Atlanta: GM Racing preview

TEAM CHEVY IMPALA - INSIDE THE GARAGE AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY -- PAT SUHY, GM RACING NASCAR GROUP MANAGER: "It was great seeing a pair of Team Chevy drivers roll into the winners circle in Las Vegas. Congratulations to Kevin Harvick and Jimmie...

TEAM CHEVY IMPALA - INSIDE THE GARAGE AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY -- PAT SUHY, GM RACING NASCAR GROUP MANAGER: "It was great seeing a pair of Team Chevy drivers roll into the winners circle in Las Vegas. Congratulations to Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson on their wins in the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series over the weekend. As NASCAR heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway this coming weekend, I wouldn't bet against a Chevy driver showing up in victory circle yet again.

"With a well-seasoned track surface yielding lower grip than at most other tracks, the skills of the best drivers and teams will be rewarded with fast race cars. The lower grip puts more emphasis on the driver's ability, along with the crew chief and his engineers' decisions about setups and changes during the race. Having fast setups under the Impalas when they unload for the first practice is critical. That will allow the teams to focus on finding a fast qualifying setup and still have time left over for race runs to get a feel for how the car will respond to the changing conditions. With three wins in three races thus far this year, it's pretty clear that the Bowtie contingent will be leading the way. I'm looking forward to seeing which Team Chevy driver will get to winners circle on Sunday."


* Ricky Carmichael, No. 4 Monster Energy Silverado, will sign autographs on Friday at 11:00 a.m.

* Jeff Burton, No. 31 Caterpillar Impala, will meet fans on Sunday-check Team Chevy on Facebook for time

* Pit Crew for Jamie McMurray's No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Impala will sign autographs at 10:15 a.m. on Sunday

* The Team Chevy Racing Display will be located near Gate 14 in the Midway display area of AMS, and will be open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday, and 7 a.m.-1 p.m. on Sunday


* A Chevrolet driver has won 35 of the 101 previous NSCS races at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS), more than any other manufacturer

* Chevy has 21 won poles at AMS

* Team Chevy drivers have scored 167 top-five finishes and 332 top-10 finishes at AMS

* A Chevrolet has led 11,201 laps (33.9% of 32,088 possible) at AMS


KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA: "Atlanta, over the last few years, has just been one of those places that seem to fit everything that we do. We have had chances to win there, whether it's been in a truck, a Nationwide car or our Shell-Pennzoil car, we have had a chance to win there in anything the last few years. So, hopefully, nothing has changed. Atlanta has just always been really good to us. We go there expecting to be in contention for the win, and anything short of that will be a disappointment."

CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 BB&T IMPALA: "Atlanta has been a good track for us. We've run up front , led laps before and had strong showings. But, usually something happens at the end. The last time we were there, it was a disaster. Guys with a lot of dirt track experience run well at Atlanta because, that's what you're doing. You're dirt tracking at 200 miles per hour at a big race track. You have to get up on the wheel to make things happen, but hold onto the car and don't let it get out from underneath you. Most of the time, you're really loose as the back end of the car is trying to come out from underneath you. It happens about every corner on every lap. It doesn't matter what line you're in, you could be on the white line or all the way up at the wall. Either way, you're loose all the way around the track. In order to be good on the long run, you have to be really loose on the start of it."

MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM IMPALA: "Atlanta has always been one of my favorite racetracks. The very first time I came here, I just felt good. It has the characteristics of a short track, but on a much larger level. There's an intensity to racing here and qualifying is wide open fast. Every time I've been to Atlanta I've had a great race car. Both races last year, we were real, real good. The tire, of course, bit us in the first race, but we had a car capable of winning. I'm sure we'll have a good car again this weekend. . The guys on this team have given me great race cars in the first three races this year, and I know I'll have another one this weekend."

