39-TIME MANUFACTURERS’ CHAMPION – NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE
FOLDS OF HONOR QUIKTRIP 500
FEBRUARY 28, 2016
CHEVROLET SS IN SEARCH OF THIRD CONSECUTIVE WIN AT ATLANTA
· Chevrolet is the most successful manufacturer at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS) with 39 wins
· Team Chevy Drivers have won two of the last three races at Atlanta
· New Aerodynamics Package – Chevrolet looking to come out of the gate strong with new low downforce configuration
· Leader of the Pack – Chevrolet to pace all three races at AMS
DETROIT – (February 23, 2016) – After an exciting season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves to the second race of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS). Nicked named Hot ‘Lanta, the 1.5-mile track is one of the oldest and most revered on the circuit. Atlanta is known for its abrasive surface that chews tires and becomes very slick under the heat of the day. This weekend a new element will be added to the challenging venue – a new low downforce package.
According to Chevrolet’s Group Manager of NASCAR Programs, Pat Suhy, the combination of a low grip track surface, a new tire from Goodyear and the new low downforce package should produce great racing for fans and a challenge for drivers which will requires them to use all the tools in the Chevrolet toolbox in order to find Victory Lane.
No one has tackled the challenges that AMS presents better than Chevrolet. Over the years, Chevy drivers and teams have earned 39 victories in 108 races completed at the Hampton, Georgia track. A Chevrolet driver has earned the win in two of the last three races at AMS. One year ago, six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, Jimmie Johnson, earned his fourth Atlanta victory powered by Chevrolet.
Over the course of the weekend fans and drivers alike will be seeing red at the front of the field when the races begin at AMS. Chevrolet will pace all three NASCAR events at Atlanta Motor Speedway. A red Chevrolet Silverado, a red 2016 Chevrolet Camaro and a red Chevrolet SS will lead the fields to the green flag as the official pace vehicles.
All the excitement from Hot ‘Lanta and the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 28. Live coverage will be available on FOX, PRN Radio, Sirius NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and NASCAR.com.
TEAM CHEVY FOR THE FANS AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY:
· Fans can visit the Team Chevy Racing Display at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the midway area in front of the front stretch grandstands
· Fans can check out great Chevrolet vehicles including: Corvette Stingray Convertible, Camaro, Equinox, Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD, Silverado Crew 1500, Traverse, Malibu, Colorado, Suburban, Impala, Chevy SS and Trax
· Fans can also get an up-close and personal look at a variety of show cars including: the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet Camaro Show Car, the No. 14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS show car and the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS
· Also on display is a Chevrolet R07 racing engine complete with electronic fuel injection. Fans can also see a sample of engines, parts and accessories available for purchase from Chevrolet Performance at their local Chevrolet dealer
· Other activities at the Team Chevy Racing Display include a variety of interactive games for adults and kids
DRIVER FAN Q&A APPEARANCES:
· Saturday, February 27th
o 9:00 a.m. – Grant Enfinger and Spencer Gallagher
o 9:15 a.m. – Johnny Sauter
o 10:00 a.m. – Ray Black, Jr.
· Sunday, February 28th
o 9:15 a.m. – Michael McDowell
o 10:00 a.m. – Ty and Austin Dillon
· Hours of operation: Fri. Feb. 26 – 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.; Sat. Feb. 27 – 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sun. Feb. 28 – 8:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
TEAM CHEVY IN NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES (NSCS) COMPETITION:
· Chevrolet has won 39 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturer Championships
· Team Chevy drivers have scored 753 wins and 679 poles in NSCS competition
CHEVROLET ON THE TRACK—ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY:
Chevrolet drivers have won 39 of 108 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Victories by current Team Chevy drivers are:
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, has four wins at AMS (’04, ’07 – TWICE & ‘15)
Kurt Busch, No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, has three victories at Atlanta (’02, ’09 & ’10)
Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Panasonic Chevrolet SS, has visited Victory Lane three times at AMS (’06, ’09 & ‘14)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, has made one trip to Victory Lane at AMS (’04)
Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, has one win at AMS (’01)
A Chevrolet driver has won two of the last three races at Atlanta Motor Speedway
A Chevrolet driver has sat on the pole at Atlanta Motor Speedway 24 times
Team Chevy drivers have scored 183 top-five and 365 top-10 finishes at Atlanta Motor Speedway
A Chevrolet has led 12,216 laps (35.0% of possible 34,391 laps) at Atlanta Motor Speedway
ENGINEER EXPERTISE FROM THE GARAGE AREA – PAT SUHY, MANAGER, CHEVROLET RACING – MANAGER OF NASCAR ENGINEERING AND PROGRAM MANAGEMENT:
“Congratulations to Chevrolet’s Daytona winners – Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in the Sprint Cup Can-Am Duel race, Johnny Sauter in the Camping World Truck Series race, Chase Elliott in the Xfinity Series race, and also to Chase on his Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 Pole Award. Overall, not a bad Speedweeks for Team Chevy!
