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Jul 30, 2014 - 06:25 AM
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2014 Pocono II: Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Jul 30, 2014 - 06:24 AM
NASCAR News
2014 Pocono II: Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview


Coming off the heels of making history on hallowed ground at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Team Chevy looks to continue its winning ways at Pocono. Last weekend, when Jeff Gordon took the checkered flag to win his fifth race at the Brickyard, he gave Chevrolet its 12th consecutive victory at the legendary track. Although not as many as 12, the Bowtie Brand has enjoyed a four-race winning streak at Pocono Raceway.

 

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Hendrick Motorsports has led the way at the 2.5-mile, three-turn track dubbed as the ‘Tricky Triangle’. Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. have all visited Victory Lane at Pocono Raceway over the course of the last four races.

This weekend, drivers will be faced with an oval track that drivers liken to a road course. Shifting, wide corners, and fast speeds lead to potential peril during each lap. If another Chevrolet driver and team hope to make their way to Victory Lane at Pocono and extend the winning streak to five, they will have to have flawless pit strategy and no mechanical failures.

With only six races left to determine this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup competitors, the intensity at each race is heating up. Drivers and teams are willing to take more risks to get a win that will lock them into a Chase position. To date, three Chevrolet drivers are assured playoff berths: Earnhardt, Jr., Gordon, and Johnson.

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. This weekend marks one of several companion weekends the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) shares with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) and the ARCA racing series. Drivers Joey Coulter, Spencer Gallagher, Grant Enfinger and Ron Hornaday will all stop by the Team Chevy stage, as will Austin Dillon and Ryan Newman. 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: Volt, the all-new 2015 Tahoe, Malibu, Camaro, Stingray, Impala, Silverado and Cruze.

Chevrolet will pace both the NCWTS and NSCS races at Pocono Raceway. The Chevrolet SS will lead a contingent of 23 Chevy SS race cars to the green flag for the GoBowling.com 400, while Silverado drivers will follow a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado to the green flag of the Pocono Mountains 150.

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 728 wins and 656 poles in NSCS competition

CHEVROLET ON THE TRACK—POCONO RACEWAY:
Chevrolet drivers have won 29 of 73 races at Pocono Raceway. Victories by current Team Chevy drivers are:
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, has six (6) wins at Pocono Raceway (’96, ’97, ’98, ’07, ’11 & ‘12)
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, has three (3) victories at Pocono Raceway (’04 – TWICE & ‘13)
Kurt Busch, No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, has visited Victory Lane at Pocono Raceway twice (2) (’05 & ‘07)
Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS, has two (2) wins at Pocono Raceway (’08 & ’13)
Tony Stewart, No. 14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, has two (2) trophies from Pocono Raceway (’03 & ‘09)
Ryan Newman, No. 31 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, has gone to Victory Lane at Pocono Raceway once (1) (’03)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet SS, has one (1) victory at Pocono Raceway (’14)

A Chevrolet driver has won four (4) of the last four (4) races at Pocono Raceway
A Chevrolet driver has sat on the pole at Pocono Raceway 30 times
Team Chevy drivers have scored 149 top-five and 313 top-10 finishes at Pocono Raceway
A Chevrolet has led 6,092 laps (43.1% of possible 14,149 laps) at Dover International Speedway

TEAM CHEVY FOR THE FANS AT POCONO RACEWAY:
· Fans can check out great Chevrolet vehicles including: Volt, Tahoe, Malibu, Camaro, Stingray, Impala, Silverado and Cruze
· At the display fans can see a variety of show cars and specialty vehicles including the all-new 2015 Colorado, Chevy SS and Camaro Z/28. Fan can also get an up-close and personal look at Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS show 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 August 1st – 2012 Pocono Truck Series winner Joey Coulter will kick things off at the Team Chevy stage at 11:30 a.m. He will be joined by teammate Spencer Gallagher and Grant Enfinger. Four-time Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday will appear at the Team Chevy stage at 12:15 p.m.
· Saturday August 2nd – Michael Annett will appear at the Team Chevy stage for a question and answer session
· Sunday August 3rd – Rookie of the Year contender Austin Dillon will stop by the Team Chevy stage at 9:30 a.m. followed by his Richard Childress Racing teammate Ryan Newman at 9:55 a.m.
· Hours of operation: Fri. Aug. 1st – 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Sat. Aug. 2nd – 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sun. Aug. 3rd - 7:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

CHEVROLET SPOTLIGHT: Eight different manufacturers have won in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Pocono led by Chevrolet with 29 victories. Over the last four race completed at the ‘Tricky Triangle’ Chevrolet has been victories in all four.

