDE THE GARAGE AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY: PAT SUHY, GM RACING NASCAR GROUP MANAGER: "Coming into the race at Kansas City, I'm optimistic. While many will say that it's another cookie cutter track, it's actually the flattest of the...

TEAM CHEVY IMPALA SS INSIDE THE GARAGE AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY: PAT SUHY, GM RACING NASCAR GROUP MANAGER: "Coming into the race at Kansas City, I'm optimistic. While many will say that it's another cookie cutter track, it's actually the flattest of the mile and a half race tracks on the Cup circuit. With only 15 degrees of banking in the turns and five (5) on the straights, it's more like a double sized Richmond than Atlanta, Charlotte, or Texas, which all have 24 degrees of banking in the corners. Our Team Chevy teams historically do well on the flatter tracks, so I'm confident going in that we'll see a great race and have Chevy's fighting up front when the checkered flag flies.

"Our GM Racing engineers have been working all year with the teams on their chassis and aero programs. This time of year is fun because in addition to working on things that might be important for the remaining Chase races, we're making plans for the "off season", if you can call it that. Like Christmas, it seems to come earlier every year, but now is the time that we work hard with our teams to lay the foundation for our engineering support for the 2009 season. We've learned a lot this year about the Car of Tomorrow, and specifically our Impala SS. Taking those lessons learned and turning them into actions that will help us be more competitive next year is quite a task. I'm confident that our GM Racing engineering group is up to the task and will continue to come up with innovative ways to apply our tools and technology to advance the performance of all of our supported teams."

FROM THE DRIVER'S SEAT:

* JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS: "We haven't been up to par on these types of tracks this year, but we've been working real hard on our mile-and-a-half program. We had a great test in Kentucky last week, and I think we learned some things there that we can apply to Kansas. If any track is similar to Kentucky, it's Kansas. I'm really looking forward to seeing if what we learned last week translates over to Kansas. We've been searching all year trying to find that feel and comfort level in the cars because the speed will come along with it. And when a team finds 'it,' they can continue to work on 'it.' When a team -- like ourselves -- has not been able to find 'it,' it just shows how difficult it is to find.This year, you can throw everything out the window. This will be the first time we've raced the Impala at the track, and I feel like all the testing we've done at Kentucky should transfer over to Kansas better than any track we go to. The success we had here the first few years is not necessarily what will provide success at Kansas this year. But getting the car balanced and comfortable where you can carry momentum through the corner is what we'll be looking for this weekend. I think the fans can expect a great race. The groove has widened out and there is less grip now, and that should make this weekend's race exciting."

* JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS: "With this car, a small adjustment ends up to be a pretty big one. You really can't fix something big. We've recognized that and maybe have tuned ourselves out of races. In general, it seems like less has been more. What works here at Lowe's Motor Speedway, hopefully works at Kansas. It doesn't hurt. Testing anywhere helps. Anytime you're on the track, you learn more and you see trends,"

* JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 AT&T IMPALA SS: "I've had good race cars at Kansas but it just seems like we have things go wrong there. Last year, we had a couple of things get in the way of a good finish and I'm hoping our bad luck turns around this weekend. My approach for this race is to make sure I hit my marks and be on line in every corner, every time. The track is slick, especially for a fairly new race track, and requires a lot of concentration and focus to make sure that every lap is where you need to be. We live in an era that data is really important and information to work off of is significant. None of the teams have Kansas data for the new car. I believe some will have it for Homestead because we had a test there last year and some people had the car there. Track information is really important and I'm not sure that anybody will have it for Kansas so that's a huge point to pay attention to. Kansas is a tough race track. It's slick and it's hard to get a hold of so I think Kansas will be really interesting to watch. I think you could see some people really struggle at Kansas that have run well at other places."

* KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS: "Kansas is a little bit different than Chicagoland. I know on paper they are supposed to be the same but the corners are a little bit sharper, and the exits of the corners are a little bit sharper. Coming off turn four, it seems like the wall comes in on you as you come off the corners. It's definitely a little bit different than Chicago. I think it is way too early to tell if anyone is out of championship contention. In 2006, Jimmie (Johnson) struggled in the first couple of weeks and came back and won. I think you have to wait until you get about halfway through the Chase to count anyone out. Right now Greg Biffle and Jimmie Johnson seem to be on a roll but that could change next week. So, I think for us, we just have to go out and race as hard as we can, get the best finishes possible and see where we end up in Homestead."

* CLINT BOWYER, NO. 07 JACK DANIEL'S IMPALA SS: "It's always fun to go back to Kansas. It's an important race track for me. You always want to go back and run well in front of the hometown crowd. I'm looking forward to getting back there and having some fun. We've been struggling all summer on those types of race tracks. We had a really good run and saw the light at the end of the tunnel a few weeks ago out in California. I know it was just a 10th-place finish but after the finishes we've had all summer long on the mile-and-a-halves, that was a big sigh of relief and a good step in the right direction. Knowing that we've run well there in the past gives us a lot of confidence going into this weekend. Intensity is what the Chase is all about. There's a lot of hype and a lot of attention and exposure. From that standpoint, it's just another race but, at the same time, it's an important race for me, personally."

* TONY EURY, JR., CREW CHIEF FOR DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD IMPALA SS: "Kansas is pretty unique. It's like basically a one and a half mile oval. It's a lot like Chicago. It's flat. The car has to stay turning. It's basically what we call a horsepower track because a lot of momentum carries there. It's the third one on the list in the Chase. It's pretty important because people are still getting sorted out through the Chase, and you can get a lot of momentum going into Charlotte through this track. A lot of people will bring out new motor packages at this time because it is such a horsepower track. It gives them a sense of what they're going to have when they get to Texas and things like that. We actually go to Kentucky a little bit. We went there the other day. But by this time, you've sorted out a lot of it with the things we've done at California and Michigan. All those places build up to the same attitude of the car. We're pushing those doors open again. I'm looking forward to there. We had a really good test of Kentucky the other day, and that track is really similar so I think that track will be a good time."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Greg Biffle , Jimmie Johnson