Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Driver Notes & Quotes for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race

Nothing like the NASCAR All-Star race (Getty)
KEVIN HARVICK ON ALL-STAR RACE: “Our All-Star race is a lot different than other sports. With the All-Star race they put a million dollars in front of you. Anytime they put that much money in front of anybody it’s going to cause things to rise to another level. Take the points away from that and you really have some unique scenarios that come up. It’s always fun when you know there is really nothing on the line but to win. If you do, then usually there is a big check waiting for you at the end so that gives you some bragging rights and a lot of money.”

HARVICK CHASSIS CHOICE: Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 391 from the Richard Childress Racing Sprint Cup Series stable. This chassis was built new for competition in 2012, and was driven by Harvick earlier this season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway where he finished 11th and ninth, respectively.

PAUL MENARD CHASSIS CHOICE: Menard will pilot Chassis No. 328 from the Richard Childress Racing Sprint Cup Series stable in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. This No. 27 Chevrolet was last seen on track at Phoenix International Raceway in March where Menard finished 31st after he was spun from behind. This chassis was also used in competition in 2011 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Darlington Raceway and the November event at Phoenix.

JEFF BURTON CHASSIS CHOICE: Burton will race chassis No. 355 from the Richard Childress Racing Sprint Cup Series stable. This No. 31 Chevrolet was utilized three times last season at Darlington Raceway (start-24th, finish-33rd), Kansas Speedway (start-16th, finish-25th) and Chicagoland Speedway (start-22nd, finish-15th) and will make its first appearance of 2012 this weekend.

JIMMIE JOHNSON ON THE ALL-STAR BEING A TEST FOR THE COCA-COLA 600: “Yes, for sure. Not only for the 600, but we’ve been there some years where we needed to improve our mile-and-a-half stuff and just came with just a totally different concept. It is a great testing weekend with practice and qualifying and all of that stuff. It’s a good time to try stuff, and all teams do.”

JOHNSON CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis No. 720 serves as the primary for Johnson for the Sprint All-Star Race. Chassis No. 669 serves as the backup. (Editor's note: In their press release last week they said Chassis No. 681 won at Kansas, this week they're saying chassis No. 720 won at Kansas last year in it's only run. When referring back to last seasons notes, it was chassis No. 681 that won at Kansas last season as they started last week. Chassis No. 720 ran in this years Kansas race and Johnson finished third.)

RYAN NEWMAN CHASSIS SELECTIONS: Chassis No. 39-686 will make its fifth start this weekend in the non-points-paying NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway and its second start at the 1.5-mile oval that most of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team’s call home. The chassis already has two starts to its credit this season at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City and Las Vegas Motor Speedway. At Kansas, Newman ran in the top-15 for most of the race but, with less than 70 laps to go, he was forced to the pits for an unscheduled stop with what he thought was a deflating tire. He exited the pits one lap down to the leaders, ending his shot at a top-10 finish and relegating him to 20th place.

At Las Vegas, Newman qualified a disappointing 18th but 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. Last 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 in October, where 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.

JAMIE McMURRAY CHASSIS CHOICE: Crew Chief Kevin “Bono” Manion and the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops®/AllState team will bring Chassis #1106 to Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend.  Last season, this chassis competed in both races at Kansas Speedway (finishing 29th and 22nd) as well as Atlanta Motor Speedway (finishing 16th).

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA CHASSIS CHOICE:  Crew Chief Chris “Shine” Heroy and the No. 42 Target team will bring Chassis #1119 to Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend.  This chassis saw track-time last year at Charlotte and Texas Motor Speedway finishing 14th and 18th, respectively.  This season, this chassis finished 17th at Fontana and 16th at Texas.

CARL EDWARDS ON THE ALL-STAR RACE: “We need the All-Star race right now.  It’s a race where we can just go, let it all hang out, have some fun and not worry about any points.  We’re just going for the win in each segment and hopefully get to victory lane like we did last year.  That was a blast and one of the neatest nights of my career, so I’m excited to just go out there and have some fun.”

EDWARDS CHASSIS CHOICE: The No. 99 Fastenal Blue Team will be unloading chassis RK-782 for this weekend’s event. Edwards raced this Ford Fusion at California in March of this year where he finished fifth.

GREG BIFFLE ON THE ALL-STAR RACE: “I’m super excited for the All-Star race Saturday night.  No points, I don’t have to worry about anything, it’s kind of like having a week off and getting to drive the car how I want to.  The team is pumped up about the Pit Crew Challenge Thursday night and we are excited about trying to win the million dollars Saturday night.”

BIFFLE CHASSIS CHOICE: Primary: RK-803 Last ran California – finished sixth; Backup: RK-786 Last ran Homestead – finished 35th.

MATT KENSETH ON THE ALL-STAR RACE: “It seems that teams are always willing to take more risks and try new things when it comes to the All-Star race simply because there aren’t any points associated with this race.  The All-Star race is just a lot of fun because there are a bunch of neat events that lead into the weekend including the Pit Crew Challenge and then having to qualify with a pit stop on Friday.  Everyone is chasing the big check at the end of the race and I’m looking forward to having Fifth Third Bank on our car for this weekend for their first Cup race.”

KENSETH CHASSIS CHOICE: Primary: RK-787 (Last run at Fontana)

RYAN TRUEX JR. ON THE SPRINT SHOWDOWN: “Obviously, what is nice about this weekend’s Sprint Showdown is it gives us track time to see where we stand for the bigger picture — the Coca-Cola 600. If we can duplicate our 2010 efforts, I think we can not only win the Sprint Showdown, but we can also close the deal and take home all the cash in the Sprint All-Star race. My crew chief Chad Johnston believes we have a race package capable of turning in our strongest performance at Charlotte Motor Speedway. I can’t wait to get out on the track. Right now this team is having a lot of fun and I love driving this NAPA Toyota.”

MARK MARTIN ON THE ALL-STAR RACE: “The All-Star race is just a great race. I really love it. It’s going to be a lot of fun – it’s just a great time. Any time you get to race in Charlotte it’s good. It’s really a break from counting points plus it’s a lot of fun and excitement. You race for a big trophy and a big check. It’s also special because it is in Charlotte. It wouldn’t be what it is anywhere else. Charlotte is home for almost all these teams and it’s the place for this race.”

MARTIN CHASSIS CHOICE: Martin will drive Chassis 722 on Saturday in the All Star Race. It finished fifth with Brian Vickers behind the wheel at Bristol on March 18. Chassis 708 will serve as the backup and has not raced in 2012.

KYLE BUSCH ON HIS STYLE OF RACING IN THE ALL-STAR RACE: “I’ve been aggressive and I’ve been maybe too aggressive at points and not aggressive enough at other points. Last year, we just ran a clean race and didn’t really do much aggressive driving or anything and we ended up second. Maybe there was a little bit more that needed to be done but, overall, it was a good week there for us with our M&M’s Camry.”


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