Summit Racing–Line Sixth on Day One in Brainerd but Wants More

BRAINERD, Minn., August 16, 2013 – The first day of qualifying is complete at the 32nd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, and hometown racer Jason Line, driver of the blue Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro, is in the No. 6 position following a pair of respectable runs down the quarter-mile racetrack in front of family and friends.

Line, who was the No. 1 qualifier at the Brainerd event in 2007 and 2011, clocked a 6.628 at 209.17 mph in his first hit of the weekend and was No. 8 at the end of the first session. Although the time on the scoreboard was a bit under what the Summit Racing team was aiming for, it provided a good foundation to build upon.

In the second session, the Mooresville, N.C., transplant cleared the finish line with an improved 6.603 at 209.62 mph and jumped up two positions to settle provisionally into the No. 6 spot heading into day two.

“I had hoped for a little bit more, but all in all, it was a pretty good day,” said Line. “We tested a few things earlier this week with our Summit Racing Camaros, and I think it helped. It’s crunch time with the Countdown to the Championship right around the corner, so we’re happy to see any gains we can at this point.”

Although the team won’t be making any major changes overnight in preparation for the final two qualifying sessions in Brainerd, Line, who hails from nearby Wright, Minn., believes that there are things that they will need to iron out before morning if they’re going to shine.

“Obviously, a 6.60 wasn’t good enough to get us up to the top,” said Line. “So you can bet that the KB Racing team is going to be working out a few details before the first session tomorrow.”

John Force Racing–HIGHT LEADS WAY ON CRITICAL BRAINERD FRIDAY

HIGHT LEADS WAY ON CRITICAL BRAINERD FRIDAY

 

BRAINERD, MN (August 16, 2013) — With only two races before the Countdown to the Championship every pass down the track is important. Robert Hight and the Auto Club Ford Mustang team made the most of their efforts today posting the second quickest elapsed time of the Funny Car class to take the No. 2 provisional spot. Hight’s Mike Neff tuned Funny Car covered the 1000 ft race track in 4.054 seconds at 312.64 mph and earned two qualifying bonus points in the process.

 

“Given that we messed up the first run, we played it safe, which luckily safe turned out to be No. 2. This just shows that my guys have a great handle on this thing; to just go up there and run a 4.05 that easy,” said Hight. “We were trying to run a lot harder on that first run. If you look at the computer, it was going to try to run a 4.07 if it would have made it. We’re being aggressive, we’re counting every point and I think going to Norwalk helped because that was just two more runs we made before we came here. That gives us more experience and data. We made up points today on everybody that we’re fighting for the Top 10. It’s all good stuff.”

 

Hight is battling with three other drivers to stay in the Top Ten and possibly grab the last spot in the Traxxas Nitro Shootout. Tim Wilkerson holds down the No. 8 spot, Bob Tasca III in No. 9, Hight is No. 10, and Del Worsham is No. 11. Only Wilkerson and Hight picked up qualifying bonus points today. Only forty points or two rounds of racing separate Wilkerson from Worsham. Wilkerson was the provisional No. 3 qualifier and Tasca was No. 8 followed by Worsham in the No. 10 spot.

 

In the first session Hight and the Auto Club Ford Mustang were charging in the left lane when their Goodyear Tires came loose from the track hazing at about 700 feet and dropping Hight’s elapsed time to 4.743 seconds. The early numbers on that run were impressive and Neff the crew chief was able to build on that to put Hight at nearly the top of the pack.

 

Right behind Hight in the standings is teammate and leader John Force who moved up into the No. 4 provisional qualifying spot on the strength of his second qualifying run. Running beside Matt Hagan Force kept pace with the points leader and eventual provisional No. 1 qualifying until about 900 feet. Force crossed the finish line with a time of 4.073 seconds at a track speed record of 316.45 mph. Hagan was quickest of the day in Funny Car with a 4.044 second pass.  

 

“We went down the race track both times, nothing really exciting. We made the top ten for today, so we’ll see what happens tomorrow. All three Funny Cars are doing good, but the dragster is still struggling,” said Force and eleven time winner of the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.

 

Courtney Force landed in the No. 6 spot toady after the first two sessions of qualifying were complete. She picked up one bonus point for her Traxxas Ford Mustang team and continues to inch her way up in the NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car standings.  

 

“It felt great to come out here today and have our car back. It’s feeling a lot more consistent. We were able to make two great passes today,” said Force.

 

Force posted a 4.125 ET at 309.63 for the third-best pass and top speed of the round in Funny Car.

 

“In the first session we ran well. We sat No. 3 after the session was complete so we picked up one bonus point. We also had top speed of the first session so that was pretty cool too,” said Force.

 

In the second session, Force raced her Traxxas Ford Mustang to a 4.094 second run at 307.65 mph.

 

“On the second pass, we were able to improve on our time. Our Traxxas Ford Mustang made a good pass, but when we went down there it actually threw the rods out. It started acting up right at the finish line and threw the rods out right when I was hitting my chutes. I had a little bit of a fire because of that, but that’s all part of the game. We’re going to come out here tomorrow and take two more shots at it and hopefully improve from the 6th spot.”

 

“I’m excited for tomorrow. The conditions look like they’re going to be a lot different; it’s going to be hotter. But it’s definitely a good track. I’m excited to be out here at the home of ‘the zoo.’ The fans here are amazing and they have so much energy. It really makes it fun to race for them. I think we have a good race car this weekend,” said Force.

 

In Top Fuel rookie Brittany Force made her first passes at Brainerd International Raceway. Her two runs did not put her in the top twelve but she will have two shots tomorrow to post a quick enough time to race on Sunday. Track conditions were decent but getting a handle on the Castrol EDGE Top Fuel dragster proved problematic for her crew chiefs.

 

“We had two qualifying passes today, both of which that didn’t quite go as we had hoped for,” said Force a leading contender for the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award.

“First run we smoked the tires at about 200 feet and the second run we smoked them a little further than that. It wasn’t what we wanted, but we get two more qualifying runs tomorrow, so I’m hoping we can get this Castrol EDGE dragster down the track and we’ll be in good shape.”

 

Chevy Racing–Michigan–Qualifying Notes

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
PURE MICHIGAN 400
MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER POST QUALIFYING NOTES AND QUOTES
AUGUST 16, 2013
 
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING/SERTA CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED SECOND
ON HIS QUALIFYING LAP:
“If you’re not running on that edge and somebody is going to find that edge and put it right there. It was a really good lap for us and our Furniture Row guys and the way we picked up speed from practice. I was hoping to get a 35.35 and that’s exactly what we ran and we’ll see where that shakes up.”
 
IN REGARDS TO HIS QUALIFYING LAP AND THE QUICK SPEEDS:
“These Generation- 6 cars are incredible.  Each team has their own way of approaching how to find speed and my Furniture Row guys have found speed week in and week out.  Just real proud of them we gained a lot of speed from practice.  I was hoping to run a 35.35, I don’t know what that does for mile and hour and we ran exactly that.  Some guys might beat us which if fine, but we will get a great starting position from there.  Cloud cover is big today and that is adding to a lot of the speed.   Last time we were here I think we qualified and the track temp was in the hundred and teens.  This time around it is around 105.”
 
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED THIRD
ONE OF SEVERAL CARS THAT ACTUALLY HAD TO WAIT TO GO TO GET THROUGH TECH FIRST. YOU HAD A LEAKY RIGHT FRONT TIRE AND THEN YOU GOT THROUGH TECH. BUT THE CAR DIDN’T LOOK STABLE AT ALL DURING QUALIFYING:
“Yeah, I guess if you’re in the sport long enough, anything and everything will happen to you. I’ve never had a flat rolling through tech before and we had a flat rolling up on the platform and had to put new tires on this thing and come back (laughs). So, with tech going as slow as it did, it put things behind and they’re still trying to get cars through right now. But we had plenty of time to get the car prepared and ready and we were very fast throughout practice today. I definitely had my hands full on that lap. I wasn’t as efficient I guess as I probably should have been and I think I dragged a little speed out of the car but it was a very good lap. And hopefully it will keep us there I the Top 5 and we’ll go racing on Sunday.”
 
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CHEERIOS CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED FIFTH
ON HIS QUALIFYING LAP:
“When I got out of my car, somebody said it was a good job for an old guy (laughs) and I wonder what they’re saying to him (Mark Martin).  It was a clean day. We were fast in race trim; we were fast in Q-trim. We didn’t quite have the speed that we needed for the pole. I asked for an adjustment before qualifying and got us a little too further than we needed to go, but nonetheless the car has been great all day. Wherever it ends up, we don’t care. It’s been a good day for us.”
 
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED SIXTH
YOU WERE FAST IN PRACTICE, BUT MAYBE THIS WASN’T THE BEST DRAW FOR YOU TODAY:
“No, and I don’t mind the draw. Going out early is not the end of the world. The problem is I finished my lap and it cools down. I got in the car; the track was 12 degrees hotter than when we first practiced. And I’m like okay, and if I can back it down I’ll be the same lap time as practice and that’s a hell of a job. And we did and look at this. It’s probably cooled down 15 to 20 degrees. But we’ll see. It’s the luck of the draw. It should give us a Top 10 start.”
 
ON THE ANNOUNCEMENT THAT HE WON’T BE BACK WITH THE NO. 42 TEAM NEXT YEAR:
“I don’t know where I’m going to wind up. But I’ve got to thank Target because I’ve had an awesome seven years with them here. Everybody on the team has been really good. Chip (Ganassi) and I have a really good relationship. What I’ve been telling people is whatever I’m going to do; I’d better be in a winning car.”
 
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED SEVENTH
ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN:
“I over-drove the car in Turn 1 in practice and under-drove it in qualifying and you’ve just got to hit it right on the spot. The car’s got a lot of grip. I think the track is even more abrasive than the first trip here. The cars are carrying a little more speed than they were the first trip here in practice and in qualifying. So, there’s a lot of grip and a lot of comfort out there just trying to really hit the lap perfectly and do all those things just right is kind of difficult. But we’re pretty happy with the car. I’d like to have a little more speed but that’s a good lap and the National Guard Youth Foundation car should be good for the race. We’re going to work on it tomorrow and find out.”
 
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 14 MOBIL 1/BASS PRO SHOPS CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 27TH
ON HIS QUALIFYING LAP AND HOW HE IS FEELING IN THE CAR:
“I’m comfortable in the car.  I tried to get a little too much right there.  I got really tight in (turn) one just over drove the car, but trying to get some. Get a good starting spot, but it pays more on Sunday so we will go out there and have a good run Sunday.”
 
IS QUALIFYING WHEN YOU STEP IN ANOTHER PERSONS CAR MORE STRESSFUL THAN ONCE YOU GET IN AND RACE THE CAR?
“Yeah, it is.  It’s just I’m pretty good at qualifying just struggled today just because I over drove it trying to get a little bit more.  The car was there, the car was good it just didn’t turn good enough.”
 
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 28TH
HOW DOES THIS GEN 6 CAR COMPARE TO THE LAST TIME YOU WERE HERE?
“Everything feels a lot better. The car feels much more stuck out there, which is good. I feel like Hendrick has done a really good job of improving the engine package as well. So, I didn’t really get what I wanted there. I thought we’d have gone quicker. But it is what it is. We tend to race a lot better than we qualify so, I was just hoping we would do all right in qualifying here because we had a nice practice, but we’ll just have to see where it ends up.”
 
WHERE DID YOU MISS A LITTLE BIT DURING THAT QUALIFYING LAP?
“I don’t know. I felt really good. I was surprised I didn’t go quicker.”
 
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 ADVIL CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 29TH
ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN: 
“We didn’t take a qualifying run, obviously. We broke an engine earlier and thank goodness we have Advil on our car because everybody had a headache. So take Advil and feel better. The speeds are so quick, the cars are traveling more than ever and we just had the splitter on the ground and you could literally smell it when I went on my get up to speed lap. It’s like wow; it’s going to be a tough lap here. It wasn’t bad. The grip of the car was actually really good, which is encouraging. It just didn’t turn good enough just from the front end being on the ground so much.”
 

Chevy Racing–Michigan–Danica Patrick

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
PURE MICHIGAN 400
MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
AUGUST 16, 2013
 
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at Michigan International Speedway, and discussed the No. 14 car, racing at Michigan and other topics. Full transcript:
 
HAVE YOU TALKED WITH TONY STEWART?
“Not since Ricky (Stenhouse) and I went and saw him in the hospital.  I haven’t talked to him, but have texted with him a little bit.  I’ve heard he’s kind of getting back in the game you know.  He wants to know everything that’s going on.  He wants to be able to hear what we’re doing.  He’s off the meds and back to life again.”
 
ARE YOU HAPPY TO HAVE AUSTIN DILLON IN THE NO. 14 CAR THIS WEEKEND?
“Yeah, it’s nice to have a teammate that you know.  Obviously, running with Austin (Dillon) in the Nationwide Series, I know him.  I love getting other drivers perspectives on the cars and just kind of hearing the way they describe things.  I think it will be good for the team.  He’s young, he’s got fire and he wants to do it.  I think he will be a good addition for however long it works out for.”
 
