Michigan II: GM Racing preview

TEAM CHEVY AT MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY: Alba Colon, GM Racing Impala SS Program Manager, NSCS: "Returning to a track where you have recently won a race is always a confidence builder for our Chevy teams. Dale Earnhardt Jr's. win at Michigan...

TEAM CHEVY AT MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY: Alba Colon, GM Racing Impala SS Program Manager, NSCS: "Returning to a track where you have recently won a race is always a confidence builder for our Chevy teams. Dale Earnhardt Jr's. win at Michigan International Speedway in June was significant to both Chevrolet and our teams.

"It was exciting for everyone in Detroit who work so hard on our NASCAR program to have an Impala SS driver in victory lane at their home track. And, it was equally good for our teams because we had some very strong cars throughout the entire race which gave everyone proof that the hard work being done on the bigger track program with the Impala SS is paying off with great performance on-track.

"Side-by-side racing has always been the highlight of a Cup race at Michigan and we expect to see it again this weekend. Of course, fuel mileage will continue to play a role in the final outcome of the race as it has in the past.

"Our teams continue to work hard on our program for these bigger tracks and take advantage of all the tools we at GM Racing provide to assist with their research and development to continue improving performance. We are looking forward to Team Chevy being a strong contender on Sunday for another Michigan win."

FROM THE DRIVER'S SEAT:

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY IMPALA SS: "I am looking forward to going back. We run pretty good and had a pretty good car. I want to make the car better. I like that race track. It is a lot of fun to race on. These cars are pretty challenging this year but that is still a fun track for me. We are sort of starting to swing back toward the tracks that we have better runs at and we have better luck at. I have had some rough, rough, rough runs this summer but that seems to be the case every years. I wasn't a bit surprised that we didn't really light 'em on fire this summertime, but we will try again next year. But we are starting to lean toward these race tracks we run pretty good at and we get more top-fives with higher frequency toward last one-third of the year and we are in good shape to make a good run at it. Maybe we can start it off this weekend if we get lucky, we just need some luck."

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS: "I've always enjoyed racing here, and I hope it's fun again on Sunday. We were decent in June, but we lost track position during one exchange of pit stops and were fighting traffic the rest of the race. Staying in the lead group is a good way to stay out of traffic.

"This DuPont team is capable of winning the championship this year -- thanks to the Chase structure. A lot can happen in 10 races, and we need to make sure we're consistently running up front. "We have the tools necessary to do it, and a strong showing this weekend can put us on the right track."

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS: "I feel like we have made a lot of improvements on our cars since the last race at Michigan. Everything that we are racing now is totally different from where we were with bump stops, chassis and all the different things that are on our cars now. Performance-wise, we have made big gains. Michigan is one of those places that you need the entire package to compete for the win. Being successful has a lot do with the horsepower that is under the hood and I think our engine department has stepped up over the past several months, as well. I look forward to a strong finish this weekend."

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS: "To be honest with you, I'm shocked that we haven't won here. We've had very good cars and have been in contention a couple of different times. It always seems like there's a crazy strategy at the end that keeps us from winning. It's either a two-tire deal, we've taken no tires when we've had a great race car and been leading and lost to guys that have had tires. We've also lost to fuel mileage before. So it's just a weird finish to this race. In some cases the best car wins here but in other cases it's something strategy-wise that plays out and it just hasn't worked for us here."

"This track is a lot of fun from the inside white line all the way up to the wall, you can find different lines to run on. It's probably one of the early forms of a progressively banked track and it's worked out really well over the years."

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 AT&T IMPALA SS: "We haven't run well at Michigan as we would have liked to but we have put a lot of effort in to finding a way to be better there. There's something about that track that we don't understand and I'm obviously part of that equation. What I'm looking for in a car and what the car actually does is very hard to achieve. We're approaching Michigan with an open mind and a different thought process on how to get it done. Michigan has been our biggest challenge, as far as two-mile tracks are concerned, so we're going to put a lot of effort in to studying past races and, hopefully, turn our bad luck at Michigan around."

MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS IMPALA SS: "Making the Chase may be a long shot for us, but I'm looking forward to the challenge. Even though you try to not focus on the points, we know that we really can't afford to finish outside of the top-five in the next four races - and even then - we probably need a win or two to get us in the top 12.

"I'm glad that we're going to Michigan next. We've had some great runs there. The track is so smooth and wide, it's got a number of different racing grooves on it. It is becoming one of my favorite tracks. I'd love to get another top-five (finish) on Sunday and get us back into the mix."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt