Team Chevy preview

Event: Las Vegas

34-TIME MANUFACTURERS' CHAMPION -- NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES

DID YOU KNOW? Chevrolet dealers delivered 142,919 total vehicles in February, a 43-percent increase versus last year. Retail sales for Chevrolet rose 69 percent and were propelled by improving Cruze sales, which were 212 percent higher than the compact car it replaces. Silverado retail sales rose 84 percent, while Equinox posted its best February ever, with retail sales almost doubling, up 98 percent.

CHEVY RACING AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY-- JEFF CHEW, MARKETING MANAGER, NASCAR, CHEVY RACING: "Racing is a very important part of Chevy's long history, and sharing that heritage with our fans is very important to us. We are coming off of another phenomenally successful season, and are very happy to bring the all-new Team Chevy Racing Display to Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS). This year we've added even more elements, like the latest GM Performance Parts crate engines and Chevy accessories and performance parts that fans can purchase from their local Chevy dealer. We also have Chevy race cars on display representing several of the race series that Chevy competes in, including Dale Jr's and Jimmie Johnson's Sprint Cup Series Impalas, Chevy's C6R Corvette and a Grand-Am GT-R Camaro. Plus, there are interactive games, digital photography and other activities for fans of all ages."

TEAM CHEVY IN THE GARAGE LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY -- PAT SUHY, NASCAR GROUP MANAGER-GM RACING: 'Congratulations to Jeff Gordon, Alan Gustafson, and Hendrick Motorsports on the No, 24 team's win last weekend in Phoenix. It was great to see them back in the winner's circle and for Chevrolet to notch Sprint Cup Series win number one in the 2011 season.

"Although we didn't visit Victory Lane in either the Truck or Nationwide Series last weekend, Chevy drivers took home the most drivers points awarded in both events and we now have the drivers points leads in both series.

"Coming in to Las Vegas this weekend, it will be good to see how everyone performs on a mile-and-a-half track with the new lower nose configuration. While we're excited to see the new look and much improved esthetics, it has taken a lot of work to get a handle on the aerodynamic performance and tuning for various track types. Some of that work showed in the fact that Team Chevy drivers had 8 of the 10 fastest qualifying times at Daytona, where low drag is key.

"At the mile and a half tracks, teams strive for maximum downforce. After working on their low drag packages, our GM Racing engineers and teams have focused a lot of resources on optimizing downforce with the new lower nose. Countless hours in wind tunnels, analyzing the results of sophisticated CFD (computational fluid dynamics) programs, and track testing have helped our Chevrolet teams get a handle on the new nose and to optimize their aero packages to the extent that NASCAR's rules allow.

"Team Chevy drivers have enjoyed a lot of success on mile-and-a-half tracks historically and have won more than 40% of all Cup races run at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Hopefully, all the hard work and planning with the new lower nose together with the teams usual high level or preparedness will mean another trip to Victory Lane in the desert."

TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER'S SEAT AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY:

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 MOBIL 1/OFFICE DEPOT CHEVROLET -- 3RD IN STANDINGS: "It's no different at Las Vegas than anywhere else. You have to get the car to rotate through the corner, but still stay tight enough on entry and exit. There's no unique challenges there. The track is really smooth and that lets you work on the attitude of your car, and I think that's a luxury that we have there that we don't necessarily always get everywhere else because every track has its unique set of bumps. Vegas has bumps too, but for the most part, it's so smooth that you can really fine-tune the attitude of the car."

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET -- 5TH IN STANDINGS -- HAS ONE WIN AT LVMS ('01): "There were a couple races last year that we had a great shot to win and we didn't capitalize on it. Whether it was spinning the tires on a restart or getting collected in a crash while having a fast race car, we just didn't get it done at places like Phoenix, Las Vegas or Texas. "But we had a really fast car last weekend and were able to get the win. And while we get to enjoy it for less than a week, we're going into this weekend's race wanting to win just as much."

MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET -- 6TH IN STANDINGS -- WON AT LVMS IN '98: "This will be a busy weekend for sure for me. It's been awhile since I've run both races, and I'll have to quickly get used to the running between both garages and the debriefs and all the notes and stuff. I just hope I can transition from car to car pretty easily. I know that some guys have had issues with that before, but hopefully that will come pretty naturally. I look at it this way, it will be busy, but it's also double the chance at getting a win. If I can score two-out-of-two, now that's a great weekend. If we ever get a race where our nose stays on, we'll definitely see how good this team is. (LAUGHS) These guys have really impressed me. We made a lot of changes to the car during the practice sessions at Phoenix, and they worked hard. I worked them hard. And we got better and better. For the second straight week then, they had to completely rebuild a section of our car on pit road. They're good. And they're quick. I'm anxious to keep this season going and see what we've got for everyone out there."

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET -- 8TH IN STANDINGS: "This year, we're coming back to Las Vegas with what we believe is a really good intermediate car for us. It has qualified on the pole at Charlotte, and it has been a really solid performer for us. I think the last three tracks I raced it were Kansas, Charlotte and Homestead last year. And if it wouldn't have been for a driver error on my part at Charlotte, I think we would have finished in the top-three each time. Personally for me, I really like Las Vegas. I always say that it is my kind of racetrack because I like the ones that have hills, and this track has some great banking. As far as the track goes, they've made some changes to it over the past few years. The track is higher-banked. It has a rougher surface in that there's more bumps. The track has some character to it. Over the past couple of years, the bumps in the track have typically been pretty tricky -- but that's something I like. We have some good notes from what we have done here the past couple of years, and I really hope we can build on those and the momentum we have to carry ourselves to another strong finish this weekend."

