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May 21, 2014 - 07:05 AM
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2014 Charlotte (Coca Cola 600): Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on May 21, 2014 - 07:02 AM
NASCAR News
2014 Charlotte (Coca Cola 600): Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview


Power, durability, fuel economy all these factors will come into play Sunday night as Chevrolet SS drivers and teams test man and machine in the longest race of the season, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS). Drivers have been preparing for this battle for weeks by hydrating, exercising and making sure they have the mental stamina to last 400 laps/600 miles. Most NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers and teams call Charlotte home, which adds to the pressure and prestige of not only racing in front of their hometown crowd, but in winning one of NASCAR's crown jewel races.Chevrolet has done it best over the course of history. The Bowtie brand is the winningest manufacturer of the Coca-Cola 600 visiting Winner’s Circle 22 times. Chevrolet drivers and teams have hoisted the trophy at the end of a long night three (3) out of the last four (4) seasons.

 

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Hendrick Motorsports teammates and Chevrolet SS drivers, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne have a combined 15 victories at CMS. Johnson leads the group with six victories. Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart have collected a total of four victories at the 1.5-mile track. Harvick is the most recent Chevrolet winner of the Coca-Cola 600 winning the event for the second time in 2013. Jamie McMurray has also found his share of success at CMS visiting Victory Lane twice. McMurray is the most recent Chevrolet driver to make his way to Winner’s Circle taking home the trophy in the Sprint All-Star race last weekend.

There will be plenty of action happening at the track, but Chevrolet will also be active in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina at the annual Speed Street festival. The display will be open Thursday – Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Throughout the course of the weekend there will be numerous drivers appearing at the stage. On Thursday Chevrolet fisherman Bob Refern will be on hand giving a demonstration. Gallagher Motorsports drivers Joey Coulter, Spencer Gallagher and Max Gresham will also stop by the Team Chevy stage. Friday Tommy Baldwin Racing teammates Michael Annett and Reed Sorenson will appear at the Team Chevy display at noon followed by Kyle Larson and Jimmy Weller later in the afternoon. Truck Series competitors Jamie Dick and Ross Chastain will close out the afternoon.

While taking in all of the Speed Street festivities fans can test drive a Chevrolet vehicles. Fans will have the opportunity to climb behind the wheel of the Chevrolet SS, Corvette, Camaro, Impala, Silverado, Tahoe, Traverse, Equinox, Malibu, Cruze and Colorado. This year the Team Chevy Test Drive area is located on Tryon Street between Levine Avenue and Stonewall Street.

Chevrolet will also have a satellite display located minutes from Charlotte Motor Speedway on the campus of Hendrick Motorsports. That display will be open Wednesday – Sunday and feature exhibits of the Chevrolet SS and the Chevrolet Silverado High Country.

The Coca-Cola 600 is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday May 25th. Live coverage will be available on FOX, PRN Radio, Sirius NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and NASCAR.com.

CHEVROLET SPOTLIGHT: Eight different manufacturers have won in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Chevrolet leads the way with 41 victories. The Bowtie brand also has the most Coca-Cola 600 victories visiting Winner’s Circle 22 times.

BOWTIE BULLET: Chevrolet drivers Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon lead all active drivers with pole wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS). Each driver has sat on the pole at CMS nine (9) times.

ENGINEER EXPERTISE FROM THE GARAGE AREA –– ALBA COLON, PROGRAM MANAGER, NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES - CHEVROLET RACING:
“Congratulations to Jamie McMurray, Keith Rodden, and the entire No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Bass Pro Shops team for their great win at the All-Star Race. What a race and what a celebration! Also, congratulations to Kevin Harvick for his second place finish.

“This weekend we return to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600 race. The teams had a great opportunity to work on race setups during the Sprint Showdown and All-Star races. A lot of things that were learned last weekend will be applied this weekend.

“We always look forward to the Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where we face the longest race on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit. This is a really exciting one for everybody involved in the sport. For most of the teams, this is their home turf and a special pride comes with winning in your own backyard.

“Running 600 miles is more than just an endurance race. In addition to being both mentally and physically tough for the drivers and crews, there are many other challenges to such a long race. Going from day to night, the track surface will change more dramatically than at any other track on the tour. A lot of strategy and patience is required to be successful at this race.

“Charlotte Motor Speedway has been a good track for Team Chevy and it would be great to celebrate another sweet win on Sunday night.”

WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE THE CHEVROLET SS RACE CARS?
This weeks’ race is at Charlotte Motor Speedway. 23 Chevrolet SS will attempt to qualify for the season’s longest race. Fans can watch all the action Sunday May 25th on FOX, PRN Radio 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
“It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years. I was part of an event with Charlotte Motor Speedway at the NASCAR Hall of Fame a few weeks ago where they commemorated that victory, and it was a cool moment to relive.

“We had a fast race car that day and let a lot of laps, but Rusty (Wallace) was the class of the field. (Then No. 24 crew chief) Ray Evernham made a great call for two tires on that last pit stop, and that call got us the win.”

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/SUPERMAN CHEVROLET SS – 4TH IN STANDINGS
“Working with the National Guard is a lot of fun, and they are very creative with what we do together. I have met some great people and have heard some great stories. Whether it was their experience in the Guard or why they joined, I always find it really fascinating to ask someone what encouraged them to make that decision because it’s a life choice. Everybody has a different reason, but I have had a great experience and really appreciate it. I really cherish it and think it’s affected me to just be that close to it and see the things that go on behind the scenes.”

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S PATRIOTIC CHEVROLET SS – 7TH IN STANDINGS
“I love this race. It’s such a challenge to all of us both mentally and physically. The 48 team does well here because it’s such a long race that you have the time to adjust on your car, make the changes from day to night and improve with each stop.”

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 QUICKEN LOANS CHEVROLET SS – 8TH IN STANDINGS
"To me, the Coca-Cola 600 is like the Southern 500. It is one of the races I haven't won and it would mean a lot to me to win. Having won at Charlotte in a Nationwide car, as well as the Sprint All-Star Race, I know how to get the job done. Obviously, RCR knows how to get the job done. I was close last year even with a bad restart at the end because we were stuck in the line that wouldn't go. That's actually happened to the No. 31 team a couple of times this year. Looking back with all that has happened sixth wasn't too bad, considering. Hopefully we'll get a little more luck on our side this go around and have good restarts so we can put the No. 31 Quicken Loans Chevrolet in contention.

"Charlotte is such a fun track. It's so much different in Turns 1 and 2 versus Turns 3 and 4. Because of that, you have to approach the track a little bit differently. It's so fast, it's a place you can't waste too much time thinking about how you want to approach it."

KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – 13TH IN STANDINGS
“I’m really looking forward to this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600. We had a really good car for the Showdown race last weekend at Charlotte, but had a tough break at the beginning of the race that kept us from competing the way we had hoped to. Our team has had good cars on the mile and a half tracks, and run well at Charlotte, so I expect we’ll have a fast Target Chevy for this weekend’s race. I’m also excited to be part of celebrating 25 years of Target Chip Ganassi Racing this weekend with a special silver paint scheme and firesuit.”

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 CHEERIOS CHEVROLET SS – 14TH IN STANDINGS
"It's my first time running a 600-mile race. I ran Texas Motor Speedway last year and this year. Both of those races are 500-mile races. Why not give it 100 miles more and see what we've got? I think you prepare for the race a little bit earlier in the week. It's an important hometown race. It's going to be hot. I feel like you do have to prepare for it as much as you can, but until you get in there in that environment you really don't know. I'll do my best early in the week to hydrate."

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 BUDWEISER FOLDS OF HONOR CHEVROLET SS – 15TH IN STANDINGS
"I really tried to stop having a bad attitude coming into this particular race weekend and just trying to get through it. I started trying to figure out what I needed to do to get better at this particular race track. I watched the guys who have had success here in the past and studied a little bit to try and figure out steering, throttle, brakes and different techniques that the guys that were winning the races were using and tried to adapt that. Changing my attitude has helped the most and now Charlotte has become like any of the other race tracks where you enjoy showing up and the challenges of trying to figure out a different style of race track and how to make your car handle."

KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE/THANKAMILLIONTEACHERS.COM CHEVROLET SS – 16TH IN STANDINGS
“Patience. I think you have to have patience. Last year, I enjoyed leading when it was sunny out and leading at night so just being able to find that balance, work with it, work with your car, communicate well and work with the team throughout the whole race is key. And then you need the team to step up, too. We need to have great pit stops, and we need a great car when we start the race. If we have all that, we’ll have a shot to win our fourth 600.”

AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 BUSH BEANS CHEVROLET SS – 17TH IN STANDINGS
“I have had decent runs in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (Motor Speedway) and I feel good about the race after the way we ran in the Sprint Showdown and in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race before we were knocked out of the running. More importantly, we learned some stuff that we can apply. Hopefully, everything translates over and we unload fairly close and work on our BUSH’S Beans Chevrolet SS from there.”

PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 SERTA/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – 18TH IN STANDINGS
"The Coca-Cola 600 is definitely one of those races as a driver that you want to win. It carries its own prestige like the Brickyard or the Daytona 500. This is also the only time we will race 600 miles, which makes it unique as well. I think we gained knowledge on what we need for this weekend during the (Sprint) Showdown. It will be a long night for me in the car but once you get going you really don’t notice those extra 100 miles. Our guys have been great on pit road all year but we will have to make sure and keep up with the adjustments on the Serta/Menards Chevrolet as the track conditions change so much throughout the race.”

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 BASS PRO SHOPS/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET SS – 22ND IN STANDINGS
“Any time you win a race at Charlotte, it’s big. It’s a speedway with a lot of history and, obviously, the Coke 600 is a huge event. I’m a big fan of shorter races nowadays, but the 600 is truly a special event, with it being on Memorial Day weekend and the history of the Coke 600, when it was known as the World 600. There’s just a lot of tradition that surrounds the month of May in Charlotte. So, this is a big race. It’s an important race to win.”

CASEY MEARS, NO. 13 GEICO CHEVROLET SS – 23RD IN STANDINGS
"We had a strong run in the Sprint Showdown, so we're hoping to duplicate that effort in the Coke 600 on Sunday. We're running a military tribute paint scheme on our No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS in an effort to salute the troops and honor their sacrifices. GEICO is dedicated to serving our troops and our team has always been good about hosting military families each week, so this is something we're excited to do. We have people at Germain Racing that have family members serving in the military, so we're very aware of our troops and the sacrifices they make and just can't thank them enough for their service. I also won my first Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte in May 2007 in the National Guard car, so this race has special meaning on multiple levels."

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 CESSNA CHEVROLET SS – 24TH IN STANDINGS
“I am really excited to get back to Charlotte this week. We had a lot of fun celebrating the Sprint All-Star Race victory for a couple of days and then got right back to work with a tire test in Kentucky on Tuesday and Wednesday. The 600 is long grinding race and completely different than what we ran last Saturday night, but I think that we obviously have strong cars and our pit crew really did a great job last Saturday night, so we have all the pieces in place to have another competitive run at Charlotte. Our 1.5-mile program has been really strong; we just need to have some luck to go our way with the finishes”.

MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVROLET SS – 26TH IN STANDINGS
“The Coca-Cola 600 is one of the crown jewels in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. And what makes this race even more special is that it falls on Memorial Day weekend, which is a time to honor our brave military personnel who paid the ultimate sacrifice to preserve freedom. The hood on our No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet for this race will showcase the Colorado Freedom Memorial, which honors every fallen Colorado military veteran, dating back to the Spanish American War in 1896. Nearly 6000 names are printed on the glass panels of the Colorado Freedom Memorial, located outside of Denver in Aurora, Colorado.”

DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – 27TH IN STANDINGS
“Oh, what’s another 100 miles on top of 500? It really doesn’t seem that long. I did it the last two years, right? Last year seemed pretty quick. Mind you, I did get crashed. A lot of it has to do with how you’re doing and how the car is; what’s happening on track, are you actually racing people throughout the race? I always felt like Darlington was the longest race in the whole world. It felt like 800 miles to me. But for some reason this year it went quick. So, actually, I just think it has to do with how your race is going. Another 100 miles, if you’re running well, is going to help; if not, then it’s not. Other than that, it’s just another long race and we have a lot of them.”

KURT BUSCH, NO. 41 HAAS AUTOMATION MADE IN AMERICA CHEVROLET SS – 28TH IN STANDINGS
THOUGHTS OF KURT’S CREW CHIEF DANIEL KNOST: What is your expectation when Kurt arrives at Charlotte? “I hope we can go out and win. I think he’s been working a lot on fitness and that’s a real challenge, but I think he’ll be fine there. I think that the cars are really different, so it may take him a little while to get settled into our car. That’s kind of a challenge to work through that transition period, but he’s been driving these cars for a very long time, so I think that he’ll make that transition pretty fast. I think if the car is good enough that he’ll be able to go up there and compete. Tony Stewart led a bunch of the race when he did it one time. I think that part is really more on us to have a car that’s right, make the most of the practice time that we have and anticipate how the car is going to react from day to night.”

JUSTIN ALLGAIER, NO. 51 BRANDT PROFESSIONAL AGRICULTURE CHEVROLET SS – 29TH IN STANDINGS
“I’m looking forward to getting back on the track at Charlotte [Motor Speedway]. I feel like we have really gained on our mile-and-a-half program since the start of the season. Kansas [Speedway] a couple of weeks ago really showed that with our top 15 run until we were caught up in an accident. Obviously, this weekend being the longest race all season will be a little bit of challenge. I’ve been working out and really conditioning myself for this weekend. I think if we keep doing what we have been at HScott Motorsports, we will be fine."

MICHAEL ANNETT, NO. 7 PILOT FLYING J CHEVROLET SS – 30TH IN STANDINGS
"The biggest challenge for us, and for any team this weekend, will be keeping up with the changes to the track as it goes from day to night. I've watched past races and it's amazing how cars handle so much differently from beginning to end. That's something we'll have to figure out. Fortunately, 400 laps provides a lot of time to troubleshoot."

REED SORENSON, NO. 36 BEEF JERKY OUTLET OF THE CAROLINA’S CHEVROLET SS – 33RD IN STANDINGS
"I am glad to have the Beef Jerky Outlet of the Carolina's come on board with us for this weekend's race. It's a big weekend for all of us, being home in Charlotte, and Memorial Day weekend. It's a great time for fans to take some time and give back to our military that have served this country, and continue to make sacrifices for all of us. I encourage everyone to take some time out of their day, and sign a Thank You letter to send overseas to our troops, through our Salute the Troops campaign. It's quick, fun, and an easy way to let all of our troops know we are still thinking about them."

BRIAN SCOTT, NO. 33 SHORE LODGE CHEVROLET SS:
“You just have to train smart. You have to work out in the right way. You have got to go to somebody that can help prepare you, whether that is a trainer, a friend, somebody that is going to push you and make sure that you keep digging when you might want to stop. Luckily I’ve kind of established a routine for the last three or four years of working with a trainer. We talk about when races were more physically demanding and what we could do to work on that, even things that you do in your seat. I know before the 600 I will pay extra special attention to the ergonomics inside the car and sitting in it and making sure I do that all before the race, tweaking every little thing maybe nitpicking it more so than I would any other race just because it is so long and grueling. Then I think the thing that helps more than anything is if you just have a good handling race car. That will make 600 miles a lot more of a pleasure.”


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: 5
Poles: 5
Laps led: 1931
Top-five finishes: 26
Top-10 finishes: 60

CHEVROLET IN NASCAR SPRINT CUP CUMULATIVE STATISTICS:
Total Chevrolet race wins: 723 (1949 – to date); (2,400 possible = 30.0%)
Poles Won to Date: 652
Laps Lead to Date: 215,591
Top-Five Finishes to Date: 3,641
Top-10 Finishes to Date: 7,441

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

GM: 1,058
Chevrolet: 723
Pontiac: 155
Oldsmobile: 115
Buick: 65

Ford: 722
Ford: 622
Mercury: 96
Lincoln: 4

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

Toyota: 65

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