DID YOU KNOW? The General Motors Foundation announced a $100,000 grant to the American Red Cross to aid recovery efforts for victims of the tornado that ravaged Joplin, Mo. on May 22?
CHEVY RACING AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY, JEFF CHEW, MARKETING MANAGER, NASCAR, CHEVY RACING: 'We look forward to bringing the Team Chevy Racing Display back to Kansas Speedway, because, as we saw last year, the race fans who visit the popular track are very interested in experiencing all of the newest Chevy products. Also, racing is a very important part of Chevy’s long history, and sharing that heritage with our fans is very important to us. 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. In addition, there will be a Team Chevy Test drive as well as driver Q & A sessions and team autograph sessions all adding to the tremendous Chevrolet experience for the fans."
TEAM CHEVY AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY – PAT SUHY, NASCAR GROUP MANAGER, GM RACING: “Congratulations to Kevin Harvick, the No. 29 Chevrolet crew, and Richard Childress Racing on their win last weekend in Charlotte. Surviving to the end and being in a position to win the longest race on the schedule is an accomplishment that they can all be proud of.
... it has unique challenges to deal with ...
“This week the NASCAR tour heads to Kansas Speedway for the first of two stops there in 2011. While Kansas is another mile and a half track like Charlotte, it has unique challenges to deal with that require teams to dig into their engineering tool boxes. Kansas has the shallowest banking of any of the mile and a half tracks the Cup teams have raced on. However, when the Cup cars make their inaugural visit to Kentucky Speedway this summer, it will become the flattest mile and a half track on the circuit with slightly less banking in the corners and flatter front and back stretches.
“The flatness at Kansas means that mechanical grip, as opposed to aerodynamic, plays a bigger role in the turns since the cars are going slower and generate less overall downforce. Optimizing mechanical grip means that the teams need to rely on several key engineering technologies, including seven post testing, chassis simulation, and tire data analysis and modeling. Our GM engineers have been working with the teams on these and other technologies as the Race to the Chase approaches the halfway point. So far it's been a winning combination, with Team Chevy having six wins and leading 42% of laps raced this year. We have a winning tradition at Kansas Speedway as well, with six wins out of only ten races run there to date. With the hard work, dedication and skill of everyone involved, there's a good chance a Chevrolet driver will be first to the checkers again this weekend.”
TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY: KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET – 2ND IN STANDINGS: “No, you don’t have to throw out all the notes because Kansas is in June. You will have somewhere to start. It really depends on what tire they bring as to what direction to go with your car. So you adjust to that and the tires are constant evolution. Goodyear is trying to make things better and trying to make more technology and do things so you have to keep up with that side of it. The cars evolve constantly from an aerodynamic standpoint. The weather will probably be warmer so things will definitely change a little bit but it won’t be an overhaul. You never really know (about two race dates at a track) until you get to a particular area. Sometimes you look at two races – the old saying, don’t make two mediocre races out of one good, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I think California is a good example of that. With the people that they have around them that support the crowds, they’re probably a one-race track. Kansas has always been sold out and had a great atmosphere and had a great attendance. If both races are still sold out then it’s a success. If it’s not then you need to go to Iowa.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S/KOBALT TOOLS CHEVROLET – 3RD IN STANDINGS: “So much has changed with us we’re going back (to Kansas) with an empty notebook. New cars, new concepts; I’m excited. I think the track is a great race track to compete on. What has happened in that area and surrounding the track is just amazing. I’m excited to go back. We’re there for two dates and hopefully the grandstands are full for both dates and I know that we’ll put on a good show. My Kansas win, that’s a great win. The track in my opinion has aged really well and I guess there is some concern that it may have aged too much in a short period of time but the bumps, the asphalt fading and losing grip as it has really promotes multiple lanes of racing and that’s what we’re looking for as drivers so when I think of Kansas, I’m excited about my win and I want to win again, but I’m think of a racer’s race track.”
