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Apr 09, 2014 - 06:54 AM
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2014 Darlington: Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Apr 09, 2014 - 06:52 AM
NASCAR News
2014 Darlington: Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview


DID YOU KNOW? April is Earth Awareness Month. Chevrolet helps preserve natural resources and enhance habitats surrounding our facilities.
· 26 certified habitat programs – more than any other automaker

· 4,243 acres of wildlife habitats maintained at facilities

· 8,500 students matched annually with GM mentors in GREEN watershed education program

· 32% water reduction per vehicle between 2005 and 2010; 4% reduction from 2010 to 2012

 

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*On Thursday April 10th at 11:45 a.m. at the Team Chevy Display located in the Corporate Display area at Darlington Raceway, Chevrolet will be putting these Green Efforts into action. Chevrolet will host kids from Darlington County schools and build wood duck nesting boxes out of scrap Chevrolet Volt Battery Covers. The wood duck is the most important species to South Carolina waterfowl enthusiasts and is the only duck for which we can effectively manage production habitat. These ducks frequent wooded streams and ponds; and perch in trees.
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 721 wins and 649 poles in NSCS competition


CHEVROLET ON THE TRACK—DARLINGTON RACEWAY:
Chevrolet drivers have won 40 of 110 races at Darlington Raceway. Victories by current Team Chevy drivers are:
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, has seven (7) wins at Darlington Raceway (’95, ’96 – TWICE, ’97, ’98, ’02, & ’07)
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 KOBALT Tools Chevrolet SS, has visited Victory Lane at Darlington Raceway three (3) times (’04 - TWICE & ’12)
A Chevrolet driver has won two (2) of the last three (3) races at Darlington Raceway
A Chevrolet driver has sat on the pole at Darlington Raceway 20 times
Team Chevy drivers have scored 175 top-five and 363 top-10 finishes at Darlington Raceway
A Chevrolet has led 12,278 laps (33.2% of possible 37,037 laps) at Darlington Raceway

TEAM CHEVY FOR THE FANS AT DARLINGTON RACEWAY:
· Fans can check out great Chevrolet vehicles including: Corvette, Tahoe, Silverado High Country, Silverado Double Cab, Silverado HD 2500, Malibu, Cruze, Traverse, Equinox, Camaro and Impala. 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:
· Friday, April 11th – Richard Childress Racing teammates Ty Dillon and Cale Conley will visit the Team Chevy Stage at 12:30 p.m. followed by an appearance from Paul Menard at 4:00 p.m.
· Saturday, April 12th – Jamie McMurray will kick things off at the Team Chevy stage at 2:30 p.m. followed by Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Kyle Larson at 3:00 p.m.
· Hours of operation: Fri. April 11th – 9:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. and Sat. April 12th – 10:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

TEAM CHEVY IN THE GARAGE AT DARLINGTON RACEWAY– ALBA COLON, PROGRAM MANAGER, NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES - CHEVROLET RACING:
“After a very short week and turn-around for the whole circuit, all the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams are looking forward to racing closer to home. Also, everyone is looking forward to the first official Saturday night race of the year.

“We are heading to Darlington Raceway, which is nicknamed ‘The Lady in Black’ and also ‘The Track to Tough to Tame’ for the challenges it delivers. At 1.366 miles, it’s a blend of superspeedway and short track, with a wide sweeping set of turns in corners three and four, and a much tighter pair in turns one and two.

“Darlington has a unique and somewhat egg-shaped design with different configuration at each end of the oval, requiring the crew chiefs to set-up their cars’ handling in a way that will be effective at both ends. The right balance in the chassis plays heavily in the success factor. It’s also really important to achieve the high speeds necessary to run right against the wall and carry the momentum down the straightaways.

“Our teams are looking forward to the challenge that represents racing at Darlington, and we are hoping to celebrate a great win for the Chevrolet SS on Saturday night!”

TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT:
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – POINTS LEADER
The first time I drove there, it reminded me of a couple of sprint car tracks – tracks like Winchester (Ind.) Speedway – that are super-fast but you have to respect it or it could ruin your day. Darlington is just a cool, fast place – you get that sensation of speed there because you run right up next to the wall. And the track ‘drives’ you.

