Team Chevy press release
CHEVY RACING AT RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY – JEFF CHEW, MARKETING MANAGER, CHEVY RACING: “We look forward to bringing the Team Chevy Racing Display to Richmond International Raceway for the second time this season. The race fans who visit Richmond 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.
"Another special element of the weekend will be that Chevrolet will provide two specially themed Camaro SS pace cars to lead the field on Saturday night for the start of the Wonderful Pistachios 400 to promote our partnership with the American Cancer Society in raising awareness for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.”
TEAM CHEVY AT RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY: ALBA COLON, NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES PROGRAM MANAGER, GM RACING: “Heading to Richmond International Raceway on the heels of Tuesday’s rain-postponed Atlanta race has created a very short week for the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams. But oh, what a Tuesday it was for Team Chevy! We celebrated a 1-2-3 finish with Jeff Gordon collecting his 85th NSCS career victory and becoming third on the list of all-time race winners; Jimmie Johnson finished second and moved into the Series point lead; and Tony Stewart was third with a solid run to keep him in the top 10. Not a bad day at the office!
“With just one race to go before the Chase to the NASCAR Sprint Cup gets underway, this is the kind of momentum needed by Team Chevy as we approach the final 10-races of the season. Richmond is not only a vital race for all the contenders, but especially for those teams on the bubble. Every lap and every position counts. There are four Team Chevy drivers locked into the Chase, and a possibility of three more that could secure a spot this weekend.
“We always look forward to visiting Richmond, and have a successful history at this unique ¾-mile D-shaped oval short track. The racing is always exciting, and especially so under the lights. The key is having an adjustable car; and the chassis set-ups are always very important here. It is a great track with multiple grooves, which also requires precision to maintain your position.
“We are looking forward to keeping our positive momentum flowing from the Atlanta race into this weekend’s event at Richmond, and to celebrating with our Chevy teams and drivers again on Saturday night.”
TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT AT RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY:
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S POWER OF PRIDE CHEVROLET – 1ST IN STANDINGS: “I think when you get into the Chase, that’s important to do (focus on your own program). It’s also the most difficult thing to do because now it’s time to race for a championship. But I can’t say that in the five championships we’ve won, that we were really searching throughout the Chase to find new speed or to find anything. We knew going into the Chase that what we had was what we had. I think in ’05, chasing (Tony) Stewart, we were looking for speed; we experimented some during the regular season because we had a nice big margin and then we kind of got off track throughout the Chase. And you try not to complicate things once the Chase starts. So, staying the course and what got you there seems to be a successful roadmap to the championship.”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET – 5TH IN STANDINGS: “I cannot wait for this race. I really think our short-track program is strong right now, and we were so competitive here in the spring. I hated how that race ended for us (abruptly, after contact with another car sent him spinning hard into the inside wall). I hit it a ton. And I always seem to find the spots without the SAFER barrier. I think Richmond was one of the first tracks to install them, and they’ve always worked hard to make this track as safe as possible. It’s good to hear they have addressed that area and added the softer walls. I think this weekend offers us another great opportunity to earn the three bonus points for each win going into the Chase. Those points earned in September can be very valuable come November. With the new wildcard rule, it could get crazy on the track – and off the track with some of the pit calls and strategies. On the track, I’m sure I’ll be made aware of drivers that are in a ‘must-win’ situation. With pit calls, we may see some stretch fuel mileage or stay out for track position or only take right-side tires. Some may be in a ‘must-win’ situation, but we’re in a ‘want-to-win-really-really- bad’ situation.”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET – 6TH IN STANDINGS: “When I was growing up, I spent a lot of time racing at Phoenix and really from day one I’ve been successful on the flatter-type race tracks through the years. I think it’s just kind of how I was brought up. Richmond has been a very good race track for us as a team and it’s probably been our best track on paper. We’ve been fortunate to win there and we expect to be competitive and run up front. The track has become pretty worn out, and I think as a lot of us were used to that sealer being put on the race track through the years where every time you came back there it was a little different every time how the track would react. It has enough speed and it has enough room to move around and race. You just get that short track feel along with that intermediate feel with the speed to get all the race tracks in there and everybody just enjoys it.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY CHEVROLET – 8TH IN STANDINGS: "There’s no question it will be an emotional time for not only my team, but the entire NASCAR family.( In observance of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Ryan Newman's No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet will carry the 75 names of the U.S. Army personnel killed in the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. Newman's Chevrolet will also carry an inscription "We Will Never Forget" and sport a specially-designed logo featuring the World Trade Center twin towers, Pentagon and the American Flag) .We all remember where we were and what we were doing when the news surfaced about the attacks. I know it will be etched in my memory forever. And, it should be that way for everyone. We want to win every race for the Army, but you can imagine how much more we’ll want to win the Richmond event. It would be a very special, touching moment if we could drive into victory lane carrying the names of those great Americans.”
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET – 9TH IN STANDINGS: “I mean we are 26 ahead of Brad (Keselowski) I think. With all the start-and-parks and stuff it makes it a little bit easier on us but we should be able to go in there (Richmond) and make that happen. Seems like we can finish in the top-20 pretty good but that isn’t good enough and I am not happy about that and not satisfied. We have to figure out what it is that we need to do better. This track itself, I will say, is an anomaly. It’s not like the other 1.5 tracks and it’s worn out, rough and you can’t run….I don’t think, the same stuff. You have to run a little bit different stuff to get the car to work more mechanically than you do aero-wise. And we just didn’t do a good job of that I don’t think. I am not sure about the points and I still think we are relatively comfortable and doable. You know Brad has been running great and the 14 (Tony Stewart) is always stout so we will just try to go in there and run better, and do better and I am not really worried about it. I don’t have room to worry about it as bad as we have been running. We need to get our crap together and get to running good. Or it doesn’t matter where we are in the Chase and doesn’t matter if we are in or not.”
