Las Vegas: GM Racing preview

TEAM CHEVY IMPALA - INSIDE THE GARAGE AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY -- PAT SUHY, GM RACING NASCAR GROUP MANAGER: "Team Chevy is off to a great start in 2010, with 2 wins in the first 2 races. We'll get another look at the relative strength of our...

TEAM CHEVY IMPALA - INSIDE THE GARAGE AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY -- PAT SUHY, GM RACING NASCAR GROUP MANAGER: "Team Chevy is off to a great start in 2010, with 2 wins in the first 2 races. We'll get another look at the relative strength of our teams as they head to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the first stop at a mile and a half track this season. As always, we'll get to see how everyone has done fine tuning their chassis set-ups and aero packages between Homestead and Vegas. Even without track testing to drive those changes, our team and engineers at GM Racing have the latest test rigs and simulation programs available to them. They use those tools to look at past performance and improve on it by digging deeper and deeper into the details to make incremental improvements, even on a car that's been raced for 3 seasons now. Our Chevy R07 engine continues to show class leading horsepower in both open and restricted formats by capturing both the pole positions and race wins at Daytona and California. While Las Vegas has been hit or miss for Team Chevy drivers, we have strong momentum on our side coming in to the Shelby American at Las Vegas and I'm counting on one of them to celebrate another win for Team Chevy on Sunday."


* Ryan Newman No. 39 Haas Automation Impala will make an appearance on the Chevy Stage at 9:30 am on Sunday

* Pit Crew for Juan Pablo Montoya's No. 42 Target Impala will sign autographs at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday


* Race wins -- 2 (Race 2 of 36)

* Poles -- 2 (Race 2 of 36)

* Laps led -- 320 -- 69.9% of possible 458

* Top-five finishes -- 7 (70% of possible)

* Top-10 finishes -- 11 (55% of possible)

* Has six (6) drivers in top-12 points positions

o Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Impala is the points leader


* A Chevrolet driver has won four (4) of the 12 previous NSCS races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS)


KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL ULTRA IMPALA: "We had a great day at Vegas last year. Really, the first five races last year were really good for us. We ran in the top five all day and just got behind towards the end of the race but were able to salvage something out of it. Vegas was really good for us. I think the year before we finished fourth there, I don't remember exactly, but it's not been a bad place for us. When I heard they changed the track, my first thought was 'Oh crap, why did they screw it up (laughs)'? It's definitely changed the way you race there, but you can move around and race pretty well there, as far as the grooves. Las Vegas is just a really fast race track. It's very bumpy. It's the roughest newly-paved race track I've ever raced on. But, it gives it some pretty good character to move around on. You can run on the bottom, if your car goes through the bumps good, but you can also run in the middle really fast, too. Usually because there are so many people out there, we (he and wife DeLana) don't get out much. We'll go eat dinner on Thursday night, for our anniversary; it usually falls every time we go out there. It's on Sunday this year, so we'll go out on Thursday, and then just kind of relax. Pennzoil has a huge event going on this year which we'll attend on Friday night. Race day this year is our anniversary, so it would be a good race to win."

CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER IMPALA: ""Yeah, last year we stayed out and put ourselves in position to win. It was a great call on (crew chief) Shane Wilson's part to keep the track position. It was a big momentum booster and confidence builder for our entire team. It definitely was a pivotal race for us last season. I would definitely like to take that race back and maybe there was something that we could do different. In the end, last year's run was good for us and now we can go in there knowing we can get the job done this season. We've worked hard over the offseason on our mile-and-a-half program and I think tracks, like Vegas, are places we need to improve on. I feel like we've done enough homework on those tracks and can really show that improvement this season."

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 EARNHARDT GANASSI RACING IMPALA: "I'm really looking forward to Las Vegas this weekend. Obviously we've (EGR) had some great cars over the past few weeks, and we are really looking to continue that momentum as we head to our first 1.5 mile track. Vegas is extremely fast, but we'll really need to work on getting through the bumps in turn 1 in order to have a good day there. "

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR IMPALA: "Las Vegas is a track I'm comfortable racing on. I think we have learned a lot from previous races that has helped us have good starting points every time we unload there. So, based on the data we gathered from last year's event and off-season preparation, I know we'll have a competitive Caterpillar Chevrolet. Las Vegas always produces great racing and it's a race that fans really enjoy watching. It's a track that is fun to drive on because there are different grooves around the track, so you to find the groove that works best for you and your car. I'm a lot more confident today than I was last year. I was concerned going into last year because I knew we had worked hard, but we didn't finish the previous year off strong. We did a tire test in January (2009) and we were pretty far off on speed. I was really sick and not feeling good and I kept saying that I am still fast when I'm sick, so it's not that. Then, it showed itself pretty quickly that we weren't very good. The tire test that we did this winter, combined with the way we ended last year, gives all the RCR teams a lot of confidence going into these races. We are much more prepared and have a better shot at doing well this year than we did last year."

MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM IMPALA: "I love this city. It's probably my favorite place we go. I don't know what it is, because I'm not a real 'go-out' kind of guy. But the atmosphere is so great here. You can do anything at any time of day. It's open 24 hours. There are shows and great food. It's just an exciting place to be. When I won here made that day was so cool. It was the first time the Cup Series raced at Las Vegas. I don't think the win really sank in at first. I'm trying to really appreciate wins more because you don't know if there will be a next one. And that night, after all the post-race stuff was over, we helicoptered out of the track. The Strip was all lit up and it was just an incredible sight. I remember sitting in the helicopter and letting that win sink in. I just really appreciated that one."

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S/KOBALT TOOLS IMPALA: "With the paving job they did a couple of years ago, the track is a lot faster than it's been in the past. I'm not sure what the asphalt has done over the off-season and how much speed it's lost, but that track went from being a slippery track that you had to manage your time and manage your lap time around the track to a place that you have to manage. So, it's a really fun race track to drive. I hope it's still that way where you have to attack and drive every lap like a qualifying lap."

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY IMPALA: "The track is a lot of fun. They reconfigured the banking (for the 2007 season), and it's faster. I enjoy running around there. It's a lot different than it used to be, and it's a pretty unique track. It's definitely a lot more fun since they reconfigured it."

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OLD SPICE/OFFICE DEPOT IMPALA: "It's no different at Las Vegas than anywhere else, you have to get it to rotate the corner, but still stay tight enough on entry and exit. There's no unique challenges there, it's a cookie-cutter mile-and-a-half so it's the same thing that we fight 18 races a year. Nice thing is that the place is really smooth and that really lets you work on the attitude of your car and I think that's a luxury that we have there that we don't necessarily always get everywhere because every track has its unique set of bumps. Vegas has there's too, but for the most part it's so smooth that you can really fine-tune the attitude of the car."

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT/PEPSI MAX IMPALA: "We've had fast, competitive cars in the first two events -- we just don't have good finishes to show for it. But good finishes will come if we keep running near the front."I've always loved coming here because it's such a cool event in such a great city. We've had some strong runs here recently including last year when I had fun battling for the lead with Jimmie (Johnson). I really feel like we were the best team early in the season last year. But that's not when championships are won. Sure, race wins -- and the bonus points that come along with those wins -- can be a tremendous help during the Chase. But we've worked hard over the off-season to try to become better in the final 10."

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET IMPALA: "We're looking to rebound at Las Vegas after what happened last weekend in California. There is no doubt our Target Chevrolets are strong and I've always been a fan of the mile-and-a-half tracks so to have Las Vegas fall on the schedule next is good for us. The track is demanding, the speeds are fast and you have to be comfortable with the set-up in your car in order to run up front."

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 TORNADOS IMPALA: "We had a pretty fast racecar at Las Vegas last year, but we had a loose wheel later in the race. We ended up having to pit under green and that caused us to lose a couple of laps to the leader. We finished 25th, but I remember leaving there last year thinking we had a much better car than that. Last season, the intermediate tracks were our weakness, but we got better throughout the course of the year. After the improvements that I feel like we made to our mile-and-a-half program last season and then what both me and Gibson felt like were huge gains at California last weekend, I'm really looking forward to what we can accomplish this weekend at Las Vegas in the No. 39 Tornados Chevrolet. As far as the track goes, they've made some changes to it over the past few years. It's higher-banked, has a rougher surface and there's more bumps. The track has some character to it, which makes it tricky, and I think it's one of the reasons we like it. I'm looking forward to Las Vegas. I'm really hoping that this is the place for my luck to change. I think that this team has really improved the way we approach the mile-and-a-half track. I think our cars have gotten better since last year's Las Vegas race, and I'm confident. Unfortunately, just like last season, we've had a couple of bade races to start 2010. We're hoping that 'Lady Luck' is on our side this weekend."

MIKE BLISS, NO. 36 KIM KARDASHIAN FRAGRANCE IMPALA: "I'm excited about heading back to Las Vegas. We had a good run in Fontana and I am itching to get the No. 36 Kim Kardashian Fragrance Chevy out on the track this weekend. Racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is tough, but I have had some good runs here and I hope to follow up last week's effort with another nice performance."

-source: gm racing

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya