TEAM CHEVY AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY: TECH TIPS: ALBA COLON, GM RACING NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES PROGRAM MANAGER: "Our Chevy teams continue to work hard, and they have been testing in Kentucky to get ready for the race at Chicagoland. We have...
TEAM CHEVY AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY: TECH TIPS: ALBA COLON, GM RACING NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES PROGRAM MANAGER: "Our Chevy teams continue to work hard, and they have been testing in Kentucky to get ready for the race at Chicagoland. We have had great results at this track in the past and we hope to continue that success with the new Impala SS race car. This will be the first time racing under the lights at night, which will be challenging for the crew chiefs in some ways because their past notes won't really apply. Our teams have been very dominant in the last month, but we just need to deliver the results. We would really like to go into the off-weekend on a good note with a win."
FROM THE DRIVER'S SEAT:
Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Impala SS: ""The fastest way around Chicago is to run the white line the entire race. However, you never know what the tires and all the other circumstances are going to be when we go back. The track is still aging and it loses grip every time we go back. Over the past couple of years, we have been able to run up the race track a little bit. But I think the person who can run the white line the entire race will win. You go through the corners pretty much wide open. You let off sooner than you do at most places, and you drive it all the way through the corners under power. That's not extremely different from other tracks but there is a lot more throttle there than at most places. You get back in it (the gas) a lot quicker than you do at most places.
"Chicago has obviously been really good to us as far as the numbers go but a lot of other places have been good to us too as far as the numbers have gone and nothing has really gone right this year. We've wrecked too much. We've made a lot of mistakes. We started off the year really well and just haven't had anything go right since about week five. It's good to come to a race track where things are going good and hopefully you get that monkey off your back and you can go on with it.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Impala SS: "Saturday night races are awesome. We get home and have Sunday to go out on the lake or hang out an extra day. Night races are exciting for the fans. We have run well in Chicago so it's going to be a good weekend. We've had that consistency and have been able to show up every weekend and have something for 'em. We're competitive, and that comes from the preparation and pride my guys have at Hendrick Motorsports. Tony (Eury) Jr. and the boys are getting the job done. I think this is a really good opportunity for me to race for a championship this season. As far as consistency, this has been my best season so far. We show up every single week with a competitive car, we lead laps, and I think we have a shot to win a few more races this year."
Jeff Burton, No. 31 AT&T Impala SS: "This is the first time for the Impala SS at Chicagoland and we always have concerns everywhere we go. Chicago has a bump in the middle of turns one and two that we'll have to deal with. We're becoming more accustomed to the new car and I think everyone in the garage is becoming familiar with it as well. Anytime we go to a different race track, we have to approach it differently. The package we used last year is not going to run well on the new car this year. It's really a clean sheet of paper and the way I view it, that means opportunity. We have an opportunity to run better than everyone else but it will be a challenge."
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont/Nicorette Impala SS: "Any time you go to a track that you haven't been to with this car, then you're always gonna have questions, you know, what's gonna work, what's not gonna work. I still don't feel like we've really figured out what we need to be battling for wins and leading laps, but we're working really hard on that. In terms of sheer speed, we still need to gain. But we feel like we have until September to make all those gains. We need to secure a spot in the Chase and then start off solid. We have a strong team -- one that's capable of winning races anywhere. One that's capable of winning a championship."
Clint Bowyer, No. 07 Jack Daniel's Impala SS: "I always look forward to going to Chicago because I'm nervous about Kansas. It's very important to me to run well at Chicago because I know if I leave there with some momentum and a little bit of confidence, I'll go to Kansas with that very same set-up and run well there, too. I haven't been the best on mile-and-a-half tracks this year and in the past those have been our bread and butter. We've done some testing and are looking to improve our program on those types of race tracks. I think every track has its own personality. When you hear people talk about cookie-cutter tracks, usually they're talking about Chicago, Kansas, Las Vegas, those types of places. But, all of these mile-and-a-half tracks have their own unique characteristics. As close as Kansas and Chicago are and as close as the set-ups are, you don't drive them the same but the same set-up does work."
Mark Martin, No. 8 US Army Impala SS: "I'm excited to get back on the track at Chicagoland this weekend. After a weekend of restrictor plate racing, I'll be glad to get back to more of the type of racing that I enjoy. The racing at Chicagoland has gotten better each year as the track has matured and the different grooves have started to come in. It's the kind of place where I think we should see some really good racing this weekend and hopefully we'll have this No. 8 U.S. Army Chevrolet right in the thick of things. I know a lot has been going on the past few weeks, but the thing to keep in mind now is that our goal is to finish out this year strong in this No. 8 DEI car. I'm 100 percent committed to helping get Tony Gibson, this entire No. 8 team, Dale Earnhardt Inc. and the U.S. Army into victory lane before this season is over. Everyone has done an outstanding job this season. I've had the time of my life driving these cars and I can't think of a group that is more deserving to win a race. I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that happens. Hopefully we can make a solid run at it this weekend at Chicago."
-credit: gm racing