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Jul 09, 2014 - 07:37 AM
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2014 New Hampshire: Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Jul 09, 2014 - 07:34 AM
NASCAR News
2014 New Hampshire: Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview


Over the last nine races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) a Chevrolet driver has hoisted the trophy at the races end six times. However, the Bowtie brand was unable to capture victory at the 1.058-mile flat track in 2013.

 

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With the changes to the Chase format in 2014 Chevrolet drivers and teams know all too well how important every track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule is. This weekend a sixth different Chevrolet driver could capture the checkered flag and all but assure themselves a spot in this seasons Chase. Of those without a win this season Chevrolet’s Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne all have recorded victories at NHMS.

Newman and Stewart each have three wins on the flat track, which is characterized by multiple grooves and encourages side-by-side racing. Despite the fact the track has multiple racing grooves it is well known for being hard to pass. Due to the difficulty in passing the pole position is the most proficient starting position the field, producing more winners (five) than any other starting spot. This will make qualifying of up most importance this weekend as drivers will do everything they can to make it to the final knock-out round.

Chevrolet drivers and teams have been the most successful pairing in the 38 races held at NHMS. Bowtie branded drivers have visited victory lane 18 times, more than any other manufacturer. With nine wins in 2014 Chevrolet is well on the way to a 12th consecutive manufacturer’s championship. Chevrolet currently leads the standings by 20 points. The Chevrolet SS hopes to find its way to Victory Lane for the first time since it was debuted at Daytona in 2013. And one of 24 Chevrolet drivers hopes to be the one to take it there.

The Camping World RV Sales 301 is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday July 13th. Live coverage will be available on TNT, PRN Radio, Sirius NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and NASCAR.com.

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 727 wins and 655 poles in NSCS competition


CHEVROLET ON THE TRACK—NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY:
Chevrolet drivers have won 18 of 38 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Victories by current Team Chevy drivers are:
Kurt Busch, No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, has visited Victory Lane at New Hampshire Motor Speedway three (3) times (’04 – TWICE & ’08)
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, has three (3) wins at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (’95, ’97 & ‘98)
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, has collected three (3) trophies from New Hampshire Motor Speedway (’03 – TWICE &’10)
Ryan Newman, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS, has three (3) victories at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (’02, ’05 & ’11)
Tony Stewart, No. 14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, has three (3) wins at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (’00, ’05 & ‘11)
Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, has one (1) win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (’06)
Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Great Clips/Shark Week Chevrolet SS, has visited Victory Lane at New Hampshire Motor Speedway once (1) (’12)
A Chevrolet driver has won six (6) of the last nine (9) races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
A Chevrolet driver has sat on the pole at New Hampshire Motor Speedway 17 times
Team Chevy drivers have scored 85 top-five and 156 top-10 finishes at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
A Chevrolet has led 5,550 laps (49.3% of possible 11,250 laps) at New Hampshire Motor Speedway


CHEVROLET SPOTLIGHT: Five different manufacturers have won at New Hampshire Motor Speedway; led by Chevrolet with 18 victories.

BOWTIE BULLET: Five of the 38 races held at New Hampshire Motor Speedway have been won from the pole; the most recent was Chevrolet’s Ryan Newman in 2011. Newman also holds the track qualifying record at NHMS pacing his Chevrolet around the 1-mile, flat track in 27.904 seconds/136.497 mph. The record was set in 2013.

DID YOU KNOW? Four Chevrolet vehicles earned top honors in the 2014 AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Awards, which measure customer satisfaction in 50 categories. The four awards are the most won by any single manufacturer this year.

Award-winning Chevrolets and their segments are:

§ Impala – Large Car
§ Sonic – Economy car
§ Corvette – Sports car
§ Camaro – Sporty car

The wins move Chevrolet up five spaces in relative ranking among other manufacturers compared to last year.

ENGINEER EXPERTISE FROM THE GARAGE AREA –– PAT SUHY, MANAGER, CHEVROLET RACING – NASCAR GROUP MANAGER:
“Coming off a couple of tough weeks, Team Chevy’s Sprint Cup contingent is happy to be headed to New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend; and our Nationwide Series crew hopes to extend their four week winning streak. New Hampshire is a narrow, one-mile flat track with only one degree of banking on the straights, and variable two to seven degree banking in the tight turns. It’s challenging for drivers, engineers and crew chiefs. The fastest line is up the banking; but making the cars drivable on the low side is important since passing is very difficult.

