Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Charlotte Notes and Quotes: Coca-Cola 600

JIMMIE JOHNSON CHASSIS SELECTION: Johnson will pilot brand new chassis No. 592 in Saturday night's Memorial Day weekend event. Backup chassis No. 553 has been driven four times, three of which resulted in victories (Indy 7/09, California 10/09, California 2/10).

JOHNSON QUOTE: WHAT IS YOUR OUTLOOK FOR CHARLOTTE? "We're obviously disappointed about where we finished in the All Star race but the Lowe's Chevy was good all night long and I think that's a good sign for the 600. I'm looking forward to this weekend's race especially since we are running a special Memorial Day paint scheme. Someone pointed out the other day that we haven't had the finishes at the 600 that we've had in the past and I'm not sure why but we're certainly going to do everything we can to change that. I think we'll be competitive this weekend."

DALE EARNHARDT JR CHASSIS CHOICE: This weekend, McGrew and the No. 88 crew will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-599. Earnhardt raced this chassis at Texas Motor Speedway last month to an eighth-place finish.

DALE EARNHARDT JR. QUOTE: "The 600 is a long race, and the track conditions change quickly. You have to have a car that is adaptable. It's not as physically demanding as it is mentally. You have to keep yourself focused and the team focused."

MATT KENSETH on racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway: "The 600 is the longest race of the season and it definitely presents challenges when you race that many miles. It’s important to have a setup in the car that you can adjust as the track conditions change throughout this race since we start during daylight and race into the night. Racing in the All-Star race last weekend allowed us some added track time which I think we really needed since we didn’t have our car handling the best we could have. I’m hopeful that after everyone has reviewed the data from last week that we’ll have a car fast enough to stay up front and be able to compete for a win at the end."

MARK MARTIN CHASSIS SELECTION: Gustafson has chosen Chassis No. 5-600 for Sunday's race at Charlotte. This is the same chassis that Martin drove to qualify third two weeks ago at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. He finished the race 15th.

MARK MARTIN, DRIVER, NO. 5 CARQUEST AUTO PARTS/GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET (ON HOW THE ALL-STAR RACE PREPARED HIM FOR THE 600.): "The All-Star Race can't prepare you for all 600 miles. There's just a completely different strategy and outlook for 600 miles compared to 100. But, the All-Star Race definitely gave us a chance to try out a few things as far as setup, where to run on the track, lane choices and those kind of things. We had a great All-Star Race. Not necessarily the finish, but the car was fast. The pit stops were great. We were in contention to win that thing, and that's what we wanted. So, we're all pretty optimistic heading into this weekend."

MARTIN TRUEX JR QUOTE: "I got my best finish at Charlotte last weekend. It’s not been one of my better tracks. The last couple of years we have had some really good runs. I feel with Pat Tryson and the guys on the NAPA team, they have been giving me great cars – but really, Charlotte is just different. It is very fast and I enjoy the challenge. Turns 3 and 4 and Turns 1 and 2 are completely different. That’s what I think is the biggest challenge with it besides the fact that it changes more than anywhere we go."

RYAN NEWMAN QUOTE: "There's still a long way to go, but for us we want to get there soon (Chase position) and stay there," said Newman. "We've had some good runs lately, but still need to step it up a few notches. There's a number of good drivers not in the Chase right now and that goes to show you how deep and competitive the field is this year.

Newman has been steadily climbing in points. After the first six races he was 22nd in points with a finishing average of 20.83. His performances in the last six races moved him to 13th with a finishing average of 12.83.

"We're doing what we need to do and that is to trend in the right direction," noted Newman. "We just need to stay focused and never get satisfied. Our goal is to win every weekend and make our Soldiers proud of their race team."

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