Team Chevy Pocono II Pre-Event Quotes

Pocono Raceway

CHEVY RACING AT POCONO RACEWAY– JEFF CHEW, MARKETING MANAGER, NASCAR, CHEVY RACING: “We look forward to bringing the Team Chevy Racing Display back to Pocono Raceway for the second time this year. The race fans who visit the popular track are very interested in experiencing all of the newest Chevy products. Also, racing is a very important part of Chevy’s long history, and sharing that heritage with our fans is very important to us. This year, the display has something for everyone, including the GM Performance Parts and crate engines, and Chevy accessories and performance parts that fans can purchase from their local Chevy dealer. There’s also interactive games, digital photography and other activities for fans of all ages.”

TEAM CHEVY AT POCONO RACEWAY – ALBA COLON, NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES PROGRAM MANAGER, GM RACING: “Last week at Indianapolis was a great race for Team Chevy drivers! Congratulations to Paul Menard for winning the Brickyard 400, his first NASCAR Sprint Cup race. Wow, what a way to win your first race in pure style. Also, congratulations to Richard Childress, Slugger Labbe and the entire No. 27 Menards RCR Chevrolet. Jeff Gordon ran a really strong race; and Regan Smith and Jamie McMurray did a great job. They needed good finishes, and they got them.

Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports DuPont Chevy
Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports DuPont Chevy

Photo by: Bob Heathcote

“This week we return to Pocono Raceway where Chevrolet has enjoyed a lot of success. The unique nature of the ‘Tricky Triangle’, with three distinctive corners and three straights, including the long front straightaway, is always a challenge. Each corner is different, which makes it hard to find the perfect compromise in the handling package for the race car. The 2.5-mile track configuration in itself requires heavier use of the brakes during the 500-mile race than most big tracks.

“GM Racing engineers have been working very closely with all of our Chevrolet teams to maximize every component of the cars to ensure reliability without sacrificing performance. There is always the need to continually improve; we are always working on technologies with our teams. At every race, our focus is to be much better than the race before, and to be the best in the field.

“When we were here just a couple of months ago (in June), we enjoyed a great race and celebrated Jeff Gordon’s victory. We are looking forward to not only cooler weather in the Poconos this weekend, but to another trip to victory lane for Team Chevy on Sunday afternoon.”


JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET – 2ND IN STANDINGS: “Boy, keys to winning there (Pocono). I think the first thing that comes to mind is fuel mileage. It's one or the other. You either have a really fast car and poor fuel mileage, not running so good, roll the dice, stay out, save fuel, take those two strategies. I'd rather have the better-driving racecar and fight for the finish. The shifting, I feel like it gave us something to do. Here we're shifting. For those watching on TV, Carl Edwards is watching. He's been asking me questions. There we go (laughter). Shifting at Pocono. I thought it was a good thing. I don't know how it looked on television, what people thought of the racing. Again, as competitors, you want to have a chance to work on your equipment and try to find something before other people do. There were different straightaways that brought an element of something new, an area to work in for us. So from an engineering standpoint, a team standpoint, I like that side of it, felt like it was better.”

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET – 3RD IN STANDINGS: “Well, the (Pocono) racetrack creates that (passing zones) with the bumps and the asphalt being wore out. It's a fun racetrack to drive because you have options. With the racetrack being in the shape that it is, there's a lot of opportunities to make a lot of mistakes with your car sliding, bouncing, the tires falling off, everything that happens. I think from a driver's perspective, that's a good thing because you have an opportunity to make your car handle better and have those options to pass people. I don't even remember what happened in June. I think we finished fifth. I think we need to start there. I'm sure it will be a little bit warmer. Work our way from there.”

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET – 7TH IN STANDINGS: “We are building ourselves up so that we are strong when the Chase comes around. We didn't win (at Indianapolis) on Sunday, but that was a complete team effort. We had a fast race car, we were solid on pit road and (crew chief) Alan (Gustafson) called a great race. We need to do that every week, especially when the Chase starts. If we compete like that, we can win just about any place we go. This is a great track and I love racing here. Track position is important though, and it’s a tough place to get it. In turn one, you have some options and, in turn three, you have a few options. But you have no options through the Tunnel (turn). It's just one groove through there. I think we made a statement with our run at Indy on Sunday. This team is for real. While we didn't win, I think it showed we are a championship-caliber team. It took Alan and I a little while to get to know one another and for us to understand the communication needed so that I get what I need in the car. We want to be a championship-caliber team when the Chase comes around. I think we're very close”

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 TORNADOS CHEVROLET – 8TH IN STANDINGS: “Pocono is one of my favorite racetracks just because it is so difficult. It’s challenging because there are three different corners, three different bankings, three different lengths of straightaways. Pocono is just unique. It’s the most unique racetrack we go to. It’s a lot of fun from my standpoint as a driver. I like the challenge. The track has three independent corners and, because of that, it is truly a driver’s racetrack. Each corner is completely different from the others. They drive differently and you have to adapt to them because it is impossible to have the car set up for all three. Turn one is pretty difficult. The tunnel turn is probably the hardest corner. The straightaways at Pocono are so long, you need to get all of the speed down them that you can. You have to make it so that your car can come off of turn three as fast as possible. This year is a little different than in years past because NASCAR’s done a little bit of a soft pitch with the changing of the transmission ratios, so we will actually shift like we used to. The last couple of years, we weren’t allowed to shift. In the old-style racecar, we could. It adds a different twist for the drivers and for the crew chiefs to get the ratios right, to get the car handling when you are shifting and when you’re not. It changes the way we drive and the way we set up the racecars a little bit. It’s fun to have unique situations and unique racetracks.”