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET – 10TH IN STANDINGS: “You want to make sure your car is adjustable (in order to succeed at Richmond). We start the race at the end of the day, when it’s usually pretty hot but, as night comes, the track cools down and it changes quite a bit. Old pavement, new pavement – the same theory applies, and that’s not something you see at most of the races we go to. It’s pretty much isolated to just the night races. You’ve got to have adjustability because you know for a fact that the track isn’t going to stay the same all night long.”
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVROLET – 14TH IN STANDINGS: “I think that the most exciting thing about going to Richmond is that it’s the place that could either get you in the Chase or take you out of it. I’m looking forward to the challenge. That’s a fun situation to be in. It’s fun for fans to follow and that’s good for the sport. It’s just one of those tracks that we run well at and have a good package. It fits my driving style and we have good success there.”
MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 QUAKER STATE/GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET – 19TH IN STANDINGS: “I don’t think there are too many drivers you’ll ask about Richmond that will say they don’t like it. It’s a favorite of everyone’s. Night racing is always fun for us; it takes us all back to our roots. And when you’re out there doing it on a track like Richmond that has a lot of passing and side-by-side racing, it’s even more fun. It’s definitely a track that race fans need to go and see in person. It’s always exciting.”
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 MOEN/ MENARDS/CHEVROLET – 20TH IN STANDINGS: “Richmond is definitely a track that has been a challenge for us. We’re slow there for some reason. We qualify well but don’t race well. I’ve always run really well there in the Nationwide Series cars, but the (NASCAR Sprint) Cup cars are a different animal. We’re tested at (The) Milwaukee (Mile) a few weeks ago to work on some of the areas where we’ve struggled there. It’s a different race track than Richmond, but has similar characteristics. The wheel loads are similar, so played with some bump stops and different set ups. We were looking to take away anything that we could, and I think I’ll help us as we head there this weekend. There’s a lot of room going into turn one. You can run three wide fairly easily. The speeds are high. Richmond drives a lot like a speedway does. There’s a lot of racing room, but it’s a short track, the corners are still pretty tight. You need horsepower to get down the straightaways and, obviously, you need to turn.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET – 22ND IN STANDINGS: “We are definitely hoping for a better result this time around at Richmond. We had a good run going there in the spring and we got put into the wall, and that was the end of that. This year has been like that, where every time we run good something seems to happen, but when we run average, nothing happens.”
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET – 24TH IN STANDINGS: “Richmond is certainly one of my favorites. I really hope we get the second groove working in at Richmond again. The last few races we haven’t had it, the groove has just been on the bottom. Richmond is cool because it’s multi-groove but we just haven’t had that the last few races. With the multiple grooves, Richmond is my favorite short-track, period. It’s big enough to have great races and it’s small enough to have great races. Our sport got into this ego thing with building big race tracks, when in fact the three-quarter to one-mile tracks put on the best racing. It’s a little confusing to me why we have all these big tracks when it’s short-track racing that everyone loves to watch. Things are progressing along (with new crew chief, Luke Lambert). Although we’d like to see it turn overnight, we didn’t expect it to. We don’t dig a hole that you can jump right out of and we dug a big enough hole that it’s going to be difficult to jump out of. I think we’ve seen some steady progress and had some good runs, not great runs, but still struggling to finish where we’ve run but that’s gotten better. So I think all in all, we’ve made some strides. We’re obviously not where we want to be yet but I feel like we’re going to get there for sure. It’s not a good feeling at all (heading to Richmond knowing he will not be in the Chase this year). We’ve been able to go there a number of years and know we had a spot in the Chase so we were able to just race. I can remember racing with Dale Jr. for the lead with like 50 laps to go and it was just like ‘let’s just go race’, there was no pressure and it was fun. The point thing comes with just so much pressure so it’s hard to have fun. But when you get to race and all you can do is improve your points position by winning the race it really takes the pressure off. Of course this year we have a lot of pressure on us because we’re running badly. People talk about the pressure and the stress of competing for a championship but heck, that’s easy, competing for 24th, is hard and that’s when the pressure gets turned up. It’s a completely different feel and not one that I enjoy but we are where we are in points and its reality. This is a race that we have to look at as an opportunity to turn it around in the right direction because Richmond has always been a good race for me. We have a string of good tracks coming up and need to take advantage of it.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS CHEVROLET – 25TH IN STANDINGS: “I love racing at Richmond. This is such an exciting track to run. I always like running under the lights there on a Saturday night! This weekend will be extra special as we will run a special “Honoring our Heroes” paint scheme on our Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet to honor the memory for the 10th anniversary of those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Also to support The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. We will also have a chance to meet with some of the military members that have served our country. Hopefully we can have a good run and keep our Bass Pro Shops car up front with our patriotic paint scheme.
REGAN SMITH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING CHEVROLET – 26TH IN STANDINGS: "The main reason I am looking forward to Richmond is that we have improved our short track program, but have missed out on some good finishes in Bristol and Martinsville. We had chances to score big at those two short tracks this year, but something seemed to happen near the end of the race. One of our goals this season was to get a top-10 finish at a short track. I feel we can accomplish that goal at Richmond in our Furniture Row Chevrolet. I like the Richmond track, always fun to race there. I also like the enthusiasm and atmosphere of the crowd. It's a special place with a lot of tradition."