Team Chevy drivers talk Martinsville

Who is strong from the Chevy camp?

TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT: DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 DIET MOUNTAIN DEW CHEVROLET SS – 2ND IN STANDINGS “Every seat at Martinsville is the best seat in the house. I think it’s a great place to watch a race. I used to go up there and watch when I was a kid. It was only an hour and a half up the road so we never missed that race. I’ve been going there forever, and I love racing there.”

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 AXALTA CHEVROLET SS – 3RD IN STANDINGS “You have to be aggressive, but you have to be patient. Martinsville has fairly long straightaways – at least for a half-mile track – with extremely flat, tight corners. You really want to ‘roll’ into the corners, but it’s very easy to overdrive the entry and use too much brake. You also have to ‘roll’ the center of the corners while getting traction up off (the corners). Even when you hit a lap perfectly, chances are you are dealing with traffic the very next lap since there are 42 other drivers on this tight track with you.”

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S “SPRING IS CALLING” CHEVROLET SS – 6TH IN STANDINGS “Martinsville is one of those races on the schedule I always want to win. Last year we had great runs at Martinsville and it would be an honor to win there once again for Hendrick Motorsports.”

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 QUICKEN LOANS CHEVROLET SS – 8TH IN STANDINGS "I really like Martinsville Speedway. I wish we had more short tracks like Martinsville. Short-track racing is some of the best racing we have going for our sport because of the quality of racing we have there. The mechanical grip is always a factor at that track and it depends on which tire Goodyear brings for us. Mechanical grip and tires can manipulate the kind of weekend you are going to have and hopefully you can adapt quickly, as well as adjust appropriately throughout the course of the weekend. I like the challenge of having to chase the combination of the tire and race track. The track changes day to day so the key is making the right adjustments so you don't go off path. I am really looking forward to having a good race there in the Quicken Loans Chevrolet."

Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: James Holland

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOW CHEVROLET SS – 9TH IN STANDINGS “I’m looking forward to getting to Martinsville Speedway. I haven’t been there in a few years, since the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series days. I had some good runs there in my truck. It’s going to be totally different there in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car. There’s a lot of competition. We just have to make it through it. It’s one of those races where you have to fight to stay in it. Things are going to happen. Things are definitely wild there, so hopefully we can just have a good, solid day as a rookie and move on.”

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD’S CHEVROLET SS – 12TH IN STANDINGS “I am really excited about going to Martinsville this weekend. This is my favorite track. In addition to that, our team has some momentum right now. We have run really good the last couple of weeks, and coming off a top-10 at Fontana, I feel this could be a good weekend for us. I have had some good runs at Martinsville in the past and have even won a pole there. I just feel like Keith Rodden and the guys on this team are really focused and doing a great job”!

PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 PITTSBURGH PAINTS/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – 14TH IN STANDINGS "We had a pretty good race last weekend going from the back to the front in California (Auto Club Speedway). But, that's a tough task to do at a short track like Martinsville with so few lanes to race. Everyone is fighting for the bottom groove, which makes passing difficult. It's a fun track to drive with a big emphasis on qualifying and pit strategy to maintain good track position."

KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – 16TH IN STANDINGS “I'm anticipating Martinsville with a lot of respect for that track. I haven't run on many tracks like that before, so I'm just going to try and stay out of trouble and stay on the lead lap. If we can do that, I think we can get a good result. Our Target Chevy has been running well, and the crew has done a great job with setups, so hopefully we can keep building on the team's momentum from last weekend's great finishes.”

Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Chevrolet
Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Chevrolet

Photo by: James Holland

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 CODE 3 ASSOCIATES/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET SS – 17TH IN STANDINGS “I don’t care how old it gets or how far down the road it gets, it’s not going to be a track that I ever see leaving the schedule. It’s got too much history, too much personality, and that’s what you see a lack of in some of these 2-mile and 1.5-mile tracks. At those places, you’re going to get strung out. You’re going to get away from people. But the fans really like to see us on top of each other. That’s what ensures the longevity of Martinsville – the action they’re going to see.”


KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMER’S INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS- 19TH IN STANDINGS “It’d be great to win at Martinsville. I feel like we’ve been right there but we haven’t had the right luck or have the breaks go our way yet. However, last year, I thought both races we were as good as anybody and especially in the second race, we were the fastest car throughout most of the race so that was pretty good.”

AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 BUSH’S BEANS CHEVROLET SS – 22ND IN STANDINGS “Martinsville Speedway has always been a favorite place of mine for a couple reasons. One of the main reasons is because it’s where I posted my career-best NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finish. I finished second there in April 2012 after starting 27th. I have that top-five finish and a couple top-10s there and JTG Daugherty Racing has always been pretty good there too. We have high expectations going into this weekend. Martinsville is always action-packed and I love it. It will be a fun race for the fans to watch.”



DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY/GET FOUND CHEVROLET SS – 27TH IN STANDINGS “Our finishes have steadily improved the last three weeks, which has given the team a good boost. We had two good runs at Martinsville last year, so I feel good heading into this week. Tony Gibson (crew chief) has had a lot of success there and knows how to setup a car for Martinsville. It’s a tough place, very tight with a lot of beating and banging, but hopefully we can stay out of trouble and have a good run.”

REED SORENSON, NO. 36 CHEVROLET SS – 28TH IN STANDINGS "I am looking forward to this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Every weekend we have continued to grow and get better with this No. 36 TBR Chevy. I am hoping that this weekend we can continue with the momentum that we've been having, and come home with another solid finish."

JUSTIN ALLGAIER, NO. 51 ACCUDOC SOLUTIONS CHEVROLET SS – 29TH IN STANDINGS “I’m looking forward to Martinsville Speedway. I like short tracks so I’m excited to check this one off of my list. I’ve never actually raced at Martinsville. I attempted a race in a Truck a few years ago, but didn’t qualify. I know I have a lot to learn this weekend on how to drive the track, and to work traffic, but I’m hoping for a smooth race.”

MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVROLET SS – 30TH IN STANDINGS “We need to start finding a rhythm with this Furniture Row Racing team. Things have not gone our way so far this season. Some of it is our fault and a large part has been some very tough luck. Going to Martinsville presents another challenge. To be honest, Martinsville is a place I still haven’t figured out. I have had some good runs over the years there, but it has been very inconsistent. I’ve been hooked up at Martinsville sometimes and other times I couldn’t get out of my own way. The biggest challenge about Martinsville is the track changes so much throughout the weekend. And the track is never on Sunday what it was like all weekend. As soon as they drop the green flag the track is completely different than it was the day before when you feel you have your car dialed in for the race. Though brakes aren't as big of an issue as they use to be at Martinsville, you still need to take care of them. If not, you can burn them up.”

MICHAEL ANNETT, NO. 7 PILOT FLYING J CONSTRUCTION CHEVROLET SS – 31ST IN STANDINGS "Our test at Martinsville last week went really well. I didn't race there in the Nationwide Series, so we used that just like we'll use our practices this weekend, as a learning opportunity. 500 laps there is a long time. It's a long race, and fortunately we've been really good at adjusting to the race. If we can get better as the race goes on, we'll be in really good shape."

Team Chevy

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart , Austin Dillon
Teams Richard Childress Racing , Furniture Row Racing , Hendrick Motorsports , JTG Daugherty Racing
Article type Preview
Tags allgaier, annett, champion, chevrolet, earnhardt, gordon, johnson, jr, martinsville, truex, virginia, winner