TONY STEWART, NO. OFFICE DEPOT/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET – 9TH IN STANDINGS: “We've had really good days there (at Pocono) and days we weren't very good. It just seems like it's so sensitive to the bumps, how to get your car to go through there. If you get it right, you're fast all day long. If you missed it, you miss it all day long. I’ve lost a lot more (fuel mileage) races like that than I’ve won. It was between Carl (Edwards) and I. We were the strongest two cars at the end of the race and we were able to get the track position we needed. Our guys did a great job of getting us out of the pits in the lead and that gave us the opportunity to make Carl push harder in the beginning to get the lead. Once he went into that fuel conservation mode, we had to follow suit. To be in a situation where your speed is dictated off the guy behind you and not off of what you can do, it’s a different style of racing. It’s hard. It’s just as hard, if not tougher, than trying to run 100 percent.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET – 10TH IN STANDINGS: “Pocono is real tough to get around, but I like it. It’s a pretty tough racetrack with all three corners being really different. The car wants to drive different through all three corners. Hopefully you have a good balance across the board.”

CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 GOOD SAM CLUB CHEVROLET – 12TH IN STANDINGS: “I think we just lost the handling of our cars on that size of a race track. It was two weeks before Pocono in June that we started struggling. We’re working on it. It’s where we need to improve. Pocono is typically a good track for me and we have to get back to that and get a good finish. We’ve led laps there and I’ve felt like that’s a track that we can win at. Last time we were there in June, we were way off. We’re not going to bring that same package back this time. I think getting off the corners well (is tricky) because the straightaways are so long. You have to get off turns one and three well. That’s where it’s all done. You have to get through the tunnel turn with speed, but turns one and three are the difficult corners. They are very rough. You have to get your car to bounce through there right, get yourself pointed in the right direction and get on the gas better than the next guy.”

PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 CERTAIN TEED/MENARD’S CHEVROLET – 14TH IN STANDINGS:“It has definitely been a crazy week (following his Brickyard 400 win), but so worth it. It’s still sinking in, but now it’s time to go back to work and focus on Pocono and the remaining races up to the Chase (for the NASCAR Sprint Cup). We’ve struggled there in the past, but we’ve had some decent finishes the last two times that we’ve been there. I think a top 10 is attainable. We qualified second there last time, but I sped down pit road and that cost us, especially at a place where track position is so vital. We had to keep fighting for the rest of the race. Everything goes back to minimizing mistakes and finishing races. The track will always be different even though the races are only six weeks apart. The track will be in different condition than the last time we were there. The weather will also be different. You will just have to adapt and adjust to what it’s like this time around.”

MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET – 18TH IN STANDINGS: “This is one of the most challenging tracks we race on. It’s not an oval, but it’s not a road course either. So, it kind of doesn’t race like any other track we’re on. As a driver it’s hard out there, but the crew guys have an even bigger job trying to get the Chevy dialed in for all three turns. It’s tough. You have to give up a little in one corner to make another one better. It’s just something you’ll fight all day. Not winning at a track I’ve raced at so many times could be frustrating, but really I don’t think about it. I don’t carry around a list of where I haven’t won at, hoping to check them off. When I think of my career I guess I think more of the wins I do have, not the ones I don’t. And of course the people I’ve met and the good times we’ve had.”

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET – 20TH IN STANDINGS: “It was good for us. We were running like third and lost third gear and finished seventh with only fourth gear. It’s okay. I don’t mind. I don’t care where we go to be honest with you whether it’s called the Glen, Pocono or Bristol or Martinsville, it’s a race track. If we can make the car drive good, we’ll be good.”

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET – 25TH IN STANDINGS: “Our finishes this year have not reflected how we’ve run. Pocono is no exception to that. We were definitely better than a 20th-place car. We actually ran out of fuel and got ourselves in a position that really hurt us. We ran much better than 20th, but we finished 20th. And, at the end of the day, where you finished is all that matters. We talk a lot about the tunnel turn because that’s kind of related to golf. It’s like the drive. It looks cool; everyone takes a lot of pride going through the tunnel turn fast. Honestly, a lot of people don’t get past leaving the tunnel fast. I think the most important places at Pocono are turns one and three. Those two corners lead to the longest straightaways. They are for passing opportunities. While all of the corners are very different, turn one is very rough. What’s hard about it is it’s just so different. You’re going so fast entering the corners that it’s hard to get your car slowed down correctly in order to get it rotated while hoping to have enough rear grip to get off the corner. Those are the biggest challenges.”

REGAN SMITH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING CHEVROLET – 26TH IN STANDINGS: "We have some momentum now after finishing third in Indy last week and it's time for us to string a number of good finishes together. We've been running better lately and that's a good sign of things to come. Pocono should be a good track for our Furniture Row Chevrolet -- we're capable of coming away with a top-10 or better finish there. In fact, it is our goal at every race to have a top-10 result. Although fuel mileage played in our favor Sunday at Indy, but not at New Hampshire a few weeks ago, I hope that Pocono is a straight-up race and not another fuel mileage deal. I am not a big fan of fuel mileage races. We've made progress this year with a victory, two top fives and four top 10s, but there is so much more to accomplish and we are ready for the challenge."

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS CHEVROLET – 28TH IN STANDINGS: “I enjoy racing at Pocono, however it is a challenge to drive. During the first race in June, we felt that we made some gains on our car. We qualified decent and worked our way to racing in the top-ten when we lost third gear in our transmission. Following the Brickyard 400 where we finished fourth, it would be nice to have some more good luck go our way and get some momentum started with a string of good finishes for our Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet.”

By: team chevy

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Gordon , Jamie McMurray , Paul Menard , Carl Edwards , Regan Smith , Eric Gilbert , Bob Heath
Teams Hendrick Motorsports
Tags chevrolet, long pond, nascar, nscs, pennsylvania, pocono, sprint cup