“Things should be exciting at Atlanta Motor Speedway this coming weekend. With all three NASCAR Touring Series in action, it will be a busy. The Sprint Cup Series ‘low downforce’ package will make its 2016 debut at the track, bringing with it the anticipation of great racing. The combination of a low grip track surface, a new tire from Goodyear, and the low downforce should result in a great race for drivers and fans.
“The short off-season is never really ‘time-off’, and our Team Chevy engineers have been working as hard as ever with our team’s technical groups to prepare for the new package. Chevrolet’s toolbox complements their array of aero testing and simulation activities. With everything from a highly-refined driver-in-the-loop (DIL) simulator and vehicle model, to state-of-the-art driveline dynamometers, we have test facilities and software tools to help the teams get ready for whatever comes their way in terms of rule changes, new tire combinations, and track conditions.
“With all of the hard work that’s gone into preparing for the 2016 season, my expectations are high. There’s sure to be a Chevy SS driver or two in the hunt for the win, and a trip to Victory Lane would be a great way to kick-off the first non-restrictor plate race of the year.”
TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT:
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 JIMMY JOHN’S CHEVROLET SS – 4TH IN STANDINGS
ON THE NEW LOW DOWNFORCE PACKAGE:
“I’ve driven it at the two races. We tested at Homestead after the season ended. I think from a set‑up standpoint to get the balance back to where it needs to be is different than what it was in the past. So those target numbers for the engineers and crew chief are definitely different than what they were. But, the good news is we have a lot of baselines of things that I like, and I think Homestead answered a lot of questions for us. I think that’s you go through the year, there’s definitely going to be an evolution of the car from an aero standpoint and balance standpoint. So there’s definitely a lot of things to work through still. But I feel like Homestead went really well for us. We had a chance to win the Darlington race, so we have to go out and race and see what happens.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – 7TH IN STANDINGS
“It’s great to be heading into Atlanta with a really good race in Daytona behind us. Last week, with all the chances to be on track, I had a lot of time to get used to hearing the new guys on the radio and working out what a race weekend would be like for us. I’m excited to run the new package this weekend and get a sense of how our Target Chevy will be at a track that’s similar in size to where we run most weekends. Atlanta is a tough place to race and can be hard on our cars, but it’s a fun track. We ended last season with some good runs at the intermediate tracks, so I’m hopeful to pick up where we left off last year.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOW CHEVROLET SS – 9TH IN STANDINGS
“I think Atlanta Motor Speedway will be important for Richard Childress Racing. It’s the real start to the 2016 race season with the new rules package and we’ll be able to see where we line up compared to other teams. We’ve been really focused. We’ve been working hard in the off-season and I think the guys have done a good job. I’m anxious to get to Atlanta Motor Speedway more than anything to see how we line up and to see how our vehicles turn and handle at a mile-and-half track.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 41 MONSTER ENERGY/HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET SS – 10TH IN STANDINGS
“It’s a tough, tough race. The asphalt is worn out and the tires have a hard time maintaining pace. All of those factors combined make this a very challenging race. I won a couple of spring races in a row at Atlanta in 2009 and 2010 – races when it was nice and cool out. It’s a very different racetrack in cool and hot conditions. The practice sessions seem very limited when we’re there, so you’ve got to unload fast and stay fast.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 CAT BUILDING CONSTRUCTION CHEVROLET SS – 11TH IN STANDINGS
“I think the new rules package is going to be great. I think it’s a good starting point for where we need to be eventually which is back to the 1990s versus the 2000s. Having less downforce on the car is going to make the drivers have to perform and make it more challenging to perform. In my opinion, that’s what it should be all about. Our cars have become so aero dependent that it just was so unfair to have track position especially with how our sport is structured with the fastest car up front. I think the racing will get so much better when the cars are less aero dependent.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 PANASONIC CHEVROLET SS – 13TH IN STANDINGS
“Atlanta is one of the tracks that I really enjoy. It has been one of my favorite tracks for years and still is, so I’m looking forward to Atlanta early in the season. I’m hoping that it’s clear and we don’t have rain or snow, or anything like that. I think that it will be a good one to get some momentum rolling at. We’ve ran great there a lot of times over the seasons and I have three wins and a few top-five finishes, so it has been one of my better race tracks. It’s a nice place to get going on our more traditional style of race tracks.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – 16TH IN STANDINGS
“To say I’m looking forward to Atlanta this weekend is an understatement. Last year we started so deep in the field because we had a terrible qualifying run. It wasn’t too fun but we had such a fast Lowe’s Chevrolet that we made our way through the field and got the track position we needed. Making the Chase the second race into the year was great because we just could go out there and win – the pressure was off. We didn’t have the run we wanted in Daytona, handling was an issue on race day. We had a great test in Vegas with a fast car so I’m ready to roll at Atlanta.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD’S CHEVROLET SS – 17TH IN STANDINGS
“Atlanta is a track that demands focus to be consistent on long runs. As a driver, you really need to try and hit your marks and manage tire wear. The track surface is pretty old and rough; it uses up tires pretty quick, I think that makes it a lot of fun. We had a really good car last year in Atlanta and battled up front for most of the day before getting caught in an accident. Hopefully, we can stay out of trouble and keep the McDonald’s Chevy in contention all day.”
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 VALVOLINE/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – 18TH IN STANDINGS
“We definitely know this package races better than what we had previously. The key is going to be how the tires match up to the downforce. If we get some good, grippy tires that have fall off so we can put big numbers on the board in qualifying but then grip falls off so we can race side-by-side. That’s what we are all looking for and Atlanta is a great track to start it off at.”
AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 KROGER/SCOTT PRODUCTS CHEVROLET SS – 21ST IN STANDINGS
“With the low downforce package, I think you are going to be just sliding around a lot more. It will be kind of based off of what tire Goodyear brings. If it’s a soft tire that’s got a lot of speed initially, it’s really going to wear off. If it’s a little bit harder, maybe it doesn’t fall off as much.”
CASEY MEARS, NO. 13 GEICO CHEVROLET SS – 31ST IN STANDINGS
“The lower downforce will make Atlanta Motor Speedway even more of a handful. The No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS would historically lose a lot of grip really fast at Atlanta, so fans should expect there to be even more slipping and sliding. Atlanta has a lot of character – meaning it has some pretty big bumps and the tire fall-off is huge. It also has a lot of different lines to choose from which makes it fun to drive. While we’re in Atlanta for the Folds of Honor QuickTrip 500, I’ll be taking the family to the AMA Supercross race thanks to Troy Lee Designs. It’s always fun to take in some motorcycle racing.”
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 15 AARON’S CHEVROLET SS – 32ND IN STANDINGS
“It seems like we’ve been in position a few times to win that race but have had something happen to us toward the end. I had a six-second lead with four laps to go two years ago and last year lost a cylinder and got wrecked with 10 to go running second. Hopefully, we can have the same performance with a different finish this weekend. I am so proud to have Aaron’s on the car. This is their backyard and Aaron’s will be bringing a lot of people who I have gotten to know over the past few years. A lot of NASCAR fans know Aaron’s and their support of the sport, so it would be a lot of fun to take them to victory lane. But boy oh boy this track is fast and we always put on a heck of a show for the fans. I love it, but you better hold on tight during qualifying. It is incredibly fast and it will take your breath away.”
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 ASPEN DENTAL CHEVROLET SS – 34TH IN STANDINGS
“I like Atlanta. It’s a place that I’ve done pretty well at. I’ve actually done pretty well at tracks that are a little odd or challenging or different. And the rules will make it different again, but it’s the same for everybody. I haven’t really driven the new package since last year. Kurt (Busch) and Kevin (Harvick) have driven that package at tests for our team, and I feel like each year for the last few years, as a team, we’ve only gotten stronger and more organized and on top of things. I feel like our cars will be good, and I feel like our setups will be close. Hopefully, it will be another fun Atlanta weekend.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONWIDE CHEVROLET SS – 35TH IN STANDINGS
“I’m looking forward to Atlanta. I think the whole series is looking forward to going to Vegas, Atlanta and all of those places with this new package. It’s going to be a whole new ballgame. Everybody is wondering where everybody is after the off-season. Every year you kind of have to get another measure of your competition because everybody kind of gets a little better in the offseason, so we’ll see how that all works out once we get to the next couple of tracks. Daytona Speedweeks has always been a little bit different – it’s not a true measuring stick of what the rest of the season might look like or who might be the dominant team.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET SS – 36TH IN STANDINGS
“It’s always been a special place to me. My dad and I have done a lot of racing here on the front stretch, whether it be a Bandolero or Legends car. It’s odd, I guess, to think about being part of this Sprint Cup weekend. I can remember racing the Legends when the Cup cars were in town. I’m excited to be part of the show this year and hopefully, put on a good one for the fans. For us and a lot of guys, Atlanta is like that Week 1 for our season because we’re going to see racetracks like this more so as we go. I’m excited to get there. It’s my home track and is as close to home as I’m going to get on the NASCAR circuit, so I think that’s special.”
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