Michigan: GM Racing preview

* A Team Chevy driver has led the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series driver point standings since the first race of the season BROOKLYN, MI - Located in the shadows of Detroit, MI, where General Motors is headquartered, Michigan International Speedway ...

* A Team Chevy driver has led the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series driver point standings since the first race of the season

BROOKLYN, MI - Located in the shadows of Detroit, MI, where General Motors is headquartered, Michigan International Speedway (MIS) is considered "home-turf" for Team Chevy. With 13 victories in the 14 races run thus far this season, the Bowtie Brigade is aiming to change the historical statistics for Chevy on the 2.0-mile, banked track. Despite being a favorite track for drivers and the site of great side-by-side racing, MIS has long been a challenging venue for Team Chevy.

Nestled in the Irish Hills of Michigan, southwest of the "Motor City", Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo SS, is looking to continue the torrid pace he has set so far in 2007 in pursuit of his fifth NASCAR Nextel Cup Series (NNCS) championship.

Fresh off his fourth victory of the season at rain-soaked Pocono, NNCS points leader Gordon has two previous victories at MIS, his last coming in the spring 2001 race.

"In some ways it's an easy race track for us and in some ways it's not," said Gordon. "It might be easy to drive, but it is not necessarily easy to go fast and to be up in the top positions, qualifying or in the race. I think that the reason that most drivers like it is because it is a driver's track.

"You can search around that track if your car is not working good, you can try the middle, you can try the top, you can try going in high, coming in low, you can do a lot of things to really get the speed out of the car that you are looking for. It is a wide groove race track. Anytime that we go to a track that has multiple grooves it is going to be a drivers favorite. I know it is my favorite."

Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo SS, and his Chad Knaus led team are eager for the opportunity to rebound from a disappointing Pocono finish as a result of flat left front tire.

"There is always great racing at Michigan," said the defending NNCS champion. "It's a track we can always count on to see good side-by-side racing and lots of grooves and lots of action. I'm excited to go back. I know it's a favorite for a lot of the drivers.

"We've had some decent, competitive runs at Michigan, but nothing where we've won. Hopefully we can change that. But it's been a track that has challenged us a little bit. We've had a lot of success at Fontana, but haven't been able to have the same success at Michigan. It's one of the tracks that we really want to improve on and we're focusing a lot on and putting a lot of effort on it."

Mark Martin, No. 01 U.S. Army Monte Carlo SS leads active Chevrolet drivers with four victories on the 2.0-mile banked oval.

"I love Michigan, that's why it's on my schedule," said Martin. "It's been a really strong track for me over the years, and I truly believe I have a great opportunity to go in there with this U.S. Army Chevy team and contend for another win.

"With the U.S. Army celebrating its 232nd birthday this weekend, driving the U.S. Army Chevrolet to victory lane would be the ultimate birthday present I could give to our soldiers. When you stop and think what the Army has meant to our nation, and to the world, for the past 232 years, it is a privilege to wear the Army racing uniform and represent our brave men and women in uniform."

Martin concluded by saying, "This is an important race for the manufacturers' with the track being so close to Detroit. I would love to get a win for Chevrolet, the U.S. Army and Ginn Racing there, it would be pretty cool."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Jimmie Johnson , Chad Knaus , Mark Martin