Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Driver Notes & Quotes: Kansas Price Chopper 400

KEVIN HARVICK'S OUTLOOK ON THE CHASE: “For us, I think we just have to keep doing the things that we did up until this point. We won a few races, had a lot of top-five and top-10 finishes. On the days where we really struggled, I felt like we, for the most part, made something out of those days. It was good enough to lead the points in the first 26 (races), so there is really no reason for us to change our strategy. I feel like the guys have done a great job of getting the cars prepared. We’ll see what happens. Whether we win or lose, I think everybody has done everything we can control. We’ll just go race now.”

Double Dip in Kansas … In addition to his driving duties with the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet, Harvick will drive Kevin Harvick Incorporated’s No. 33 Chevrolet in the Oct. 2 Kansas Lottery 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series event. The race will air live on ESPN2, beginning at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The race will also be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.

HARVICK CHASSIS CHOICE: Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 318 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet is a completely brand new car which will see its first laps on the track during Friday’s practice session.

JEFF BURTON ON WHETHER OR NOT KANSAS IS WHERE YOU RE-EVALUATE THINGS IN THE CHASE: “You can be out of the Chase in three races. You can either be out of it or you can position yourself to win it. Where we’ll be, who knows. The reality is we’re going to go to Kansas and race the best we know how, no matter what the situation we’re in. We hope we’re in the position to win a championship. Ten races is a long time. If you’re not learning and applying from the first race to the fifth race to the tenth race, you’re doing something wrong. Every race is an opportunity for us to learn as a team and as a driver. Hopefully, we’re there learning something that we can apply to winning a championship. I think you take each race for what it is. You go and race that race and not make it any more important than any other race. There are 10 races and they all pay the same amount of points. You can have a bad race in the beginning, or a bad race at the end, and they still have the same amount of points. You can’t get caught up in the chess game of where I am now. It’s an accumulation of all those points. That’s not to say if you’re 12th, 300 points back, you can say that you’re going to win a championship. It’s not going to happen. You have to be in position.”

JEFF BURTON CHASSIS CHOICE: Burton will pilot chassis No. 323 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This is a brand new No. 31 racer that will be put through its first paces in this weekend’s Price Chopper 400.

CLINT BOWYER ON WHAT IT WILL TAKE TO GET A VICTORY ON HIS HOME TRACK: “We’ve always run well during the race almost every time we go to Kansas. We had a flat tire last year, and ended up going a couple laps down, but we got one back. Last year was a struggle. But, I always look forward to going to Kansas. We always run well there. We ran awesome at Chicagoland, and that gives me a lot of confidence going into Kansas. The tracks are so similar. We’re bringing the same car we ran in Chicago to Kansas, and I think we have a great shot at winning. We ran in the top three all day at Chicago, and, at the end, Gordon beat us out of the pits, and ended up beating us. Kansas is going to be a good track for us.”

BOWYER CHASSIS CHOICE: Bowyer will pilot chassis No. 306 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new in 2010, this No. 33 racer was put through its first paces at Michigan International Speedway in June but contact with the wall in final practice forced the Shane Wilson-led crew to retire this Impala for the No. 33 team’s back up. After cosmetic repair, this chassis made its competitive debut one month later at Chicagoland Speedway where Bowyer finished fourth after starting 15th.

GREG BIFFLE ON KANSAS: “Kansas is a unique track that I have always enjoyed racing at. I think I enjoy it because I’ve run well there. We finished third there the last two years and had a win there in 2007 so we know we can get to victory lane there. The last two weekends have not been a great start to the Chase for us so we really need to get to victory lane to try to make up some of the points. This is a resilient team though and we are definitely going to give it all we have until the checkered flag drops at Homestead.”

BIFFLE CREW CHIEF GREG ERWIN ON KANSAS AND CHASSIS CHOICE: “We’re taking a brand new car to Kansas this weekend based on what we’ve learned at tests and races throughout this season. We’re definitely glad to get back to a mile-and-a-half race track. Kansas is a fast track that allows for a lot of good racing and we’ve had a lot of success there. My first win with this team was at Kansas in 2007 so it would be great to repeat that success there this weekend. Kansas is easy on tire wear so that allows for flexibility in pit strategy as far as taking two tires or fuel only. Hopefully that will play into our hands and we’ll have a solid run this weekend.”

CARL EDWARDS ON KANSAS: “Kansas takes everything. It takes a good engine, good qualifying effort and pit crew. The biggest thing I think it takes is a crew chief that understands how to make that car work through a long run there. So much happens at Kansas. The cars get tight, or they get loose in and you’ve got to really have a good crew chief. Fuel mileage is going to be key, too. I was fortunate to win the truck race there at Kansas. That was a huge victory and to win the Cup race would be unbelievable.”

EDWARDS CRE CHIEF BOB OSBORNE ON KANSAS AND CHASSIS CHOICE: “We are taking the same car we ran at Indy and Michigan to Kansas. It was a new car at Indy and we’ve had success with it both times it has run this year. We hope to come out of Kansas with at least a top-five finish. That has been our goal in the Chase is to finish top five in every race. So far we are only 50 percent since we didn’t get the finish in Loudon we wanted, but Dover was pretty good. It would mean a lot to Carl to get a win at his home track.”