“Several of our Chevy Cup teams used one of their ‘open’ tests to work on their short track programs in general, and New Hampshire race setups, specifically. Those tests provide an opportunity for a team to start with their best setups from last year, and to work on improving their performance. Between these tests, and all the tools our Cup teams have at their disposal, I’m looking forward to a change of fortune this Sunday and an opportunity to participate in the ‘hat dance’ in Winner’s Circle with one of our Team Chevy drivers and their crew.”

WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE THE CHEVROLET SS RACE CARS?
This weeks’ race is at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. 24 Chevrolet SS race cars will attempt to qualify at the 1-mile track. Fans can watch and/or listen to all the action on Sunday July 13th on TNT, 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
“Loudon has always been a good and consistent track for us, and I’m really looking forward to this weekend. Hendrick Motorsports tested at New Hampshire a few weeks ago and I thought the No. 24 team had a really good test. We’ve had some good cars and some strong runs at Loudon recently, but that doesn’t make a weekend any easier. We still have to work hard from Friday morning through the end of the race on Sunday.”

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – 2ND IN STANDINGS
“We went to New Hampshire trying to find that little bit extra as a whole group. You only get four tests from which to choose and the whole company has to agree on where we’re going. It’s a company-wide initiative to try and improve, so I think it says a lot that we chose New Hampshire as one of those tests.’’

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – 3RD IN STANDINGS
“We were pretty disappointed last weekend with the result at Daytona. I really felt like we had a fast car and to be there for all that time only to be knocked out of the race at lap 20 was tough. We are looking forward to New Hampshire and then the off-weekend. Everyone on this team works so hard, they deserve some time off and I hope that we can head into the break with a good finish at Loudon.”

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – 8TH IN STANDINGS
"New Hampshire Motor Speedway has always been a good track for me, which is why I consider it to be one of my favorite tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit. It's the place where I scored my first Cup win. I've found a way to be fastest on both Fridays and Sundays. I also enjoy the Modified races here and will compete in that event, as well. It's going to be a very busy weekend for me, but it will be a lot of fun. I really enjoy the area and the fans are great. New Hampshire is always a place I look forward to going back to each year."

PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 DURACELL/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – 10TH IN STANDINGS
"It's really hard to pass, for one. New Hampshire is one of those tracks where everyone basically runs the same speed. There are usually about five guys that stand out and everyone else runs the same speed. It's really hard to pass, but it's a couple grooves so you just have to make your car work where the other guys can't. We'll try to work on that apron and get some good drive off, but you have to maintain the turn."

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET SS – 11TH IN STANDINGS
“The hardest thing is just making your car turn in the middle of the corner and being able to have enough forward drive up off. It always seems like the New Hampshire race comes down to a track position strategy call on two tires or four tires toward the end of the race. Track position will play a big part, but getting your car to handle right will probably play an equal part.”

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOW CHEVROLET SS – 13TH IN STANDINGS
"I love New Hampshire Motor Speedway, that's one of my favorite tracks. I've always run well there in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. I've got quite a few laps there, even going back to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East days, so I'm looking forward to my first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway."

KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – 17TH IN STANDINGS
“I am looking forward to getting back on a track where you have a little more control over your outcome. We tested at NHMS not too long ago, so I’m sure the Target team will arrive with a car that’s ready to compete. Although I have a K&N win at Loudon, I still think it’s a tough track where passing can be difficult. We’ve had really fast Target Chevy’s this season, so hopefully our speed continues this weekend and we can head into the off weekend with a quality finish.”

KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 GREAT CLIPS/SHARK WEEK CHEVROLET SS – 18TH IN STANDINGS
“Anytime you can go and test for a couple of days at a track -- and we went from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at New Hampshire for two days in early June -- that is a ton of laps and a lot of things that each team is trying. Jimmie (Johnson) was really good at times. Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) got good at the end. I felt like we got pretty good at the end, and Jeff (Gordon) was probably the best car the first day so we all learned a lot. From that information, I think we can put together a really good package for Hendrick Motorsports this weekend when we return, and also use the information when we race there again at the start of the Chase. New Hampshire is a really good track to be good at. Last year in September, we were an average 10th, and that was about where I ran if I didn’t hit the wall so hopefully we made some improvements at the test session recently. I felt good about it and so did the other guys.”

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET SS – 20TH IN STANDINGS
“It’s a big motor deal. With the corners being so tight, you’ve got to put a lot of gear in the car to get it up off the corner. Forward bite is always an issue there too, so it’s hard to get up off the corners. Then you’ve got long straightaways where you can kind of relax a little bit. Coming into the corners, you use a lot of brake, and it’s hard to not only get the car stopped, but to get it to turn. Then you go through that challenge all over again.”

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD’S CHEVROLET SS – 22ND IN STANDINGS
“I think the first thing that comes to mind about New Hampshire Motor Speedway is track position. This is one of the toughest tracks to pass on, so track position will be critical. This always seems to be a race where there are a lot of factors that come into play. The track is sensitive to temperature change, fuel strategy seems to be key and passing is difficult. If you can get all three of those things to go your way, you should be good. We have had a couple of bad finishes the last two weeks, so I hope we can rebound with a strong run at New Hampshire. We tested here a couple of weeks ago, so hopefully we can take what we learned from the test and post a good result.”

CASEY MEARS, NO. 13 GEICO CHEVROLET SS – 23RD IN STANDINGS
"We had a great run at Daytona and ended up fourth. The No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS was really strong and I was able to move around and do what I needed to do to get up front and stay there during the race. A top-five is always good, but it comes with mixed emotions because we had a car that could've won that race. The guys on this Germain team work so hard and I'm glad we were able to get them a good result. We have a lot of momentum rolling into Loudon, so we're hoping we can get a solid finish in the GEICO Chevy as we head into the final off-week of the season."

KURT BUSCH, NO. 41 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET SS – 24TH IN STANDINGS
“New Hampshire is a track that has been pretty good to me since I started racing in the top series of this sport. I raced there for the first time in the Truck Series and won that race. Then it’s a track where I have three wins in the Cup cars and, when you’re able to go to a track where you’ve had that kind of success, it just gives you that confidence. Because of the wins and everything, it’s a place we go to where I feel like I especially know what it takes from the car and the driver to be successful.”

AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 KINGSFORD CHARCOAL CHEVROLET SS – 25TH IN STANDINGS
“I really do enjoy the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but there was a time where I disliked it because I was trying to figure it out. It’s a tough place to get around because it’s so flat and a little bit bumpy. However, in 2008 or 2009, I kind of figured out how to drive around the place and now I really enjoy racing there a lot. I feel like it’s one of those type of tracks that the driver can make a difference around. You still need a good Kingsford Chevrolet SS that rolls the center and you still need forward drive. It makes it fun racing when you have it all."

MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVROLET SS – 26TH IN STANDINGS
"I am looking forward to New Hampshire. I am also pumped to start the second half of the season and forget a lot about the first half of the year. I am optimistic about the New Hampshire track just because the way we ran in Richmond. It seems like our short track program is probably a little bit ahead of our mile-and-a-half stuff. I haven't run that well there, however there was a stretch where I had three straight top fives and four straight top 10s. New Hampshire is a funny place -- you think it doesn't change over the year but every time you go there it's a little bit different. It's even different from the first to second race of the year as well. It's hard to put your finger on what to do at New Hampshire. You just need to go there and practice and be open-minded and work on the race car until you hit the right combination."

DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – 27TH IN STANDINGS
“I really like going there. I like that area of the country and like the restaurants and what it has to offer. I haven’t been there a whole lot, but I enjoy it and like it. We were OK last year and I’m anxious to see what we’ve got this year. Tony Gibson and his guys have won there before so I’m ready to get going.”

JUSTIN ALLGAIER, NO. 51 ACCUDOC SOLUTIONS CHEVROLET SS – 29TH IN STANDINGS
"I’m definitely ready to get to New Hampshire [Motor Speedway] after our weekend at Daytona [International Speedway]. It will be my first time at New Hampshire in a Sprint Cup car, and I’m curious to see how it will go. I like the shorter tracks and New Hampshire is just barely over a mile, so I think we will have a good weekend in the AccuDoc Solutions Chevy."

MICHAEL ANNETT, NO. 7 PILOT FLYING J CHEVROLET SS – 30TH IN STANDINGS
"Loudon is a little more challenging than the smaller short tracks, mainly because of the bumps, especially in turn 3. I feel like, collectively, we've got a good handle on the place. I finished fifth in the Nationwide race there last year and 'Bono' [Manion, crew chief] knows the place real well, having set up winning cars in Modifieds."



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: 9
Poles: 8
Laps led: 2906
Top-five finishes: 46
Top-10 finishes: 101

CHEVROLET IN NASCAR SPRINT CUP CUMULATIVE STATISTICS:
Total Chevrolet race wins: 727(1949 – to date); (2,407 possible = 30.0%)
Poles Won to Date: 655
Laps Lead to Date: 216,566
Top-Five Finishes to Date: 3,661
Top-10 Finishes to Date: 7,482

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

GM: 1,062
Chevrolet: 727
Pontiac: 155
Oldsmobile: 115
Buick: 65

Ford: 725
Ford: 625
Mercury: 96
Lincoln: 4

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

Toyota: 65

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