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Mar 19, 2014 - 06:18 AM
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2014 Fontana (California): Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Mar 19, 2014 - 06:17 AM
NASCAR News
2014 Fontana (California): Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview


DID YOU KNOW? March is Chevrolet Truck Month. In Chevrolet dealerships across the country consumers can find special pricing and offers on the all-new Chevrolet Silverado, one of the most dependable, longest-lasting full-side pickups on the road. And the 2014 North American Truck of the Year.

 

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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 720 wins and 648 poles in NSCS competition

CHEVROLET ON THE TRACK—AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY:
Chevrolet drivers have won 12 of 24 races at Auto Club Speedway. Victories by current Team Chevy drivers are:
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s “Spring is Calling” Chevrolet SS, has five (5) victories at Auto Club Speedway (’02, ’07, ’08, ’09 & ’10)
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Coating Systems Chevrolet SS, has three (3) wins at Auto Club Speedway (’97, ’99 & ’04)
Tony Stewart, No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, has collected two (2) trophies from Auto Club Speedway (’10 & ’12)
Kurt Busch, No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, has made one (1) trip to Victory Lane at Auto Club Speedway (’03)
Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, has one (1) victory at Auto Club Speedway (’11)
Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet SS, has one (1) win at Auto Club Speedway (’06)

A Chevrolet driver has won seven (7) of the last 10 races at Auto Club Speedway
A Chevrolet driver has sat on the pole at Auto Club Speedway 10 times
Team Chevy drivers have scored 60 top-five and 103 top-10 finishes at Auto Club Speedway
A Chevrolet has led 2,778 laps (48.4% of possible 5,734 laps) at Auto Club Speedway

TEAM CHEVY FOR THE FANS AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY:
· Fans can check out great Chevrolet vehicles including: Tahoe, Suburban, Silverado 1500 Crew Cab, Impala, Traverse, Malibu, Cruze and Camaro ZL1 Convertible. At the display fans can also take an up-close and personal look at the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS race car.
Fans can see a sample of engines, parts and accessories in the Team Chevy Display available for purchase from Chevrolet 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, March 21st –Ty Dillon will kick things off at the Team Chevy stage at 9:15 a.m. followed by Dylan Kwasniewski at 9:30 a.m.
· Sunday, March 23rd – Rookie of the Year contender Kyle Larson will stop by the Team Chevy stage at 8:30 a.m. followed by Ryan Newman at 9:15 a.m.
· Hours of operation: Fri. March 21st – 11:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Sat. March 22nd – 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sun. March 23rd – 7:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

TEAM CHEVY IN THE GARAGE AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY– PAT SUHY, MANAGER, CHEVROLET RACING – NASCAR GROUP MANAGER:
“With four races behind us this season, our Team Chevy teams have been fast at every track and have already collected two wins. This week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Auto Club Speedway, where a Chevrolet driver has won five of the last six races, should be a great one to watch.

“Auto Club Speedway is a big fast two-mile track that has ‘widened out’ as the asphalt has aged, meaning that multiple grooves are available for the drivers to find a line that suits their cars and their driving styles. That makes for exciting racing for the fans, and gives more control to the drivers and teams than a one or two-groove track does. It will be interesting to see how the new aero and chassis rules impact the racing here.

“Knowing how hard our Team Chevy engineers and teams have been working, using all of our engineering tools to sort it all out, I’m confident that we’re going to see some Chevy SS drivers fighting for another win on Sunday.”

TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT:
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – 2ND IN STANDINGS
“The last couple of times we’ve been to California, we’ve had some good race cars. It’s a track where we can move around and change our line. The driver can have a little input on how the car is driving. You can find speed out there. If we are tuning on the car and studying hard during practice, I think we’ll have a good weekend.”

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – 4TH IN STANDINGS
“I think a lot of drivers like racing at Fontana because the racetrack is so wide and there are so many lines and grooves you can race through the corner. And I think the fans like it because the drivers will race two, three and sometimes four wide.”

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S “SPRING IS CALLING” CHEVROLET SS – 5TH IN STANDINGS
“I love going back to California to race. If I had a home track, Fontana is definitely mine. It was the site of my first win in ’02 so it’s very special to me. I have some local favorite restaurants I like to hit up and get to see a lot of friends. We have a full day of media on Thursday – which is great to be able to stop in Los Angeles on the way out there and hit that market from a media standpoint. We are doing some cool mainstream media hits it’s good for me, good for Lowe’s and good for the sport.”

