Chevy Racing–James Hinchcliffe Wins at Iowa Speedway to Lead All-Chevrolet Podium in Race 10 of the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series Season

James Hinchcliffe Wins at Iowa Speedway to Lead All-Chevrolet Podium in Race 10 of the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series Season
 
Helio Castroneves Maintains Lead in Point Standings
 
NEWTON, IOWA – (June 23, 2013) – For the third time this season, James Hinchcliffe drove his way from the green flag to victory lane. Starting on the outside of the front row for the Iowa Corn Indy 250, the pilot of the No. 27 GoDaddy Andretti Autosport Chevrolet took the lead for the final time on lap 217 of the 250-lap race to capture his career-first victory on an oval track, his third career IZOD IndyCar Series victory, his third win of the 2013 season and the fourth consecutive race at Iowa Speedway won by an Andretti Autosport driver.
 
Hinchcliffe, who led for a total of 226 laps around the 0.875-mile oval track, beat his Andretti Autosport teammate, defending Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, to the finish by 1.5009 seconds. Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan, No. 11 Sunoco “Turbo” KV Racing Technology – SH Racing Chevrolet, finished third to make it an all-Chevrolet IndyCar V6 driver podium for the third consecutive race.
 
A total of eight Team Chevy drivers scored top-10 finishes today: Ed Carpenter finished fourth; Oriol Servia was seventh at the checkered flag; Helio Castroneves finished eighth; Marco Andretti was ninth and EJ Viso finished in 10th position.
 
“Team Chevy continues to carry the winning momentum and depth with another strong result securing eight of the top 10 finishing positions at Iowa Speedway today,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager, IZOD IndyCar Series. “Congratulations to James Hinchcliffe and Andretti Autosport for netting the 3rd win of the season for James and the GoDaddy crew.  Leading the majority of the race, James showed he had the setup for the day and the skills to drive it to the checker.  Sweeping the podium for the third race weekend in a row, and the fifth of the season, is a great accomplishment and propels our Team Chevy drivers to accumulate points in the driver’s championship.  We look forward to bringing IndyCar racing back to Pocono in two weeks after a well-deserved weekend off.”
 
With nine races remaining in the season, Chevrolet continues to lead the IZOD IndyCar Series Manufacturers’ Point Standings. Through the first 10 races, Chevrolet drivers have scored seven poles and seven victories.
 
Team Chevy drivers hold the top-five in the championship standings: Helio Castroneves leads with 332 points followed by Hunter-Reay with 323 points; Andretti sits third in the standings with 277 markers; Hinchcliffe jumped to a fourth place total of 266 points and Kanaan in fifth with 253 points.
 
Next on the schedule is the Pocono INDYCAR 400 Fueled by Sunoco on Sunday, July 7th at famed Pocono Raceway. Live coverage will be on ABC TV starting at Noon ET.
 
 
AN INTERVIEW WITH JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, MICHAEL ANDRETTI,
RYAN HUNTER-REAY AND TONY KANAAN
Sunday, June 23, 2013 – Iowa Speedway
 
THE MODERATOR:  We are pleased to be joined by our race winner, James Hinchcliffe.  This is the third win of the 2013 season for James, his first at Iowa.
            James, before today, you had led 99 laps total; today, 226.  Talk about today’s race and the win.
            JAMES HINCHCLIFFE:  Yeah, I mean, it’s pretty incredible.  In St. Pete, I led the last 20; in Brazil, like the last hundred feet, and here, today, to do what we did, we got Will on lap one there and really never looked back.  The car was solid.
            Yesterday, we knew we didn’t have the car to win yesterday in the heat races, so I sat with Craig and the engineers and we decided to kind of take a swing at it and put a little aggressive setup on it.
            There was obviously a lot of unknowns with the weather.  It was cooler than we thought it was going to be.  Obviously the rain throws a wrench into it, but when we needed it, the car was awesome.  We were fast out front by ourselves.  We were good in traffic.  We didn’t have a whole lot of yellows to contend with, which I think was really good for us.
            Obviously we had the one restart with Graham, which was the biggest moment of the race but had fun racing with him there and just so proud of these guys.  They have got such a good track record here, Marco in ’11 and Ryan and ’12, and me now; and its Go Daddy’s hometown, where they started so to get a win here is extra special and it’s just nice to keep our season getting back on track.
 
            Q.  What is it specifically about the short oval package that has allowed four different Andretti Autosport drivers in four straight years to win here?
            JAMES HINCHCLIFFE:  Well, I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you, and none of us want that; there’s too much paperwork.
            It’s funny, because obviously the team was good here before the new car came out, before the W12, and to be able to continue that kind of success with a new car; and a lot of the success the team had at night and track conditions are very, very different at night.
            So to come here during a day race and still be able to have a strong showing.  I mean, look at Ryan.  That’s probably the more impressive drive of the race was from where he started to finish second.  There’s clearly a philosophy on the team that works well, and having four guys that work so well together makes races like this where we have so little practice time, just one session before qualifying, it makes it a huge advantage for us.  And the chemistry between us and the ability to work well together, it shows on track on Sunday.
 
            Q.  Describe what that dynamic is going to be like, not only are you battling for the championship, but you’re going to be doing it with your teammates.
            JAMES HINCHCLIFFE:  Yeah, I mean, that’s obviously going to be a more complicated question in five or six races.  We still have nine to go, and there’s still a lot to play for.
            But certainly, when you’re coming to the home stretch of the season and you have teammates running together, you know, I would like to think that we are all going to run each other fair and we are going to continue to work as well together as we can, because what you have to remember, it’s not just us in this championship.
            And if we start battling each other internally off track, then the other guys are going to catch up and pass us, and then we are fighting over second, third and fourth.  That’s not what we want to do.  We want to back up Ryan’s championship last year and bring another one home for Andretti Autosport, and I think we all know that the team is greater than one guy and we all have to work together to try and achieve that.
 
            THE MODERATOR:  No rest for you, I believe you’re off testing?
            JAMES HINCHCLIFFE:  Yeah, I have to catch a plane now and head to Pennsylvania.  We are testing at Pocono which everybody is excited for.  Yeah, we are excited for a weekend off.
  It’s been about two straight months on the road between Brazil, Indy and this five race stretch.
            So to go you say we have a break now, but we are straight testing on Tuesday and then we finally get a weekend off.  New track for us, obviously everybody is very excited about that.  We had strong cars at Indy and this is another Super Speedway and hopefully that translates, but there’s a lot to learn there.
            So I’m glad we are getting the chance to go somewhere new.  We always like a new challenge.
 
            Q.  You entered the season trying to get your first career victory and now you have three; is it a matter of kicking the door in and you just come charging through.
            JAMES HINCHCLIFFE:  Well, it’s funny, you know because people, all last year and the off season, people say things like:  Oh, you know, once you get your first one, they all just kind of come; it becomes way easier after that.  And they clearly haven’t tried running an IndyCar race, because it’s not easy under any circumstances, no matter how many you’ve won.
            I remember after St. Pete people were saying:  Oh, yeah, they will just come now.  And I’m thinking, race two at Barber, we completed all three laps and watched the rest of it from the side of the track.  I’m like, well, that didn’t quite go as everybody says it was gonna.
            It was incredible to be here now, three wins in and that first one is so hard to get.  But if you look at the record books, there are a lot of guys that have one win, and a pretty big factor, smaller that have won, two, smaller factor again that have won three, then it kind of goes up exponentially from there of guys that have had more than that.  It’s nice to be chalking a few up.
            But at the same time, these races are so hard to win.  You’ve got to be with a good crew, good car, good put pits, call it right, drive smart and have some luck.  That’s all part of it.  And you can’t take anything to are granted.  You can’t assume you’re in a good position, because there are legitimately 12 guys any weekend that can win a race, and you just never know if you’ll ever win another one.
            Will used to tell me that and I used to laugh at him, because that’s when he was winning six races a year; it’s just so true, and in an environment this competitive, you just never know.
            We are enjoying what we have got now and the success we’ve had, but we have got to keep our heads down and work harder than ever if we want to get back up here.
 
            Q.  After having won three races, nobody else having performed that well this season but still running fourth in the points, how does that set up your plan for the remainder of the season?
            JAMES HINCHCLIFFE:  We obviously kick it off with a bang, had two DNFs and another win and then had a couple bad races in Indy and Detroit.  After Detroit, we really just said, all right, look, guys, we have to get our momentum back and we have to get that MoJo going again.  At Texas, solid top 10; Milwaukee, solid top 5 and obviously here back at the top step.  I think that’s just the momentum shift that we needed.
            We are not going to be in a position to win every race, we know that but I think that we have found our way into finishing where we have to on the day you’ve got a ninth place car, finish ninth.  It’s a lot better than wrecking and going for eight.
            I think the team has got a lot of confidence in each other and themselves and now we can just try and rip off some consistent results because you look at Marco and you look at Helio, I’ve got more wins than anybody, but those guys are ahead of me because they have been more consistent.
 
            Q.  You said at St. Pete trying for that first victory, you were dreaming up scenario, how am I going to lose this; how is it different today after you’ve had a couple wins and you’re out in front for so much of the race?
            JAMES HINCHCLIFFE:  It was even worse because that much longer in the lead and more time to think of things that would go wrong.
            Obviously the first stint went pretty well for us and getting the lead early I think was important for us, because clean air is king, and we were able to get through traffic.  When we first came up on traffic, that was going to be the first big test, the first 20, 30 laps, whatever it was, didn’t really mean much, because anybody running by themselves up front was going to be good.  It’s when we got into lap traffic that was going to make a difference.
            And every time I came up on a lap car that was going to be the car that was going to screw it up for us.  Luckily we didn’t have many cautions.  When you are leading and have a good pace, you don’t want to see those, but every time we did, it was, oh, well, this is the restart that’s going to do us in; or every pit stop, I’m going to spit coming off turn two, get back up to speed or something.
            We did have a couple close calls.  Like I said we went aggressive with the setup and the car was very loose at certain parts of that race, and then the last ten laps picked up this freak understeer, I thought the tire was going down and I was on the radio asking if the pressure was all right    how far is Ryan, and I’m thinking, ten to go, really?  You’re going to let me lead 200 laps to take it away now.
            But luckily the gap was enough and I made sure I just controlled the lap at the end.  I didn’t want to catch that group because as soon as you’re in dirty air with old tires, the car falls apart a little bit, and luckily we had the gas to run we needed.
 
            Q.  In all your years of racing, have you ever dominated as well as you have today?
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE:  I mean, I can’t think of a race.  A few races of Lights that I led from pole but either a third of the distance or there’s no pit stops, restarts are a much different deal, they were not double file back then.
            So, no, I watched guy win races like this on TV and my whole career, I thought, I just don’t get it, like how do they do that.  I’ve never been in that position.  And now, I know:  You have to have a hell of a good car, a hell of a good crew and just hit your marks all afternoon long.
            I’m just so pleased that we are able to do    everybody performed.  If it was the guys in the pits, the setup, me and my spotter making good decisions out on the racetrack, and, man, it feels good to do it like that.
 
THE MODERATOR:  We are pleased to be joined by Michael Andretti of Andretti Autosport, our winn
ing team owner, this is the consecutive one, two finish for Andretti Autosport at Iowa.  Just talk about the great season your team is having.
 
            MICHAEL ANDRETTI:  Yeah, it’s just been a great year.  We work really hard, and all that hard work is paying off.  We are working great as a team.  All four cars are communicating very well and all four drivers and engineers and everything, and you know, it’s like I’ve been saying and preaching all year.  That’s where we are getting our results and it’s been awesome.
            As for coming here to Iowa, hope they never take this race off the schedule.  You know, it’s just been such a great race since the moment it made the schedule.  It’s a great racetrack.  We have great fans that come out and support it, and I hope it stays on the schedule for a long time.
 
            Q.  Ryan said that he thinks that your guys have particularly figured out the short ovals, but it’s not the only place that your cars seem to do really well.  I asked you at the beginning of the season what the dynamic is rolling behind the team.  What would you say is the great strength of the program right now?  Where is the really great focus?
            MICHAEL ANDRETTI:  Well, I think just what I just said before; I think the focus is on team and team work.  IndyCar Racing is very tough, because you get very little track time.  You don’t get the test.  You barely get any practice on a race weekend.
            So, you know, getting information is very important, and you need to get good, accurate information, and you need to have information that you can trust, and that’s what we have with all four cars that are out there running all the time.  We are getting four cars of data, and the four drivers and four engineers all work together and trust each other, and so we are getting four times the work done than if you had one car out there.
            I think that’s the biggest thing.  I don’t think it’s anything else than that.  I don’t think we have any tricks or anything like that.  Just good, hard work and good team work.
 
            Q.  Next race is Pocono and that’s really when the championship gets even tighter.  Can you foresee, you’re looking at two, three guys battling for the championship.
            MICHAEL ANDRETTI:  Boy, I hope you’re right.  Or three that they are battling    that one pain in the butt out there, that Penske car    (laughter).
 
            Q.  But forecast what these races are going to be like in terms of one of your drivers trying to break away in the championship.
            MICHAEL ANDRETTI:  Well, I mean, hopefully all the ones that are in the championship now, especially the three with James and Marco and Ryan, that they just continue to finish races and continue to get points; and races like today where Marco didn’t have a great car but he still came home ninth and got some important points and that’s what it’s going to take.
            We just have to hope we finish the year without any problems with the cars and all three of them, if we do that, I think one of them has a chance at winning the championship.
            Having said that, guys like Helio, with his experience and everything, it’s going to be really difficult and he’s going to make it go right down to the wire, I can assure you.  But it’s always nice to have more than one bullet in the gun, and right now we have three real legitimate shots at winning the championship.
 
            Q.  James didn’t have a win coming into the season, and now has three in ten starts.  Can you talk a little about how he’s grown as a driver here in 2013?
            MICHAEL ANDRETTI:  Yeah, it’s just really come together.  You know, just a matter of time for James.  He showed great brilliance last year in a lot of races and even races before and other teams that he’s been with.
            We all knew he had potential.  It’s always one of those deals, you get that first one and it seems like the next one comes a little bit easier because you have that confidence to know that you can do it, and I think that’s where James is right now.
            He’s had a weird year, for sure, where he’s been feast or famine; he either wins or he has problems.  But he knows he’s capable of winning, and you know, if he can just hopefully get through all his problems and continue to do what he’s doing, I think he has a good shot at the championship.
 
            Q.  With races back to back, I know everybody is tired but does it help to come from a one mile oval like Milwaukee to come here?
            MICHAEL ANDRETTI:  Honestly, I don’t think it really matters.  I don’t think it really does, because it’s the same amount of work between getting the cars ready for each event that really, it’s not a big thing.  I think maybe for your thought process; you can continue thinking the same way as you did the week before, that makes it a little nicer.  But in the end, it’s not a big difference.
 
THE MODERATOR:  We are now joined by Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport, you finished second.  This is the second consecutive podium finish for Ryan at Iowa.
            Ryan, the race today, obviously a little issue that brought you all the way back to 21, 22, to be able to bounce back to second, especially with the lap traffic out there, talk about today’s race.
 
            RYAN HUNTER-REAY:  Yeah, it was so challenging out there today.  Just had a lot of imbalance in the first stint.  I just had a lot of understeer and really had to push to get by Graham (Rahal), and I just kept my foot in it trying to pop right out of the corner, and when I did I was right under his gear box.  I just had no downforce on the front wing and when I turned it, there goes the front wing.  It’s that easy to make a mistake.
            Had great day, had a lot of fun, got angry a few times because of some lap cars that were just racing a little too hard.  But it was a really good day, good points, to finish second after being dead last.  And yesterday we had a nightmare of a day as well.  So really happy that we were able to bring the No. 1 DHL Chevy home in second.  Would have liked the repeat but once again, the Andretti cars were the cars to beat here at Iowa.
 
