Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Driver Notes & Quotes for LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire

Edwards painted Red Sox colors on his car for 2010 Loudon race (Getty)
KEVIN HARVICK ON LOUDON: “New Hampshire (Motor Speedway) is a track that I enjoy. It’s a track where you have to have a good handling car, you have to have track position, and you have to have everything go right. If you get yourself stuck in the middle of the pack you’re not going to have a very good day, unless you have a really good car. Overall New Hampshire (Motor Speedway) is a track that I enjoy and hopefully we will run well.”

CONGRATS TO DELANA AND KEVIN, IT'S A BOY: On Sunday, July 8, the Harvick’s announced the birth of their son Keelan Paul Harvick. Affectionately referred to as ‘Baby Otis’ during the pregnancy, Keelan was born Sunday afternoon weighing in at 6.8 pounds and 19.5 inches long. He is the couple’s first child.

HARVICK CHASSIS CHOICE: Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 320 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable in this weekend’s LENOX Industrial Tools 301. This former No. 33 racer was transformed to a No. 29 entry during the off-season and has been used once this season at Martinsville Speedway where Harvick notched a 19th-place finish.

JEFF BURTON CHASSIS CHOICE: Burton will race chassis No. 382 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This No. 31 Chevrolet was utilized in February at Phoenix International Raceway where engine issues thwarted Burton’s top-five run and relegated him to a 33rd-place finish. This car also raced at Richmond International Raceway where an on-track incident knocked Burton and the No. 31 team out of contention, forcing them to settle for a 31st-place finish.

BURTON LOUDON STATS: This race marks Burton’s 35th start in “The Granite State” and 638th-career Sprint Cup Series entry. He has amassed four wins, eight top-five and 13 top-10 finishes at one-mile facility.

PAUL MENARD CHASSIS CHOICE: Menard will pilot Chassis No. 349 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This No. 27 Chevrolet was last utilized at Martinsville Speedway in April where Menard started 11th and finished 26th.

JAMIE McMURRAY CHASSIS CHOICE: Crew Chief Kevin “Bono” Manion and the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Allstate team will bring Chassis #1210 back to New Hampshire. Chassis #1210 was raced at Martinsville earlier this year, where it finished 20th.

JIMMIE JOHNSON ON LOUDON: “It’s a tricky track with the lack of banking and the tight, fast corners. I was able to sweep it there one year and, since then, we’ve been OK. It’s a tough track. I think, for a good day, it’s all about good fuel mileage and good track position.”

JOHNSON CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis No. 715 serves as the primary for Johnson at New Hampshire. Johnson drove this car to a sixth-place finish at Richmond. Chassis No. 689 serves as the backup.

RYAN NEWMAN CHASSIS CHOICE: With one start already this season, Chassis No. 39-645 is no stranger to victory lane. In its only other start in 2012, Newman drove this chassis to the winner’s circle at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Newman won despite falling one lap down early in the race after receiving a penalty for speeding on pit road. And once he got back on the lead lap, Newman took advantage of every spot in front of him. He took his first – and only – lead of the day on lap 504 of 515, when he dove under the leaders after they collided in turn one. He held off another driver on the final restart in a tough duel before pulling away on the last lap to win. The chassis made four starts last year – two at Martinsville and two at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. This chassis was also the race winner for Newman last July in Loudon, when Newman started on the pole and led 119 of 301 laps en route to his third victory at the track. In five total starts, chassis No. 39-645 has two victories, two poles (both at New Hampshire last year) and three top-10 finishes. 

TONY STEWART CHASSIS CHOICE: This car debuted in the Capital City 400 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway in April, where it qualified 22nd and led four times for 118 laps before a late-race caution canceled Stewart’s two-and-a-half second lead and forced him to settle for a third-place finish. It was then tested June 6-7 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway and again during a Goodyear Tire Test June 12-13 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon will mark Chassis No. 14-710’s second career start.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA CHASSIS CHOICE: Crew Chief Chris “Shine” Heroy and the No. 42 Degree team will come to New Hampshire with Chassis #1203. This chassis has two races under its belt this season: Phoenix where it finished 11thand Richmond where it came across the line 12th.

KURT BUSCH CHASSIS CHOICE: Sunday’s LENOX Industrial Tools 301 will be the third race of the 2012 season for Chassis No. 662. This car’s best finish was also its first race of the season when the team competed with at Phoenix International Raceway in early March. Busch qualified 19th and raced the car to a respectable 15th-place finish. The team also used this particular car at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway in May, when perpetual issues with blown tires relegated the team to a 28th-place finish.

