The Journey to the Chase Paved with Multiple Types of Tracks
DETROIT – (August 5, 2014) – The past few weeks have been filled with a smorgasbord of race tracks. From the 2.5-mile superspeedway at Daytona, to the hallowed grounds of Indy, to the three ‘tricky’ turns at Pocono, Chevrolet drivers and team have been faced with numerous different challenges. This weekend is no different as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to the Finger Lake region of New York to take on the 11-turn, 2.45-mile road course at Watkins Glen International.
Over the past five races held at ‘The Glen’ Chevrolet drivers and teams have been victorious only twice. Fast straightaways and varying fuel strategies prove to be the contributing factors to determine the winner at the super-fast course. Teams will have more of an opportunity to pass as Watkins Glen course provides more passing zones and a wider course than its sister track in Sonoma, California.
Chevrolet’s Tony Stewart holds the record for the most victories at Watkins Glen with five. Stewart, like several other Team Chevy drivers, is hungry for a win in 2014. Another trip to Winner’s Circle at ‘The Glen’ could place Stewart’s name on this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship grid. However, he will have to battle with other former Team Chevy road course winners Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick, as well as, AJ Allmendinger, also known for his prowess in turning both left and right.
As the Chevrolet SS drivers and teams focus on bringing home the trophy for Chevrolet, fans will have several opportunities to meet with their favorite drivers. Martin Truex, Jr. as well as Rookie-of-the-Year contender Kyle Larson will both make appearances at the Team Chevy stage throughout the weekend. On Sunday fans will also have an opportunity to collect autographs from the No. 42 Chevrolet SS over-the-wall pit crew. As they wait for their favorite driver to appear on stage, fans can get an up-close look at a number of Chevrolet’s production vehicles including: Cruze, Volt, Malibu, Impala, Camaro, Corvette Stingray and the all-new 2015 Tahoe.
The 90 lap/220.5 mile Cheez-It 355 at the Glen is scheduled to begin on Sunday August 10th at 1:00 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 ON THE TRACK—WATKINS GLEN:
TEAM CHEVY FOR THE FANS AT WATKINS GLEN:
DRIVER FAN Q/A APPEARANCES:
CHEVROLET SPOTLIGHT: Six different manufacturers have won in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Watkins Glen led by Chevrolet with 16 victories
BOWTIE BULLET: 18 different drivers have won at Watkins Glen International in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, led by Chevrolet’s Tony Stewart with five wins
DID YOU KNOW? The SS Sedan is Chevrolet’s first and only vehicle to offer standard Automatic Parking Assist. The technology uses sensors on the front and rear bumpers to detect the width and depth of parallel and reverse right-angle parking spaces to provide hands-free parking help.
ENGINEER EXPERTISE FROM THE GARAGE AREA –– ALBA COLON, PROGRAM MANAGER, NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES – CHEVROLET RACING:
“Congratulations to Dale Earnhardt Jr., Steve Letarte, Rick Hendrick, and the entire No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Michael Baker International Chevrolet SS race team for their great win at Pocono. It was Dale’s third win of the season and second win at Pocono this year. Also, congratulations to Kevin Harvick on his second place finish. On the closing laps of the race, Dale and Kevin put on a great show for the fans.
“This weekend we move to the second and last road course race of the year, Watkins Glen International. It is one of my favorite places in the circuit. Road courses are always exciting to watch and race. In particular, Watkins Glen is a fast road course with long straightaways and then a 90-degree corner, a straightaway and another corner, the carousel, esses, and bus stop chicane; is has a little bit of everything. You have to attack this track aggressively and with finesse at the same time. Handling and braking are very important.
“Also, this track is wide, and has more places to pass compared to Sonoma Raceway. Those extra passing areas take some of the pressure away from the importance of track position early in the race. But depending on how the cautions fall, teams still need to be ready to use pit strategy and be able to maximize fuel economy to ensure a good finish.
“With just five races to go before the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup gets underway, every win and every spot at the end of each race counts. It is exciting to watch and to see how it all unfolds.
“Team Chevy is looking forward to visiting Victory Lane on Sunday and enjoying a win at The Glen.”
WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE THE CHEVROLET SS RACE CARS?
This weeks’ race is at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York. 22 Chevrolet SS race cars will attempt to qualify at the 2.45-mile 11-turn road course. Fans can watch and/or listen to all the action on ESPN, MRN, Sirius NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and NASCAR.com
TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT:
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – POINTS LEADER
“While Sonoma is a finesse track, Watkins Glen is a track where you have to be aggressive and attack. It’s a very challenging track, but it’s fun and it’s fast.