            Q.  You passed more cars today than anybody else on the track, so just how difficult was that and how much did you have to pace yourself to be able to systematically get your way backup?
            RYAN HUNTER-REAY:  Yeah, d
efinitely had to pace myself, because it was difficult.  Like Tony said, with these cars, the underlying characteristic is that they want to understeer quite a bit right in the run, right.  So half    inaudible    tires to the end, it’s very difficult, if somebody is running an optimum line that you’re working with, and somebody that you’re trying to pass is running that line, it can take you 20, 25 laps to even get a shot at them.
            It was a difficult day, I had to be patient at times and overly aggressive at others.  I had a really good day and I had really good car.  It’s a bummer when you have that good of a car and you come home second, but considering we came from the back of the pack to finish second in such a tight field, I have to be happy about that, or pleased about it, I should say.
 
            Q.  Big picture, what do you think this looks like to people who are watching it?  You have a few that’s different than we have, but what do you think it looks like to us?
            RYAN HUNTER-REAY:  What?
 
            Q.  All the mixing and exchanging of positions and dive bombs.
            RYAN HUNTER-REAY:  We look like a bunch of nuts out there, quite a few    anyway.
            I’m sure with an action packed race    it was so busy.  I think I had a clear track twice, and during that time, it felt like I was on vacation, it was so nice, and then you get back into the rough stuff and just dicing it you have and lap cars coming and then you have a guy for position or behind you while you have two cars in front of you for lap traffic, it was just nuts.  That’s what’s great about this race.  I really enjoy I think the night race is really great here.  I think we put on a great show during the day, but I think in the end, more people come out at night for this race.
 
            Q.  First and second today; what is it about the Andretti cars that they run so strong here?
            RYAN HUNTER-REAY:  We just figured out the short oval package, you know.  Unfortunately the 28 team, or the No. 1 team that you’re talking about, the No. 1, 28, we’ve won five I think of the last short ovals, dating back to New Hampshire, Milwaukee, Iowa, Milwaukee.  So we came close to doing it again here, but they gave the drivers a great short oval car.
            This track, you can see that everybody is very evenly matched when you’re on new tires, because the imbalances in the car are not showing and when everybody starts sliding around, that’s when the Andretti cars go to the front.  We just have great set up and definitely have to credit the engineering staff and the crew at Andretti for giving us those cars.
 
THE MODERATOR:  We are pleased to be joined by Tony Kanaan.  This is Tony’s fourth consecutive podium finish here at Iowa.  Talk about that great race.  There were tons of battles going on for position all day.
            THE MODERATOR:  This is Tony’s fourth consecutive podium finish Iowa.  Talk about that great race.  There was tons of battles going on for position all day.
            TONY KANAAN:  I wonder why people think, why do I love Iowa so much.  Yeah, it was an interesting race.  I think in the beginning, we had some temperature issue on the car, so on the first stop, we took a little bit of extra time.  Some debris got into the side, so we kind of had to take one piece off the oil heater that we had it on to cool the engine, so we lost five positions there.  And track position was so important today, that it cost us the entire race to go back to where we were.
            So on the last yellow, when I asked Jimmy where we were, we were only like 11th and there was only like three cars behind me on the same lap.  I said:  Why don’t we pit, put new tires on, we are going to have an advantage.  I think I can make it up, because a lot of people, because of the nature of the track and the downforce that we have, better tires were always going to help.  And then we went off sequence and that’s what helped us at the end of the race.
            I’m excited.  It’s funny, every time we have the Sunoco car this year, I finish on the podium, so going to have convince them to have a full car every race.  But it was a great race for us.
 
            Q.  That battle you had with Graham Rahal looked pretty good there, it was pretty close.  How fierce and intense was that?
            TONY KANAAN:  It was intense.  Obviously he has not had a great year, so he was fighting for the podium position.  And he fought a little bit too hard in my opinion, but I take it, I think this is racing.  It’s not    he gave me room; at times he didn’t, but we managed to pass him.  So it was a hard race.  He’s a good driver.  He made his car extremely wide.  So it was a good battle.
 
            Q.  Traffic is always tough here but talk about the traffic here in this race today.
            TONY KANAAN:  I mean, it’s the shortest track we go.  We are going to have traffic every lap.  People are going to get mad.  People are going to get    you know, say, oh, you should let me by, you should do this.  But you know what, at the end of the race, we are racing.  And even the lap cars are racing some lap cars, as well.
            So it was tough.  There were people there that were hanging in there for their life so they could only run one lane and sometimes it happened to be your lane, as well.  So it is what it is.
            And it’s such a short track; if you start letting people by every lap, after ten laps, you’re going to have to let the same people by again.  It’s tough.  But I think it’s part of what makes this race here very exciting.  So it is what it is.
            I’m not a big fan of complaining about traffic, because, you know, it is what it is.
 
            Q.  Do you particularly like    you must like going into turn three and just taking whoever is on the outside and just making him go further outside; you really dive down low, much lower than most people.  Is that one of your favorite parts of the corner?
            TONY KANAAN:  It is, and then funny that you picked on that, because I think my best move on the race was when I passed Marco there, you know.
            I think because of the nature of the cars today, a lot of people don’t go down low like that because you actually have a tendency to understeer.  My car was actually pretty good there.&nb
sp; And once you dive in that early, the barking kind of help you in the middle of the corner and a lot of people didn’t realize that, and I think in the race, that helped me a lot.
            I made a lot of passes, because a lot of the guys were choosing to run high going into that corner, and you know, running low, I had the grip and I had the clear air.  So it was definitely a good place to be.
            THE MODERATOR:  Just looking ahead to our next race, is obviously Pocono, you’re in the Sunoco car, it’s a new track and you’re going for the Triple Crown.  Any thoughts about that as we head there?
            TONY KANAAN:  I haven’t been there.  I’m going to test there on Tuesday.
            So I’m excited.  I’ve always heard good things about Pocono.  Obviously when I drove for Michael Andretti, it was a track that they had a lot of success, it was close to their house and I even heard that Michael had a helicopter crash on the way there once.  So I’ve heard about the track a lot.
            I’m excited.  Obviously I’m the only one that has a chance to win the Triple Crown, so the pressure is on us, but I’m excited.  I can’t wait to go there on Tuesday and check the track out and see how it looks like.

Chevy Racing–IndyCar–Iowa Corn Indy 250

IZOD INDYCAR SERIES
IOWA CORN INDY 250
IOWA SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER POST RACE NOTES AND QUOTES
JUNE 23, 2013
 
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 GODADDY ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, RACE WINNER: We just had to go off of experience and all goes to the team.  We have a great track record here but this year with so many different things and a day race, everything was different.  We took a bit of risk.  We wanted to make sure the car wouldn’t get understeer because that kills you in traffic.  I can’t believe we led that whole thing.   The guys were awesome in the pits.
 
CONGRATULATIONS! YOU LED 226 LAPS TODAY. WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF THAT?
“It’s Andretti Autosport. These guys have such a good track record here and we knew it was going to be different racing here in the day. We took a couple gambles with the set-up and we really wanted to make sure it was going to be good in traffic and turn, and man, that car was hooked-up from the get-go. We pulled away from everybody and had a good race with Graham (Rahal) there on one of those restarts. I lost one of my head pads halfway through the race and I thought it was either going to get stuck in the pedal box, or fly out and get in the air box and those last 20 laps were really long just trying to hold onto it. But, the GoDaddy guys were great in the pits. It’s great to win in Iowa; it’s where GoDaddy started. I’m just so stoked. Thanks to the fans who held out through the rain and stayed with us. And Andretti Autosport, I’m so stoked.”
 
YOU MADE IT LOOK EASY GETTING THROUGH THAT LAPPED TRAFFIC, BUT HOW HARD WAS IT?
“It’s so hard. You know, this place is so physical. You’re going straight for all of like four seconds in the lap and you’re working the rest of the time. And some guys are really well-behaved and consistent, but at the same time those guys are racing and if they’re in front of you two-wide, there’s nothing you can do. We’re trying to manage the gaps of the guys behind us and trying to take care of the tires. But at the end of the day, the car was solid. Everybody on the No. 27 crew, in the pits, they were awesome. Guys on the stand called it perfect. Man, I just can’t thank these guys enough.”
 
HOW DOES BEING 4TH IN THE STANDINGS, JUST 66 POINTS BACK SOUND?
“It sounds a whole lot better that ninth coming in, man!”
 
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO 1 DHL ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 2ND: It was so hard to catch back up to James (Hinchcliffe) and then lapped traffic.  It’s one thing if you’re a lap down but if you’re five laps down or six laps down just making it tough on the leaders was uncalled for.  But hey, we can back from 22nd or whatever we were to finish second.  Definitely had the car to win today but just made a mistake there trying to get by Graham (Rahal), keeping my foot in it. The front just had no grip on it when I turned to pop out and pass him.  Easy mistake.  We had a tough weekend.  To come second out of this thing, I’m pretty please with that.  Good job to James (Hinchcliffe).  It was a good day in the point for the No. 1 DHL Chevy. Definitely have to be happy about that.
 
YOU HAD THE INCIDENT WHEN YOU HAD TO COME IN AND GET A NEW NOSE AND GO BACK OUT, AND WENT FROM LAST ALL THE WAY BACK UP TO FINISH SECOND. BOY, A LOT HAPPENED IN BETWEEN THEN
“A lot happened. It was a busy day. I as pushing so hard to catch James (Hinchcliff) there and then a bunch of lapped traffic just held us up racing. I don’t know why so hard when they are five laps down. But it was a great show today. A great race. Good job to James and the GoDaddy team. We had a good recovery on points today in the No. 1 DHL Chevy. Thanks to all the fans for coming out. We always appreciate it and thank you for making this such a great event.”
 
TONY KANAAN, NO. 11 SUNOCO “TURBO” KV RACING TECHNOLOGY – SH RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 3RD: “First I have to thank the entire Sunoco – KV Racing Technology – SH Racing team. They did a great job today. We had some issues early in the race with the car, but we were able to work around them.  The pit stops and strategy were great and we fought hard to earn this podium finish. I also want to thank Chevrolet and Firestone for their work. It was a great effort by everyone and a great race.  This is my second race in the Sunoco car and a second podium for us. I want to keep that momentum going into Pocono, which we will have the Sunoco car again and will be the second leg of the triple- crown.”
 
A FANTASTIC RUN FOR YOU! GETTING AROUND LAPPED TRAFFIC WAS A WHOLE DIFFERENT STORY
“Yeah, it’s a short track and you’re always going to have lapped cars and they are fighting for positions as well. Some other races, I’ve been there. It’s just the nature of the track. I want to thank the fans for coming. I know the weather didn’t look good this morning, but hopefully charging back through the field toward the end there I made it exciting for them.”
 
YOU HAD SOME EARLY ISSUES WITH TEMPERATURES, BUT IT WAS A GOOD RACE FOR YOU TODAY
“It was. We’ll take it.  We had the temperature issue where we lost five positions in the pits. And then track position was so crucial today. After that, all we did was we tried to get off sequence to have better tires. So we did it in the yellow because it was only three positions to lose from the back of the field and we put new tires on and that gave us a big advantage in the end.”
 
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA/ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 4TH: “It was a good run for the Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevy team.  We moved up to the front early and, then on the second stint, we had a understeer condition that sent us back in the field a little.  It was a long slow fight to the front again after that.  The Fuzzy’s guys gave me a great car today and we probably weren’t as aggressive enough early in the race on our changes.  But we made all of the right changes late and we were fast at the end.  I think we had a car fast enough to win today.  Our last green flag pit stop didn’t go as we wanted, but we came back and nearly got a podium today.  Overall, we still got a top-five finish today so it wasn’t a bad day for us.  This is a really fun place to race.  There were multiple lanes today and I ran both the low and the high groove.  Seemed like others were only good in one lane.  I just wish the race was a little longer for us because we were closing fast on the leaders.  But we’ll move on and go to Pocono.  I’m really looking forward to that race.”  
 
THAT WAS A HARDER-FOUGHT FOURTH PLACE FINISH THAN IT LOOKED LIKE, WASN’T IT?
“Yeah, we were at the front and then dropped back pretty far and raced our way to the front in the end and just ran out of laps. I think we would have kept catching people. It was a good day for the Fuzzy Vodka car. We didn’t execute perfectly, but I still got a Top 5 so I can’t complain about that.”
 
TALK ABOUT HOW KEY THAT LAST PIT STOP WAS TO HELP YOU WORK YOUR WAY BACK UP
“We were off sequence to Hinch and those guys so we got clear track on old tires after they had pitted. We did a pretty good job of holding them off for most of the time and we were in pretty good shape. We didn’t have a great pit stop on the last stop, but that’s the way it goes sometimes and we’ve got to be happy about the result anyway.”
 
HOW GOOD WAS YOUR CAR AT THE END TODAY?
“Other than the second stint, we were one of the fastest cars on track. We lost a lot of position the second stint. We had a bad stop at the end. That’s the way it goes sometimes. I’ve made plenty of mistakes this year and it’s going to happen at some point in time where you can’t be perfect in the pits all the time. So, it was a little bit of a bummer because we could have had more. I think we had a shot at the wi
n, but you can’t be mad about fourth. So, I’m happy to get out of here with a good run.”
 
ORIOL SERVIA, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 7TH: “The National Guard Chevy was great all day. This is the first time I can remember that I didn’t ask for a single change to the car for an entire race. It was the restarts today that cost us; the best restart I had the No. 55 car almost spun in front of me and I had to check up. But I felt like we were faster than a lot of the guys around us all day today. To be honest, seeing that I was seventh at the end was a surprise because I felt like we were much higher than that, but a big thanks to the team and the National Guard for such a great car today.”
 
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 8TH:  “It was a good job today by the Hitachi team. We drove as hard as we could today. When they told me I came in 8th, I was like ‘What?’ I certainly felt we had a better car than that. I guess in traffic we got held up coming in and out of the pits which cost us some positions. The Hitachi car really came alive with about 50 laps to go and it felt great. Maybe it was a little too late for us. But, we still have the points lead and we will look for a better result in Pocono.”
 
MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 25 RC COLA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 9TH: “It was a total handful when it came to traffic. I’m disappointed we couldn’t get the RC Cola car up there with the teammates but congrats to those two (James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay).”
 
E.J. VISO, NO. 5 TEAM VENEZUELA PDVSA CITGO ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT HVM CHEVROLET, FINISHED 10TH: 
“It was a pretty up and down race for me. I think at some points, especially at the beginning of the race, we showed tremendous speed, and I thought at that point we were going to make it to the front.  Unfortunately in the second and third stint, we didn’t have the similar speed and I went to the back. I recovered again to finish in the top-10. It was not the best weekend for us, even from the beginning. But I am happy for my two teammates James (Hinchcliffe) and Ryan (Hunter-Reay) for finishing first and second.”
 
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 7 MCAFEE DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 14TH: “It was a decent day starting from where we were it was not easy. Every time you start at the back you have some restarts that play your way and some that do not. I had a really good one halfway through the race but then on one restart I got caught behind Viso because he was running my line and couldn’t get going so that put us in the back. After going a lap down I tried to be as less of a factor for the leaders but then you have to start to let people by and you can’t run your race anymore. We were able to make a lot of progress with the car from the heat race to the feature race. When you have to drive from the back and don’t have a rocket ship its pretty tough to make it up to the front.”
 