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET -- 9TH IN STANDINGS: "I like Vegas. It's a fast track and can be a little unpredictable at times. It's just a fun race track and one of those you look forward to going to every year. It's funny cause this will be our third race this season and its completely different from the previous two races. This will be the first test to see how our mile-and-a-half package is this year. The guys back at the shop have been working really hard to get our Target Chevy's as competitive as ever."

PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 MOEN/MENARDS CHEVROLET -- 11TH IN STANDINGS: "The intermediate tracks were definitely the strong suit for Slugger (Richard Labbe, crew chief) and me last year. We struggle on the short tracks. I think Vegas is going to be business as usual for us. We have a good baseline from what we ran there last year and so does RCR. So we will marry the two and we'll be alright. At Vegas you have to pick and choose your battles all day long, There is a lot that goes into your decision making process, but you definitely have to pick and choose what is right for you at the time and it might not always be right."

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S/KOBALT TOOLS CHEVROLET -- 13TH IN STANDINGS - HAS FOUR (4) VICTORIES AT LVMS ('05, '06,'07 & '10): "Vegas, the last few times, has had so much grip between the re-surfacing they did a few years back and the progressive banking and the new tires that we take to the track. So when I think of Vegas, I think of pulling (his belts) tight and taking a deep breath, especially in qualifying. You go out there and lay it all on the line (during qualifying). And in the race, you're not tiptoeing around there either. In the race you're laying it on pretty hard."

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY CHEVROLET -- 17TH IN STANDINGS: "Vegas is a lot of fun. On all of these mile-and-a-half tracks it comes down to who can hold the throttle down the longest through the corner and make the straightaways as long as you can because everyone has good horsepower. It's a fast track, and I enjoy running around there. It's definitely a lot more fun since they reconfigured it (in 2006). It has a lot of bumps now, but it is still a pretty good racetrack."

REGAN SMITH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING CHEVROLET -- 19TH IN STANDINGS: "We're not looking for any luck in Las Vegas, we just don't want any bad luck. Keep away the bad luck, then I am pretty confident the Furniture Row Chevrolet will be in good shape when it's all said and done on Sunday in Vegas. The mile-in-a-half tracks have been our strong suit in the past and I don't see any reason for it not to continue in Vegas. We're going there with the same focus and confidence we had after our strong showing in Daytona. The positive energy on this team has made the offseason and the beginning of the new season so much fun. We had a solid showing for a while in Phoenix last week, but got caught up in the early 14-car accident. We're only looking at what happened in Phoenix as a hiccup or a detour."

CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 WHEATIES FUEL CHEVROLET -- 21ST IN STANDINGS: "We've run well there. We've had a couple good calls that have put us in a situation when we ran second. It's definitely a track we can get better at, but definitely not a track that we're a slouch at either. You're always trying to think about how you're going to get around him [the car in front of you] and how you're going to pass him. You're trying everything you can possibly do, waiting for him to slip up, whatever the case may be, but you're not saying 'alright, is this a 25% gamble...a 50%gamble? What are my odds here of making this?' If you don't think you're going to make the pass and it's going to cost you, don't do it. If you think you can make the pass and you're going to do it, then on top of that, if it's two-to-go or the last lap and you're racing for the win, that odd factor just goes out the window. You're going for the win if you have a shot at it."

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET -- 22ND IN STANDINGS: "Last year [at Las Vegas Motor Speedway] didn't start off too well for us. I got a little anxious during practice and got the car in the wall, and they had to fix it. I didn't get to practice the whole first practice. The car was really good during the race, and we were able to make our way to the front of the field, and put ourselves in contention at the end. We just ran out of laps at the end. I'm excited to go back there. We won the Nationwide race and finished second in the Cup race. It should be a good race for us. When they redid the race track, it's just a really fast race track. It's got several bumps in the race track and you have to make sure you are pointed in the right the direction to go over it straight. It's a really fast race track and you just got to have a lot of grip in the car to keep the pedal on the floor."

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD'S CHEVROLET -- 26TH IN STANDINGS: "I enjoy going to Las Vegas, the race track is always fast and competitive and of course lots of activity away from the track too. This will be our first race of the season with McDonald's as the primary sponsor on the No. 1 Chevrolet; so I look forward to having them out there. Our guys have been working hard and we are looking forward to having a competitive run in Las Vegas."

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET -- 32ND IN STANDINGS -- HAS WON TWICE AT LVMS ('99 AND '00): "Vegas has been a really good race track for us. We haven't run on the new surface, but we come close a bunch of times. I thought we had one won a few years ago. Jimmie Johnson and I were running and we broke a motor late in the run. I really like going to Vegas. It's one of my favorite race tracks. I wish we went there more often. The fans are great, but the race track it self is very racy. It's a fun race track to go to. The thing about Vegas is that we've gone there and didn't run well, but we still ran well there. That's a good sign that a race track works for you."

-source: team chevy

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags chevrolet, nascar