Honda Racing–Franchitti Leads Honda Finishers in Texas

On a night when tire management and consistent handling were the keys to success, Dario Franchitti and his Honda-powered Target Chip Ganassi Racing team recovered from a poor opening segment in Saturday night’s Firestone 500K and combined long runs between pit stops with handling improvements during each stop to finish sixth at Texas Motor Speedway.

Other Honda-powered IZOD IndyCar Series drivers and teams, including Josef Newgarden, Justin Wilson, James Jakes and Scott Dixon, all ran in the lead pack at times during the 128-lap contest, but all encountered problems at various times to prevent strong results.

Dixon was the first to encounter difficulty, a broken rear axle component resulting in a long pit stop, followed by a brief flash fire during attempted repairs that resulted minor injuries to three Ganassi pit crew members.  Newgarden, who ran as high as second in the early laps, was caught out by a pair of unfortunately-timed yellow flags, putting him one lap down to the leaders in eighth at the checkers. 

Wilson, the 2012 Texas race winner, and Jakes, coming off a second-place finish last week in Detroit, both had long runs in the lead group.  Like Newgarden, Wilson also ran as high as second, but rapid tire wear during the closing third of the race sent him spiraling down the order to an unrepresentative 15th-place finish.  Jakes also spent the first half of the contest near the front of the field, but dropped in the final 30 laps to finish 12th.

Chevy Racing–Pocono Post Race

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
PARTY IN THE POCONOS 400
POCONO RACEWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER RACE NOTES & QUOTES
JUNE 9, 2013
 
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CHEVROLET SS – Finished 19 laps down in 36th following a mechanical issue on the opening lap.
WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE CAR?
“We have no idea yet. They (the crew and engineers) have been looking at things but they’re still unsure. I know that when I took off, in second gear, I had no power and it was just vibrating like crazy; and then in third (gear) and fourth.  The faster I went, the worse the vibration was. I came in and they changed a bunch of stuff and went out and was perfectly fine and had a lot of speed.  They changed a lot of things, but nothing was wrong. In looking at everything, it all looked fine. But still, you can’t make up 20 laps at Pocono.”
 
DALE EARNHARDT, JR, NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 3RD
WHAT MORE DID YOU NEED TO GET UP TO BATTLE FOR THE WIN?
“It looked like to me we got beat through turn three pretty bad.  Jimmie (Johnson) was just real fast through there.  We had a great car. Just thank all our sponsors, National Guard and Diet Mountain Dew. The guys did a good job on pit road, and the car had good speed. We held on and had a good run. Want to congratulate Chase Elliott on his (ARCA) win yesterday. That was pretty awesome. That guys has a good future, and just happy to get one in the bank, you know. We’ve been struggling a little bit, and this is a good run for us. We’ll have a good week.”
 
WHAT DO YOU TAKE AWAY FROM A DAY LIKE THIS CONSIDERING THE PAST FEW WEEKS?
“We have been running good all year just have had some troubles.  It’s good to be able to run good again.  All the fans listening to Dirty Mo Radio tomorrow will be excited and get to talk about something positive.  It’s been a good weekend.  Chase Elliott won yesterday; he has a bright future, excited about that.  Excited to be able to run well we had a good car all weekend, glad we could get a good finish.
 
“Jimmie (Johnson) was much faster in turn three, much faster.  That is where you have to be good.  That is where he was good.  We got to gain a little bit there we know some things we can try to get better before we come back.  We will be back here seems like in a month.  Good race track, good day for the No. 88 National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet team did a good job.”
 
CARRYING A LOT OF MOMENTUM INTO THE TRACK WHERE YOU LAST WON MICHIGAN:
“Yeah, we have been carrying momentum for a good solid year now.  We had better finishes last year; we started the year off this year off really good.  We just had a lot of problems since then and just struggled to get good finishes.  We are all right.  We know what we need to do. Confidence is there all the fans can rest assured we feel like we are on the right track.  We want to get a win man, I could see it right there in front of me today.  Jimmie (Johnson) has been so fast all weekend, but really thought we got close.  If we keep getting close we are going to get one.”
 
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 5TH
OUTSTANDING TRACK POSITION AND A FIGHT FOR POSITION THOSE LAST LAPS. TALK ABOUT THAT:
“I thought I was going to be in the middle of a Busch (brothers Kurt and Kyle) sandwich there at the end going into Turn 2. But, I have to thank them for giving me a little bit of room. We had an awesome Haas Automation Chevrolet. Thanks to all the fans for coming out today. It is good for the Quicken Loans group with their “Bring it Home Mortgage”. Go to QLRacing.com, and there are five people that get their mortgage paid for a month. And obviously a Bloomin’ Monday for everybody from Outback Steakhouse.”
 
REALLY THE ONLY DRIVER THAT WAS ABLE TO KEEP UP WITH JIMMIE JOHNSON MOST OF THE DAY.  HAVE YOU GUYS FINALLY GOT SOME SPEED IN THE STEWART-HAAS CARS?
“Well we did today there is no doubt about that.  Tony (Stewart) won last week and for him to finish fourth is not so big of a deal, but for us to come off of a DNF (did not finish) and finish fifth I’m proud of the guys.  Strategy worked out to our benefit with the yellows there at the end.  It was a great day for Haas Automation obviously for being in the top-five, but for Quicken Loans and their Bring it Home sweepstakes.  Go to QLRacing.com to find out more about that.  You can get your mortgage paid for a month for free, which is paid for a month.  Good day for Outback as well too, go to Outback tomorrow and get your Bloomin’ Onion.  Just a good rebound day for us.  That is something we definitely needed as a team.  Matt (Borland, crew chief) and the guys did a great job on the strategy.”
 
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 MOBIL 1/BASS PRO SHOPS – FINISHED 4TH
TALK ABOUT YOUR DAY:
“Really happy with it. We got kind of pinched down there in the tunnel; or not pinched down – we were the one doing the pinching, and got hit in the left rear there and moved up the track, and fell back to 12th and fought back to fourth there with all those restarts there, so pretty happy with that.”
 
ON PROGRESS OF SHR:
“Definitely progress fro sure. It’s one thing if one car runs good, but to have two or all three of us running good shows that we are gaining momentum. It’s not just one team, the whole organization is gaining momentum. Really proud of our group at SHR. The Hendrick engines today were awesome. There’s not doubt of having four of the top-five cars with Hendrick horsepower shows the strength there. Just happy and proud of that effort too.”
 
IMPRESSIVE DAY AND YOU JUST ABOUT SAW EVERYTHING. IN FACT, IT SHOWS ON YOUR LEFT-REAR QUARTER PANEL:
“Yeah, it’s part of racing here at Pocono.  The restarts get tight in spots.  Fell back to 12th there and then battled back to fourth so I’m pretty proud of that.  Proud our group had a good run.  I mean fourth and fifth today is something for our whole organization to be proud of.”
 
WHEN YOU LOOK ON THE PROGRAM ITSELF AND GOING ON TO MICHIGAN ANOTHER INTERMEDIATE RACE TRACK, WHAT DO YOU TAKE AWAY FROM WHAT YOU HAVE SEEN TREND WISE STARTING BACK TO CHARLOTTE?
“Well, I think that is more of a question for Steve Addington (crew chief) and the engineers.  The good thing is we have confidence of the last three weeks in a row.  Today Hendrick horsepower was huge obviously having four of the top-five cars, proves that the Hendrick engine department really was a factor today for us.  For Ryan (Newman) and I to finish in the top-five that is great for SHR (Stewart-Haas Racing).  Danica (Patrick) got going better too so its improvement all the way through.  For her first time here at Pocono I thought she did pretty well.  We are just gaining on it.  The good thing is all three of us are getting better at the same time.  Really shows the works that SHR is doing.”
 
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S/KOBALT TOOLS CHEVROLET SS – RACE WINNER
ON HIS DOMINANCE TODAY:
“That is the top of my list. I’m sure we’ve had some other really strong races like that, but not in recent memory. What a race car. Not only the car and the handling and the grip that it had, but also the engine and what was under the hood. When I would lean on the throttle, this baby would yard anybody and everybody. Hats off to everybody in every department at Hendrick Motorsports. Big thank you to all the fans for coming out. Big thank you to Sprint for sponsoring our awesome sport here. I can’t go without thanking Lowe’s and Kobalt Tools for their continued dedication to this race team. Then there’s my boys…my guys. They did an awesome job on pit road. Chad (Knaus, crew chief) called a great race. I had a great race car.”
 
ABOUT SAVING FUEL:
“Well, I could tell by his voice that it was needed. There was an urgency
in it. There was a lot of cautions there at the end, which allowed us to do it. I was working on what I could inside the car trying to save fuel.  Once I could get a little gap on those guys and save some fuel. It is never fun stressing about fuel, but today everything worked out, and there was enough to get us to the end.”
 
TAKE US THROUGH THOSE RESTARTS AND HEADING INTO TURN 1:
“I learned a lot racing with Ryan (Newman) on those restarts, and I was able to get the lead each time. So I used that going into the final few times, but there are only so many things you can do down there in the zone. I knew that third place would lag back and try to get a good run on second. I was just hopeful we weren’t three wide getting down into the center of the corner in turn one because I was in a losing situation with that point. Luckily I was able to stay in the throttle and get around those guys on the outside each time.”
 
IS THAT THE BEST CAR YOU HAVE HAD ALL YEAR LONG?
“That is the best car I have had in a long time.  What a race car.  Not only a great race car, but an engine, had fuel mileage and plenty of power.  It was awesome on the straightaways today to be able to do what I wanted around other cars.  Hats off to chassis, aero and the engine shop for this awesome race car.  I’m very happy for Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools to get this car into Victory Lane.  It’s been a long time since I’ve won here and very excited to do it.”
 
SINCE DOVER DOES THIS MAYBE MAKE UP FOR LAST WEEK HAVING THE DOMINANT CAR THERE AND NOT WINNING?
“No, but it’s okay.  It doesn’t make up for much, but we know we are a great race team.  Things won’t keep us down.  We had a great race car today.  Just had a lot of fun that was a lot of fun out there.”
 
TWO THINGS THAT MAY HAVE WORRIED YOU, NUMBER ONE ALL THOSE RESTARTS THAT YOU HAD TO GO THROUGH AND NUMBER TWO THE VIBRATION THAT KEPT COMING BACK THROUGHOUT THE DAY HOW MUCH OF A CONCERN WAS THAT?
“Yeah, it was a concern.  I think we were spinning the left-rear tire on the wheel itself.  It would start vibrating.  I thought it might have been a loose wheel the way it shook in the corners and not on the straights, but it never got any worse.  They were able to diagnosis what that problem was.  Then those restarts there are only so many tricks you have if you play by the rules.  They were figuring out everything I could do in that zone.  Fortunately I was able to get the lead and have clean air again at the end.”
 
CHAD KNAUS, NO. 48 LOWE’S/KOBALT TOOLS CHEVROLET SS – WINNING CREW CHIEF
YOU GUYS HAVE HAD SO MUCH SPEED.  WHAT HAVE YOU REALLY FOUND WITH THIS CAR?
“Well it’s been a long process.  I think that we have worked really hard, everybody back at Hendrick Motorsports to try to get these cars running a little bit better.  Just getting accustom to the Gen-6 car has been a bit of a challenge I think for everybody. Track position is so important, but we had a really fast KOBALT Tools Chevrolet today.  I just have to say thanks to everybody at Hendrick Motorsports the chassis shop, the engine shop, gear and transmission.  This track is awesome it puts all the elements of racing together and you really have to be spot on here and the guys did a great job.”
 
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVROLET – FINISHED 7TH
ON THE RACE:
“We had a fast car again, ran up front but a mistake on my part on pit road stalled our momentum (overshot pit box Lap 126).  But we battled back with a solid finish.  To win you have to be perfect out there and we weren’t today. But the good news is that we know how to overcome adversity and the more we perform the way we have been the better we’ll get. We’ve made great strides in the past month and need to continue the progression. I don’t see any reason why we can’t.”

Chevy Racing–Corvette Racing–Le Mans

Corvette Racing Off to Solid Start in Le Mans
Magnussen fifth, Milner seventh in testing for highly competitive GTE Pro field
 
LE MANS, France (June 9, 2013) – Corvette Racing successfully worked through its testing program Sunday for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The pair of velocity yellow Compuware Corvette C6.Rs completed eight hours of running with no major issues ahead of the world’s most famous endurance race on June 22-23.
 
Jan Magnussen set the team’s best time of 3:59.491 (127.3 mph) in the No. 73 Corvette C6.R to finish fifth in the GTE Pro order. Magnussen, driving with Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor, opened and closed the test in differing conditions. The session began cool and damp, but the track eventually dried in the afternoon when the fastest times were set. The No. 73 Corvette turned a class-high 42 laps in the second session.
 
Meanwhile, Tommy Milner posted the best time in the No. 74 Corvette he shares with Oliver Gavin and Richard Westbrook. Milner’s best effort was a 4:00.319 (126.9 mph). The top six cars in class were separated by less than a second.
 
“Our guys followed the three golden rules today – don’t hit anything, don’t break anything and stay on the race track,” said Doug Fehan, Program Manager for Corvette Racing. “Considering the weather and track conditions, we feel comfortable with where we are in the program. Recording the fastest lap is never our ultimate objective during this test. Our experience at Le Mans has taught us that speed isn’t the single deciding factor. Our goal is simply to be capable of running a competitive pace and keep our time in pit lane to a minimum with great execution on every stop. You meet those objectives and good results will follow.”
 
The next time Corvette Racing takes to the circuit at Le Mans is 4 p.m. CET/10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, June 19 for free practice and qualifying. Corvette Racing will go for its eighth class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 2001 at 3 p.m. CET/9 a.m. ET on Saturday, June 22 with coverage on SPEED. Corvette Racing’s last victory at Le Mans came in 2011.
 
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 73 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
You were out early in the wet conditions. It had to be less than ideal.
“It wasn’t so nice out there. The track was right in between were the tires work best. Some parts of the track were dry-ish – not quite dry, but at least there was no spray. But it’s good to see the track again and get into the rhythm. But in those conditions you don’t really learn anything. You just get through the motions. I think that laptime-wise we were quite OK considering the conditions when we were out.”
 
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 73 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
How much did the track conditions improve in the afternoon?
“Finally we got to put the slick tires on the car, which was good for us because every single lap you can do in the dry here may be very important toward the race. I know It’s only two hours in dry conditions but we just need to focus on making the most of every single lap we can do. I was the first out on slicks in tricky conditions, which wasn’t maybe the best moment for the track (conditions).  But at least I got to run a bit in the dry. The car felt quite good, as it has been doing during the season. We still need to double-check how it really goes, but so far it’s heading in the right direction.”
 
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 73 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R:
Did you enjoy your return to the Corvette and Le Mans?
“It was good to be back in the car for the first time since Sebring, and first time back at this track since last year’s Le Mans. So it was good. This was the first time I did a run in the rain in this car so I learned a few things, but overall we’re learning as much as we can on a day like this. So far so good.”
 
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 74 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
Were you satisfied with the test day?
“It was a kind of boring first half of the day. It was good to get some wet weather running since we don’t do that a whole lot on those cars. We got a good feeling for the car in the wet. It was good to get some dry running at the end there and prove some of the bits and pieces we’ve developed over the year. We got some new tires from Michelin to try and see how those worked. It’s nice to have sort of a baseline going into race week. For me it was good. I think I could have gone quite a bit quicker; my in-lap would have been quicker and probably have put us right at the front (note: Milner’s sector 1 and sector 2 times were the fastest of the day for the No. 74 car before he pitted). So the pace is good, and the car is comfortable to drive.”
 
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 74 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
The changing weather didn’t do anyone a favor, did it?
“The track was drying out, which was good as it gave us some good data. It looks like we’re there in the ballpark with everybody else so that’s encouraging. But it’s been a frustrating day for everybody; it’s been wet and then it’s been dry again and then wet again. You have one day a year here to test and it was beautiful the week before and it looks like it’s going to be nice next week. It’s frustrating for all but it just so happens that the wet day was today. But the car felt pretty well and things look good for next week.”
 
RICHARD WESTBROOK, NO. 74 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
Do you feel confident for the race after today?
“It’s always good to be back at Le Mans. It was a good test for us but it’s clear the competition has stepped up as it always does in GTE Pro. Just when you think it can’t get any tougher it seems to be getting more competitive. We’ve definitely got our hands full this year, and therefore it’s important we focus on our own job and that’s what we did today. The main thing is the car feels good and drivable for 24 hours. We’ve definitely got a good starting point for race week.”
 

Chevy Racing–Indycar–Texas Post Race

Helio Castroneves Captures Fourth Career Win at Texas Motor Speedway to Lead All-Chevrolet IndyCar V6 Top-Five in Firestone 550
 
FT. WORTH (June 8, 2013) – Helio Castroneves made a statement tonight at Texas Motor Speedway.  The No. 3 AAA Insurance Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 driver took the lead on lap 97, and never looked back as he held the point for 132 laps on the way to capturing his first victory of the 2013 season and the 28th of his career.
 
