Charlotte II: GM Racing preview

TEAM CHEVY AT CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY -- ALBA COLON, GM RACING NASCAR PROGRAM MANAGER, NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES: "With six races remaining in the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule, Chevrolet has captured its 34th Manufacturers' Championship.

TEAM CHEVY AT CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY -- ALBA COLON, GM RACING NASCAR PROGRAM MANAGER, NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES: "With six races remaining in the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule, Chevrolet has captured its 34th Manufacturers' Championship. Congratulations to everyone at Team Chevy! We are very proud of this achievement and thank all our drivers, crew chiefs, teams, and owners for their contribution in making this happen!

"Congratulations to Tony Stewart for his win at California last weekend! Team Chevy had a great showing there with seven drivers in the top 10, including a 1-2-3 finish. Jimmie Johnson has a 36 point lead in the standings and the rest of our Team Chevy drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup are having good races and great finishes too.

"We are excited about going to Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend with lots of momentum on our side, but there is still a lot of racing to do. All of the GM Racing engineers are working extremely hard with each of our Chevrolet teams to make sure a Team Chevy driver wins the Driver's Championship. We know that track position is a key element at Charlotte, and we have also learned it is very important to take tires. The cars that are the most 'neutral' are the ones that will be ahead of the game and eventually win the race.

"For the teams, it's always great to be home and to race in their own backyard. Many of the drivers really like the Charlotte track, so many of them run really well there. It's a track that requires patience, for sure. There's nothing quite like racing under the lights and I'm really looking forward to seeing one of our Chevrolets cross the finish line first on Saturday night."

TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER'S SEAT:

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET -- POINTS LEADER: "I'm looking forward to Charlotte. I always like racing there. Although we had a tough summer on the 1.5-mile tracks, we had a lot of speed; especially the first half of the race. So, we looked at what we were doing and at the balance of the car and the directions we were working on; there was enough that went wrong that we knew not to go down that road any longer. So I feel that we've made a good change. So I'm optimistic and I feel that we've come to a good conclusion with things. But we've got to get on the track and really prove it and be in the hunt. There are only six races left, but that's a lot of racing."

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL CHEVROLET -- 3RD IN STANDINGS: "A top-10 finish (at Charlotte) would be like a win. That's our goal for the weekend is to run in the top 10 and have a solid day. Obviously you want to win every weekend, but our history at Charlotte has not been good, so I think a goal of finishing in the top 10 is more realistic. I feel really comfortable where I am. I feel like we've been through a lot of these situations before. I feel like we've run better this year and been more consistent. I know that we've started the Chase better than we've ever started before. It seems like looking back at our performance, the last four or five races are our strength based upon the last few times that we've been in the Chase. You never know how it's all going to shake out, but I feel really good about the situation that we're in as a team and we just go race every week as hard as we can."

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET -- 4TH IN STANDINGS: "I love Charlotte and love going there. We weren't very good there in May so we've been really looking hard at our notes and setups and cars and trying to do some things to be better when we go back there. It's a very fast race track, high-banked and I think it's hard to pass there so qualifying is pretty important. We've been missing some of that the last couple times. I think we've learned some things since we were there and track position is important everywhere we go, but having a really well-balanced race car there is equally or more important."

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OLD SPICE/OFFICE DEPOT CHEVROLET -- 5TH IN STANDINGS: "It always seems like (at Charlotte) it's a battle of trying to get your car to cut through the center of the corner and keep the forward drive in it; it seems like it's a sacrifice of one or the other but the two ends are different. It seems like you can carry a lot more speed through (Turns) 1 and 2 and (Turns) 3 and 4 are a little more like 'thread the needle' type corners. Sometimes there isn't a big difference (between the fall and spring races at Charlotte). You know they're spread out so far and they're at the beginning of summer and the end of summer, so a lot of times they can be very similar."

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET -- 8TH IN STANDINGS: "Charlotte is a good race track for us. We typically run well there. We haven't run well there recently, but we feel it's a good race track for us. Despite being very difficult to drive, it's a solid track for us. Charlotte changed a few years ago. They really made a big difference in the way you have to drive the car. The top lane has come in really well at Charlotte, too. You can run the bottom, and you can run the top. The tire there, typically, is hard to get going on, but it's good in the long runs, but hard to make good grip to start. The tire will continue to get better there. The thing about Charlotte is getting through the corners well. If you can get through the corners, you'll be in good shape."

CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVROLET -- 12TH IN STANDINGS: "Charlotte is fast. It's real fast. Ever since they repaved it, there's been a lot of grip. You can move around a little bit at Charlotte. Nine times out of 10, if I can get that outside line rolling, I can get myself a good finish. It's one of those races where you have to be able to roll through the center well, be on the gas and make those straightaways as long as possible. It's such a fast race track that being able to carry that momentum off the corners so that you can make that race track as big as possible is huge. Not having to pinch the car off on the bottom on a long run is big, too, as the tires wear out and that's crucial."

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET -- 13TH IN STANDINGS: "In general, I like this race track, I like the speed, I like the banking. When I first came here with Buddy Baker, we drove around in a rental car and after one lap I told him I was going to like this place. I always have. It is a place that I like. I have been fortunate to have good equipment and I have been able to take that good equipment and make it fast. It is just a combination of team effort and nine times out of 19 we have been able to pull it off (winning the pole). Ultimately, it's what we all strive for is to be the fastest, to be the best, to be the quickest and get to victory lane. It would mean a lot to me. I think David Pearson was an excellent racecar driver, still is. Ultimately it is just a number, but to be where I am and have a shot at it, that's cool. But I'm still a long ways away. It took me this long to get nine, not that it took me that long, but it's not easy to win one and five more is not going to be easy at all. But I know that when we go to Charlotte we know we want to have to what we can to have a shot at the pole. I really enjoy the racetrack -- the speed, obviously, and the banking. I've always said I really enjoy banked racetracks and this is one of the best and fastest banked racetracks out there. I've had fast racecars with Penske Racing and now with Stewart-Haas Racing and just have been blessed with fast racecars. I couldn't do it without fast racecars. I've always told my crew chief, whoever it is at the time, 'If you give me a straight arrow, I'll shoot it straight. But don't expect me to shoot a crooked arrow to the pole.' And they've done a very good job for me."

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS CHEVROLET -- 14TH IN STANDINGS: "I'm truly excited to be returning to Charlotte.. we had an awesome run here back in May, finished second, and our car only got better as the night wore on. So, hopefully with us starting this race at night, we'll be able to find that late speed from the Coke 600 early and often. We've got Bass Pro Shops on the hood, and so far this season, we've had some great finishes with them. It is always fun to come back to Charlotte!"

MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET -- 15TH IN STANDINGS: "We had a really good finish here in May. We had a good race car, but Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) made some really great pit calls too that put us in the right position there at the end. We're taking a brand new race car again this week and that seems to have been good for us the past couple of weeks as well. I'm excited to get on the track. We had such a good performance on Sunday and I truly believe we'll be just as strong this weekend. I'm ready to go. I cannot begin to tell you how good Sunday felt out in California. To lead that many laps. To know that we had a winning race car. That's what we've been fighting for. You know we have tried so many things and really went through a rough time. The past three weeks have proven to us that this hard work is going to pay off. We're building new cars and getting better every week. Sunday was exactly what we needed to prove that we are going in the right direction. This is a winning race team and we're going to be winning again soon."

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET -- 16TH IN STANDINGS: "Charlotte Motor Speedway is just one of those tracks we haven't had much luck at. I think we've had one top-10 finish there so we're hoping for a strong performance this weekend. I've always enjoyed racing at the mile-and-a-half tracks but this one escapes me for some reason. The Target team will go into the weekend with the same outlook we've had and that is to try and win some more races and strengthen our program for the 2011 season."

DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET -- 18TH IN STANDINGS: "You really don't know what your car is going to do. You get it setup for the daytime, and it's going to handle differently at night but a fast car is a fast car usually. So if you unload good, then you don't try to mess it up too much."

REGAN SMITH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING CHEVROLET -- 30th IN STANDINGS: "We came close to our first top-10 last week in California and don't see any reason why we can't do it in Charlotte. Our No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet has been running well lately, especially on the mile-and-a-half and two-mile tracks. I like Charlotte -- it has always been one of my favorite tracks. We keep on saying that we have to stay away from unforced errors in order to get that top 10. The good news is that our communications, driver feedback, debriefing sessions, pit strategy and track strategy are all improving. The learning curve is getting shorter each week and that's why the performance level has picked up."

-source: gm racing

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart , Jimmie Johnson , Buddy Baker , David Pearson
Teams Stewart-Haas Racing , Team Penske