Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Driver Notes & Quotes for 2012 Kansas STP 400

Kenseth finished 4th and 6th last season at Kansas (Getty)
MATT KENSETH ON KANSAS: “One of the aspects about Kansas that makes it a little different is the pavement, and how the surface has started to wear out over the years, which is a good thing for us when we’re racing. It’s important to have good balance on new tires in order for our EcoBoost Ford to still be good at the end of a run. We work hard during practices to make sure that our car drives well through the whole run at Kansas. Kansas is a track where cars can be aero-tight so you want to make sure that you have all of the handling the best it can be for the race so that you’re able to pass for position when you need to.”

KENSETH CHASSIS CHOICE: Primary: RK-741 (Last run at Las Vegas)

CARL EDWARDS ON KANSAS: “There would be no bigger win on the circuit than Kansas for me. If I had to choose winning one race throughout the year, this would be the one I pick. The amount of pride that I would have winning that close to home and in front of so many people that are friends of mine, and people that have helped me would be huge. We have had some pretty good mile-and-a-half race cars and we get two shots at it each year. That race for me, whether it is right or wrong, I will put as much emphasis or pressure on myself as I can to go win there.”

EDWARDS CHASSIS CHOICE: The Aflac team will be bringing chassis RK-814 to Kansas. This is a brand new car.

GREG BIFFLE ON KANSAS: “I’m ready for Kansas. Kansas is a great track and I have two wins there. We are coming off the win at Texas and I’m ready to go. Kansas and Texas might be the same distance, but they are extremely different tracks. Kansas is much flatter and the track is more uniform from one end to another. Hopefully we can follow up our Texas win with another victory in Kansas with our 3M Novec 1230 Ford.”

BIFFLE CHASSIS CHOICE: Primary - RK-777, Last ran Las Vegas – finished third; Backup - RK-786, Last ran Homestead – finished 35th

ARIC ALMIROLA ON STP AND KANSAS: “It’s really cool to help STP and ‘The King’ help celebrate 40 years together this weekend. This is going to be my first time racing a Cup car at Kansas so it’s cool that I’m doing it in an STP car. This scheme is so iconic for our sport and it’s an honor to be able to race it this weekend.

‘It’s funny that this is my 43rd start in the Cup Series weekend, too. Hopefully that’s a good omen. I have had a few good races at Kansas in the Trucks and Nationwide car, that’s going to help me be ready for the Cup car. I’m not too worried about this being my first start with the Cup car. We’ve got too many cool things going on to worry about that.

“I just think it’s awesome that STP has been with Richard and the Petty family for so long. You just don’t see that much anymore in the sport. STP and Richard are synonymous with winning races and championships. Hopefully we can get another win for them this weekend.”

ALMIROLA CHASSIS CHOICE: The No. 43 STP Ford will be chassis number 752. This is the same chassis the team ran at California earlier this year.

MARCOS AMBROSE ON KANSAS: “I like the 1.5-mile race tracks so Kansas is one of my favorites. We tend to have really fast cars and run up front at the intermediate tracks, so hopefully we can do the same this weekend at Kansas Speedway. We had a tough break last weekend in Texas (a 1.5-mile track), but we ran up front the entire race which gives me great confidence in our intermediate track program. I know the guys will give me a fast DEWALT Ford this weekend, we just need to get on track and show everyone what we are capable of doing.”

AMBROSE CHASSIS CHOICE: The No. 9 RPM team has prepared chassis No. 784 for the 267-lap race at Kansas Speedway. This DEWALT Ford Fusion ran at Kansas in last fall’s event.

MARTIN TRUEX JR ON KANSAS: “Kansas is a tough track for me to get a hold of. It will be another good place to really gauge the strength of our team. The key to Kansas is finding the right balance especially over the tar strips. There’s about five of them and when the sun is out, the strips make it extremely slick out there. It’s one of the toughest tracks for me so it will be nice to work with Mark (Martin) and Clint (Bowyer) as they’ve had strong runs at Kansas and their input will be a big help.”