BOWTIE BULLET: 32 different drivers have won at Pocono Raceway, led by Chevrolet’s Jeff Gordon with six wins.

DID YOU KNOW? The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named newer model Chevrolet Malibu midsize sedans and Equinox midsize and Traverse large crossover SUVs to its first-ever list of recommended used vehicles for teen drivers.

ENGINEER EXPERTISE FROM THE GARAGE AREA –– ALBA COLON, PROGRAM MANAGER, NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES - CHEVROLET RACING:
“Congratulations to Jeff Gordon, Alan Gustafson, Rick Hendrick and the entire No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet SS team members for winning at the famed Brickyard. There are few times in our lives when we have the opportunity to experience history in the making, and that’s what we witnessed on Sunday with Jeff’s win. This marked his 90th career win, and he is now third on the all-time NASCAR Sprint Cup wins list.

“Jeff’s victory also marked the twelfth consecutive win for Team Chevy on the legendary 2.5-mile oval. Thanks to all our Chevrolet teams for their hard work, dedication, and passion. We are very proud of Chevrolet’s heritage at this famed track.

“With six races to go before the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, we head to the ‘Tricky Triangle’ in Pocono for the second time this year. Recently, our teams were able to build their race books with valuable information that will really help us succeed this weekend. We all remember the race there in June and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s great victory.

“The unique nature of this triangular-shaped track is always a challenge. Pocono Raceway’s 2.5-mile configuration requires heavier use of the brakes than most big tracks. It not only puts extra wear on the brake components, but also on the engines; much like a road course.
“We are all looking forward to repeating our success from last June’s race, and visiting Victory Lane once again on Sunday.”

WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE THE CHEVROLET SS RACE CARS?
This weeks’ race is at Pocono Raceway in Pocono, Pennsylvania. 23 Chevrolet SS race cars will attempt to qualify at the 2.5-mile three-turn track. 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 AXALTA CHEVROLET SS – POINTS LEADER
“The front straightaway at ‘The Tricky Triangle’ is the longest straightaway we race on, and there’s a lot of speed that comes from the 850-plus horsepower we have beneath the hood of the Axalta Chevrolet SS as you enter Turn 1. The cool thing about Pocono is the three different corners – one is high-banked, one is flat and one is the 90-degree ‘Tunnel Turn.’ You approach each differently and you have to drive each differently. The car needs to be set up with compromise in mind to get through each of the corners. It’s tricky. It’s challenging.”

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 MICHAEL BAKER INTERNATIONAL CHEVROLET SS – 2ND IN STANDINGS
“It seems like guys that run well there (Pocono Raceway) can sort of sustain it. I've seen guys sweep there, or at least have opportunities to sweep and come close. I like the track. We have run well there since the repave, and I anticipate us being competitive again.”

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – 5TH IN STANDINGS
“Very excited to go back to Pocono. In June, even with a damaged car, we still had a chance to win. We took a gamble on strategy late in the race and I really think it was the right move if we had a straight race car and a car that didn't have some bent suspension on it. So we still had a good finish, but I am very excited to go back to Pocono. I just love that track.”

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 QUICKEN LOANS CHEVROLET SS – 7TH IN STANDINGS
"I am looking forward to returning to Pocono Raceway. I expect it to be even better to race on the second time around because it should have held and retained some of the rubber we pushed down in the asphalt back in June. Plus, I think we learned a lot from Indy this past weekend that should help us for this weekend's race. Based on how we ran in June and what we did this past Sunday, we should have a shot at contending for the win this weekend."

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET SS – 12TH IN STANDINGS
“Pocono is just one of those places where I haven’t had a ton of success. I think right before they repaved it was probably about the time I started to figure out the old Pocono out and started to run better. Probably the best memory I have there is winning a Truck race. That is about the extent of it for me.”

KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – 13TH IN STANDINGS
“I’m looking forward to getting back to Pocono and seeing if we can improve on our first race there, where we had a fifth place finish in the Target Chevy. I think we will be able to take away some of what we learned last weekend at Indy to help our setup this weekend, and we obviously have some good data from our test there and the previous race. I think our team is a little better since we were last there, so we’ll try to use that strength to get a Chevy into victory lane.”

