Phoenix: GM Racing preview

CHEVY RACING AT THE TRACK-PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY -- JEFF CHEW, MARKETING MANAGER, NASCAR, CHEVY RACING: "We're looking forward to bringing the all-new 2010 Team Chevy Racing Display to Phoenix International Raceway for the first time. In...

CHEVY RACING AT THE TRACK-PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY -- JEFF CHEW, MARKETING MANAGER, NASCAR, CHEVY RACING: "We're looking forward to bringing the all-new 2010 Team Chevy Racing Display to Phoenix International Raceway for the first time. In the Phoenix International Raceway Midway area, inside Gate 5, fans can visit the primary Chevy Racing Tour display, where autograph sessions will take place and Chevrolet's 2010 lineup of award winning cars and trucks will be on display. Additionally, just outside Gate 4 in the merchandise area, fans can stop by the Team Chevy Winner's Circle Photo Trailer, where they can get a 'green-screen' framed picture taken with their favorite Chevy driver."

* Chevy Display for a fan Q&A on Saturday at 12:45 p.m.

* Pit Crew for Clint Bowyer's No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet will sign autographs at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday

* The Team Chevy Racing Display will be in two locations near Gates 4 & 5 in the Midway display area of PIR, and will be open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on Thursday, 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. on Friday, and 11:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. on Saturday

CHEVROLET ON THE TRACK-PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY:

* A Chevrolet driver has won 13 of the 27 NSCS races at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR)

* Chevy has 15 poles at PIR

* Team Chevy drivers have scored 59 top-five finishes and 118 top-10 finishes at PIR

* A Chevrolet has led 3,292 laps (39.3% of 8,373 possible) at PIR

* Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, has four (4) victories at the one-mile oval

* Jeff Burton, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, has two (2) wins at PIR

* Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet has two (2) PIR wins

* Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet has won twice (2) at PIR

* Mark Martin, No. 5 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, has two (2) PIR victories

* Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet has won once (1) at PIR

* Tony Stewart, No. 14 Office Depot/ Old Spice Chevrolet has one (1) PIR win

TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER'S SEAT:

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET, POINTS LEADER: "We won't really know (new spoiler versus old wing) until we get to Texas. At the end of the day, here, at Phoenix we will learn a little bit more about it, but the speeds aren't high enough here to have an effect. The balance of the car in a straight line in a wind tunnel, it provides more rear down force than what we are used to; what we had with the wing. NASCAR intentionally overshot that number a little bit to give us something to work with. But when you are in traffic, a spoiler is less efficient than a wing so with that in mind, at high speeds your lose efficiency, you are going to lose down force in the back of the car. On top of that, we had more side force with the end plates on the wing itself which was a security blanket in some respects, it kept us from spinning all the way around in traffic. I've seen a lot of people who have said it is going to make for better racing and not many pointing out these other difficulties with the spoiler versus the wing and I just have a feeling it's going to make it more difficult. When we get on these faster tracks, it is going to make it tougher to close that gap and to get someone's bumper and put a pass together."

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL CHEVROLET, 4TH IN STANDINGS: "Phoenix has been a good race track for us in the past. Jeff (Burton) ran really well there last year so hopefully we take his baseline and go with what he ran at that particular race. We were absolutely horrible there last year in both races. But with Jeff having a good race, I feel confident we can take his stuff and plug it right into our car and be where we need to be again. It's going to be a little bit of challenge (starting late in the day and ending in the evening) because a lot of it depends on the type of weather you get when you get there. If it's really hot, it's going to cool off a tremendous amount, or if it's a mild day, it will all depend on the weather. But it will change, regardless. As soon as the sun goes behind the suites and things, and the shadows start coming in (Turns) 1 and 2, the grip level picks up and the lap times pick up three and four-tenths a lap."

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET, 5TH IN STANDINGS: "Phoenix is kind of like Charlotte in that we start in the daytime and transition into the night. The sun becomes a real issue off of Turn 3 and especially getting into Turn 1. I don't really care so much that it's night time, but the sun does impact how you can see. I really felt like if we had qualified better at Phoenix (last fall race) and been up front a little earlier, we would have really been hard to beat in that race. We were really fast and got by a lot of cars early, but never really had our track position until real late in the race and it was just a little too late. The key for us, going back, is just being a little bit better than we were."