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – 9TH IN STANDINGS
"California is the flip-flop race on our schedule. It used to be the new asphalt track with one groove. Now if you look at the way everything has been repaved, Auto Club Speedway is one of the oldest tracks on the schedule where you can sometimes see four- and five-wide racing on the straightaway. I look forward to it. It's a fun place to race. It is a lot more fun to race now in comparison to the way it used to be because of the age of the asphalt. It's built on an old steel mill, so I never expected the racetrack to stay smooth. There are bumps and they are going to impact the way we set our cars up, especially with the new changes to our cars in respect to ride heights. Most of the bumps are in the straightaways and primarily in the backstretch, so that will be one of the challenges as to who has the fastest race car and who has a splitter at the end."

KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 TIME WARNER CABLE CHEVROLET SS- 11TH IN STANDINGS

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 CHEERIOS CHEVROLET SS – 13TH IN STANDINGS
"Auto Club Speedway is definitely a fun place, there are a lot of options. You can race hard and the track is just getting better and better. I think you see the groove come and go. The top of the race track right up by the wall might be as fast as the very bottom. It was a heck of a race last year between Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin. Hopefully, we can go in there and slice and dice a little bit."

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD’S CHEVROLET SS – 16TH IN STANDINGS
“The give-up on tires is the first thing that comes to mind as far as qualifying goes with this new format. I think teams will only be able to make just one run to advance to the next rounds. As far as racing at Fontana, it’s a really fun track. It’s so wide, you will see guys running the bottom, second lane, third lane all the way up, it’s a really good track.”

PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 DURACELL/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – 17TH IN STANDINGS
"Auto Club Speedway is a track where you need to have a good motor package because of its size. The speeds we reach going into turn 3 seem to be creeping up there higher and higher, which puts more demand on our ECR Engines. With the way the bumps are, you need to put a good enough set-up in the car to either race through them or around them. It will be interesting to see what changes we need to make to keep up with the track's changes since the last time we've been there."

CASEY MEARS, NO. 13 GEICO CHEVROLET SS – 19TH IN STANDINGS
"I always enjoy going to Fontana because I'm from Bakersfield and family and friends usually come out to support us at the race. We had a strong car at Bristol until the tire issue got the best of us later in the race, so Fontana is our opportunity to rebound and have a good run. We're excited to get out there with the new package and our new No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS. The guys on this Germain team have worked hard, so I know we'll have something for them when race day comes around."

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 JIMMY JOHN’S CHEVROLET SS – 21ST IN STANDINGS
"I enjoy how the track has really spread out and the groove you can run from the bottom to the top. It's a lot of fun to move around, you can go four or five wide in the corners and down the straightaways. It’s become pretty worn out over the last several years. You have to really pay attention to what your car is doing, to try and get it balanced throughout the whole run because there is so much fall off from start to finish. It's also fun to race in front of a lot of your fans, family and friends that get to come to the race track from close to where we used to live."

KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – 22ND IN STANDINGS
“It’s a really good feeling going into my home state this weekend following a good finish at Bristol. Our Target Chevy has been fast all year long, so it was great to get that finish to show off our hard work. This weekend, I’m really looking forward to my first Cup race in California at Fontana. Auto Club Speedway is a really fun track to drive on, and it has a lot of character. Hopefully our momentum continues this weekend and we just keep getting better.”

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 RUSH TRUCK CENTERS/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET SS – 23RD IN STANDINGS
“It’s nice knowing that as a driver you can help yourself out and you’re not relying so much on the car. Regardless of what everyone else is doing, you can find a way to help yourself out. It makes you feel good knowing that because the place is so wide, you can move around, and basically, earn your money that day. As far as when to start trying the different grooves, really from the drop of the green flag, you do it from there on out because what works for one part of the race may not work at another point. Basically, it’s as soon as you feel like you’re not where you need to be. If you feel like you’re slower than the pace you need to be running, you’re going to move up the racetrack and find a place that helps balance your racecar.”

AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 CHARTER CHEVROLET SS – 25TH IN STANDINGS
“It’s tough to run in the top-20. I’m not the most patient person and I’m trying to preach that to myself and to the race team. I think just building the team. At Phoenix we had a fast race car and had a clutch problem and fell off the jack and that cost us a top-10 or top-15. We’re not going to get there overnight, but I like the direction we are going in. You can’t just go to first right away. The last couple of years the team has been 30th in points and Tad and his wife Jodi (Geschickter) and Brad (Daugherty) took a huge step in trying to make the team better by having the RCR alliance and that’s already paying huge dividends for us. Just in the knowledge we are gaining, especially with the new rules package with the ride heights and trying to figure out which direction these cars are going. The way I look at it, we can be a top-20 car every weekend and minimize our mistakes. That’s how we keep building. We had a problem at Daytona (International Speedway) and Phoenix (International Raceway) and fixed those problems at Vegas (Las Vegas Motor Speedway) and got a top-20 out of it when we went out to Bristol (Motor Speedway). Now, we turn our focus to Auto Club Speedway.”

JUSTIN ALLGAIER, NO. 51 BRANDT PROFESSIONAL AGRICULTURE CHEVROLET SS – 26TH IN STANDINGS
“Auto Club is a very fast 2-mile and bumpy track. The nice part is there’s multiple racing grooves which is always plus for us as drivers, plus it puts on a better show for the fans. I have more confidence going into this weekend after having a good run at Bristol. I just want to have a smooth and consistent race this weekend.”

REED SORENSON, NO. 36 CHEVROLET SS – 27TH IN STANDINGS

DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY/GET FOUND CHEVROLET SS – 28TH IN STANDINGS
“Fontana’s pavement has not aged gracefully (laughs), so it makes for a challenging race. It’s a challenge to set up the car – the seams move the car around a lot. It’s very fast, yet you still have to get the car to rotate and it seems really tight off of (turn) two. It’s one of the tougher places to get the balance right. But if you do strike a good balance in practice, you have a chance to have a really good day on Sunday. We’re bringing the same car from Vegas, so hopefully we can find the speed we had there and continue to get back on track after a rough start to the year. We’ve had two decent weeks, but we’d like to finish better and hopefully we can do that this week.”

MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVROLET SS – 29TH IN STANDINGS
“It’s time for our Furniture Row Racing team to showcase what we really have. We just haven’t been able to close the deal in the first four races. We’ve had mechanical woes and other issues to contend with. Auto Club Speedway is one of the best races of the year and I am looking to be in the mix on Sunday with our Chevrolet SS. No question, Auto Club Speedway is a difficult track because it eats the tires off the car so fast and it’s really hard to get your car dialed in there. The good news about the track is that it’s wide – probably the widest track we go to – and you can run all over it. It's a venue that I really like to compete at."

KURT BUSCH, NO. 41 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET SS – 31ST IN STANDINGS
“Southern California is a cool racetrack. They have cool people and it’s just a different atmosphere. It is just a little different feel then everywhere else we visit and helps break things up a little bit. The track itself is a fast track. You have to be able to balance drafting down the straightaways and the handling in the corners. It’s a fun weekend. I enjoy going southern California and the racetrack has been good to me over the years.”

MICHAEL ANNETT, NO. 7 PILOT FLYING J CONSTRUCTION CHEVROLET SS – 33RD IN STANDINGS
"I was injured and unable to race at Fontana last year (in the Nationwide Series), but from where I sat it was a really exciting race. It has become a really racy track, which should work well for us this weekend. I think we can continue to build on the momentum from Las Vegas and Bristol and keep growing as a team."

BRIAN SCOTT, NO. 33 WHITETAIL CHEVROLET SS -
“I think California is a lot of fun, unfortunately you kind of race yourself at California. It’s a big track, the cars get spread out and it’s really unfortunate because, as a driver, it’s a fun place.”

Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Statistics

Manufacturers Championships
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

Drivers Championships
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

Event Victories
Record for total race wins in single season: 26 – (in 2007)

2014 STATISTICS:
Wins: 2
Poles: 1
Laps led: 597
Top-five finishes: 9
Top-10 finishes: 22

CHEVROLET IN NASCAR SPRINT CUP CUMULATIVE STATISTICS:
Total Chevrolet race wins: 720 (1949 – to date); (2,393 possible = 30.0%)
Poles Won to Date: 648
Laps Lead to Date: 214,257
Top-Five Finishes to Date: 3,624
Top-10 Finishes to Date: 7,403

Total NASCAR Cup wins by Corporation, 1949 – To-Date

GM: 1,055
Chevrolet: 720
Pontiac: 155
Oldsmobile: 115
Buick: 65

Ford: 720
Ford: 620
Mercury: 96
Lincoln: 4

Chrysler: 466
Dodge: 217
Plymouth: 190
Chrysler: 59

Toyota: 63

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