Where are all the Team Chevy drivers heading into Vegas?
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 MOUNTAIN DEW KICKSTART CHEVROLET SS – POINT’S LEADER “Vegas has a lot of bumps going into Turn 1. They are something else. I’m impressed each time I go there how much rougher it is. That really challenges you to set the car up to be able to get through the bumps. Your performance at Vegas can set the tone for the other intermediate tracks. Confidence is everything and when you go to Vegas. If you run well, you expect to go to the next mile-and-a-half and run well.”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 AXALTA CHEVROLET SS – 3RD IN STANDINGS (ON THE CHALLENGES OF LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY.): "We tested earlier this year at Nashville (Tenn.), and Las Vegas is a little more high banked compared to Nashville. And Las Vegas is extremely rough going into Turn 1.
"The challenges we will face at Vegas are the same challenges we have faced in the past. We're up against the loads (of the car) in general at speed but also trying to get over these bumps, and that's very, very challenging. You can run up high (to avoid bumps in Turn 1), but even then usually your left-side tires are on them.”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 JIMMY JOHN’S CHEVROLET SS – 4TH IN STANDINGS “We tested with the new no ride-height rule at Charlotte when we did the NASCAR test at the end of last year and I expect the cars to have a little bit more grip and a little bit more speed than what we had before. Along with that, when you have those changes in the car, it changes all the springs and the way the engineers go about looking at everything that they do. So it’s a whole different thought process than it was last year. And, as we found out at Daytona in the Sprint Unlimited, the main thing you have to pay attention to is being able to get the tires off the car on a pit stop. So, we had to adjust for that during the rest of Budweiser Speedweeks a little bit. I know they’ve worked hard on it, but things happen a lot more aggressively coming into the pit stall and everything is hot and so you’ve just got to make sure that’s right.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 KOBALT TOOLS CHEVROLET SS – 5TH IN STANDINGS “We are looking forward to the opportunity for the extra test day in Vegas. With all the rule changes, we really need that time on these types of tracks to figure some things out. Again, this weekend will be pretty interesting. Plus this race is sponsored by Lowe’s /KOBALT so we want to do well for KOBALT and keep that trophy in house.”
CASEY MEARS, NO. 13 GEICO CHEVROLET SS – 11TH IN STANDINGS "We're looking forward to getting to Las Vegas and getting on the track with our #13 GEICO Chevrolet SS. We've definitely started the year on a strong note and the new relationship with Chevrolet and Richard Childress Racing has been working really well. Mile and a half tracks have been a challenge for us over the years, so we're hoping to be able to close the gap and have a strong run with our new Chevy. Thursday's test will be beneficial as we continue to learn about the new car. We have a top ten and a 14th place finish heading into Las Vegas, so the guys on the team are in good spirits. It's also nice to be sitting in a three-way tie for 10th in the point standings. The guys on this Germain Racing team have worked really hard, so I'm happy that we've been able to have a couple of strong races and get some good results."
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 CESSNA CHEVROLET SS – 12TH IN STANDINGS “I am really looking forward to heading to Las Vegas this week. We are coming off a strong run at Phoenix, and Vegas is a track I really like. We have had really good cars the first two weeks of the season and I hope to carry that momentum in to Vegas. I think having the test on Thursday will help us out to know where we will be for this weekend. I am really excited with the progress and effort from our team early in this race season.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – 15TH IN STANDINGS "We've done a little bit of testing between Charlotte Motor Speedway and Nashville Superspeedway and tracks like that. so I think Las Vegas Motor Speedway is going to be extremely important; especially not knowing what the weather is going to be like. We seem to be pulling rain wherever we go. But, just getting a good vibe for what is our backbone core of racing on the 1.5-mile race tracks is going to be important for everybody at Vegas."
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 CHEERIOS CHEVROLET SS – 16TH IN STANDINGS "I enjoy Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It's cool being able to have Phoenix International Raceway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway back-to-back because you can stay out West with your guys on the team and have a good time, then get focused by Thursday and have a good time at the track. Las Vegas has great atmosphere. There are a lot of great fans. It's one of my favorite venues we go. I was fortunate enough to race there in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series last year and we had a decent car, so this year I'm excited to try it again."