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S/KOBALT TOOLS IMPALA: "Atlanta really reminds me of Darlington where you just have to be very conscious of what end of the race car is taking the abuse or what tire is slipping and sliding too much. Every time you slide that tire, you're just taking speed out of the car and especially off the tail end of the run. You're just trying to be very aware of what tires work and looking for ways to get around that, the balance and the load between all four tires. When you're able to do that, your car typically drives very comfortable and you're going to need that for 500 miles at Atlanta. It just kind of comes down to that -- making sure you feel all four tires being worked equally. It's rough and we all love it being rough. I know we've been through it over the years where originally people were a little nervous that we were picking apart the race tracks, but it's so rough and abrasive, it makes it one of if not the most challenging race on the circuit, especially on the long run. You're up near the wall and there's bumps and jumps and seams that you have to worry about crossing over -- it's a handful."

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR IMPALA:"Atlanta is one of my favorite racetracks. I really enjoy going there and I'm excited about running there this year. It's one of those places where I think we have a good shot of winning. To me, it's a great challenge. The difference between qualifying and racing there is so big. The track gets so slick during the race and becomes a blast to drive on. You have to get up on the wheel and drive the car. It's so much fun. As a race car driver, that's the kind of racing you hope for. The biggest challenge is the way the speed falls off so much. It's like the track has two personalities. You have to be aggressive and drive hard for qualifying and then, when the race starts, you race it like you used to race Darlington. The place gets really slick and real slimy. It's amazing the amount of grip you don't have there. You have to have a car that makes more grip than your competitors and making the most out of that is what will put you in the Winner's Circle. Even the best handling car there in the last few years has handled awful. So, finding a way to do it better than your competition in a low, low grip arena will be the biggest challenge."

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT/NATIONAL GUARD IMPALA: "I thought it was the right call because we believed more teams were going to take only two tires during that stop. But I knew we were in trouble when (eventual winner) Jimmie Johnson lined up right behind us with four new tires. While we were disappointed, there were a lot of positives to take from there. We led a ton of laps, we had a fast race car, we had solid pit stops all day long and we were able to move up in the point standings to 13th. And that has us excited heading into Atlanta this weekend. I've always enjoyed racing here because we can run low, high and everywhere in between in the corners. We've had some strong runs here recently, and we want to build on the strong run of last week."

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS IMPALA: "I'm excited to take another one of our 1.5 mile cars to Atlanta this weekend. We were really putting together a nice run last weekend in Vegas, so I'm excited to see how that will translate over to Atlanta. Our Chevy's have been really good so far, with promising runs at both Fontana and Vegas, we just need to continue to work and put everything together for the finishes that we deserve. We have a lot to be proud about right now, as we welcomed a new partner last weekend in McDonald's and we'll return to Atlanta with our friends from Bass Pro Shops on board."

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/ NATIONAL GUARD IMPALA: "We've always run pretty good at Atlanta, so I look forward to going there. It's a wide track, and it gets slick. Atlanta is a driver's track -- if one groove doesn't work, then you can find another one. It's a fun track, and it's a fast track.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET IMPALA: "I'm a big fan of the mile-and-a-half race tracks so Atlanta Motor Speedway has always been one of my favorite tracks on the schedule. It's the first track I learned to run on the high line. It's a track that gives you options with multiple grooves and the high line has worked for me. I can run the No. 42 Target Chevrolet right up against the fence. It's exciting and pushes us as drivers and cars to the limit. It's a driver's track."

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 TORNADOS IMPALA: "Atlanta is fast, especially when the conditions are right. You have to hit your marks. It's bumpy enough that those bumps can spit you right out. Getting into turn one and the middle of three and four, so you've just got catch everything just right. It's kind of like surfing or wake boarding, you gotta catch the waves right and obviously put the car in the right spot to do the right things with the gas and the steering wheel. I think it's the combination of the tire grip that we have initially and it's a wide open racetrack. There's plenty of room to race there. It's one of the best racetracks we go to for three and four wide racing in the corners. I think we'll have a good car. We ran better in Atlanta last year than I have in a long time so I look forward to going back and seeing what we have this time around."

MIKE BLISS, NO. 36 WAVE ENERGY DRINK IMPALA: "I really like Atlanta and I am excited about heading there. It seems like we are climbing a hill right now, but we are hoping to turn things around starting this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway."

-source: gm racing

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Kevin Harvick , Jimmie Johnson , Jamie McMurray , Ricky Carmichael