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 17TH: “Tough day for the Verizon team. The rear handling of the car was an issue pretty much from the start of the race. It was frustrating because we tried everything we could to make it better but we just couldn’t get it to where we wanted it. It was a good job in the pits by the Verizon guys and we look forward to testing this week to make sure we feel good heading into Pocono.”
 
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA, NO.  6 TRUECAR DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 19TH: “It was a very disappointing weekend for us. I am very frustrated after coming to Iowa with a lot of momentum and we were just not able to create a reliable car for the race. With having this little of practice time before the race, if you do not come with a well balanced car it’s very hard to catch up to the front. The race for us was just a matter of keeping it a clean race. We made a bad call when we could have gained our one lap back in the beginning and the really finished the day early for us.”

SIMONA DE SILVESTRO, NO. 78 NUCLEAR ENTERGY AREVA KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, FINISHED 21ST: “The car was better today than yesterday, but it’s still not quite there yet. It feels like we’re in damage control mode right now. We rolled off the truck not so good and didn’t have a ton of track time to get it fixed, so we got in kind of a pickle there. For the race we tried a few different things which got us closer, but it was still a long race for us.  I’m excited to go testing and hopefully we can turn all of this around. We’ve struggled the last two races, so we’ll just have to keep working on it.”

Chevy Racing–Corvette Racing–Le Mans

 
CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: Corvettes Complete 24 Hours
Fourth, seventh place in final Le Mans for C6.R with new car looming for ‘14
 
LE MANS, France (June 23, 2013) – Corvette Racing and its two Compuware Corvette C6.Rs completed the most demanding auto race in the world today by finishing in the top seven of the GTE Pro class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Jordan Taylor brought home the No. 73 Compuware Corvette in fourth place after starting seventh. It was a remarkable comeback that saw the trio pick up three spots in the final six hours. The No. 74 Compuware Corvette finished seventh with Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen and Richard Westbrook driving.
 
All six drivers and the two crews weathered constantly changing conditions and 10 safety car periods – most of which required long runs behind the safety cars. No one in either garage could remember such a volatile event.
 
“Chevrolet was truly honored to compete in the 90th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “While it certainly was a challenging 24-hour event, I am proud that the entire Corvette Racing team exhibited a ‘never give up’ approach all race long. We look forward to returning next year for the 15th time at Le Mans and our first with the next-generation Corvette race car.”
 
Typical Le Mans attrition began to enter the equation in the last quarter of the race. After running seventh and eighth for much of the first 18 hours, the Corvettes crept up the standings as other entries began to fall off. By the 23-hour mark, both cars ranked among the top five in the class thanks to an aggressive wet tire strategy when rain began to pelt the circuit again.
 
Taylor outpaced ex-F1 pilot Giancarlo Fisichella to hold on to the fourth position over the final 20 minutes. Unfortunately, Oliver Gavin had to pit the No. 74 Corvette due to an exhaust issue. Rather than risk near-certain damage, the team elected to pit and send Gavin back out for the final lap.

Richard Childress Racing–Nationwide–Road America

Johnsonville Sausage 200 presented by Menards
Road America 
NASCAR Nationwide Series
Johnsinville Sausage 200 presented by Menards
Road America
June 22, 2013
 
Race Highlights:
Richard Childress Racing teammates finished 10th (Austin Dillon), 11th (Brendan Gaughan), 17th (Max Papis) and 20th (Brian Scott).
Dillon is fourth in the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, trailing leader Regan Smith by 45 markers, while Scott is eighth in the standings, 68 points behind Smith.
The No. 3 Chevrolet team ranks sixth in the Nationwide Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 2 team 10th in the standings and the No. 33 team 11th.
According to NASCAR’s Post Race Loop Data Statistics, Dillon led the field in the Closers category, advancing 15 positions in the final 10 percent of the race.
Gaughan made 57 Green Flag Passes, ranking him 11th in that category.
Papis ranked fifth in the Closers category, advancing nine positions in the final 10 percent of the race.
Scott made 19 Quality Passes.
AJ Allmendinger earned his first victory of the 2013 Nationwide Series season and was followed to the finish line by Justin Allgaier, Parker Kligerman, Owen Kelly and Sam Hornish, Jr.
The next Nationwide Series race is the Feed the Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway on Friday, June 28. The 15th race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and Sirius XM NASCAR Satellite Radio.

   
Brian Scott Earns a 20th-Place Finish in Action-Packed Race at Road America
 
Brian Scott and the No. 2 Charter Chevrolet team were in Elkhart Lake, Wis. for the first road course race of the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series season at Road American where they were in contention for a top-10 finish, until a late-race incident relegated them to a 20th-place finish. The Boise, Idaho-native qualified his No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro in the 18th spot for the Saturday afternoon event. In the early going of the race, he navigated his way towards the front climbing as high as 11th. During that time, Scott radioed to crew chief Phil Gould he was looking for a little bit more rear grip and was “snappy” loose off the corners. Scott made his first pit stop on lap 14 for four Goodyear tires, Sunoco Green E15 fuel and a chassis adjustment to correct a loose-handling condition. Just as Scott exited the pits, the caution flag was displayed keeping him on the lead lap. Scott took the green from the 11th position and battled the competition as the race progressed. The caution flag was displayed once again on lap 31, allowing the Charter team to make additional adjustments in the pits. He restarted 16th and moved forward as the competition became tense as the race neared its end. A series of late-race caution periods set the field up for two attempts at a green-white-checkered finish, during which time multiple cars were ran off course as drivers went all out for the win. Scott restarted in the 11th spot during the first attempt, but suffered rear corner panel damage to his Camaro and had to make a trip down pit road so his RCR crew could move sheet metal away from the rear tire. He lined up 28th for the final restart and ultimately earned a 20th-place finish. 
 
Start – 18          Finish – 20       Laps Led – 0             Points – 8th
 
BRIAN SCOTT QUOTE:
“It was a tough day. We didn’t have the track position we needed to start the race, but continued to work on our Charter Chevrolet on pit road. We were in a good spot towards the end as the field continued to wreck, but unfortunately suffered some damage from an incident forcing us to pit. We’ll move on to Kentucky and look to get back in the groove.”
 

Austin Dillon Earns Top-10 Finish at Road America
 
Austin Dillon survived two attempts at late-race restarts in an action-packed NASCAR Nationwide Series road course event at Road America on Saturday afternoon to collect a 10th-place finish in the No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet. Dillon started the 50-lap race from the 14th position and immediately showed speed in the black No. 3 Chevrolet, driving to the 10th position before pitting under green-flag conditions for his first round of adjustments, fuel and tires on lap 12. Unfortunately, Dillon was issued a violation for exiting pit road too quickly and had to restart at the tail end of the longest line when the caution flag was displayed just one lap later. Although he fell to 32nd in the running order, Dillon worked his way into the 11th position for a restart with just 11 laps remaining, but was punted from behind and spun one lap later, relegating him to 25th place. When the caution flag was displayed on lap 44, Dillon was directed down pit road by crew chief Danny Stockman for four Goodyear tires and Sunoco Green E15 fuel. He restarted from the 22nd position on lap 47 and survived two separate attempts at a green-white-checker restart to post a 10th-place finish in the No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet.
 
 
Start – 14               Finish – 10              Laps Led – 0               Points – 4th              
         
 
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE:
“I’m really proud of how hard we worked as a team to get this top-10 finish on a road course. We definitely had a never-give-up attitude today, driving up from the back of the field twice during the race.”
 

Brendan Gaughan Earns 11th-Place Finish at Road America
 
Brendan Gaughan and the No. 21 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet team finished 11th at Road America, despite being involved in a late race incident on Saturday afternoon. The Richard Childress Racing team started the scheduled 50-lap affair from the 26th position. Gaughan utilized restarts to gain valuable track position, advancing the South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet into the top-20 early in the event. After reporting a loose-handling condition in the right-hand turns to the No. 21 team, crew chief Shane Wilson called Gaughan to pit road under caution for four tires, fuel and a round of chassis adjustments to combat the handling issues. Gaughan continued his climb into the top-15 and was scored in the 11th position on lap 33. While running 11th, Gaughan was tagged from behind sending his black and gold machine spinning around in turn 12. He was able to keep the No. 21 Chevrolet from making contact with the wall and didn’t sustain any damage. Following that incident, Gaughan was forced to restart 27th with 14 laps remaining at the 14-turn road course. Multiple full-course cautions were displayed in the closing laps of the event forcing the NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers to two green-white-checkered attempts. Gaughan used the multiple restarts to advance through the field to the 11th position, where he crossed the finish line.
 
Start – 26                      Finish – 11                   Laps Led – 0                Points Position – N/A
 
BRENDAN GAUGHAN QUOTE:
“I’m really proud of the No. 21 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet team. The guys did a great job on pit road all day and gave me a really great race car. I love road course racing, especially here at Road America. It’s a great facility and the track is a lot of fun to race. We got caught up in an unfor
tunate incident in turn 12, but were able to use the restarts to gain track position and bring home a top-15 finish.”
   
Max Papis Battles Adversity to Come Home 17th
 
High expectations were set for Max Papis and the No. 33 Menards/Rheem team as they rolled into the season’s first road course race at Road America. Despite rain threatening both days of the event, Papis kept the No. 33 Menards/Rheem Chevrolet Camaro in the top-10 during final practice and backed that momentum up with a 10th-place starting spot on Saturday morning. The road racing ace went through the first run of the day to lap 16 battling a loose condition that hindered Papis to get back to the throttle as quickly as some of the top runners. The first caution allowed the over-the-wall crew to promptly deliver a much needed boost to the team by posting a fast, four-tire stop and track bar adjustment for some additional motivation behind the wheel. Restarting sixth, Papis maintained a top-10 running position and ran as high as fourth through some consistent laps and smooth pedal work. After taking what was planned to be the final stop on lap 32 under caution, Papis was the recipient of an ill-timed bump going into turn five on the first green lap of the restart. Making the best out of a bad situation, Papis and the team decided to come down pit road to investigate the damage under caution on lap 41. His return to the bunched up field was nothing short of spectacular as he passed 17 cars (three wide, outside and inside) in just under one full lap, until another quick caution reverted him back to 18th through a scoring loop technicality. On the ensuing restart at lap 46, another errant corner from a competitor put Papis back to 32nd and forced another pit stop under the following caution. It took two green-white-checkered restarts, but Papis and team chipped their way to a 17th-place finish at the end of the race.
 
Start – 10                Finish – 17             Laps Led – 0               Points – N/A
 
MAX PAPIS QUOTE:
“We were having a great race in the No. 33 Menards/Rheem Chevrolet Camaro. I’m just disappointed because the 16 car just ran me off the track. We had a top-fiive car for sure, just didn’t get the respect that I think this team deserves.”
 

Chevy Racing–Corvette Racing–Le Mans 18 Hour Report

CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: 18-Hour Report
Both Compuware Corvettes persevering through safety car periods
 
LE MANS, France (June 23, 2012) – Through three-quarters of the world’s greatest road racing, Corvette Racing’s two Compuware Corvette C6.Rs continued to persevere through the night and into the daytime. At the end of 18 hours, Tommy Milner ran seventh in GTE Pro and Jan Magnussen was eighth in the class.
 
The race likely will be remembered for the number of safety car periods – nine so far, to be exact. Both Jordan Taylor in the No. 73 Compuware Corvette and Oliver Gavin in the No. 74 spent most of their night driving in more changing conditions with a mix of dry and wet track to go along with cool temperatures and wind.
 
Things weren’t much different for Richard Westbrook during his night-time stint in the No. 74 and Antonio Garcia in the No. 73. Adding to the disrupted flow of the race was the duration of the safety car periods due to repairs to safety barriers and walls throughout the first 18 hours.
 
The next Corvette Racing update will be following the race at 3 p.m. local time/9 a.m. ET.
 
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 73 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
“This was probably one of the trickiest stints in my life, because when I got in it was raining on the first third of the track and the rest of the track was dry, so we went on the dry-and-wet tires. That was just super difficult, trying to keep heat in the tires in one section and overheating them in the next. We then put on slicks and tried to figure out how fast we could go on those. Once we got into a rhythm the car was good and quick, and we just tried to maintain our pace without making any mistakes.”
 
RICHARD WESTBROOK, NO. 74 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
“It’s definitely not been a typical Le Mans, that’s for sure. I’m not sure what the deal is with the safety barriers … it seems that if anyone touches them we have a long safety car period. It’s disrupting the flow of the race – stop, start, stop, start. The tires get cold and take awhile to warm up and sometimes you don’t really get going on the rest of your stint after a safety car. Sure it’s frustrating but it’s the same for everyone. Our plan is the same – to keep going and see how things are at the end. I don’t know the history books, but I’d guess (the number of safety cars) would be a record. And they’ve all been long ones as well. I was in for three hours during the night and it felt like two hours were behind the safety car. I think it was 45 minutes but you’re bored and you want to go. But there is a reason for them and the organizers do have our safety in mind.”

Chevy Racing–Helio Castroneves and Will Power Finish One-Two in Pole-Qualifying Heat Race at Iowa

Helio Castroneves and Will Power Finish One-Two in Pole-Qualifying Heat Race at Iowa Speedway
Chevrolet IndyCar V6 Drivers Claim Top-Four Finishing Positions in Unique Format to Set Line-up for Iowa Corn Indy 250
                                                                                                                                                                                          
Newton, Iowa – (June 22, 2013) Helio Castroneves earned the number one starting position for the Iowa Corn Indy 250 by turning the fastest time in single-lap qualifying, which put him on the pole of Qualifying Heat Race No. 3. The driver of the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet led from green flag to checkered flag in the final of the three 50-lap “Heat”, races which set the field for tomorrow’s race at Iowa Speedway.
 
Will Power brought the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet to the checkered in second behind his teammate in Race No. 3.  However, the result of an unapproved engine change for Castroneves’ car, Power will slide over to the pole position for the start of the race. Castroneves will start 11th with the 10-grid position penalty.
 
“Team Chevy continued to demonstrate some depth of strength tonight during qualifying at Iowa Speedway, carrying some momentum from Milwaukee,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager, IZOD IndyCar Series.  “The heat race format used to set the grid is unique to Iowa and this year added driver’s championship points to the qualifying process.  We are very proud of the five different Chevrolet teams that secured spots in the top ten to start the race tomorrow afternoon.  Based on the 50 lap heat races tonight, it looks like setup, great pit stops and tire management will be keys to success tomorrow. “
 
Andretti Autosport teammates James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 GoDaddy Chevrolet, and Marco Andretti, No. 25 RC Cola Chevrolet finished third and fourth respectively in the 50-lap run for the pole.
 
Also earning top-10 starting positions for Team Chevy are Ed Carpenter, Tony Kanaan and Oriol Servia.
Sunday’s 250 lap/218.75-mile race will be televised live at beginning at 2:30 p.m. (ET) on ABC TV.  It will also be broadcast live by the IMS Radio Network, including on Sirius and XM Channels 211, www.indycar.com and the INDYCAR 13 App for most smartphones and tablets.
 
 
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, POLE WINNER: ON WINNING THE POLE:
“It’s really welcome, to be honest. I’m very excited for what we achieved. The car is really good. We were watching the other ones in the first heat and second heat so we can learn something. It’s the toughest one because you want to make some change, but you don’t know what. And, but it was in the end, the right decision what we did, again. So this weekend seems that we’re making the right choice on the changing of the car.”
 
