Bristol II: GM Racing preview

TEAM CHEVY RACING IN NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES COMPETITION: * Team Chevy has five (5) driver's in the top-12 in points with three (3) races remaining until the start of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 AT&T IMPALA...

* Team Chevy has five (5) driver's in the top-12 in points with three (3) races remaining until the start of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup


TEAM CHEVY IMPALA SS AT BRISTOL: Pat Suhy, GM Racing NASCAR Group Manager: "Coming to Bristol is always great, especially the fall race with all three of the NASCAR Series competing. The new surface has changed the complexion of the race quite a bit. In the spring, Team Chevy drivers had it pretty well figured out, with the Richard Childress Racing (RCR) cars of Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick, and Clint Bowyer finishing 1-2-3 and with five Impala SS drivers in the top-10 finishing positions. With only three races to go before the chase and five Team Chevy drivers currently inside the top 12, we're looking forward to a strong showing from everyone. Clint Bowyer needs a good finish here, as he's just outside of that group. Based on his third place finish in the spring Bristol race I'd say chances are good that this could be Clint's week to get back into the group of Chase contenders."


JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS: "The changes to Bristol made it a little less of a wild card. Anytime you go to a one-groove race track, especially on a short track, you're going to have kind of a little bit of Russian roulette. But now, we've got multiple grooves there. To me, I love it. I think the racing is three times better. It's just the crashes don't happen as much, so if you love crashes, you're still going to see them at Bristol but you're not going to see them as often or as much as you used to, because basically when the guys got frustrated with the car in front of them, they just took them out. And that's not racing, in my opinion. That's more bumper-cars. Now, we're going to Bristol and we're racing and I love it. We haven't been as good there since they re-did the track, so I'm anxious to get there and be better, but I do like what they've done."

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS: "It funny because the tracks the drivers say they enjoy the most are tracks where we have options and we can pass. Typically they are tracks that the fans aren't too receptive to. Michigan is one of the best tracks for the drivers, but we get spread out and there aren't a lot of cautions and you have some people that think that's not good racing because there are no cautions. Bristol kind of falls in that same category now where there are a lot of options on the track to use. From a driver's standpoint, Bristol is much more enjoyable now than its ever been. You can really race people, try different lines, explore around the track, and explore set-ups. So I like the challenges that Bristol gives us now, but it's because I can control my own destiny. And I'm sure the fans paying for the seats have liked the fact that there was so much pushing and shoving and knocking people out of the way in the past and we just don't have that there anymore. You walk through that tunnel, or underneath the grandstands I should say, and it just sets the tone; sets the mood. It's still Bristol.

"I'm excited to try out a truck. I've never been in a truck before. The Randy Moss portion of it makes it exciting and fun. I'm looking forward to it. I also am excited to get out and race with (Ron) Hornaday and (Mike) Skinner and some of these guys that I've known through the years and have helped me out. I spent a lot of time with Hornaday when I first moved to North Carolina, so I'm excited about that stuff and hopefully I'll get the needed seat time at Bristol so I can come back in the Cup car and be a contender. I don't know how much I will actually learn from the truck that will transfer to the car, but I'm going to find out. I would assume, not much with the fact that the cars run bump stops and the rules are much different, but at least I'm on the track. Every lap that I make on a track, the more I learn and the rhythm comes to me. That's really a big part of Bristol. There's a certain rhythm to that race track and if I can find the rhythm sooner and adjust to that and practice and be doing the right things when our Cup practice starts, from a driver's standpoint, it will hopefully put us ahead of where we've been in the past and we'll be more competitive in the race."

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 AT&T IMPALA SS: "Winning at Bristol is big. It's an action packed race with so much going on. The way we won the race earlier in the year, with making a pass with a couple laps to go, was really exciting. It certainly is the highlight of year so far. For some reason, we typically run better in the fall race than we do in the spring race. Hopefully, we can put ourselves in position to do that again. Bristol is a lot of fun to be quite honest. It's stressful when you are racing for points -- it makes it tough. On the other hand, it's a lot of fun. It's very physical and very competitive. It is an emotionally draining race as well as being physically draining. There is never a chance to take a break. It's challenging and can be very rewarding but it can also break your heart pretty quickly. We always go to Bristol with high hopes. We run well in the night races at Bristol so hopefully we can capitalize on that."

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS: Bristol is a good track for us, and we had a good run at the beginning of the year and obviously we are excited about going there. Bristol has always been a good place for us, and we've been fortunate to be successful there. I think it's pretty obvious that we've made strides over the last couple of months, and I am pretty happy with the performance of the cars and where everything is at right now, so I'm pretty confident with everything that we've got going on as the Chase gets closer."

CLINT BOWYER, NO. 07 JACK DANIEL'S IMPALA SS: "We're getting closer. I'm a lot more comfortable and a lot more confident but anything can happen at Bristol. You can have a dominant race car and get caught up in something very easily and we've seen that happen time and time again. I'm looking forward to getting back there and seeing what we've got. I think it's just the atmosphere at Bristol that makes it so exciting. There's electricity in the air. There's just something about night-racing that gets you pumped up and gets you ready for battle. That's pretty much what we do."

ARIC ALMIROLA, NO. 8 US ARMY IMPALA SS: "Bristol is my kind of track. You bump, you grind and just battle for 500 grueling laps. It's a blast. If we keep it clean, I am confident the Army Chevrolet Impala SS will have another solid performance in honor of the brave Soldiers who are protecting our freedom."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Kevin Harvick , Clint Bowyer