“At other places, we are typically trying to put the car in specific spots on the track. At Darlington, the track naturally ‘feeds’ you to a certain area which is right up next to the wall.

“Success always starts with the race team and the race car, and I’ve had good ones here. Another key to success at Darlington is being able to push the limits of the car and the track, and keeping it on that ‘edge’ without going over. At Darlington, it’s very easy to go over the edge.”

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – 6TH IN STANDINGS

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 KOBALT TOOLS CHEVROLET SS – 7TH IN STANDINGS
“Darlington has been a great track for us over the years. The most memorable was winning the 200th for Hendrick Motorsports a few years ago. From a track standpoint, Darlington has character so track position and strategy will be pretty important. There is a ton of history and a great race for the fans to watch. It’s a high speed track – it’s one of my favorites. Texas was disappointing for us – we had such a fast car and had some bad luck so I’m looking forward to this weekend and getting back after it.”

PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 CERTAINTEED/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – 10TH IN STANDINGS
"Darlington Raceway is a very unique track with the way it’s laid out. We race right up against the wall in the turns, which is even more challenging with how the cars transition out of Turn 2 for the backstretch. Tire wear isn't as tricky as it was after they repaved it a few years ago, but it still offers a challenge because of how the asphalt has weathered so quickly. We get to race under the lights on a Saturday night and drivers and fans seem to enjoy these types of race. Being one of the original tracks on the NASCAR circuit means there is some great history to the Lady in Black. We just hope we get to add our name to the history books this weekend."

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – 11TH IN STANDINGS
"Darlington Raceway is my favorite NASCAR Sprint Cup Series track. It's so challenging. You have to race the track in order to get to the end. It's a challenge to pass there. When you go into Turn 1, you lift on the straightaway and then you are pretty much wide open all the way through Turn 1 and 2. You drive it like no other track on the circuit. I don't know what it's going to be like with the new rules package or the tire combination they come up with. Regardless, it's such a fun racetrack to drive because you have to hustle the car around. Plus, the history of the track is what makes it so amazing. The racetrack was designed to race on the apron and not on the banking. It's amazing how much it hasn't changed, but yet, it still produces great races."

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOW CHEVROLET SS – 12TH IN STANDINGS
"We're going to get some time at Darlington Raceway running right by the wall. It's a fun place. You can really have some exciting racing there. I'm looking forward to competing there in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. I've never been there in a Cup car, so it will really be a learning experience there and at all of these short tracks that we are going to in the Sprint Cup Series car for the first time. Bristol Motor Speedway treated us well and hopefully Darlington Raceway will also."

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 MOBIL 1/BASS PRO SHOPS CHEVROLET SS – 14TH IN STANDINGS
“Absolutely. As much as we know about the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, I think people underestimate how much we know about Darlington and the history of that track, and how hard it is to win races there. I guess that’s why a Sprint Cup win at Darlington is something that’s really important to me.”

KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – 15TH IN STANDINGS
“I’m looking forward to going to Darlington because the groove is right on the wall so it kind of suits my driving style. I like going to the top, and it seems like the closer you get to the wall there the faster you go. The track is also pretty rough so the times slow down a lot. After a few laps when times slow down it’s a little bit easier to pass because you can move around more and it just seems like there are more lanes on these worn out tracks. I did well there last year in the Nationwide car (finished sixth), so it should be good going back to race the Target Chevy.”

KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 GREAT CLIPS CHEVROLET SS- 19TH IN STANDINGS
“We were really good in the Darlington race last year. We ran inside the top four through the majority of the night. We were by far the best car at the end of that race, but just didn’t get the win because of circumstances when I was hit by another car as I was making my move for first. I’m looking forward to going back there this weekend. It’s a track I’ve always wanted to win at, and I definitely think we’re capable of doing so this weekend.”

AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 CLOROX CHEVROLET SS – 20TH IN STANDINGS
"It’s one of those things where you go into the night at Darlington Raceway with your No. 47 Clorox Chevrolet SS knowing you’re going to earn your money. I feel like it is one of those places if you get around it well, you have accomplished something. At the same point if you struggle there, there is nowhere to hide. The history of the track and what it means to the sport of NASCAR makes it really cool to drive through the tunnel there. Again, it is one of the races I actually missed last year. Even though I haven’t really been that good there in the past, I really enjoy it.”

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 CESSNA CHEVROLET SS – 21ST IN STANDINGS

CASEY MEARS, NO. 13 GEICO CHEVROLET SS – 23RD IN STANDINGS
"We tested our No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS at Darlington last week and things went really well, so we're looking forward to getting there on Friday and seeing how we unload. The sensation of speed there is tremendous and it's one of my favorite places to race. It's going to be interesting to see how much faster everyone is compared to last year. Darlington is such a historic racetrack, so it's always fun to race there under the lights and put on a good show for the fans."

KURT BUSCH, NO. 41 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET SS – 25TH IN STANDINGS
“The biggest moment at Darlington I ever had was finishing second to Ricky Craven in 2003 – everyone knows that race. It’s one of the best finishes in NASCAR history. But probably the next biggest moment would be during my championship run in 2004. I had an ill-handling car and still managed to finish sixth with it due to good pit stops. That was a perfect moment because it was our championship to lose with where we finished that day in 2004. That was back when Darlington used to be in the Chase.”

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET SS – 26TH IN STANDINGS
“Well, any lap around Darlington is a lap where you have got to be paying attention to what’s going on because you can get yourself in trouble at any point on the race track. You carry a lot of speed into Turn 1 and you run right up the banking right up next to the wall and right back into the throttle. As you come back down the hill you might have to breathe the throttle a little bit, but it’s a lot of fun coming out of Turn 2 as it kind of shoots you down the backstretch. Turns 3 and 4 are probably the hardest because you carry so much speed off of (Turn) 2 into (Turn) 3 and the line kind of moves around a bit there. It’s probably the easiest place to get in the wall. Well it’s pretty easy to get in the wall anywhere, but definitely the easiest place to get into the wall is the middle of (Turns) 3 and 4.”

MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVROLET SS – 27TH IN STANDINGS
“I absolutely love Darlington Raceway. It is probably my favorite track on the whole circuit. I’ve always run well there and really enjoy the challenge of it. I've led a lot of laps at Darlington and been in position to win but never could put together the strategy to be at the front at the end. It’s a fun track -- you can attack her (Lady in Black), but she can also reach out and bite you whenever she feels like it. It’s a delicate situation, and you sure don’t want to be on the wrong end of it. You’re living on that edge at Darlington, putting the car against that wall all night long. Having to be aggressive, and at the same time be perfect within a half-of-an inch from the wall. It does make for a really fun race.”

JUSTIN ALLGAIER, NO. 51 CHEVROLET SS – 28TH IN STANDINGS
"Darlington is one of the tracks on the schedule that you like to see because it’s unique. It doesn’t really seem to matter if you are a rookie or a veteran; the chances of getting a Darlington stripe are pretty good. I’m looking forward to getting there and making laps in a Sprint Cup car.”

DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – 29TH IN STANDINGS

REED SORENSON, NO. 36 CHEVROLET SS – 30TH IN STANDINGS

MICHAEL ANNETT, NO. 7 PILOT FLYING J CHEVROLET SS – 32ND IN STANDINGS

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: 3
Poles: 2
Laps led: 1196
Top-five finishes: 17
Top-10 finishes: 37

CHEVROLET IN NASCAR SPRINT CUP CUMULATIVE STATISTICS:
Total Chevrolet race wins: 721 (1949 – to date); (2,396 possible = 30.0%)
Poles Won to Date: 649
Laps Lead to Date: 214,856
Top-Five Finishes to Date: 3,632
Top-10 Finishes to Date: 7,418

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

GM: 1,056
Chevrolet: 721
Pontiac: 155
Oldsmobile: 115
Buick: 65

Ford: 721
Ford: 621
Mercury: 96
Lincoln: 4

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

Toyota: 64

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