ARE YOU NOT 100% HAPPY WITH YOUR CAR?
“You guys (the media) are going to find out very soon what’s going on. Hopefully; yeah, you guys are going to find out very soon.
 
“I might be overpowered. That’s what I’m saying. I’m going to try to make sure I get my voice heard.”
 
 WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 2ND: ON HIS QUALIFYING LAP AND RACE: “Practice, really came on there during the race so, yeah, happy with second. I had a moment when I crossed the bottom line there in (Turns 1 and 2) and had a big moment, and then I just decided to settle for second. But the car was very solid. Obviously we have to go back and work on this. Hopefully we’ll have a good car tomorrow and another good result because we keep chipping away on the points.”
 
YOU ARE MAKING GREAT PROGRESS ON THE OVALS. TALK ABOUT THAT: “Yeah, the ovals have been my best results this year. And I haven’t been slow on the ovals, I’ve just had rotten luck you could say. There’s always a reason for some sort of mistake. But in the past years, that’s been the case. But, definitely I’m having fun on ovals this year and enjoying them and hopefully I can bring a good result for the team.”
 
DID THOSE LAPS HELP YOU MORE ABOUT WHAT THE CAR CAN DO FOR TOMORROW, EVEN THOUGH THE CONDITIONS MAY BE DIFFERENT? “Yeah, they did. Definitely. It definitely gives you a bit of a heads-up of what your problems are or where your car is strong and where you can run in traffic, and so on. I don’t think the conditions will be much different tomorrow. I hope it doesn’t cool down any because the cars are just stuck. I mean, they’re just stuck. So, if you ever had a moment or you went in the wall it’s just going to be so hard. I just think that the downforce is too much. Although, it’s helping me. I’m enjoying it.”
 
THIS IS SIX TRIPS FOR TEAM PENSKE TO IOWA. YOU’VE ALWAYS BEEN STRONG. THIS IS AS GOOD A TIME AS ANY FOR PENKSE TO GET THAT FIRST WIN “Yeah, you can never tell in these races. There are so many competitive people. But, hopefully; I really need to gain some points on those guys, Helio and Hunter-Reay, and everyone in front of me. There are a lot of people in front of me. But at some point, the championship is going to become out of reach. But, I’m not racing with a head like that. I’m just racing smart and getting a solid result each weekend.”
 
DO YOU LIKE THE WAY INDYCAR HAS SET UP THE POLICY TO BRING YOUR PIT LOCATION FROM THE PREVIOUS QUALIFYING? HOW DOES THAT AFFECT YOU? “It’s a method. It’s good for me, I think. Solid qualifying results, I’m always up the front. But yeah, I’ve had my fair share of pit lane incidents in the past and it’s usually due to the fact that you’re back there around people you’re not used to being around.”
 
ANY THOUGHTS ON YOUR TEAMMATE A.J. ALMINDINGER CELEBRATING HIS NATIONWIDE VICTORY? “We’re real happy for him. I know how seriously he takes racing and how down he gets when he doesn’t do well. He puts everything into it. So, I’m really happy for him. It’s actually his first NASCAR win. So, everything that he’s gone through it’s just brilliant to see him win a race and Roger too, who is enjoying his vacation with a win in the heat race and a NASCAR win. So hopefully I can do us another one tomorrow, too; and we can do it here.”
 
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 GODADDY ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 3RD: “The GoDaddy car was great. Huge credit to the Andretti (Autosport) guys because they gave us a car we could move up. We didn’t see a lot of guys making passes today, and we were able to move up from where we started. It’s a shame we lost that position to Will (Power) there with about 20 (laps) to go – I would have liked an outside starting spot (for tomorrow’s race)… We’re certainly in the ballpark. Helio (Castroneves) has been quick all weekend, and we know where we are relative to him so we just have to keep our heads down, make a couple changes for tomorrow and hopefully we can be there.”
 
MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 25 RC
COLA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 4TH: “I think we were a little conservative in the Heat Race with the RC (Cola) car. We ran a little more of a (race day) car and we could have been more aggressive – that kind of hurt us. In the end of the stint we would have started moving forward but it was too late. Starting fourth isn’t all bad though… we’ve done it (won) here from 17th.”
 
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA/ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 6TH: “We missed the balance a little bit in qualifying.  We had a little too much understeer.  It’s too bad it’s not a night race because it helps with the grip in the race. It will be a little more slick in the day and will probably be more of a one-groove track.  It’s easier for a second groove to open up at night.  I think more people will run the second grove in the race because there is more banking.  Then the low grove won’t be as good in the race.  You are drafting all of the time here.  It’s non-stop drafting.  This is one of the most physical tracks that we run. Iowa is a little less physical that it used to be because the grip level isn’t as high.  But it is still a very tough race.   We were not too good in our first heat race tonight.  We tried something different.  It wasn’t very good and I felt fortunate to transfer to the final heat.   But the Fuzzy’s Vodka crew busted their butts to make some quick changes in between the heats and the car was much better in the final heat.  We ran 100 laps today and I think we learned some things for Sunday’s race.  Unfortunately, it will be in the heat of the day.  So I’m hoping our changes in the final heat will help us on Sunday.  I definitely feel better about our Fuzzy’s Chevy now.”

ORIOL SERVIA, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 10TH:  “Tenth is definitely good for us, and you’ve seen the way things can go here with people going back and forth, so it’s not a bad place to start. Today we really accomplished what we wanted in the NationalGuard Chevy with a little bit of a race sim to see where the car is going to go. I felt very good in qualifying and in practice, we were just a little bit off (in the heat race) but that’s what this is good for; it gives us a chance to get it better for tomorrow. Honestly, the car felt good it just had a little too much understeer, which is the better evil to have and to solve. So I feel pretty good about tomorrow.”

TONY KANAAN, NO. 11 SUNOCO “TURBO” KV RACING TECHNOLOGY – SH RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 8TH: “The car was good in the beginning of the race, but we developed some understeer as the laps came in. The good thing is that we found out about the problem tonight, so we have some time to work on the situation and I am confident we will be ready to race tomorrow.”
 
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO 1 DHL ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 14TH: “You know, it was way off the mark.  We’ve been sitting on our own thumbs all day today.  We just missed it today.  No. 1 DHL team will have to regroup and come back tomorrow because we’re starting buried in the pack.  We gave up points today.  An important day and we just missed it a bit.  It’s to fight another day and that’s tomorrow.”

E.J. VISO, NO. 5 TEAM VENEZUELA PDVSA CITGO ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT HVM CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 19TH: “Very difficult day for me today. I believe we didn’t get all of our factors together. Qualifying was really not the best, and then in the Heat we were lacking plenty of grip so we lost some positions. That is not a huge issue – I started from the same place in the back and have made it all the way to the front in the past, and that could also happen tomorrow.”

SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA, NO.  6 TRUECAR DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET,

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 7 MCAFEE DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET,

SIMONA DE SILVESTRO, NO. 78 NUCLEAR ENTERGY AREVA KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 23RD: “I’m really disappointed. The team’s been working really hard, but we’ve been fighting with the car since the second practice in Milwaukee. The car was great in the first practice there, but since then we haven’t been able to get it back to where we need it to be. It’s really frustrating. I know it’s there, because it was awesome in Texas as well. We’ll make some changes again tonight and hopefully get a good car for tomorrow’s race. We really want to go out and put on a good show for the Nuclear Clean Air Energy sponsors that are here this weekend. Hopefully we’ll be able to do that.”

Chevy Racing–Corvette Racing–Le Mans 12 Hours

CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: Halfway Report
Compuware Corvette fighting the good fight through 12 hours
 
LE MANS, France (June 22, 2013) – The halfway point of the 24 Hours of Le Mans has come and gone, and Corvette Racing remains in the GTE Pro fight after 12 Hours. The No. 74 Compuware Corvette C6.R with Richard Westbrook at the wheel ran seventh at the race’s midpoint. In the No. 73, Antonio Garcia was completing a triple-stint just before the 12-hour mark and sat eighth.
 
Garcia took over for Jan Magnussen, who had a double-stint to open his second round of the event. Jordan Taylor began the run from hour seven through 12 with a triple-stint as well. Luck didn’t appear to be with Magnussen, Taylor and Antonio Garcia. The trio found itself beset by being separated from its other GT competitors by the safety car on three consecutive yellow-flag periods.
 
Bad fortune also followed the No. 74 Corvette at the half-way point. It ran seventh in class despite having to pit twice for suspected tire issues and once for what Westbrook and Oliver Gavin said felt like a fuel pressure issue. The crew uploaded a fix to the ECU to help manage the engine under acceleration, which corrected the problem.
 
Tommy Milner ran a double-stint into darkness with a different tire compound on his Michelin tires, which helped him keep pace with the rest of the field.
 
The next Corvette Racing update will be an 18-hour report at 9 a.m. local time/3 a.m. ET.
 
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 74 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
“I had a good two-and-a-half stints with a caution in the middle, which we used to change the brake pads. We tried some different tIre compounds, which went well. Right now we’re just trying to keep it within one lap (of the leaders) and on the track without making any mistakes, and see where we are when the sun comes back.”
 
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 73 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
“I just spent four hours in the car, mainly because of the lengthy safety car period which allowed me to stay in longer. The car feels better. I had the class leader in front me in my first stint, and then the second- and third-place cars in my second stint and in both cases I could easily follow them. We don’t have the pace to catch and pass them, but we can follow them and put in some decent laps. Now it starts raining again, and I know what it’s like at this point in the race for it reminds of 2008, but I must say I’m happy I can have a rest now instead.”
 
RICHARD WESTBROOK, NO. 74 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
“Those were pretty small problems that haven’t hurt us too much. We have a great crew and they turned it around quickly. We highlighted the problem with what felt like a fuel pressure issue, and they got that fixed really quickly. We also had a rear tire issue, which happens at Le Mans. There is a lot of debris. Our plan is to keep going around. We will see where that takes us.”
 
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 74 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
“We went to a different compound tire and the car feels better in the nighttime than in the daytime. The track is fully dry, and that plays a part in it. The car felt better and was more competitive so we won’t lose as much time as before. Antonio was doing a (3):57 and I was doing (3):58s. Right now that is comparable to what everyone else is doing. That’s encouraging but we are still quite a ways down. If we can run with some of the faster GT cars, at least we can keep up with them. If nothing else, we can use their speed to make us go faster.”
 

Summit Racing–Line Going After the Title at Inaugural New England Event

Line Going After the Title at Inaugural New England Event
 
Event:  Inaugural NHRA New England Nationals
Location: New England Dragway, Epping, N.H.
Day/Date: Saturday, June 22, 2013
 
Jason Line has great expectations for his Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro on raceday at the very first New England Nationals at New England Dragway. The 30-time national event winner has claimed victories all along the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series trail, but he has yet to earn a title at an inaugural event. After an effective group of qualifying passes, the Mooresville, N.C., resident is situated in a good position to make his goal a reality.
 
Line clocked a 6.576 at 212.49 mph to jump right into the No. 4 position in the first session of qualifying. The Summit Racing team went back to the pit area, wrenched a little more, and returned to the starting line to lay down an improved 6.565, 212.36 to close out the first day of the inaugural event in the No. 5 position.
 
The second day of the New England Nationals brought about warmer track temperatures and conditions that increased the challenge for the crew chiefs, but Line managed a solid 6.608 at 211.59 in the earlier session, followed by a 6.643 at a whopping 211.86 mph that was fastest speed of the final round before Sunday.
 
“I think the biggest challenge has just been the starting line,” said Line. “Each track has its own personality, and that particular area is the challenge here. We definitely don’t feel like we have it completely figured out yet, but it’s the same for everybody. There is a lot of experience in the KB Racing camp and we know that we can come out on Sunday with a good package for our Summit Racing Camaros.”
 
Line was ultimately christened the No. 5 qualifier at the first of what is suspected will be many New England Nationals. He will be challenged by Larry Morgan in the first round of eliminations.
 
“This is a nice racetrack, and I’ve already enjoyed racing here this weekend,” said Line. “The people have been great, and it’s very refreshing to have these very enthusiastic fans cheering you on and waiting to greet you when you come back from a run. They’ve been starved for racing up here, so it makes it a lot of fun to get to come up here and put on a show.
 
“We definitely left some out there today, and we feel like we could have run faster – but all in all, it’s been a decent weekend so far on the racetrack for the blue Summit Racing Camaro. I think we’ll have a good car for raceday. Somebody is going to win the inaugural race here, and it would be very cool to be the driver who gets to do that.”
 

Summit Racing–Anderson Shorted in Qualifying but Fully Prepared for Raceday in Epping

Anderson Shorted in Qualifying but Fully Prepared for Raceday in Epping
 
Event:  Inaugural NHRA New England Nationals
Location: New England Dragway, Epping, N.H.
Day/Date: Saturday, June 22, 2013
 
Greg Anderson experienced a drastic swing of highs and lows on the second day of qualifying at the NHRA New England Nationals, but the seasoned driver took the day in stride and is eager to return to the starting line in his Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro for the first round of eliminations at the inaugural event.
 
Friday’s qualifying sessions amounted to a 6.621-second pass at 211.79 and a 6.591 at 211.63 that positioned the Mooresville, N.C.-based competitor as sixth in the line-up heading into day two. On Saturday, Anderson brought a very strong 6.580 at 211.56 mph to the table and was second quickest of the opening session. Enthused and eager to return to the driver’s seat for the last session to see what else Team Summit could extract from the brand new racing surface before the fields were set, Anderson had no way of knowing that his day was about to take a dramatic turn.
 
A freak occurrence during the quick turnaround between qualifying sessions on Saturday – a stripped spark plug hole – set the team off schedule, and Anderson was forced to sit out the fourth and final session of qualifying. The extremely rare situation left Anderson disappointed, but also grateful.
 
“We just ran out of time to get it fixed,” said Anderson. “You hate to miss a run like that, but it was just a freak deal, and you have to be thankful that it didn’t happen on raceday. We’ve got it fixed now, and this Summit Racing Camaro will be good for tomorrow.”
 
The high point for Anderson was the 6.58 in the third qualifying session, and running towards the top of the pack is a very comfortable and familiar position that has been just out of reach in recent times.
 
“That was very encouraging, and I think we can do even better,” said Anderson, who retained the No. 6 position and will meet up with Steve Kent in the first round of eliminations on Sunday. “We’re not going to try to get crazy, but we’re going to try to stay consistent. We’ll just chisel at it a little bit, and I think we’ll have a chance tomorrow.
 
“This is a neat racetrack, and so far I’m loving it here. The fans are great, they’re really into it, and that makes it a very exciting place to race. It’s a challenge, and we definitely like a challenge. I’m having fun with it, and hopefully what happened today was our bit of bad luck for the weekend. Tomorrow, we’re planning for a smooth raceday with a chance to win.”
 

Chevy Racing–Sonoma–Qualifying Interviews

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
TOYOTA/SAVE MART 350
SONOMA RACEWAY
TEAM CHEVY QUALIFYING NOTES AND QUOTES
JUNE 22, 2013
 
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 CESSNA CHEVROLET SS – POLE WINNER
CONGRATULATIONS YOU GET TO START UP FRONT ARE YOU SURPRISED?
“A little bit.  We were second and fifth in practice so consistently we have had a really good car this weekend.  The No. 42 has been really good all weekend.  So you know you have a chance, but the deal is Juan (Pablo Montoya) and Marcos (Ambrose) are able to pull these crazy laps out when they need to.  We were just able to put it all together today.  That is really cool.  This is a really fun event.  The race is really fun, it’s just that this place can get a little bit frustrating at the end of the race if they have a late-race restart.  It’s always wild in turn four and turn seven.  I have been on the good end of it and I’ve been on the bad end of it.  Hopefully, we just put it all together tomorrow.”

KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING/SEALY CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED SEVENTH
“We’ll take it, seventh is a good starting spot,” said Busch.  “We had a good weekend so far with two strong practice sessions yesterday in our Furniture Row Chevrolet.  We need to go out there tomorrow, have some fun, avoid trouble, stay clean and get the finish our performance deserves. Fuel mileage will be critical as it always is here.”   

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 10TH
ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN:
“I think that track conditions are fairly similar to yesterday.  It is getting a little bit warmer, but when we made our qualifying run it was in the afternoon yesterday so it might have been similar.  All in all a good run for the Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet.  On a road course there is always places where you can gain time and lose time.  I feel like the lap overall was a good lap except for turn 11.  I just got in there and got real tight. That costs us a little bit of time, but hopefully we end up 10th, 11th, or something like that.”
 
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR PACKAGE FOR SUNDAY?
“We have raced really well here in the past.  I’m certainly optimistic and looking forward to the challenges.  This car is a little bit different than what we had.  Trying to figure out what this car needs balance wise for the race is still going to be determined throughout the race tomorrow.”

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 MOBIL 1/BASS PRO SHOPS CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 11TH
ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN:
“We’re definitely getting better. We’ve made gains each time we’ve been on the racetrack. And compared to where we’ve started in years past, we’re actually ahead of the game this year. Steve (Addington, crew chief) and the guys have worked really hard — here and at the shop — to bring a Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevy that’ll we’ll be able to work with on Sunday.”
 
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 RHEEM CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 12TH
ON HIS QUALIFYING LAP:
“It was a decent lap.  I definitely left a couple of tenths out on the race track in a few corners, but all in all our goal was to run faster than what we did in practice.  We were able to pick up half a second and wound up with a decent lap.  We just didn’t want to dig ourselves a hole.  Driver definitely left some out there.  The car is running good.”
 
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 15TH
HOW WAS YOUR LAP?
“It felt pretty good, especially on that first lap. I was just a little bit tight. But it felt all right. We had a little pick-up from yesterday, so that was good. I think we’re going to have a better car in race trim Sunday than what it’s shown so far this weekend. We made some good progress yesterday and I’m looking forward to the race. I don’t know. Hopefully the longer it runs, the better we are.”
 
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 MENARDS/MOEN CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 16TH
ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN:
“We made some gains from yesterday’s practice sessions. We fought a loose-off condition, but we’ve improved on it. We just need to take it another step further. We’ve tried a lot of different setups on our Moen/Menards Chevrolet, but we still have some tricks up our sleeve for tomorrow.”

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 19TH
ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN:
“This is not going to be the pole. It’s just nice to get this interview right now and talk about my Lowe’s Chevrolet. But we’ll do what we can to manage what we can and try to find some more speed in this Lowe’s Chevy.”
 
WAS THAT ABOUT AS PERFECT A LAP AS YOU CAN EXPECT?
“Looking at the speed we are not in the 15’s yet and I think the pole is going to be the mid to low 15’s.  I think we are missing a big chunk of pace there.  We out ran everybody that went out ahead of us, which we should.  We will just see where we stack up.  I don’t think it’s going to be… we will be lucky if it’s top-10.  I think there are some real fast laps getting ready to come down out there.”
 
HOW ABOUT THE CAR IN RACE TRIM?
“We are fair.  We don’t have a ton of pace for whatever reason.  I think all four of us in the Hendrick cars are wanting a little bit more.  We picked a good direction to go here with our race car for qualifying.  I think we will be able to build on that and take it into tomorrow’s race.  We are not off to the start we wanted here in Sonoma, but there is still an evening to think things through and get ready for a race.”

JACQUES VILLENEUVE, NO. 51 TAG HEUER AVANT-GARDE EYEWEAR CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 22ND
“It just wasn’t quick enough. It was a lot better than yesterday. We improved the car overnight and I was discovering it and I just didn’t drive aggressive enough on the first lap so there was still a little bit of time, but at least my car was a lot better today. They worked hard. I was discovering everything yesterday and so far, it’s been run.”
 
WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO BE FASTER FOR SUNDAY?
“Well, tomorrow is a whole different ballgame because it’s race trim and we have to have the car survive for a lot of laps and we don’t know. We have to talk about it.”
 
WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF THE COMMENTS THAT DRIVERS DON’T WANT YOU BEHIND THEM BECAUSE YOU ARE SO AGGRESSIVE?
“Well, that’s a good thing because then maybe people would open the door. Their outlook on me is a little bit biased. I’m not as aggressive as they think. So I think it’s just an image that has happened and was built and it got out of control and I’m not sure why.”
 
SO YOU’RE NOT LOOKING TO DRIVE THAT WAY?
“No, no. If you can fight for the win, you drive more aggressively; mostly if you get taken off during that race then you have to make your way back through the field and that’s what happened in the last couple of years. I got taken out from the lead on the last lap and everybody thought that was great. So, I didn’t drive any more aggressively than anybody else out there but the image I got out of it was quite extreme.”
 
DID YOU SEE THE CRASH AT LE MANS TODAY?
“No, I just saw the sad news when I got here at the track and I wasn’t following it. Racing is still dangerous and I think people tend to forget about it. Mostly the younger drivers, the new generation that come into racing, they don’t realize that it’s still dangerous. And it is. But we don’t expect it. I think that all those races where you change drivers during the race; you don’t have a proper seat. You’re not sitting properly in the belts and it makes it that little bit more dangerous.”
 
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 26TH
HOW DO YOU LIKE THE NEW QUALIFYING FORMAT?
“This is the way they should have done it for years. It’s a lot easier to get everyth
ing done and get everything accomplished and it gives us a little bit more exciting session to watch. So, I’m all for it.”
 
HOW WAS YOUR LAP? DID YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEMS?
“Oh, just that the car is a little bit on the tight side, but we had great speed. We’ll just have to try to take care of our car and do the best we can in the race. We should be okay if we can just do everything right.”
 
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 HAAS AUTOMATION 30TH ANNIVERSARY CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 30TH
ON THE NEW QUALIFYING FORMAT:
“The format didn’t change anything for us. You used to get an opportunity to get a second lap, which worked sometimes and sometimes it doesn’t. So everybody’s got an equal shot to make the best of it.”
 
HOW IS YOUR CAR?
“It’s always been loose. We rarely have it tight here. The tire is a challenge, but everybody’s got the same challenge and we’ll keep working on it.”
 
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 31ST
ON HER QUALIFYING RUN:
“We picked up from practice. It was loose, especially in the faster part of the course. But we improved from yesterday and the GoDaddy guys have worked really hard this weekend. Hopefully we have a good day on Sunday.”

Chevy Racing–Sonoma Post Qualifying

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
TOYOTA/SAVE MART 350
SONOMA RACEWAY
TEAM CHEVY POST QUALIFYING PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
JUNE 22, 2013
 
 
MCMURRAY CAPTURES POLE FOR SUNDAY’S ROAD COURSE RACE AT SONOMA
SEVEN TEAM CHEVY DRIVERS WILL START IN TOP 15
 
SONOMA, CA – June 22, 2013 – Jamie McMurray took advantage of the new qualifying format at Sonoma Raceway to put his No. 1 Cessna Chevrolet SS on the pole with a fast speed of 94.986 mph for Sunday’s Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. It was McMurray’s ninth Cup career pole, and the first of the 2013 season. He was also the pole winner at Sonoma in 2007.
 
The new qualifying format for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, used previously in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, featured eight groups of five or six cars each; and the drivers had five minutes to post their best lap around the 1.99-mile road course. McMurray was in the eighth group.
 
“It was all-around really good and our car has been good,” said McMurray. “Speed for this team really hasn’t been an issue. We’ve had plenty of speed; it’s just been about the last ten percent of the races and getting that finish. But hopefully we can get our bad luck out of the way and have a really good result this weekend. The truth is, I don’t really care if I lead the first lap tomorrow. I want to be there at the end. And this race, a lot of times comes down to the last restart and not getting in trouble. So, we’ll just dig and fight all day and I think our car will have enough speed. It will just be about not making any mistakes.”
 
Starting behind McMurray on Sunday will be six Team Chevy drivers in the Top-15 positions of the 43-car field.  Kurt Busch, No. 78 Furniture Row Racing/Sealy Chevrolet SS – 7th, Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevy SS – 10th, Tony Stewart, No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS – 11th, Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Rheem Chevy SS – 12th, Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Chevrolet SS – 13th, and Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevy SS will start 15th.
 
Rounding out the top five starters, Marcos Ambrose (Ford) qualified second; Carl Edwards (Ford) qualified third, Greg Biffle (Ford) will start fourth, and Clint Bowyer (Toyota) qualified fifth.
 
The Save-Mart 350 will take the green flag on Sunday, June 23rd at 3:00 p.m. ET (12:00 noon, PT) and will be aired live on TNT.
 
 
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 CESSNA CHEVROLET SS – POLE WINNER

TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE NEW QUALIFYING FORMAT AND YOUR THOUGHTS OUT THERE ON HOW TODAY WENT:
“I thought the qualifying format was really good.  Sonoma has always been a place that you would go down the drag strip and then come out half way down the backstretch.  Whatever they put on the drag strip everybody would always talk about it.  It seemed like it made the tires greasy for the first couple of corners.  I thought it was good that we got to pull out just like we do in practice.  You gap yourself with the guys in front of you, take it pretty easy and it was very similar to practice which I thought was good.  Sitting down there as a fan listening to the commentator getting to have five cars on the track, six cars on the track, I thought it was good.  It made it a little more interesting.  It wasn’t just one guy and the guy trying to commentate about one person on the track.  I thought it was good.  It was cool how people would bump each other off.  It was a good format.”
 
BACK AT RICHMOND YOU MENTIONED THIS TRACK IS ONE OF THE ONES THAT YOU WERE REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO IN TALKING ABOUT HOW THE SEASON HAS BEEN IMPROVING.  BY STATS ON I THINK YOUR FINISHING AVERAGE IS 17.1, BUT YOU DID FINISH SECOND ONCE.  WHY WERE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO COMING HERE?
“Well, this has always been performance wise a really good track for me in qualifying.  I’ve qualified well here a lot.  I feel like I’ve raced really well here.  For me the last restarts have always got me.  Whether it is someone dive bombing you in turn seven and wiping you out.  I’ve made a mistake on the last lap here and lost a lot of spots.  When they have a restart at this track guys go from the top-five to 30th in a matter of about 20 seconds.  It can be a track that if they have a caution at the end you can lose a lot.  I just have always looked forward to Sonoma.  It’s one of the funnier tracks that we come to.  I don’t know that the road racers like this as much as they do Watkins Glen.  I really enjoy coming here.”
 
TALK ABOUT THE GEN-6 CAR AND THE FIRST TIME AT THIS TRACK, WHAT ARE YOU FEELING ARE THE DIFFERENCES ARE, WHAT IS BETTER, WHAT IS NOT?
“I expected the times to be quite a bit quicker coming here.  The tire that we are on this year when we did our testing this tire was a fait bit faster than the tire we ran last year.  This car is quite a bit quicker than the car from last year.  It feels better here.  The slow corners aren’t much different, but the faster high speed esses.  The car has a lot more grip, feels a lot more balanced.  I don’t know why the times aren’t any quicker.  Overall I think if we didn’t do lap times everyone would tell you that we are going quite a bit quicker.  Just the track must be worn out quite a bit more than last year.  The car is really good.  When we did our testing at VIR (Virginia International Raceway) we ran significantly faster than we did with last year’s car testing.  The car is really good.  The car has been good at every track we have been to so far.”
 
WHAT WEAR DO YOU THINK ARE ON THE TIRES WITH THIS CAR AND HOW DO YOU THINK THE STRATEGY IS GOING TO BE FOR NUMBER OF PIT STOPS?
“I remember sitting on the pole here last time and not sleeping the whole night worried about pit strategy and what we were going to do.  I got to turn one and I ran off the track and I came out about 35th or 40th and it didn’t matter.  Honestly, my answer to you would be that I don’t know and I’m not going to worry about it.  I’m going to let everyone else worry about it and I’m just going to do what they tell me.”
 
CARL (EDWARDS) TALKED ABOUT MISSING A FEW POINTS DURING HIS LAP.  MARCOS (AMBROSE) CAME IN AND SAID HIS ENGINE STALLED.  WAS THAT LAP THE BEST YOU COULD HAVE POSSIBLY DONE?
“No, when you go to oval tracks there are a lot of times you come in and you say ‘that is just it that is all I had.’  Here every corner there is a little bit that you can improve. When I sat on the pole here in 2009 I think, 2010, I remember when the lap was over thinking ‘I didn’t drive hard enough.  I should have driven harder.’  It ended up being the pole.  So when my lap started today as I was waiting on the No. 56, had an oil leak or something.  As that car was sitting there, you run through, especially at a road course for me, I run through the lap and my shifting points and what I needed to do. It’s a little bit harder this year because we didn’t just end practice and then get to do qualifying.  You haven’t been in the car until your lap starts.  I was like I remember that and I’m just going to go out and take whatever this car will give me.  I’m not going to push it to the very edge, because the trying to gain the every little bit can cost you a half second if you drop a tire off or if you get loose.  I drove at about 95 percent and I just kept it on the track.  I just had it all put together.”
 
EIGHT WINNERS THE LAST EIGHT YEARS OUT HERE, DOES THAT INSPIRE YOU AT ALL?  ARE YOU THINKING MAYBE THIS COULD BE YOUR YEAR?
“Yeah, when you look at this race it seems like every year out here somebody wins that you didn’t feel like was a good road racer.  All of a sudden you are like that guy is a good road racer because he has won.&
nbsp; This track has produced a lot of guys that I think historically haven’t run well on road courses.  Tomorrow it will be about the No. 9 and No. 42.  I think the No. 15 was really good in practice, but the race is long enough and there is usually a little bit of drama at this track.  It’s really about kind of being in position and if it is your day it will work out.  If it’s not, there is not a lot you can do about it.  Yeah, I feel really good about our car for tomorrow.  I think our pace was a fourth to eighth place car.  I think that is all you really have to have in order to put yourself in a position to win.”
 
DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF UNDER RATED AS A ROAD RACER?  WHAT DOES THIS SAY ABOUT THE PROGRESS THAT EARNHARDT GANASSI RACING IS MAKING THIS YEAR?
“Yeah, I don’t consider anything with my ability versus someone else’s. It just is what it is.  Certainly that is just someone’s opinion.  What I will tell you about our race team is I remember sitting in here a year ago with Juan (Pablo Montoya) when we made the announcement we were going to run the Indy GRAND-AM race.  We talked about everything that was going on with making our cars better. They have just done an amazing job.  Juan and I were talking about it yesterday between practices about the cars don’t necessarily feel better on the track, but the times are better in relation to everybody.  Coming out here I was really confident because every track we have been to we have had really good speed and we have run really well.  We haven’t been able to necessarily get the finishes in the last 10 percent of the race, but it hasn’t really been anything that we have done wrong.  Feel really good about our cars and really just about any track that we go to now.”
 
LAST TIME YOU WERE ON THE POLE YOU FINISHED 37TH.  WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO TO AVOID A SIMILAR FATE THIS TIME?
“The last time I was on the pole I remember not only worrying about pit strategy, but staying up all night wanting to lead the first lap.  I think Robby Gordon was second.  Robby would be really aggressive on the start.  I believe I ran off in the first corner and came off the first corner in last.  Then when I got to turn seven they had a wreck and I ripped the fenders off my car.  You know what I’m not worried about it.  It’s just about getting through that last pit stop hoping that your fuel mileage is good enough.  This is a fuel mileage race always.  I’m not really thinking back to the last time we were on the pole.  It’s really just about the last few races and kind of the way it’s played out.”
 
