TEAM CHEVY IMPALA SS INSIDE THE GARAGE AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY - ALBA COLON, GM RACING PROGRAM MANAGER NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES: "Team Chevy is working hard to capture our first win in the new Impala SS at Texas Motor Speedway, but based on the ...
TEAM CHEVY IMPALA SS INSIDE THE GARAGE AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY - ALBA COLON, GM RACING PROGRAM MANAGER NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES: "Team Chevy is working hard to capture our first win in the new Impala SS at Texas Motor Speedway, but based on the recent results from both Kansas and Charlotte, we are excited and optimistic about Sunday's race.
"It was at Texas in April '07 that we first unveiled our award winning R07 engine. Since that time, the R07 has powered Team Chevy to 22 wins in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition. The dependability of the R07 will be key this weekend because our teams need to maximize their engine performance. The reputation Texas has of being a "horsepower" track is well deserved and our drivers will have both the performance and durability they need with the Chevy R07 engine.
"Texas presents its own set of unique challenges to our teams on the handling side. While there are some similarities between the 1.5-mile tracks, drivers report that the Texas track is a little rougher than some of the others and the set-ups there seem to change every time we go there. Our GM Racing engineers will be there throughout the weekend to work with our teams to find the setup they will need for the race.
"We have the strongest teams with the best drivers. There has been a tremendous combined effort to gain knowledge, and we are continuing to build and improve the package they have with the Impala SS."
FROM THE DRIVER'S SEAT:
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS: "We struggled through the entire weekend here earlier this year, and nobody on this DuPont team wants to experience that again. We've tested more this year than I ever have before, and I hope it shows in our performance this weekend. Texas is a very challenging race track, and we have been 'hit or miss' here. There are bumps and transitions, and there is a lot of grip on this very fast track.
"Facility wise, I think this place is at the top. We have been good enough to win at times, but we haven't been good enough on a consistent basis to pull it off. We have been leading here with less than 50 laps to go and didn't win. Those are frustrating, but nothing like what we experienced here in April."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS: "I'm excited about Texas this weekend. The races are winding down and we're sitting in a good position. Texas was a great race for us in the Spring when we ran there -- we ended up second. It was a period of time when we were making a lot of progress with this car and understanding things a little better so we have a good baseline to go back with. Plus I feel that we've made our cars better and I'm optimistic and excited to go to Texas this weekend.
"I'm just ignoring as much of what the media is saying about the championship as I possibly can. I'm not watching the shows and not reading articles. I'm living inside my own head. I feel very good about where we're at and I'm trying hard not to pay attention to outside opinions and what's really going on out there. So, I'm just keeping my head down and staying focused on the things I can control."
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 AT&T IMPALA SS: "I think we still approach the Dickies 500 the same way we have approached the previous races. The AT&T Racing team will give our best effort this weekend at Texas just as we did in each of the first 33 races. To put it in football terms, since it's football season, I am looking at this like we have six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, we're down by seven and it's fourth down. We need to decide to punt or to go for it. Right now, we're still going to punt. We'll rely on our defense and our entire team to play together as a team to win this game. Now, if we go into next week's race at Phoenix and are still in the same area, points position-wise, we'll need to change up our strategy a bit and go for it on fourth down.
"I look at Texas as a place where I got my first win but, on the other hand, Texas was also a factor in us not winning a championship in 2006. I hold Texas in high regard but I also look at it as a place that has defining moments in my career. I want to look at Texas and think that's a place where great things have happened for me. I want to go to Texas this time and leave there saying that Texas put me in a position to win a championship."
"The interesting thing about Texas is that every time we go there, it takes something different to get around the track. It's unbelievable how the set-ups change from race to race there. I enjoying racing at Texas but it's one of those places where it has been feast or famine for me. We've either done really well or really poorly. Obviously, the point of the year we are in right now, we need to do really well. We just need to bring our homework to the table and be able to adjust the car to its liking. Texas is a really fun race track but it is difficult to conquer."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS:"Texas has been a really good race track for us on the Nationwide and Cup side. We've run really well on these types of race tracks this year. This is also the home track for Shell and Pennzoil and there should be a lot of fans on our side. The transitions up off the corners at Texas are a lot different than Charlotte. The banking comes out of the corners and it really flattens out as you exit the corners. It is really hard to get a hold of turn two. A lot of times you are either really loose up off turn two or you're pushing the front end really bad. It is a fine line to get your car to work great around the entire track. I have a lot of confidence when we come to Texas Motor Speedway. I've had some really good runs there in my career. For whatever reason, I like this race track. We don't seem to qualify very well there, but we always seem to find a way to finish strong."
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 07 JACK DANIELS IMPALA SS: "I think we can improve on our performance at Texas last April. I think we finally hit on some things that I can drive on a 1.5-mile track. Granted, last weekend at Atlanta wasn't a good day for us but that was a little bit out of character for us lately. I'm looking forward to this weekend. Hopefully, we got all of those issues out of our system last week. Texas is a little faster and it has more grip, but by race time, it's usually about the same as the other 1.5-mile tracks. You have to have your car rolling in the center of the corner and be able to run on the bottom."
"I've been in an F-16 and I know what G-Forces are. If anyone complains about G-Forces in a stock car, you laugh at them because they should be laughed at. It's not going to wear your out from the G-Forces. You might be worn out from sawing on the wheel and not breathing because you were worried about crashing every time you went in the corner. There is definitely a sensation of speed at Texas. When you roll off into Turn 1 at 207 mph and pull on the wheel and the car wants to come around on you, it's pretty nerve-wracking."
-credit: gm racing