Texas II: GM Racing preview

CHEVY RACING AT THE TRACK-TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY-- JEFF CHEW, CHEVY RACING NASCAR MARKETING MANAGER: "We're looking forward to bringing the Team Chevy Racing Tour back to Texas Motor Speedway," said Jeff Chew, Marketing Manager-NASCAR, Chevy Racing.

CHEVY RACING AT THE TRACK-TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY-- JEFF CHEW, CHEVY RACING NASCAR MARKETING MANAGER: "We're looking forward to bringing the Team Chevy Racing Tour back to Texas Motor Speedway," said Jeff Chew, Marketing Manager-NASCAR, Chevy Racing. "The fans were very receptive when we visited TMS during the April NASCAR event. The Team Chevy Racing Tour provides an opportunity for fans to experience all of the newest Chevy products, take a test drive of several of our most popular models and join in the festivities when four of our Team Chevy drivers take the stage for question-and-answer sessions."

* Driver appearances for fan Q & A on the Chevy Stage: FRIDAY -- Ricky Carmichael-12:30 pm; Austin Dillon-1:00 pm; T.J. Bell-1:30 pm AND Dale Earnhardt, Jr.-5:30 pm. SUNDAY -- Jamie McMurray-10:30 am; Ryan Newman-11:10 am AND Tony Stewart-11:25 am

* The over-the-wall pit crew for McMurray's No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet will sign autographs Sunday at the Main Display starting at 11:45 am

TEAM CHEVY AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY-PAT SUHY, GM RACING NASCAR GROUP MANAGER: "Congratulations to Clint Bowyer on his win and RCR on their one-two finish at Talladega! That win gave Chevrolet, and ECR engines, a sweep of all four restrictor plate Sprint Cup races on the 2010 tour. This is further proof that Chevrolet has the best teams and the best combination of fast and reliable parts in NASCAR.

"Texas Motor Speedway is a fast high-banked mile and a half 'quad oval' where every aspect of the teams' performance is important. The race cars with a combination of high downforce and great engine power will have the best shot at winning here. Since its introduction in 2007, the Chevrolet R07 NASCAR engine has won more than its share of races, and has proven to be the strongest and most reliable engine in the garage. That's due to the efforts of all of the engine engineers at GM Racing and the engineers and engine builders at Earnhardt Childress Racing Engines and Hendrick Motorsports. Similarly, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chevrolet is second to none when it comes to providing a platform for our key partners' aero departments and body shops to tune the aero performance to their drivers' needs.

"At Texas, the drivers and crew chiefs not only have to work together to keep up with the demands of a track that rewards a driver's ability to search around for the fastest line, but also with the challenges that the car be set up to allow the drivers to do so.

"With only 38 points separating the top three drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, it will be critical for our Team Chevy Chase contenders to have great finishes this weekend. I'm looking forward to watching it all unfold, and then celebrating in victory lane on Sunday with one of our Team Chevy drivers and crew."

TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER'S SEAT:

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET -- POINT LEADER: "For me we've always really approached each race with the mentality that we needed to win. You can go back to the Texas race a few years back where I worked hard to get by Matt (Kenseth). We've been able to win at Phoenix. Our Homestead performance has been getting better and better each year. I felt last year we had a chance to run with the lead group of guys and didn't need to, played it smart. It's really the same mentality. We need maximum points. Of course, it's a little bit more forgiving or easy on your team and yourself with a big points lead. But we don't have that this year. We're going to have to race, and we're ready for it. (Now that Talladega is over, our strategy is) all out. We need to be as competitive and as fast as we can possibly be at this point. We're going to three tracks that are good for all three competitors. As Kevin (Harvick) was saying earlier, you're going to have to run in the top five to stay in the game. Then obviously take advantage of things and win if you can. Ten extra points from first to second are going to be important. Leading laps, leading the most laps, you're going to have to be on your A game from here on out."

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL/PENNZOIL CHEVROLET -- 3RD IN STANDINGS: "Based upon how we ran (at Texas) the first time, with the progression that we've made with all the cars and power and the difference in the way we understand some of the engineering things we work with now, I just think we're better than we were the first time there. You never know until we get back and a lot of it is dictated by the tire and using those notes and so you just never know until you get there that weekend and do those first few laps on the race track. The key is just getting off the exits of the corners and being able to hold it wide open finding that balance between being too loose and too tight up off the corners because at Texas it's much different than a lot of the other 1.5-mile race tracks because the banking flattens out so fast. We ran pretty solid there the first time this year and feel like we have a good baseline to start with our set-up. I feel like we have good notes and way better race cars than we had at the beginning of the year. They were great at the beginning of the year but I feel like we have better cars now and feel like we've fixed some issues on pit road. So I feel like we're a better race team than we were six weeks ago. So we just have to keep doing the things that we're doing and keep from having those big hiccups."