Tonight’s win was the fourth trip to Texas Motor Speedway Victory Lane for Castroneves making him the all-time IndyCar winner at the 1.5-mile track. Starting from the sixth position on the 24-car grid for the 228-lap/324-mile race, Castroneves masterfully worked through traffic, and drove a flawless race called by his team owner, Roger Penske.
 
Defending IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay finished second behind the wheel of the No. 1 DHL Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, after leading for 35 laps on the way to his fourth podium finish of the season, including one win at Barber Motorsports Park. Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan brought the No. 11 Sunoco “Turbo” KV Racing Technology-SH Racing Chevrolet, to the checkered flag in third to make it an all-Chevrolet podium.
 
In total, Team Chevy drivers of the 2.2 liter V6 twin turbo charged engine swept the top-five finishing positions with Ed Carpenter and Marco Andretti completing the top-five. And, eight of the top-10 finishers were powered by Chevrolet with Will Power, James Hinchcliffe and E.J. Viso finishing seventh, ninth and 10th respectively in the eighth race of the season.
 
“Team Chevy collectively bounced back from last weekend with  a powerful win at the Texas Motor Speedway,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager, IZOD IndyCar Series.  “Helio Castroneves and Team Penske executed a dominant strategy to take the win, followed by four other Team Chevy drivers; Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan, Ed Carpenter and Marco Andretti.  Congratulations to Helio, the new points leader, for managing his tires and his focus to lead the posse of Chevy Indy V6-powered Dallaras to the checkered flag.  We are proud of our Chevrolet teams and technical partners, and shift our focus now to the race at Milwaukee next weekend.”
 
With the victory, Castroneves extended his points lead to 22 points over fellow Team Chevy driver Andretti.  Hunter-Reay is third in the standings, and Kanaan jumped to fourth.  Chevrolet continues to lead the IZOD IndyCar Series Manufacturers’ Championship Standings.
 
Next on the schedule is the Milwaukee IndyFest at the famed Milwaukee Mile on Saturday, June 15th.  The 250-lap race will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network at 4:00 p.m. ET.
 
 
An Interview with Helio Castroneves, Roger Penske, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Tony Kanaan
 
The MODERATOR:  We are joined by the winning team owner, Roger Penske. This is Mr. Penske’s eighth win at Texas Motor Speedway in the IndyCar Series.
 
Roger, if you can talk about your evening and how proud you are of Helio getting his fourth career victory at Texas Motor Speedway.
 
Q. Just talk about tonight’s race, are you surprised ‑‑
 
ROGER PENSKE:  I think it was ‑‑ we knew there was fall‑off going into the races ‑‑   certainly, delivered it today and he’s a great race driver, you don’t win the Indy 500 three times ‑‑
 
Q. Inaudible.
 
ROGER PENSKE:  Well, I think all of us were on edge because we knew we were better ‑‑ we have got great competition with the cars and the engines as close as they are and we have great drivers out there and to me that’s the great thing about the series that we have to make sure everybody understands.
 
It’s a matter of us putting it all together. The key thing here was to have that car be able to run over 200 miles an hour with over 45 or 50 laps on the tires, and Helio was able to do that. I think it was the car setup and obviously his driving ability made the difference.
 
Q. How much fun is it to win at Texas, be in the victory lane?
 
ROGER PENSKE:  I always like ‑‑ Eddie’s (Gossage) funny, I told him, it’s a great place, Bruton (Smith) is one of the greatest promoters. I’ve known Eddie for a long time when he worked with us at Miller and it’s great to see whatever he does here, whatever racing is going on. To me it’s a great place and it’s.
 
Q. Inaudible.
 
ROGER PENSKE:  Obviously take care of the tools in your car to keep the tires underneath ‑‑ quite positive and Helio did a grit job. To me, he should get the credit for it. He drove all night long and coming up on cars that are ten or 15 miles an hour slower and is able to maintain his speed and the distance between the cars behind him. So overall, it was positive.
 
Q. There was a point about the midpoint of the race where Helio ‑‑
 
ROGER PENSKE:  We wanted to get a yellow or something and be able to have a lap or two on most of the field. He was running 200, 201, 202, and then if you looked at the difference between 212 miles an hour, and 200 miles an hour, it’s only 1.2 seconds on the track. So it would take 20 or 30 laps for someone to lap him.
 
So we looked at all that strategy, and, in fact, Helio and I went over it this afternoon before the race. We knew we wanted to run as long as we could and the tires were so good when we took them off the first time, we didn’t have to worry about any cording of tires. The tires were strong all day, so tires were good.
 
We wanted to get to our field ‑‑ a lot of guys came in and made that last stop. Kanaan had to come in, Marco came in, and I think even the car had to come in early one time because the handling had gone away. We just stayed steady the whole time. By running a consistent race, it give him the advantage to be strong at the end.
 
THE MODERATOR:  We are now joined by tonight’s winner, Helio Castroneves, driver of the No. 3 AAA Insurance Chevy, his fourth win at Texas Motor Speedway, first of the season and he’s now the winningest Indy Car driver at Texas Motor Speedway surpassing Sam Hornish, Junior, ninth career.
 
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  Don’t bring him back, don’t bring him back, Roger, please.
 
THE MODERATOR:  You’re the points leader and you moved, this is your 28th career
victory, and you are now in sole possession of 12th place on the all‑time win list, breaking the tie with Johnny Rutherford.
 
Talk about your evening tonight. You showed a lot of emotion in victory lane.
 
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  Yeah, the AAA boys did a hell of a job. The car was absolutely on rails, and picking up on what Roger said at the end, we discussed ‑‑ Jonathan, my engineer this year, he did a hell of a job putting everything what I was looking for. We started the race, the car was already ‑‑ and then we just try to understand what the track was doing.
 
Most of the managing of the tires during the race ‑‑ any time Roger was telling me, save fuel, go fast; honestly we were running lights‑out. Everything was smooth.
 
And in the end of the day for us, a little bit of an issue with the lights that we had on the pits when we come in, some of the lights wasn’t on because it was daylight. And I wouldn’t see my pit very well, so I had to put my hand up coming in, and on my end coming in was a little bit slow ‑‑ but we were able to have a flawless everything. It was great.
           
And towards the end, to be honest, we had a long ‑‑ Roger telling around 10, 11 seconds and I’m like, okay, I’m just going to manage the tires now, 40 laps to go. So ‑‑ inaudible ‑‑ I didn’t know, I saw Tony, I could keep going, but I was thinking more about the long term and not in the shor
t term.
 
So it was saving, it was about five seconds that I understand Hunter‑Reay was behind me and I got a good chance to go and I did it and we opened up a gap and it was just great.
 
Q. Inaudible.
           
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  In the winner’s circle right now but I thought, we had to drive the car and it’s not about ‑‑ and you said it, sometimes it changed the track. But I think with my spotter, we were able to be ahead of the car and he was giving me some tips while I was driving to be honest and it was paying off.
 
So everything we were managing most of the times, the tire and ‑‑ the setup was fantastic. So when you have both this combination and it feels like that …
 
Q. Yesterday in final practice, you came in and hopped out of the car very, very quickly, and spent some time with a member of your crew really, really looking at the right front tire, a pockmark; could you tell us about that conversation and if that had anything to do with your setup tonight and your miraculous win?
           
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  Very good observation. Yes, we finished the practice yesterday, we were having some handling problems unfortunately and everybody went back to the truck and ‑‑ inaudible ‑‑ that’s why it seems big. Things doesn’t happen like a miracle. You have to work hard, you’ve got to look for details and ‑‑ inaudible ‑‑
 
Q. The last five laps, what’s going through your mind?
           
ROGER PENSKE:  Well, I’ve been around this a long time and been leading with five laps to go, so I never count our chickens. In the end Helio, I just wanted to give him the cars he’s coming up on, and said, let him go by, we just didn’t need to get trapped and get ourselves in trouble.
 
I was just waiting with ten to go and then five to go, and to me, the big move was when he went back by Franchitti, because we let Franchitti go by, there’s no reason wearing the tires out trying to stay ahead of him. I think that was good, and I think his line, he ran high; he could run high, he could run low.
           
One thing, he running ten miles an hour slower, so he came up high speed, he had to be careful. His oval skills, what you saw win at Indy three, times you saw it here tonight. I just wait until the end before I celebrate, and that’s what I did tonight.
 
Q. So much is made about past races and guys going flat out, how different for you was this win tonight?
           
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  Very, very different. It was nothing like in the previous years. It was tough. Hardly going flat, only when I took the lead for the first time on the restarts was I able to go flat.
           
Other than that, the entire race was very, very different from the past. As you guys mentioned and as you could see, a lot of cars were going forwards and a lot of cars were going backwards. Because of that, it just changed and you had to be ahead of the game.
 
Setup is important and is a big part of it and very fortunate to have great guys in my crew and to be able to do what I wanted. So that’s one of the reason we were able to be in victory circle today.
 
Q. You talked earlier this week about how you would take seconds and thirds all year long if it meant winning the championship. Do you think that took some pressure off yourself?
 
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  No. Absolutely not. We can’t stop right now, because the championship is still wide open.
 
Like I said, we’ve got to be consistent, but when you have opportunities, and good opportunities like I had in St. Pete, and unfortunately I miss it, you know, you can’t do something like that. But at this point, just got to keep moving on and today we had a phenomenal opportunity, extremely excited and to be in victory circle.
 
Right now, maybe tomorrow still going to celebrate a little bit, but Monday, got to turn the page and focus on the next race.
 
Q. One of the story lines of the whole season is that the ability ‑‑ inaudible ‑‑ how much of a relief is it for you to check that box and get that win?
 
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  Well, for us, we want to win races. It doesn’t matter at this point who is who. I know the press itself ‑‑ has to write stories and it’s over now, but I don’t feel any pressure.
 
I feel pressure to go out there and perform the best, and when you have the opportunity, you have to go for it. And today, we keep pushing the same button about this, but it’s true, the car was just fantastic, and we were able to do that.
 
Q. Toward the end of the race, yellow came out and TK seemed like he had the fastest lap at that point.
 
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  At the beginning, I saw Marco taking away a little bit when I was fourth or third I think, and I thought, well ‑‑ inaudible ‑‑ and I was just taking it easy, when traffic is going to come up ‑‑ inaudible ‑‑ race early and seeing Marco running up there. We had, probably we were similar at that point.
 
But I was adjusting the car and the car actually wasn’t bad. I was just waiting for a little bit of an adjustment inside the cockpit trying to make something different there. As soon as I took the lead, I thought, you know, just try to keep going.
 
So next stop, put new tires ‑‑ I didn’t know about Tony to be honest. I saw Tony as soon as I came out of the pits, and he was passing on the outside. And I was about actually to go with him but I decided, just take it easy, because the team told me ‑‑ the lead, and I’m, wow.
 
So I decided not to be involved in that traffic scenario, because there’s still 40 laps to go, so just take it ease‑and see what happens. In the end, it was very good.
 
Q. Inaudible.
 
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  Just got to trust in what your car is telling you to do.
 
Q. Do you like the bump in turn two?
 
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  The bump, yes, it’s a little bump. If we can have Eddie to resurface that area it would be fantastic. But if not, it’s just another challenge that we have to face.
 
Q. I watched you last night in practice ‑‑
 
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  It was difficult, when you go ‑‑ people don’t understand. When you go high, the car changes a little bit of the setup. It change the feeling, and when you go low, you have another one.
 
And that’s where it was very difficult, even for me. But we set up the car that when I do some adjustments, I was able to go high, and then I can move back when I have a low line. It was an interesting scenario.
 
But the car was great. When you have a car like that, running high and low, man, it’s a dream. So, I love it. I just love it.
 
Q. Seemed like Marco got it right when the sun was out and you nailed it when the sun went down. Were you surprised more people didn’t nail the setup?  When you both were hooked up, you were considerably quicker than the rest of the field.
 
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  Yeah, at the beginning, it was different, because remember, when we practice, we never practice at night. We always practice in the day, so it becomes very difficult to predict. But the car, I think because the temperature of the car cools down, you don’t have any more downforce with that, the car was just much, much better.
 
And what happens is if you don’t have that kind of dial down, it’s becoming a little push or it’s becoming loose. It’s a very difficult place, there’s no question, it’s a very difficult place. That’s why it’s exciting. Maybe it’s terrible in the beginning but it’s great in the end.
 
Q. After qualifyin
g when your teammates ‑‑ you made a comment about the setup and how ‑‑ did you go get that set up?
 
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  Yes. I was a little bit disappointed because I let my engineer decide it, and when I went back, I saw a two and a half mile, one‑and‑a‑half‑mile an hour difference, and I’m like, dude, what did you do. And I found something and I’m like ‑‑ we found something, and I’m like, come on, man, can’t miss this opportunity. But in the end, we use a lot of the information and we applied it.
 
THE MODERATOR:  We are joined by tonight’s second place finisher Ryan Hunter‑Reay, driver of the No. 1 DHL Chevy. It’s his career‑best finish at Texas Motor Speedway, fourth top five of the season and he’s now third in points, 27 points behind Helio. Ryan, talk about your evening.
 
RYAN HUNTER‑REAY:  Oh, man, that was interesting. It was a battle (phonetic) out there. It was like, at times, a race against yourself, just to save the tires and keep yourself off the wall. It was just a very challenging race.
           
But the No. 1 DHL Chevy was great all night. We made it better and better. I was searching around for grip, getting into a rhythm, but definitely has the full range of racing here at Texas Motor Speedway from 2008 to now. It’s so difficult to get the package exactly right with the downforce and the tires and the degradation of the tires, and as a series we’re working toward that.
 
I think we’ve nailed it perfectly in the past, and we’ll get it right, for sure. But I don’t know, I didn’t watch the race, but it was sure ‑‑ it was sure a struggle in there for me.
 
TONY KANAAN:  It was exciting from my perspective.
 
THE MODERATOR:  Driver of the No. 11 Sunoco Turbo, Chevy. It’s his eighth top five finish at TMS, third top five of 2013 and 4th now in the standings, 64 back of Helio.
 
TONY KANAAN:  It’s a long night. I think Ryan said it all. It was a difficult race at times. I decided to go off strategy because I was not comfortable with my car towards the end; I didn’t know what ‑‑ guys, I want more tires, give me more tires; well, you’re going to go a lap down.
 
In the end, when I saw Ryan pitting right away, earlier than me and it worked for him, I drove into the pits. But I think unfortunately, I caught more traffic than he did on my out‑laps and that kept me ‑‑ but great result for us. First race that Sunoco came aboard with the Turbo car, so it’s a great result for them; and top five, Chevy, so great result for them, too.
 
So we’ll go back and talk about. It, talk about the package for next year.
 
Like Ryan said, I don’t know what happened behind me but I can tell you that I had my hands full, so comeback and try to make a better package.
 
THE MODERATOR:  Talk about the momentum you have, two oval races, two top‑three finishes, talk about the momentum as you head into a stretch where there are a lot of ovals on the schedule.
 
TONY KANAAN:  Well, I think the races that are coming up are extremely favored for me and this guy right beside me here. We have a pretty good chance and we need to take advantage of that. I think that we haven’t got the handle that we wanted it to have on the speed and road courses, so we need to try to maximize the races right now.
 
We do have a great momentum on the team. It’s extremely tired. I mean, we have a lot to celebrate but also we had a lot of work. So try to keep the boys on their toes and take advantage of the momentum.
 
THE MODERATOR:  Talk about eight winners in nine races, just the competitiveness in the series right now.
 
RYAN HUNTER‑REAY:  Yeah, it’s been amazing, any weekend; it could be any driver in this series. Especially the top, I would say, 15 to 20 drivers, any weekend could be theirs, which is a great thing. You go into every race thinking you can win it. There’s not a whole lot or other any series out there that’s like that. It’s great to see all the change‑ups, but I’d like to make a move.
 
Q. Last year, the races coming up on the schedule ‑‑ do you both feel that these races, Pocono, the doubleheader is where we are going to see the championship ‑‑
 
RYAN HUNTER‑REAY:  I think it’s going to come down to the end, the last race like it always does. There will probably be three drivers in it this year again for the last race and hopefully we are one of them.
 
Tony and I were on the podium for the next two races last year, and then we have some new challenges. I like Pocono being on the schedule, it’s a new challenge and it will make everybody think, take everybody out of their comfort zone a little bit.
 
But we have doubles at Houston and Toronto, and there’s a lot of curveballs coming at us, so it should be an interesting championship.
 
TONY KANAAN:  I don’t think you’ll see anybody dominating. Obvious, nine race,
eight winners, consistency is going to be the key. I think right now for us, we need to try to maximize, and obviously maximize winning; but if you didn’t, you’ve got to finish in the top five, that’s because what’s going to play down at the end.
 
We have seen a lot of inconsistency. That’s why we have it bunched up the way it is. So I think from now on, people are going to have to start being consistent.
 
Q. And tweaking the package, would it be just a little longer on the tire or just a little more downforce ‑‑
 
TONY KANAAN:  It’s both. I mean, Firestone has a great tire. But you can’t ask everything, for the tires to do everything. So I think it’s a combination of both. More downforce to make the tire less ‑‑
 
RYAN HUNTER‑REAY:  Firestone could easily make some tires that we could run around here.
 
TONY KANAAN:  But we don’t want that.
 
RYAN HUNTER‑REAY:  They are a big part of our product and the race itself. It needs to be the right combination.
 
TONY KANAAN:  Both. And once we decide the package, the aero package, then we need to go to Firestone, and stay, look, and then we’ll come back here and we do a tire ‑‑ a proper tire test and we try to make a decision. Because you can’t take ‑‑ my tires went off; yeah, well, unfortunately those aren’t only the things ‑‑ it’s not the tire’s fault.
 
This car has plenty of downforce. You need to remember:  We do not want a packed race. That is what we don’t want to have ‑‑ going overboard a little bit. This car is capable of downforce.
 
Q. Inaudible?
 
TONY KANAAN:  No, no, it was bad luck, no. We create our own luck. It was planned. I wanted to have a better tire. The way the race was playing out, I knew that I was not going to win, because of the gap that Helio had at the time.
 
So me and Ryan, we chose a different strategy and again, it worked, definitely worked better for him. He did a better job coming out of the pits. But I knew that it ‑‑ there was two things that I thought. The worst‑case scenario, we are going to finish in the top four, which is that’s what I wanted because the win was going to be very difficult.
 
But, if it had gone yellow, it was going to be a battle between me and this guy, and I probably would have had nothing ‑‑ because of the disparity of the grip of the car, didn’t happen.
 
Q. Which one of you is going to be the favorite?
 
TONY KANAAN:  Give him a hard time ‑‑ there’s plenty of other guys. I think Marco is going to be extremely strong.
 
RYAN HUNTER‑REAY:  Helio.
 
TONY KANAAN:  Hell of a battle. You know, you go to the next two tracks, we finished on the podium the last three years; so it’s hard not to think that we are going to have a shot. But, having said that, I’d be very confident at two places one ye
ar to the other and been nowhere, so there’s no guarantee.
 
Q. Tell me what it’s like running at the end of a stint ‑‑ inaudible ‑‑ and how hard is it to hold on?
 
TONY KANAAN:  How can I describe that to you more?  Those cars are not made to run at 190 miles an hour. The slower you go, the slower you go, the worse it is.
 
So I don’t think we are describe a feeling, because unless I put you in the two‑seater and give you an example, but it’s extremely uncomfortable. Because here, you’re along for the ride. Things that you know, if you lift, the car is supposed to slow down, not speed up and get closer to the wall.
 
Or, if you turn the steering wheel, the car is supposed to turn, not to go great. And then it goes straight, and all of the sudden hooks up and then it gets loose. I mean, just horrible.
 
RYAN HUNTER‑REAY:  The lack of predictability ‑‑ the car gives you a feeling and then it does something different and then ‑‑ I liken this place into dropping into a bowl and comeback out of it. When you don’t have the downforce or the tires, it does not want to get into the corner at all, because you’re going in and the rear ‑‑ so you’re coming around, and then when you’re leaving the banking. The car does not want to come up out of the bank. Once it does, the rear just snaps loose, and I had some major ones, corrections; I’m sure everybody did tonight.
 

Chevy Racing–IndyCar–Texas Post Race

IZOD INDYCAR SERIES
FIRESTONE 550
TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER POST RACE NOTES AND QUOTES
JUNE 8, 2013
 
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 AAA INSURANCE TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, RACE WINNER: IT HAD BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE YOU HAD CLIMBED THAT FENCE.  HOW GOOD DOES IT FEEL TO WIN?
“Oh it’s been great.  I tell you first of all I want to thank AAA, the boys did a hell of a job.  The Hitachi’s guys, SKF, Quicken Loans, Verizon, all of our sponsors, Shell-Pennzoil come on PPG, everyone if I’m forgetting I’m sorry I’ve run out of memory.”
 
HOW WERE YOU GUYS ABLE TO MANAGE THE TIRES SO EFFECTIVELY?
“Jonathan (Diuguid, engineer) did a great job, the Chevy guys did a great job because we were able not only to manage the tires, manage the fuel and it was setup.  We were just doing a lot of homework and it paid off.  Thank God it paid off.  Texas is awesome.  I love this place.”
 
FOURTH WIN HERE AT TEXAS I DON’T KNOW IF I HAVE SEEN YOU THAT EXCITED GETTING OUT OF A RACE CAR:
“I’m excited because it’s a lot of things going on.  Obviously these guys deserve it.  We certainly had a great car.  We just putting nothing wrong out there and that is what we need.  We need small details to make it happen.  We battle for the championship and that is what we need.”
 
YOU SAID IF WE COULD WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP WITHOUT WINNING A RACE THAT WOULD BE GREAT.  COME ON THIS FEELS PRETTY GOOD DOESN’T IT?
“It feels fantastic right now.  We feel great.  We have got to keep going.  Right now I’m going to enjoy this awesome moment.  This is awesome.  I want to thank the Lord as well because man that guy upstairs always keeps looking after me.  So it was great.”
 
YOU LED 132 LAPS.  YESTERDAY WHEN WE TALKED YOU WERE A LITTLE DISAPPOINTED WITH HOW FAST YOUR TEAMMATE WAS.  WHERE DID THE SPEED FROM THIS RACE CAR COME FROM?
“Well we might not of had the speed by ourselves, but we definitely had a consistent speed.  The balance was just absolutely great.  Like I said Jonathan (Diuguid, engineer) and the boys did their homework.  They look after what we need to be done and we done.”
 
ROGER PENSKE, NO. 3 AAA INSURANCE TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – WINNING TEAM OWNER
THIS IS A BIG WIN FOR THIS ORGANIZATION ESPECIALLY FOR HELIO CASTRONEVES:
“Well they did a great job.  The guys had a good car for him.  There is no question that he drove the wheels off it.  Terrific, just a terrific day.”
 
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO 1 DHL ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 2ND: YOU WERE BEHIND HIM (HELIO CASTRONEVES) BUT YOU JUST COULDN’T GET CLOSE ENOUGH.  HOW MUCH OF A HANDFUL WAS THIS CAR TONIGHT?
“Yeah it was just varying levels of bad just because of how loose it was.  Man, the drivers had to drive it tonight.  That No. 1 DHL Chevy was great.  We made the most of it.  We just lost it there with the yellow when it came out.  Our strategy was such that we needed that yellow not to come out and we had a good shot at winning it today though.  It’s just… man after a long day like that need to down some Sun Drops.  That was interesting.  It was hard to even get by some of the slower traffic.  You were just searching everywhere for grip.  I had so many catches out there that I thought were going into the wall.  Man, even be tough to go to sleep tonight.”
 
A CHAMPION CALIBER KIND OF RUN TONIGHT IN TEXAS:
“Yeah, I’ve got to bring it home on days like today.  I thought we had the car to win there for a bit, but great job to Helio (Castroneves), congratulations it was just light out there.  You had three or four laps to really go full out and then from there you are just pedaling it searching for grip.  I was begging the team to throw me a life jacket.  It was definitely treading water out there today.  It was interesting.  The No. 1 DHL Chevy was great.  Going to down a Sun Drop here and hopefully be able to go to bed at some point.  I’m pretty jacked on adrenaline after that.  I caught the car many times thought it should have gone in the wall.”
 
YOU LED 35 LAPS YOU ARE NOW THIRD IN POINTS JUST 27 BACK.  ARE YOU HAVING THE KIND OF SEASON THAT YOU WANT?
“Yeah, we were third in the points coming in.  Unfortunately the guys that we are fighting Helio (Castroneves) and good job to Marco (Andretti), unfortunate for him. The guys that we are fighting had a good day too.  It’s tough, but so early in the season still and now we are getting ready to get into the string of races where we were pretty strong last year.  We are certainly not expecting to go out and win three straight like we did last year.  We are just expecting to be strong and that is all we can do.”
 
IF THERE WAS ANOTHER CAUTION YOU HAD TWO SETS OF STICKER TIRES.  DO YOU THINK THAT WOULD HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE IF THE CAUTION DID COME OUT?
“I would have been begging them to come in for new Firestones that is for sure.  I mean it was a handful.  I hope it was a good show.  We had a bit less downforce today.  The racing has been awesome this season.  We are going to keep moving on and I think Milwaukee next weekend is going to be an awesome race.  We love going there.  I love that track.”
TONY KANAAN, NO. 11 SUNOCO “TURBO” KV RACING TECHNOLOGY – SH RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 3RD: “First of all it was a great job by the team and I’m very happy to give Sunoco and Turbo this podium on their first race with us. On our strategy we were actually counting on a yellow toward the end of the race which would have put us in a very, very good position for the win, but I’ll take third place here any day. The next stretch of races should be very good for us. We’re fourth in the championship and we think we can keep up the momentum from the win at Indianapolis going forward.”
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 4th: “I thought we had a shot for a podium finish (3rd) but Tony (Kanaan) had a lot fresher tires (35 laps) at the end.  We will take fourth tonight and we scored some points for the ECR/Fuzzy’s Vodka team.  It was a great night for Chevrolet with a one through five on the scoreboard.  We had a couple of miscues in the pits, one with some debris on the front of the car, and I didn’t hear the guys call me in for the stop.  Overall, those didn’t hurt us.  It was hard out there tonight.  I was racing more car more than the other drivers at times.  I hope the race was good for the national television audience tonight.  This place is one of the toughest oval on the series now.  The cars are a handful here.  But we’ll take the fourth place and move on to Milwaukee next week.”
MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 25 RC COLA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 5TH: “It’s always easier to be the Monday morning quarterback. I think it worked out for Ryan (Hunter-Reay) – he had a vibration and came in early. He went out, running some quick laps and he didn’t catch a yellow. We tried to do the same thing, we caught the yellow and the RC Cola car ended up a lap down. So, it’s unfortunate and to top it all off the worst guy in the championship fight against me won, but congrats to him (laughter).”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 7TH: “It was definitely a good day for the Verizon Chevrolet. I thought we had a car that was good enough to win but unfortunately the car went loose on the last stint to cost us quite a few positions. All in all, it was a productive day with the top-10 finish and obviously a great day for the team with Helio taking the win. He was just on another planet.”
ON HOW THE RACING WAS TODAY: “You were really earning your pay out there today, you really had to driv
e the car. It was great racing.”
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 GODADDY ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 9TH: “At the end of the day, I’m pretty pleased with a top 10; it was a tough night. The whole setup with the new tire and downforce configuration made it tough to drive, the GoDaddy guys gave me a good car, but I think we were a little hampered by track position. Clean air was definitely king today, and starting back where we did, we had to fight in the thick of it a lot more. We ended up stopping it a bit early on the first two stops, and we got both those yellows – just really hurt us. We lost a lap and had to earn it back. If we had managed to have the yellows fall at a better time for us, I think maybe we would have been a bit higher. But it’s so close, it’s so tight, everybody was struggling… we’re just happy to bring it home in one piece.”
E.J. VISO, NO. 5 TEAM VENEZUELA PDVSA CITGO ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT HVM CHEVROLET, FINISHED 10TH: “Tough race. I think I got an unfair penalty… we had everything to finish in the top three. I’m not very impressed in how this situation was handled, and I feel they penalize certain people for certain things and not others in certain situations. The penalty happened because I hit one of Ryan (Hunter Reay)’s tires during the pit stop, but I just touched it and he came back out in his original position. For me, they made the wrong call. Decisions can affect the sport as we just saw.”
 
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA, NO.  6 TRUECAR DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 14TH:
 
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO, NO. 78 NUCLEAR ENTERGY AREVA KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, FINISHED 16TH: “The car was awesome all night and we just kind of got unlucky out there. First of all with the yellow; when it came out we were stuck behind the leader. We fought our way back and then we got a 30-second penalty; I don’t really know why. But, at the end of the day, the car was awesome and I think we could have had an awesome finish. We learned a lot. I think for me it was a really good experience. It was just a lot of fun out there racing and passing people. Big thanks to the team; they did an awesome job the whole week. They gave me a really comfortable car out there, so big thanks to them, Chevrolet and Nuclear Clean Air Energy.”
 
ORIOL SERVIA, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 19TH: “Definitely not the initial race I wanted representing the National Guard and Panther Racing. I had really high hopes to go for a win, since we’re out of the championship anyway. We made a bunch of changes before the race, and I think the car was not way off, but one of the stints we put too much wing in, and at the end of the tires we probably should have come in two or three laps before that because we were already very loose. Then on one of the bumps the rear just went, which was unfortunate. Luckily we saved the car, but the truth is the race was still not lost, because sometimes you can get your laps back at a place like this, but with no more yellows we couldn’t make any miracles happen.”
 
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 7 MCAFEE DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 20TH:

Richard Childress Racing–Texas Motor Speedway Post Race

Texas 400   
Texas Motor Speedway
 
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series  
Texas Motor Speedway     
June 7, 2013  
 
Race Highlights:
 
Richard Childress Racing teammates finished second (Ty Dillon) and fifth (Brendan Gaughan).
Gaughan is third in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings, 35 markers behind the leader; while Dillon ranks seventh in the standings, 53 points out of the top spot.
The No. 62 Chevrolet team is third in the Camping World Truck Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 3 team eighth in the standings.
According to NASCAR’s Post-Race Loop Data Statistics, Dillon earned the highest Driver Rating (137.4), while Gaughan ranked third with a rating of 123.4.
Dillon and Gaughan led for a total of 120 laps ranking them first and second, respectively, in the loop data category.
Combined, Gaughan and Dillon posted the Fastest Laps Run 59 times during the event ranking them first and second, respectively, and competed within the top 15 for the entire race.
Dillon was the Fastest Driver Early in a Run, and Gaughan was third in the category.
Dillon scored the highest Average Running Position of 1.916, while Gaughan ranked second with a 2.904.
Gaughan was the Fastest Driver Late in a Run, and Dillon was fourth in the category.
Dillon was scored as the Fastest Driver on Restarts during the 167-lap affair and posted the best Green Flag Speed while Gaughan ranked second.
Jeb Burton earned his first career Camping World Truck Series victory at Texas Motor Speedway and was followed to the line by Dillon, German Quiroga, Matt Crafton and Gaughan.
The next scheduled Camping World Truck Series race is the UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway on Thursday, June 27. The eighth race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on SPEED beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on Motor Racing Network.

 
 
Runner-Up Finish for Dillon in the Lone Star State
 
Ty Dillon and the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet team earned a second-place finish under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway, in dominating fashion. Dillon and company started the 167-lap event from the second position and jumped to the lead on lap 12. The Welcome, N.C., native radioed to crew chief Marcus Richmond his No. 3 Chevrolet was tight on long green flag runs. The Richard Childress Racing team utilized caution periods to service the black and orange machine with four tires, fuel, chassis and air pressure adjustments to alleviate the handling issue. During the restart on lap 142, Dillon slipped to third but quickly maneuvered into the second spot with 15 laps remaining. As laps wound down, Dillon shortened the gap between him and the leader but ran out of time and crossed the finish line 0.139 seconds behind the race winner.
 
Start – 2         Finish – 2         Laps Led – 76         Points – 7th
 
TY DILLON QUOTE:
“Man, I thought we had it tonight. I am so proud of Marcus (Richmond, crew chief) and the entire Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet team. They did a great job putting together this truck. We were really fast tonight and were there in the end. If I had another corner, I think we could be the one’s sitting in Victory Lane tonight. We’re going to carry this momentum over to Kentucky (Speedway) and get us a win.”
 
 
 

Gaughan Continues Top-Five Streak at Texas Motor Speedway
 
Brendan Gaughan and Richard Childress Racing’s No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino team earned their fifth-consecutive top-five finish of the season with a fifth-place result at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night. Gaughan started the event fourth and reported a tight-handling condition to the Shane Wilson-led crew during the early laps. Wilson called for chassis adjustments during routine four-tire pit stops throughout the 167-lap affair to aid in the handling issues Gaughan was battling. The Las Vegas native maneuvered around his RCR teammate, Ty Dillon, on lap 79 to take over the lead and continued out front for the next 44 circuits around the 1.5-mile track. As Gaughan was rounding the track on lap 133, he brushed the outside retaining wall and forfeited the top spot. The incident caused the black and gold machine to become free for the remainder of the race and prevented Gaughan from getting back to the front of the field. The veteran driver slipped to the fifth spot, where he took the checkered flag.
 