DO YOU STILL FEEL LIKE THE ORGANIZATION IS MAKING FORWARD PROGRESS AS WE GET DEEPER AND DEEPER INTO THE SEASON?
“Yeah, absolutely, when we went to Richmond and I think that is what you are referring to the conversations we had there.  We were running 10th with two laps to go and felt really good about that because that historically hasn’t been a good track for us.  A top 10 would have been great.  Cautions came out because of where I was pitted we elected to stay out on the race track which ended up being a horrible decision.  We went from 10th with a couple of laps to go to being second on the green-white-checkered to finishing 25th.  Charlotte we were running 10th and had a radiator break and it ripped a hole in the oil line which is I don’t know 40 laps to go. I think we ended up finishing 18th out of that, just because of the other cars that had broken.  At Dover we were running in the top-10 had something fall off another car go through the radiator.  Last week we were running I don’t know eighth or ninth and blew a right-front tire with a few laps to go.  So since Richmond I’ve run better than I did before Richmond, I just haven’t finished.  I told my wife after Dover.  We got on the airplane to come home I said ‘Christy, I don’t believe in luck, I believe you make your own luck, but when something falls off someone else’s car and it goes through your radiator, that is bad luck’.   When you blow a right-front tire and you don’t feel like you did anything wrong that is just bad luck.  I feel like we have been really unlucky, but our cars have been really good.  I tell you that because the morale on our team, not just the No. 1 team, but the No. 42 team, everybody is very excited about what we have going on right now.  We feel like performance wise we are really good.  I think we are better than we were in 2010 when we were able to win all the races. If we are able to put it all together we will win more races this year.” 
 
INAUDIBLE:
“We are definitely better than what we were at Richmond.  The thing that is so good about us this year is that we have been good on superspeedways, we’ve been good on short-tracks, we’ve been good at road courses, and we’ve been good at every kind of race track that we have been to.  Slick tracks, tracks with a lot of grip.  That is what we didn’t have in 2010 was we were good at certain tracks.  We performed extremely well at those, but I think it was the short tracks in 2010 we were terrible at them.  So this year it just all around our performance has been better.”
 
WITH THIS DIFFERENT QUALIFYING FORMAT DID YOU SEE THE CAR IN FRONT OF YOU OR THE CAR BEHIND YOU AT ALL?
“I was fairly fortunate because I was the last car to go out in my group and when I left the pits I asked them where Marcos (Ambrose) was he was the first car.  They said he was just now in turn seven.  So, I rode around, I don’t know, 20 seconds off the pace just take it easy.  When I got to turn seven they said Marcos was just now to the start/finish line, so no I never saw a car the whole time.  I think the qualifying format was a huge success.  I don’t know about the perspective on TV, but from the drivers perspective that was a huge success.” 

John Force Racing–JOHN FORCE HOLDS ONTO FUNNY CAR TOP SPOT AT EPPING

JOHN FORCE HOLDS ONTO FUNNY CAR TOP SPOT AT EPPING

 

EPPING, NH – John Force was not content to just run quick when conditions were ideal at the Inaugural Auto Plus NHRA New England Nationals. On Friday night Force posted the quickest run of the evening session a 4.051 second pass that electrified the crowd and gave him the provisional pole. Today Force was the quickest of both sessions grabbing six more qualifying bonus points and jumping from 9th to 7th in the Mello Yello Funny Car points. In both sessions on Saturday he was the only driver to run in the 4.0s running 4.089 and 4.094 seconds.

 

Today John Force’s Castrol GTX Ford Mustang was the best car in the category but Force is not taking anything for granted going into the first round against rookie Dave Richards.

 

“We will be racing earlier tomorrow so we will have cloud cover. I think we can win with a 4.05 or 4.08. I don’t race the guy in the lane next to me. Every time I tried to do that it screwed me up. You run the race car the way you always have. Try to do everything the same for consistency. You don’t have to run the quickest times now unless it is crusher conditions,” said Force, who grabbed the top qualifier spot for a record 142nd time in the Funny Car class. “Now you have to race smart and win rounds. If you run the national record you can get 20 points that way but only if it is out there. We won’t know until tomorrow. You go up there with your mind right and anyone can beat you on any given Sunday.”

 

So far this season Force has raced two other drivers for the first time. In Houston he beat Blake Alexander in the first round and in Atlanta he outran the son of veteran driver Jim Head, Chad. Force continues to bring out the best of himself against the rising stars of the NHRA.

 

“I raced a kid last week that about whipped me Blake Alexander. I don’t know Dave Richards but I bet he is a young guy and that is the future. As long as he loves it as much as I did he will never quit,” said an energized Force.

 

“I just wish I was younger so I could be here forever. I love these cars and I love NHRA. These fans are crazy and awesome. We are going to give them a great show here and great TV on ESPN. If anything is my downfall in life is that I love things too much. You give it your whole life and your life goes by you. You wake up one day and ask what happened. The good thing is I have never woken up yet. I wake up and say another race bitchin. I am out here with my kids and I want to drive to show them.”

 

Richards will be the 136th different driver Force has faced in competition over his career. He is not taking anything for granted and knows that he will get Richards’ best shot. At the top end the winningest driver in NHRA history will accept whatever race outcome awaits him.

 

“I am just going to say, ‘Kid I wish you luck and I wish I was your age.’ I’ll be right there on the tree with you and may the best man win. If he beats me I will walk right over there and shake his hand. That is what it is all about,” said Force.

 

“Losing fuels me more than winning. I have to keep my energy up when I am winning but losing makes me a tiger. I go back to the pits and look at my race cars, talk to my people and I fight my way out of that hole. I have had fans come up and say this ain’t the John Force we knew. I was a leaker. That was the good ole days when we would sleep five guys in a hotel room.”

 

Force is joined in the top five in qualifying by daughter Courtney Force, No. 3 and son-in-law Robert Hight, No. 5.

 

Courtney Force wrapped up qualifying in her Traxxas Ford Mustang today and is sitting solidly in the No. 3 spot going into Sunday’s eliminations. She will go up against fellow female driver and No. 14 qualifier Alexis DeJoria in the opening round.

 

In the first session of qualifying today, Force smoked the tires at 330 feet and shut down early on a track nearing 125 degrees, but came out for the second session and drove her Traxxas Ford Mustang to a 4.287 ET at over 228 mph.

 

“We got qualified in the No. 3 spot on Friday night so we went out there today to see how quick we could get the car to go down in the heat for tomorrow. We were on a good pass in the second session, but it was moving around on me so it spun the tires and we couldn’t quite get it down there,” said Force.

 

Force did not improve from her 4.083 she posted on Friday evening at New England Dragway, but made a good, important run in the heat of the day.

 

“When we ran that 4.28 today we were actually on a run better than Friday night’s session. We were actually really excited about Q4 it just couldn’t get all the way down there. We’re hoping for some good weather tomorrow and we’ll just have to see what this Traxxas Ford Mustang can do,” said Force.

 

Force is 2-1 to DeJoria in previous match-ups.

 

Robert Hight is excited to get to the track tomorrow even if he has to race his friendly rival Del Worsham. Last weekend it was Del who had the better qualified Funny Car when the pair matched up and Worsham outran Hight. Tomorrow Hight will bring an improved AAA Ford Mustang to the starting line. His No. 5 qualifying time of 4.088 seconds at 313.80 mph gives him some confidence. In the final qualifying session Hight posted the third quickest time picking up a qualifying bonus points and some momentum going into Sunday.

 

“We are racing Del (Worsham) again in the first round. He will be a tough car for sure but I like our chances. Last night we made a good run and we were right there on the edge today. It rattled pretty hard in the first session. Jimmy and Danny will look at the data and all the crew chiefs will get together. This track has been great and the fans have been unbelievable. I am looking forward to going rounds for AAA Northern New England,” said Hight.

 

The Castrol EDGE Top Fuel dragster had the most trouble adjusting to the new track at New England Dragway. The three JFR Funny Cars were getting three times as much information as session as the lone JFR Top Fuel team. Data is critical and as a one dragster team Force and her Dean Antonelli/Eric Lane tuned dragster had a much steeper learning curve. Only Steve Torrence and his Capco team, also a one car team, out qualified Force and the Castrol EDGE dragster. Of the sixteen dragsters that qualified the bottom four were one car teams.

 

“We got two runs in today. The first one we got down the track and ran a 3.91, so we were happy about that. The Castrol EDGE dragster ended up 13th at the end of the day and I’ll be running Tony Schumacher for first round of eliminations. I’ve ran him before in Las Vegas. I’m excited to be running him again. I’ve been watching him race for years so it’s pretty exciting to be running up against a champion like him. I’m excited and hopefully we kick some butt tomorrow,” said Force.

 

“I’m happy to be out here. It draws a whole different crowd and the fans just have so much energy. We’ve been out there signing autographs and we did a question and answer session at the AAA display and I couldn’t believe how many people were out there watching and cheering us on. It’s pretty exciting to see how many people are coming out to this event and I think they’re excited we’re here.”

Chevy Racing–Corvette Racing–Le Mans 6 Hours In

CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: Six-Hour Report
Compuware Corvettes keeping up fight in opening hours
 
LE MANS, France (June 22, 2013) – The two Compuware Corvette C6.Rs from Corvette Racing ran fifth and ninth in GTE Pro after six hours at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Changing track conditions throughout the opening of the race kept teams throughout the class on their toes.
 
Richard Westbrook ran fifth in the No. 74 Compuware Corvette C6.R one-quarter of the way through the world’s greatest endurance race. All three of drivers in the car – Westbrook, Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner – drove double-stints, and the car picked up two spots in class from the start of the race. Gavin and Milner weathered changing conditions in the opening four hours that saw intermittent showers mixed with dry but cool periods as well.
 
The No. 73 Compuware Corvette had Jordan Taylor at the wheel for his opening triple-stint at the six-hour mark. A scheduled brake change under one of three safety car periods also left the car a lap down from the class leader but well within striking distance with Taylor chasing down the sixth-place car at the rate of four to five seconds per lap. Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia each ran double-stints in the challenging conditions to open the race.
 
The next Corvette Racing update will be a halfway report at 3 a.m. local time/9 p.m. ET.
 
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 73 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
“The start obviously wasn’t great because of the accident, so the first stint I spent mostly behind the safety car. When we got going again the car was pretty decent, but after the pitstop I didn’t like the balance of the car so much. Toward the end, in the rain, it felt good but everyone was super-cautious so I managed to make up some time. There is still some work to on the car as we need to make it a bit more comfortable on the second stint on the same tires.”
 
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 73 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
“The stints worked out OK, but of course I have mixed feelings. Richard (Westbrook) was the first one I spoke when I got out of the car and he told me straight away about Allan (Simonsen). Everything about the stint I just forgot, those two hours behind the wheel. I feel sad and sorry for the family and friends of Allan. Other than that we’re just doing our race, trying to make the best of it. In the tricky conditions we seem to be able to reduce the deficit to the others quite a bit. We didn’t make any mistakes, which allowed us to gain a few places. At the end I was satisfied with the stint. Maybe the track can come more and more to us during the night.”
 
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 74 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
“Those were very difficult conditions. It is one of those situations that you kind of dread. Here you are driving a fast car with very low downforce on slick tires with the rain coming, and it’s one of the most challenge parts of the Le Mans track. Trying to find a tire that suits the entire track when it starts to rain in one spot is impossible. You have to roll your sleeves up and get on with it. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Right at the very start, (the weather) was doing it. I had the dreadful situation of witnessing Allan Simonsen’s crash first-hand. He was right in front of me. I didn’t see the car go into the guardrail but I just knew from the way he went off that it was going to be a huge accident. I sort of saw in the mirror what happened, and it was sickening. But then it was a case of keeping your head back in the game and working through the situation with the restart and changing conditions. The last five to six laps were very difficult and tricky. I always seemed to catch people just as they were coming out of the pits or behind other people who were having problems. It’s all part of the race. We have to keep on going through this and work our way through these situations.”
 
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 74 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
“The track changed every single lap for my first 14 laps. It was very hard to push. You want to go and push hard but you have to take into consideration the conditions. I had a situation where I went into Turn 1 at 75 percent and should have gone 45 percent. The 2011 race was tough with changing conditions at the end. It was similar to what we have today but there was nowhere as much rain and as much change. It was something like only three or four laps in my stint in 2011 were like that. But this year all 14 felt like they were in dramatically different conditions.”
 

Mopar Teammates Top Pro Stock Qualifying at Inaugural NHRA New England Nationals

Mopar Teammates Top Pro Stock Qualifying at Inaugural NHRA New England Nationals
 
·         Mopar competes at Inaugural Auto-Plus NHRA New England Nationals in Epping, New Hampshire this weekend, the 11th of 24 national events
·         Coughlin Jr. earns Pro Stock No. 1 qualifier position for second time this season
·         Johnson second to Mopar teammate in qualifying
·         Hagan second on qualifying score sheets and posts top speed from Funny Car at new venue

 

Epping, N.H. (Saturday, June 22, 2013) – Mopar teammates topped the Pro Stock qualifying score sheets at the Inaugural Auto-Plus NHRA New England Nationals as Jeg Coughlin Jr. earned the No. 1 qualifier honors and Allen Johnson had the second quickest elapsed time in the factory hot rod category. Matt Hagan was the best of the Mopar Funny Car contingency posting the second lowest elapsed time and the top speed at New England Dragway to end up qualifying in second spot.

 

Coughlin’s Friday night run of 6.533 seconds at 212.43 mph in the JEGS.com/Mopar Dodge Avenger dislodged Mike Edwards, the current leader in the Pro Stock standings, from the top qualifying position for only the second time in 11 opportunities this season. His first pole of the year was earned in Houston and this weekend’s efforts give Coughlin his 19th career No.1 qualifier position.

 

“On our first run this (Saturday) morning we thought we had an outside chance of improving on that 6.53 from last night,” said Coughlin who is looking for a win this weekend to add to the Wally earned at Topeka and gain some ground on the points leader. “I owe a lot to the JEGS.com team and also to the Johnson & Johnson Mopar team. They’ve done a great job of providing horsepower, and I feel fortunate to have such a great group in my corner. We’ve had a great season so far. We’re second and third [Johnson] in the points and there is only one team [Edwards] that is doing better than we are. We just need to take this momentum and carry it through the summer and hopefully keep the world championship in the J&J camp.”

 

Johnson posted a 6.547-second pass at 212.26 mph in the cooler Friday night conditions aboard his Mopar Express Lane Dodge to secure the second spot behind his teammate. He also had the best e.t. of the final session and is pleased with the efforts and gains the Mopar team has made at New England Dragway, a new venue on the NHRA Mello Yello Series circuit, to find themselves first and second in final qualifying for the first time this year.

 

“Having the Mopar teammates go one-two is a good way to go into Sunday eliminations at a track we’ve never raced on,” said Johnson who has two wins this season to date and is looking to defend his 2012 NHRA World Championship. “We both had pretty good runs in each session and while the left lane seemed to be the best lane on Friday and the right lane seemed to be better on Saturday. Any time you can have two of the three cars on top of the sheets that’s a pretty good weekend. The challenge of racing at this new venue for us is adapting the cars to the lanes. When the sun is out the lanes get pretty bald. They have a heavy rock surface and no concrete surface so there’s no way to get rubber to stick to it. What we’ll be challenged with tomorrow is getting a lot of grip in the cars.”

 

With only 15 Pro Stock entries qualified this weekend, Coughlin gets a bye in the first round of eliminations while Johnson will face Josh Gaydosh Jr. The HEMI-powered entry of V. Gaines had the seventh quickest e.t. and will face Tom Martino for his first Sunday match up while the third Johnson & Johnson teammate, Vincent Nobile, qualified his Dodge Avenger eighth and will race against Rodger Brogden.

 

Lack of grip was also a factor on the all-concrete track surface for the Funny Car class but Hagan’s “Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar” crew found the right balance to take the Dodge Charger R/T to the top of the scoring sheets in the first session of qualifying on Friday with a 4.139 second (304.87 mph) run. Later that evening, the current points leader followed up that pass with a 4.057-second and 317.49 mph run that put him in the No. 2 and gave him the top speed of the category at the new venue.  That effort held up to stay second to No.1 qualifier John Force, giving Hagan a first round of elimination match-up against Blake Alexander.

 

Defending Funny Car world champion Jack Beckman had a rougher time on Friday but made his DSR crew made the necessary adjustments to his Mopar in order to post the third quickest elapsed time in Saturday’s first session and second quickest in the final qualifying session. Beckman ended up tenth in the final qualifying tabulation with an elapsed time of 4.131 seconds (308.85 mph) and will face Bob Tasca III in the first round.

 

With his best e.t. of 4.083 seconds at 309.91 mph, Ron Capps put his DSR Dodge Charger R/T fourth on the timing sheets to face-off against Tony Pedregon. Teammate Johnny Gray, who has three wins this season in his Mopar, qualified sixth overall with a 4.090-second (312.64 mph) run and will go up against Tim Wilkerson in the first round on Sunday.

Summit Racing–Anderson Working to Find the Right Tune on New Racetrack in Epping

Anderson Working to Find the Right Tune on New Racetrack in Epping
 
Event:  Inaugural NHRA New England Nationals
Location: New England Dragway, Epping, N.H.
Day/Date: Friday, June 21, 2013
 
Greg Anderson made his first pass down the brand new quarter-mile dragstrip in Epping, N.H., today and is working into finding his groove in just the second race with his new Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro. The inaugural NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway has been a greatly anticipated race on the 2013 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule, and so far, Anderson and Team Summit are already seeing it live up to expectations – and possibly even exceed them.
 
In the first session, Anderson raced to a 6.621-second pass at 211.79 mph that moved him into the No. 6 position. The second session came around rather quickly but the team hustled to make adjustments and came back with a 6.591 at 211.63. Anderson’s improvement was a step in the right direction and kept him nestled sixth heading into day two at the event.
 
“We overestimated the racetrack the first run. We just thought it would be a little bit better than it was, but it wasn’t quite ready yet,” said Anderson. “Then it gained a ton the second round. It actually gained more than we gave it credit for, so we missed both times – but we’ve gotten better each run. This is a new track, and it kind of threw us a curve and we missed it, but now we think we know what it’s going to be tomorrow.
 
“We can already tell that this racetrack is going to be a good place to race. It’s going to be a good, fast racetrack, and the best part is that the fans are absolutely crazy here. They’re really, really into it, and they’re just starved for drag racing. We can see very clearly after this first day here at New England Dragway that this is going to be a fun weekend. I’m happy to be here, we’re having a ball, and we certainly expect to run good by the end of the weekend.”
 

Summit Racing–Line Makes Two Good Runs on First Day in New England

Line Makes Two Good Runs on First Day in New England
 
Event:  Inaugural NHRA New England Nationals
Location: New England Dragway, Epping, N.H.
Day/Date: Friday, June 21, 2013
 
Pro Stock pilot Jason Line is already enjoying the first weekend of summer wheeling the blue Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro at the Inaugural NHRA New England Nationals, and the Mooresville, N.C.-based driver is looking forward to another two blasts down a racetrack that is hosting NHRA national event-level competition for the first time.
 
The racing surface at New England Dragway was pleasingly receptive to the factory hot rods on the first day of the event, and in the highly anticipated opening session of the day, Line raced to a 6.576 at 212.49 mph to jump right into the No. 4 position. With his first lap ever in New England under his belt, Line and his Summit Racing team tuned on their racecar and came back with an improved 6.565, 212.36.
 
“The second run was actually much better,” said Line, who will launch into the second day of the race in the provisional No. 5 position in the qualifying order. “We’re already having a great time here, and I tell you, the people here are very nice. We love to see a big crowd, and there is sure one here at New England Dragway this weekend. Hopefully, we can continue to put on a good show for them. I’m pleasantly surprised by this facility and these fans, and I’m looking forward to coming back out to make a couple more runs before we race on Sunday.
 
“We made decent runs today and we’re certainly right on target with getting acclimated to this racetrack. There is room for improvement, but we go into Saturday feeling pretty good because we know we have a car we can race with. On top of that, this is a neat place, and we’ve got some great weather. What more can you ask for.”
 
 
Event:  Inaugural NHRA New England Nationals
Location: New England Dragway, Epping, N.H.
Day/Date: Friday, June 21, 2013
 
Pro Stock pilot Jason Line is already enjoying the first weekend of summer wheeling the blue Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro at the Inaugural NHRA New England Nationals, and the Mooresville, N.C.-based driver is looking forward to another two blasts down a racetrack that is hosting NHRA national event-level competition for the first time.
 
The racing surface at New England Dragway was pleasingly receptive to the factory hot rods on the first day of the event, and in the highly anticipated opening session of the day, Line raced to a 6.576 at 212.49 mph to jump right into the No. 4 position. With his first lap ever in New England under his belt, Line and his Summit Racing team tuned on their racecar and came back with an improved 6.565, 212.36.
 
“The second run was actually much better,” said Line, who will launch into the second day of the race in the provisional No. 5 position in the qualifying order. “We’re already having a great time here, and I tell you, the people here are very nice. We love to see a big crowd, and there is sure one here at New England Dragway this weekend. Hopefully, we can continue to put on a good show for them. I’m pleasantly surprised by this facility and these fans, and I’m looking forward to coming back out to make a couple more runs before we race on Sunday.
 
“We made decent runs today and we’re certainly right on target with getting acclimated to this racetrack. There is room for improvement, but we go into Saturday feeling pretty good because we know we have a car we can race with. On top of that, this is a neat place, and we’ve got some great weather. What more can you ask for.”
 

John Force Racing–John Force Dominates in New England

JOHN FORCE CONTINUES TO DOMINATE AT EPPING

 

EPPING, NH – On the heels of his first win in 2013 John Force has pushed his Mike Neff tuned Castrol GTX Ford Mustang Funny Car to the top of the Friday qualifying field at the inaugural Uni-Select Auto Plus NHRA New England Nationals. Force posted the quickest elapsed time of 4.051 seconds outpacing points leader Matt Hagan’s 4.057 second run for top honors.

 

“I was here over 25 years ago and to come out here and run that kind of number is great. I couldn’t even get down the track the last time I was here in 1985. I see why the NHRA wanted to come here. The crowds come out of Canada, New York, all over New England. This is a big crowd for Friday night. They are going to need to get some more grandstands for tomorrow. This is pretty exciting.  If they don’t have seats they can stand up and watch from the fence. That is how we did it in the good old days,” said Force.

 

 If Force holds onto the top qualifying spot New England Dragway will become the 24th different track where he has been the No. 1 qualifier. A lucky fan will also win a front loading washer and dryer set from BrandSource as part of the “Win with Force” fan contest.

 

“We are learning here but what I think they did with the concrete out there to be able to come out here and run 4.05 this thing will run national records if we lean on it. So many fans are here from the old days. It is just exciting for me to be a part of it. There are kids that I met when they were little now they are here with their own kids. That is new energy and NHRA needed this. TV needs it.”

 

In the first session Force was the best JFR Mustang Funny Car running 4.153 seconds which was the fifth quickest time of the day. That run set up his second session run by putting him at the back of the pack. Force, an obvious fan favorite at New England Dragway did not disappoint.

 

“My old hound dog she is starting to talk. We got a win on Father’s Day in Bristol. You didn’t really know what was going to happen here. We have no data for this race track. They can tell us the concrete is good and the air is good. The first run Mike (Neff) put her down there and we got in the show. He said it is out there. We pushed her and we got past Hagan. All our Funny Cars are in and our dragster will get in tomorrow. Good to be back and this is a great market. We are going to give these fans what they bought the tickets for.”

 

Courtney Force finished out the first day of qualifying in the No. 3 spot. The 25-year-old, who celebrated her birthday on Thursday before this race weekend, went out in the first qualifying session and rattled the tires in the heat.

 

Force signed autographs and took photos with fans at the John Force Racing “Win with Force” midway display between rounds before coming out to take another shot at the new track on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series circuit.

 

The youngest daughter of John Force ran a 4.083 at 313.37 mph and went to the top spot before being bumped down two places by her father and fellow competitor Matt Hagan. She picked up one qualifying bonus point for being third-quickest of the session in her Traxxas Ford Mustang Funny Car.

 

“In the first round of qualifying it rattled a little bit down the run. We came back out know the conditions were better and we needed to take advantage of that. We needed to go for it. We have two more runs tomorrow, but this was prime time to get our best run in. It needed to be worth it with those good conditions,” said Force, the winner of the NHRA Winternationals.

 

“We went to the No. 1 spot before getting bumped by my dad and Matt Hagan. We made a great run. Running in the 4.0’s is good for our team. We’re excited for tomorrow and we’re going to see how well we can run in the heat.”

 

The AAA Northern New England Ford Mustang piloted by Robert Hight had some issues in the first session but bounced back as the sun set and qualified No. 5 at the end of Friday. In the opening round his Mustang was on a great pass before it slowed to 4.277 seconds and had him sitting No. 9.

 

“The first run wasn’t so good. It was going to make it down the track, but it wore the clutch completely out and never locked up so that was no good. It was slow and I lifted early because the motor was buzzing up there too high. We came back and made all the adjustments,” said Hight.

 

“When you don’t make it the first run, you got to make sure you make the next run, so we just made a conservative run and ended up fifth, so we did what we had to do. I’m proud of my guys. All in all, it was a great first day at New England Dragway.”

 

Hight like John Force was amazed by the fan turnout and the reception all the drivers and teams received from the New England fans.

 

“It’s crazy how many people are here and they’re all just so friendly. It’s a breath of fresh air to have them all talking about ‘Welcome to New England!’ and ‘We’ve been waiting years for this!’ They’re just so excited about it and a lot of energy, so we want to put on a good show for them. There are also a lot of people from AAA Northern New England, which is where I went and visited this week. We’re running their colors this weekend and we want to do a really good job for them.”

 

Heading into tomorrow last two qualifying session Hight knows there is a good opportunity to pick up valuable data and some qualifying bonus points.

 

“We just need to make sure this AAA Ford Mustang goes down the track twice. My goal is to gain some points with both runs tomorrow. If we do that, then we’ll be in a really good shape for Sunday,” concluded Hight.

 

Brittany Force came in to New England Dragway with as much information as any of the other Top Fuel drivers she has been competing against her rookie season. The driver of the Castrol EDGE Top Fuel dragster made both runs today and will go into Saturday outside of the Top 12 but with only sixteen dragsters on the property racing into the 16-dragster field is a given.

 

“This is my first time here, so it’s all new. I think it’s a pretty narrow groove up there. Like my guys say, if it ever gets cold here, you could set national records. They did a really good job on the surface and I think so far everything about this race is going smooth for a new event. Kudos to all the management and good job,” said Force, one of the top contenders for the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award.     

 

“Our two qualifying runs we had earlier today didn’t quite go exactly as we planned, but there are only 16 cars here this weekend so we have two more runs tomorrow and I’m hoping we’ll step this thing up and get our Castrol EDGE dragster in the top half of the field. I just need to keep doing my same routine. I’m going to practice on my tree more and make sure my reaction times are good, make sure I’m shallow when I’m staging and just get the car down the track.”

Casey Currie in Search of Victory as LOORS Pro Lite

Season Heads to Utah’s Miller Motorsports Park

CORONA, Calif. (June 21, 2013) – Currently sitting second in the Pro Lite point standings, Casey Currie is in search of victory this weekend in Utah as the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORS) hosts its seventh and eighth rounds of the 2013 season from picturesque Miller Motorsports Park on June 22nd and 23rd. The veteran driver and his Monster Energy/General Tire Pro Lite is looking to secure his first checkered flag of the 2013 season and also the chance to reclaim the points lead he held just a short time ago.

At the previous stop of the season from Lake Elsinore in May, Currie faced the hardships of racing as bad luck struck in both rounds of competition on Saturday and Sunday. After getting caught up in an incident in the early stages of the first race of the weekend, Currie drove his Monster Energy/General Tire truck to its limits to salvage and eighth-place result. On the second day of action Currie was once again entangled in an incident not of his doing, resulting in a broken front suspension. Currie soldiered on despite the damage, finishing 20th.
 
With a pair of tough races behind him, Currie is excited to bounce back from the adversity he faced and get back into the thick of the title fight in the Pro Lite division.
 
“You can’t sit there and worry about what happened at the last round,” said Currie. “In racing those kinds of things are going to happen, particularly in our sport which is so physical and full of contact. It was just one of those tough weekends that we all go through occasionally, but we’ve moved on, made some changes, and are excited to get back out there and show we’re one of the top teams in this class.”

Currie spent his downtime between races continuing to make improvements on his Monster Energy/General Tire machine. He also had a little fun by taking part in his first HOT ROD Magazine Power Tour. For the past week, Currie has spent his time in Utah to prepare for this weekend’s race. He did some training by riding his mountain bike on the trails in Park City in addition to getting some workouts in with the Rockwell Watches crew based in Salt Lake City.
 
Last weekend, Currie got some track time at a Lucas Oil Regional Off-Road Series event at Miller Motorsports Park. It was an ideal opportunity to put the Monster Energy/General Tire machine through its paces after the changes the team made in between rounds of LOORS and Currie was happy with how the truck performed.
 
“Things are feeling really good,” said Currie. “It was nice t
o get on the track a little early and get things dialed in for next weekend. We’ll surely need to step our game up against the big boys, but I have all the confidence in the world in our team, our truck, and myself. I know we have a win in us and I’m going to lay it all on the line to get on top of the box.”

Chevy Racing–Sonoma–Jeff Gordon

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
TOYOTA/SAVE MART 350
SONOMA RACEWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
JUNE 21, 2013
 
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at Sonoma Raceway, and discussed the new qualifying format, racing at Sonoma and other topics. Full transcript:
HOW DO YOU FEEL HEADING INTO THIS WEEKEND WITH THE NEW CAR?
“I feel pretty good.  The weather is obviously great, which is keeping it nice and consistent for us out there. I think we have a little different tire as well, but don’t hold me to that. Just trying to get in tune with what it’s going to take for Sunday as well as for this unique qualifying session that we’re going to experience tomorrow. I felt pretty good. Our Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, we were just working on race runs and trying to keep the rear grip in the car, which is something we struggled with here last year as well. Felt like we took off pretty good on runs and then really lost the rear grip and it’s something we’re dealing with again today and some of it is in the setup and some of it is just, that’s Sonoma.”
 
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE NEW QUALIFYING FORMAT?
“I’m looking forward to it just because it’s nice to have in the back of your mind knowing that you’ve got a little room for error if you have to run another lap. I think from a time standpoint it makes sense for TV and for the fans that are here to know that it’s kind of a start and stop. I’ve said before, when we get into knock-out qualifying like F1 does, then you’ll see me get pretty excited about doing it this way.”
 
