Team Chevy Racing press release
TEAM CHEVY AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY: PAT SUHY, NASCAR GROUP MANAGER, GM RACING: “It's been a great 2011 season for Team Chevy in NASCAR. With just one race to go in each NASCAR Touring Series, we've dominated the on-track show. Chevrolet teams have won 35 out of 92 races run so far. We have captured our 35th Sprint Cup Series Manufacturers’ Cup title and our seventh Camping World Truck Series Manufacturers’ Championship. One of three Chevy drivers will be crowned the Camping World Truck Series champion this Friday, and Tony Stewart will be a strong contender on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Driver’s Championship in the Sprint Cup Series. It doesn't get a whole lot better than this!
“For the Manufacturers’ Championships, a lot of what has brought Team Chevy the multiple years of success that we have enjoyed is teamwork. And that teamwork isn't just within each team that contributed; it extends to teamwork among our teams, and also between the teams and our own talented group of racing engineers and program managers here at General Motors. Teamwork is the basis for our ‘Key Partners’ approach in all three series, the results speak for themselves.
“Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup finale at Homestead should prove to be very exciting. With just three points separating the top two championship contenders, it's possible that the Driver’s title could be decided on the last turn of the last lap of the season. Success in terms of wins at Homestead has been hard to come by for Team Chevy. Even though wins have been few and far between, our teams have captured 37% of the top-five finishing positions, meaning that our teams have the speed to run up-front and contend for wins. “Given the importance of this particular race, I'm confident that we'll see a Chevy driver competing for the win and will get to celebrate on the champion’s stage with our own Tony Stewart.”
TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY:
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET - 2ND IN STANDINGS: “You go off into turn one (at Homestead-Miami Speedway), and when you get into the banking, you lift. If your car is good, you can go and not use any brake, or very, very little brake. You stay one lane off the bottom, past the transition – it’s a little less banking on the lower level toward the apron – so you stay one level above that. As soon as your car settles in you can really just mash right back in the gas and just ride that second level around down onto the backstretch. And then you do exactly the same thing going into turn three. A lot of times in turn three, because of the wind direction there, you can actually go into the corner a lot harder and a lot further, actually turning into the corner before you get off the gas. And it’s the same thing, once that car settles in, you get on the gas and ride it around to the front stretch. It’s a pretty smooth racetrack.”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET - 3RD IN STANDINGS: "Homestead is one of those race tracks that you don't know when it is going to stop aging. It seems like every time we return to the track it loses a little grip, which is a good thing. Since they repaved the track a few years back it has become one of my favorites. You can move all around trying to find a groove that works for you. There are a lot of different places where you can make your car work. For me it has been a lot of fun to race on. It’s just unique. You can charge turn one a little bit more than you can at most places, because as you get through the corner, the banking seems to get steeper all the way through, and you have options. You can run the top, you can run the bottom, you can run the middle, or you can split the middle-top or middle-bottom and make your car turn. It’s just a unique race track, and it seems to fit the guys that like to move around and make their cars work in different spots.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET - 5TH IN STANDINGS: “I’m definitely disappointed that we won’t be able to go to Homestead and race for our sixth (consecutive driver’s championship) but that’s motorsports. It’s a very tough business. What we did over the last five years was absolutely spectacular and I’ve just got to thank Lowe’s. I’ve got to thank Hendrick Motorsports, Chad Knaus (crew chief), and this whole race team for giving me everything they’ve had these 10 years. Even though we’re not in position to win the championship now, we’re going to go to Homestead and try to have our best race down there that we can and finish as high as we can in the points. I’ll definitely have more fun and get a lot of sleep going in there. I’ll bet you the No. 99 (Carl Edwards) and the No. 14 (Tony Stewart) won’t. I’ll have fun watching from the sidelines.”
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY CHEVROLET - 7TH IN STANDINGS: “The way they ditched the banking has made it a real challenge for me. I can’t really get a car to roll through the center and turn well. I haven’t had a car that was quite free enough in all the times being there. As I drive into the banking, it gets tighter and tighter as it loads the right front into the banking. It just doesn’t suit my style. I’m going there with a new crew chief this year and he prepares a car completely different than the guys I’ve worked with in the past. Maybe that will be the difference.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY CHEVROLET - 9TH IN STANDINGS: "We're feeling a lot better after our fifth-place come-from-behind performance in Phoenix. It hasn't been the kind of Chase that we had anticipated back in Chicago (beginning of Chase), but if we can end the season with a performance like we had in Phoenix it would make things better for our U.S. Army team during the offseason. You always want to end the season with a feel-good performance. There's a lot of buzz at our Stewart-Haas Racing shop about Tony (Stewart) and the No. 14 team. The spirit is high, knowing that Tony has a shot at winning the Sprint Cup championship. The (No. 14) team has done a remarkable job in the Chase and the battle between Tony and Carl (Edwards) is great for the sport. I know I'm excited about it and I am sure the fans feel the same way."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET - 11TH IN STANDINGS: “I like the South Florida area and the track. The variable banking allows us to really search around for a line or a groove that will work, and I think good side-by-side racing comes along with that. We’ve had some good runs here; we just haven’t been able to win. Yet. You have to kind of take that [championship battle] into account. You don’t want to be the individual that costs somebody the championship because you did something dumb racing way back in the pack. But, for me, I don’t care who it is if I’m racing for the win. I’m going to race them hard – just like any other race – if a victory is on the line. We tried some things in Texas that seemed to have us moving in the right direction. We’ll see if we can improve on that this weekend. A solid run can give us confidence and momentum as we go into the off-season and 2012.”