Start – 4         Finish – 5         Laps Led – 44         Points – 3rd
 
BRENDAN GAUGHAN QUOTE:
“The No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet team put in a great effort. We were fast all night long. Our ECR engine stayed strong throughout the race. Our engine builders are one of a kind. Not only do they build speed, but they build durability. We’ll get the win we’re searching for soon, we’re headed in the right direction.”

Honda Racing–Franchitti Qualifies Fourth in Texas

Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Dario Franchitti posted the fourth-fastest speed on Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway, leading the 12-driver Honda field in IZOD IndyCar Series qualifying for Saturday night’s Firestone 550K.

Second-year IndyCar driver Josef Newgarden qualified seventh for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, his best qualifying effort of the season, with Charlie Kimball recording his third top-10 qualifying effort of 2013.  He will start eighth for Chip Ganassi Novo Nordisk Racing.  James Jakes also continued his recent run of strong qualifying performances this year for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and will start 10th. 

Justin Wilson, the 2012 winner at Texas, will start 22nd after handling problems prevented the Dale Coyne Racing driver from posting a representative qualifying run, while Tristan Vautier (a scheduled engine change after completing 2,000 miles on his current engine) and Takuma Sato (transmission failure) elected to skip qualifying and will start at the rear of the 24-car field.

Saturday’s 228-lap race, the second oval and first Saturday night race of 2013, starts at 7:30 p.m. with live network television coverage on ABC.

Dario Franchitti (#10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Dallara) qualified 4th, his third top-four qualifying result of 2013:  “There’s good speed in the car for a couple of laps [in qualifying], but I’m more interested in how the car performs over a long run. We’re running a little less downforce than last year, and some of that will go away [in the race] as night falls and temperatures cool tomorrow night.     That will be the key to the race, and where we focus our efforts [in final practice].”  

Chevy Racing–Will Power Wins the Pole at Texas Motor Speedway

Will Power Wins the Pole at Texas Motor Speedway
Marco Andretti Makes it All-Chevrolet IndyCar V6 Front Row for Firestone 550K
 
FT. WORTH (June 7, 2013) – For the 31st time in his career, Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, has won the pole for an IZOD IndyCar Series race.  With a lap of 219.182 mph, Power topped the leaderboard of 24 drivers making a qualifying attempt for Saturday night’s 228-lap/324-mile/550 kilometer Firestone 550 under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway. 
 
Power’s effort is the fifth time this season that the Chevrolet IndyCar 2.2 liter V6 has powered a Team Chevy driver to the number one starting position.
 
Marco Andretti, No. 25 RC Cola Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, qualified second to make it an all-Bowtie front row.
 
Defending series champion, Ryan Hunter-Reay, turned the third fastest qualifying time behind the wheel of the No. 1 DHL Andretti Autosport Chevrolet.
 
“Will Power not only won the pole this afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway, but did so with a breathtaking 2-lap average speed of 219.182 mph which was over 3.4 mph faster than the pole last year,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager for IZOD IndyCar Series.  “Congratulations to Will and Team Penske for setting such a strong benchmark and to Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay for rounding out the top three fastest qualifying times.  Team Chevy is positioned well for the race tomorrow night under the lights which will require good preparation, focus and tire management to finish on the podium.”
 
E.J. Viso posted the fifth quickest time in the No. 5 Team Venezuela PSVSA CITGO Andretti Autosport Chevrolet. Dario Franchitti completed the top-five qualifiers for the eighth race of the 2013 season.
 
The Firestone 550 is scheduled to start on Saturday, June 8, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. CT (8:30 p.m. ET) with live television coverage on ABC.

Chevy Racing–IndyCar–Texas–Will Power

IZOD INDYCAR SERIES
FIRESTONE 550
TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY QUALIFYING NOTES AND QUOTES
JUNE 7, 2013
 
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON WIRELESS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – POLE WINNER
YOU TOOK THE SECOND MOST PRACTICE LAPS THIS MORNING SO WE FIGURE YOU ARE PROBABLY HAPPY WITH THAT RACE CAR TALK US THROUGH THAT QUICK RUN: “Yeah, the race car has been pretty good.  That was… we were wide open, trimmed out enough, the gear was right.  Last year we thought we should have been on pole and got the limiter a little bit, but we got it right this time.”
 
WITH THIS CURRENT DW-12 IS BEING WIDE OPEN GOOD?  I KNOW LAST YEAR THEY TRIED TO MIX IT UP TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU GUYS WERE LETTING OFF?
“Well in race trim we are lifting, a lot.  That is good I think it creates great racing.”
 
DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE A GOOD ENOUGH CAR TO WIN TOMORROW NIGHT?
“Yeah I do actually.  It’s going to be an interesting race.  I think the downforce level they got it about right for good racing because I think some cars will draft more than others.  If you happen to put new tires on the last restart and no one else does, you could drive to the front.  It creates an interesting situation.  Hopefully we are at the front of all that.”
 
YOU SAID LAST YEAR THAT YOU ACTUALLY LIKE THE NEW FORMAT.  WE HAD THE PACK RACING HERE FOR YEARS AND NOW WITH THE NEW DW-12 CHASSIS YOU LIKE THIS STYLE OF RACING HERE AT TEXAS:
“Well before you were just a passenger.  Now you actually have to drive the thing.  Before you were just wide open and hope for the best and hope that your car is fast.  Now you actually have to drive it.  It’s how it should be.  It should be about talent.”
 
ON CHANCES OF WIN: “These days, I don’t know. You have a one in 25 chance actually, because there are so many good teams and drivers. To get a win would be phenomenal. My wife is from here, and all the family is coming out. If I don’t win, I’m probably not coming home for dinner – so I better.”
 
WITH THE DOWNFORCE AND TIRES AS THEY ARE, IS THE CAR MORE OF A HANDFULL? “I understand that when we first went out, the track was dusty and there was Truck rubber on it, and it was definitely slippery. I remember that being the case last year. When the rubber had gone off, and the night falls. I think it will be fine because these cars are sensitive to temperatures. At the end of the session, I thought it was about right.”
 
MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 25 RC COLA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET- QUALIFIED 2ND:
IS THAT LAP THE TWO LAP AVERAGE GOING TO BE GOOD ENOUGH TO HOLD ONTO THE POLE?
“The second one is fine, but the first one we hit the hard limiter.  We lost a mile an hour so I think we might have gave up a pole with that first lap.  We will have to watch. I ran out of sixth gear.  It’s a good thing because the car is fast, but we were on the limiter the rev limiter. The soft limiter is nice, but when it goes into the hard you lose a chunk of speed and we might have given up a pole with that.  We are going to have to watch.”
ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT:  “The car was pretty good. I’m pleased with our front row (start).  Good job by the guys because our focus wasn’t even on qualifying. I’m pleased just like I was at Indy because it was the same focus at Indy.   The first lap, I think we had an overboost, so we lost a mile-per-hour, which I was hoping it wasn’t going to cost me more than it did. Will (Power) went for it, and he got benefited for it so good job to him.”
WHAT ARE YOU THOUGHTS ON THE IMPROVEMENTS TO YOU AND THE TEAM? “I think you have to start half-way through last year when Ryan (Hunter-Reay) really came on, and really challenged for the championship. I think it just upped the whole morale and the game of the whole team. It upped my game for sure because it made me really do my homework, not work harder, just knowing where to work, where I was struggling; and to be able to go up against the series champ helped me a lot. To know if I could beat him, I could win. That helped me too. I’m better consistency wise, which has paid off so far this year, even though it is early. We are right where we want to be right now.”
 
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO. 1 DHL ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 3rd: ON QUALIFYING:  “A Texas (Motor Speedway) qualifying doesn’t mean a whole lot, but it will help us out to start up front. The guys did a great job getting the car ready for qualifying after the cut tire — we had to end the last session about half-way through. We need to get some major work done tonight, as a team we need to really develop the race car. With as little grip as we have around this place, I think it’s going to be – it’s anybody’s race. It will be interesting to see what we have tonight (in practice), we’re really going to have to work and make the Andretti Autosport cars better. But, overall, happy with the No. 1 DHL Chevy and looking to represent well for our hometown sponsors Dr Pepper Snapple and Sun Drop this weekend.”
 
E.J. VISO, NO. 5 TEAM VENEZUELA PSVSA CITGO ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 5TH: ON HIS QUALIFYING:
“Back in Texas! Qualifying fifth, I definitely think it’s a good position to start this race. For tomorrow we are expecting a lot of action. With the new downforce levels regulated by IndyCar, it’s definitely going to be a very interesting race. There’s very little grip…as always, the weather being very hot here makes it tough for everyone. Anyways, I believe we have a good combination of factors in our team that are going to make us fast and stay in the leader pack.”
 
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 AAA INSURANCE TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 6TH: ON HIS QUALIFYING:
“Pretty good day, we feel like the AAA Chevrolet is going to be a good car this weekend. Since the race starts in the day we have to make sure we stay conservative and patient as the downforce changes through the night but our plan is to be right there at the end. We are definitely excited for tomorrow.”
 
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA/ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 9TH: ON HIS QUALIFYING “It’s strange.  It seems that this track changes every year.  And since we have been with the new DW 12 chassis, the track is completely different.  I had a good car here last year but we had just one bad stint that set us back in the field.  The Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevy was good at the start since we went from 18th to second.  We were just too loose (oversteer) today in qualifying.  So we have some work to do for the race.  We’ll work on it in the night practice tonight.  Everyone seems to think this track produces pack racing.  But we haven’t had a pack race here since 2004.  This is about the hardest oval we go to now.  There is not much grip.  This track is tougher than Fontana for grip and have less downforce than Fontana.  None of us want to see pack racing anymore, but I think have gone too far in the downforce level here to produce a good show for the fans.  I hope that isn’t true for Saturday’s Firestone 550.”
 
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO, NO. 78 NUCLEAR ENTERGY AREVA KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 12TH
WHAT IS IT ABOUT THIS RACE TRACK THAT IS SO TRICKY FOR DRIVERS?
“Well it is.  I think my first year I had a pretty big crash here.  That kind of froze me a little bit maybe.  I think just taking a little bit of time and last year our situation wasn’t great with our engines.  This year is looking much better.  Especially with KV Racing I think I’m learning a lot from my teammate (Tony Kanaan) and I think it’s looking okay so far.  Hopefully, we can have a really good car in the race.  That is what is important. The team has been working really well.”
 
I think we’re pretty happy wi
th where we are. We fell off a little bit on the second lap; maybe I should have utilized the tools I have in the car a little bit more, but I think we should be fine. This is my best qualifying here, so I want to thank Chevy for that. We have a 10 grid penalty for tomorrow so we’ll end up a little bit further back, but the important thing is that we have to focus on the race car; getting to where we’re able to run on different lines out there; that’s going to be really, really important. Hopefully we’ll get everything where it needs to be and bring the Nuclear Clean Air Energy car home to a good finish.
 
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 GODADDY ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 13TH: ON QUALIFYING: “It’s (this year) obviously not gone totally the way we wanted. Our good days have been good, our bad days have been bad. I think we kind of just need to find that sort of middle ground a little bit better on days when we don’t have a car to win. A lot of it’s been out of our control, some bad luck…we’ve been competitive, just haven’t been able to get all the results we wanted with the GoDaddy car. Hopefully we can turn that around here in Texas.”
TONY KANAAN, NO. 11 SUNOCO “TURBO” KV RACING TECHNOLOGY-SH RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 15TH: ON QUALIFYING: “We missed a bit on the gears for qualifying and that hurt the speed on our run, putting us back in the 14th spot for tomorrow’s start. The good thing is that we run warmup at night here at TMS, which gives us a chance to get the car closer to what we need for the actual race conditions. I think we’ll be strong for the race tomorrow.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 7 MCAFEE DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 17TH:
ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN:
“We nearly didn’t get started because for some reason the battery drained itself, and we had no power. It was strange. Then we went out, and the car was pretty good on new tires this afternoon, we went (for qualifying) and it was just super loose and the rear was all over the place. I just salvaged something, but it wasn’t a good run.”
 
ORIOL SERVIA, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 18th:
ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT:
“Qualifying was fine. It was an easy flat. When you have new tires, it masks everything; you can be flat, no problem. When you are running in traffic, I think we need a little more downforce, everybody asks. I think the race will be too spread out, and we won’t have much racing going on. So I hope they let us put a little more downforce. I am happy to be back in the car; happy to be back with Chevy, and first time ever for the National Guard; I am very proud to be in their car. Hopefully I will give them a race tomorrow that they will be proud too.”
 
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA, NO. 6 TRUE CAR DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 20TH
ON QUALIFYING:  “The run didn’t go as we expected. We were not fortunate enough to have a good car out of the box. As soon as we went out there, we understood it was going to be a tough weekend. We struggled a bit on the practice session. We managed to improve a couple of things, but in one hour, you can’t do a lot. We will just work toward a good race car and go from there.”

Chevy Racing–Pocono–Juan Pablo Montoya

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
PARTY IN THE POCONOS 400
POCONO RACEWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
JUNE 7, 2013
 
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at Pocono Raceway and discussed last week’s restart at Dover, racing this weekend at Pocono, how close he is to an oval victory and other topics.  Full Transcript:
 
TALK ABOUT YOUR APPROACH HEADING INTO POCONO:
“As you said Pocono has always been a pretty decent track for us. I think the shifting helps.  When they repaved the track it seemed to help.  Last year we were on pole here the first time they repaved it.  To be honest with you we didn’t have really good cars. We did a really good job we timed it where it used to be the fastest car used to go out last in qualifying, it wasn’t a draw.  We knew we wanted to try to go out really early so we didn’t post a good lap on purpose.  It worked well.  Having good results here is important.  With the speed of the car this year I’m excited to be here and run here.  We seem to be good everywhere we go.  It seems the smoother the track is the better we run.  It should be fun.”
 
YOU AND JAMIE (MCMURRAY) HAVE BEEN SAYING YOU HAVE BEEN FEELING CHANGE COMING WITH YOUR TEAM AND GETTING BETTER.  WHEN DID YOU START TO NOTICE IT?  BEFORE IT STARTED TO SHOW UP IN THE STATS? OR CAN YOU PINPOINT A TIME WHEN IT STARTED TO FEEL LIKE ‘YEAH WE ARE GETTING THERE’?
“We had a lot of speed since we unloaded with this car.  Since we started working the new car the car had a lot of speed.  It seemed we could qualify really well, but we couldn’t race that well.  Jamie (McMurray) was the other way around.  Jamie couldn’t qualify and could race really well.  We paid a lot of attention to what he was doing.  To be honest with you we just made a lot of mistakes as a team.  We had a lot of failures and loose wheels.  Bristol we had a car easily for a top-five and we had a fuel pump problem.  California was a good track for us and the selector of the gear box came off handle and everything.  We had to change the whole gear box during the race.  We had two to three loose wheels under green, a flat tire in Martinsville.  It’s kind of crazy. We had 100 percent more speed than last year and we were finishing in the same places last year when we had no problems that it was kind of weird.  I think when we got to Richmond, around there, Danica (Patrick) was ahead of us in points.  We were 30-something in points.
 
“It was like ‘man we just have to stop making mistakes.’  We really talked to the guys and talked to everybody and said we just have to execute.  Each person has got to do its own little thing.  If we do, do we have the fastest car there yet?  No, we don’t.  Are we close? Yeah.  We are going the right direction we still need a little bit of work, but we have cars if we do everything right and we have a decent car we have top-10 even top-five cars.  We went into Richmond with that mentality.  We nearly won there.  We went to Darlington we ran well there.  In Charlotte we crashed and the guys were all disappointed.  I said ‘hey we wrecked because the No. 48 spun and we got wreck with the No. 48 and the No. 20, running there with them.’  When was the last time we were running with them?  Think about it.  A year and a half since we were running good.  From everything that has happened it has been positive.  Last week was positive.  We had a really good car same thing again.  We were really good we were just missing a little bit of speed.  I think we just have to keep our heads down and keep doing our work and we will be fine.”
 
YOU MAY HAVE HEARD WHAT JIMMIE (JOHNSON) SAID…
“No I didn’t.”
 
JIMMIE (JOHNSON) CONTINUES TO MAINTAIN THAT YOU CLEARLY AND DELIBERATELY DID NOT RESTART YOU STOPPED FORCING HIM TO RESTART AHEAD OF YOU TO GET TO THE LINE.  THEN HE CONTINUES TO MAINTAIN HE TRIED TO GIVE THE POSITION BACK AND YOU WOULDN’T TAKE THE POSITION BACK.  WHAT IS YOUR FEELING ON THAT:
“If I did that why only Jimmie passed me in his lane? I mean you think about it.  Let’s say I had a bad start and he beat me by a bumper or half a car length NASCAR wouldn’t have said anything.  But it was Jimmie – the field so I’m okay with it.  He didn’t if you pay attention we were coming to the cones he didn’t even want to lineup next to me.  He was actually dropping back.  He wanted to time it.  He just mistimed it.  It’s all good.  It’s racing.”
 