HOW DOES THE TRACK FEEL TODAY?
“It feels like a smooth track.  We came here earlier in the year and I struggled and didn’t feel very comfortable, but we worked really, really hard on trying to get a car that was more consistent and predictable and felt better.  Actually, we kind of started working towards it here in the race and by the end of the race I felt really good.  We had double-stinted the left sides and it was the best the car had felt.  We made a lot of improvements and have continued to make improvements since we were here last.  When I first went out on the track, I thought, ‘Man, this feels like a whole different car.’  White literally it probably is, it just feels so much better than the last time.”
 
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE SPEEDS?
“I was thinking about that because we were talking about the normal pick up from practice to qualifying and that qualifying pole was slower than what quite a few people have run.  That just means in my head that all the teams have had time to work with this new car, make it better, make improvements and I think that by seeing the speeds come up from the last time, it’s a result of how hard the teams have been working to make the cars better.  We work our butts off and we do a lot of testing and it’s nice when it shows.”
 
DO THESE CARS FEEL FAST TO YOU?
“I think any car that feels comfortable and is good feels like a moderate speed and any car that is not working right and doesn’t feel good, those are the cars that feel like you’re going at warp speed.  I’ve had both in both conditions.  Gosh, I can remember back in the IndyCar days here being so loose one time and feeling like I was doing 160 miles per hour instead of 220 or whatever we were doing.  It all depends on the balance of the car.  It’s all relative.  Let’s face it, a smaller percentage when you’re working up in the 200s.”
 
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU PICKED UP WHERE YOU LEFT OFF HERE IN JUNE?
“That’s what I was just saying is it feels so much better than when we were here last and that’s just a result of (Tony) Gibson (crew chief) and myself and the engineers working together and finding a setup that’s more comfortable for me right off the bat and then also working on the car itself and making improvements there.  It feels better than when we were here last.”
 
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES THAT YOUNG DRIVERS MIGHT FACE COMING FROM NATIONWIDE OR OTHER SERIES INTO SPRINT CUP REGARDING EXPECTATIONS?
“I think that it’s always difficult as a driver to say the words like my goal is top-20.  It’s not what it needs to be at some point.  While you’re ultimate goal is to win and if the opportunity presents itself, you’ll be ready, you still have to set realistic goals along the way to keep yourself upbeat and to keep everybody else upbeat.  That’s been something I’ve dealt with this year.  I think coming off of last year I expected to do a little bit better and I let things get me frustrated and I let my spot on the track kind of take me out of my game a little bit I think.  I pushed the limits a little bit too much and we took that week off and I just kind of looked at the season so far and said, ‘Man, every time I try so hard something bad happens and every time I just take whatever the car will give me and whatever the race will give me they are much better days.’  It’s just figuring out you yourself what makes you work and what makes you get the best results possible.  For some it might be to get fired up and for others it might be just relax and let the race come to you.  It’s just figuring that out.  Everybody’s different.”
 
HOW MUCH DOES THAT FRUSTRATION CARRYOVER TO THE REST OF THE TEAM?
“When you’re in the middle of being frustrated and wanting more and having some tough days, you don’t think that you’re making anyone mad, but we were testing at Nashville this weekend and we were just sitting there having lunch and one of my guys said, ‘I don’t know what you’ve been doing the last few weeks, but it’s been a noticeable difference in you and everything seems to be going so much better and everybody notices and appreciates it.’  Let it be a lesson that if you think something is going on, it is.”
 
DID IT SURPRISE YOU THAT THEY SAID THAT?
“No, no.  I think the best relationship you can have is being honest with your guys and with people that you work with.  I don’t think so because being the one in the middle of it, to actually come to the realization that you’re trying too hard probably means you’re trying too hard in a pretty obvious way.  Like I said, you have to figure that out yourself, you can’t tell somebody to relax.  You want someone to push hard so you can’t just tell them to back off.  They have to figure it out themselves.”
 
HOW IMPORTANT ARE TIRES TO RACING?
“It’s the chicken and the egg.  If we didn’t have tires, you can’t go.  They’re very important of course.  Tires are very important and most importantly here at Michigan there’s a lot of strategies to tires here because it’s repave and very smooth and the tires have a lot of longevity.  You can play a lot of different strategies with them, which I think makes the racing more interesting.”
 
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT BRISTOL?
“I’ve liked Bristol since I went there the first time.  I remember when I stepped foot onto that track, it was the day before, it was load in day and I looked out there and you’re standing on the straightaway, but it sure seems like a corner.  It’s a very cool track and a spectacle for the fans.  I feel like that is always the one that everyone says, ‘I want to come see the Bristol night race.’  I feel like the attendance lately has been great, the coverage has been great of NASCAR and I think we’ll get a lot of people out there.”
 

Chevy Racing–Michigan–Juan Pablo Montoya

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
PURE MICHIGAN 400
MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
AUGUST 16, 2013
 
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media and discussed the recent announcement that he will not be returning to Earnhardt Ganassi Racing in 2014 and other topics.  Full Transcript:
 
HOW DID THIS WHOLE DECISION COME DOWN?  HOW DID YOU FIND OUT?
“Well to be honest with you I think I knew from quite a while ago to be honest with you.  They had an option earlier in the year and they didn’t take it so I kind of knew it was going to be something different next year and that’s it.  They confirmed it this week and that was it.”
 
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO DO NEXT YEAR?
“I don’t know.  The only thing I said already is I want to be in a winning car.  Whatever else I do, don’t know what I’m going to do, but I want to make sure I’m in a winning car.  It was a fun seven years with the Target car and Chip (Ganassi) and everything. We worked really hard and we had our up’s our down’s, but at the end of the day I want to win races.  He wants to win races and we want to try something different.”
 
COULD IT BE ANYTHING WITH CHIP (GANASSI) IN INDYCAR OR GRAND-AM?
“It could be with Chip it could be with somebody else.  You know with Chip something we said is number one is make sure we keep our friendship.  We are really good friends.  We have a good relationship and that was it.  It’s not that bad.”
 
JIMMIE JOHNSON SAID IT TAKES FIVE YEARS TO LEARN CUP.  AFTER FIVE YEARS IT’S THE MAGIC BETWEEN THE CREW CHIEF AND THE DRIVER.  DO YOU THINK WE WILL LOSE YOU OUT OF NASCAR AND HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK IT WAS LEARNING AND HOW MUCH OF IT’S TEAM?
“A lot of it was learning at the beginning, but I thought I picked it up pretty well.  I run really well.  I made the Chase in my third year.  One of the hardest things and I just said it, it’s the amount of changes.  There was never any consistency and I think that was one of the hardest things.  It wasn’t because they were doing it on purpose they were just trying new things and trying to make things better.  The problem is every time you make changes it makes it harder.”
 
ARE WE GOING TO LOSE YOU OUT OF NASCAR MAYBE?
“I don’t know.  As I said the number one priority for me is trying to be in a winning car.”
 
IS GOING BACK TO INDYCAR IS THAT AN OPTION FOR YOU?
“I don’t know we will see.”
 
HAVE YOU TALKED TO OTHER NASCAR OWNERS YET?
“Oh ages ago.”
 
I KNOW YOU HAD TALKED TO SOME IN THE PAST…
“No I mean ages ago this year as well. I’ve been looking at all my options for a while.  I wanted to make sure we had the door open to stay at Ganassi if the opportunity was here.  I have a really good… a part from the relationship with Target, the relationship with Chevy is really important to me.  It’s good.  Right now it’s actually fun.  As I said yesterday I did an interview yesterday and I said you know I’m really good friends with everybody on this team.  They mean the world to me and we’ve still got 14 races to go.  I mean we still have a lot of racing to go.  Number one thing is to keep enjoying racing and go at it every week.”
 
WHERE DOES YOUR HEART LAY RIGHT NOW WHAT ARE YOU FEELING INSIDE?
“I mean at the beginning I was really disappointed, but we kind of knew it.  From one side you knew it was going to happen, the other side, you know it’s not a bad thing.  We wanted to win races and it hasn’t happened.  We’ve been close this year, but you know what I mean for one reason or another it hasn’t really happened.  I think a change will be good for him. It will be a good change for me.  I think it will be fun.”
 
IN SOME WAYS DOES THIS TAKE SOME PRESSURE OFF FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR TO JUST KIND OF GO OUT AND LET IT HANG OUT NOW?
“Well I kind of do that every week anyway so that doesn’t change.”
 
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR AN INDYCAR RIDE?
“I have talked to a lot of people put it that way.  I don’t want to be specific about anybody.  I know some people are interested and I just want to make sure whatever I do as I told you I have an opportunity to win races.  I grew up winning and I’ve won at everything.  I won some races here, but I miss dominating.”
 
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE CHANCES ARE YOU WILL BE IN THIS GARAGE NEXT YEAR?
“I don’t know we will see.”
 
WHY DO YOU SAY CHANGE IS GOOD FOR YOU?
“Well you know what I mean we have been together for seven years and we had our up’s we had our down’s and I don’t know.  I think if we keep going and the results don’t come we end up hating each other and it could be worse.  We are really good friends.  We respect each other as boss and driver and as friends as well.  I think we want to make sure we keep it that way.”
 
DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHY THE DECISION WAS MADE?
“I mean he has made a lot of changes through the years.  A lot of changes for him were logical for me were not.  It is what it is.  He feels we need to do something different and that’s it.”
 
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU NEED TO GO TO THE NEXT LEVEL? 
“A winning car.  We had winning cars here a few weeks and I blew some, they blew some and it’s clicked, but it hasn’t clicked as much as it needs to click.”
 
DO YOU HAVE ANY POTENTIAL SPONSORS THAT YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO TAKE TO A TEAM AT THIS POINT?
“No, you know what I mean at the moment I’m just taking my time looking at the options and I want to make sure I make the right decision.”
 
DO YOU THINK YOU COULD GO TO INDYCAR?  IT’S BEEN SUCH A LONG TIME AND TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED.  YOU NEVER EXPRESSED MUCH INTEREST…
“Well I was committed to NASCAR you know what I mean and when you are committed to NASCAR you want to make sure your head is in NASCAR.  My heart always has been in open wheel.  I had a lot of fun in NASCAR and you know we will see.”
 
I JUST WONDER IF THE TECHNOLOGY, IT’S BEEN SUCH A LONG TIME…
“Oh technology in IndyCar is probably not as advanced as it was in Formula 1.  You know what I mean… not to worry.”
 
DO YOU KNOW IF PART OF THIS WAS TARGET OR IF TARGET WAS PART OF THE DECISION?
“I don’t know and I don’t ask you know what I mean.  It’s what it is whether it’s Target or Chip (Ganssi) it is what it is.”
 
WHEN YOU LOOK BACK WILL YOU CONSIDER THIS WHOLE THING A DISAPPOINTMENT?
“Oh no, I had a great seven years.  I learned a lot.  Whether you believe it or not I became a better race car driver.  It’s funny because you know we do the GRAND-AM every year and the more I do this plus my experience in open wheel the better I do.  The wiser you become you know what I mean.  My speed I believe is the same or better and I’m just a lot wiser making decisions.  I think it’s been a good experience.”
 
WITH THE SIZE OF YOUR FAMILY AND THE AGES THE KIDS ARE NOW WOULD A LIGHTER SCHEDULE PERHAPS INDYCAR BE THE WAY TO GO?
“Number one choice winning car then we will worry about the rest.”  

Chevy Racing–Michigan–Jimmie Johnson

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
PURE MICHIGAN 400
MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
AUGUST 16, 2013
 
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS  met with members of the media and discussed the challenge of the Michigan track, what it would mean to win here, success in the Nationwide Series versus the Cup Series, and more. FULL TRANSCRIPT:
 
TALK ABOUT RACING AT MICHIGAN THIS WEEKEND AND THE APPROACHING CHASE:
“Yes, time is going by pretty quick. The Chase is right around the corner. We’re excited to be here. The way the No. 48 ran and all of Hendrick Motorsports ran here in the Spring, we’ve all been excited to come back and hopefully have that pace and lead the race and hopefully get one of the cars in Victory Lane. I certainly want to get the No. 48 to Victory Lane. We’ve tried a lot of years now and have been very close here, but haven’t been able to pull that off. And we had issues that kept all four cars out of great finishes in the Spring race and if we can avoid the varying issues that took place, I think we stand a really good chance of getting into Victory Lane.”
 