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVROLET - 13TH IN STANDINGS: "Homestead-Miami Speedway is a fun race track. Our finishes don't reflect how well we've run there. I think we've actually broke twice there. It's a fun race track and a very important race because we get to crown another champion. It's going to be really tough (to climb out of the car for the last time for Richard Childress Racing). It's going to be awkward to be honest. It's the only thing I've ever drove and always been one of Richard's cars or one associated with him. It's bittersweet. I owe everything in my career to Richard and it's going to be tough, but change isn't always a bad thing. I'm ready for the challenge. I really am ready for this."
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 DURACELL/MENARDS CHEVROLET - 18TH IN STANDINGS: “There’s always mixed feels whether you want the season to end or not at Homestead. You kind of want to get going onto next year and get a fresh start but on the other hand, you feel like you have some unfinished business and want to keep working on what you’ve been working on all season. It’s always kind of bittersweet in Miami. It’s been up and down emotionally for our team, but the season itself has gone by pretty fast. It’s hard to believe we’re at the last race already.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET - 19TH IN STANDINGS: “We are always really busy Homestead-Miami weekend. It’s considered my “home track” so we have a ton of guests and events going on. We have our gala with our foundation (Formula Smiles), and it is the fifth year we have done it. It is a really cool event that raises a lot of money, and we always do something different, something cool. On top of that we have the ticket promotion with the track, so I think that is pretty exciting as well. So it is a lot of fun, but there are a lot of things to be done. Plus they even give me time to get in the Target Chevrolet and race (laughing).”
MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET - 20TH IN STANDINGS: “Hendrick Motorsports is just an amazing, amazing race team. And what makes it that way are the people who are there. These last three years of my career have been incredible. It was so flattering to me when Rick (Hendrick, team owner) hired me and made me a part of this group of drivers. Jeff (Gordon), Jimmie (Johnson) and Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) have been great teammates and friends of mine. Working with Rick – I’ve gotten the chance to know him on a more personal side. His people skills are incredible and what he’s built with this race team is something he should be very proud of. The fact that, when I look back on the wins in my career, that I had the opportunity to earn five of them with Hendrick Motorsports, is something I’ll always treasure.”
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET - 22ND IN STANDINGS: “It’s always important to run well at all of the tracks we go to no matter if it’s the first or the last race. It doesn’t matter if we win or finish last. I won’t leave Homestead thinking our finish is how our season will be next year. It’s always better to have a good finish because you feel good leaving the track, but three or four days later you’ve forgotten about it and gone onto the next thing. Homestead doesn’t have a lingering affect. Just because you win at Homestead doesn’t mean you’re going to a great season the next year. The way we ran (at Homestead) last year doesn’t mean we would have a better or worse chance to win the Daytona 500 this year. You’ll know how you’re going to do the following season by the preparation between now and the (Daytona) 500.”
REGAN SMITH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING CHEVROLET - 26TH IN STANDINGS: “After what happened in Phoenix - being involved in an accident on the second lap - I can't wait to get back into the Furniture Row Chevrolet. Based on practice and qualifying we were looking for a good run in Phoenix. But it didn't turn out that way so we have one more race to show our mettle before we head into the offseason. It's been a breakthrough season for Furniture Row Racing, but we need to get to another level. And a good place to start reaching that goal is to end the season with a strong finish. Having a good result at Homestead will do plenty for team morale during the offseason. No doubt, it's an important race for many reasons.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS CHEVROLET - 27TH IN STANDINGS: “It is hard to believe that the end of the season is here. I enjoy Homestead-Miami, not only because it means we will have some time off soon, but it is a fun track to race at. We had a really strong car this past weekend at Phoenix, so I hope we can bring that speed with us to Homestead this weekend and end the 2011 season on a high note with our Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet. It would really mean a lot to everyone on our team to finish strong and carry that momentum into 2012.”