WHAT MAKES A TALENTED DRIVER STRUGGLE ON A ROAD COURSE?
“I’m trying to think of who we are talking about?  Oh, Matt Kenseth. I don’t know, when was the last time a Roush car, basing it off of him being at Roush, but the last time a Roush car won. I don’t know what those stats are. I think a lot of it has to do with your willingness to kind of explore and enjoy the adventure that it is. Then your team has to back that up with the right car, brakes, setup for you to be able to do what you need to do. Matt’s a great driver and I’m sure if the car is where it needs to be then he’ll be a threat for a win on a road course. I wouldn’t necessarily put it on Matt.”
 
HOW DID THE CHANGE IN QUALIFYING FORMAT CHANGE HOW YOU PRACTICED TODAY?  
“We didn’t change anything. I guess if we would have been really far back in our race runs with some of the quicker laps then we might have had to change our game plan and switch it over into qualifying trim to get a little bit higher up in the order. I think our philosophy in looking at it was that it’s not that we need to be in the last group that goes because I think it could be an advantage track condition wise to go out earlier, but you also don’t want to get in too early of a group where somebody is throwing debris out on the track or spinning off and you’re not allowed to get a clean lap in. I really like where we’re at, I believe we’ll be the lead car of the third group. I think that’s perfect, sorry, third from last group. I kind of like where we’re at and we didn’t do anything different. We just did race runs and that’s what we would have typically done. I guess if we just had one practice today and we were going to qualify then we would have run some qualifying runs at the end. I guess that would be the difference. We are going to do some qualifying runs on this next practice.”
 
HOW AWARE ARE YOU OF THE CHASE STANDINGS AND WILD CARD AND IS THIS RACE AN OPPORTUNITY?
“It is. I think we just look at this as an opportunity for us to run well and a chance to win. The bonuses are that it could contribute toward the wild card and help us in the points. Our focus is the same every weekend, we go trying to get the best finish that we can when we have confidence going into a track that we can qualify well, race well then that certainly helps us accomplish our goal. I’ll be honest, last weekend at Michigan I was not really looking forward to qualifying. I’ve struggled at that track qualifying since they repaved it and we struggled again. I was pretty happy with my car when we took off and it was unfortunate that we only made six laps. I feel more confident this weekend that we can qualify inside the top-10 and be a threat to go up there and battle these guys for the win. I think that we learned a lot last year and we were pretty good and we had a few things that we were missing so we’re taking those notes and then adding them to this car and hopefully we can improve over the weekend to be a real threat.”
 
WHAT IS THE ISSUE WITH QUALIFYING?
“I put a lot of it on myself. I think I’ve got to be able to give good information back to the team to help them make adjustments and you have to go out there and be aggressive and if the car just doesn’t feel right and you don’t really have that confidence in it then you’re not going to go out there and go fast. On those types of race tracks particularly like Michigan a repave, really rock hard tire, that’s what I’ve struggled with the last several years. Whether it’s old school, whether it’s me just getting old or we’re just missing something. I’m sure if Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) was here he would say the same thing and that is why we’re able to work through it and go week to week and not tear one another’s heads off because it’s my job to give him confidence that he is doing his job and give me confidence in what I’m doing. We also know it’s something we have to work on. The nice thing about this weekend is it’s more traditional. This is pretty typical tire, typical track. It’s a new car, but not a lot has changed here over the years. You hear me say that a lot, when not a lot has changed we seem to be able to be confident and consistent and competitive at those tracks.”
 
SOME HAVE SPECULATED IT IS THE HARD TIRE THAT IS HARD TO GET USED TO.  DO YOU THINK IT’S MAINLY THAT AND CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE FEEL OR WHY THAT HAS CHANGED EVERYTHING FOR YOU?
“If you took a hard tire to Atlanta it wouldn’t bother me.  If you take a hard tire to a repave where the edge of the grip level is so fine, you are just on a razor’s edge.  That is just not the way that I have traditionally been successful.  There are guys like Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, I think of these guys they just put it out there and Jimmie’s (Johnson) is probably one of the best at running a pretty loose car.  When I think of guys really stepping over that edge I think of those guys.  You saw Kurt (Busch) qualify well there. I don’t know if (Greg) Biffle qualified good there, but I would think he would on something like that.  That is just not typically who I am.  I’ve got to figure that is why I put a lot on myself.  I’ve got to figure that out at those tracks because we are going to have to come back to some of those tracks.  Kansas, Michigan and others that have repaves.”
 
WITH YOU GROWING UP SO CLOSE TO HERE DO YOU BRING YOUR KIDS AROUND AT ALL? LIKE TO WHERE YOUR OLD NEIGHBORHOOD OR WHATEVER AND SAY ‘THIS IS WHERE I USED TO DO THIS OR THIS IS WHERE I USED TO BREAK DANCE ON THE CORNER?  DO YOU BRING THEM AROUND AND SHOW THEM YOUR OLD HAUNTS?  DO THEY HAVE ANY APPRECIATION FOR THAT?
“First of all I was never break dancing on the corner (laughs).  On a driveway maybe, with some linoleum laid down, a big beat box, no (laughs).  My kids aren’t even out here with me this time.  As my daughter gets older and her friends at home become more significant, especially around her birthday then we celebrate her birthday at home so they haven’t been traveling out here with us the last couple of years.  I think as they get a little older then I might want to do that with them.  Like what we would do with my wife in Belgium with her family and places she grew up.  I think they are still a little
bit too young to really kind of go through that process.  I think your upbringing, your family and memories that were great for you as a kid, I think they are definitely something that I want to share with them and Vallejo (California) has played a big, significant role in that for me.”
 
YOU RAN THE MOST LAPS IN PRACTICE. DO YOU LIKE RUNNING AS MUCH PRACTICE TIME AS YOU CAN OR IS THERE SOMETHING YOU ARE WORKING ON THE CAR?
“Again, it takes so long to switch the car over to get it into qualifying trim so when we ran a couple of good laps there early on I think that we felt like we were fairly close.  That we could just run longer runs and stay on one set of tires.  We ended up changing to new tires right at the very end, the very last run.  That is why.  We were making four and five and six lap runs.  Just really because I think we were really good in the race here the last time, but we just weren’t good long enough, so we really need to work on the rear-tire wear and grip.  We wanted to run a little bit more this time to get a better idea of what we are going to be dealing with.”
 
CAN YOU DESCRIBE HOW DIFFERENT IT IS RACING THERE IN JULY VERSUS FEBRUARY?  
“Well, it used to be a lot more different, a lot crazier and slicker.  A lot different when we were in the daytime there, now that it’s nighttime even though it’s warm and humid the biggest significant change is the lights.  Just being under the lights.  I like it.  I love racing under the lights at Daytona.  I think it’s very cool and the conditions are fantastic.  I know what it was like racing there during the day when it was 105 (degrees) so really enjoy racing at night.”
 
OVER THE LAST 10 YEARS OR SO THE CHARACTER OF ROAD COURSE RACING AT LEAST FROM US WHO ARE OBSERVING IT I THINK FROM YOU GUYS WHO ARE DRIVING IT HAS CHANGED REMARKABLE IN TERMS OF GETTING MUCH MORE ROUGH AND TUMBLE.  JUST WANTED TO GET YOUR TAKE ON WHY THAT IS?  IS IT THE DOUBLE FILE RESTARTS?  IS IT THE FACT THAT THERE ARE SO MANY MORE COMPETITIVE CARS OUT THERE?
“You just answered your own question.  You are good (laughs).  No, that is all it is.  The double file restarts make a big change.  Pit strategy I think plays a role too where guys are taking more risks at not putting tires on and so you will get a mixture of guys who have more grip in their tires versus guys with less grip.  You are coming through there and guys are sliding around and other guys are going to use them up coming through there.  Then the double file restarts just compound them because it puts us closer together.  I think because the field is deeper with the competitiveness and a lot of that is the car.  The drivers have gotten better too, but the cars are so equal.  They are almost identical.  It’s hard to make a big difference with gapping cars and making significant advantages in your car.  It really is going to come down to the drivers.  I think that you are seeing guys be a little bit more aggressive because they know how hard it is to make their car better than the car in front of them.  So they have to be aggressive as a driver to get that slot and usually if you get that spot you can keep it.”
 
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT DANICA PATRICK’S IMPACT NOW?  IS IT PASSÉ FOR YOU GUYS EVERY TIME SHE COMES INTO A NEW RACE TRACK IT SEEMS LIKE THE LOCAL NEWS PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DANICA?  HOW IS SHE ACCEPTED?
“I’ve always been supportive of any individual or team or sponsor, personality that brings more attention to this sport that is a positive for the sport.  Whether that creates a story, whatever it is, she certainly does that.  I think people are very interested in what she is doing and she is a great race car driver.  I think it’s fantastic that people want to learn more about her and that it is a story.  For us, she is another driver and we go out there and we race together every weekend.  The more she is in the sport the more that you realize that is the case.”
 

Chevy Racing–Sonoma–Danica Patrick

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
TOYOTA/SAVE MART 350
SONOMA RACEWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
JUNE 21, 2013
 
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS met with media and discussed road course racing at Sonoma, the new qualifying format, the upcoming event at Daytona, practice in her Cup car, past experience on road courses, and more. Full Transcript:
 
WITH ONE PRACTICE UNDER YOUR BELT SO FAR, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THIS WEEKEND AT SONOMA?
“Well, I had hoped that being here before would have made it a little bit better for me out there, but it didn’t. So, I don’t know. The car just doesn’t feel very good. It just feels like it’s all over the place. It’s loose, it’s tight, it’s loose, it’s tight; it just doesn’t feel very settled. I feel like we just have a lot of work to do. I think that it’s going to be kind of a different story when it comes to race time because the rear tires just lose so much grip. So between that, and fuel-saving, I think that it’s going to be a fair amount different than just turning a fast lap. So you’ve got to keep that in mind. But, we’re just struggling with trying to find a balance on the car that just feels comfortable to drive, to be honest.”
 
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE NEW QUALIFYING FORMAT?
“Well, it’s not new to me. We ran it in the Nationwide Series and I don’t really know any different in NASCAR. It’s been the only way that I’ve qualified on road courses; so I suppose it’s more of the same for me. That’s a positive. It is nice to have more than one lap just because it’s when you’re pushing these cars, things are bound to bounce around and move. It’s nice to have a couple of laps as an option to get your fastest.”
 
IS IT TOUGHER AT A ROAD COURSE THAN AN OVAL TO ADJUST YOUR MINDSET OR TEACH YOUR BRAIN NEW BRAKING POINTS OR WHATEVER YOU DO TO GET AROUND HERE?
“I think that’s a good observation. But I think it’s an observation overall for all tracks that I’ve been to in an IndyCar and then come to in a stock car. I think that just as much as it hurts to have different markers for open-wheel, it helps to just know where the track is going. So, yes; it’s probably more of a detriment to have different marks but it kind of balances out with at least knowing the track. I kept going through Turn 3 today and thinking to myself, ‘Is it because I’m doing it like I did in IndyCar that I am terrible through here and I can’t get the car to turn?’ I was thinking that to myself. Overall, it’s nice to just know where you’re going.”
 
HOW MUCH OF A BUMP DO YOU GET FROM LAST WEEK?
“You know, I have to say that I feel like over the last four or five or so weeks, really since Charlotte, I’ve felt like we have been in a position to get those kinds of finishes if things went our way, but they didn’t. So, I felt like overall, we were all thinking it was kind of overdue from where we had been speed-wise and the potential that we had in other races from the month before. It’s just nice, honestly, it’s a bit of a relief to get something of a result finally. I guess my words afterwards were I felt like we should have had a few of those by now. But it took a while.”
 
THE RESTARTS ARE SO CRAZY HERE. WHAT HAS TONY STEWART OR ANYBODY TOLD YOU WHAT TO EXPECT ON THE RESTARTS?
‘We haven’t talked about it. But, I supposed it’s going to be kind of like an even easier to bump scenario but just as chaotic as like Pocono, where you go into (Turn) 1 and it’s like everybody everywhere. But when you’re going slower it’s just a lot easier to find yourself into the back end of other cars. So, aerodynamics don’t really play much of a part, so you don’t have to worry about that. It’s going to pay off overall, probably, to be on the inside so that you don’t get pushed out or have somebody run into you. But on the other hand, the inside stops up, so sometimes you get a lot of cars if you go around the outside where they can carry the momentum and there’s somewhere to go, you know? But there’s the outside and then there’s the extra outside if you want to keep going, so on the inside you’re just stuck. I feel like I’m just going to get a feel for it over the first couple of starts and hope I’m in the right lane at the right time.”
 
YOU SAID YOU STRUGGLED TODAY IN PRACTICE. BUT COMING INTO A ROAD COURSE RACE, SO YOU FEEL A BIT MORE CONFIDANT BASED ON THE FACT THAT YOU RAN REALLY WELL ON THEM LAST YEAR AND YOU’VE HAD SUCCESS?
“Yep. That’s it. I feel more comfortable.”
 
HAVE YOU AND JACQUES VILLENEUVE PUT WHATEVER HAPPENED LAST YEAR BEHIND YOU YET?
“I don’t know. I saw him in the Rookie meeting and I was like, ‘Oh, hey’. And that was about it (laughter). You know, after the things that have happened, it’s hard to have a lot of respect for somebody like that. I respect what he’s done in his career; but the way that he treats other drivers on the track, I can’t. So, that’s all there is to say.”
 
WITH AS WELL AS YOU RAN AT THE ROAD COURSES LAST YEAR, DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE OWED A GOOD FINISH TO SOME DEGREE? IT SEEMS LIKE ROAD COURSES HAVEN’T BEEN EASY IN GETTING THE FULL RESULT YOU DESERVE
“Yeah. That’s happened I feel like, on a lot of different tracks in just different categories of tracks. But I feel like it was just a little bit more obvious on the road courses because I was running that much better. And so many weird things happening; getting taken out, hitting a shoe….those are just not good things. And they were all running both times in the Top 5 when I was leading. It happens. I think that probably every driver can feel like they are owed something in different areas just based on their lack of luck. But you just have to keep plugging away. For every up, there’s a down. And it doesn’t mean that it’s going to come next. It just means that it will come eventually. Especially being in Cup for the first time, I feel like we just need to get to a place where the car is consistent and see what happens in the race. It think it’s just going to be a lot of tire and fuel conservation. We’ll see how it all plays.”
 
HOW DIFFERENT IS THIS IN A CUP CAR ON A ROAD COURSE COMPARED TO IN A NATIONWIDE SERIES CAR?
“The difference from an IndyCar to a Cup car on a road course is like night and day (laughter).  Oh, Nationwide to Cup? Honestly, it’s hard for me to tell because I never drove this track in a Nationwide car. But, one of the things that is relatively obvious is just how difficult it is to keep the rear tires underneath you. I never thought it would be so difficult, but it just seems to be such a huge issue power-down. And it’s going to play a part in the race, for sure. It’s going to play a part in who can find the most rear grip and who can make the least amount of mistakes when it goes.”
 
ON RACING AT DAYTONA SOON
“I think about Daytona. I never mind going to speedways. I find them fun. Obviously being the Coke Zero 400 and being a sponsor of mine, it’s an even bigger event. But I’m also thinking about the fact that Harry Scott (Turner Scott Motorsports) has invited people to his house in Hilton Head and I’m going to go there, too; and that sounds really good!  I feel like I’m actually going to be on vacation.  I’ll be working, but that will be a nice little break.”
 

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