Mark Martin is a team player for MWR (Getty)
MARK MARTIN ON TRUEX: “Martin Truex Jr. has been phenomenal, phenomenal. The teamwork I’m feeling right now at MWR is second to none where I’ve ever been at. Martin Truex, Jr., is really, really engaged and he’s working hard to help the whole program. We’re racing three cars to put two in the Chase for sure and win races and try to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Hendrick (Motorsports) and Roush (Fenway Racing) and those guys. That’s a tall order for right now. I’m very proud of the results we’re getting. It’s coming from a lot of good attitudes and hard-working people.”

MARTIN ON KANSAS: “After Texas I’m really excited, but I was excited anyway. I love going to Kansas Speedway. There’s nothing else that I find quite as much fun as going to work with a great race team with a great attitude. So it’s fun for me to go to every race that I get to go to. But with the great run we had in Texas we’ll be able to roll this setup logic into next week’s car. We’re still trying to improve on our long haul — getting a little easier on the tires so the thing will stay faster. If we can make any more improvement maybe we can get right up there and make some sparks for those guys. It’s a great place. It’s almost like a home track because I raced so much up in Springfield (Mo.) and I-70 Speedway and around there, so we should have a lot of charged-up fans.”

MARTIN CHASSIS CHOICE: Primary 720 - finished 18th at Las Vegas in 2012. Backup 708 – has not raced in 2012.

CLINT BOWYER ON KANSAS: “Anytime I go back to Kansas it’s always busy. I’ll have a lot of different people pulling in a lot of different directions for appearances because of the fact that it’s your home track, but I’m getting in on Wednesday night and have an appearance at the Dealers Auto Auction and from there it just keeps rolling. That’s the thing – it’s difficult to go home because of getting pulled in all the different directions—all the while trying to focus on getting a good run, because that’s really what’s important to you the most there. It’s important to me to run well in front of all my fans, friends and family.”

BOWYER CHASSIS CHOICE: The No. 15 5-hour ENERGY team will race chassis No. 716 at Kansas. Bowyer finished sixth with No. 716 in Las Vegas. Chassis No. 721 will serve as the backup and previously served as backup at Texas, Fontana and Vegas but never raced.

KURT BUSCH CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis No. 665 - This weekend’s STP 400 will be the second race of the 2012 season for this chassis. This is the same car the No. 51 Phoenix Racing team competed with at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. The car was rebuilt after being caught up in an accident late in the race at Las Vegas. Busch earned his best starting position of the season with this chassis at Las Vegas, where he started 12th. The car was built in 2011 and was used only once last season – the June race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, where driver Landon Cassill scored a 12th-place finish after starting 12th.

JAMIE McMURRAY CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis #1208 - Crew Chief Kevin “Bono” Manion and the No. 1 McDonald’s team will bring Chassis #1208 to Kansas Speedway this weekend. This chassis made its debut this year at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, finishing eighth, McMurray’s first top-10 of the season.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis #1205 - Crew Chief Chris Heroy and the No. 42 Target team will bring Chassis #1205 to Kansas Speedway this weekend. This chassis was originally brought to Las Vegas Motor Speedway as the primary car, but after contact with the wall in practice, Montoya was forced to go to a back-up car.

KEVIN HARVICK ON WHAT IT TAKES TO DO WELL AT KANSAS: “A lot of the same things that we have done should work on our Rheem Chevrolet this weekend in Kansas. It’s a fun race track because it is so wore out and the cars slide around. We just have to put a whole day together. We have to get a little bit of a momentum rolling with all the things that we are supposed to be doing right and not make the little mistakes. Whether it is in the seat, in the garage or wherever it may be. The speed has been there. We just have to put it all together and it’s just a matter of time.”

HARVICK CHASSIS CHOICE: The No. 29 Rheem team will unload Chassis No. 378 prepared from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This chassis was used during the 2011 season when Kevin Harvick earned a second-place finish at Chicagoland Speedway in September and a sixth-place finish at Kansas Speedway in October.

