Loudon: GM Racing preview

TEAM CHEVY AT NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY -- ALBA COLON, GM RACING NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES PROGRAM MANAGER: "Congratulations to Jimmie Johnson and the entire No. 48 Lowe's team for scoring their fourth win of the season and first road course...

TEAM CHEVY AT NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY -- ALBA COLON, GM RACING NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES PROGRAM MANAGER: "Congratulations to Jimmie Johnson and the entire No. 48 Lowe's team for scoring their fourth win of the season and first road course race victory last weekend!

"We are all looking forward to going to Loudon and all the challenges that New Hampshire Motor Speedway has to offer. Many drivers really like this track. It is fast and flat; and our Chevy teams and drivers have enjoyed a lot of success on the one mile oval. With the long straights and flat tight turns, it is a handling track. It requires the race cars to have both the good cornering abilities of a short track along with the aero characteristics required for an intermediate track. Our teams must find the right balance of trade-offs between the two to give their driver a competitive car that will run up front.

"For some teams, this race will be a good opportunity to experiment with set ups as we approach the Chase. Other teams will have to be conservative in order to ensure a spot in the top 12, or to get into the top 12. With only 10 races left before the first Chase race kicks-off in September at NHMS, it will give all the teams a good idea of what to expect when we return. Even though it sounds like a long time off, there are really not too many races between now and then.

"Loudon is a track that both the race fans and the race teams really enjoy. We are looking forward to seeing another Chevrolet in victory lane this weekend."

TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER'S SEAT:

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL CHEVROLET -- POINT STANDINGS LEADER: "We ran well there last year, but there was a big wreck on a restart with us running seventh. That was the story of the year last year. I enjoy the flat tracks, but the worst we ran this year was at Phoenix, so I hope that's not an indication of what Loudon will be like for us. I think we should go up there and run really well based on how we have run all year. We are going to have weeks where we are a little off, and those are the days where you have to make something happen and get a top-10 finish, and we have been able to do that this year. It's difficult, because the first few laps of a run are so hard to get a hold of the racetrack in traffic, and your car winds up pushing and sliding and doing all sorts of goofy things on restarts. The unique part of what happens at New Hampshire is if you don't pit for tires, you wind up getting these clumps of rubber on your tires, and the cars just slide around all over the place. You slide around and if you are in the middle of the pack, you wind up getting so far behind that by the time you catch back up, it's time to pit again. Track position is critical at New Hampshire."

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET -- 2ND IN STANDINGS: "Definitely excited for New Hampshire. It's been a good track for us and hopefully we can get back to victory lane. If not, then I'm expecting a good top-five run up there. Hopefully we can learn a lot there this weekend that will prepare us for the Chase. The road course win was awesome and I am just so proud of it. We ran so good all day long, all weekend long for that matter. As everybody knows, there's been a lot of effort put into it from myself to the team. Just a very rewarding day of racing that I'm very, very proud of."

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET -- 5TH IN STANDINGS: "I think I won Loudon in 1970, it seems like. At this point in my career, I feel like I haven't won at New Hampshire, based on those statistics. It's kind of like the All-Star race; it's like a 10-year deal where you go into default. I've been good at New Hampshire. It's still one of my favorite tracks. It's a difficult, challenging race track, but we just haven't been able to always put all the pieces in place there. When Joey (Logano) won there, I felt like that was the best shot we've had there in a long time. If we can perform like that again this year, then I feel like we'll get back to our winning ways in New Hampshire."

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 LENOX INDUSTRIAL TOOLS CHEVROLET -- 8TH IN STANDINGS: 'I can tell you that I am very optimistic about going to New Hampshire this year based on how well we ran at Phoenix and Richmond. I haven't won there in a long time and it would mean a great deal to me to win the LENOX Industrial Tools 301. LENOX has been a great partner of ours for a long time so for me, personally, I would like to get back to Victory Lane at Loudon. We tested at Milwaukee for New Hampshire but it rained a lot and we didn't get as much running in as we wanted to. We were there for two days but we probably got one day worth of work done and we had three days worth of work to do. So, we didn't get as much done as we wanted to and I don't know if we covered as much as we needed to in order to get the full answers to what we were looking for. We had some stuff we wanted to try and some ideas we wanted to run by the car that we needed to see what they felt like to me. We got a portion of those things done."