BECAUSE YOU’VE NOT HAD TO FOCUS ON TRYING TO GET IN THE CHASE THIS YEAR, AND IN OTHER YEARS, HAVE YOU LEARNED ANYTHING?
“We’ve worked really hard to maintain the same mindset. There was a year where we started some radical testing and concepts with the car and got off base and entered the Chase pretty weak and not up to par where we wanted to be. So, I think we learned that lesson. I wanted to say that was in 2007 or somewhere in there. But, since then, we really want to obviously perform as good as we can week in and week out. I think there’s a lot in that. And the way things are anymore, especially with the new car, you have to bring something new to the track each week and keep evolving. So, the mindset that we started the year with is really where we’re at now. We’re not making a stronger effort to try different things with the race car and the set-up. We are fortunate to have a lot of test sessions left. We just tested in New Hampshire and we’re going to test at Richmond next week. We have a few more out there that we’ll try to use to try to be prepared for the Chase. But, honestly, there hasn’t been a different mindset this year. We’ve had pace. We’re proud of that. We need to execute. We’ve left some wins on the table and we need to not do that. But, we’ve got to keep inching forward. We can’t sit still. And we’ll try to carry that momentum right into the start of the Chase.”
 
THIS TRACK (MIS) HAS BEEN NAMED ‘TRACK OF THE YEAR’ IN TERMS OF FAN EXPERIENCES. WHAT DO THE DRIVERS THINK OF IT?
“This track has always been high on the drivers’ list. The repave brought us back down to a pretty narrow racing groove. And in time, we know that will change and we can start racing around the top of the race track once again. The asphalt is too good these days. They just put down such good stuff that  it doesn’t wear out or age anytime quick and pins us down to a narrower lane. But I love coming here. This track has worked very well with myself and the young fans; we have a package that we do here with them and I go out and spend some time with the kids. So, I’m very proud of what this race track does with the fans.”
 
TALK ABOUT THE WINDWARD DREAM CRUISE YESTERDAY. WHAT WERE YOU DRIVING AND HOW WAS THAT?  ALSO TALK ABOUT GOING TO BRISTOL NEXT WEEK AND THE CHALLENGES OF GETTING AROUND THAT TRACK:
“At Bristol, we run well. We are probably a Top 3 or Top 5 car there in most circumstances. We were able to get a win once and we definitely want to be better. Not that I’m content with running in the Top 3 or Top 5, but from where I started off, in being a lap down 50 laps in and running 20th all the time there (laughs), I now enjoy going to Bristol. I’m excited to go there. For the longest time, I dreaded going there. I loved watching the races there and being a fan, but in the car was pretty tough on me. So, we certainly hope to be better and we want to go to Victory Lane again.
 
“At the Windward Dream Cruise, I drove my ’67 Camaro that I built in ’05. It’s been through a few modifications since then. But it has the LS9 engine in it right now and the C5 suspension under it with the ’67 body on it. So it’s a good driving car. It has lots and lots of power and it also turns and stops. So, it’s a fun car to drive. I was able to lay down a little rubber yesterday and drift the car around a little bit and not get pulled over and get arrested, so that was fun.”
 
THIS IS ABOUT THE ONLY TRACK WHERE YOU’VE BEEN TO MORE THAN A DOZEN TIMES AND HAVEN’T WON. DO YOU KEEP THAT CHECK LIST OF PLACES WHERE YOU HAVE AND HAVEN’T WON? WHAT IS IT ABOUT THIS PLACE THAT HAS KEPT YOU FROM WINNING?
“Yeah, I do pay attention to the tracks I haven’t won at. It’s more on the front side going to the event and building excitement about racing at the track and wanting to win. When the race starts, it doesn’t go through my mind at that point. It has when opportunity slips by, especially here. We’ve been so close that it certainly enters my mind at that point.
 
“But we’ve had varying issues here and those only consistent one, I would say, has been fuel mileage. We’ve worked hard to improve the car. And then I’ve worked real hard on my driving style to get better fuel mileage here. It seems like we’ve covered that gap, but we’ve had a mechanical or two. We blew a tire this last Spring when we were here. So, there have been a lot of reasons why. But I really look forward to the day I’m able to pull into Victory Lane over here.”
 
DO YOU THINK YOU ARE AN ANOMALY BECAUSE YOU’VE HAD SO MUCH MORE SUCCESS AT THE HIGHER CUP LEVEL (MORE THAN AT NATIONWIDE LEVEL). DO YOU REMEMBER WHAT CLICKED FOR YOU WHEN YOU MOVED UP?
“Yeah, probably. I look at (Tony) Stewart’s Nationwide career and I think our paths were kind of similar where we didn’t have great success in Nationwide. For me, when I started in Cup, that was my fifth year ever in a stock car. So I think I was really green in my Nationwide days; not only as a rookie in the sport and the cars and the tracks, but in stock cars in general.  I had two years in ASA prior to my first year of Nationwide. So, I think I was just behind. And the right circumstances came together being with Hendrick and all of that and my maturity level in the car and understanding everything came along and I kind of peaked at the right time. But when I look at the Nationwide Series today, and I haven’t driven one of those cars in a while, there is great benefit in being in the series and to learn the tracks and kind of learn the basics and fundamentals of adjustments on the car. But I think you can get trapped in those cars too long and develop habits that don’t work in the Cup Series. The Cup cars have so much more power. And you have to drive them so differently that I think it can do some damage if you stayed too long in the Nationwide Series.
 
INAUDIBLE:
“I agree. And you don’t know until you get in there. And when you look at Kyle’s background (reference Kyle Larson) and he’s driving cars with far more power than grip, I think the Cup car will suit his style far better than a Nationwide car. But you do need that foundation of knowing these tracks because when we show up, our fastest lap we run all weekend will probably be our first lap right now. And if Kyle Larson wants to go to Cup next year, that’s tough to do. He’s going to need the whole session to get where he needs to and then you’re five or six adjustments behind the fast guys. And that’s when the Nationwide Series is so good. You can learn the tracks and understand some things there. But you’ve just got to be careful to not stay there too long.”
 
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE GEN 6 CAR AND WHY YOU HAVE BEEN SO SUCCESSFUL THIS YEAR? WHAT WOULD A WIN AT MICHIGAN MEAN TO YOU?
“Th
e Gen 6 car, I think Hendrick does a very good job in responding to rules changes or rules that are put out or new cars or whatever it may be. And not always, but most times, we get on top of stuff faster than others. I think that’s been a big benefit to us and plays into the Gen 6 car and the success that we’ve had. A win here would be awesome. It would be a huge victory to win here; especially with how close I’ve been. We’ve had at least five or six that could have happened.”
 
WHAT DO YOU FIND TO BE SO TOUGH AT THIS MICHIGAN TRACK?
“The track is so different than it’s been in the past that you’ve got to maintain track position. That’s really the key. In the Spring race, we didn’t qualify well but we were able to get to the front. And then through pit strategy, we lost track position a few times and were able to recover. But in the end, I ran the right front (tire) off the car and blew a tire and hit the wall (laughs). So, I think the secret to winning here really falls into the hands of the engineer and the crew chief in what decisions they make late in the race to maintain track position. I think that’s where the key is. For the driver, when you’re out there practicing, you’re going so fast around here and you’re usually running by yourself, that it’s easy to set the car up to run in clean air. And you don’t always get that luxury. So being aware, through practice sessions and even trying to run a little bit in traffic to understand the balance shift, is going to be key today and tomorrow.”
 
WERE YOU SURPRISED WHEN YOU HEARD THE JUAN PABLO MONTOYA NEWS THIS WEEK?
“A little bit. Juan has been with Ganassi for so long that it did catch me off guard. I’m used to seeing Ganassi winning races and running up front through the open wheel world and I would imagine there would be a shake-up at Ganassi through the off-season. But that did catch me off-guard. They’ve been through some crew chiefs. If I look at the evolution of things, you usually go through a couple of crew chiefs and a driver change and that’s kind of what’s going on. So, yes; shocked, but the more I think about it I feel like there was some change coming there.”
 
WHAT IS IT THAT IS SO DIFFICULT TO MAKE THE TRANSITION FROM OTHER RACING DISCIPLINES TO THE NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES?
“For me, I feel like you need five years to really know the tracks and the cars and that was really my evolution through the ASA racing through Nationwide and then Cup. So, Juan (Montoya) is at that seven or eight year mark. You kind of get to a spot where you’ve got the experience and there are many reasons why things might not work and I firmly believe in the relationship between the driver and the crew chief is where the magic lies; especially once you’re past that five year mark. One thing that I don’t have first-hand experience with is driving a high downforce car. But in talking with Juan and in talking with Dario (Franchitti) and even Danica (Patrick), it is such a different world in a high-downforce car than in what our vehicles do.
 
“So, there are challenges there that I don’t understand and sensations that I don’t get and understand. And through all that, I’ve been kind of curious to watch the driver go from stock cars into open wheel. Would it be as difficult or would it be easier for a driver to go to a low downforce situation to a high downforce situation and where that would be. But either way I guess my situation isn’t exactly true, but when you race against people that started off thinking sedan-style vehicles at a young age, that’s all they’ve known their whole life, I think there is something in that.
 
“And I say that, and that’s not my situation. But I want to believe there’s something in that too, where running in open wheel vehicles his whole life, and the same for Dario or Danica, there are just thing that are engrained in their habits and the way they drive that may not apply to what a stock car needs.”
 
HOW CAN TESTING THE GEN 6 CAR HELP YOU GET AN ADVANTAGE OVER THE OTHER TEAMS?
“We spend so much time trying to get the cars in an ideal aero situation. The faster the car goes, the more importance aero plays. We are breaking track records everywhere we go. The speeds are up and the aero balance is more and more important. And we’re going to great lengths to get the right attitude in the car and the proper downforce and maximize the downforce that’s available. That’s really where we’re at right now. So as long as we can keep working in those areas, and I think that leads to the troubles that we have on some tracks with passing because you’re so aero-dependant that when you lose the aero assistance and you’re just sitting on the mechanical set-up of the car that’s underneath it, the car isn’t ideal at that point. But that’s the world we live in. Aero is everything.”
 
 

Chevy Racing–Michigan–Kurt Busch

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
PURE MICHIGAN 400
MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
AUGUST 16, 2013
 
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING/SERTA CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at Michigan International Speedway and discussed racing at Michigan this weekend, his potential plans for 2014 and many other topics.  Full Transcript:
 
YOU’VE HAD TWO WINS HERE AND ARE 11TH IN POINTS, HOW ARE YOU FEELING ABOUT THE WEEKEND AND HOPEFULLY GET ANOTHER WIN HERE?
“Yeah, Michigan has been real good or real bad. So, if you go by the law of averages I hope this time around is pretty good. We’ve had some speed in practice; we just haven’t translated that into the race conditions. This time around we hope we can parallel what we did at Pocono a couple weeks ago, which was to improve and find more comfort in the car.”
 
WITH THE NO. 42 BEING OPEN FOR SURE NOW DOES THAT CHANGE AS FAR AS THE PEOPLE THAT YOU’RE TALKING TO ABOUT NEXT YEAR? SHOULD WE COUNT YOU AS A CANDIDATE FOR THAT RIDE?
“It hasn’t changed anything, I’m good friends with Felix Sabates and I know Chip real well and the whole gang, Max Jones, Steve Lauletta. They came up with that decision not based off any of the talks that I’ve had with them but it is a potential opportunity that’s for sure.”
 
ARE YOU ANY CLOSER? HAVE YOU MADE PROGRESS WITH WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO NEXT YEAR OR HAVE YOU PUT ALL THAT ON THE BACKBURNER WHILE TRYING TO MAKE THE CHASE?
“Well, the focus is making the chase and we have four weeks to go and we’re in great position. It’s been neat to feel the energy from the team. We spent a week in Colorado meeting with Denver media and they’ve adopted us as like a fifth sports entity for that town. It’s been really neat. They talk Broncos. They talk Rockies. And now they’re talking us. So, it’s cool to have talks with Furniture Row about what we can do in 2014 and beyond. The Ganassi thing came up and other phone calls have happened. Nothing’s going to change. We’re just still really focused on the Chase and what we can do in these next four weeks together.”
 
ANY THOUGHTS ON THE TRACKS IN THE FOUR WEEKS BEFORE THE CHASE START?
“The next four weeks as far as the tracks, I’m really looking forward to Bristol of course. I’ve won it three times at Atlanta. Richmond we did really well there in the spring. So, I look at this one as the toughest out of the next four weeks. This week here at Michigan. If we get through this, then I think we’ve got a really good shot at things.”
 
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THROWING THE FIRST PITCH AT THE COLORADO ROCKIES THE OTHER DAY? YOU NAILED IT:
“It was fun. It was the first time I went into the stretch position for throwing out the first pitch. I checked the runner over there on first to liven it up a little bit. It was cool. The Rockies have whoever throws out the first pitch do an autograph session afterwards. So a lot of the fans were lined up. A lot of them said, “Good pitch.” And one guy that looked like a full on baseball guy says, ‘You know I’m going to have to call a walk on you. You looked at first base too long. You delayed on your throw.’ I thought that was hilarious to joke around with some of the fans about the first pitch. Yeah, it was a good throw. It was a strike.”
 
WE GO TO BRISTOL NEXT WEEK, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT GOING THERE AND THE CHALLENGES WE GET AROUND THAT TRACK?
“You know it’s exciting to go to that track. Just as a fan and as a spectator. The team owners get excited, the drivers do. I love that place. It couldn’t come at a better time on the schedule for us.”
 
ELEVEN OF YOUR TOP-10’S HAVE COME AT THE NEXT FOUR TRACKS, DOES THAT GIVE YOU A LOT OF CONFIDENCE AND A BOOST GOING INTO THE LAST STRETCH RIGHT BEFORE THE CHASE?
“Yes and no. It’s all about what you’ve done lately and I haven’t been to Victory Lane in a long while. It’s good to have good tracks coming up. A) For consistency and For trying to break through and get a win. You always want your strong tracks to be when you need them.”

Chevy Racing–Michigan–Austin Dillon

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
PURE MICHIGAN 400
MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
AUGUST 16, 2013
 
AUSTIN DILLON, INTERIM DRIVER FOR TONY STEWART, NO. 14 MOBIL 1/BASS PRO SHOPS CHEVROLET SS AND GREG ZIPADELLI, COMPETITION DIRECTOR AT STEWART-HAAS RACING, met with members of the media at Michigan International Speedway and discussed expectations for the race weekend, updates on Tony Stewart and much more.  Full Transcript:
 
HOW DOES IT FEEL BEING INTRODUCED AS THE DRIVER OF THE NO. 14 MOBIL 1/BASS PRO SHOPS CHEVROLET?
 
AUSTIN DILLON:  “It’s pretty exciting.  We all know who drives it on a regular basis and that’s one of my heroes, Tony Stewart.  I’m super excited to be representing their sponsors, Mobil 1 and Bass Pro Shops and just looking forward to this whole weekend.  We had a good test yesterday with our Nationwide car and I’m really excited to be working with Steve Addington (NSCS crew chief) and Greg (Zipadelli, competition director) and hopefully putting together a great run for both of our teams this weekend.”
 
WHAT IS THE UPDATE FROM STEWART-HAAS RACING AND WHAT IS IT LIKE BEING AT MICHIGAN WITH AUSTIN DILLON THIS WEEKEND?
 
GREG ZIPADELLI:  “Like we said last week, we’re taking one week at a time and trying to do the best we can.  Austin (Dillon) had run here before, ran here in the spring and did a good job.  He was willing to come here today and give us 100 percent because they had the test day yesterday, which kind of really made the difference as far as making this work for us.  With that being said, we’re certainly excited about getting on the race track, getting all this stuff kind of behind us and doing the best we can this weekend.”
 
WOULD IT BE EASIER TO HAVE ONE DRIVER FOR ALL THE RACES TONY STEWART WILL MISS RATHER THAN CHANGING DRIVERS EACH WEEKEND?
 
GREG ZIPADELLI:  “There’s pros and cons to it.  We’re certainly looking at trying probably in the next three to four days, before we get to Bristol everything will be ironed out for the rest of the year.  We’ve had hurdles that we’ve had to get through so we are looking at that and we’re working on that.  It will be two drivers probably the rest of the year just to do exactly what you said and just try to get them guys to try to build some chemistry and get the best finishes we can.  We’re still 11th in owner’s points, that’s a big deal and we can look at that and that’s kind of what we’re focused on right now.  We are working on that, it’s just too early to talk about.”
 
ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS ABOUT TALKING SETUPS BETWEEN RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING AND STEWART-HAAS RACING?
 
GREG ZIPADELLI:  “We did touch on that and it’s very important that we both respect our boundaries from team to team.  Obviously, they’re racing for a championship and we’ve got the 39 (Ryan Newman) that we’re trying to get in the Chase to race for a championship and we have the 14 that like we said we are trying to keep as high as we can in owner’s points.  We’re just going to talk about what he (Austin Dillon) feels in that car and what he needs.  We won’t talk about particulars about what we’re changing and we’re not really going to ask him to divulge things that they did here in the spring.  If he’s got a suggestion and feels like he might want the track bar up or down or wedge in or out then by all means he will communicate that with Steve (Addington, crew chief).  We’ve got to be very respectful of our partners at Hendrick Motorsports and things so I’ve talked with Hendrick Motorsports, I’ve talked with Richard Childress about it and we’ve all agreed that Austin will just get in and give tight/loose and drive the hell out of it.”
 
ARE YOU WORKING UNDER THE ASSUMPTION THAT TONY STEWART WILL BE OUT THE REST OF THE YEAR OR IS THERE A CHANCE HE WILL BE BACK THIS SEASON?
 
GREG ZIPADELLI:  “We don’t know that yet.  I’m working under the assumption that he’s (Tony Stewart) out for the next month or so or longer.  He went to the doctor’s this week, he had a decent visit.  No setbacks.  Basically, very simple instructions, stay in his bed with your leg up over your heart for the next seven days and then come back and see me.  We’ll reevaluate you and tell you what you can do.  That’s what he’s doing.  I saw him Wednesday night, we spent some time together, spent a couple hours together yesterday just kind of filling him in on all the things that we’ve got going on.  He’s in great spirits and they changed some of his medicines and things of that nature.  He’s going through a little bit of a transition period, but like I said the doctor’s appointment went well or as good as it can.  He said the next seven to 14 days will tell a lot of how it heals, how those things take and we’ll certainly continue to update you guys as we can.  It’s going to be a really slow process.”
 
IS AUSTIN DILLON ONE OF THE TWO THAT YOU ARE LOOKING AT FOR MORE RACES GOING FORWARD?
 
GREG ZIPADELLI:  “Yeah, obviously Austin’s (Dillon) done a great job in the Truck Series and Nationwide Series.  He’s got a long-standing relationship with Johnny Morris and Bass Pro Shop so we are talking about more races.  We don’t have anything concreted yet.  We’re looking at that other option and just seeing how many races that they can do.  It looks like one more race at least for Austin through the rest of the year with us.”
 
GREG, WHY WAS AUSTIN DILLON THE RIGHT CHOICE THIS WEEKEND AND AUSTIN, HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE A SUCCESSFUL WEEKEND?
 
GREG ZIPADELLI:  “From our side, like I mentioned earlier, he (Austin Dillon) just ran here and did a great job in the spring race.  Runs well here in the Nationwide.  He’s done some testing in these cars so we could have found a guy in the Truck Series or something like that who doesn’t have a ton of time in these race cars, which I felt was — not that they wouldn’t do a good job, but I think these cars are a little bit different and the biggest thing is that he did a good job here in the spring.  We looked at that, the association with Bass Pro Shop, both sponsors were on board.  That is a big priority to us that our partners are on board with everything we do.  Obviously, we let them down with Tony (Stewart) not being in the car the rest of the year and we need to do the best we can to represent them and they are a big part of our decisions.”
 
HOW ACTIVE IS TONY STEWART WHEN YOU VISIT WITH HIM AND WHAT IS HIS MINDSET?
 
GREG ZIPADELLI:  “His (Tony Stewart) mindset is pretty good.  He’s in a lot of pain at times.  He was in a wheelchair yesterday when we had our meeting with three or four of us over there for a couple hours yesterday going over things at the shop and what we were doing moving forward.  For the most part, like I said, he’s supposed to be in bed for the next seven days with his foot up above his heart I guess is what the doctor said.  It needs to be elevated just to keep the swelling and things of that nature down.”
 
HOW DO YOU PLAN TO GO FROM LAST TO THE TOP-10 AT MID-OHIO AND WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR WHAT YOU DO AT MICHIGAN ON SUNDAY?
 
AUSTIN DILLON:  “A top-10, I want to be able to win hopefully Saturday.  From 43rd to first is something that is tough to do, but I feel like with all the strategy and things that are going to play out during that race — I think it’s going to be a pretty wild race.  Going to the inaugural race for Mid-Ohio and there are some blind corners and some elevation changes and some really slow corners where people are going to make up ground and mistakes are going to be made.  My goal always is
to finish laps in these races and that will always bring positions to you and that answers Marty’s (Smith, ESPN) question earlier about our goal for this weekend in the 14.  I’ve been able to be pretty successful at finishing a lot of laps in my career. I think trying to put ourselves in position at the end of the race to get a top-15 would be great.  We do that by being there at the end.  That’s what I feel like we’ll try to do in the Nationwide race.”
 
WHAT ARE THE LOGISTICS YOU WILL GO THROUGH THIS WEEKEND AND CAN YOU PREVIEW BRISTOL?
 
AUSTIN DILLON:  “I think the logistics are actually not as bad as we all thought it was going to be because the test at Mid-Ohio kind of solved that.  I was able to be there all day yesterday.  We flew in on Wednesday night, I was there yesterday full time and then came over here last night.  Had a good night’s rest and then today I will stay here and even be able to watch the Truck race tonight with Ty (Dillon) in it and stay the night and stay here for a little bit of practice in the morning.  Then helicopter to Mid-Ohio before the race Saturday.”
 
WHAT IS IT LIKE RACING FOR MULTIPLE TEAMS IN THE SPRINT CUP SERIES AND WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER FROM PLAYING IN THE LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES?
 
AUSTIN DILLON:  “This is my third Cup team this year that we’ve run for and it’s pretty special.  I think it’s cool to be able to say that I’ve driven for multiple different people.  The great thing about it is that you learn a lot running with different guys and learning how things are supposed to be done and what it really takes to be a team leader.  I think that’s pretty important.  As far as the Little League World Series, it was a great time.  I thought I was going to be a baseball player for the rest of my life and I’m sitting in the media center for a NASCAR Cup race this weekend.  It was a very special time.  The funny thing was that I ran into a bunch of the players from my team this past weekend after our race and I thought that was cool.  They are very supportive of my career and I still have some of them come around to the races here and there.  It’s a fun time of the year.  I always love watching it and I did see on ESPN that Michigan is playing California today, is that the team?  It’s special.  It’s always a good time for a bunch of 12-year-olds and you get to miss a little school too.”
 
WHAT IS THE TEAM’S MINDSET ABOUT THE REST OF THE SEASON?
 
GREG ZIPADELLI:  “Everybody has been pretty good honestly.  We’ve been so busy trying to work through all these details and seats and seat brackets and all the things that have gone on in the last two weeks that these guys haven’t had time to stop I don’t think really and reflect on what’s going on in the year.  Like I said, we’re 11th in owner’s points and that’s the message that we keep driving to these guys that it is business as usual.  There’s no reason in the world that we can’t be in the top-10 with where we’re at and that’s our goals is to continue fighting as hard as we can, do the best we can to represent our sponsors and keep the boss smiling at home that we did a good job with what we had to work with.”
 
DOES THIS SHOW THE STRENGTH OF THE ORGANIZATION?
 
GREG ZIPADELLI:  “Everybody’s been great.  We’ve all spent a lot of time together, probably more time than we have in the past and maybe we’ve learned that we can do a better job of communicating and spending more time together.  Everybody from Gene (Haas) on his side with his people to Tony (Stewart) and everybody in between have really spent some time together, talked about things and all have come to common ground on what’s best for Stewart-Haas moving forward.  To be part of that, I’m proud of everybody for just not putting themselves forward and just looking at what do we need to do to do the best job we can for Stewart-Haas.  We’ve got the 39 (Ryan Newman) that we need to put as much resources as we can there and obviously there’s been distractions on my side and things of that nature, but Matt (Borland, crew chief) and those guys are doing a great job digging and moving forward and that is the priority right now.”
 
IS TONY STEWART BACK TO BEING FEISTY AGAIN?
 
GREG ZIPADELLI:  “He was pretty ornery Wednesday night when I left.”

Tracy Hines Racing–Good Company: Tracy Hines Looks to Add to Win Total at Springfield & Sun Prairie

Good Company: Tracy Hines Looks to Add to Win Total at Springfield & Sun Prairie
By Tracy Hines Racing PR
 
NEW CASTLE, Ind.— Aug. 15, 2013— Many drivers have won at the Illinois State Fairgrounds over the years in USAC competition, as well at Angell Park Speedway, but not too many have won at both of the historic dirt tracks. Tracy Hines is a member of a very select list of drivers that has conquered the one-mile oval in Springfield, Ill., as well as the one-third-mile bullring in Sun Prairie, Wisc. He’ll have a chance to add to his win total at each this weekend as a doubleheader awaits.
 
Hines hits the track in the Lightfoot Racing Beast on Saturday, Aug. 17 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds with the Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Series for the running of the Tony Bettenhausen 100. He then heads north to Wisconsin with the Honda USAC National Midget Series Dirt Championship on Sunday, Aug. 18 for an event at Angell Park Speedway.
 
Hines was victorious at the Illinois State Fairgrounds with the Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Series in 2006. The 2000 series champion started on the pole on the one-mile dirt oval that afternoon and led all 100 laps. Hines has finished in the top-10 in two of his last three starts at track and was 13th last season. The veteran driver made his debut at the Springfield Mile in 1995 with the Honda USAC National Midget Series. Hines, the current Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Series point leader, was victorious in the series most recent event at the Belleville High Banks in Kansas.
 