CARL EDWARDS ON LOUDON: “Loudon has been really hot and cold for us. It is a great race track for us because the Red Sox and Fenway Sports Group are based up there. A win would be huge to have there. It is a flat, simple track and that makes it really hard because most people know how to get around it but you have to have the car perfect and drive perfectly. We had a chance to do the tire test up there a couple months ago and I think that helped me a little bit. It is a deceivingly tough track.”

EDWARDS CHASSIS CHOICE: The No. 99 Fastenal Blue Team will be bringing RK-801 this weekend to New Hampshire. This car previously ran at Phoenix and Richmond this year. Edwards led 206 laps with this car at Richmond.

MATT KENSETH ON LOUDON: “Loudon has been a track that we’ve struggled at for the past four or five years but our last outing we ran pretty competitively so I’m looking forward to building upon that. New Hampshire is an interesting race track because it drives like a short track even though it’s a one-mile track, and it’s challenging in the fact that there isn’t a lot of room to pass, so track position is very important there. We’ve just got to run a clean race, with a good afternoon in the pits as well, and hopefully we can have a solid run there.”

KENSETH CHASSIS CHOICE: Primary: RK-802 (last raced at Dover)

GREG BIFFLE ON LOUDON: “I’m looking forward to Loudon this weekend. I like that racetrack and I have a win there, so I’m looking forward to going back and getting a good solid top-five finish, and possibly a win to get away from these two 21st-place finishes in a row.”

BIFFLE CHASSIS CHOICE: Primary: RK-778 Last ran Richmond – finished 18th; Backup: RK-759 Last ran Phoenix in ’11 as the No. 6 – finished 33rd

ARIC ALMIROLA CHASSIS CHOICE: The No. 43 team has prepared chassis No. 804 for Loudon. This car ran earlier this season at Phoenix and Richmond.

MARCOS AMBROSE CHASSIS CHOICE: The No. 9 RPM team has prepared chassis No. 754 for this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire. This DEWALT Ford was run previously this season at Martinsville and Dover.

MARTIN TRUEX JR ON LOUDON: “A lot of people assume I consider Dover my home track. But I believe Loudon is. It may be further from New Jersey, but I grew up going to the track with my dad. I watched him race there a lot. Then I started racing in the Busch North Series and we raced at New Hampshire Motor Speedway four times a year. I’ve actually logged more laps at Loudon than at Dover. I have a lot of experience at New Hampshire. I’ve won a bunch of races. I have a lot of great memories there. It’s a home track for me. It’s a place I really enjoy going to and it would mean a lot to me to be able to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event there.”

BRIAN VICKERS ON LOUDON: “Loudon’s a fun, fast, flat track. The entry is really important into each corner. A lot of guys will slide the left front into the corner and ruin the lap. If you get the entry wrong, you can’t roll the center, which is really key to getting a good exit off for the two long, high speed straights.

CLINT BOWYER CHASSIS CHOICE: Primary Chassis No. 718 has not raced in 2012. It served as backup at Phoenix, Martinsville and Dover and tested at Nashville and Bristol. Backup chassis No. 712 raced at Phoenix where it started 16th and finished 30th. It also raced at Richmond where it started 23rd and finished seventh.

BRAD KESELOWSKI ON LOUDON: “It’s always a lot of fun when we go up to Loudon to race. The fans really love what we do and they show it by filling the stands. It’s one of those tracks we can go to and almost guarantee that it will be sold out. The racing that we put on at New Hampshire sometimes gets a bad rap, but I think it has produced some of the most exciting finishes over the last few years. It’s a one-mile track, but it races like a short track. There is a lot of beating and banging and bumping and running – all of the things that the fans love.”

KESELOWSKI CHASSIS CHOICE: The No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger team will race chassis PRS-810 during Sunday’s Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) in Loudon, N.H. Keselowski last raced this chassis to a 15th-place finish at Darlington Raceway in May.

AJ ALLMENDINGER STATEMENT: “I have informed NASCAR that I have requested that the “B” sample be tested, following the steps according to NASCAR’s 2012 rule book regarding this situation. I fully respect NASCAR’s drug usage policy and the reasons they have it. I am hoping this can get resolved as quickly as possible so that I can get back to driving the No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge. I am sorry that this has caused such a distraction for my Penske Racing team, our sponsors and fans. Obviously I would never do anything to jeopardize my opportunity here at Penske Racing or to my fellow drivers. I am very conscious about my training andhealth and would never knowingly take a prohibited drug.”


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