Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Chicagoland Notes and Quotes: Lifelock.com 400
MARTIN ON THE TEAM HALFWAY THROUGH THE 2010 SEASON: "Well, obviously we haven't won the races we won by this point last year, but I do think this race team is better than it was a year ago. We've struggled a little with the switch to the spoiler and that's cost us, but we're learning. And we're getting stronger. Our communication level is much higher than it was in our first year together. And the fight I see in these guys is incredible. No one gives up. Ever. No matter where we finish, I'm always proud of the guys on this GoDaddy.com team."
MARTIN'S CREW CHIEF ALAN GUSTAFSON ON THE SETUP THE TEAM WILL TAKE TO CHICAGO: "There's been quite a few changes, but we're going to start where we raced last year just to try to quantify the wing to the spoiler. There's also a tire change, and obviously the track has aged. But that's where we're going to start, and I'm sure we'll have to deviate from it. The world keeps turning and things change, but we're going to start there to give us a solid footing. The nice thing about having such a good car at Chicagoland is now we can go back there with the same stuff and not question if it was good. We know it's good. Now we can just focus on what's changed. That's going to help us out."
MARTIN'S CHASSIS CHOICE: Gustafson has chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-600 for Saturday evening's race at Chicagoland Speedway. This is the same chassis Martin drove to a fourth-place finish in the May 30 race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
HAMLIN CHASSIS CHOICE: The FedEx team will unload Chassis JGR 270 this weekend in Chicagoland. This car has a single start to date, a win at Texas Motor Speedway earlier this season. JGR 253 will serve as the backup this weekend in Chicago – it recorded at tenth-place finish at Michigan last season.
DALE EARNHARDT JR ON RACING IN CHICAGO: "I look forward to Saturday night races. It's cooler out, and we get to be home on Sunday. I like racing at Chicago. We've had a pretty good run there last year (15th place) and probably should have finished a little higher than we did. We've had a competitive car the past couple of races. We are getting lucky more than I'd like, but I'm proud of the guys and their hard work."
EARNHARDT JR CHICAGO CHASSIS CHOICE: Crew chief Lance McGrew and the No. 88 engineers will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-556, which is the first chassis McGrew built from scratch for Earnhardt. This chassis, which Earnhardt debuted in 2009 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, was used last at the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in May. The team tested it in June at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway.
JOEY LOGANO CHICAGO CHASSIS CHOICE: The No. 20 Team is taking chassis #272 this weekend for the Lifelock.com 400. This is the third race for this chassis in 2010. Logano drove this car to a 13th-place finish in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and finished 10th in June at Michigan International Speedway.
NEWMAN CREW CHIEF TONY GIBSON ON THE CHASSIS THEY'RE BRINGING: “Chicagoland is definitely a good track for us. Last year, we qualified pretty well there and we had a good run and finished sixth, so it’s a track where we’re confident we can run well. We’re taking the same car back to Chicago that we had there last year. It’s 531, which is also the same car Ryan sat on the pole with at Charlotte. It’s one of Ryan’s favorite cars. This is a car that has responded to changes well, and it’s a car we’ve had success with, whether it’s sitting on the pole or running well or having good finishes. It’s a car the driver has had success in, and that’s half the battle when you go to the racetrack. All drivers have cars they really like, and when you find that car, you want to run it as much as you can. Obviously, you can’t run it every week, but you want to run it as often as you can. We’re looking forward to heading to Chicago. It’s an important weekend.”
KYLE BUSCH ON THE MOOD OF ALL THREE GIBBS TEAMS AFTER STRUGGLING AT SONOMA AND DAYTONA: “I don’t think there’s any extra emphasis at all. It was just unfortunate circumstances in both of those races that took us all out of good runs. We went from having the best eight or 10 weeks of JGR’s (Joe Gibbs Racing) life to having a couple of the worst. That’s how quick this sport can change. The thing is, it’s not like we all haven’t been running well. We’ve just all had some really rotten luck. We think, as an organization, that things are going well and everyone at the track and at the shop are still working as hard as ever. We had our monthly meeting on Monday at the shop and I think everyone at JGR is as focused as ever and I know we’re still bringing really good cars to the racetrack. That’s just what happens in this sport, and there will be plenty of good days for us coming up.”