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET -- 4TH IN STANDINGS: "We had such a great car here earlier this year that it's hard to start off the weekend any different," said Gordon, who is fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings and 207 behind the leader. "We'll start out the same and we'll find out how much this sport and setups have changed since we were last here. We'll fine-tune it from there. It's a tough 1.5-mile race track because the transitions from straightaways to the corners and corners to straightaways are very challenging and abrupt. So it's hard to get the car comfortable in those sections. And if you get comfortable in those sections in and off the corner, how do you get the car to turn in the middle? You're doing all those things at a 170 or 180 miles per hour, so it's a very challenging race track. It's been one of the most challenging for me and my race team over the years for that reason. You never know what it's going to take to pull off a win, but a fast race car certainly helps. We had that in the spring and we hope to have another fast car this weekend. I expect us to be really strong."

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/OLD SPICE CHEVROLET -- 7TH IN STANDINGS: "The hard part is, even if you were the guy that won the Texas race in the spring, it's such a long gap between the spring and fall race that you got to keep in mind our sport is a technology-driven sport. Guys make their programs better. Shock programs change. Setups change. The conditions that you have temperature-wise can be different. Just because you were good there before, just because you were good in Atlanta, doesn't guarantee you'll be good at Texas the second time around. But it's a lot better scenario of going into Texas knowing that we ran well there in the spring and that we did run well at Atlanta, I guess. I know when they built the (Texas) track it was kind of explained why that is (that drivers say the banking in Turn 2 literally falls out from underneath them). The entry and exit of these corners, they're very abrupt as far as the banking. When you turn in the corner, very abrupt getting in, and falls off very quickly. The reason for that, when they built Texas Motor Speedway, they intended to have the Indy Cars race on the apron. That's why the apron is so wide at Texas. The Indy Cars were not originally meant to run on the banking. That's why the banking on the entry of the corner and exit falls off so fast so the cars could come from the straightaway from the apron and back up with a smooth transition from the bottom. It makes it a different challenge than what we have at Charlotte or Atlanta because of that. It does make it a lot more challenging to get your car set up for it. You can't relax on the entry and you can't relax on the exit of the corner. That banking, a lot of times your car; it's hard to get your car secure on the entry because you don't have that banking to hold it. It definitely falls out from under you. When it does, you have to make sure your car is tight enough to make it through that transition."

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET -- 10TH IN STANDINGS: "Texas is a very difficult race track. It's really, really fast. The corner entries are completely different than anywhere else. It's almost a poor design the way the track is, but that's okay. It's different, it's a real challenge, and I look forward to going there because of all that. It was cool (beating Matt Kenseth for the win in '07). That was one of the wins where I got a chance to race against Matt in a late-race battle with somebody you have a lot of respect for. We had a great race (with) a lot of side-by-side action and it was a lot of fun. I finally got by him on the last lap and it was a really cool experience."

CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVROLET -- 12TH IN STANDINGS: "I'm looking forward to Texas. It's always a lot of fun, the fans, everything that surrounds the racetrack. The stockyards down there, I always look forward to going down there. Just a really neat atmosphere to be able to race. But the track itself, very fast. Always puts on a good show for the fans. We got a brand-new racecar built for this. The engine boys said it's the best horsepower we've had all year. Looking forward to having a great run and, who knows, maybe winning another race."

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS CHEVROLET -- 13TH IN STANDINGS: "EGR's 1.5-mile program has been really good this year. Being able to finish second in the first Charlotte race and winning the second Charlotte race just a few weeks ago certainly gives us some good feelings heading to Texas. We had a nice run going here in April until we got caught up in that big wreck on the frontstretch, so hopefully we'll be able to finish what we started back in April. I think that Texas should be another great opportunity for us to learn a lot for next season, but it should also be a place that we will hopefully contend for the win. Texas is a fun track for me and I always like racing here, not to mention we've got Bass Pro Shops on the hood again, and we all know that Texans are known for their love of the outdoors. So, hopefully we'll have a few extra fans in the seats this weekend, put on a good show, and bring home another great finish for our partners."

MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 CARQUEST AUTO PARTS/GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET -- 14TH IN STANDINGS: "Texas has always been one of my favorite tracks. I am lucky to have a ton of fans here. It's not too far from Batesville (Ark.) so a lot of the locals that watched me race as a kid come out here and still cheer me on. It's a great feeling. We were good here in April, and I think that we're even better now, as a team, than we were then. So I'm looking forward to it. I think this team has a win in it this year, and the races are clicking away, so maybe Texas will be where we can check that off. To me, every position is important. We didn't miss the Chase then just give up. We knew that we wanted to improve our program and get better results, and we're doing that. We want to win races and I think that we're capable of doing that again. And throughout all of that, you want to get to the highest points position you can and for us that's 13th. So if we can achieve that -- get to the best we can -- then that's definitely a positive for this race team. It's a good way to end the season and a good starting point for 2011."

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 TORNADOS CHEVROLET -- 15TH IN STANDINGS: "I always look forward to racing at Texas. I love the speed at Texas. It's a fast racetrack, and the weather should be cool, so hopefully we can haul mail. Texas is actually one of the fastest tracks that we go to all year, so you have to be on top of your game because things can happen pretty quickly. It's a track I've always liked, although it doesn't necessarily show in the finishes. It's a smooth, fast racetrack and there are multiple grooves, so it is fun to race. The asphalt has aged the track to the point it has gotten better and better each time we come back. What I mean, is that the track has basically gotten wider. It's gotten a bit more character. A little more bumpier which is fine, I like it. I think that in general the track has gotten wider and racier each time we've come back. It's got less grip. But that is fine, I'd rather slide around a little bit and be in charge of my race car than be stuck to the race track. It's a race we look forward to. Because the asphalt has aged, it's really gotten to be a better race I love the speed. It's a fast race track. The weather should be cool so hopefully we can haul the mail."

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 LYSOL CHEVROLET -- 16TH IN STANDINGS: "We've been working on our mile-and-a-half program this year. For some reason we haven't been as successful at them as we had hoped. I think my best finish at Texas is like seventh so it's one of those tracks that has gotten away from us. You can run against the fence and make up good ground especially in (turns) three and four and I'm a fan of running the high line especially at these types of tracks. We've got three races to go and would like to get the Target Chevrolet back in victory lane before the end of the season."

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY CHEVROLET -- 19TH IN STANDINGS: "The most challenging part for Texas really is that you get a little tight getting into (Turns) 1 and 2. Getting into (Turn) 3 is real hard for some reason -- it's just a tricky transition down into that corner. Otherwise it's a real fun place, and we always seem to run good there."

REGAN SMITH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVROLET - 30TH IN STANDINGS: "With three top 13s in the last four races I think a top-10 finish would almost feel like a win for us right now. We have three more tries this season to get that monkey-off-our-back top-10. Texas Motor Speedway's mile-and-a-half track is what we like. We have done pretty well on those types of tracks this year. Our first mission this weekend is to qualifying well -- you don't want to start at the back and make more work for yourself on race day. We had a decent run in Texas in the spring race, finishing 21st. However, our finishing goals have changed a couple of times since then. At present, if we don't bring the Furniture Row Chevrolet home with a top-15 or better finish it is not considered a successful weekend. It's been fun this year seeing our Furniture Row Racing team improve in all areas of the operation, including the driver."

BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 10 GANDER MOUNTAIN CHEVROLET "I really felt good about what we did in our first race together. This will give us another chance to race again and really give a lot of feedback to this team (Stavola Labonte Racing) as they put together their 2011 program. This is a team building a strong foundation and I'm proud to help out."

ANDY LALLY, NO. 71 TAXSLAYER.COM CHEVROLET: "When we unload we focus a lot on the race set-up of the car. However, as a driver you want to show your stuff in qualifying. We qualified well at Charlotte, considering my experience level in the series. Although we have a guaranteed start, there are 49 cars entered this weekend and I want to qualify well. I am looking forward to the difference of the Texas track. I can bring the experience of my previous six starts this year to help the guys make the car as good as possible for the race. I am doing my homework and watching past Texas races. The racing groove goes from the apron to the wall and there are a lot different options of where you can run the car. I am hoping to give the TaxSlayer.com Chevy a good run this weekend."

-source: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , T.J. Bell , Jamie McMurray , Clint Bowyer , Austin Dillon
Teams Hendrick Motorsports