EDWARDS CHASSIS SELECTION: RK-695 - Last outing: Michigan – August, finished third. Also: raced Indy; finished seventh

DALE EARNHARDT JR. ON KANSAS: “We had a really good run there last year, and I know Lance and the guys are coming back with something similar. Kansas can be challenging to get the car to work at both ends, but it’s a pretty simple racetrack, I enjoy running there.”

EARNHARDT JR. KANSAS CHASSIS: Crew chief Lance McGrew and the No. 88 engineers will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-599 this weekend at Kansas. Earnhardt notably drove this chassis to two top-10 finishes this year. He took seventh on June 13 at Michigan. In April, Earnhardt started ninth in this car at Texas and led 46 laps before finishing eighth.

DAVID REUTIMANN'S CREW CHIEF RODNEY CHILDERS ON KANSAS: “Kansas is a little bit different than most of the intermediate tracks. It’s really tight in turns 3 and 4 and you really have to get the car turned quick and make it to where it will drive straight off the corner. You have to look at it a little bit different then you would say Charlotte or Fontana or really any of the other intermediate tracks. It kind of stands out. A lot of people compare it to Chicago, and there are some similarities there, but you can’t take exactly what you take to Chicago and run it at Kansas. I’ve always had pretty good luck there, and I think I’ve just been more fortunate than anything there. The biggest thing is have your car where it’ll turn really quick in turns 3 and 4 and get back to the gas.”

MATT KENSETH ON RACING AT KANSAS: “Kansas is very similar to Chicagoland Speedway, but Kansas is just a little flatter in the banking than Chicago. Kansas is a good track, but it’s gotten to be a difficult place to pass during the race. It is a wide and flat track, but with the new car design, our challenge is making sure we can work on the set-ups to combat the fact that we can get pretty tight due to the aerodynamics of these cars. We’re just going to keep building upon what we’ve learned the past few weeks, and focus on making sure we make the right adjustments Sunday afternoon.”

KENSETH CREW CHIEF JIMMY FENNIG OF KANSAS AND CHASSIS CHOICE: “We’re bringing our car from Richmond and plan to run some of the set-ups that the No. 99 team ran at Chicago earlier this year since they had a great handling car. Our plan is to also use our settings from Dover since we felt we had a good car this past weekend as well and we’ll build off of those set-ups. Kansas is a typical 1.5-mile track but it’s a place that’s tough to pass with this new car because you find the car being aero-tight, so qualifying will be a main focus of ours on Friday. We’ll do a few runs in race trim and then switch over to work on qualifying.”

MARTIN TRUEX JR. ON TEAMING UP WITH SUSAN G. KOMEN FOR THE CURE: “This weekend I hope to have another good run to be excited about because our NAPA Toyota has a splash of pink on it to promote a very important program. NAPA is once again working with Susan G. Komen for the Cure to help raise awareness as well as raise money. It’s the first time I have taken part in the program and I must say, I’m not one to wear pink, but for this cause, I will be happy to sport the color. The NAPA team is kicking everything off this weekend. We’ve got blue and pink hats available for race fans to purchase at their local NAPA AUTO PARTS store or AutoCare Center. Fans can also get the name of a loved one who’s been affected by breast cancer on our NAPA Signature Toyota. That special paint scheme will run at Texas Motor Speedway and we are hoping to raise an additional $56,000 with this special project.

“For me, it’s amazing to find out how many people I know who have been touched by breast cancer. I am proud to be associated with this program and the more people we can get involved the better. NAPA is making a generous contribution to help find a cure and I hope that by running the special paint schemes, offering up the Signature car promotion and selling hats that we can raise even more money. I also want to thank all the NASCAR fans in advance for stepping up and helping with this cause. I saw a guy last week at our NAPA Race Day Experience in Dover who had already purchased his All Out for the Cure hat. That’s awesome and I think it’s great that all of us — sponsors, teams and fans work together for a good cause. I look forward to driving our No. 56 NAPA All Out for the Cure Toyota and have a good run for all those people.”

TONY STEWART ON THE POSSIBILITY OF JOHNSON WINNING FIVE STRAIGHT TITLES: “If anybody can do it, that’s the team that can do it. But I think this is probably the best shot that 11 guys have had in four years to keep those guys from doing that. It’s the most competitive Chase field we’ve ever had. It’s still anybody’s game right now. There’s a lot of racing that has to go on. There are a lot of variables out of our control each week. They have just as good a shot this year as they’ve had the last four years of winning a championship. It’s not whether they can do it five times in a row. It’s can they do it this year? That’s the big thing.”

JAMIE McMURRAY CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis #1006. The No. 1 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boat team will bring chassis #1006 to Kansas Speedway this weekend. This chassis has been used three times this season capturing the pole position twice at Chicagoland and Darlington and has two top-five finishes of second and fifth. It was also used in August at Michigan where the No. 1 started 19th and finished 20th. McMurray has led 143 laps with this chassis.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis #910. Pattie and the No. 42 Target team are bringing chassis #910 to Kansas Speedway this weekend. This chassis has been used three times in 2010 at both Pocono events and at Las Vegas. Montoya has started in the top-10 in all three events, including the outside pole at the Pocono event in August and has a best finish of seventh at the first Pocono event in June.

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