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OLD SPICE/ OFFICE DEPOT CHEVROLET, 10TH IN STANDINGS: "Obviously I like it because I've had success there. But at the same time, it's a tough track to pass on. You can be a couple of tenths faster than a guy, but it still takes you 20 laps to get by him. There are other tracks on the circuit where it's hard to pass, but we still go out and put on good shows there, too. Every race at Loudon seems to be a pretty good race. So, I like it. I enjoy racing there even though it is hard to pass. But when you've got a good car, it's always fun to race. If you miss on something it can be a miserable day. It seems like you don't see but three or four guys during the day that really hit it. That's what makes a day there miserable when you miss. It's just a matter of keeping a well-balanced car all day. And it seems like you can have bad track position, but if you have a car that drives well, you can drive your way to the front. It's not a situation you cringe at if you have a good driving car. It certainly doesn't help if someone has a bad attitude going in there. It kind of puts a strike against you, but I'm not going to say that you're already beat. There are tracks that I've been to that weren't my favorite tracks, but I still found a way to win there. You've just got to stay focused and work hard to find what it takes to be good."

MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 CARQUEST/GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET -- 11TH IN STANDINGS: "Starting the Chase off like that, that was just incredible. I'd never won at New Hampshire before. Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) gave me an amazing race car and then he made a great pit call to get us to the front. Once we were up there, it wasn't easy. We had those restarts at the end with Juan (Pablo Montoya) breathing down my neck. We held them all off, and on tires that were quite a bit older than theirs, so it was just a huge accomplishment. I didn't even know that was coming up (775th Cup Series start). (LAUGHS) I was told that last week and to be honest, it's kind of shocking even to me. Like 'Really? That's a lot of starts.' I kind of wonder where the time went, but it's all been fun, you know? I'm doing what I love. Still doing what I love. It's incredible. I don't think you can measure success by starts, but I appreciate all 774 races that have come to this point."

DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY CHEVROLET -- 13TH IN STANDINGS: "New Hampshire is one of the smaller tracks we go to, and I like racing on the shorter, flatter tracks. There's multiple grooves you can run there. You can go low and high and move around trying to find different things to make the car better. The trick is getting the car to roll through the center of the turns. We had a real good setup there last year so I'm looking forward to going back there."

CLINT BOWYER, NO. 31 ZAXBY'S CHEVROLET -- 14TH IN STANDINGS: "We definitely circle this one. You always look forward to going back to a track that you've won at, because you know you have done it before and you can do it again. Our New Hampshire win was definitely one my Cup Series highlights. But, it seems like we haven't had a good run since then. We need to make sure we get out of there this time with a solid finish. Last year we were in the money and just got taken out of it at the end, which ruined our day. It's still a good race track for us. I'd love to go back there and run well. I don't know if we could ever run as well as we did back in 2007, but I think it's a track we can win at."

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET -- 15TH IN STANDINGS: "New Hampshire is really unique. I feel like they have made some great improvements to the racetrack in the past. They have added some banking and they have added some racetrack for us to use, so in my opinion, the racing is the best that it has ever been there. It used to be a one-groove racetrack, but that has changed thanks to the improvements they have made. I think, more than anything, this is a track-position race because it's a flat track. It's a fun place to race and, obviously, it has been very special to me because it was where I got my first point-paying win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. And I think I battled pretty hard with Tony (Stewart) to win the race back in 2005, too. The Haas Automation team has really excelled on the short tracks over the past two years. This season, we got top-10s at Martinsville and Richmond, and we won earlier in the year at Phoenix. We're actually coming to New Hampshire this weekend with the same car we won with in Phoenix, which is pretty cool. Last year at this race in Loudon, we had the right strategy -- it just wasn't our day. We stayed out and waited on the rain and ended up running out of fuel right when that rain came. So maybe the track owes me one. I've had a lot of success at Loudon in both qualifying and the race, and I'm really confident this is going to be a good weekend for the No. 39 team."

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 SUAVE CHEVROLET -- 16TH IN STANDINGS: "I've always enjoyed racing at New Hampshire. Loudon is a fairly flat track and those are the kinds of tracks that are difficult to pass on, but if you go there with a great car, you can make anything happen. I'm excited to be coming back to Loudon with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, particularly after watching Juan dominate the way he did during the Chase race there at the end of last season. I'm also excited because I know how much this track means to my Crew Chief, Bono... He grew up right down the road in Massachusetts, and really started his career racing the modified circuit up there in New England. The same can be said for my Car Chief, Gary Putnam, who is from Connecticut. Aside from Cup racing, those two guys will be doing what they love this weekend, when they run their Modified! They've been working really hard on it, and I know they are excited, so I'm looking forward to supporting them this weekend in that effort. "

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET -- 20TH IN STANDINGS: "I'd like to go back to New Hampshire and have the same performance that we did last year in the fall race. The Target Chevrolet sat on the pole, topped the speed charts in all the practice sessions and we almost had the win till Mark (Martin) pulled a fast one on us in the closing laps. It's crunch time now with only 10 races remaining until the Chase and I'll be honest with you we need to have some strong finishes in order to get back into the Chase this year. We've had an up and down season and hopefully the bad luck is behind us now."

-source: gm racing

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing