Team Chevy press release
CHEVY RACING AT DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY, JEFF CHEW, MARKETING MANAGER, CHEVY RACING: “The Team Chevy Racing Display has something for everyone. We’ve added more elements to the display this year, like the latest GM Performance Parts crate engines and Chevy accessories and performance parts that fans can purchase from their local Chevy dealer, to go along with interactive games, digital photography and other activities for fans of all ages. Plus, Racing is a very important part of Chevy’s long history – a history that soon will encompass a full century – and sharing that heritage with our fans is very important to us.”
TEAM CHEVY AT DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: ALBA COLON, NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES PROGRAM MANAGER, GM RACING: “Congratulations to Tony Stewart, Darian Grubb, and everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing for their big win last weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway! That makes two consecutive wins for the No. 14 Chevrolet; and four in-a-row for Team Chevy drivers! These are fantastic momentum building victories for all of us!
“This weekend we head to Dover International Speedway for the second time this year to compete in the third round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Many drivers think this is one of the coolest tracks on the circuit; but at the same time, a difficult one.
“Dover is one of only two concrete tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule (the other is Bristol), and it offers its own set of challenges. With a unique blend of speeds in excess of 175 mph, this one-mile oval has banking of nine degrees on its narrow straightaways and 24 degrees in its sweeping turns; and has earned the nickname the ‘Monster Mile’ for good reason. Its toughness requires the drivers to always ‘hit their marks’, and the crew chiefs to set-up the race car chassis perfectly. Engines also play a key role at Dover.
“With just eight races to go, Team Chevy continues to focus on winning races and on capturing both the year-end Manufacturers’ Cup and Driver’s championships. Our engineers are constantly working hand-in-hand with the team engineers to ensure we always deliver the best engines and technical support in the industry. This time around, we are looking forward to improving our performance and celebrating a victory with one of our Chevy teams at Dover on Sunday!”
TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT AT DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY:
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET – 1ST IN STANDINGS: “I don’t think you drive it (the Dover concrete surface) any differently. But because it is concrete, the track has a lot more bumps than an asphalt track would. There are seams in Dover’s surface and places where they’ve cut the concrete for expansion. Those sections shift and change, and every year when you go there, the bumps are a little bit different than they were the year before. Dover is a track that’s constantly changing. But it’s one of those places where you really can’t change your driving style. You still have to do the same things you always do. It’s just a matter of finding the package that’s right for that racetrack. But other than that, you go through the same set of scenarios and challenges you would on any asphalt track – either the car is going to be tight or it’s going to be loose. Dover is a track that is kind of a two-phase deal. It’s easy to get your car too tight in the center (of the corner) trying to get it to drive up off the corner nice, and it seems like if you get it to rotate through the corner, then it’s way loose off. Those are the two things that you really battle there. It’s the sacrifice of where do you want to be a little bit off to accomplish having a balanced car.”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 RHEEM ‘CHASING THE CURE’ CHEVROLET – 2ND IN STANDINGS: “We’ve had a good car there (Dover) the last several times and haven’t necessarily got the finishes that we probably have deserved with where we ran all day, but it’s been a decent race track for us. It’s a fast race track. You’ve got to keep up with the race track as the groove moves around and the rubber builds up on the track. The biggest challenge is being able to get the car up off of the corner under power, wide open throughout the whole run. We’ll have to have our Rheem ‘Chasing the Cure’ Chevrolet handling good because it’s so fast and there are so many things happening so fast that the driver has to be comfortable in the car. It seems like at Dover they always have one of those runs where you have green-flag pit stops and halfway through that run the caution comes out, so you have to be a little bit lucky to not end up on the wrong side of that there. But we should be fine in Dover. I felt like we’ve run well there the last few times so I don’t really have any specific concerns. I think as you go to every race track there is always concern on whether you’re going to run good or bad and you never really know until you get there and see what the tire is and see exactly what the weekend brings with weather and all the different things that come with putting a weekend together. We can run really well at any race track. Along with anybody in the garage we have that opportunity to run bad, too. You just have to make the best out of whatever the weekend gives you.”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET – 5TH IN STANDINGS: “Qualifying well on Saturday will be important. This is a real fast track, so being in ‘clean’ air makes your life that much easier during the race on Sunday. The rubber on the track will be a challenge, as usual. But this track is wide and the groove will usually widen out – so much so you can probably even run near the wall. But if there’s significant rubber-buildup, it can be challenging on the restarts and when trying to pass another car.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY CHEVROLET – 8TH IN STANDINGS: “Dover is a concrete track, and the tires kind of chatter around there so if you can tone that down a little bit, it gives the driver a sense of the grip in the car. Getting the front to work through the center is also important.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S/KOBALT TOOLS CHEVROLET – 10TH IN STANDINGS: “New Hampshire obviously wasn’t the finish we were looking for especially with how good we were throughout the weekend. I’m really looking forward to this weekend though. Dover has always been a good place for the 48 team and I really enjoy racing there. I’m not really sure why, but it has always just kind of suited my driving style.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY ROTC CHEVROLET – 11TH IN STANDINGS: "The results have not equaled the performances for our team at the past two races. We know we should be up there with the point leaders. A fuel mileage issue at Chicago and a flat tire at New Hampshire cost us valuable points, especially last week at Loudon (New Hampshire). We've put ourselves in a hole, but the good news is that we still have eight races to go to make up the difference. We've been known for our comebacks and the way we fight through adversity. One thing you always hear from our soldiers is that you never quit and you complete the mission. That's what this Army race team has done and will always continue to do. Dover ranks real high on my list of favorite tracks -- it's a lot of fun to drive there. I like everything about the facility, the ability to pass cars, the speed, the high banking and the concrete track surface. I've always said once you get a race car right there, it usually stays right all day. I sure like the challenge of dropping off into the corners and the way it pushes you down in the seat when you're coming off the corners. Dover is also an awesome place to qualify at even though it's not a forgiving track."
