TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE
O’REILLY AUTO PARTS 500
FT. WORTH, TEXAS
APRIL 9, 2017
LEADER OF THE PACK:
Seven-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) champion and career-long Chevrolet driver, Jimmie Johnson, is the leader of the pack at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS). Johnson has six wins, 14 top-five’s and 20 top-10 finishes, more than any other driver in the series.
TIED FOR THE TOP:
Chevrolet is tied for the most wins among manufacturers at TMS with 12 victories. Terry Labonte, a Texas native, earned the first victory for Team Chevy at the 1.5-mile venue in 1999. Jimmie Johnson, is the most recent Chevrolet victor at TMS, earned back-to-back wins in 2015.
CHEVY HISTORY MINUTE:
Did you know? This weekend at TMS marks the 10th anniversary of the debut of the RO7 engine. Since the powerplants debut at TMS in the spring of 2007, the engine has driven into Victory Lane 154 times taking 20 different Chevrolet drivers to Winner’s Circle. Although the RO7 engine did not win in its first outing at TMS as Chevrolet teams made the transition from SB2 to RO7 and not every team ran the engine at TMS, it did take home its first victory in only its sixth outing at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 20, 2007 with Casey Mears behind the wheel.
CHEVY DRIVER RETURNS HOME:
Chevrolet driver, Chris Buescher hails from Prosper, Texas; a town located approximately one hour from TMS. Buescher comes into the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 fresh off his best finish thus far this season, an 11th last weekend at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. The 24-year-old Texas native is in his first season with Team Chevy, driving the No. 37 Chevy SS as a teammate to AJ Allmendinger with JTG Daugherty Racing.
CHEVROLET ENGINEERING EXPERTISE:
Pat Suhy, Chevrolet Racing’s Group Manager – NASCAR Programs, discusses the changes in the track at TMS and how Chevrolet’s engineers help the teams to try to prepare for the new surface prior to getting to the track:
“NASCAR’s Monster Energy Cup and Xfinity Series are headed to the newly repaved and reconfigured Texas Motor Speedway. In addition to repaving and drainage improvements around the entire track, Turns 1 and 2 have been widened significantly and the bank angle has been reduced from about 20° to about 15°. Turns 3 and 4 remain at the original 20°. The difference in banking from end to end of the track means that a car that is set up to handle well at one end might not handle all that well at the other. Drivers and crew chiefs are going to have decisions to make in terms of trading speed in one end for the other.
“Most of the time when a track is reworked, there will be a tire test and possibly an organizational test to help Goodyear and the teams prepare for the race as well as time to do a detailed scan of the track for use on our Chevrolet Driver in the Loop Simulator. To do a proper simulation you need a detailed track model, a tire and vehicle model. With no tire test and no track scan, we only have one out of three variables which is definitely not ideal. But, rather than throwing their hands in the air and giving up, our Team Chevy engineers along with our team’s engineers went to work with what information we do have to generate as much data as possible to prepare for this weekend’s races.
“This is the kind of challenge crew chiefs, engineers and drivers love and there’s no better group to do it than Team Chevy. I’m excited to see everything from first practice through the race and how our teams adapt to the new track configuration throughout the weekend. With all the hard work from our group to the teams, I’m hopeful that we will cap off the weekend with a trip to victory lane on Sunday.”
The O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 is scheduled to begin on Sunday, April 9 at 1:30 pm, ET. Live coverage can be found on FOX, PRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
BY THE NUMBERS:
Chevrolet has won 39 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer Championships
Team Chevy drivers have scored 767 wins and 690 poles in MENCS competition
Chevrolet drivers have won 12 of 32 races at Texas Motor Speedway. Victories by current Team Chevy drivers are:
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, has six victories at Texas Motor Speedway (’07, ’12, ’13, ’14 & ’15 – Twice)
Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS, has one victory at Texas Motor Speedway (’06)
Ryan Newman, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS, has one cowboy hat from Texas Motor Speedway (’03)
A Chevrolet driver has won one of the last three races at Texas Motor Speedway
A Chevrolet driver has sat on the pole at Texas Motor Speedway 14 times
Team Chevy drivers have scored 61 top-five and 145 top-10 finishes at Texas Motor Speedway
A Chevrolet has led laps 4, 024 (37.5% of possible 10,731 laps) at Texas Motor Speedway
FOR THE FANS:
Fans can visit the Team Chevy Racing Display in the Fan Zone at Texas Motor Speedway
Fans can check out great a great assortment of Chevrolet vehicles including: Cruze Hatchback, Malibu, Impala, Equinox, Traverse, Tahoe, Camaro SS, Corvette, Silverado 1500, Silverado 1500 Special Ops, Silverado 2500 and Colorado Z71
· TEST DRIVE: This weekend at Texas Motor Speedway fans can take an on-site Test Drive in their favorite Chevrolet. Vehicles available for test drive will be: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox, Malibu Premier, Silverado 1500 Realtree Edition, Colorado Diesel, Cruze Hatchback, Tahoe LT, Camaro and Corvette. The Test Drive station will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to Noon. A shuttle will be available from the Team Chevy display to the Test Drive area.