“After how well we ran at Belleville, we feel pretty good going into Springfield,” said Hines. “I’ve had some good runs there over the years. We were a little bit off last year, but learned a few things in that race that should help us this time around. We ran pretty good at the Indy Mile back in May, so we know we have a pretty good combination for the miles this year.”
 
Hines piloted the Parker Machinery Spike to a third-place finish at Angell Park Speedway in June with the Honda USAC National Midget Series, after leading 13 laps early in that A-Feature. The race was tri-sanctioned with the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series and Stark Automotive Group/Mid-State Equipment Badger Midget Series. Hines won a total of seven times in 2001 and 2002 at Angell Park Speedway, including winning the Fireman’s Nationals back-to-back each of those years.
 
“We led quite a few laps at Sun Prairie (Angell Park Speedway) earlier this season and just came up a little short at the end,” he shared. “We’ve been near the front in our last handful of dirt midget races and really want to pick up a couple of wins before the end of the season. We’ve won on the pavement and are doing really well on that side, so all in all, we are pretty pleased with our midget program this year.”
 
Heading into the Tony Bettenhausen 100 for the Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Series at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, Hines leads the series standings on the strength of one win, along with four top-five finishes in five starts. With the Honda USAC National Midget Series Dirt Championship, he sits third in points, having recorded nine top-10 finishes.
 
“We are getting to that time of the year when we only have a couple races each week, so we definitely want to make the most of them,” Hines said. “Springfield (Illinois State Fairgrounds) and Sun Prairie (Angell Park Speedway) have been pretty good to me over the years and we head in them both with some momentum and confidence on our side.”
 

Taylor Ferns–Doubling Down; Taylor Ferns Set for Weekend ARCA & USAC Silver Crown Races at Historic Springfield

Doubling Down; Taylor Ferns Set for Weekend ARCA & USAC Silver Crown Races at Historic Springfield

Concord, NC (August 15, 2013) – Seventeen-year-old Taylor Ferns will be making her Springfield dirt mile debut this weekend pulling double duty in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards and the Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Series.
 
Racing on both dirt and pavement has helped Taylor become of the most versatile young drivers in the country.
 
Honing her skills in the open wheel ranks, the Shelby Township, Mich. teenager has expanded her horizons this year by competing in a select number of ARCA races with Venturini Motorsports.
 
Already with several ARCA short track events under her belt Taylor made her first superspeedway start a couple of weeks ago at the historic Pocono (Pa.) Raceway and will now show her true versatility as she takes to the famed one-mile dirt oval at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois.
 
Taylor will compete this weekend in both ARCA’s Allen Crowe Memorial100, driving the No. 55 Motor City Transport Toyota for Venturini Motorsports and the Tony Bettenhausen 100 race for the Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Series in the No. 35 Toyota-powered Beast for Team 6R.
 
The 51st annual Allen Crowe Memorial 100 will be Taylor’s first ARCA event on dirt.
 
The Tony Bettenhausen 100 for the Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Series will mark the second one-mile dirt-race that Ferns has competed in this season. She made her first Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Series start on a one-mile dirt oval in May, in the historic Hoosier 100 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. That race also was the first dirt start in a Silver Crown car for the winningest female driver in USAC history.
 
“Having raced a Silver Crown car on the dirt at the Indy Mile definitely helps and I can take some of what I learned there over to Springfield this week,” said Ferns. “On a mile track you are going so much faster than on say a half-mile, so the main thing is to make sure you know where to get into the corner so don’t lose any corner speed. In a 100-lap Silver Crown race you use the same philosophy you do in a stock car and that is to take care of your equipment at the beginning so you can be there at the end.”
 
Taylor will open the weekend with practice for the Tony Bettenhausen 100 on Saturday, Aug. 17, followed by two laps of qualifying, which will set the starting lineup for the 100-mile main event.

Practice for the ARCA Allen Crowe 100 is scheduled Sunday morning from 9:00-10:00 a.m. with Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell following at 11:15. The 51st annual Allen Crowe Memorial 100 starts at 1:30 p.m. All times are local.

The Allen Crowe Memorial 100 will also be the third ARCA Racing Series race that will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network. NBC Sports Network’s ARCA racing coverage of the Allen Crowe Memorial 100 premieres Friday, August 23 at 11 p.m. ET.

Taylor is also schedule to pull double duty at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds in DuQuoin, Ill., Sept. 1–2, which will feature another 100-lap event for both the ARCA Racing Series and the Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Series.

Follow A Dream–Cecil County Dragway Up Next

Marstons Mills, MA,August 15, 2013 Jay Blake’s Permatex/ Follow A Dream Top Alcohol Funny Car team winds up its Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series season this weekend at Cecil County Dragway, where last year the team picked up the first of back-to-back victories clinching the East Region championship.
“It’s great to be in a position to win another championship,” Blake said. “We’re in fourth place, but we’re only 20 points out of the lead – a lot closer than we were last year, when we won the championship.”
Driver Todd Veney is seventh in the national standings as the team heads back to Cecil County. “Last year at this track we got the biggest win I’ve ever had,” he said. “It’s always a tough track, but sometimes we do our best at places like that.”
Qualifying sessions are slated for 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday, and eliminations are set to go off at 3:00, 5:00, and 7:00 Saturday. Following the Cecil County race, the team will run nothing but national events for the rest of the year – the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, the NHRA Nationals in Charlotte, and the Auto Plus Nationals in Reading, Pa

Wood Brothers Racing–Wingo, Motorcraft/Quick Lane Crew Looking for Strong Finish at Ford’s Home Track

Wingo, Motorcraft/Quick Lane Crew Looking for Strong Finish at Ford’s Home Track
August 15, 2013

Getting the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion up to speed at Michigan International Speedway hasn’t been much of a problem for Trevor Bayne and the Wood Brothers in recent races. Securing a fitting finish has been another matter altogether.

In both Sprint Cup races at Michigan in 2012, Bayne qualified in the top seven only to have equipment issues take away opportunities for strong finishes.   An engine failure in the first race and a flat tire in the second, hindered any chance of showcasing the teams full potential.

Back in June of this year at the home track for Ford Motor Company, Bayne was poised to be a big part of a Ford celebration of its 1,000th NASCAR victory before aerodynamic damage from an incident on the track left him with a 15th-place finish behind the winning Ford Fusion driven by Greg Biffle.

The team will use the same Ford Fusion it ran at MIS on Father’s Day, and it will be back in its familiar red-and-white paint scheme instead of the black-and-white colors used at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to honor Henry Ford’s 150th birthday.  Veteran crew chief Donnie Wingo said he and his Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew are determined to do their part to help Bayne steer Chassis No. 745 to a strong finish in Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400.

“We’ve had some of our better runs at Michigan, but we just haven’t been able to finish them off,” Wingo said. “The car’s been good. It just needed a little bit here and there, which we should be able to work on in practice.”

Among the goals Wingo has for the weekend is a strong qualifying effort, for several reasons. Foremost, there’s the matter of making the starting field, as the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team must make the race based on its qualifying speed. Then there are the advantages that come with starting up front, namely a beneficial pit stall and the edge that comes with having track position from the drop of the green flag.

“We’re going to work hard on qualifying,” Wingo said. “I expect we’re going to have a track-position race.”

That means race strategies will focus on keeping drivers as close to the front of the field as possible, especially as the laps wind down.

“You’re not going to take four tires every time you make a pit stop,” Wingo said. “You’ll see lots of two-tire stops and some no-tire stops. It just depends on how much fuel you need at that point.”

Chevy Racing–Chevrolet GRAND-AM Drivers and Teams Journey to Kansas Speedway for Inaugural SFP Grand Prix

Chevrolet GRAND-AM Drivers and Teams Journey to Kansas Speedway for Inaugural SFP Grand Prix
 
DETROIT –  (August 14, 2013) –  As the 2013 GRAND-AM Road Racing season heads into the final stretch with only three races remaining until champions are crowned, the Team Chevy teams and drivers face a new challenge this weekend on the 2.370-mile speedway road course at Kansas Speedway for the inaugural running of the SFP Grand Prix.
 
The newly-configured road course just east of downtown Kansas City, Kansas will present unique challenges for Chevy teams in both the Rolex Sports Car Series and the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge with two corners that are extremely technical as well as high-speed oval sections and long straightaways. Each Chevrolet team would like to be the first to hoist the hardware in Victory Lane at Kansas Speedway, but it will take focus, precision and exact execution to emerge victorious in the nighttime event.
 
“It is a short week for the Chevrolet GRAND-AM teams with back-to-back races,” said Jim Lutz, Chevrolet Program Manager, Rolex Sports Car Series. “In fact, many of the teams did their maintenance in the paddock area of Road America before heading for this week’s race at a newly configured road course at Kansas Speedway.  The track is unique in that it utilizes the majority of the 1.5-mile oval, but also has a highly-technical infield section.  The combination of the banked oval turns, and the flat infield section are going to present a challenge to crew chiefs and engineers to get the balance of the car around the entire 2.370-mile course to maximize power and handling around the high-speed oval as well as the tight infield section.  We are looking forward to putting more wins in the Chevrolet column as the season begins to wind down and the championship battles continue.”
 
2013 has been a successful one for Chevrolet teams in both the Daytona Prototype (DP) and Grand Touring (GT) classes.  Heading into this weekend’s race, the Chevrolet Corvette DP teams and drivers have won five of nine races in the DP class and Chevrolet leads the Manufacturer Standings. With only three races remaining to determine a champion, the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing team sits third in the standings on the strength of one victory at Circuit of The Americas, and four podium finishes.  Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney find themselves only nine markers away from the top spot.
 
They are closely followed by fellow Corvette DP teams and driving twosomes of Action Express Racing’s Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa and Wayne Taylor Racing’s Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor who also find themselves within striking distance as the championship battle heats up.  This weekend’s race at Kansas Speedway’s new road course could be the final turning point in determining the 2013 team champions.  
 
In the GT class the pairing of John Edward and Robin Liddell piloting the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT.R have four victories and five podium finishes this season.  The co-drivers sit second in the team standings only seven points away from the top spot.  Solid runs this weekend in the inaugural event at Kansas Speedway could propel Chevrolet teams to the top positions within their respective classes heading into the final two races of the season.
 
 Also competing this weekend at Kansas Speedway will be the drivers and teams in the Continental Tire Series.  After a disappointing weekend at Road America John Edwards and Matt Bell are ready to get back behind the wheel of the No. 9 Camaro GS.R in hopes of claiming their second victory of the season.  They currently sit second in the team point standings, but are hungry for another trophy.  The driving duo of Lawson Aschenbach and Eric Curran are also due for a win, coming ever so close several times this season, the pair are looking for their first podium finish in 2013 as are their teammates Ashley McCalmont and Bob Michaelian piloting the No. 00 CKS Autosport Camaro GS.R.
 
The first race of the SFP Grand Prix weekend will be the Continental Sports Car Challenge 2 hour and 30 minute contest which is scheduled to take the green flag at 4:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 17 followed by the start of the Rolex Sports Car Series 2 hour and 45 minute race at 8:00 p.m., ET.
 

Chevy Racing–Nascar Teleconference–Kasey Kahne

KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 PEPSI MAX CHEVROLET SS, WAS THE GUEST ON THIS WEEK’S NASCAR TELECONFERENCE.
 
BELOW IS THE TRANSCRIPT:
 
 
THE MODERATOR:  Good afternoon, everyone.  Welcome to today’s NASCAR teleconference.  We will start off today with Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 5 Pepsi Max Chevrolet for HendrickMotorsports in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Kahne is 12th in the series standings, but sits first in the wild card standings with two wins and nine top‑10 finishes. He has one career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at Michigan Speedway, which is the site of Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400. Kasey, what is your mindset with four races left to make the Chase with Michigan and Bristol up next, both being tracks you’ve won at?
 
KASEY KAHNE:  I feel really good about making the Chase.  I feel good about getting into the top 10 and racing our way in. I think we’ve been fast at those tracks and good at all the tracks that we have left on the schedule this season.  I’m excited about it.  I think we’re in a good spot.
 
THE MODERATOR:  We’ll now go to the media for questions for today’s guest, Kasey Kahne.
Q.  Kasey, I wanted to ask you a little bit about, I know it looked like you were having fun on Twitter after the race on Sunday.  Talk about that, your thoughts and why you did that.  Secondly, if you could talk about Michigan, review of your stats.  Recently it’s been all good or not so good.
KASEY KAHNE:  Yeah, I think the Michigan deal, we were really fast the first race, had a right front tire go down, blow out, hit the wall hard.  So our day was over.  But we were leading at the time. I feel good about going to Michigan.  Those types of tracks seem to suit us pretty well.  So, yeah, looking forward to that.
 
The ones that have gone bad, that was one of them.  I can’t remember last year real well.  I imagine we hit something there, too.  I don’t know what happened.  But we definitely are fast when we go to Michigan.  Just circumstances haven’t always gone our way.
 