“Double-file restarts really changed things, too. It changed things on the ovals, but it really changed things on the road courses because it gives you that extra opportunity to be aggressive, to get the position and to take some extra chances to try to get that position or maintain a position – and that causes a lot of incidents.
“But that has also made the road course events some of the most exciting races we have on the circuit.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – 2ND IN STANDINGS
“I definitely have more confidence going into the Glen then I do Sonoma. Sonoma is a much more technical track and a lot more challenging for me as a driver. When we run the Glen, it’s straightaway then turn, straightaway then turn. I think I can be more of an asset to [crew chief] Steve [Letarte] and help him with the car more so then I can at Sonoma. I’m looking forward to it. I’m not going to get too overly confident. We are just going to go there with no pressure and have fun and try to get a great finish.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – 5TH IN STANDINGS
“Watkins Glen is so much faster than Sonoma Raceway. I think Pocono was a nice warm up to this race because of the fact that we had to shift. It couldn’t have fallen at a better place on the schedule when it comes to preparing for this race. The speed is the biggest difference when comparing Watkins Glen to Sonoma. It also provides for a few more places to pass on the track, and that’s always a good thing for us.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – 6TH IN STANDINGS
“Watkins Glen is one of the four tracks I’ve not won a race at in my career. It’s a great race, lots of strategy plays out, and it would be nice to check that one off the list this year. I like going there, the area is beautiful and we usually enjoy a good group bike ride on Saturday after the garage closes. After last weekend at Pocono, we need a good solid finish.”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET SS – 11TH IN STANDINGS
“Watkins Glen is really fast, so the biggest thing there is to get your car good under braking so you can make passes during the race. Usually where you can gain the most time is in the braking zones.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – 12TH IN STANDINGS
“I’m looking forward to racing back on a road course this weekend. Even though I haven’t done a lot of road course racing I really like racing on those courses. Our Target Chevy was good at Sonoma, which isn’t too similar to Watkins Glen, but I think we should have another competitive Chevy this weekend.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – 14TH IN STANDINGS
“I like Watkins Glen (International) a lot. I actually really like racing there. It’s been difficult for me so I enjoy that. I enjoy trying to figure that out, and there are times in that race where we are pretty fast. We figured Sonoma out and have been really good there the last six or seven times. I think that Sonoma is one of my best race tracks. I feel like in time, we will hit on it and it will click at Watkins Glen. It’s definitely not my best track so we’ve got to keep working on that.
“Watkins Glen is a tough track, and we’ve had a little trouble there in the past. We usually run about 10th to 17th so we’re trying to figure out how to do better. Hopefully, I’ll be able to turn everything around this weekend because we’re still close to making the Chase.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOW CHEVROLET SS – 15TH IN STANDINGS
“Road courses have never been my strong suit, but I am actually really looking forward to going to Watkins Glen International after our team’s performance at Sonoma Raceway in June. Sonoma was fun. It made me realize that road course racing can be fun and it got me excited for Watkins Glen. I came to Watkins Glen with my brother and tested a Trans Am car a few weeks ago. It rained, but I was still able to learn some things. The race to the Chase is on, so my whole team is going into the race motivated to perform.”
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 SPLASH/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – 16TH IN STANDINGS
“It’s really hard to pass. Obviously the harder it is to pass, the more track position means so you try to get all you can on the restarts. At a place like Watkins Glen there are better passing opportunities than somewhere like Sonoma. I think historically you see more wrecks and things like that at Sonoma where at Watkins Glen you can get by a guy if you’re faster than him. It’s a fun road course and it’s totally opposite from Sonoma. It has really high speeds and the setup is a lot different than you would run at Sonoma which all makes for an interesting weekend.”
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 RUSH TRUCKING/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET SS – 19TH IN STANDINGS
“It’s a race that we always look forward to. We’ve had a lot of success there and it’s just fun. It’s like taking Sonoma and just multiplying the speed times three. It’s just a lot faster track. It still has the same elevation changes, but you’re just running a lot quicker. Both Sonoma and Watkins Glen are two places on the schedule that we really enjoy coming to.
“When you’ve won five races, it gives you that confidence that you know how to win, and know what you have to do to get to victory lane. I know what feel I need when we get here. It’s just a matter of going out and practicing and putting yourself in that position.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD’S CHEVROLET SS – 20TH IN STANDINGS
“Comparing the two road courses that we race at, Watkins Glen is so much faster than Sonoma. I don’t think there are any guarantees that we will be good at Watkins Glen just because we were good at Sonoma. The biggest difference between the two tracks is that Watkins Glen is much faster and I think you can really hustle the car, rather than just having to be finesse. Pit strategy will usually play a big part of the race at the Glen. There is only so far that you can go on fuel and there is a little bit of a gamble with cautions, but it is a long way around that track so you have to be careful with what you risk.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 41 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET SS – 23RD IN STANDINGS
“Well, Sonoma is a track where the corners are a lot slower and you’re struggling to put the power down. It’s pretty much the opposite of that situation when racing at Watkins Glen. It’s still a road course but the differences are pretty big. Watkins Glen has wide, sweeping, fast corners where it’s not as tough to put the power down like it is at Sonoma. It’s also just more of a momentum racetrack, so there’s a lot of speed at Watkins Glen versus the finesse that you have to have at Sonoma to be successful.”
CASEY MEARS, NO. 13 GEICO CHEVROLET SS – 24TH IN STANDINGS
“We had a really strong run at Pocono on Sunday, which is great because we were coming off of two tough races. Watkins Glen is another chance for us to do well. Last year, we had a brake issue in qualifying and had to start 30th, but we were able to race our way to the front and finish 12th. We are testing Atlanta today, but looking forward to getting our No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet on track at Watkins Glen on Friday. It is definitely a busy week, but it shows the commitment on the part of Germain Racing and everyone involved.”
AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 SCOTT PRODUCTS CHEVROLET SS – 25TH IN STANDINGS
“Watkins Glen is just a fast road course. Most the corners are high speed. It’s a fun course because of that. Each road course we go to has their little bit of differences. Sonoma is a slower track where rear grip is such a premium there that you can easily tear off the rear tires. At Watkins Glen, it’s important to get a good overall balance. If you are a little tight, you are not going to get through the S’s very well and through the high speed stuff. If you are loose, the slower speed stuff, you are going to cook the rear tires. This is more of an overall balance than say compared to a Sonoma. You are constantly looking to find rear grip to not burn the rear tires off it.”
MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVROLET SS – 26TH IN STANDINGS
“Watkins Glen has been a super, super good track for me. Had a shot of winning there the past two years. So I have a lot of confidence going in as a driver. Hopefully we can take the right things there and apply it to what we learned in Sonoma and at our recent test session at the Glen to be successful.
“Obviously Turn 1 is a very critical passing zone. But if you can get your car handling well through the esses and get a strong run on the back straightway it’s another opportunity to pass — as is the bus stop. To be good at Watkins Glen you have to be good everywhere to have a shot at winning the race or finishing in the top-five. It’s so competitive out here sometimes people lose sight of that. The car has to be nearly perfect at every corner. Definitely a difficult thing to find but as a driver you have to figure that out. If the car is strong, confidence comes with that and you can make a pass anyplace you need to.”
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – 28TH IN STANDINGS
“Probably. I think these cars are such big heavy cars, that the difference between Sonoma and Watkins Glen is not that big of a deal. It still has corners and has to go left and right and then go quickly and turn quickly and get the power down quickly and doing things it’s not used to doing on a normal everyday weekend. There should be plenty of carryover from road course to road course. If you are struggling with rear grip issues, you probably are going to be not penalized as much at Watkins Glen than at Sonoma.”
JUSTIN ALLGAIER, NO. 51 BRANDT PROFESSIONAL AGRICULTURE CHEVROLET SS – 29TH IN STANDINGS
“I like road course racing. I’ve never really seen myself as a road course racer, but for whatever reason I’ve done pretty well on them. This is the first road course that we are going to in the Sprint Cup Series that I’ve raced in a Nationwide car at before. I’m hoping the Nationwide experience pays off at Watkins Glen, but there’s so many more great road course racers in Cup Series, that I know it’s definitely going to be a challenge.”
MICHAEL ANNETT, NO. 7 PILOT FLYING J CHEVROLET SS – 30TH IN STANDINGS
“I started feeling comfortable at Watkins Glen two years ago in the Nationwide Series when we just barely missed out on a top-10 finish. Anything can happen there. Stretching our fuel windows and avoiding the calamity that seems to pop up in these road course races will dictate whether or not we have a good day.”
Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Statistics
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: 3183
Top-five finishes: 51
Top-10 finishes: 117
CHEVROLET IN NASCAR SPRINT CUP CUMULATIVE STATISTICS:
Total Chevrolet race wins: 729 (1949 – to date); (2,410 possible = 30.0%)
Poles Won to Date: 657
Laps Lead to Date: 216,843
Top-Five Finishes to Date: 3,666
Top-10 Finishes to Date: 7,498
Total NASCAR Cup wins by Corporation, 1949 – To-Date
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.9 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
Source: Team Chevy