JIMMIE (JOHNSON) SAID HE IS GOING TO GO TALK TO NASCAR BECAUSE HE WOULD LIKE IT TO BE CRYSTAL CLEAR HE IS NOT CLEAR ON THE RULE AND HE THINKS THAT YOU FOUND A LOOP HOLE IN THE RULE:
“Did I?”
 
ASKING YOU:
“Wow, I’m that good (laughs).  Man that is a compliment.  The loop hole is that you have to start between the cones and the leader has got to… I think the start says you have to restart between the two cones that I did.  And you are not supposed to beat the leader to the line.  What is so hard about that?  You know what I mean?  I read a quote about him this week.  I was at my house and I read a quote.  He (Jimmie Johnson) said ‘if he wouldn’t have done that the No. 42 would have beat him.’ I’m like well I’m the leader not you.  I was thinking I know you dominated the race, but we came to a pit stop and we did a better job than you guys.  And as we did a better job than you guys we are the leader not you.  Crazy enough if he would have backed off let me go he would have probably passed me again.  It would have been all good.  He wanted to time it really well where he didn’t have to deal with me through turns one and two, but he mistimed it.  That is it, no drama.”
 
HOW GOOD ARE YOU ON RESTARTS?
“I know I do a really good job on restarts.  It’s not so much about how you get off the line but how you go through the first corner.  I mean there is no science.  There are two cones and as the leader you decide between the two cones when to go.  It’s up to everybody else to follow the leader’s space.  I think that is the rule.  Put it this way if I would have restarted and Jimmie (Johnson) passed me and four cars followed Jimmie I think NASCAR would have said the No. 42 had a bad start.  But how is it that only Jimmie went away?  I don’t know.  He is probably that good.”
 
CAN WE LOOK AT LAST WEEK AS SORT OF A QUANTUM LEAP FOR YOU IN YOUR SEARCH FOR AN OVAL WIN?
“I mean we were close in ’09 and ’10, but I think to be honest with you… I told the guys look to be able to win is not only having one chance at like what happened in Richmond.  Everything came right and at the last minute a caution came out and we didn’t win.  You’ve got to be able to give yourself a few chances.  You’ve got to run in the top-five, you’ve got to run in the top-10 and if you can do that the wins will come.  There is going to be a week when you did the right call and everything is going to lineup right and you are going to win the race.  There are weeks where you are going to make mistakes, but the only way to win is to be there and give yourself plenty of chances.  We are doing that and I think I’m aggressive enough as a driver where if I have opportunity I’m going to take it.  It was kind of weird last week when that last run we were really tight and Tony (Stewart) was coming on the bottom really fast.  I said the only thing I can do is make sure I don’t miss the bottom so he can put the nose in.  Like I can do a small diamond and I’ve got to make sure I come off the corner.  He rolled the top and when he got th
ere I was wide open.  If I would have kept it wide open we would have wiped each other out.  There was no point.  I’m pretty certain as well as when to give up.  Where we are in points, yes, we need the wins, but we need the points too.  I wouldn’t gain anything by wrecking with three to go and finish 30th.  We have got to be smart about that.”
 
JIMMIE (JOHNSON) IS NOT MAD AT YOU HE KIND OF ADMIRES THAT YOU FOUND A WAY TO BEAT HIM:
“He should tell me what I did because.. I haven’t figured it out myself (laughs).”
 
THERE ARE THOSE THAT SAY YOU ARE RUNNING BETTER NOW RECENTLY BECAUSE SOMEBODY HAS TOLD YOU ‘YOU NEED TO PICK IT UP’ WHETHER IT’S YOUR SPONSOR, YOUR OWNER OR WHATEVER.  ARE YOU DRIVING FOR YOUR CAREER NOW OR HAVE YOU JUST GOT BETTER STUFF?
“I always drive for my career.  We just have better stuff.  So, I’ve got a question. So last year we had Jamie (McMurray) and myself let’s say we have a deal for this year, that was not the case, but let’s say that and we were running both of us 20th’s every week. This year we all decided ‘you know what I’m tired of running 20th.  Let’s run top-10 this year.  Just for the sake of it.  You can’t do that.  The hard thing with this sport is you want to say why you are not running good.  You can say it’s the crew chief, it’s the car, it’s this and it gets to a point that they are going to point the finger at the driver.  That is the reality.  It’s always been that way.  I drive as hard as I can and I just really focus on doing my job.  Am I running 25th or fifth?  I’m driving the wheels out of the car.”
 
YOU’VE BEEN REAL CLOSE TWICE THIS YEAR DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU STILL NEED AN OVAL WIN TO VALIDATE THE NASCAR EXPERIENCE?  DO YOU FEEL LIKE THAT WIN IS COMING THIS YEAR?
“I hope they come. I think once we break that we are going to get quite a few wins.  I still feel the car needs to be a little bit quicker.  We can put ourselves in positions to win, but I think our cars need just a tick more speed.  I think we gained about 80 percent of what we needed from last year to this year, but I think that last 20 percent is going to be a little bit harder.”
 
WHAT WAS IT LIKE WITH TONY STEWART ALL OVER YOUR BACK BUMPER WHAT THAT FELT LIKE:
“Well they said okay I looked in the mirror and saw it was the No. 14 and I thought ‘I’ve been quicker than him all day’. Then I looked in the mirror again and he was half way there in two laps.  I’m like ‘hoo I’m in trouble.’ I’m driving as hard as I can.  The problem with this car is driving it harder or going in deeper you actually are just going to slow down.  You’ve got to drive it to where the car will give you.  Maybe a little more you try a little more especially because you are only running 20 laps.  You try to kill the tires and you will do everything you can, but it gets to the point that is all you’ve got.  That is all we had.  I respect Tony (Stewart) a lot and we always run really clean with each other.  He had the better car.  If you look at it the No. 24 was coming.  Put it this way, if the No. 14 wasn’t coming the No. 24 was coming anyway.  It was one of those deals that once he got outside of me I knew I had nothing.  Going into turn three the only think I could do is drive it in hard enough where I can spin underneath him.  That would have been pretty stupid.”
 
HOW MUCH DO YOU READ ARTICLES THROUGHOUT THE WEEK?
“I don’t.  I saw it on Twitter somebody put on Twitter that Jimmie (Johnson) said this about the start because he is all mad.  I just clicked on the link.  My family is in Columbia this week so I’m by myself at home.”
 
WITH EVERYONE SAYING YOU NEED THE OVAL WIN ARE NOT READING WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING?
“The only thing I do is when I’m going to the airport I look where we are in points where we improved or if we have a bad day where we dropped and what is going on.  On Monday’s I do a call in, because I live in Miami, when I’m not in Charlotte I will do a call in to the team meeting.  We discuss what happened in the race through the weekend, what I felt was right, what I felt was wrong and where we need to improve and that’s it.  I will talk to ‘Shine’ (crew chief, Chris Heroy) a couple of times during the week to see what we are doing for the next weekend and that’s it.”
 
HOW MUCH ARE YOU INFLUENCED PERSONALLY FROM A CONFIDENCE STAND POINT BY RESULTS?
“I will tell you the only time I’ve been really excited this year like a good result, you are going to laugh, it was in the Duels when we finished third in the Duels (in Daytona).  I was like ‘yes we finished a restrictor plate race finally’.  (laughs) This year Daytona it’s kind of weird you look at racing we went to Daytona and I said ‘okay we are going to run up front.’  We are going to try to run up front all day and stay there.  The No. 1 car says I’m just going to ride in the back.  We both, he was running 42nd I  think and I was running sixth.  We both got involved in the same wreck.  It’s like what do you do? We went to Talladega we had a really good car in Talladega and we had an electrical problem.  Rain came and we couldn’t even restart the car.  I lost three laps in the pits trying to get the thing restarted.  It got to a point that we just couldn’t get a break with anything.  Now we are good.  We are doing what we need to be doing.  Something that I think we are doing good whether we have a good practice, bad practice or whatever we do we just keep our head down.  We know what works.  I think we are complimenting each other with the team really well with engineers.  I think my relationship with ‘Shine’ and the two engineers is really good right now.  They know what I want out of the car and I know how to get it across what I need.  I think that makes a big difference.”
 
IF YOU GET TO THE FINAL RESTART SUNDAY JIMMIE (JOHNSON) IS FIRST, YOU ARE SECOND WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL HAPPEN?
“I’m going to beat him by 10 car lengths (laughter).  You guys are wrong… thank you.”   

Chevy Racing–Texas–Indycar– Michael Andretti

IZOD INDYCAR SERIES
FIRESTONE 550
TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
JUNE 7, 2013
 
MICHAEL ANDRETTI, OWNER OF ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT, MARCO ANDRETTI, DRIVER OF NO. 25 RC COLA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET AND MARIO ANDRETTI met with members of the media at Texas Motor Speedway.  Full transcript:
 
WILL POWER SAID AMERICAN’S SHOULD GET BEHIND THEIR AMERICAN DRIVERS IN THE SERIES.  THEY ARE REALLY STARTING TO EMERGE.  WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

MARCO ANDRETTI: “Yeah, I agree.  I think it can’t be a bad thing for us to be at least competing for the top right now.  Obviously there is a lot of unfinished business for me.  I want to start stringing some wins together to hopefully generate even more interest. It’s been a decent start to the season, but we’ve got to keep going.  I don’t see a negative anywhere.”
 
WHAT DID YOU SEE IN RYAN HUNTER-REAY WHEN THE TEAM BROUGHT HIM INTO YOUR ORGANIZATION?  CAN YOU EXPRESS THE GRATIFICATION YOU FELT WHEN HE WON A TITLE LAST YEAR AFTER YOU BROUGHT HIM IN SORT OF OUT OF THE COLD?

MICHAEL ANDRETTI: “Yeah, what we saw in Ryan (Hunter-Reay) was a versatile driver, a guy that was competitive in all different types of race tracks.  That is very important for this series to have a guy that can do that because that is the only way you are going to win the championship because it is so competitive out there.  Ryan has done exactly what we had hoped when he joined the team.  As for the championship last year it was just such a great feeling to get Ryan up there and get the championship in the way that we did.  It was just amazing.  It was also great for our team because we were going through some hard times a year before that.  To turn it around was awesome.  Ryan was a big part of that.  It was a huge year last year.”
 
YOU LOOK AT YOU AND HELIO (CASTRONEVES) ARE BOTH TIED FOR THE POINTS LEAD BUT NEITHER ONE OF YOU HAVE A WIN. WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT THE CONSISTENCY THAT YOU GUYS ARE HAVING BUT ALSO THE COMPETITIVENESS OF THE SERIES RIGHT NOW?
 
MARCO ANDRETTI: “Consistency is what I’ve worked on in the off season I just want to be consistently better.  I think we have been knocking on the door and like hanging and lingering around the top six, a couple of podiums.  I’m pleased with the start of the season, but I’m not exactly where I want to be yet.  We need to keep working.  I think I’m a lot closer at where I was weak last year, so that is helping, but like I said not where I want to be right now.  If we come out of here with a win then we could start some big momentum that will be the goal.”
 
ARE WE GOING TO SEE CAROLS (MUNOZ) AGAIN THIS YEAR?  WHERE DOES INDYCAR GO FROM HERE?  WE ARE SEEING SOLID FIELDS; WE ARE SEEING GOOD DRIVERS, COMPETITION, WHERE DO THEY GO FROM HERE?
 
MICHAEL ANDRETTI: “As for Carlos (Munoz) we are working on it.  We don’t have anything yet.  There is a possibility maybe to do one or two more races near the end of the year with him.  We would love to be able to do it.  As you see we think he’s a great talent.  He also has to focus on his Indy Lights championship too that we are going to try to win with him.
 
“Where is IndyCar going?  I mean product wise it’s the best racing product in the world.  It just really is.  Race in and race out it’s just an amazing show.  I think the whole thing is we need to get it out there more.  We have got to figure out ways to get our TV ratings up and things like that.  The basics are there we just now get it out there.”
 
WHEN YOU WERE HERE DOING A PROMOTION BEFORE THE INDY 500 YOU TALKED ABOUT HAVING A DRIVING COACH AND THAT BEING SOMETHING THAT YOU THOUGHT WOULD HELP YOU MATURE AS A DRIVER.  HOW DID THAT HELP YOU OR DID IT HELP YOU AT INDIANAPOLIS?  MICHAEL AND MARIO AS GRANDFATHER AND FATHER WHAT MATURE LEVEL HAVE YOU SEEN MARCO AS HE HAS RISEN IN THE RANKS OF INDYCAR DRIVING?  HOW HAVE YOU SEEN THAT CHANGE IN HIM?
 
MARCO ANDRETTI: “I’m not sure how it helped me at Indianapolis.  I was just really working on my weak points which at the time were the street circuits. But having said that I think a big word that wasn’t part of my vocabulary was finesse back the last few years of my career.  I think that was costing me.  I think that could have helped me at Indy just be a little more patient.  Having looked back at it now I would have probably went for the most laps led, but we were just kind of watching fuel and being more patient than I probably would have been in the past at Indy.  That is probably the only difference.”
 
MARIO ANDRETTI: “As for Marco obviously at this point has enough experience to really be able to assess what is going on and he just said it.  He realizes what he has to work on primarily the problem with some of these young lads is that because of the way the rules are today they don’t get enough seat time really to do a lot of testing like we used to where you get a chance to really try a lot of things.  Right now you come into a race weekend and you’ve got to be either right on or you’re not.  So it takes a little bit longer, but I think as you said you can see obviously that I think he has buckled down and I think focused a little more on somewhat he really needs to work on.  Again, now of course by having the responsibility to be up there in the points… what they gone six races or so in the series a long way to go for sure, but at least right now he has something to protect and go for.  He has got the team behind him and he has the experience now I think to carry it.  But, it’s all about like I said experience, maybe we are late bloomers I don’t know.  Again, I think he is at a point that he can definitely carry the team to a championship.  I’m positive of that.”

Chevy Racing–IndyCar–Texas–Helio Castroneves

IZOD INDYCAR SERIES
FIRESTONE 550
TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
JUNE 7, 2013
 
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 AAA INSURANCE TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Texas Motor Speedway, and discussed racing at Texas, the championship battle and other topics. Full transcript:
 
WHAT IS YOUR OUTLOOK FOR THIS WEEKEND?:  “Certainly now we have new colors again on the car with the AAA machine and colors are going to be on the No. 3 for Penske.  We feel great coming from two big races in Detroit where a lot of things happened and coming back to this place tied for the points and that is always very good.  Last year we felt like we had a good car as well.  It was difficult circumstances and we were able to finish in the top-five.  We feel that with a good strategy and good teamwork we can continue to be where we are.”
 
WHAT DOES BEING TIED FOR THE POINTS LEAD SAY ABOUT YOUR CONSISTENCY?:  “Consistency seems to be paying off right now at this point.  You want to win a race.  We’ve seen this in the past, it’s 50 points to win races and today the separation from first to 10th is about 50 points or close.  It’s always good to come out with a win, but at the end of the day everybody is thinking the same way and you just have to be a little more heads up on that.  Last year we had a very consistent season, we won two races and had the opportunity to win more, but my teammate will end up winning more races and he didn’t take the championship by circumstances, but certainly we know that it is extremely important to win races.  We going like with this attitude, we are going in the mode attack and get to the front and if it’s mean to be will be.  We cannot be desperate.  If this is showing how, we have so many different drivers that win a race this year and new drivers winning races for the first time.  It shows that the series is very competitive.  When you have that kind of thing, some races you have the guys with just the desire to win races and stuff like that and sometimes experience paid off and my mind right now is championship and I want to win as bad as anybody probably and I will do everything I can even if I don’t have to win a race, but if we can win this championship without a win, which is unlikely, but I will be very happy.”
 
WOULD YOU EVER CONSIDER CROSSING OVER TO NASCAR?:  “Good question.  If there is an opportunity, yes I would like to try the car first.  I remember talking to Rick Mears a long time ago and asked about different series and he said you should try before you just make a decision.  The closest that I got was in the IROC and I loved it.  It was actually a lot of fun and very difficult, but a lot of fun.  If the opportunity presents itself then certainly would love to try, but right now I only have one thing on my mind and that is trying to win as much races as possible here and hopefully bring this championship to Roger (Penske, team owner).  Dancing I think I am putting a little time off.  I did my time in terms of 2007 and then went back last year, it was great and it was kind of different things with my life.  Have my little girl and my life this time was great because I wanted to see how fun it is to dance, but I still am a big fan of the show and still keep in touch with a lot of people, especially back stage.  I love it.”
 
ON THE BLOCKING RULE:  “The blocking rule, everybody has a different opinion on it.  Right now we understand that if you move when the guy moves, obviously this is the situation where you are trying to pass, it’s tough because sometimes I see my colleague waiting until the last minute to do a movement and they judge myself when I do a move before they do.  It’s two different ways, but I guess Beaux Barfield is trying everything he can to make the races go in a nice way so people can be excited about racing.  We just trying to sometimes it’s just too many opinions trying to get in the room and one time we are going to say one thing and the next day we’re going to say another thing because we’re drivers, we always change our opinions.  But I do understand what it is.  You have to leave a car length in these tight lanes and that’s so far what’s being determined.  So far that is my understanding.  There is anything else then I don’t know anything about it.”
 