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS- 18TH IN STANDINGS (ON HOW HE CONTINUES TO IMPROVE AS A DRIVER EACH SEASON.): “I’ve been doing this for a while now, and I think with experience you get better to a certain point. I feel like each year I can keep exceling and getting better. We have a couple of really nice changes with the Farmers Insurance team this season with engineer Chris Spaulding moving up and Kenny (Francis, crew chief) is excited – that’s a big part of it, too, going into the season with a lot of excitement, momentum and motivation.”
REED SORENSON, NO. 36 CHEVROLET SS – 19TH IN STANDINGS "I am excited to be heading out to Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend. We will have a full day of testing at the track on Thursday, which will definitely help out everyone on this No. 36 team. We are still learning and growing together as a new team. Hopefully this weekend we will get a good finish and continue the momentum from Daytona."
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 MOBIL 1/BASS PRO SHOPS CHEVROLET SS – 20TH IN STANDINGS “You know, there’s really no key to it. It’s just like anywhere else you go. You just have to have a well-balanced car. It seems like track position is really, really key there, but as long as you can get your car driving well and stay ahead of it – it seems like as the day changes, or the longer the day goes, the more the track changes and the more you have to stay up with it. You just can’t have any mistakes there because you cannot afford to lose the track position, and you have to be able to stay up with the changing track conditions as the day goes on.”
AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 KINGSFORD CHARCOAL CHEVROLET SS – 21ST IN STANDINGS “Vegas is a place where I have struggled a little bit. It is one of the fastest mile-and-a-half tracks that we race on. I did not race there last year and I am not sure what this new car will feel like. I am glad we have a four hour test session on Thursday to work out the kinks out and see where our mile-and-a-half program stands.
“I think for our single-car team, it is really important to have the extra time on track. It’s significant because it is leading into the track that we are going to race on. It is key to have a good four hour test to have a nice starting spot for the weekend. We have only had one test so far. So, this is really good for us.”
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 QUAKER STATE/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – 24TH IN STANDINGS "Las Vegas has been a good track for us the past couple years. We haven't won, but I feel like we can every time I roll through the tunnel in Turn 2 to enter the track. The pavement is wearing and the track is gaining more and more character with the high frequency bumps and grip level going away. Track position is important as always, but it is a track where multiple groves come in and you can pass more easily than other tracks."
JUSTIN ALLGAIER, NO. 51 BRANDT PROFESSIONAL AGRICULTURE CHEVROLET SS – 27TH IN STANDINGS “I’m ready to get on the track at Las Vegas [Motor Speedway]. I’ve had a tough past two weeks, and hope to turn it around this weekend. The test on Thursday is going to be a big help to me. I’ve never been in a Cup car at Las Vegas, so all of the extra track time I can get is only going to help me. My main goal this weekend will be to bring home a clean car.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – 28TH IN STANDINGS “I’m excited for the Kobalt Tools 400 this weekend in Las Vegas. I really enjoy the 1.5 mile tracks, and feel like our Target Chevy will be good on that size track. The Target Chevy has tested well on intermediate tracks, so I’ve been anxious for a while to see what we can do at Las Vegas. My crew did a great job last weekend setting up a fast race car, and I know they’re working hard to have another fast Chevy for this weekend’s race.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 41 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET SS – 30TH IN STANDINGS
MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVROLET SS – 35TH IN STANDINGS
- MAKING HIS 300TH NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES START THIS WEEKEND AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
“I had absolutely no idea that my 300th start is coming up (at Las Vegas). I’ve been blessed to be with some great race teams and have enjoyed plenty of fond memories. Looking back it seems like a long time ago that I made my first start but it really wasn’t (Oct. 31, 2004 at Atlanta) They say when you’re having fun time flies, and in my case that is so true because I have had an incredible amount of fun over the years. Las Vegas will be another good test to see where we are at with the new rules package for the 2014 car. The first two races have not turned out the way we had expected, but we’ve also had some positive signs. It would be nice to look back and remember how successful the 300th start was.”
MICHAEL ANNETT, NO. 7 PILOT FLYING J CONSTRUCTION CHEVROLET SS – 38TH IN STANDINGS "I've been watching in-car video from this race last year, just getting a feel for how these Cup cars drive. I received some intermediate track test time late last year at Charlotte, but I'm eager to get on the track in Vegas. That test day on Thursday will be huge for us and allow us to learn about ourselves and about the track that we can use to our advantage come Sunday."