Thursday, September 23, 2010

Driver Notes & Quotes: Dover AAA 400

DENNY HAMLIN'S APPROACH AT DOVER AS THE POINT LEADER: “We really need to approach it like any other race. We know it’s big and that we are in a good position, but we aren’t taking anything for granted.  We know what we need to do and it’s just like the other weekends.  At Dover, qualifying is very important because pit road there is a scary place so we’ll be hoping to improve there for sure. Being the points leader doesn’t make a difference.  You can’t let that interfere with the focus of the team because there is so much racing left to do. We’ve learned that over the years.”

HAMLIN CHASSIS CHOICE: The FedEx team will unload Chassis JGR 279 this weekend in Dover. This car recorded a fifth place finish at Pocono in August. JGR #270 will serve in backup duty this weekend – it won at Texas earlier this season.

TONY STEWART ON DIFFERENCES OF DRIVING ON CONCRETE: “I don’t think you drive it any differently. But because it is concrete, the track has a lot more bumps than an asphalt track would. There are seams in Dover’s surface and places where they’ve cut the concrete for expansion. Those sections shift and change, and every year when you go there, the bumps are a little bit different than they were the year before. Dover is a track that’s constantly changing. But it’s one of those places where you really can’t change your driving style. You still have to do the same things you always do. It’s just a matter of finding the package that’s right for that racetrack. But other than that, you go through the same set of scenarios and challenges you would on any asphalt track – either the car is going to be tight or it’s going to be loose.”

KYLE BUSCH ON RACING AT DOVER: “It’s a place where I really like to go. I run well there in the Trucks, the Nationwide cars and the Cup cars. I like going there. It’s a hard place to get around. It’s a little bit treacherous and kind of tricky, sometimes, especially the way the rubber is there and the way Goodyear brings tires in. I like going to Dover. We won there in the spring. I feel like we can go back there and kind of repeat that performance. We ran top-five most of the day and then made some really good changes toward the end of the race and got there to try to compete for the win and we beat Jimmie (Johnson) on pit road. There again, you can’t have a mistake on pit road, on the last pit stop during a green flag stop or something. There are so many different ways to lose these races that you have to keep your head on.”

JIMMIE JOHNSON ON NEW HAMPSHIRE AND MOVING FORWARD: “We by all means did not want to finish 25th. I don’t think it’s taken us out of the drive for our fifth championship. We still have that opportunity. We can’t have another bad race. We have to be spot on from here on out, I believe. Other guys are going to have some trouble at some point – at least I’m hoping for that. But that’s the thing – you just never know what the finishing average is going to be for the champion. And opening with a 25th isn’t the right thing. But we’re a great race team. We showed up and performed well, had a mistake on pit road and then the issue of being caught up in some wrecks and spun around and all of that, so we have to pick our chins up and lift our heads up and go to work and show up at Dover and give 100% once again and be ready to work, bottom line.”

JOHNSON CHASSIS SELECTION: Johnson last piloted chassis No. 558 to a 22nd-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July. Backup chassis No. 553 was driven to Victory Lane by Johnson at Auto Club Speedway in February.

JEFF BURTON ON WHAT IT TAKES TO WIN AT DOVER AFTER FINISHING RUNNER-UP LAST TIME: “I’d love to finish first. Dover is a fun race track. It’s a huge challenge. It’s very difficult to get around there. But, to run well there, you need to get the throttle and the brake matched up. It’s very difficult, so it’s a challenge to go there. It’s a track we always run well. We never seem to run great, but we always run well. Hopefully, we can step it up just a little bit, and find a way to be better.”

BURTON CHASSIS CHOICE: Jeff Burton will pilot chassis No. 314 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new this season, this is the same Caterpillar Chevrolet Burton drove to a fourth-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway three weeks ago.

CARL EDWARDS ON RACING AT DOVER: “We have nine races left in the Chase and we are going to Dover to win this race. We are going all out 100 percent. We’re taking a new car this weekend that should be fast. I’m excited to go there. It’s a great track for me and my Aflac team. We’ve had some really good runs there including a win. For me this is one of the races in the Chase where I can make a difference as a driver.”

EDWARDS CHASSIS CHOICE: RK-705 – This is a brand new car.

GREG BIFFLE ON DOVER: “I am definitely ready to get to Dover this weekend. I think it should be the start of a few good finishes for us. We’ve been running well at the faster tracks and I think that will carry over to Dover, Kansas, California and Charlotte. We need to get solid top-five finishes at each of those tracks because we consider Martinsville and Phoenix to be weaker tracks for us and you just never know what might happen at Talladega. We didn’t have the start to the Chase last weekend at New Hampshire that we were looking for but this team is resilient and we’re already looking ahead.”

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