Then the Twitter stuff, I was just frustrated and at the same time trying to make fun of it.  I just tweeted about going down there.  I had a few texts and different people tweeting me back.  It ended up being kind of entertaining and I enjoyed it.
 
I wasn’t happy about Matt crashing me at Watkins Glen at all.  I feel like we had a great car and we were trying to make moves, come up through there.  I don’t know if he had a problem with Ambrose.  He said he didn’t.  Other people around, seemed like he might have.
 
I don’t know what happened.  I just know he missed the corner, wiped me out.  I gave them guys plenty of room.  It was frustrating to get crashed at that point in the race for something like that.
 
The whole Gibbs thing, this is the fourth time this year a Gibbs car has crashed me when I’ve been running.  I mean, that was 11th.  But the others were for first, second, fifth.  We’ve lost tons and tons of points because of those guys.  It doesn’t sit real well with me at all.
Q.  Have you had a chance to speak with Matt or any of them after Watkins Glen?
KASEY KAHNE:  He texted me, I don’t know, five to eight times apologizing, trying to explain what happened, how he felt really bad about how it happened and all that stuff.  I understand and I appreciate the texts.
 
At the same time, we’re trying to get in the Chase.  It hurts when you get wiped out when you’re minding your own business.  It’s happened enough this year that I don’t know what I can do about it, but I definitely am not pleased.  It’s really annoying and upsetting.
Q.  Kasey, I received an email recently from a fan who goes to the Sprint car races at Williams Grove.  He said it was a treat to see you and Tony Stewart race there.  He hasn’t seen you there for two years.  I understand there’s nothing in your contract that prohibits you from racing Sprint cars. Have you just decided not to do it?
KASEY KAHNE:  I don’t know when the last time I raced at the Grove was.  I enjoy racing there.  As far as this year goes, I haven’t raced.  I had to have raced 10 or 12 times last year.  This year I’ve pretty much stuck with the Cup stuff, focused on that.  I have a great team, opportunity there, so I’ve stuck with that.
 
I was with three World of Outlaw teams and one team that races 60 times a year that I get to enjoy the Sprint car racing with.  I was at Knoxville as long as I could be, hung out with those guys, watched those guys kind of do their thing.
 
It’s been good, exciting to be part of that.  When I feel like racing a Sprint car again, I will.  Right now I’ve kind of been focused on trying to do the best I can in the Sprint Cup car.
 
Q.  After what happened with Tony, will that make you think twice about racing the Sprint cars again?
 
KASEY KAHNE:  I think it will all make us look at how it happened to Tony and try to make the cars a little bit safer in those areas, if we can. There’s got to be some ways we can prevent what happened to Tony or try to prevent it.  It just all kind of fell against him in those certain circumstances, got his leg.
 
I think all the teams can learn from that.  I know Tony is going to be a big part of trying to make that better, as well.  I think we’ll try to make our stuff better from what we can learn from Tony’s accident.
 
No, it doesn’t really change myself wanting to race, any of that.  It’s exactly the same as it was before he got in that wreck.
Q.  I wanted to hear about how running is helping with the late‑season grind and whether you’re able to run more or less as the Chase heats up?
KASEY KAHNE:  I’d say I’ve actually run about the same amount.  At times maybe a little less because of testing and things like that.  Just not enough time to get it all in.
 
The nice thing about running is you can do it anywhere.  I’m able to still get out there, get a good sweat in, get some miles each day.  I feel good about that.
 
I really think it helps for the Chase because I feel better at the end of the season.  When it’s all said and done, I still feel motivated, not completely drained and worn out.
 
I remember the first couple years I was in the Cup Series, by the time we got to Homestead at the end of the year, I was so happy for the season to be over.  Probably the last two years really, I’ve been wishing it went a couple more races.  I think a lot of that has to do with running, the physical work that I put in each year.
Q.  Considering what happened at the Glen, how big was the previous win at Pocono as far as keeping y’all calm and confident as far as the Chase goes?
KASEY KAHNE:  Yeah, I think it was really big.  I don’t like not being in the top 10, but I feel a lot more secure.  I feel like our chances are a lot better because of the Pocono win after falling back out of the top 10 because of getting wiped out at the Glen.  It was a big win, it was really good.  It helped all of us out.
 
These next four tracks are good tracks for us.  We want to race our way back in.  We want to get those bonus points to start the Chase.  Hopefully we can start on that this weekend at Michigan.
 
Q.  Is there anything you can do to avoid these things?  Anything you’re going to try to do to change your luck?
 
KASEY KAHNE:  Man, I feel like all you can do to change your luck is work hard, do the right things.  I try to be a good person.  I try to work hard before the races and be as prepared as I can be once I get there.  I race people the way I expect to get raced.  I don’t crash pe
ople.
 
I’ve still gotten wiped out five times this year.  It’s discouraging, but I think I just keep doing what I’m doing.  Hopefully they all figure it out.  I don’t know.  Hopefully it just quits, I guess.
 
I think over time it runs a path and a pattern.  It all kind of comes around eventually.
Q.  Obviously you’re in a lot better situation than a lot of people for the Chase.  When we get to Richmond, you’ve been through that before. What is that like, trying to race your way in, the stress and the pressure?  Is there anything in your career previously that you can relate to what that feeling is like at Richmond, trying to get your way into the Chase?
KASEY KAHNE:  No other feelings that I’ve had like that.  I’ve been in that position a lot over the years.  We just always seem to be right on that verge there, right on the edge of making it or not making it.
 
I’ve went through it.  I kind of enjoy it.  I kind of enjoy the pressure, like to have to be perfect that weekend, things like that.  It’s been good.  It’s worked out for us most of the time.  We’ve been able to make the Chase when we’re in those positions.
 
I feel pretty good about it, don’t mind it.  I’d rather have that pressure late in the season.  We haven’t had it late in the season yet.  We just have to keep working at that.  Hopefully we’ll have a little pressure when Richmond comes, and hopefully we’ll have a little more at the end of the year.
Q.  What does that do for a team in trying to race to get into the Chase and then you have to gear back up to race for a championship?  How do you reset or how does that affect guys?  Does that hurt a team, make it harder to win a championship when you’ve had to scramble to get into the Chase?
KASEY KAHNE:  Yeah, I don’t think it would make it easier by no means because everybody’s putting in the time, the pressure’s on you each week, from the driver to the team to the pit guys on Sundays.  It’s a tough part of the season.
 
But it’s kind of what we’re all here for, too, to step up when times are tough, make it happen.  I know we have a really strong team. I think with the two wins, that helps, takes some of the pressure off.  If we can run strong the next few weeks, I think we’ll be in a really good spot, just try to put those final 10 together.  That’s what it’s all about.
Q.  You’ve talked about your frustration with the run‑ins with the JGR cars this season.  Has there been a time in your career where you’ve been on the other end, where you’ve gotten into somebody or one particular team?  You talk about things kind of come around.  Has that happened to you earlier in your career, and how did you deal with that?
KASEY KAHNE:  It’s never happened to me.  Kind of makes me think I need to start taking cars out.  But it hasn’t happened to me.  I don’t know what it would be like on that side of it.
Q.  Kasey, on this issue with Matt Kenseth, you make it very clear that you’re not somebody who is going to wreck somebody on the racetrack. How do you go about getting the message to Matt, that this has to stop, this isn’t the right way to race?
KASEY KAHNE:  Well, just looking at the incidents with him and Kyle, we’ve always had conversations after the fact.  They’ve explained and felt bad about it.  Truthfully, Kyle races me really good all the time.  It’s not really on my mind when I’m racing with Kyle.
 
Matt has been pretty tough on me a lot this year.  He got me there.  That’s definitely on my mind.  I just kind of see things the way I see it.  I would expect a little difference out of him, but you never know.  We’ll see how it goes.
Q.  Going into Michigan, how important do you think it is for you to get as close as you can to a win or to the win itself and climb into the top 10 in points?
KASEY KAHNE:  I think the most important thing to me is to get into that top 10 and not have to use a wild card.  In order to do that, we need to be consistent.  It would be great to get another win and get some more of them bonus points when the Chase does start.  Michigan is a good track, Bristol, Atlanta, all of them are tracks we won at.  Hopefully we can race hard, take care of it on the track, go that way.
 
But I don’t know.  The only reason we’re in this position isn’t because of my consistency or my team’s consistency, we’ve had that all season long, it’s been other people not being able to control their racecars at times.
 
I feel like mine and my team’s consistency is as good as anybody’s.  If everybody else could control their car in those situations we’ve had, we’d be in the middle of battling for the lead in points.  That’s very easy to see for myself.
 
THE MODERATOR:  Kasey, thank you for joining us today and best of luck this weekend in Michigan.
 
KASEY KAHNE:  Thank you.
 

Summit Racing–Line Hopes to Pocket Very Personal Win in Brainerd

Line Hopes to Pocket Very Personal Win in Brainerd
 
Mooresville, N.C., August 13, 2013 – This weekend will afford NHRA Pro Stock driver Jason Line the opportunity to do something he has been meaning to do for a long time – race to victory in his Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro at the facility where he cut his teeth as a drag racer, Brainerd International Raceway.

The arrival of NHRA’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series in the North Star state for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals will signify a return to their roots for both Line and his Summit Racing teammate Greg Anderson. Line hails from Wright, and Anderson is a native of Duluth. Although a win for either driver would be a homerun for the team, Anderson already possesses three Brainerd trophies, while Line is still after the taste of victory there as a professional competitor.

“It’s pretty great to get to go back and race at the track where this all started for me,” said Line, who scored his first national event win in 1992 at the Brainerd facility in Stock Eliminator and then earned another Brainerd trophy in the sportsman category in 1997. “It’s a lot of fun to see all of our friends and family, and this is certainly a race that would be special to win. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t pretty high up there on the list – and I’ve come pretty close, but I haven’t been able to win this one yet. The Summit Racing team has been putting in a lot of hours towards getting our program in the best shape possible, and we’ve made some good progress. Maybe this weekend will be the weekend to do it.”

Mooresville, N.C.-transplant Line has come achingly close to victory at home twice; his first brush with Brainerd bliss was in 2006 when he narrowly forfeited the title to Dave Connolly, and Line’s most recent trip to the BIR final round was in 2009, when he and Anderson squared off in an all-Summit Racing trophy match.

Line was competing in his fifth consecutive final round and had the car to beat at the 2009 event, and Anderson knew good and well that he had his work cut out for him if he was going to snare the hardware. In a real nail-biter, Line was first to leave the starting line but soon saw Anderson inch ahead with his quickest pass of the weekend to wrench the trophy out of his hands by just two-thousandths of a second.

“We’re always happy when we can put a Team Summit car in the winner’s circle, but yeah, that one stung a little,” admitted Line. “That’s racing, though. Now we’re on our way back up there and if we do our jobs right, the opportunity will present itself again.”

For Line, this weekend’s event in Brainerd and the following race, the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, will be utilized to gain as much information and as many points as possible before NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship begins in Charlotte. Already locked into the playoffs and currently in the No. 6 position, Line is hoping to climb closer to the top before the field is set in order to optimize his chance at a third series championship.

“Of course the immediate goal is to go to Brainerd and get a win for KB Racing with one of our Summit Racing Chevy Camaros, but in the bigger picture, we’ll also be working on getting our cars completely dialed in over the next couple of races for the Countdown,” said Line. “This weekend is important to Team Summit in more ways than one.”
 

Summit Racing–Anderson Heads Home to Race for the Brainerd Trophy

Anderson Heads Home to Race for the Brainerd Trophy
 
Mooresville, N.C., August 13, 2013 – Pro Stock driver Greg Anderson is returning to his home state of Minnesota this weekend for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, and the driver of the Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro has his heart set on one thing: earning his first trophy of the season in front of family and friends at the racetrack where he grew up.

Although the 74-time NHRA national event winner and four-time Pro Stock world champion is obviously no stranger to toting home the hardware, the 2013 season has been a particular challenge for Mooresville, N.C.-based Anderson. Although he has already secured a spot in the Countdown to the Championship and is currently seventh in the Pro Stock standings, Anderson has yet to wheel his way to the winner’s circle. He isn’t just hungry; he’s starving for that win, and there would be no better place to get it done than on the hallowed grounds where he learned his craft.

“Every win is incredibly special in one way or another,” said Anderson. “But Brainerd is just absolutely at the top of the list. It’s a race that means so much, not just to me, but also to my Summit Racing teammate Jason Line. We both have roots there, and we have a lot of supporters at this racetrack cheering us on. To win in Brainerd is really a big deal for this team, and we haven’t seen a lot of bright spots this year – to get it done this weekend would be huge.”

However, it isn’t enough to simply win. Anderson and his team want to earn it, and after the recent journey across the United States for the notoriously strenuous, three-in-a-row Western Swing, the Summit Racing crew powered right back to the KB Racing headquarters to pack as much hard work as possible into the week and a half before the Brainerd race. Anderson and company worked overtime and put the Summit Racing Camaros to the test before the rigs finally departed this week to cut a trail north towards what they hope will be their most successful outing yet this season.