JEFF BURTON CHASSIS CHOICE: Jeff Burton will race chassis No. 367 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This No. 31 Chevrolet, originally built in 2011, has seen significant track time including visits to Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July 2011 (started-13th, finished-35th), Atlanta Motor Speedway in September 2011 (started-27th, finished-13th) and Kansas Speedway in October 2011 (started-31st, finished-21st). Burton also tallied a top-10 finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway last November, finishing 10th after starting 31st with this car.

PAUL MENARD CHASSIS CHOICE: Paul Menard will pilot Chassis No. 279 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This No. 27 Chevrolet was last seen on track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March, where Menard earned a seventh-place finish. This chassis was also utilized in 2011 competition at Texas Motor Speedway in November and at Kansas Speedway in October, where the Brickyard 400 winner finished 15th and 12th, respectively.

RYAN NEWMAN CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis No. 39-686 - Chassis No. 39-686 will make its fourth start this weekend in the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. The chassis already has one start to its credit this season, which resulted in Newman’s first top-five finish of 2012 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. After qualifying a disappointing 18th, Newman made a strong drive into the top-10, where he ran for most of the race. He drove from eighth to fourth in the final four laps to earn a fourth-place finish at the 1.5-mile oval in March. Prior to its start at Las Vegas this year, Chassis 39-686 made two starts at intermediate racetracks during the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, which resulted in one top-10 finish. The chassis made its debut in the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in October. In that race, Newman started sixth, led six laps and finished a solid 10th. In the second start for the chassis at the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Newman recovered from a loose wheel and being two laps down to finish a respectable 16th.

TONY STEWART CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis No. 14-706 - This car debuted in spectacular fashion in March at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., as Stewart took Chassis No. 14-706 from its ninth-place starting spot to lead twice for 42 laps en route to the win in the rain-shortened race. Prior to Fontana, the car spent numerous hours in the wind tunnel. It is a clone to Chassis No. 14-640, which won Round No. 3 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

JIMMIE JOHNSON ON KANSAS: “I like the options, we can run anywhere. It has just been a strong track for me through the years. It’s a lot like Chicago, which is another real strong track for me. There are just certain tracks that just kind of click. Kansas has been one of those for me.”

JOHNSON CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis No. 720 is a new chassis and serves as the primary for Johnson at Kansas. Chassis No. 669 serves as the backup. Should the back-up come into play, this is a pretty good one: 5 finishes of seventh or better with three runner-ups, including this season at Las Vegas.

DALE EARNHARDT JR CHASSIS CHOICE: This weekend at Kansas, crew chief Steve Letarte and the No. 88 crew will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-716. This is a brand new chassis that has not been raced.

KASEY KAHNE CHASSIS CHOICE: Crew chief Kenny Francis has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-717. This is a new car that has not been tested or raced.

BRAD KESELOWSKI CHASSIS CHOICE: BK will debut a new chassis (No. 822) this week at Kansas.

AJ ALLMENDINGER CHASSIS CHOICE: AJ will debut a new chassis (No. 823) this week at Kansas.

SAM HORNISH JR CHASSIS CHOICE: Hornish will debut the #12 SKF Dodge Charger and make his first start of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season Sunday afternoon in the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway, this weekend the #12 SKF Dodge Charger will race with chassis No. 803.

KYLE BUSCH - JGR NOTE: I have been informed that Joe Gibbs Racing instructed their PR teams to no longer include chassis information in their race previews for each driver. Denny Hamlin hasn't had his listed for two years, but both Kyle Busch and Joey Logano have stopped as of three weeks ago. Not sure what they are protecting, but the chassis info is always the best part of all the releases.


1 comment:

fredcnote@gmail.com said...

"AJ ALLMENDINGER CHASSIS CHOICE: AJ will debut a new chassis (No. 823) this week at Kansas."

Huh? Why wouldn't the 22 crew bring back that sick piece from last June's Kansas race? Or maybe they are, but aren't telling us they are...JGR?? Interesting.