TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE
SEPTEMBER 14, 2014
LET THE CHASE BEGIN!
EIGHT TEAM CHEVY DRIVERS IN THE CHASE FOR THE NASCAR SPRINT CUP
DETROIT – (September 9, 2014) – After 26 races in the regular NASCAR Sprint Cup season, the field of 16 contenders has been set, and eight Chevrolet SS teams and drivers are ready to begin the long-awaited 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. While there will still be a full line-up of 43 cars in each of the remaining Cup races, all eyes will be watching the top 16 that have earned a chance to compete for the coveted championship.
For the fourth consecutive year, the 10-race run for the title will launch at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Il on Sunday, but this time it features an all-new playoff format. The first nine races are comprised of a trio of elimination stages, each containing three races. At the conclusion of each of the three-race segments, four drivers will be removed from contention; gradually reducing the Chase field to the final four who will vie for the title at the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The MyAfibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland is the first in the three-race ‘Challenger Round’, which will ultimately knock out four drivers and reduce the field from 16 to 12. The reward for winning a race is an automatic advancement to the next round; other drivers will move to the next round via solid performances and top finishes.
The playing field has been leveled and points have been reset for the 16 Chasers at Chicagoland, each starting with 2,000 points plus bonus points for regular season wins. Eight of those will carry the gold Bowtie in their quest to win the 2014 title; which, if successful, will net Chevrolet its 30th Driver’s Championship in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Heading to Chicagoland for this weekend’s Chase kickoff on the 1.5-mile tri-oval, the Team Chevy roster according to position in the current standings, is as follows:
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS = 2nd in standings, 2009 points
Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 8 National Guard Chevrolet SS = 3rd in standings, 2009 points
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS = 4th in standings, 2009 points
Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS = 6th in standings, 2006 points
Kurt Busch, No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS = 10th in standings, 2003 points
Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Farmer’s Insurance Chevrolet SS = 11th in standings, 2003 points
AJ Allmendinger, No. 47 Kingsford Charcoal Chevrolet SS = 13th in standings, 2003 points
Ryan Newman, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS = 16th in standings, 2000 points
The MyAfibStory.com 400 at Chciagoland Speedway is scheduled to begin on Sunday, September 14 at 2:00 p.m. ET. Live coverage will be available on ESPN, MRN, Sirius NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and NASCAR.com.
TEAM CHEVY IN NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES (NSCS) COMPETITION:
· Chevrolet has won 37 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Manufacturers’ Championships
· Team Chevy drivers have scored 732 wins and 661 poles in NSCS competition
CHEVROLET ON THE TRACK—CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY:
Chevrolet drivers have won eight (8) of 13 races at Chicagoland Speedway. Victories by current Team Chevy drivers are:
Tony Stewart, No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, has three (3) victories at Chicagoland Speedway (’04, ’07 & ’11)
Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, has two (2) wins at Chicagoland Speedway (’01 & ‘02)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet SS, has one (1) victory at Chicagoland Speedway (’05)
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, has visited Victory Lane at Chicagoland Speedway once (1) (’06)
Ryan Newman, No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, has one (1) trophy from Chicagoland Speedway (’03)
A Chevrolet driver has won one (1) of the last three (3) races at Chicagoland Speedway
A Chevrolet driver has sat on the pole at Chicagoland Speedway seven (7) times
Team Chevy drivers have scored 40 top-five and 70 top-10 finishes at Chicagoland Speedway
A Chevrolet has led 1,962 laps (59.0% of possible 3,474 laps) at Chicagoland Speedway
ENGINEER EXPERTISE FROM THE GARAGE AREA – PAT SUHY, MANAGER, CHEVROLET RACING – NASCAR GROUP MANAGER: “Congratulations to all of the Chevy drivers who have qualified for the first round of the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup – Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, AJ Allmendinger, and Ryan Newman. What a great lineup we have to vie for what hopefully becomes Chevrolet’s 30th driver’s championship in the series.
“Unlike in years past, there are no mulligans. Every race is important with only three races to determine which four drivers don’t make it into the second ‘Contender’ round of twelve. The limited opportunities for a win place a strong emphasis on points in the first round. Teams will be watching timing and scoring and paying attention not only to their driver’s overall position, but to their position relative to the current group of Chase competitors. It will add a new dimension to things they need to consider when working on their in-race pit strategy as the races unfold.
“Chicagoland Speedway is a good place to start the Chase. It’s been good to Chevrolet, as four of our Chase contenders have notched wins there, and overall a Chevrolet has won eight of the thirteen Cup races at that venue. Several of our teams took part in a Goodyear tire test at the track in May and some have used one of their NASCAR private test opportunities there. Hopefully that testing will provide them an edge heading into the weekend. The multi-zone right side tire they will use is new to Chicagoland Speedway, but one that has been used previously at Texas Motor Speedway. It combines two tread compounds across the width of the tread that allow it to fall off but maintain good durability.
“It should be an interesting race. I’m looking forward to seeing how the race plays out and how our teams adjust their strategies. If everything goes according to plan, the result will be another trip to Victory Lane with a winning Team Chevy driver and crew.”
TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT – CHASE CONTENDERS:
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – 2ND IN STANDINGS
“As an organization, Hendrick Motorsports has had a lot of fun this year. The 24 team is communicating and running well right now, so we’re really looking forward to the Chase starting this weekend in Chicago. The Chase is going to be intense. There is a perception that you have to win in the first two rounds, but I don’t think that is necessarily true. It’d be nice to win, but you really need to be solid. If you put solid races together in the first two rounds, you’re moving on.
But you’re going to need to step it up for the [Eliminator] round. The competition is that much tougher when it’s eight drivers battling to be the four that will compete for the championship at Homestead.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONWIDE INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – 3RD IN STANDINGS
“It’s time to get to it. I’m looking forward to sitting down with (crew chief) Steve (Letarte) and our engineers to prepare, set our goals for each individual race. Steve has some great ideas and I really believe in his direction. We’ve got a great team around us. We want to put our best foot forward in the Chase and be one of those teams in the battle going into Homestead. But as a company, I don’t think we could be any more prepared than we are.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – 4TH IN STANDINGS
“This afternoon just before I left for New York for my media obligations for NASCAR, the team found an issue with the cooling system for my helmet. Basically, it was blowing warm air. It’s nice to have a good idea as to what went wrong and why I got so hot in the race car. It’s a newer system that we’ve implemented, so we’re just going back to our old faithful system that’s worked for years and years. We should have the problem rectified. I’m always looking at different ways to adjust my routine and nutrition going into a race and coming out of a race. I really felt like everything was in line (at Richmond) and still do after reviewing everything. Now after finding the helmet cooling issue, I’m confident in my plan going into races. We found the issue.
“I feel much better (after the race in Richmond). I felt a lot better Saturday evening after the infield care center. I attended the triathlon that my foundation (the Jimmie Johnson Foundation) put on Sunday morning (in Davidson, North Carolina) and then headed down to Charleston (South Carolina) for a buddy’s wedding. But I’m doing much better and feeling good. I’m excited to get started with the Chase and head to New York to do all the appearances that I have up there and make my way to Chicagoland for more appearances and media on Thursday. It’s an exciting time for our sport and an exciting time for the Lowe’s team. I’m hoping to get started this weekend in Chicago with a win.”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET SS – 6TH IN STANDINGS
“Winning early was definitely a positive for our team since we were building a new team. Not having to worry about points and knowing that we had a lot to lean on, the mistakes weren’t so catastrophic that we couldn’t overcome them and it didn’t detour the team from being in a positive frame of mind. So, having that win and the way the process is, really allowed us to build our team and not have to worry about the points. And if something went wrong, you could fix the problem, move on and know that if you have it fixed when you get to Chicago, you’re in good shape.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 41 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET SS – 10TH IN STANDINGS
“My fondness for Chicago has been well documented over the years. It’s my kind of town. I’m a diehard Chicago sports fan – I’ve always loved the Cubs and the Bears in both good and bad times. I am hoping my fondness for Chicago will rub off at Chicagoland Speedway and I’ll have a breakthrough race there on Sunday afternoon. I finally got my first top-five there last year. For us to do well in the Chase, we’ll have to master the 1.5-mile tracks like Chicagoland since there are five of them in the Chase.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMER’S INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – 11TH IN STANDINGS
“I’m glad I spent our last off-weekend and ran for JR Motorsports at Chicagoland. We ran fourth, and I felt like we had a really good time and learned a lot about the track and the tire. Hopefully, we can use some of that to help us when we get there this weekend. Chicago is a cool track, and I like it a lot. There will be lots of racing going on. You can move around a lot. It’s all about momentum and where you’re at. Right now I feel like we have momentum as a team, and hopefully we can carry it with us to Chicago.”
AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 KINGSFORD CHARCOAL CHEVROLET SS – 13TH IN STANDINGS
“For our race team entering the Chase, it’s the first race at Chicagoland Speedway that’s pretty important. We’ve got to go out there and run well. We have always struggled a little bit at the mile-and-a-half tracks. We’re trying to get better. If we go to Chicago and have a great race, that gives us momentum that we can take into Loudon (New Hampshire Motor Speedway), which is a track I have always enjoyed. Then next up is Dover (International Speedway) and it’s another track I enjoy racing. I think it is different for everybody, but really I think it comes down to Chicago. If you start off bad, you’ve only got two races to make it up. The only way to make it up is to either win or have two great races just to make it into the next round. I think Chicago sets the tone for everybody in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – 16TH IN STANDINGS
“It is such an awesome feeling. I want to thank Caterpillar, Quicken Loans, WIX Filters, Kwikset, Lucas Oil, Chevrolet, Sprint and everyone involved who gave us this opportunity to race for a championship. I truly appreciate being where I am. I know how hard fought it is for everybody. I’ve been that bubble guy for quite a few years. It is so nice to be in now, especially the way we worked to accomplish this feat since this is the first year I have raced with RCR. This team has shown a lot of consistency. I think it will pay off in the last 10 races.”
TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT – NON-CHASE CONTENDERS:
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – 18TH IN STANDINGS
“It’s a little bittersweet to not be racing as part of the Chase, but my team is still focused on getting a win this weekend. I also still have winning rookie of the year as a goal, so we’ll work hard this weekend for a great finish and continue to gain points in the rookie standings. Chicago is the last track on the schedule where I haven’t raced at in the cup car, so I’m excited to see what we can do there this weekend in the Target Chevy. I’ve raced on the track a few times in the Nationwide car and really like it. The track can be a little tricky, but with the worn out surface and multiple grooves I think the track will suit my style.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 CESSNA CHEVROLET SS – 19TH IN STANDINGS
“Chicago is always a good trip for our team. We have a lot of partners in town including getting to visit with a lot of McDonald’s team members. As far as the racing action goes, we had a good test at Chicagoland Speedway a couple of weeks ago, so I hope we can come back and pick-up on what we learned. Our team had a really good race at Richmond where we put the whole race together from beginning to end. We need to be more consistent in doing that every weekend and it think we can still win races before the end of this season”.
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 SYLVANIA/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – 20TH IN STANDINGS
“Chicago is one of the older surfaces we go to, which lends itself to being wide. You can run all over the track depending on where your tires are and what part of the fuel run you are in. It’s similar to Atlanta or Texas where you can start searching to try and find grip, which is what drivers like. It’s got some character to it, the backstretch is curved and there are a lot of bumps throughout the corners, which keep getting worse with weather and age. So there’s a lot of character at this track.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 AMERICAN ETHANOL CHEVROLET SS – 21ST IN STANDINGS
“Chicagoland Speedway is one of my favorite tracks. I love the city of Chicago, so getting there is always fun. It’s a place where you can move around. From top to bottom, it’s really racy. I’m really excited about getting back to a mile-and-a-half track. Mile-and-a-halves are my favorite and it feels like we’ve gone to so many different, weird tracks lately and just getting back in the rhythm of mile-and-a-halves will be nice because I have kind of missed that. I’m looking forward to getting to Chicago and we’ll see how we do.”