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVROLET – 13TH IN STANDINGS: “We’ve always run well at Dover, but we never finish well there. We should’ve won that race in May. We were leading late and the caution came out. Matt (Kenseth) stayed out or took two tires and we took four. We just got snookered in there. Dover has always been one of my favorite race tracks. I’ve won twice there in a Nationwide Series car, but just haven’t been able to put the finishes together in a Sprint Cup car. You can fall off rhythm there pretty easy. You have to get in a groove and settle in. You have to get in that rhythm. There’s probably more of a sensation of speed there than any other place that we go. It really throws you down into that banking hard. The car really works hard and digs deep. It’s a really fun race track.”
MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET – 16TH IN STANDINGS: “I love this racetrack (Dover). And, honestly, I’m not a big fan of concrete tracks, but there’s not much they could do to make me not like Dover. The racing is always tight, and I think you’ll see even more of that this Sunday. The fans are so close to the track, and they really get excited. It’s a great atmosphere. A great racetrack and definitely a race that all NASCAR fans should go to. We’re definitely heading in the right direction (after team’s recent performance). It was a shame that we had that right-front tire go down at New Hampshire. The guys did everything right that day. Great pit calls. Great pit stops. We led a lot of laps. There’s just nothing you can do about a tire going down. Our cars are faster. We’re running in the front more. This is exactly the way we need to be racing.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET – 19TH IN STANDINGS: “Last time we were in Dover was in the month of May when nothing went right for us. We normally have decent pace there, but last time…we had a string of bad luck with unscheduled pit stops and a tire going down. Dover was the first place I felt comfortable with the Sprint Cup car because it has a lot of banking, grip and it has fast corners like in open wheel. It is a fun place. When you have the car right, it is really good, but when you are off, you are way off. I know some people say it’s like a big Bristol, but it feels way different than Bristol to me.”
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 PITTSBURGH PAINTS/MENARDS CHEVROLET – 22ND IN STANDINGS: “Dover (International Speedway) is a tough place. It’s the kind of race track that you can feel really good about, and then it will bite you and put you back into your place. I really enjoy racing at Dover; it’s one of my favorite tracks, especially when the tires are good and you can move all over the track. I like it because you can run the top, bottom and middle of the track. Hopefully, Goodyear will allow us to do that again this time. In the spring, the tires were really good and you could move around. It really comes down to tires more than anything there. You can drive Dover two different ways. You can throttle up through the center of the corner then get out of the gas and drive it, or you can drive it like a diamond and wait for the car to rotate and drive it straight off. Depending on what your car is doing, you can drive it a couple of different ways. You just get in rhythm and try to click off times. It seems the sensation of speed is greater at Dover. That’s probably because of the elevation changes. You dive off of the corner then you drive up out of the corner. There are a lot of elevation changes and that makes the car go through a big range of motion. That definitely throws you around inside the car giving you a good sense of speed.”
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET – 24TH IN STANDINGS: “We weren’t quite good enough to win (last year at Dover), but we were fast. Dover has been a really good track for us. We’ve run really well there. It’s a track that I really look forward to going to. It’s been one of our best race tracks statistics wise. But, I don’t look back at that race and think ‘we had a really, really fast car.’ We were good, but we weren’t great. You have got to have a car that you can get into rhythm with. You and the car have got to be together. That’s the only way I can describe it. You can’t muscle a car around Dover. The car has to be able to help you. You have to drive aggressively but to do that, you and the car have to be synced up. When you are, it’s magic. It’s great. When you’re not, you’re not going to win. There’s a real rhythm to that track. It’s very fast. You have got to have a car that will allow you to get into a rhythm and be consistent with it. If you don’t have that, you’re not going to win at Dover. There’s never a perfect-handling car. A perfect-handling car you could run around the track and never lift off the gas. Of course, you can’t do that. You have to make sacrifices to get around that. The easier it is and the fewer sacrifices you have to make, the easier it is to drive a car. That’s when you can become really in synced with your car. When you drive it into a corner and it does something different on the eighth lap and changes again on the 20th lap, it’s hard to ever get in a rhythm. You can’t be loose. If you’re loose there, you can’t go fast. But, if you’re not a little loose, you push so bad that you can’t stand it. It’s hard to do both. A lot of patience is required. It’s aggressive patience. You have to drive the car exceptionally hard there, but if you go a little too hard, you’re hurting yourself. You have to have a good balance between having the car tight enough but not too tight.”
REGAN SMITH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING CHEVROLET – 25TH IN STANDINGS: "We feel good about our Furniture Row Chevrolet finishing 10th in New Hampshire last week, and want to back it up with another top-10 in Dover on Sunday. The May race in Dover, which followed our victory in Darlington, was going well for us until the track bar mount broke, which ended our day prematurely. We've been saying all along that the Chase races will be a good gauge to see where we stand and what we need to do to reach the Chase level of competition. One thing we do need is more consistency and that's our goal in the homestretch races. We want to achieve something positive to build on for 2012."
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALDS CHEVROLET – 27TH IN STANDINGS: “I enjoy racing at Dover and am looking forward to getting back there this weekend. As we start to wind down this season, it would be nice to build some momentum going into 2012 and Dover would be a great place to turn things around. The last two weekends have been difficult for our team so some positive results would go a long way. Our team doesn’t get down, they just work hard to overcome and I am proud of their efforts. This will be another busy weekend in addition to the Sprint Cup race in the McDonald’s Chevrolet I will also run the Nationwide race in the JR Motorsports Chevy on Saturday.”