Anderson, a Duluth native, has enjoyed success in the past in Brainerd and has so far acquired three wins in six final rounds, with trophies earned in 2003, 2009, and 2011. Summit Racing teammate Line, who won the first national event of his career in the Stock Eliminator sportsman category in Brainerd, was a Pro Stock finalist in 2006 and again in 2009, when he went toe-to-toe with Anderson but missed the win light by just .002-second.

“I can tell you one thing, this team just doesn’t rest. You just can’t in a class like Pro Stock,” said Anderson, who acquired his work ethic in drag racing honestly, as a student first of his father, Rod, and then of mentor and treasured friend, the late John Hagan, an iconic Minnesota racer. Before launching his own career as a Pro Stock driver, Anderson worked with, and was undoubtedly influenced by, another successful North Star State Pro Stock campaigner, Warren Johnson.

“One thing I’ve learned is that it’s tough out there, you don’t get any breathing room, and you have to be at the top of your game all the time if you want to have any measure of success,” Anderson continued. “I’m fortunate to be surrounded by a group of very motivated individuals who really give it everything they’ve got. This could be our weekend, and I’d be very, very happy if it was.”
 

Automac Racing–Rockingham Speedway

Automac Ltd and all its suppliers would
like to offer their congratulations to Richard Bacon for his magnificent drive
at Rockingham Speedway on Sunday (11th August 2013) in his Class A
E46 M3 in a Vortex Exhausts sponsored round of the BMW Kumho Championship.

The 2013 season so far has been a struggle
after countless podiums in 2012, this year was supposed to be a move forward
for Richard and the team to challenge for race wins however the addition of a
new airbox, and other modifications to achieve power to weight a make the car
handle to Richards liking took time to sort for some circuits so far.  Rockingham would following a great test
session on the Friday prove to be the turning point.  After playing with different setups on the
Nitron suspension and the new front splitter confidence was on a high for
qualifying on Saturday.

The car was handling and braking well with
the Stoptech brakes and EBC pad combination, so Richard was in a good frame of mind
to move forward on the grid and get a good result.  For a change the weather and track
temperatures stayed fairly constant with the test day so the setups and tyre
pressures were then used for qualifying. 
Richard was able to put in good laps with different setups and ended up
a close third, only tenths behind pole, so a good solid result.

The race day again was dry and warm and all
went to plan from a team perspective. 
Starting from 3rd for race 1 meant that the last two years
champions Garrie Whitaker E36 Evo and Colin Wells E46 CSL were the only drivers
ahead of Richard and were again the benchmark. 
The start of race one saw Stephan Lanfermeijer get a great getaway but
then held up Colin, Richard and Darren Fielding for several laps, this allowed
Garrie to get away and he able to cruise to victory.  Richard finished 3rd which given
he had bent a wheel on the kerbs causing a vibration through the steering for
most of the race; fortunately the tyre had not deflated so he did well to
maintain a podium position.  So a good
result and set things up nicely for race 2.

Richard was again in a confident mood and
this was mirrored by the Automac team. 
The start of race two initially saw Garrie pull cleanly away with Colin
and Richard following.  Richard managed
to get past Colin early on and then try and give Garrie a race.  Unfortunately Garrie did not have the good
fortune Richard had in race one and suffered a puncture, so Richard inherited
the lead. Half way through the race there was a safety car which remained out
for several laps allowing the field to bunch up again.  Once the safety car pulled off Richard
managed to pull away, followed closely by Colin Wells and James Card all in E46
M3s.  However It was great to see Darren
Fielding E36 Evo who had started from the back manage to close up and take 3rd
and close of the leading two who were vying for the overall win, at times
appeared to only have a fag paper between them. 
Many including Garrie who was now watching the proceedings, commented that
it was the best race they had witnessed this year.

Richard managed to hold off Colin superbly
until the chequered flag for his first overall win in the BMW Kumho
championship.  Automac are very proud of
his achievement and his professional approach all year.  It was a great drive especially the pressure
he was under from last year’s champion Colin Wells.

It was noticeable that in parc ferme the
number of people that came and congratulated him on the win, in all it proved a
popular result and we hope it will signal the first of many.  

Thanks must go to suppliers and supporters Vortex
Exhausts, Superpro, TRS, Cobra Seats, AKG, Nitron Suspension, Custom Cages,
Eibach, EBC, Stoptech, ARP, Specialist Cars, Chipwizards and HRD Racing for
their help in recent years since Richard started in the championship driving an
Automac Class D hire car. Also to Pete and Barry who worked tirelessly to keep
the car in good shape all weekend.

But most of all Thank you and well done
Richard Bacon for making the team very happy and let’s do it again and again
its makes all the effort worthwhile.  It
has been a fantastic distraction to receive all the texts and phone calls to
congratulate the team and Richard on the success.  It’s just a shame that the next race at
Brands is over four weeks away.

Thanks for a fantastic weekend and great
result

Kraig Kinser Racing–Back in the Saddle: Kraig Kinser Heads to Nebraska & North Dakota

Back in the Saddle: Kraig Kinser Heads to Nebraska & North Dakota
By Kraig Kinser Racing PR
 
BLOOMINGTON, Ind.— Aug. 12, 2013— With the biggest week of the year in sprint car racing — the FVP Knoxville Nationals — now in the books, it’s often said that the season begins to slow down. That’s not the case for Kraig Kinser and his fellow World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series competitors as they’ll return to the track this week for three races in a six-day stretch, beginning in Nebraska and concluding with a pair of races in North Dakota.
 
The trio of races for Kinser this week starts on Tuesday, Aug. 13, with the running of the NAPA Auto Parts Outlaw Shootout at Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Neb. The native of Bloomington, Ind., will then head north for the final two legs of the Gerdau Ameristeel Northern Tour. Kinser will hit the track at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D., on Friday, Aug. 16, and wraps up the weekend in the Magic City Showdown at Nodak Speedway in Minot, N.D., on Sunday, Aug. 18.
 
Kinser, who pilots the Mesilla Valley Transportation/Casey’s General Store/King Racing Products Maxim, has made two starts in his career at Junction Motor Speedway, including last season when he finished 14th. Kinser made his debut at the semi-banked, three-eighths-mile in 2010, which was also was the World of Outlaws first-ever stop at the venue in southeastern Nebraska. The event at Junction Motor Speedway will mark the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series only race of the season in Nebraska, after a rainout at I-80 Speedway in June.
 
“Junction (Motor Speedway) is one of those places that everyone is still kind of learning,” said Kinser. “With the new tires this year, the set-up will obviously be a little different than last year and that should equalize the playing field a bit. That’s a great facility and we don’t race out that way very much anymore, so I imagine they’ll have a very good crowd and hopefully we put on a good show for them.”
 
Earlier this season at River Cities Speedway, Kinser finished fifth to earn his second top-five finish in his last three starts at the track. He was the third-fastest driver in time trials of the 36 entrants and came home third in the third 10-lap heat race to earn a spot in the dash where he finished fifth. Kinser lined up on the inside of the third row for the 40-lap main event at the always racy bullring.
 
“We had a pretty good car earlier in the year at Grand Forks (River Cities Speedway),” he noted. “That’s a track that I always feel comfortable at and it reminds me so much of the tracks I grew up on back home. Don Mack and everyone does such a great job up there and always provide us with a super racy surface with multiple grooves. In the driver’s seat it’s an ‘elbows up’ type of place to race and I know for the fans it’s an exciting track to watch at.”
 
Kinser made his debut at River Cities Speedway in 2000, with the former Gumout Series finishing fourth and fifth in two starts. In four Gumout Series starts at the track, Kinser finished in the top-five each and every time. With the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series, the third-generation driver has made 11 starts, recording six top-10 finishes in the process.
 
The third-generation driver raced for the first time at the three-eighths-mile Nodak Speedway in 2008 and finished a career-best third in that event. He has made a total of five starts at the oval, which is located on the grounds of the North Dakota State Fairgrounds, recording top-10 finishes in four of those races. Last season, Kinser finished ninth at Nodak Speedway, in the series return to the oval, after the 2011 event was forced to be cancelled due to flooding.
 
“Minot (Nodak Speedway) has a lot of racing room,” said Kinser. “It’s a smaller track that races like a much bigger one. We’ve been pretty consistent over the years there and just need to gain a little bit to be battling up front. That’s a place where you can make up some ground if you start further back, but the goal is to always start as far forward as possible and begins in qualifying.”
 
Last week at the 53rd Annual FVP Knoxville Nationals at Knoxville Raceway in Iowa, Kinser battled more than his fair share of bad luck. After losing an engine in time trials on Wednesday, Aug. 7, during the first preliminary night, he used a second-place finish in the fifth heat race to earn a spot in the preliminary feature. He was running among the top-five in the late going of that 25-lap contest when he lost another engine and finished 22nd. On Friday, Aug. 9, he was battling for a spot in the 25-lap feature when he had steering problems during the first B-main, which forced him to the work area. He was able to return and charge back through the field to finish seventh, missing a transfer spot by four positions. On Saturday, Aug. 10, Kinser finished fifth in the C-main, coming up just one spot shy of moving to the B-main.
 
Kinser begins this week 13th in the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series standings. He has one victory this season to go along with 23 top-10 finishes and eight top-five showings.

Chevy Racing–Greg Zipadelli on Tony Stewart Replacement for Michigan

GREG ZIPADELLI, COMPETITION DIRECTOR OF STEWART-HAAS RACING AND AUSTIN DILLON, INTERIM DRIVER FOR THE NO. 14 MOBIL 1/ BASS PRO SHOPS CHEVROLET SS, WERE GUESTS ON THIS WEEK’S NASCAR TELECONFERENCE.
 
BELOW IS THE TRANSCRIPT:
 
 
 JAYME AVRIT:  Thank you.  Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to today’s NASCAR Teleconference.  Our guests today are Greg Zipadelli, competition director for Stewart‑Haas Racing, and Austin Dillon, interim driver of the No. 14, Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS at Michigan International Speedway for Stewart‑Haas Racing.  Dillon, the current NASCAR Nationwide Series points leader, has two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Michigan including last June when he finished a career best 11th.
 
Greg, you captained an adversity‑filled week with a top 15 finish by Max Papis at Watkins Glen that kept the No. 14 team 11th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner standings.  Now you head to Michigan with another interim driver, Austin Dillon.  Tell us how you selected Austin to drive the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet for the Pure Michigan 400?
 
GREG ZIPADELLI:  Well, we went down through the list and saw who is available and who had track time, who was doing double duty and was willing to try to work out a schedule that would work for both sides.  He has a strong relationship with Bass Pro Shop, and a big part of how we go through this is making sure that our partners are happy with what we’re doing as far as who we’re putting in the car and who will represent their brands in the way they want it represented.
 
Like I said, there is a strong relationship there.  Austin’s done a great job in the past at Michigan.  We kind of felt like it was a good fit for us this week.
 
JAYME AVRIT:  Austin, what are your expectations for your 10th career Sprint Cup Series start this weekend at Michigan?
 
AUSTIN DILLON:  Well, I’m really looking forward to the opportunity that’s presented itself here at Stewart‑Haas.  I just want to thank all the parties at RCR and Stewart‑Haas for giving me this opportunity to let me go out there in a premier ride in the Cup series.  Like I said, we’ve had a great relationship with Bass Pro Shops and looking forward to representing them and Mobil 1 this weekend.
 
It’s a great opportunity for me.  We’re really focused on the Nationwide Championship as well, and we’re going to give both parties a great opportunity at a win this weekend.  We’re going to go out there and try to run strong.
Q.  Greg, I was wondering, are you guys looking at this as being sort of a weekly occurrence until Tony can get back in the car?  Do you have any idea at all when that might be?
GREG ZIPADELLI:  Well, it’s going to be a weekly occurrence here for a little while.  We’ll evaluate each race as it comes and do the best job we can with putting someone in it we feel will do a good job for Stewart‑Haas and all of our partners.
 
We will probably know more next week.  Tony has a doctor’s appointment Wednesday here to just kind of go over things, and at that point we’ll have a lot better idea of what we’re doing.  But for right now it will probably be a week‑by‑week decision as far as who is in the car.
Q.  Austin, I wanted to find out if you planned to drive the Nationwide race at Mid‑Ohio this weekend in the Sprint Cup race?  How will the logistics of that work for you, if you do?  And does it help that they’re within driving distance of each other?
AUSTIN DILLON:  Yeah, we’re working all of that out right now.  We’re going to be running both of them, and the scheduling is pretty tough this weekend, so we’ll be on doing our best to give equal amount of practice time.  The good thing about Mid‑Ohio, we have a full test day there Thursday, so we’ll have plenty of time on the track.  We have lots of sets of tires, and we’ll be using them up on Thursday.
 
