Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Driver Notes & Quotes for 2012 Texas Samsung Mobile 500

Matt Kenseth won at Texas for the second time last spring
MATT KENSETH ON TEXAS: “I really enjoy racing at Texas, and especially the added fun of it being a night race now, just adds some excitement to the weekend. It’s a place I’ve been fortunate to have had a lot of great finishes at, and it’s a track where Roush Fenway as an entire team seems to perform well at. Texas gives us several lines to race on, so it’s just turned into a place where drivers can take the high line or the low line when it comes to racing for position. Texas is just a great fast track with the challenge of relatively flat straightaways and high-banked turns so it’s a place that can be challenging, but I always look forward to racing there twice a year.”

KENSETH CREW CHIEF JIMMY FENNIG ON TEXAS: “We’ve had a lot of success at Texas over the years and had two great runs last season. Last November, our car got loose as the race went on and the track rubbered up so we’ll work on those similar situations this weekend in practice. We only have one practice Friday that will be around the same time as the race starts so we’ll spend time on race trim since track conditions should be similar to Saturday. I’m hoping that we can either get a win or a top five for our Best Buy team to start back up this next stretch of races.”

KENSETH CHASSIS CHOICE: Primary: RK-810 (brand new chassis)

CARL EDWARDS ON TEXAS: “I love racing at Texas and it’s been one of our best race tracks. I’ve got some great memories from that place and it’s a fun place to win a race. Martinsville is behind us and we have some really good tracks coming up this month with Texas and Kansas. Those mile-and-a-half tracks have been great for us from day one.”

EDWARDS CHASSIS CHOICE: The Fastenal Blue Team will be unloading chassis No.RK-811 at Texas this weekend. This is a new car.

GREG BIFFLE ON TEXAS: “I’m jacked up going to Texas and I cannot wait. I love that race track and we have Filtrete on the car this weekend. Texas is a challenging place, coming off of turn two the track really flattens out, but getting into three and four it’s different on both ends, making for a kind of a long sweeping corner. Typically we run the bottom in three and four, and maybe run up the race track a little bit in one and two. Kind of a double dog leg down the frontstretch and it can be a little bit challenging getting to pit road for green-flag pit stops. We’ve run really really well there, I’ve had a lot of success at Texas, and I feel like it could be our first win of the season coming up.”

BIFFLE CHASSIS CHOICE: Primary: RK-809 - Brand new chassis; Backup: RK-786 - Last ran Homestead – finished 35th

KEVIN HARVICK ON TEXAS: “Texas (Motor Speedway) was probably the worst track for us last year. We struggled with what we needed to get in the car to be able to have speed and race well. We’re going there with a different mindset this year to try to get some speed out of the car. In Las Vegas, we had a lot of speed, so our first mile-and-a-half race went really well and hopefully when we get to Texas we can have it all together.”

HARVICK CHASSIS CHOICE: Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 391 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Harvick scored an 11th-place finish in this Chevrolet last month at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

JEFF BURTON ON RECENT RUNS AT TEXAS: “That just shows you how hard the sport is. I know that no matter how well we ran one week, it doesn’t mean we are going to run that poorly the following week. It’s a constant test of where you and your team are and this is a very demanding sport. Honestly, none of our performances last year looked very good and it was just a continuation of what had gone on for the entire season. I think we have run better than many of our finishes indicated. Texas Motor Speedway is different anytime we run there. That is why we have seen so many different winners. That track doesn’t have a personality. Every time you go there, it is something different. I think that is why you see so many drivers run well there one race and then terrible the next. I don’t know why, but it is different every time we go there.”

BURTON CHASSIS CHOICE: Jeff Burton will race chassis No. 385 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable this weekend. This is a brand new No. 31 Chevrolet that will turn its first laps this weekend.

PAUL MENARD CHASSIS CHOICE: Menard will pilot Chassis No. 386 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This No. 27 Chevrolet is a brand new addition to the RCR fleet and will log its first laps on the track during Thursday’s practice session.

KASEY KAHNE CHASSIS CHOICE: Crew chief Kenny Francis has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-713. This is the same car Kahne drove in March at Auto Club Speedway, where he started fifth and finished 14th.

JIMMIE JOHNSON CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis No. 714 is a new chassis and serves as the primary for Johnson at Texas. Chassis No. 669 serves as the backup and last ran at Las Vegas in March and finished 2nd.

DALE EARNHARDT JR CHASSIS CHOICE: Crew chief Steve Letarte and the #88 team will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-668 at Texas Motor Speedway. Earnhardt last raced this chassis to a 10th-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March.

RYAN NEWMAN CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis No. 39-682 - This chassis made two runs last season, which resulted in two top-20 finishes. The car debuted at Atlanta Motor Speedway in September. Although Newman qualified in the top-10, he struggled with track position for most of the day and finished a disappointing 20th. Chassis No. 39-682 returned to action for last season’s finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. After qualifying 14th, Newman ran as high as second at Homestead. He ran in the top-10 for the most of the day but ended the race in 12th place. The chassis has been updated for the 2012 season and will make its first start this year at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

TONY STEWART CHASSIS: Chassis No. 14-640 - This car debuted in May 2011 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway where it enjoyed a solid outing, qualifying ninth and leading six laps before finishing seventh. It spent time in the wind tunnel afterward and made its second career start at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway in June. There, it qualified 15th and moved its way into the top-five by lap 124, only to be felled two laps later when Stewart reported that he had lost third gear. The balky transmission prevented Stewart from getting up to speed quickly on restarts, which conspired to leave Chassis No. 14-640 in 21st place when the checkered flag dropped. The car returned to Pocono in August where it rallied from its 28th-place starting spot and a flat left-front tire on lap 92 that at one point had Stewart a lap down to finish on the lead lap in 11th.

Chassis No. 14-640 broke through in the first race of the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., when it started 26th and led four times for 35 laps en route to the win. The car received a new body during the offseason and participated in a Goodyear Tire Test Feb. 7-8 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Its first race of 2012 and fifth overall came at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March, where Stewart drove from seventh to lead three times for a race-high 127 laps to score his first Sprint Cup win at Las Vegas. Now, Chassis No. 14-640 returns to another intermediate track, like Las Vegas and Chicagoland, for Saturday night’s Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. This will mark the car’s sixth career start, but first at Texas.

JAMIE McMURRAY CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis #1104 - Crew Chief Kevin “Bono” Manion and the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats team will bring Chassis #1104 to Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. This chassis made its debut in last year’s All-Star race, finishing 17th. Since that time the chassis also raced in the spring race at Charlotte (37th), both races at Michigan (19th, 23rd) and in the fall race at Dover (15th).

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis #1119 - Crew Chief Chris Heroy and the No. 42 Target team will bring Chassis #1119 to Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. This chassis saw track-time last year at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway finishing 14th and 18th, respectively. This season, this chassis finished 17th at Fontana.

KURT BUSCH CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis No. 665 - Saturday night’s Samsung Mobile 500 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 built in 2011 and used only once that season, which was the June race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, where driver Landon Cassill scored a 12th-place finish after starting 12th.

MARK MARTIN ON TEXAS: “Texas Motor Speedway is the site of a lot of great success for me. I think we’ve won a race and finished in the top five seven times. We blew up the first year leading the race and Jeff Burton went and got his first win. Then the next year (1998) we got the win. I’ve won three Nationwide races there. It’s an absolutely great place to race and man is it fast!”

MARTIN CHASSIS CHOICE: Primary 729 – Backup 708 – Neither has raced in 2012.

CLINT BOWYER CHASSIS CHOICE: The No. 15 5-hour ENERGY team will race chassis No. 730 at Texas. Chassis No. 721 will serve as the backup. No. 730 is new and No. 721 has been on backup duty at Fontana and Vegas but never raced.

BOBBY LABONTE ON TEXAS: “We’re bringing the car we ran at Vegas (Las Vegas Motor Speedway). It’s a good car and I feel good about racing it at Texas.”

“Going home is always great and Texas is a state that has a lot to offer,” Labonte said. “The Dallas/Fort Worth area is beautiful. They are two great towns. There’s a lot of pride in the state of Texas. There’s so much to do. From a sports standpoint, you can come out to the races at Texas Motor Speedway, go to the world’s largest domed structure to watch a Dallas Cowboys football game or catch a Texas Rangers baseball game at their beautiful ballpark. Texas Motor Speedway is one of the biggest venues on our circuit and it’s just neat to be able to go and visit the great state of Texas a couple times a year for the races.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI CHASSIS CHOICE: The No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger team will race chassis PRS-820 during Saturday night’s Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS). This is a new chassis to the No. 2 fleet.

AJ ALLMENDINGER CHASSIS CHOICE: AJ and his Todd Gordon-led Penske Racing #22 Team will be racing their new "PRS-821" Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Charger this weekend at Texas. The "PRS-814" is the backup Dodge Charger for the "Double-Deuce" team. It was in the transporter serving as the backup at Las Vegas and at Fontana, but has never seen any track time.

MARCOS AMBROSE CHASSIS CHOICE: The No. 9 RPM team has prepared chassis No. 735 for this weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway This Stanley Ford was run last year in both Texas events.

ARIC ALMIROLA CHASSIS CHOICE: The #43 Smithfield Ford will be chassis number 783. This is the same chassis the team ran in Las Vegas earlier this year.


No comments: