Richmond II: GM Racing preview

TEAM CHEVY IMPALA SS INSIDE THE GARAGE AT RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY: PAT SUHY, GM RACING NASCAR GROUP MANAGER: "Coming off of a great weekend at Fontana into the finale of the Race to the Chase at Richmond is exciting. Having six (6) Chevy ...

TEAM CHEVY IMPALA SS INSIDE THE GARAGE AT RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY: PAT SUHY, GM RACING NASCAR GROUP MANAGER: "Coming off of a great weekend at Fontana into the finale of the Race to the Chase at Richmond is exciting. Having six (6) Chevy drivers in place for the Chase and only three (3) locked in, it will be a tense night at the Chevy Rock and Roll 400. With Clint Bowyer "on the bubble" he'll need a good run to keep his spot, but I'm confident that he and the #07 Impala SS team will come up with a strong performance to back up their win here in the spring. Overall, our Team Chevy drivers have been very strong here, winning the last five (5) Sprint Cup races and capturing 29 of the 50 available top-10 positions in those races.

"Richmond offers a unique mix of track characteristics that requires every team to bring their "A" game. I'm confident that our Chevy teams will do just that and help to put on a great show for the fans on Saturday night."

FROM THE DRIVER'S SEAT:

+ JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS: "If we run like we're capable of running, then we shouldn't have to worry about scenarios. We need to have a complete weekend, from a good practice session on Friday to a strong qualifying effort Friday night. And follow that up with a strong run and finish Saturday night. Hopefully, we won't have to concern ourselves with how the other teams are faring during the race. But I'm sure my crew chief Steve Letarte will be aware of the situation and will adjust the game plan, if necessary. Earlier this year, we were forced to start at the rear of the field. We were lapped early in the race, and it was a struggle back in the traffic. But in 'clean' air up front, the car was pretty good. We were able to get back on the lead lap and fight our way back for a good finish. That's the kind of fight we need again this weekend, although I'd prefer less drama."

+ JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS: "I'm happy to see people are considering us as a realistic chance for the Chase and a championship contender because our results have shown that, and we have been chipping away at it and getting closer to those guys (Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards). They have set the world on fire. Between the two of them, they have dominated the first half of the season. I recognize that and give them the respect that they deserve for that. I don't like it and I want to be that guy myself. And we still have 11 races, a lot of racing left in the season, almost a third left, and hopefully we can switch this around and finish up the season as the dominant car. But moving forward into this Chase and where those guys are at, they have been out there winning the races. I guess Kyle has eight and Carl has six, man, they deserve all the props. They are out there earning it. We have three now so we are halfway to Carl."

+ JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 AT&T IMPALA SS: "I just think for the teams, for the fans and for everybody that it takes to make this sport work, it's the best all-around track. Richmond has good racing action. It's big enough where it's not wreck after wreck, but small enough where it's close side-by-side action since you have multiple grooves. To me, it's a really hard race track to beat competition-wise. I take a lot of pride in running well at Richmond. Being from Virginia, Richmond is where I went as a kid to watch Cup Series racing and it's a special place for me to come back to. Richmond is one of the places where handling means everything. The key factors in running well is getting through the center of the corners and throttling up without losing rear grip. It sounds simple to do but the one that wins did it the best."

+ KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS: "We have been able to run really good at Richmond since I have been at RCR. We have been able to win three Nationwide Series races in a row and finish first and second in the Cup Series car in 2006. Richmond is one of those places I really enjoy racing. You can move the car all over the race track. It seems like the groove moves around as the race goes on. I am just really comfortable racing at Richmond and I hope for another great finish this weekend. It seems like everybody has closed the gap on the No. 18 (Kyle Busch). Obviously, they've been running really good every week, but it seems like the No. 99 (Carl Edwards) has been running really good as well. I feel like we've closed the gap. We've got a little bit more work to do to get to where we need to be. Hopefully, over the next couple of weeks we can get everything done that we need to get done and throw everything at it for the Chas... in an underdog role, you don't really have anything to lose so that's what we're looking forward to.

+ CLINT BOWYER, NO. 07 JACK DANIEL'S IMPALA SS ON WINNING AT RIR IN THE SPRING: "That was pretty cool. I'm not going to take anything away from our day. That win was surprising, it surprised us and that was what was cool about that win. We deserved it. We came from a long way back; we had a very fast car. I would have liked if the race would have been another hundred laps where once I got up there, I needed to free up a little bit to run with those guys, but I certainly think we could have done that, just never got that chance. Richmond is just a perfect race track. It has the speed of the big tracks that the fans want to see, but has the rootin' and gougin' and beatin' and bangin' that a short track has, You can still kinda get away with that stuff. It is an awesome race track that everybody likes going to. We need to run tracks like Richmond every weekend. It's such a fun track to race at and I'm a fan of the sport and a spectator, too. I've watched races at Richmond from the grandstand and it's a fun track to watch a race from. I think it promotes good racing. You still get that sensation of speed but it's good, hardcore racing at its finest. I'd like to see the Chase start and end there."

+ DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD IMPALA SS: "We're going to take back our normal set-up that we ran there last time and try to improve on it. I feel really good about Richmond. We've had some great runs there. And I'm glad we made the Chase this year. A lot of people would have expected us to make it, but we didn't know when the season started. I want to thank everybody at Hendrick and all the employees that worked really hard to help us have a good enough year to make the Chase and we'll try to improve a little bit and win some more races before it's over with and battle like hell for that championship."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Carl Edwards , Clint Bowyer , Kyle Busch