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET, 7TH IN STANDINGS: "It's interesting to see how Phoenix will be affected from a fuel mileage strategy standpoint. And you won't know until you get into it. It just depends on how the cautions fall as it does in most races. From a reliability standpoint, no big deal. I love that race track, but it is a very challenging race track. Both ends of the race track are completely opposite. It's sort of like a one mile Darlington without the banking in my opinion; just in the way of it's impossible to get both ends of the race track to work perfectly. And I like that challenge in a race track. It's a fun track. I've driven on that track since I was like 18 years old. So, it's one I always look forward to going to."

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/ OLD SPICE CHEVROLET, 8TH IN STANDINGS: "You know, Phoenix races like a short track in all reality even though it is a mile, it races a lot like a short track because of how slick it gets. That track is a pretty old surface but that is what makes it fun is because it makes you have to work so hard to get your car right and get it driving good there. It is a place I like. It is one of my favorite tracks we go to all year is Phoenix is because of that."

CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVROLET, 9TH IN STANDINGS: "It's a very fun racetrack and I have always liked Phoenix. Actually my first race as an RCR employee was at Phoenix and that was where I got my first start in the Cup series, I won a Nationwide race there, so the track has been good to me. I enjoy it and can't wait to get out there. It's always a racy little short track that we all love. Richard (Childress) used to have an alliance with Bill McAnally and my first RCR race was in one of McAnally's cars at Phoenix. It was actually pretty interesting. Me, and his full-time driver, who was beating and banging on each other for the lead and I think Bill was getting pretty nervous. He was starting to say some things on the radio. But I've just enjoyed working for Richard and being a part of RCR and everything that they've given me and my family is just a dream come true. I appreciate it. You think about old races like that. I didn't win it but I think we finished second."

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY CHEVROLET, 10TH IN STANDINGS: "Phoenix is a cool track. It's challenging because both ends of the track are completely different. It's tough to make a car work good there but whoever can get through the corners is going to have a good night."

MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET 17TH IN STANDINGS: "Phoenix has been a great racetrack for me since I first started going there. I like the short track style, and I love night racing, so I look forward to this one, for sure. I thought I was going to get a win there in 2008, and of course we did last year, which was just awesome. We had a great car there last fall, too, so I'm looking forward to getting back out there. I remember being nervous for that race we won at Phoenix in 2009. But that's only because I knew how good our car was. We had a winning car from the time we rolled off the truck last year. The guys knew it, too, and I was so concerned with not disappointing them. We had a great race. Perfect pit stops. Very few adjustments all night long. The caution came out late, and I thought, 'You've got to be kidding me!' We had to fight off Tony (Stewart) at the end, and he's never easy to keep behind you. When we finally won, it was such a mix of relief and gratitude. It was an amazing night. One of those wins that I'm sure I'll never forget. Absolutely incredible."

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS CHEVROLET, 19TH IN STANDINGS: "Phoenix is a fun race track to run at, but it's also a challenging track because you have to set up your car for two different corners. Turns one and two are completely different from turns three and four, so your car has to be balanced well enough to turn at both ends due to the unique shape of the track. I've had some fairly good runs at Phoenix lately so I hope that this weekend plays out in our favor for the Bass Pro Shops team. Phoenix is a place that I always look forward to because I really enjoy visiting the area; it's just a great place to visit and to be able to race at twice a year."

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 TORNADOS CHEVROLET. 22ND IN STANDINGS: "I'm looking forward to Phoenix. It's a driver's racetrack. We've always said that because it's so unique. It's different from one end to the other. And, therefore, the crew chief can only get one end perfect, it seems, and the other one the driver has to adapt to. Phoenix is interesting because, I think every time we come back here, it seems like the track loses just a small percentage of grip, and that's a good thing because the driver has to drive and hustle the car a little bit more and a little bit differently and still be smooth. It's those aspects that make this track a lot of fun to me."

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET, 25TH IN STANDINGS: "You know, Phoenix is a cool place. Over the years, we normally get decent results there, not terribly great but not bad either. The track is actually kind of a tricky racetrack, because you can run the apron in a lot of places, make up a lot of lap time with it. It's always fun. Hopefully we can have a clean day and get things back on track for the Target team. Last couple of weeks have been kind of rough for us. But it's okay. Overall the team keeps doing an amazing job, brings good Chevrolet racecars, good motors. I can't complain."

MIKE BLISS, NO. 36 TOMMY BALDWIN RACING CHEVROLET, 36TH IN STANDINGS: "I like Phoenix a lot and am looking forward to racing there this weekend. We got some of our momentum back at Martinsville and the team has worked hard to get the car ready for a good run in Phoenix. I'm confident we can put together a solid finish and get the team closer to the top-35."

-source: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Jimmie Johnson , Clint Bowyer , Mark Martin