Las Vegas: GM Racing preview

LAS VEGAS, NEV. - (February 26, 2008) -- For the first time since returning to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) competition in 2007, the Impala SS will tackle a 1.5-mile track this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS). Since the...

LAS VEGAS, NEV. - (February 26, 2008) -- For the first time since returning to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) competition in 2007, the Impala SS will tackle a 1.5-mile track this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS).

Since the introduction of the new generation NASCAR race car at the spring Bristol race last season, Impala SS has raced and won on short-tracks (one-mile and under), road courses and 2.5-mile plus superspeedways. In fact, drivers behind the wheel of an Impala SS scored 13 of the 26 wins by Team Chevy in '07.

Of the 22 tracks on the NSCS roster, seven of them are 1.5-mile tracks that will host a total 10 races this season making performance and success on these tracks tantamount to Team Chevy.

The teams and drivers fielding the marquee Chevrolet nameplate have worked tirelessly in preparation for the LVMS debut. A three-day test in late January aided them in gathering much-needed data for this weekend's event.

"The Las Vegas test was very beneficial to our Chevy teams," said Alba Colon, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Program Manager for GM Racing. "Working with our GM Racing engineers, teams collected a tremendous amount of information to take back to the shop and analyze to determine the best setups for the cars heading to Las Vegas.

"With the level of competition in the Cup Series as tight as it has ever been, it's critical to have our Impala SS race cars fast right off the truck for the first race on a 1.5-mile track. Qualifying sets the tone for the race weekend and is really a race within the race. With the increasing importance of track position throughout the entire race, our teams work to secure the best starting position possible.

"We have the best teams and drivers and are looking forward to another exciting and successful weekend for Team Chevy."

Engineers and crew chiefs are not the only ones who pay attention to test data.

"We looked at the telemetry during the Las Vegas test and the new car was 13 miles-per-hour slower in the middle of the corner compared to the old car," said Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Impala SS. "That's a great comparison of the speed differential between the two, but we're not racing against the older car. "We're racing against other teams. We don't need to be faster than the older car -- just faster than the other teams."

Going for his fourth consecutive victory at LVMS, defending NSCS champion Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS had these thoughts heading to the Nevada desert track: "At the Vegas test, you could really attack with the car. It seemed like the track was getting a middle lane, if not an outside lane. So as we get into that weekend and all that activity on track, I hope that the track really widens out. I think it's going to be a better show for us to put on because we can really be aggressive with the cars."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Jimmie Johnson