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SEASON MARCO ANDRETTI IS HAVING AND CAN HE BE A STAR IN THIS SERIES?:  “Marco (Andretti), he started very young and he’s still a very young driver, but I believe that with the experience that he can accumulate over the years finally he is paying off.  He is being very aggressive, but conservative at the same time.  Probably that’s why he’s sharing the top spot in the championship with me because it looks like he understand that even if you sometimes don’t have a car to win, it’s good to be patient.  He certainly is a talent, you can’t deny that.  The whole family, it’s difficult for the guy to do something else besides racing.  I believe all the teammates that he had in the past, he has been able to learn from it and it’s paid off.  Good for him.  I think finally he’s understanding the chemistry here and right now he is doing very well.”
 
COULD YOU WIN THIS CHAMPIONSHIP WITHOUT WINNING A RACE?:  “Yeah, that’s not our goal, but the goal is the win the championship.  If it takes more second places than first to win the championship, then sign me in and I’m ready to do that.  A win certainly is a great feeling, a championship I don’t know yet and I would love to have that feeling at the end of the season.”
 
HOW DO THE DOUBLEHEADER RACES IMPACT YOUR PERFORMANCE AND ENDURANCE?:  “The doubleheader was something that IndyCar needed to try and I like it when they try because we are able to know what is good and what is bad.  There was a lot of positive in having the doubleheader in my opinion.  I believe the timing probably was a little bit tough not only on the driver, but I think most on the team perspective because we just came from Brazil, Indianapolis and Indianapolis have to convert the cars to less than a week to convert the car for the street course.  After the first race, they stay until 11 o’clock fixing the cars or make sure the car is ready to race the next day.  If you put it combined, all this month it was very tough.  But I think financial for the teams, it’s a positive way and for promoters it’s very positive as well.  You have to pick and choose.  It’s pick the battles I guess and my opinion, our performance was average.  We were able to finish in the top-10 in both, which is actually very good especially being involved in the second race in the big accident that I still can’t believe we were able to finish the race after we were hit from the back, from the side and hit the wall.  My opinion, it’s always good to try, but I do have other opinions that I feel could improve and people could take more importance to the doubleheader.  When you talk about it, it’s two races that are very special not only for championship-wise because it’s double points, but also for the fans because you are able to go check out twice the race.  Right now the series has a great product.  All the competitiveness that we have, the chemistry that we have, it’s been just absolutely amazing.  We just need to now organize a little bit in that area.  I like the fact that we try and I’m looking forward to the other two doubleheaders.”
 
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT AMERICAN DRIVERS INFLUENCE ON INDYCAR?:  “Right now the current champion is an American and I feel that for us being foreign and racing here so many years in America, it’s great because giving a different view from the fans.  Havin
g even the IndyCar Series, it’s an international series.  We race not only here, but in Brazil, Canada, I know you sometimes don’t consider Canada too far, but still.  It’s great.  It’s just like it used to be in the past.  We have to have this type of variety of drivers, variety of countries and it’s great and our sport is doing very well.  Carry on from last year to this year.  I feel when drivers or future drivers see American drivers doing well, they want to do the same thing.  You’re going to see that more often and hopefully that’s what’s going to happen in the future.  Right now I think of the whole financial scenario, not only in our series, but in every series.  It’s going through a process.  I don’t think it’s just reorganizing things.  I see the bright future and really looking forward to continue growing and see a lot of good things to happen for the series.”
 
WHAT IS YOUR FEELING ON THE TRACK SURFACE IN TEXAS?:  “We are very different from NASCAR obviously, they are so heavy and even the aerodynamic for them is very important.  For us, we’re so more light and we do have more downforce.  What we try to do is take away that much downforce so we don’t have a pack race.  We try to stay away, we know what happens when you race too close to each other.  Even the cars right now, they are safer than what they used to be.  It’s tough, but that’s what distinguishes when a team has a better setup or a driver is a little better then they just go flat out for 200 laps.  The fans has a little bit more of a view.  Maybe they want to see that kind of competitiveness, but even when we have the slippery side of it, you’re still going to see two or three cars be very close and that’s where it’s going to be fun.  For me, that’s the type we should keep looking.  I know the asphalt is important, but the tracks are working hard with the drivers and teams so we can have first a safe tire and second an exciting race in a safe way so we can adjust in the pits and stuff like that and make fun for the fans as well.”
 
HAVE YOU HAD TO MAKE ANY PHYSICAL ADJUSTMENTS HAVING THREE RACES IN A WEEK BASICALLY?:  “Coming from Brazil and going to Indy, normally it was our last physical in terms of shoulders, neck and things like that.  You still lose a lot of liquid.  You have to hydrate a lot.  When you are going to street course that is becoming very tough.  That is what happened, we went straight from Indianapolis to Detroit and having a doubleheader, we didn’t have time to prepare ourselves because you spend 15 days in Indianapolis and you focus on everything on the race car, the different muscle that you use and stuff like that plus the PR that you have when you go to places.  Basically, you put a stop for a month in your normal training and go straight to a track that is very challenging like Detroit, very bumpy, which is normal street course and things like that.  It was very hard, very, very tough and I think anxiety played a little bit more part of it because people went a little bit easy on the first day, but the second day they put their knife in their teeth and everybody decided to go crazy, but that’s part of it.  That is one suggestion that I would like to have.  With the Indy 500, you spend so many days there and have one weekend off so that everybody charge their battery and come back with the doubleheader that could be a good opportunity or better way.”
 
ON WEATHER IMPACTING THE RACE TRACK:  “The weather was very sensitive to our cars.  When it’s a little cooler, you have more downforce and more power.  At the same time, you have a little more drag, which means people behind you catch you faster.  Being a night race, it changed.  We start in daylight and as you transition to night, the car does change.  For us, it’s typical because it is more like mental strain, but over the weekend you still lose about four or five pounds of water.  It’s a great diet way if you want to try it.  Certainly, it’s still fatigue at the end of the race.  You still have the ringing because it’s such a high rpm and stuff like that.  It doesn’t bother us, in a few days you will go onto the next and be ready to go again.”

Chevy Racing–Pocono–Jeff Gordon

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
PARTY IN THE POCONOS 400
POCONO RACEWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
JUNE 7, 2013
 
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 AXALTA COATING SYSTEMS CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at Pocono Raceway, and discussed racing at Pocono, the Wild Card potential and other topics. Full transcript:
 
WHAT IS YOUR APPROACH TO THIS WEEKEND AT POCONO?
“I’ve always loved this race track and continue to love it.  It’s a very challenging race track obviously with the three unique corners and with this new car there are certainly a few unknowns.  Anxious to get out there on the track to see what the pace is going to be and what the characteristics with the car, track and all those things are going to be so we can start tuning on it for the race.  Doesn’t look like we’re going to be tuning on it for qualifying and certainly this has been a great track for us over the years and continues to be even in recent years.  We look at our last couple seasons and the tracks where we’ve gone and actually have run really well and haven’t gotten the wins versus some that we’ve run really well and we have gotten the wins and I think Pocono is just one of those tracks where maybe when we’ve had some misfortune and things not go our way, this has been one where things have gone our way.  Hopefully, that continues.”
 
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE NEW SAFETY FEATURES AT POCONO?
“I think a repave always gives opportunities for tracks to evaluate their surface, their pit road safety features and all those types of things.  I’m only going off of memory of the last time that I was here.  I’d have to kind of do another sort of walk around or laps to evaluate where everything is, but I know that when I left here the last time I didn’t hit anything and that was a good thing.  I don’t remember anybody that did that had issues.  I know that every track, their intentions are to make the best experience for the drivers, competitors, the fans and the safest environment and Pocono certainly has stepped that up in a big way over recent years.  Even though we maybe still complain or point out certain issues at different tracks, we always know that their intentions are certainly the right thing and Pocono I think for a few years there were a little bit behind and now I feel like they are one of the leading ones because of the repave it gave them that opportunity.”
 
TALK ABOUT WANTING TO GET THE WIN AT POCONO:
“We go into every race trying to win.  We’re further up in points at this point this year than we were last year and I don’t feel like we’ve had a terrific season.  We’ve certainly had our challenges so it’s sort of refreshing to come to a place that we know we can win at and there’s a lot of different ways to win at this track.  Sometimes the fastest car doesn’t always win so you have to play the pit strategy right, fuel mileage, try to tune the car to the conditions the best you can and hopefully you come out of here on top.  We’ve seen that a lot at this track over the years.  You never give up and anything is possible.  We saw that with Joey (Logano) here, we’ve seen it with many different drivers.  Sometimes the fastest car does win and that’s our goal going in is to try to create that and we look forward to those challenges and coming out of here, even though we’ve been struggling along the way so have some of the other guys that we’ve been battling with in points so we kind of keep flip-flopping going back and forth, back and forth and find ourselves in 11th after a good, strong finish at Dover and we want to get some momentum and consistency going.”
 
IS YOUR WHOLE FAMILY WITH YOU THIS WEEKEND?
“My wife is going to be here, but the kids are not going to be with us on Sunday.  They’ll be happy that we win either way, but we certainly love having them for victories and they’ll be at a lot of races this year and hopefully we can get some wins.  Listen, right now we just want to get a win.  That’s the most important thing, but I love having them with me.  To me, this race and Homestead, especially Homestead just because this one we kind of lucked into it with the rain where Homestead we went out and really had to battle and work for it.  Plus, because of the rain here we were sort of in a make shift victory lane and everybody was soaking wet where at Homestead we were able to relax and enjoy that moment with the kids there and it was awesome.”
 
WILL YOU BE RACING THROUGH 2016 WITH THE SPONSOR EXTENSION?
“Can you pencil any driver in for every weekend for every year?  I feel like the same things apply, nothing has changed for me.  We’re still competitive and still being challenged and have goals and my back is hanging in there.  We’ve got sponsorship, which is a positive thing for our team and the sport.  We’re very excited about Axalta.  This has been a real tricky type of year for them and transition for them internally as well as for us as a team because we’ve known the name of the company, we’ve maybe seen some of the logos, but they are a worldwide company and we have to be patient with all that.  Because of the transition and the sale of how DuPont went about it, this was a season that was sort of guaranteed.  The next seasons ahead were not guaranteed and so it’s pretty exciting to know that they have that interest and have been working with Hendrick to sign an extension.  I want to race for a long time, but I can’t say how long that is going to be at this time.”
 
DOES IT EVER HELP FOR AN OWNER TO GIVE A DRIVER AN ULTIMATUM IF THEY HAVE STALLED OUT OR ARE THEY GIVING ALL THEY’VE GOT ALREADY?
“Other than the sponsorship side of that, drivers usually know before the owners know of where they stand with the team and what kind of pressure is on them to perform.  Sometimes the owner is ahead of the game when they are negotiating and talking to a sponsor and the sponsor is saying, ‘What are the driver options out there?’  That owner might not necessarily be passing that along to their current driver.  I think we’re all under enough pressure and are driven by the competition to go out there and perform in such a way that we don’t need any outside encouragement or pressure from sponsors or team owners and so I’ve never been in that position, I’ve always been fortunate being in the position where the sponsors and team owner are always asking me, ‘What can we do to help?  How are things?  Where are the strengths and weaknesses within the team and what do you need so we can go out there and step up our performance?’  That’s always been the case whether we were winning or whether we weren’t winning.  I know that’s a tough position to be in as a driver because I can imagine and put myself in that position and I’ve been in that position prior to the Cup Series.  I’ve talked about this before, getting fired was one of the best things that ever happened to me because it kind of laid my career path, but it was a hard thing to go through to know that somebody didn’t want me behind the wheel of the car because I wasn’t getting the job done.  They were right, I was tearing up a lot of stuff and things weren’t going very well.  Sometimes it’s just not meant to be and sometimes it’s just the combination.  I was driving the No. 23 S McBride in the All-Star Series, sprint cars and all dirt sprint car stuff, but it was my first big opportunity to drive for a fully-funded real operation in sprint cars and it didn’t go very well.  I got fired and then it went really well right after that for some reason.”
 
DO YOU LOOK AT GOOD TRACKS FOR GUYS AROUND YOU IN THE POINTS?
“I would say I spend a little bit of time looking through the field and evaluating how we’re running, what our potential is, mainly has been th
e case for me most of the time is I put a lot more focus on what we’re doing and what we’re capable of doing than I do the rest of the competition.  You have to evaluate what other guys are doing and how well they’re running and what kind of strength they have.  I think Martin Truex Jr. certainly comes to mind like last week at Dover, we know that he runs well there.  Their team is a strong team and they’ve had some good runs this year.  You’re looking at how high, if we perform better than we have been and get some consistency, how high up in the points can we get and who are we capable of maybe outrunning on a regular basis as well as who is behind us and has potential to run us down.  I would say much more of our focus is doing our job and I think if we do it to what we are capable of doing it doesn’t really matter what the other guys are doing as far we making the Chase.  When you talk about winning the championship it gets a little bit different.”
 
IS DENNY HAMLIN SOMEONE YOU LOOK AT AS A WILD CARD CONTENDER AND DO YOU HAVE ANY THOUGHTS BESIDE YOURSELF OF WHO COULD BE WILD CARD CONTENDERS?
“First with Denny (Hamlin), you can’t count them out.  Gibbs (Joe Gibbs Racing) is running so good right now, he’s been running good and they can strike and win at any time.  Pocono comes to mind as a very strong track for him and I think it’s going to take a combination of wins and consistency for him just to get inside the top-20.  If he gets inside the top-20 then chances are he’s probably going to be a wild card.  Because I think to get in the top-20, he’s going to have to win.  Then you take Tony (Stewart) and the thing to me that is so encouraging about Tony is they have not had a very good year, they haven’t run very well and then they go and win at Dover.  From our standpoint and trying to relate, we’ve not had the best of years up to this point, but I think we’re just as capable as they are of winning races.  That’s why you never give up, you never stop working and this is a sport that anything can happen at any time and so I think that run and that finish that Tony had is very encouraging for us.  And a great motivator.  We’ve had top-threes two out of the last three races and that’s also encouraging to us as well.  I’m feeling pretty good about things right now.  As up and down as it’s been for us, the fact that we’re even 11th in points, I think that tells me not only can we make it in the top-10, but I think we have the ability to be in a wild card and get some wins in there.”
 
HOW DID YOU VIEW THE FINAL RESTART AT DOVER?
“From inside the car I couldn’t tell.  I just knew that we started to take off and then all of the sudden we were stacking up and now looking back on the video, that was the 15 (Clint Bowyer) started to go with Jimmie (Johnson) and then I think he checked up and then that stacked us up pretty bad.  From inside the car I was just trying to figure out how not to wreck by the time we got to turn one.  If I look at the video, it was a combination.  I think Jimmie was really right there on that edge of anticipation in getting all that he could on that restart and I think Juan (Pablo Montoya) did a great job, I’ve been watching NBA Finals lately and watching the flop and that was as good of a flop as it gets.  The leader has to me that ability and that position to do that.  It’s his job to lead you to the green, to get the best start that he can and if he feels like somebody else is going to try to take advantage of that situation or get a little bit of a run on him, he can play that card, but it’s also at the discretion of NASCAR making a judgment call.  I think if the 15 car kept going and passed the 42, I don’t think they would have called Jimmie.  I think they would have thought something happened to the 42, but because the 15 checked up to not pass the 42, it just made Jimmie’s lead look so absurd.”
 
HOW IMPORTANT ARE RIVALRIES WEEK TO WEEK?
“I think it’s fantastic right because to me, we can have the best races that there are out there and without some kind of drama or other storyline that doesn’t seem like the sport gets the attention that I think it deserves.  Unless we’re four-wide at the finish line, I don’t think that it’s enough.  I think our racing has been great this year.  We’ve got the new car and when I say racing, it’s not always the battle of the cars going back and forth, it’s pit strategy, it’s guys taking risks on no tires and four tires and fuel and side-by-side racing and finding different grooves.  Guys that can come from the back to the front and I think we’ve kind of seen a mixture of all of those things.  Again, I think that in order in this day and age with social media, with all the different type of entertainment that’s out there it needs the full gamut of entertainment, which to me is rivalries and sparks flying and things outside the norm of sports.  I think rivalries are great because that creates that spark and gets people’s emotions going and shows the rawness and intensity of what really goes on.  Sometimes we hold that back because there are risks involved with that whether it be a penalty, whether it be being judged or things that can happen and to me, it’s refreshing, exciting to see.  I don’t like being a part of it, but I prefer to be watching it and being on the outside, but it’s highly entertaining and it certainly creates a lot of buzz.”

Chevy Racing–Pocono–Juan Pablo Montoya

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
PARTY IN THE POCONOS 400
POCONO RACEWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
JUNE 7, 2013
 
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at Pocono Raceway and discussed last week’s restart at Dover, racing this weekend at Pocono, how close he is to an oval victory and other topics.  Full Transcript:
 
TALK ABOUT YOUR APPROACH HEADING INTO POCONO:
“As you said Pocono has always been a pretty decent track for us. I think the shifting helps.  When they repaved the track it seemed to help.  Last year we were on pole here the first time they repaved it.  To be honest with you we didn’t have really good cars. We did a really good job we timed it where it used to be the fastest car used to go out last in qualifying, it wasn’t a draw.  We knew we wanted to try to go out really early so we didn’t post a good lap on purpose.  It worked well.  Having good results here is important.  With the speed of the car this year I’m excited to be here and run here.  We seem to be good everywhere we go.  It seems the smoother the track is the better we run.  It should be fun.”
 
YOU AND JAMIE (MCMURRAY) HAVE BEEN SAYING YOU HAVE BEEN FEELING CHANGE COMING WITH YOUR TEAM AND GETTING BETTER.  WHEN DID YOU START TO NOTICE IT?  BEFORE IT STARTED TO SHOW UP IN THE STATS? OR CAN YOU PINPOINT A TIME WHEN IT STARTED TO FEEL LIKE ‘YEAH WE ARE GETTING THERE’?
“We had a lot of speed since we unloaded with this car.  Since we started working the new car the car had a lot of speed.  It seemed we could qualify really well, but we couldn’t race that well.  Jamie (McMurray) was the other way around.  Jamie couldn’t qualify and could race really well.  We paid a lot of attention to what he was doing.  To be honest with you we just made a lot of mistakes as a team.  We had a lot of failures and loose wheels.  Bristol we had a car easily for a top-five and we had a fuel pump problem.  California was a good track for us and the selector of the gear box came off handle and everything.  We had to change the whole gear box during the race.  We had two to three loose wheels under green, a flat tire in Martinsville.  It’s kind of crazy. We had 100 percent more speed than last year and we were finishing in the same places last year when we had no problems that it was kind of weird.  I think when we got to Richmond, around there, Danica (Patrick) was ahead of us in points.  We were 30-something in points.
 
“It was like ‘man we just have to stop making mistakes.’  We really talked to the guys and talked to everybody and said we just have to execute.  Each person has got to do its own little thing.  If we do, do we have the fastest car there yet?  No, we don’t.  Are we close? Yeah.  We are going the right direction we still need a little bit of work, but we have cars if we do everything right and we have a decent car we have top-10 even top-five cars.  We went into Richmond with that mentality.  We nearly won there.  We went to Darlington we ran well there.  In Charlotte we crashed and the guys were all disappointed.  I said ‘hey we wrecked because the No. 48 spun and we got wreck with the No. 48 and the No. 20, running there with them.’  When was the last time we were running with them?  Think about it.  A year and a half since we were running good.  From everything that has happened it has been positive.  Last week was positive.  We had a really good car same thing again.  We were really good we were just missing a little bit of speed.  I think we just have to keep our heads down and keep doing our work and we will be fine.”
 
YOU MAY HAVE HEARD WHAT JIMMIE (JOHNSON) SAID…
“No I didn’t.”
 
JIMMIE (JOHNSON) CONTINUES TO MAINTAIN THAT YOU CLEARLY AND DELIBERATELY DID NOT RESTART YOU STOPPED FORCING HIM TO RESTART AHEAD OF YOU TO GET TO THE LINE.  THEN HE CONTINUES TO MAINTAIN HE TRIED TO GIVE THE POSITION BACK AND YOU WOULDN’T TAKE THE POSITION BACK.  WHAT IS YOUR FEELING ON THAT:
“If I did that why only Jimmie passed me in his lane? I mean you think about it.  Let’s say I had a bad start and he beat me by a bumper or half a car length NASCAR wouldn’t have said anything.  But it was Jimmie – the field so I’m okay with it.  He didn’t if you pay attention we were coming to the cones he didn’t even want to lineup next to me.  He was actually dropping back.  He wanted to time it.  He just mistimed it.  It’s all good.  It’s racing.”
 
JIMMIE (JOHNSON) SAID HE IS GOING TO GO TALK TO NASCAR BECAUSE HE WOULD LIKE IT TO BE CRYSTAL CLEAR HE IS NOT CLEAR ON THE RULE AND HE THINKS THAT YOU FOUND A LOOP HOLE IN THE RULE:
“Did I?”
 
ASKING YOU:
“Wow, I’m that good (laughs).  Man that is a compliment.  The loop hole is that you have to start between the cones and the leader has got to… I think the start says you have to restart between the two cones that I did.  And you are not supposed to beat the leader to the line.  What is so hard about that?  You know what I mean?  I read a quote about him this week.  I was at my house and I read a quote.  He (Jimmie Johnson) said ‘if he wouldn’t have done that the No. 42 would have beat him.’ I’m like well I’m the leader not you.  I was thinking I know you dominated the race, but we came to a pit stop and we did a better job than you guys.  And as we did a better job than you guys we are the leader not you.  Crazy enough if he would have backed off let me go he would have probably passed me again.  It would have been all good.  He wanted to time it really well where he didn’t have to deal with me through turns one and two, but he mistimed it.  That is it, no drama.”
 
HOW GOOD ARE YOU ON RESTARTS?
“I know I do a really good job on restarts.  It’s not so much about how you get off the line but how you go through the first corner.  I mean there is no science.  There are two cones and as the leader you decide between the two cones when to go.  It’s up to everybody else to follow the leader’s space.  I think that is the rule.  Put it this way if I would have restarted and Jimmie (Johnson) passed me and four cars followed Jimmie I think NASCAR would have said the No. 42 had a bad start.  But how is it that only Jimmie went away?  I don’t know.  He is probably that good.”
 
CAN WE LOOK AT LAST WEEK AS SORT OF A QUANTUM LEAP FOR YOU IN YOUR SEARCH FOR AN OVAL WIN?
“I mean we were close in ’09 and ’10, but I think to be honest with you… I told the guys look to be able to win is not only having one chance at like what happened in Richmond.  Everything came right and at the last minute a caution came out and we didn’t win.  You’ve got to be able to give yourself a few chances.  You’ve got to run in the top-five, you’ve got to run in the top-10 and if you can do that the wins will come.  There is going to be a week when you did the right call and everything is going to lineup right and you are going to win the race.  There are weeks where you are going to make mistakes, but the only way to win is to be there and give yourself plenty of chances.  We are doing that and I think I’m aggressive enough as a driver where if I have opportunity I’m going to take it.  It was kind of weird last week when that last run we were really tight and Tony (Stewart) was coming on the bottom really fast.  I said the only thing I can do is make sure I don’t miss the bottom so he can put the nose in.  Like I can do a small diamond and I’ve got to make sure I come off the corner.  He rolled the top and when he got th
ere I was wide open.  If I would have kept it wide open we would have wiped each other out.  There was no point.  I’m pretty certain as well as when to give up.  Where we are in points, yes, we need the wins, but we need the points too.  I wouldn’t gain anything by wrecking with three to go and finish 30th.  We have got to be smart about that.”
 
JIMMIE (JOHNSON) IS NOT MAD AT YOU HE KIND OF ADMIRES THAT YOU FOUND A WAY TO BEAT HIM:
“He should tell me what I did because.. I haven’t figured it out myself (laughs).”
 
THERE ARE THOSE THAT SAY YOU ARE RUNNING BETTER NOW RECENTLY BECAUSE SOMEBODY HAS TOLD YOU ‘YOU NEED TO PICK IT UP’ WHETHER IT’S YOUR SPONSOR, YOUR OWNER OR WHATEVER.  ARE YOU DRIVING FOR YOUR CAREER NOW OR HAVE YOU JUST GOT BETTER STUFF?
“I always drive for my career.  We just have better stuff.  So, I’ve got a question. So last year we had Jamie (McMurray) and myself let’s say we have a deal for this year, that was not the case, but let’s say that and we were running both of us 20th’s every week. This year we all decided ‘you know what I’m tired of running 20th.  Let’s run top-10 this year.  Just for the sake of it.  You can’t do that.  The hard thing with this sport is you want to say why you are not running good.  You can say it’s the crew chief, it’s the car, it’s this and it gets to a point that they are going to point the finger at the driver.  That is the reality.  It’s always been that way.  I drive as hard as I can and I just really focus on doing my job.  Am I running 25th or fifth?  I’m driving the wheels out of the car.”
 
YOU’VE BEEN REAL CLOSE TWICE THIS YEAR DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU STILL NEED AN OVAL WIN TO VALIDATE THE NASCAR EXPERIENCE?  DO YOU FEEL LIKE THAT WIN IS COMING THIS YEAR?
“I hope they come. I think once we break that we are going to get quite a few wins.  I still feel the car needs to be a little bit quicker.  We can put ourselves in positions to win, but I think our cars need just a tick more speed.  I think we gained about 80 percent of what we needed from last year to this year, but I think that last 20 percent is going to be a little bit harder.”
 
WHAT WAS IT LIKE WITH TONY STEWART ALL OVER YOUR BACK BUMPER WHAT THAT FELT LIKE:
“Well they said okay I looked in the mirror and saw it was the No. 14 and I thought ‘I’ve been quicker than him all day’. Then I looked in the mirror again and he was half way there in two laps.  I’m like ‘hoo I’m in trouble.’ I’m driving as hard as I can.  The problem with this car is driving it harder or going in deeper you actually are just going to slow down.  You’ve got to drive it to where the car will give you.  Maybe a little more you try a little more especially because you are only running 20 laps.  You try to kill the tires and you will do everything you can, but it gets to the point that is all you’ve got.  That is all we had.  I respect Tony (Stewart) a lot and we always run really clean with each other.  He had the better car.  If you look at it the No. 24 was coming.  Put it this way, if the No. 14 wasn’t coming the No. 24 was coming anyway.  It was one of those deals that once he got outside of me I knew I had nothing.  Going into turn three the only think I could do is drive it in hard enough where I can spin underneath him.  That would have been pretty stupid.”
 
HOW MUCH DO YOU READ ARTICLES THROUGHOUT THE WEEK?
“I don’t.  I saw it on Twitter somebody put on Twitter that Jimmie (Johnson) said this about the start because he is all mad.  I just clicked on the link.  My family is in Columbia this week so I’m by myself at home.”
 
WITH EVERYONE SAYING YOU NEED THE OVAL WIN ARE NOT READING WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING?
“The only thing I do is when I’m going to the airport I look where we are in points where we improved or if we have a bad day where we dropped and what is going on.  On Monday’s I do a call in, because I live in Miami, when I’m not in Charlotte I will do a call in to the team meeting.  We discuss what happened in the race through the weekend, what I felt was right, what I felt was wrong and where we need to improve and that’s it.  I will talk to ‘Shine’ (crew chief, Chris Heroy) a couple of times during the week to see what we are doing for the next weekend and that’s it.”
 
HOW MUCH ARE YOU INFLUENCED PERSONALLY FROM A CONFIDENCE STAND POINT BY RESULTS?
“I will tell you the only time I’ve been really excited this year like a good result, you are going to laugh, it was in the Duels when we finished third in the Duels (in Daytona).  I was like ‘yes we finished a restrictor plate race finally’.  (laughs) This year Daytona it’s kind of weird you look at racing we went to Daytona and I said ‘okay we are going to run up front.’  We are going to try to run up front all day and stay there.  The No. 1 car says I’m just going to ride in the back.  We both, he was running 42nd I  think and I was running sixth.  We both got involved in the same wreck.  It’s like what do you do? We went to Talladega we had a really good car in Talladega and we had an electrical problem.  Rain came and we couldn’t even restart the car.  I lost three laps in the pits trying to get the thing restarted.  It got to a point that we just couldn’t get a break with anything.  Now we are good.  We are doing what we need to be doing.  Something that I think we are doing good whether we have a good practice, bad practice or whatever we do we just keep our head down.  We know what works.  I think we are complimenting each other with the team really well with engineers.  I think my relationship with ‘Shine’ and the two engineers is really good right now.  They know what I want out of the car and I know how to get it across what I need.  I think that makes a big difference.”
 
IF YOU GET TO THE FINAL RESTART SUNDAY JIMMIE (JOHNSON) IS FIRST, YOU ARE SECOND WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL HAPPEN?
“I’m going to beat him by 10 car lengths (laughter).  You guys are wrong… thank you.”   

Chevy Racing–Pocono–Jimmie Johnson

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
PARTY IN THE POCONOS 400
POCONO RACEWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
JUNE 7, 2013
 
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S/KOBALT TOOLS CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at Pocono Raceway, and discussed the restart at Dover and other topics. Full transcript:
 
WHAT IS YOUR APPROACH HEADING INTO THIS WEEKEND?
“I think the way we ran here last year especially with the repave, our cars had a lot of speed in them.  I’m excited to come back and see what we have. We’re setting up in the summer stretch right now and I think that this weekend will kind of play into what we have at the Brickyard 400 here before long.  All in all, I’m excited to be here.  I think our car has been fast, I think we’ve been good on pit road and I enjoy the summer months.  That is right around the corner and looking forward to hot, slick race tracks.  Although, it’s not hot and slick right now, we need boats, but at some point we’ll get there.”
 
DID YOU TALK TO NASCAR ABOUT THE RESTART AT DOVER AND WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON IT NOW?
“I did a little bit after the race and then sat and digested things this week and I’m going to go and speak to them now that we have a lot of time this morning since it’s raining and just walk through it some more.  It’s an interesting thing that took place in my opinion.  I feel that in NASCAR and auto racing there are very few moments where maybe a penalty could be drawn or a foul could be drawn like we would see in the NBA Finals or something right now there is flopping that goes on.  I really believe that in the restart zone to the start-finish line that Juan (Pablo Montoya) just didn’t go and in my opinion, I think he played it right.  I think he was smart in letting me get out ahead of him and let them make the call on me to keep me from having the lead and winning the race.  It’s interesting, I really don’t have anything against Juan for doing it, as racers we need to work any and every angle we can to win a race.  That’s what we do, we race.  I put a little more weight into officiating in exactly how the rule reads and the way the rule is intended to be enforced.  I think we can look at enforcing it differently.  I think everybody looking at it afterwards can see that Juan just didn’t go.  What happens then when you get out of that restart zone?  What happens from there to the start-finish line?  I think with the data we have and the technology we have today, we have the tools to maybe make a better decision and make a better decision at that point in time.  It’s difficult after the race, people look at stuff and that didn’t work out.  The race had been taken away from us, the championship bonus points are gone and it’s very difficult at that point to do the right thing, but in today’s world of technology, I hope that we can figure out one, exactly how does that rule read.  I kind of get it, but from the restart zone to the start-finish line, if I guy breaks or has trouble NASCAR has the ability to make the call and say that they had trouble and it’s fine to go.  Someone flops, what then?  You think about the restart zone at Indy, you have a couple hundred yards from the end of that zone to the start-finish line and if I’m the leader and on the outside, I could let five or six cars go by and then get to the start-finish line and trap them all down and put them in position to be penalized.  Essentially, Juan found a loophole.  He found a loophole in the officiating and worked it to his advantage so sure I’m mad I didn’t win the race, and I’m not mad at him, but I think we need to look at how we officiate and how we can regulate that and keep that from happening.  Dover, it’s a very short distance from the zone to the start-finish line.  At other tracks, it’s a huge distance.  Here, it’s pretty big.  I would have to imagine it’s a couple hundred yards as well.  You could pin four or five people into that position if they take the bait, which I took the bait clearly.”
 
NASCAR SAID IT WAS A ‘NO BRAINER,’ BUT NOT FOR YOU?
“Not for me, not for the 15 (Clint Bowyer), not for the 99 (Carl Edwards), not for the 18 (Kyle Busch), I mean all these guys have talked to me and I just saw Clint and he was like, ‘Dude, I was on the brakes, like I stomped on the brakes to stop because I knew you were in trouble.’  I said I knew I was too, I was just hoping that they would see the rest of you check up.  It is what it is, I can’t change it and can’t do anything about it, but moving forward I think we can prevent that situation from happening again.”
 
WOULD YOU BE IN FAVOR OF GETTING RID OF THE RESTART ZONE?
“In the end, it depends on what NASCAR wants to have happen there.  The way I have understood the rule is they want all the lanes to come up to speed together and if possible be side-by-side going into turn one.  That’s been the goal and the way I’ve interpreted things myself.  If they want to let the leader have an advantage then I’m fine with whatever, I just need to better understand the rule.  I’ve played into trying to do the right thing and trying to maintain pace car speed when the pace car pulls off.  Obviously, some guys really choke up the field at that point, which the way they say the rule works you’re not supposed to do that, but as you get somebody backing up or getting out of the line beside the leader then the leader has the advantage and could take advantage of that.  I’m cool with whatever it is, I just want it to be crystal clear what we can and cannot do and I guess I find myself trying to do the right thing more often and I feel like at Phoenix this year I got taken advantage of on that last restart and then clearly what happened at Dover.  Whatever it is, I’m fine and if we want the leader to have full advantage then take limitations away and let’s really give them the opportunity to take that restart and if not, then let’s enforce it properly the other way.”
 