Qualifying seems to be the issue for the Nationwide race.  That is the only part that will be tough.  We might have to start in the rear.  But I think we’ve done a good job of trying to work out where each party gets a good amount of practice on both cars.
Q.  Austin, Max Papis just tweeted that he considered you his godson, and that makes him a godfather.  That is kind of a scary thought.  But my question to you is you’ve grown up around RCR.  I imagine you haven’t been in the SHR car, but you might have been at the shop.  I was wondering if you could tell me the things you see similar or do you see anything different at the two shops?
AUSTIN DILLON:  I think both shops strive for excellence, so it’s great to be out here at another organization.  I’ve been around Tony Stewart a lot, and know how much his passion is for racing, and he’s built a great team over here.  That is the biggest thing.  He’s the company that I’ve been able to work with, my grandfather’s and coming over here to Stewart.
 
Today is my first day.  I know the way they like to work, and that is put the best equipment on the track they can.  And that is the greatest thing about this opportunity.  We’re here with a lot of racers, and that’s what I love to do.
Q.  Austin, my question is for you. My first one is obviously this is a great opportunity that I don’t think you could turn down.  But the fact of the matter is you’re in a pretty tight points battle over there in the Nationwide Series.  Do you worry about this with the two races being at different tracks maybe compromising your title hopes for the Nationwide Series?
AUSTIN DILLON:  No, we’re going to win the Nationwide Series.  That is our main goal.  We’ve been fighting for it all year long.  This week at Mid‑Ohio we’ve had a lot of practice time.  The good thing about a road course is the strategies that you’ll be using could actually help us out with the start.  It obviously helps to start up front any race you’re at.
 
But we’ll have a plan.  If there was a better place to do it in the Cup race, Michigan is the place for me because I have a lot of laps there and confidence there.  So we’re going to do our best to come up with a good strategy for both races.  I think we’ll be just fine.
 
Road courses have been not our strong suit, but we’re getting better at them, and the good thing was we were able to test earlier this past year at Mid‑Ohio, so I have some track time.  So I’m familiar with the track.  I really think it’s going to be a wild race in the road course there in my opinion.  It’s a tight road course.  We’ll just do our best and try to work our way up to the front with whatever starting position we get.
Q.  Greg, if I could ask you, for the time that Tony is out of the car, would you rather have the consistency of maybe the same driver in there week‑in and week‑out?  Or would you like maybe the opportunity to have a bunch of different looks at different people in the 14 just to see what you might learn from a vast amount of driving styles?
GREG ZIPADELLI:  No, I think we’d rather have one or two drivers if we can work it out.  I think that will give us some consistency, build some communication between the crew and the driver and that will give us our best chance.  We’re working on some of that stuff now and hopefully we’ll see it.  It may be more than two, maybe three or four.  If that’s the case, we’ll look at each individual racetrack and see who is available that runs good at that racetrack and make the best choice we can.
Q.  Austin, the experience at Michigan having been there earlier this year, how much does that help if you do have to miss some practice time on Saturday at Michigan?
AUSTIN DILLON:  I think it’s really big.  Like I said, I’m very confident at M
ichigan.  It’s one of my favorite tracks.  We led all the laps in the Nationwide race there this year until we had the left rear flat and ran well in the Cup race.  So I’m looking forward to it.  I think it’s a place that we can really go out and have a good run at this weekend.
Q.  Greg, was there any hesitation for the time having an RCR guy in your equipment and Hendrick equipment and maybe what he might learn about what you all have so you might be competing against him down the road?
GREG ZIPADELLI:  We’re going to put a blindfold on him, and right before he backs out of the garage we’ll take it off.  (Laughing). Then he won’t be able to look.
No ‑‑ I mean, yes, it will probably be difficult at times, but I think it’s a one‑shot deal for right here right now.  We’ll see where that goes.  We’ll see how it all works.  We’ve got to be guarded, and the same with him.  He’s got to come over here and trust that we can put something in the car that he can drive.  And same time he can come over here and tell us all the things they’re doing too.
 
So I think on both sides we’ll be respectful of each other, and do the best job we can.  I think it will be fine.  Besides that, he won’t be there that much anyway.  He’s got a lot of flying time.
Q.  Greg, you were talking about this weekend at Watkins Glen just about the challenges of the schedule and saying if you layoff the Nationwide schedule at Mid‑Ohio and the Cup schedule at Michigan, they don’t match up very well.  You said one of the things you could do is find somebody that could run at Michigan or you worried about somebody going back and forth.  And your word was it would be half‑assed.  How is this not going to be in that sense that term that you used or as much the pleasing of partners and that’s what makes this work this weekend, based off of what you said on Friday?
GREG ZIPADELLI:  Well, obviously, they have a test day on Thursday.  We sat down with Austin.  He’s able to give us all day Friday.  So he’s given a lot because they’ve got the test day and things.  So it’s certainly different as we’ve laid it out.  A lot different than it was last week because Thursday would be a disaster.  But with the way we’re doing it, he’s going to get a full test day with a ton of tires and a lot of time on the racetrack Thursday.  We’re going to get all day Friday where we’ve got no interruptions on our side.  I didn’t think that was an option last week.  So it is this week, and we’re going to take advantage of it.
Q.  Austin, how many races have you scheduled yourself for to run at the Sprint Cup level this year?  How protective do you have to be if, in fact, you are going to run for Rookie of the Year at the Sprint Cup level next year?
AUSTIN DILLON:  They changed the rule this past year that as long as you designate a series, you can run for Rookie of the Year next year.  So I can actually run as many Cup races as I want as long as I have a designated series as the Nationwide.
Q.  Knowing that Tony was involved in this choice, how much do you feel like Austin’s victory at Eldora helped him with what he’s able to do there?
GREG ZIPADELLI:  Well, I don’t know if it had anything to do with it other than if you look at his record in the Truck Series and the job he’s done in the Nationwide.  That’s kind of what we’re basing it off of.  He runs good at Michigan.  He’s got a good record there.  He’s young, and you know, ready to rock and roll there.  We’re ready to see what we can accomplish this weekend.  Hopefully, that dirt track experience doesn’t come into any play this weekend as far as Michigan goes, because it wouldn’t be very good.
Q.  Just to clarify, when you’re talking about how you’re going to handle the substitutions going forward, is there a chance if Austin does really well at Michigan, could he merge as the guy?  I know you’re saying you’re looking at each individual racetrack and how people perform.  But if Austin’s impressive at Michigan, could he become the guy you want to keep in that seat until Tony comes back?
GREG ZIPADELLI:  Absolutely.  We’re talking about other races.  We just kind of want to get through this week here and then plan ahead.  Like I said, things are a little slow.  We’ve got a little bit more time this week.  We’ll be able to plan weeks out here once we get this Michigan stuff done.  Last week was kind of a short week, and we just really focused and concentrated on Watkins Glen and doing the best we could there.  Like I said, the next couple days we’ll be able to probably layout the whole schedule for everybody.
 Q.  Since you talked to Tony after the race on Sunday, can you tell me what he said it was like for him watching the race and seeing somebody else in his car?  And what is the earliest you have for him possibly coming back right now?
GREG ZIPADELLI:  I did see Tony.  I was over there this morning for a while.  He’s doing well.  As far as when he’ll be back, like I said, I think we’ll know mid week a little bit more on his schedule.  He was, you know, he was doing as good as he could.  We did talk about what we had for plans there, and he was all on board and felt like we had made good choices.  So that was important.  I don’t remember the other question.
Q.  Are you looking down in two or three weeks of possibly letting him get in the car for a lap or so just to get the points to remain possibly viable if you could go to Richmond and try to win Richmond and somehow make the Chase with two wins or something?
GREG ZIPADELLI:  Honestly, if the doctor said we could do that, we’d probably do it.  We’re going to do everything that they say, because we want him back a hundred percent and don’t want to ‑‑ you know, sometimes you can do things sooner than you’re supposed to and make your healing process longer.  So we’ll follow on with what the doctor says.  If the doctor says in four weeks or six weeks he can do that, then we’ll probably look at those options and do what we can do.
Q.  How hard will it be to adjust from the road course in Mid‑Ohio back to Michigan which is a pretty speed track in Michigan?
AUSTIN DILLON:  I’ve been able to race a lot of dirt and asphalt and doing a lot of different things.  So adapting is something that you have to do as a driver.  I think as soon as I land, I’ll be tuned into what I’m doing on each track and just switch your mindset so when you get there of what you’re doing. We’ll be using a lot more break at one of them and none at the other.
Q.  Mr. Zipadelli, what are your expectations for Austin this weekend in this 14 car?
GREG ZIPADELLI:  I think we’re going to go there and run all the laps and try to stay 15th or 20th, and just see from there where we go.  We’re going to be setting our goals very obtainable and stay out of trouble.  Most important thing is running as many laps as we can.  We need to finish the race.
 
By his track record there in the past, we should do better than those.  But you just never know the circumstances, and hopefully we can get him something that he’s comfortable in, and we can go out and race and hopefully do better than that.
 Q.  I’m curious, will you use this opportunity to do any sort of testing of any parts or pieces or something you’d want to look at for 400 miles that maybe you wouldn’t if you had a car and a guy racing where points are maybe more valuable?
GREG ZIPADELLI:  We haven’t had time to think that direction quite yet.  Right now we’re still fighting for all the owner points we can get.  So finishing these races is very important, and representing our sponsors and doing that in the best way that we can would be by finishing the races, running all the laps and get
ting the best finish we can.  I’m not saying it won’t change, but right now, it’s no different than if Tony was in here.  We’re not treating it any different.
Q.  Can you say how many calls and texts did you get from prospective drivers?  Were there 20 people lobbying for this ride, 30 people, 40 people?  Did they wait for you to call them?
GREG ZIPADELLI:  I would say it was more in the 50 range.  There’s been people that I didn’t even know raced called.  And we appreciateeverybody reaching out and willing to help.  But it’s been interesting, let’s leave it at that.
Q.  Greg, has there ever been a point in your career where you’ve been in this similar position, or are you kind of like a rookie right now learning everything with each step of the process?
GREG ZIPADELLI:  You mean as far as the drivers and replacing a driver and going through all this stuff?
Q.  Yes.
GREG ZIPADELLI:  Yeah, I mean, the only time I’ve really experienced it was at Dover when we had to put Ricky Rudd in for Tony, and that was for one race.  So I don’t know.  I don’t know.  It’s just business as usual.  We need a driver, so we picked the best one we can.  We put a seat in there and get them comfortable, and try to build some communication and go to the racetrack.  That’s pretty much as cut and dry as we can keep it, and that’s what we’re going to try to do.
 
 JAYME AVRIT:  Wanted to thank you both, Greg and Austin, for joining us today, and I wish you all the best this weekend in Michigan.
 

Dyson Racing–Hot Wheels Hot Lap

ELKHART LAKE, WI, August 10, 2013 – 2014 came early here at Road America this weekend.  The American Le Mans Series and the Grand-Am Rolex Series are sharing the weekend for the first time as a precursor to their combination next year as United SportsCar Racing.  The Dyson duo of Tony Burgess and Chris McMurry will start second for tomorrow’s Orion Energy Systems 245.  McMurry qualified the Dyson Racing Lola Mazda four seconds quicker than his fastest time from Friday practice.

McMurry commented on qualifying: “A lot of time, it boils down to the car. The car was excellent: it was very confident with no moments and there is a little bit left in it.  We made some changes that allowed us to rail through turn one and the Carousel. And through the Kink, the car was truly amazing. You throw in some gusto from the driver and it was a good run.”

This is Chris McMurry’s home track.  “I grew up near Milwaukee and we use to come up here for the June Sprints and this is where I really started to enjoy racing. We would go to Canada Corner and sit on the inside with my mother and my friends. To be honest, I think the combination of Hot Wheels and Road America is the reason why I got into racing initially! For me, racing is is a great mind clearing activity because your focus is totally and completely without  exception on your driving. Nothing else goes into your mind.  I love the challenge of pushing myself.  I have always been a very progress oriented person and racing is great for people like us – every lap and every corner is a new opportunity for progress.”

At over four miles, Road America is the longest track of the ALMS season. There are fourteen turns and three straights and the Dyson Racing Lola Mazda reaches 180 mph on the almost mile-long front straight.  Tony Burgess compares Road America to his home track: “This is a classic road course like my home track, Mosport. This track suits me and I have always been fast here and done well here. Unlike some of today’s man-made courses with their artificial chicanes, this is classic course that follows the natural terrain. It has all the elements – elevation changes, long straights, and a good variety of corners. Tracks like Mosport and Road America define why I race: I am a technical person who likes to experience the physical forces and challenges of a high speed sport. My background is in aerospace engineering and racing combines both the technical aspects and physical challenges.  Everyday life tends to be slower paced and I find the pace of racing just right for me.”

Last year Chris Dyson and Guy Smith won here with Guy Smith setting the record for the closest ever overall finish in ALMS history with his 0.083 margin of victory.

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