At the Chevrolet Display, fans can view the No, 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, No. 3 DOW Chevrolet SS and No. 7 Brandt Chevrolet Camaro Xfinity Series show cars
Also on display is a Chevrolet R07 racing engine complete with electronic fuel injection. Fans can also see a sample of engines, parts and accessories available for purchase from Chevrolet Performance at their local Chevrolet dealer
Other activities at the Team Chevy Racing Display include a variety of interactive games for adults and kids
TEAM CHEVY QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSIONS AT THE DISPLAY:
Friday, April 7th
12:00 p.m. – Daniel Hemric
12:30 p.m. – Brandon Jones and Brendan Gaughan
2:30 p.m. – Paul Menard
Sunday, April 9th
9:10 a.m. – Ryan Newman
9:45 a.m. – Ty Dillon
Chevrolet Display Hours of operation: Fri. April 7th – 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.; Sat. April 8th – 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Sun. April 9th – 7:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 NAPA CHEVROLET SS – 2ND IN STANDINGS
“I’m looking forward to getting back to Texas — what a fun place. I think Texas will always be special to me after getting my first XFINITY Series win there. It’s a place I enjoy going to and after the good runs we had there last season, I’m definitely looking forward to returning.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 SHERWIN-WILLIAMS EMERALD CHEVROLET SS – 9TH IN STANDINGS
“I think Texas (Motor Speedway) will be a great unknown for us this weekend. With the re-pavement and reconfiguration of the track I am somewhat surprised that we didn’t get a full test day to prepare for this race. I have always enjoyed racing at Texas, so I will be curious to see how everything goes this weekend when we finally get on track. We have had really fast cars at all the different track types so far, this year and I expect this weekend will be the same, we’ll just have to adjust to the new track like everyone else.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – 11TH IN STANDINGS
“I think it caught a lot of people by surprise that they were going to do it before the first race. It kind of makes sense to do it between April and November, but hey if they’ve got to do it, they’ve got to do it. It’s just that as a driver, we typically struggle at those newly repaved tracks.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – 12TH IN STANDINGS
“I was surprised because it happened so late, so it was kind of like last minute, but I wasn’t surprised about the repave. I don’t think there has been a series that has been able to race at that track in two years and not had some type of delays, maybe even days or months of delays. They needed to do it. The drainage is terrible there. The surface is great, but the drainage is terrible, so fix it. We will have a new surface and hopefully it will put on a great show.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – 14TH IN STANDINGS
“Before the repave, Texas kind of falls in that Auto Club Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway mentality where you need to preserve the tires. For whatever reason, you could charge really hard at Texas to start a run. As we move into this era with the new asphalt that is going down. I think we are going to be able to run as hard as we want the entire race. Of course, we are going to talk about the uncomfortableness of the cars with the new asphalt going down. Goodyear is forced to bring a hard tire and it’s hard to make our cars respond comfortably to that. So, it will kind of be your traditional repave discussion I believe. But, I hope we have learned some lessons through repaves and the type of asphalt to put down and even some treatment that can be done with the surface to help promote tire wear and get the track moving in the right direction quicker.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOW CHEVROLET SS – 18TH IN STANDINGS
“Try and approach it as an opportunity. You want to try different things when you can and be aggressive and see if you can find speed because you might hit on something really quick that will give you an advantage throughout the weekend because it’s basically like the first race there. It’s one of those places you try to be aggressive and learn as much as you can.”
TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICO CHEVROLET SS – 24TH IN STANDINGS
“I think the first year it’s going to be a little bit tough. It seems like every time you repave a track the first couple of years is tough. There have been some tracks that we have had great racing right off the bat, so hopefully that is the case. It’s going to be extremely fast, so that just makes it a little bit tougher for the racing.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 AXALTA CHEVROLET SS – 25TH IN STANDINGS
“They reconfigured Turns 1 and 2, so it will be fun to have something a little bit new to try out. I haven’t seen the track yet, but the repaves are a bit of a challenge for everyone because there’s not a preferred groove. I know they worked hard to try to speed up the aging process to give us the ability to widen the groove. As a driver, you’re always excited by what might be better, so I’m looking forward to getting on the track and getting some laps.
“Texas has always been one of my preferred stops because of the success we had in the XFINITY Series and Cup Series – you never forget where you won your first race, and neither do your fans. So, I always look forward to coming here. This is a track that really puts on a good show. Before the repave, it was a very wide racetrack where you could use a lot of different lines and it was so much fun. I think the track will still be that way. This place is going to maintain its character and personality. The asphalt is new but it’ll age with the weather out here and the environment, it’ll speed up that process.”
AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 KROGER CLICKLIST CHEVROLET SS – 26TH IN STANDINGS
“I’m not sure how it is going to be different at Texas. It will be interesting with Goodyear not doing a tire test out there. I expect the tire to be pretty hard so that’s going to be a challenge; low downforce. Probably going to be pretty fast. I’m looking forward to it, but it’s definitely going to be interesting. No one has been on the racetrack yet. Practice is going to be quite key going to Texas. It’s crucial to get as many laps as we can with our No. 47 Kroger ClickList Chevrolet SS.”
CHRIS BUESCHER, NO. 37 SCOTT PRODUCTS CHEVROLET SS – 27TH IN STANDINGS
“It’s not your typical solid black repave. They’ve got a tire monster here to essentially wash the racetrack as soon as it’s repaved, and they have lime to age the racetrack as quickly as possible. Knowing that new pavement doesn’t always create the best racing. Newer, smoother better option pavement is what’s really going to create a better race.”
MICHAEL MCDOWELL, NO. 95 WRL GENERAL CONTRACTORS CHEVROLET SS – 28TH IN STANDINGS
“Yeah, I hate it for them. I mean it’s not what anybody wants to do, but when you have a five-hour rain delay because you have weepers you have to change the infrastructure. If we would have known now what we know when we were building the race track it would be completely different. But, here is the good news, the sport is going to be around for a long time. We know how to pick, select and use the aggregate better than we ever have, so I’m sure it will be a very short period of time before the racing is back to the way it was.”