CASEY MEARS, NO. 13 GEICO CHEVROLET SS – 24TH IN STANDINGS
“Chicago is a special place to me. I’ve sat on the Pole in Cup and won a Nationwide race there, so it’s always a place where I look forward to racing. We had a rough weekend in Richmond, but we’re bringing a brand new GEICO Chevrolet SS with us to Chicagoland, so we’re confident we’ll have a solid weekend.”
MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW/DENVER MATTRESS CHEVROLET SS – 25TH IN STANDINGS
“We’re not in the Chase and that’s disappointing. But that doesn’t mean we’re throwing away the next 10 races. We have our own Chase and that’s to improve and get our Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet running better and having it be a contender week in and week out. Everyone at Furniture Row Racing will be working hard to find that sweet spot in the next 10 races. Regarding Chicagoland Speedway, the one thing that stands out about the track is that the backstretch straightaway is not straight. So that’s a little different than anywhere we go. The track is along the lines of Homestead and Atlanta as far as the asphalt getting worn out. But it’s fun to race at Chicagoland – it gets racey there and that’s what we all like to see. The seams in the track are always an issue at high-speed venues, but Chicagoland isn’t as bad as other high-speed tracks. However, it’s a difficult track to get through the bumps, probably more so this year than ever.”
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – 28TH IN STANDINGS
“I’ve always loved going to Chicago. I love the city – it’s just a great place. There’s so much to do and the restaurants, the shopping – it’s just a world-class city. I think the race will be good. It’s a busy week for us Goodyear testing in Homestead (Miami-Speedway) on Tuesday and then we have an Aspen Dental appearance on Wednesday in Roscoe (Illinois). I’ve always liked the track and we’ve been getting better at the intermediate tracks in recent weeks. So, I’m looking forward to it.”
JUSTIN ALLGAIER, NO. 51 BRANDT PROFESSIONAL AGRICULTURE CHEVROLET SS – 29TH IN STANDINGS
“Chicagoland [Speedway] is a huge weekend for not only me, but my sponsor BRANDT Professional Agriculture. Their headquarters is in Springfield, Ill and they are bringing about 400 people to the race on Sunday. A lot of my family from the Springfield area is coming up to the race, so I hope to put on a good show for them. I won in the Nationwide Series a few years ago and I remember what that feeling was like, so it would be great to repeat it.”
MICHAEL ANNETT, NO. 7 TMC TRANSPORTATION/ALLSTATE PETERBILT GROUP CHEVROLET SS – 31ST IN STANDINGS
“For all the rookies this year that were in the Nationwide Series the past few seasons, Chicago is a pretty familiar track. I’ve raced there six times in the last three years, so it’s a place that’s comfortable for me. I’ve finished in the top 10 there, and with TBR’s speedway program as good as it is right now, I’m optimistic about what we’ll be able to do this weekend.”
Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Series StatisticsW
Total (1949 – 2013): 37
First title for Chevrolet: 1958
Highest number of consecutive titles: 11 (2003-2013)
Years Won: 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Total (1949 – 2013): 29
First Chevrolet champion: Buck Baker (1957)
Highest number of consecutive titles: 7 (2005 – ’11)
Years Won: 1957, 1960, 1961, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013
Record for total race wins in single season: 26 – (in 2007)
Laps led: 3902
Top-five finishes: 65
Top-10 finishes: 141
CHEVROLET IN NASCAR SPRINT CUP CUMULATIVE STATISTICS:
Total Chevrolet race wins: 732 (1949 – to date); (2,414 possible = 30.0%)
Poles Won to Date: 661
Laps Lead to Date: 217,562
Top-Five Finishes to Date: 3,680
Top-10 Finishes to Date: 7,523
Total NASCAR Cup wins by Corporation, 1949 – To-Date
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