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET – 4TH IN STANDINGS: “Kansas is a tough track. It is getting slick down in three and four and off of turn two. It is starting to get pretty slick over there. Just trying to get good forward bite out of the corner without getting the car too tight in the middle, that’s the key. The only thing that is different about the (1.5-mile) tracks themselves is just the condition of the asphalt; the condition of the track surface. Some tracks, depending on the region they are in, get slicker than others.”
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVROLET – 8TH IN STANDINGS: “I’m really excited about it. I’m just proud to be from Kansas. It is amazing to see what the track has brought to that area. It’s really cool and I’m very excited. Every year that we go back, they always have something new. That’s what makes me proud about that area and what they’ve been able to accomplish there. Kansas is becoming one of those tracks that everyone likes going to just because of the area and how much there is to do there. It would be big (to win there). We’ve gotten close, including that deal with Biffle in 2007. We ran well the first couple races there, but we’ve struggled here as of late. It’s an important track for me and it would be a helluva party, I can promise you that (laughs). Once it (Kansas track) was built, I drove by it every week and would set goals just to be able to drive there in anything. I never dreamed I would be able to drive an ARCA car there, let alone start a race in a Sprint Cup Series car. It’s fast and fairly slick. It’s a difficult place to get around. It doesn’t really race like your typical 1.5-mile race tracks. I think that’s just because of the grip level. It’s hard to hook the bottom. It’s hard to get up top and find grip and get that momentum around the race track. It makes for a fun race. It really does.”
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 THE GLADES/OFFICE DEPOT CHEVROLET – 9TH IN STANDINGS: “It's just been one of those places that from the first time we've run at Kansas on, it's been a track that we've been very comfortable with. We always seem to know at the end of happy hour where the balance is that we need to be really good during the race. It's just a big momentum track, and it's really important just like it was at Charlotte this past weekend to get in the corner well and to be able to not necessarily have to get on the gas right away but just to be able to maintain that corner speed. It seems like if you can make your car pass through the center of the corner that you're going to have a really fast race car the whole day.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET – 10TH IN STANDINGS: “For me, I’m like anybody else; I guess I could say in that we don’t know exactly how it is going to be (to have two race dates at Kansas). For me, I think about the race track and if the race track is going to be super slick because it is a hot, sunny day and it is way hotter than it was in the fall. Those types of things; that is what I think about. To me, in the end, it is just another race, but I want to go there knowing what I need to do to my race car to make it fast, to make it capable of winning. Kansas is totally different (than Charlotte). It is a totally different type of race track. Much less vertical load there. Track position is even more important there. The seams with the asphalt are sensitive there. There are different things that for sure standout at Kansas City than at Charlotte. It used to be a place like Kansas was kind of similar to Las Vegas or Chicago. Between our tire situation that we have now in reference to how many different tires we run throughout the year, there is much less similarities between tracks because of the tire differences.”
MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 FARMER’S INSURANCE/GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET – 14TH IN STANDINGS: “Kansas is a great race track, a really great race track. I’ve raced a lot in Springfield, MO and even up at I-70 and stuff like that. You get a lot of homefolk kind of fans there and it’s fun and exciting. Being that it comes at a different time of year, it’s kind of a blur. Most of the competitors right now are sort of in a blur of just trying to meet their schedules and they’re looking at their calendar and seeing where they’re at now and where they’re going next.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET – 15TH IN STANDINGS: “We learned a lot about our cars after the Charlotte race last weekend so I’m hoping Kansas will be a good track for us. We’re bringing a chassis we’ve run before with some changes. Brian and the guys back at the shop have been working really hard to figure out where we need to improve and I think we’re heading in the right direction. It’s a process and not something that happens overnight but I feel like we could have a top-five car for Kansas.”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET – 16TH IN STANDINGS: “Weather conditions always play a role, but I think tires play a bigger role. I think the tire Goodyear brings is probably going to mean more than the time of year. This is a flatter race track, so grip is a premium. The tires wear quite a bit here, so tire management seems to be pretty important. And that falls back on the car, the team and your communication with them to get the car to work the way you want it to as the tires begin to wear. Qualifying well each week doesn’t mean you will run well during the race, but it sure does help. Last week at Charlotte for instance, our car wasn’t bad – it was just tough when you were racing back in heavy traffic. Once we got out front in clean air, it was a totally different story. For whatever reason, this track suits my driving style. Even in June, it’s still a mile-and-a-half and it’s still an important race track. And it’s still a track we want to win at.”
I struggle at Kansas.
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 ZECOL/MENARDS CHEVROLET – 20TH IN STANDINGS: “I like Kansas (Speedway). It’s a beautiful track. It’s very ‘Midwestern’ with great race fans. I’m really glad they gave us another race date there. It feels a lot like home to me. I’ll have some people shoot down I-35 from Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin to come watch the race.Last year we were fast all day long. We led a little bit. Then I think we had a bad pit stop on the last stop which put us back a couple spots. It was one of those races that you wish you could have a ‘do-over.’ I think we could have come away with a top five pretty easily. The turn one entry seems to be a little bit wider like you’re turning before you actually start slowing down compared to Texas (Motor Speedway) or Charlotte (Motor Speedway). Obviously, they’re shaped differently. But, there’s a really wide entry into turn one, you don’t feel the speed like you do at a track like Texas. The track feels wider now with the new asphalt. Even in practice, you’ll see people running up by the fence. That’s always a good sign for the race.”
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET – 22ND IN STANDINGS: “I think Kansas is a track that has deserved the right to have two races. It’s a track that is highly supported by the fans. A lot of people come out and are enthusiastic about being there. If we’re going to run somewhere twice, that’s where we need to be. We need to be in places where people want to go to a race twice. I think it’s a good thing we’re there twice. We’ve struggled a little there. It hasn’t been our best race track. I can’t really think of a time that we had a car to win at Kansas. I struggle at Kansas. We need to look real hard at Kansas and see what we need me as a driver and us as a team to be better there because it hasn’t been a good track for us. Typically, tracks get better as they get older. I think Kansas is a good example of that. You see a lot of different options, people running different grooves. I think that’s a good thing. Kansas isn’t a fast-feeling type of racetrack. Texas and Charlotte feel quite a bit faster than Kansas. Kansas is more of a rhythm hailing racetrack, whereas the other ones are too, but they have more grip.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD’S CHEVROLET – 26TH IN STANDINGS: “Kansas is a place that I always look forward to going to because it is close to where I grew up. This trip however will be different than most, as I am going to make a stop in my hometown of Joplin, Mo. to visit after the devastating tornado that ripped through the town last week. I want to reach out to the people that were affected by this tragedy and hopefully bring awareness to the relief efforts that will be ongoing. We ran the Convoy of Hope name on our Bass Pro Shops car last weekend to honor the people of Joplin and we had a strong run going until we lost a motor. Our team had us in position to lead a few laps and we really felt like we made some improvement last week on our cars. Hopefully we can keep the momentum going and put our McDonald’s Chevrolet in position to run up front again.”
REGAN SMITH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING CHEVROLET – 29TH IN STANDINGS: "Coming into the season we felt the mile-and-a-half tracks would be our strong suit. However, we didn't take advantage of those tracks early on in Las Vegas and Texas. But last week we brought home an eighth-place finish in Charlotte. With Kansas being another 1.5 miler, I feel optimistic that our Furniture Row Chevrolet can produce another solid finish as we try to work down to a top-20 standing in Sprint Cup points so we can become eligible for a Chase wild card selection. I haven't had a lot of Cup experience at Kansas -- this will be my third start. But I like the mile-and-a-half tracks so I am hoping the Kansas track will also like us as did Charlotte. The first third of the season was pretty good for Furniture Row Racing --.we got our first win and scored three top 10s. We also have been a strong qualifying team. So far, so good -- but plenty of room for improvement.”
-source: team chevy