IS TONY STEWART RELEVANT AGAIN?
“With the Chase, anything is possible.  That’s the beauty of the changes NASCAR made a few years ago in the Chase and I know the 14 (Tony Stewart) hasn’t been off to the start that they wanted to have, but if you make the Chase you have a chance to win the championship and I’ve never counted that 14 team out.  Happy that he’s back, mad and all.”
 
IF THERE ARE NO CHANGES TO THE RULE, WOULD YOU BE MORE LIKELY TO TRY WHAT JUAN PABLO MONTOYA DID IN THE SAME SITUATION?
“For sure.  It’s something that I’ve thought about in the past, but I’ve always been concerned that if I didn’t beat, I feel like my best chance is to beat the car next to be the second place car, whether he is inside or out, to beat him to turn one to have clean air and not give someone the ability to side draft me.  I guess I didn’t think it through far enough and if somebody would take the bait as I did.  The reason it was easier for me to take the bait was lining up on the inside, unless you’re door-to-door, when you get door-to-door and wheel-to-wheel, you lose site of the leader and it’s very difficult to stay with him at that point.  Being on the outside gives the leader that opportunity to put the second place guy in a blind spot.  It worked perfectly.  It really was well executed and taken care of, but in the end what it clear to me is regardless of the reason and if you cause a pile up and if it takes a lap, I tried the entire front stretch to give it back and I’m half throttle past the start-finish line trying to give it back, but he didn’t take it.  What is crystal clear to me is you just stand on the brakes and stop and give it back at all costs otherwise, even if I fell to fifth, it would have been a heck of a lot better than 17th.
 
WOULD IT HA
VE BEEN AN OPTION FOR NASCAR TO THROW A CAUTION AND LINE THE FIELD BACK UP?
“First thought, no, it probably wouldn’t be something to do, but our crowd and the way people try to work things, we could have five or six of those yellows.  That’s just a whole other can of worms to open up.  I don’t know. I haven’t thought about that, but I would imagine we would create maybe a bigger mess doing that.  I think with the technology we have today, we could make maybe not an instant call, but within a lap or so could have good evidence to help make a better decision.”
 
WOULD BREAKING AND NOT KEEPING REASONABLE SPEED PUT IT BACK IN NASCAR’S HANDS AGAIN TO MAKE THE CALL?
“The leader is supposed to maintain pace car speed once the pace car pulls off into the zone and then go when he wants.  That’s been in question.  Guys take a different pace from when the pace car pulls off into the zone and it hasn’t been really enforced.  I guess there’s more leeway there than there the way it’s been called so far.  The way the calls have gone rather than beating the leader to the start-finish line.  At the end of the day, the way the calls go dictate how we respond.  We just play those odds.”
 
IS POCONO A TRACK WHERE YOU CAN WIN AGAIN OR IS IT JUST ABOUT THE POINTS?
“Points really are everything.  Our first goal is to make the Chase and then championship points or bonus points going into the Chase from a race-winner are top of mind as well.  It’s both.  I feel like last year we had really the dominant car, especially in the fall race and had a soft tire going into turn one and had a big mess on the last restart.  The track has been good to us.  I think we’ve had far more speed than our results show and it’s such a weird race from a pit strategy call that memory is telling me that we’ve been burned a few times on having a great car and guys took some chances with strategy that ended up ahead of us.  At the end of the day, I think we’ll be a factor to win the race.”
 
WHY ARE YOU HAPPY WITH CHEVROLET AS YOUR MANUFACTURER?
“We all face our challenges.  I think the Gibbs (Joe Gibbs Racing) cars have had some great speed, probably the fastest cars on all types of tracks.  The reliability has been a little bit of an issue.  I feel like we’ve had a lot of speed and maybe lacked a little to some of the Gibbs cars on the mile-and-a-half tracks, but we’ve had the reliability so there is always a challenge that a team is faced with and the manufacturer.  We’re all developing a new product this year and I’ve been with Chevy my whole life and I know how hard they work to get stuff right and very proud of their work again and my cars have been great.  We always want to be faster, but we’ve got a few months before we really need to count on that peak speed.”
 
DO YOU THINK THE RESTART FOR YOU WAS A MISTAKE?
“After the start-finish line, yes.  After the start-finish line looking back I should have been like the 15 (Clint Bowyer) and been all over the brake pedal.  You can see in the video that he is all over the brakes trying not to beat the 42 (Juan Pablo Montoya) to the finish line.  I think the way I understand it is you have the front stretch to kind of give it back and once I was in turn one, he pulled in behind me and I knew my bed was made.  I was hoping that they were going to say he had an issue and notice that he wasn’t up to speed the whole front straightaway and the call would come my way and it didn’t.  My mistake was expecting the call to come my way and I can’t count on that.  Especially come Chase time if I lose a shot at winning a race and I end up fifth, that’s a heck of a lot better than finishing 17th from hoping the call would go my way.”
 
 
 
 
 
 

Chevy Racing–Target Le Mans: Corvette Racing Ready for Test Day

Target Le Mans: Corvette Racing Ready for Test Day
First steps toward eighth victory in world’s greatest endurance race
 
LE MANS, France (June 6, 2013) – With seven class victories in the Le Mans 24 Hours since 2001, Corvette Racing is an established force at the world’s greatest endurance race. The drive for an eighth championship begins this weekend with the two Compuware Corvette C6.Rs taking part in the annual Test Day at the 8.5-mile Circuit de la Sarthe on Sunday (June 9).
 
The eight-hour session is as critical as ever for the No. 73 and No. 74 entries. This serves as the first chance to verify settings and engineering the team established since the 2012 race.
 
“As is our standard practice, the objective will be to achieve the absolute best track setup for all conditions and not necessarily set the fastest lap time,” said Doug Fehan, Corvette Racing Program Manager. “We have learned throughout our time at Le Mans that having a car in which all the drivers are comfortable is far more meaningful than sitting on the pole. Simply put, getting everything right is required for success at Le Mans.”
 
The test also is key to getting Corvette Racing’s two endurance drivers – Jordan Taylor and Richard Westbrook – reacquainted with their teammates and cars. Neither Taylor nor Westbrook have driven the Corvette since the Sebring 12 Hours in March to open the American Le Mans Series.
 
“Normally, it only takes a few laps to readjust,” said Westbrook, who will drive the No. 74 Corvette with Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner. “But Le Mans is Le Mans, and it’s a very different track than anything else in the world. Things do take longer there. But I’m not too worried. The last two years I missed the test and it wasn’t too much of a problem. So this year being able to do it is a bonus. More track time is better.”
 
While Westbrook will contest Le Mans for the fourth time – third with Corvette – the 23-year-old Taylor made his debut in 2012. The magic of Le Mans wasn’t new; he spent his formative years watching his father, Wayne Taylor, compete at the 24 Hours. As was the case a year ago, Taylor teams with Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia who have seven class wins at Le Mans to their credit.
 
“It will be nice having seat time in a car that you don’t drive that often,” Taylor said. “Taking a couple months off is difficult, but that’s the benefit of the test day. Getting more laps at Le Mans is always a good thing, as is learning from my teammates who all have massive amounts of experience.
 
“I knew (Le Mans) so well last year having watched the race my whole life that when I got on the track I already knew where I was,” Taylor added. “It was a matter of braking points and how much speed you could carry. The track itself is fun for a driver but for an engineer it’s a little tougher because you have high-speed corners where you need downforce but long straights where you want to take it (the downforce) off. There is definitely an engineering compromise but the Corvette guys do a really job with that and always give us a good car.”
 
A great car and great strategy netted Corvette Racing a class Victory Lane at Sebring. The Gavin/Milner/Westbrook trio drove from two laps down due to an electrical problem and gave the team a huge endurance boost.
 
“Sebring was a monkey off our backs,” Westbrook said. “Even though we won the ALMS championship last year, in endurance races we had a bad record. The last two years I’ve been in the No. 74 car, we were leading by more than a lap and failed to finish. So I personally really needed Sebring and I know the crew wanted to prove they could do it not just in a two-hour race but also in a 12-hour race. It’s a massive confidence builder going into Le Mans.”

Pagenaud Joins Honda Effort At Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

TORRANCE, Calif. (June5, 2013) –Honda-powered IndyCar racer Simon Pagenaud, winner of Sunday’s IZOD IndyCar Series race in Detroit, will make his “Race to the Clouds” debut later this month,driving a highly-modified Honda Odyssey as part of Honda’s record-setting 11-vehicle, nine-class effort at the 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

With support from Honda’s North American motorsports and R&D companies – Honda Performance Development and Honda R&D Americas, Inc. – the company will campaign a broad range of Honda and Acura vehicles, motorcycles and ATVs.  Pagenaudwill pilot a turbocharged, 500+ horsepower Honda Odyssey, originally developed for competition by associates at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama.

“This is something I’m really looking forward to,” Pagenaud said of Pikes Peak.  “I’ve done a little bit of rallying in France, and I used to watch highlights of the Pikes Peak race on television as a kid.  Our entry will be unique, to say the least!  A Honda Odyssey with power similar to an IndyCar will raise some eyebrows for sure! But with the preparation it is getting from Team Honda Research, it will be a proper race car, and I’m very excited about it.”

Modifications to the Odyssey include a turbocharged, intercooled 3.5-liter V6 engine; six-speed transmission and limited-slip differential from the Acura TL product line; racing suspension and brakes, including 19-inch BBS wheels equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires; and a full competition rollcage.

The 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year, Pagenaud started sixth in Sunday’s Indy Dual at Detroit and dominated the second half of the 70-lap contest, taking the checkers more than five seconds clear of the field for his first IndyCar Series victory.  The win also moved the 29-year-old Frenchman to fifth in the drivers’ championship standings after seven of 19 races. 

Pagenaud and his Odyssey will be entered in the “Exhibition” category, as will a Honda CR-Z hybrid sports coupe, driven by Sage Marie from Honda North America, as Honda showcases a diverse range of “fun to drive/ride” products in both car and motorcycle classes.  Other than Pagenaud, the entries will be piloted by Honda associates under the Honda Performance Development (HPD) and Team Honda Research (THR) banners.

American Honda Motor Co., Inc. will serve as Partnering Sponsor of the 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the first time the company has participated as a corporate sponsor of this historic event, which celebrates its 91st running on June 30.  In addition, Honda Power Equipment will be supporting race operations, with Honda generators providing electricity and light to the pits and staging area.

Honda has competed in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on a less ambitious scale in the recent past. In 2011, Honda campaigned a Fit hatchback that was built and piloted by Honda engineers from North America. In 2012, the company fielded an Acura NSX powered by an ALMS P2 twin-turbo V6 engine supplied by Honda Performance Development (HPD), and outfitted with an ex-Le Mans body and wide body kit, with support from members of the Ohio-based Honda of America Race Team (HART). In prior years, Honda set records in the EV class in 1994 and 1999 with the Honda EV Plus. This year also marks the return of advanced Honda EV technology to America’s second-oldest race, in the form of a 2012 Honda Fit EV.

Race Results Week Ending 6/2/13

IndyCar
Duel 1- Mike Conway
Duel 2- Simon Pagenaud

GrandAm
Jordan Taylor/Max Angelelli
GT- Robin Liddel/John Edwards
GX- Joel Miller/Tristan Nunez

World of Outlaws- Paul McMahon

NASCAR
KN East- Nascar Hall of Fame 150- Ben Kennedy
Camping World Truck Series- Lucas Oil 200- Kyle Busch
Nationwide Series- 5 Hour Energy 200- Joey Logano
Sprint Cup- Fed Ex 400- Tony Stewart

NHRA
Top Fuel — Shawn Langdon,
Funny Car — Matt Hagan
Pro Stock — Mike Edwards,
Pro Stock Motorcycle — Michael Ray
Pro Modified — Mike Janis
Competition Eliminator — Sal Biondo,
Super Stock — Lincoln Morehead
Stock Eliminator — Don Pires Jr.,
Super Comp — Steve Sisko
Super Gas — Tom Goldman
Top Sportsman — Marco Abruzzi

Mopar Racing–Englishtown Post Race

No.1 Qualifier Hagan Wins All-Mopar Final; Johnson Runner-Up at NHRA Summernationals
 
·         Hagan earns No.1 qualifier position and second win of the year in the “Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar” Funny Car at the 44th annual NHRA SummerNationals
·         Third all-Mopar Funny Car final elimination and Hagan’s fourth appearance in the championship round this season
·         Hagan takes over lead in Funny Car points standings from his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Gray

·         All four Funny Car Mopar entries in top-5 in tight points battle at halfway mark of the regular season

·         Johnson takes the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Avenger to its fourth final elimination of the year and finishes runner-up to Edwards

 

Englishtown, N.J. (Sunday, June 2, 2013) – No. 1 qualifier Matt Hagan took the “Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar” Dodge Charger R/T to victory circle for the second time this season by beating his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman in the final elimination round at the 44th annual NHRA Summernationals at the historic Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. This was the third Mopar versus Mopar Funny Car showdown in the finals this season, all of which involved Hagan who now has a total of four championship round appearances in nine races thus far in the NHRA Mello Yello series season.

 

“That’s our fourth final of the year and it’s still a young season,” said Hagan who won the 2011 NHRA Funny Car Championship but then had a difficult 2012 season without a victory and narrowly missed the playoffs. “All of these guys didn’t know if they’d have jobs this year. They toughed it out. To come back and be this strong blows me away. It’s just an awesome feeling to see those win lights turn on every time. It’s something that you can’t buy out here.”

 

“Everyone at Mopar would like to congratulate Matt Hagan on earning his second Wally of the year with his Summernationals title win,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “It’s great to see all the hard work that Matt and the Don Schumacher Racing team have put in be rewarded with having the ‘Magneti Marelli Quality Auto Parts Offered by Mopar’ branded Dodge Charger R/T  in the winner’s circle again.”

 

Hagan began the weekend by earning the No. 1 qualifying position, his second of the year, on the strength of a 4.050-second pass at 315.64 mph in the Friday night session at the Englishtown facility, a run that ended up being the quickest Funny Car pass of this year’s edition of the Summernationals after no one was able to beat it in the heat of the day in the final two qualifying sessions.

 

Hagan went on to post his seventh career victory by beating two of his DSR teammates in the elimination rounds. He scored a second round holeshot win over Johnny Gray, who had won the previous two national events and has three wins on the season. Hagan then put in a final round performance of 4.112 seconds at 308.00 mph to beat Jack Beckman’s 4.182 second pass at 303.98 mph and earn his first title win at Englishtown.

 

With the victory Hagan retakes the points lead from his DSR teammate Gray, who slips to second in the championship standings. Hagan initially had the lead after his first win of season at the Four-Wide Nationals. In a very tight Funny Car championship points battle, all four Mopars are currently in the top-five at the half way point of the regular season with Ron Capps in fourth place and Beckman breaking into fifth spot with his runner-up finish this weekend.

 

In Pro Stock action, 2012 NHRA Champion Allen Johnson advanced to his fourth final round appearance of the year in the Mopar Express Lane Dodge to face his nemesis, No. 1 qualifier and current points leader, Mike Edwards. To get to the final elimination face-off, Johnson qualified sixth and disposed of Larry Morgan and Erica Enders-Stevens in the opening rounds. He then lined up beside HEMI-powered teammate Vincent Nobile, against whom he has 10 win – 4 loss record in prior events. Nobile had the starting line advantage with a 0.024-second reaction time to Johnson’s 0.060, but tire shake pitched the car sideways to give Johnson the round win and send him to do battle against Edwards.

 

Meanwhile, following a win at the previous national event in Kansas, Jeg Coughlin Jr. entered elimination rounds as the top Mopar qualifier with the fifth quickest pass, marking the ninth time this season in as many events that he has qualified in the top half of the field. Coughlin beat his first round opponent Steve Kent to advance and face Jason Line, whom he beat off the start line only to have his JEGS.com/Mopar Dodge Avenger uncharacteristically shake the tires for the loss.

 

In the final elimination match-up, Johnson and Edwards had nearly identical 0.04-second reaction times on the start, with the Mopar Express Lane Dodge finishing runner-up for a second time this year with a 6.641-second (209.95 mph) run to his competitor’s 6.589 sec (210.21mph) pass. Edwards wins is his third title of the season and increases his points lead to 152 over Coughlin in second place, with Johnson just three points behind his Mopar teammate in third spot.

 

While the Mopar contingent gets ready to race again in two weeks, Johnson in particular will be looking forward to the next event at his home track of Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway on June 14-16 for the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, the tenth event of 24 on the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

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