Michigan: GM Racing preview

CHEVY RACING AT MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: -- JEFF CHEW, MARKETING MANAGER, NASCAR, CHEVY RACING: "Michigan International Speedway is in our backyard and we always look forward to racing there. This weekend we'll bring the all-new 2010 Team...

CHEVY RACING AT MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: -- JEFF CHEW, MARKETING MANAGER, NASCAR, CHEVY RACING: "Michigan International Speedway is in our backyard and we always look forward to racing there. This weekend we'll bring the all-new 2010 Team Chevy Racing Display to MIS. Fans can visit the display, where question-and-answer and autograph sessions will take place, and see Chevrolet's 2010 lineup of award-winning cars and trucks on display and also test drive those vehicles. Plus, and this has been very popular, fans can stop by the Team Chevy Winner's Circle Photo Trailer, where they can get a 'green-screen' framed picture taken with their favorite Chevy driver."

TEAM CHEVY AT MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY -- PAT SUHY, GM RACING NASCAR GROUP MANAGER: "Team Chevy heads north to Michigan International Speedway with a twelve point lead in manufacturers points. Our teams have more than twice as many laps and had more than twice the number of top fives and fastest green flag laps as our nearest competitor. While recent results don't necessarily reflect that strength, they do illustrate the fine line between winning and finishing second (or worse) in NASCAR Sprint Cup competition. The competition among the top teams is tighter than it's been in the recent past. Changing to double file restarts and multiple green white checker attempts has added to the drama and helped to mix things up compared to last season.

"MIS is a challenging race track. It is similar to its sister track, Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, but with more banking all the way around and a significantly longer front stretch. It's also a very wide track, and the multiple grooves mean that a driver can sometimes find an alternative line that can help him manage with changing track conditions or overcome any handling deficiencies he might encounter.

"When NASCAR rolls into Michigan, it's always an exciting time for the Detroit-based manufacturers. We all want to win every race, but winning one in your own back yard is special. Team Chevy has come away with wins in the last two June races at MIS, and I'm confident that when the white flag flies on Sunday afternoon there will be at least one Impala that will be in a position to capture the checkers and bring us our seventh win this year."

TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER'S SEAT:

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL CHEVROLET -- POINT STANDINGS LEADER: "I love it. If your car is not handling well, you have options. You run your car at the very top, you can run in the middle or you can run on the very bottom. It's a good race track to race on because there are so many options. I think it's more about handling, just because the tires fall off so much. It all depends on the weather, too. If it's really hot, it gets very slick, so you have to have a good handling car. You have to be good on a short run, but you have to manage your tire wear to competitive at the end of a run. I think all of the stats from the past are out the window, considering how everything has gone this year. I think that with the way our cars are running, we can run in the top five on any given weekend. At this particular level of racing, you have to have it all together to be able to run in the top five, and that's what you have to do to win a race in this series. We were fortunate to break through at Talladega, and we won the Bud Shootout at Daytona at the beginning of the year. I feel like I gave one away at California, but we have been very competitive every week. I think all the stats in the past are history, and everything this year is all about winning races and keep everything moving forward toward the Chase."

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET -- 6TH IN STANDINGS: "I feel like we have been snake-bit at Michigan a few times here lately. Obviously, last year we ran out of gas in both races leading. Years before that we have had some fuel mileage things that have come in to play that have kept us out of victory lane. We know that track is a fuel mileage race track and we're doing everything in our power to get better fuel mileage but I think with my driving style and with the horsepower we have built at Hendrick Motorsports, it's just tough to just really get an extra lap, especially on a track that big. On a short track, it's pretty easy to get a few laps but at Michigan it is impossible. Mark (Martin) was able to capitalize on (Greg) Biffle and I racing really hard. It really slowed down and just made it so, it is tough to make up two-miles of race track. But, I feel very good about the way we have raced there over the last few years and I would love to shorten that list of tracks that we haven't won on with the No. 48 team."

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT/NATIONAL GUARD JOB SKILLS CHEVROLET -- 7TH IN STANDINGS: "I've always enjoyed racing here. If you're going to be successful in this sport, I think you have to enjoy racing at each track on the schedule. But when asked which is my favorite track, I'd have to say it's this one. You can race high, low and everywhere in between in the corners. And you can work the different lines based on how your car is handling."

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET -- 8TH IN STANDINGS: "Michigan is a great race track. I think the quality of racing will be good. The options that the drivers have are pretty unlimited -- running up by the wall, running down on the white line and everywhere in between. Being able to run different lines is really important. I think the thing that really sticks out is the width of the groove. There are a lot of options at Michigan. You can run all the way down on the white line or run almost up by the wall. You don't have to follow somebody around. It's certainly not a one-groove track. That makes it so the driver has options. It also makes it a challenge for the team because the car has to work in multiple grooves. Running the groove that you feel good about in practice is important, but you also need to run the groove that you may have to run in the race. Getting the car to work well in multiple grooves is important."

MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET -- 11TH IN STANDINGS: "First let me say, we didn't win that race (in 2009) just on fuel mileage. Our car was amazing that day. Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) and the guys gave me a really fast race car. And the fuel-mileage game, I never win that. I always come up short. So winning like that, that was a surprise and it was so much fun. Three laps into the final run, I started saving fuel. We needed the points bad last year so we couldn't risk it. I saw the (No.) 48 run out. And I knew the (No.) 16 was close, too. I just held back. When I took the white flag and still had fuel pressure, I just went for it. I saw the (No.) 16 run out on the backstretch, then we ran out, too. Between that and having a battery going dead the whole race, it was so much to overcome. Winning that race was such a surprise, and surprise wins are so much fun. The guys on this GoDaddy.com team, they don't give up. It starts at the top with Rick (Hendrick) and Alan (Gustafson). Those guys are born leaders, and they inspire everyone that works with them. We've had some races this year that have been frustrating, and it would have been easy to throw your hands up and say 'I don't know what to do.' But no one did that. And we fought back in a lot of those to get top-five and top-10 finishes. Our performances may not be as good as last year right now, but this team is better than it was a year ago. We work together better and the effort is even stronger than before."

CLINT BOWYER, NO. 31 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVROLET -- 12TH IN STANDINGS: "Michigan has been an up and down race track for me, but we were able to smooth things out last year. We had two top-10 finishes, but we would like to find a way to make them top fives this year. That is our goal this season. To improve not only there, but everywhere we go. Certainly, earning top fives will really help our cause. Michigan is like a big, big dirt track. You get into the corner with so much momentum. You try to make the car rotate with the inertia and speed your carrying through the center of the corners so you don't get loose and have the car get out from underneath you. That's the trick there. You have to get the car to rotate as soon as possible in order to make those straightaways as long as possible. If you are able to do that, and your car will allow you to do that, you'll be just fine. Horsepower definitely plays a major role there. It's a big race track so you need a lot of steam. The ECR (Earnhardt-Childress Racing) boys have been doing a great job with their engine packages for us every weekend. I'm proud of the engine shop on what they've been able accomplish so far this season. Their hard work is going to pay dividends at a place like Michigan."

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OLD SPICE/OFFICE DEPOT CHEVROLET, 13TH IN STANDINGS: "It's so wide and there are so many lines that you can run -- that's what makes Michigan fun for drivers. The drivers can really help themselves out if they don't have a car that's working right. You can literally race from the white line on the apron all the way to the wall. That's the groove. You can move around on the racetrack and find a spot that helps your car do what you need it to do. You have to figure out how to gauge your momentum and know where you want to be on that racetrack when you enter those corners. Depending on how your car is driving, you can move around on the racetrack and help yourself. Michigan's layout gives the drivers the flexibility to really make a difference in their car's handling, and that's what makes Michigan such a fun racetrack."

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 US ARMY CHEVROLET -- 14TH IN STANDINGS: "There is no thought process for me about what would be the best gift for the Army's 235th birthday," said Newman about the upcoming U.S. Army birthday on June 14. "Driving the U.S. Army Chevrolet to Victory Lane on Sunday trumps any and all birthday gift ideas as far as I am concerned. Just thinking about winning on the Army's birthday gets me excited. I know our Army Strong Soldiers would like nothing more than to see their birthday car celebrating a major victory. I've always considered Michigan my home track," said the 32-year-old Newman, a native of South Bend, Ind. "When I was growing up my father and I would go to MIS to watch NASCAR races. I've always admired how the track has preserved the area's natural beauty. It's truly a special place for me. If you look at the standings and see who is barely in the Chase and who is barely out of the Chase, you just know the next 12 races are going to be a dogfight," stated Newman. "We have shown that we have the potential to be up there. Being consistent and mistake-free are key as we head into the homestretch of the pre-Chase races."

DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET -- 16TH IN STANDINGS: "Michigan is a fun track. It's wide, and you'll find a lot of side-by-side racing. You can move around. If the top doesn't work then you can run the bottom. I enjoyed running there, and we seem to have had some success there."

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 GE REVEAL CHEVROLET -- 18TH IN STANDINGS: "Racing at Michigan is pretty significant for all of us at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. The region is the cradle of the American Auto Industry, and nearby Detroit is home to General Motors and Chevrolet. So, we always want to perform well when we come to Michigan. The track is pretty wide and gives us plenty of room to pass. Michigan typically has a lot of green flag runs so we'll need to have plenty of horsepower, which we've had from our friends at ECR Engines, and good handling. I'm just excited that when we go to a race track each week, we really feel like we've got a legitimate chance to win or run top-five. So, we're looking to have a great run on Sunday in our GE Reveal Chevrolet."

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET -- 20TH IN STANDINGS: "Well, if you think about Michigan and the Target car, normally we don't have a lot of luck there. But last year, we pulled it together and ran really well. We had a really good car, we were running third and I think the last restart, Mark Martin had a pretty bad start and I gave him a big push and actually pushed the front of the car back and we lost a ton of downforce and we finished like sixth or seventh or something like that. I'm hoping for a strong showing this time around. We need some good finishes in order to even have a hope of making it into the Chase this time around."

BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 71 TRG MOTORSPORTS CHEVROLET -- 33RD IN STANDINGS: "Michigan is one of my favorite tracks. I have always really liked the track, and I think that feeds on the success that I have. In 1995, when we swept both races, they were won differently. The first, we won on fuel mileage. The second time, we just beat Jeff Gordon to the finish. There are a lot of different strategies that can play into account and those were two examples. You're probably going to see something happen at the end with will make you race hard or make a tough call on pit road to win. That's why I really enjoy Michigan because there are so many different elements involved."

-source: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Mark Martin
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Hendrick Motorsports