Watkins Glen: GM Racing preview

TEAM CHEVY IN THE RACE TO THE CHASE: With five (5) races remaining in the Race to the Chase, Team Chevy has six drivers in the top-12: Tony Stewart -- leader Jimmie Johnson -- 2nd Jeff Gordon -- 3rd Juan Pablo...

TEAM CHEVY IN THE RACE TO THE CHASE: With five (5) races remaining in the Race to the Chase, Team Chevy has six drivers in the top-12:
Tony Stewart -- leader
Jimmie Johnson -- 2nd
Jeff Gordon -- 3rd
Juan Pablo Montoya -- 8th
Ryan Newman -- 9th
Mark Martin -- 10th

Has won 11 races in '09, more than any other manufacturer
Has lead the most laps in '09 -- 2,855 of 5,821 (49.1% of all laps raced)
Has had more top-10 finishes than any other manufacturer in '09 -- 104


Team Chevy drivers have won 14 of the 26 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at The Glen, more than any other manufacturer

Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Impala SS, and Tony Stewart, No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Impala SS, both have four victories at The Glen-most of all drivers


TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OLD SPICE/OFFICE DEPOT IMPALA SS: "I've just always liked it (racing on road courses). I won a national championship racing go-karts on road courses, so the concept of what it took to win races on road courses wasn't totally unknown to me, but driving cars with suspension, and definitely driving cars that you had to shift, that's something that came relatively easy to me, and still comes easy to me as far as knowing how to synchronize the gears without having to use the help of the clutch. Even in the sports cars that I've driven with guys who have driven road courses all their life, I've gotten out of the car and the crew has torn the gearboxes apart and said that the dog rings in my transmission look better than when those guys are done with a transmission. There's just something about the shifting side of it that's been really natural to me, and it's fun. I like having a different discipline to race on. I like having the opportunity to do something twice a year that we don't get a shot at doing very often."

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS: "I think we're making great gains (on road courses). I'm becoming much more aware of what these cars need on road courses. We were very fast at the race last year at The Glen, so I think we have a shot; our best shot yet. One of the biggest differences between Sonoma and Watkins Glen is the speed. The speed of Watkins Glen is so much higher. But also the track is so much wider and the corners are low and much more sweeping, which gives you that speed. So they are two totally different approaches."

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS: ""We tested at Road Atlanta, which is a better track for Watkins Glen and we're certainly hoping that pays off for us at Watkins Glen. The keys for success there is that it's a fast road course and you've got to get up through the esses really well. You've got to get through the carousel good and you've got to get into all the braking zones good. It's the same concept it's always been. For me, it's if I get out in front, don't wheel-hop getting into Turn 1 and spin out with two or three laps to go. So that's what I'm going to be working on. Fuel mileage is also real important on those road courses. But it's a little bit different approach at Watkins Glen than at Sonoma. Sonoma is such a finesse track that you can give up a lot of power there and still maintain a pretty decent pace to get your fuel mileage, where at Watkins Glen you can't. You've got to run hard. You've got long straightaways. You've got to have the power. So it makes it a lot trickier to get good fuel mileage."

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET IMPALA SS: "For us going to a road course is good, especially Watkins Glen. In Sonoma our car never runs good. Watkins Glen we normally got a really good car. For us, if we can get a top five out of there, I know we can probably win the race, but if we get a top five out of there, the points for the Chase would be huge."

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY/ HAAS AUTOMATION IMPALA SS: "I think the racing is better at Watkins Glen. They both (Infineon Raceway and Watkins Glen International) have potential for fuel mileage races and Sonoma, I think, has fewer passing zones. I think there are one or two more passing zones at Watkins Glen, which make for better racing. I enjoy the course better at Watkins Glen, but they're both good road course races in my opinion."

CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER IMPALA SS: "Watkins Glen is so much more high speed than Sonoma. Wide open, balls to the wall. Sonoma is a lot more technical, a little bit slower. I've got the hang of Sonoma obviously. Just working on Watkins Glen. We're getting better. But we got to improve our finish. I feel like I've come a long way at Watkins Glen. Kevin Harvick always seems to run well there, so that tells me that our equipment is pretty good. Road courses were not in my growing up path, so I've had to learn a lot about them. It seems like I've always been comfortable at Infineon, but for whatever reason I seem to struggle a little bit more at the Glen. But, I've kind of settled in there, I've found my way around there and I feel much more comfortable racing there now."

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS: "It is nice to come back to somewhere where I enjoy racing. I enjoy racing on the road courses and like coming here, so it is nice to come back. Knowing that we won a race here, we'll hopefully have a good this weekend. I think you approach it just as you would any other track. Obviously, the strategy is a little bit different here than it would be at some of the places but you approach it just as you would any other race and you want to do as good as you can to get the best result that you can. You can pass in Turn 1 and in the inner loop. If you get a really good run out of the back sweeper, you can pass going into the next left hander. There are obviously a lot of heavy braking zones to make something happen."

-credit: gm racing

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya