Daytona II: GM Racing preview

TEAM CHEVY RACING IN NASCAR SPRINT CUP COMPETITION: * Team Chevy has six (6) drivers in the top-12 in points with nine (9) races remaining until the start of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship IMPALA SS ON THE TRACK: DAYTONA ...


* Team Chevy has six (6) drivers in the top-12 in points with nine (9) races remaining until the start of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship


* Chevrolet drivers have won 37 of the 122 points-paying races at Daytona-more than any other manufacturer


* Jeff Burton, No. 31 AT&T Impala SS: "Restrictor plate racing has not been our strong point. We struggle at qualifying and have raced pretty well but we haven't had the speed in order to be successful. We got ourselves in position to lead the Daytona 500 and were one restart from winning the race but it just didn't work out. We weren't fast enough to be leading the race at that time but that's where I got us and eventually got shuffled out late in the race. I was trying to change up my restarts because I knew if I took off on a normal restart that I was going to get blasted by and, ultimately, it made it worse. We ended up finishing 13th which is disappointing based on where we were with three laps to go. Nonetheless, we learned something from it and hopefully we can apply it to this race. Handling is not an issue at Talladega but it is a huge issue at Daytona. It's going to be harder to push people because you're not going to be as close to them. It's a different kind of race. Daytona is not as much of a down force track like Charlotte but it's much closer than Talladega so the type of race you get is completely different. Daytona is so entrenched in NASCAR's history. There's no question the (Daytona) 500 is the bigger of the two races but I won't give my 400 trophy back."

* Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Impala SS: " At Daytona and Talladega, you're trying to get yourself into a position to challenge for the victory in the closing laps. You have to be smart during the race and understand your surroundings -- try to stay away from bad situations. But Daytona is much more of a handling track. While the fans will see the usual two and three-wide racing early in the runs, the better handling cars will make their way to the front later in the runs. We'll arrive with that base setup for this weekend's race. The conditions will be much different -- much warmer with slicker track conditions -- but we'll work off that setup."

* Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS: "I'm ready to go back to Daytona and see what we can get done in the Lowe's Impala SS. I felt like we had a car that could win there in February, especially in the beginning of the race. But we lost some track position and it was hard to work through traffic and get the track position back. We're taking the same car we had in Talladega this year and we had a pretty good run there. Restrictor-plate racing is all about patience so hopefully we can stay out of trouble and get a good finish."

* Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Reese's Impala SS: "When we come back to Daytona, the track gets hot and slick during the races in July. The handling characteristics become magnified a lot more. We are shooting for a good-handling race car. We are willing to knock a little speed out of the car for it to handle better. I have always liked the bigger tracks. For me, it's way more mental than physical. You're worn out by the end of the race. You spend a lot of time looking in the mirrors anticipating the other guy's next move."

* Dale Earnhardt, Jr. No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Impala SS: "Daytona is a lot of fun. When I was a little kid, the greatest part of the summer was going to that race. That's what you looked forward to the most -- being at Daytona and playing on the beach for a week. And the race was always fun to watch, and playing with all of your buddies. It's a points race, buts it's probably the least-pressured points race. It's halfway through the season so you can afford mistakes and taking chances. But it's Daytona -- it's the beach and the summer -- so the attitude and the temperament all the way around the racetrack are really laid back. It gets pretty warm. I wish it wasn't so hot, but it's a fun race. I just like going down there. Daytona Speedweeks is a historic event. It means a lot for me personally and for my family. The track itself has a lot of history. It's kind of like the grandfather of the series when it comes to racetracks. It demands to be respected and appreciated. It's carried the sport in a lot of different areas. It's given us a lot of great opportunities to put on some great races in front of some pretty large audiences. As soon as you walk in the place, it's a totally different feeling than you get when you walk in other racetracks. It's a little like a monument more so than a track."

* Clint Bowyer, No. 07 Jack Daniel's Impala SS: "Daytona has been a good track for us, at least when we're not upside down and on fire. We always seem to race well at Daytona. We don't qualify the best but we always seem to race good. It's not all about speed and drafting. You have to handle at Daytona as opposed to a place like Talladega where handling is virtually out the window since they repaved it. I enjoy Daytona and I can't wait to get down there. We've had the chance to lead at Daytona a few times. Hopefully, we'll have a good Jack Daniel's Chevy Impala on Saturday night and a good BB&T Chevy Monte Carlo on Friday night. We want to lead some laps and race for a couple of wins. There's not as much hype and build-up to the race in July as there is in February but the night race just adds a whole different element to this weekend."

* Martin Truex, Jr., No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Impala SS: "We've only got nine more races before the Chase starts, so we really need nothing but top-10 finishes before Richmond (the final race before the 2008 NASCAR Chase for the Cup begins). We've been fortunate this year because when we've had bad weeks, a lot of the guys around us in points have too. Now we're getting down to crunch time so we can't keep relying on the guys around us to mess up. We need to make our own luck."

* Mark Martin, No. 8 US Army Impala SS: "I'm excited about getting back in the car at Daytona. I've had a couple of races off and it's always good to go out and get your batteries charged back up. We had a good car at Daytona during Speedweeks and should have gotten a good finish if we had not of gotten caught up in a late accident. So, we'll go there this week and try to fine-tune what we learned in February. These DEI cars have always been strong on the restrictor plate tracks, and despite the fact that I'm not really a huge fan of this type of racing, I'm looking forward to seeing what (crew chief) Tony Gibson and the guys will put under me. They have been stellar all year and it continues to be awesome to work with these guys and drive their car. We are going to keep trying hard to put that No. 8 in Victory Lane this season, and I can't think of a better time than the Fourth of July weekend at Daytona."

-credit: gm racing

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Kevin Harvick , Jimmie Johnson , Martin Truex Jr. , Clint Bowyer , Mark Martin