Michigan: GM Racing preview

TEAM CHEVY AT MIS: Alba Colon, GM Racing Impala SS Program Manager, NSCS: "This will be the first time to see the new Impala SS race car on the track at Michigan. High speeds combined with relatively low banking will put a premium on handling,...

TEAM CHEVY AT MIS: Alba Colon, GM Racing Impala SS Program Manager, NSCS:

"This will be the first time to see the new Impala SS race car on the track at Michigan. High speeds combined with relatively low banking will put a premium on handling, especially handling well in traffic.

"Track position and being in clean air will again be a major benefit; and fuel mileage seems to be a factor in most MIS races. Since we didn't test at this track, our Chevy teams will apply some of the concepts they learned at Charlotte and California.

"There is a chance of rain in the forecast for Friday and Saturday, which might limit practice time, so having a good set-up right off the truck will be a plus. Our teams are making progress and we are looking for a good showing on Sunday."

FROM THE DRIVER'S SEAT:

* JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS: "From a driver's perspective, this has always been a great track to race on. It is wide with a number of grooves we can race on in the corner. This will be our first time here with the Impala in race conditions, and so much has changed since the first time I drove the car here in 2006. We've learned a lot and have come a long way with the setups. The learning process is never-ending, and the No. 24 team is working hard to find the right combination for their driver. "

* JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS: "Michigan always puts on great show. It's a track that we've typically had a lot of side-by-side racing and a lot of action so it will be interesting to see how these new cars run out there. There's a lot of room to race and if you car isn't handling like it needs to be you can try some other grooves and see what happens. If your car is handling like you want it to, you can get on the outside and pass people. I'm excited to get there and see if we can get a win.

"We've had some pretty good runs at Michigan and we've been competitive but we haven't been able to find our way to victory lane. Hopefully we can change that this weekend. This has been a track that's challenged us in the past a little bit. We've had success at Fontana and some of the other mile-and-a-half tracks, but we haven't had that same success at Michigan. Being in the new car though, we may be able to find something we never have before. That's one thing about these cars -- all the notes we've had in the past kind of go out the window and you start fresh in a sense. So we'll be putting a lot of effort in it. When you go somewhere you've never won, there's definitely a little bit more of a challenge. Hopefully we can win one there."

* MARK MARTIN, NO. 8 U.S. ARMY IMPALA SS: "Michigan is one of my favorite tracks on the circuit. It's big and wide and you can really pass there. If you are able to get your car set up right, you can do a lot of passing, which can make for a pretty fun day at the race track. I've had a lot of success there over the years, but we had an off year there last season, so we'll be looking to rebound from that this weekend.

"(Crew Chief) Tony Gibson and the guys on the No. 8 Team continue to get the car better each week. We still have some work cut out for us on getting the car better over the entire run, as we've been dropping off for some reason. Still, I think that we'll have a good car this weekend and hopefully we'll be able to give the Army and all of the Soldiers watching something to cheer about as we celebrate the Army's 233rd Birthday at Michigan."

* CASEY MEARS, NO. 5 CARQUEST/KELLOGG'S CHEVROLET: "We had good results at MIS last year. We had a top-five there in the summer, and we finished 11th in the fall. Our cars weren't really great in the practice sessions leading into the races, but they seemed to wake up once the race started.

"Michigan is a really fun racetrack in general. The racing surface is really wide so it gives you, as a driver, a lot of options. You can usually race the top, middle or bottom groove. The Impala SS is tough in heavy traffic, and you can't follow real close behind the car in front of you. So having options like we will this weekend is really important."

* MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS IMPALA SS: "We really started to click as a team at this point last year. This year is shaping up like 2007. We've been bringing good cars to the track, but we've had some bad luck. Our team knows that we need to be consistently fast if we're going to make the Chase. "Michigan's a great track because it's fast and wide. You can run a bunch of different lines and still be competitive. There's plenty of room to pass and the surface is smooth. We've pretty much always been strong there and hopefully that will continue this weekend."

-credit: gm racing

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup