Watkins Glen: GM Racing preview

TEAM CHEVY AT POCONO RACWAY TECH TIPS: PAT SUHY, GM RACING NASCAR GROUP MANAGER: "Watkins Glen is a fast road course. The cars average about 30 miles per hour faster at The Glen than at Infineon Raceway, meaning that a setup that worked in...

TEAM CHEVY AT POCONO RACWAY TECH TIPS: PAT SUHY, GM RACING NASCAR GROUP MANAGER: "Watkins Glen is a fast road course. The cars average about 30 miles per hour faster at The Glen than at Infineon Raceway, meaning that a setup that worked in Sonoma (CA) track won't necessarily work here. Qualifying has been important since most races in recent history have been won from inside the top 10. The teams will spend their morning on Friday working on qualifying setups for their one-lap timed run in the afternoon.

"Our Chevy teams have been working hard all year, testing the Impala SS both on and off the track. Teams spend time at Virginia International Raceway and Road America for on-track testing. Off track, they use the same GM Racing-supported tools for road courses that they do for oval tracks. They'll use 7-post rigs to work on shock and suspension settings and computer aided track simulation tools to try and optimize setups for their Impala SS Sprint Cup cars. GM Racing has a great group of support engineers with many years of road racing experience who apply every tool in our toolbox. They'll work with the teams, if requested, to complement their already formidable engineering efforts.

"Chevy drivers have had excellent performances at The Glen, winning 10 of the last 11 Cup races there. With the skill and hard work that Team Chevy puts into every weekend, we're sure to be in contention to add another win at one of the most historic road courses in America."

IMPALA SS ON THE TRACK: WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL:
Team Chevy drivers have won 14 of 25 previous NASCAR Sprint Cup

FROM THE DRIVER'S SEAT:

Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Impala SS: "Yeah, I've had many nightmares about turn one at Watkins Glen. It was a really frustrating race, but I don't know if we were going to win because Tony (Stewart) was a little better than us. I was pushing to stay ahead of him, and I just pushed too hard. We went to Road Atlanta last week and I felt like we had a promising test. I feel like we learned some things that will gain us a little speed here. I love racing at Watkins Glen. It's fast, and it's a track that suits our cars very, very well."

Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS: "Concentration-wise, road course races are mentally more difficult than ovals. With every corner there's a different rhythm to it, even on an oval, but it's repetitive. Indy might be one of the hardest ovals because each corner is so different. I'd put Pocono maybe second most intense, mentally. But when you get to a road course, you've got to turn left, turn right; there are hard-braking zones and intermediate braking zones, down-shifts, and up-shifts. There is a lot of stuff going on over the course of a lap on a road course. If you're under pressure and somebody gets by you, you're in trouble at that point. But in my own mind, I typically chase the lap times that are fed to me over the radio. So if it's Bristol and a 15-second lap, I only have 15 seconds to worry about it and then I try again. At Watkins Glen, it's a minute and something before I get another shot at it (laughs). So that's what you really focus on."

Ron Fellows, No. 01 DEI Impala SS: "We tested at Road Atlanta earlier, and I feel like we have a strong opportunity to be competitive this weekend. To be honest, I feel really good about things, but the Cup level is so competitive. You really can't leave anything untried out there and there a quite a few things we are looking to try this weekend. Of the two NASCAR Cup road courses (Sonoma and Watkins Glen), I've definitely had more success at Watkins Glen. It really suits my driving style better. There is plenty of room to pass at The Glen, so qualifying isn't quite as important. We'll be going there and hoping to have a good car on race day and hopefully we'll be in contention there at the end of the race."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Ron Fellows , Jimmie Johnson