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 AMERICAN ETHANOL CHEVROLET SS – 14TH IN STANDINGS
"I learned a lot in June that I think we can apply to the August race. We're building a notebook we can apply to the second half of the season. All of our Richard Childress Racing cars are getting better each and every week, it's a work in progress. We're working hard at every level of our organization. I'm looking forward to going to tracks for the second time. Pocono Raceway is unique in that you have three different corners to set up for. One's flat, one's banked and one's just a weird corner. I'm up for the challenge."

KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – 15TH IN STANDINGS
“Our team had a really great effort and did a nice job at Indianapolis last weekend. I was really happy with our day and how we performed. It was definitely the strongest effort the team has put out all season long. All of us were working together all weekend, and we ended on a high note with a strong performance. We have five more good tracks for us and six more races, so hopefully we can get a win at one of those places.”

PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 CERTAINTEED/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – 16TH IN STANDINGS
“It feels like we just left Pocono and now we’re talking about going back so it’s definitely spaced very close together. The rumble strips are really a non-issue. They wanted it to be an issue but it’s not a problem since we don’t run down there anyways. We definitely learned some things last time that we will apply this time.”

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 CODE 3 ASSOCIATES/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET SS – 19TH IN STANDINGS
“Going into turn one, you drive it in kind of deep and then try to float the car through the corner. It’s very flat when you go down the backstretch and into the tunnel turn. Then the short chute into turn three – it’s a big, long corner and it’s important to get through that turn well because you have a straightaway that’s three-quarters of a mile long after that. You need to come off the corner quickly so that you aren’t bogged down when you start down that long straightaway. Each corner has its challenges, and each one tends to present a different set of circumstances with each lap you make.”

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BAD BOY BUGGIES CHEVROLET SS – 21ST IN STANDINGS
“Pocono is unique with the three distinctly different turns. I think it’s important to try and make the car good enough to carry speed down the long straightaways, especially off turn-one and turn-three. I think the best thing about Pocono is the shifting, I feel like that opens up opportunities to pass. We had a pretty decent run there back in June, so we feel like we can go back and have a good understanding of where we need to be. Hopefully we can put our Bad Boy Buggies Chevy SS in position to contend for a win.”

AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 SCOTT PRODUCTS CHEVROLET SS – 23RD IN STANDINGS
“It’s really the first track we get to go back to a second time. We’re hoping that going back to these tracks a second time will help us. At least, we will have somewhere to start from when we begin first practice on Fridays. For the most part, our biggest struggles have been being off when we start practice. It’s when we unload and we are off, we have to play catch up from there. We didn’t have a great car the last time at Pocono Raceway, but it was not terrible. We needed to work on our No. 47 SCOTT Products Chevrolet SS in certain areas. We’re hoping this time around we will be able to start a little closer to where we need to be. We need to build a whole program around practice and just starting closer. That’s what we need to do to have a better race.”

MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVROLET SS – 24TH IN STANDINGS
“We learned the first half of the year a whole lot of what not to do. It's been a tough season so far. We had a lot of bad luck along the way too. I really feel we will be better off the second time around at these tracks. A lot of times during the first half of the year we were so far off at some of the tracks we could never catch up. But on the other hand, there were tracks that we did make some headway and Pocono was one of them. I felt that Pocono was the best car we had during the race. Things like that make me optimistic about the second half of the season and especially going back to Pocono, which was our last top-10 finish. We've been on the edge of making a major break-through but haven't been able to make that hurdle to get to the next level. While it's been disappointing, no one is hanging their heads. We just keep on plugging away, making changes until we find the combination that will deliver more speed and better handling of our No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet."

KURT BUSCH, NO. 41 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET SS – 25TH IN STANDINGS
“Oh yeah. There’s that feel in the car, Indianapolis has 90 degree corners that are shaped the same as the tunnel turn at Pocono. And there are the long, flat straightaways that you’re trying to balance the car out for the least amount of drag, and that translates from Indy to Pocono. So, the two racetracks are very similar. You can call the race differently, though, as far as pit strategy goes. But these are two sister racetracks that you can definitely say that the same program can work at both.”

CASEY MEARS, NO. 13 GEICO CHEVROLET SS – 26TH IN STANDINGS
"We're really excited to get back to Pocono this week. The No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS was strong when we were there in June and we feel like we left the track with a lot of good information. I unfortunately made contact with a drainage gulley while avoiding a crash at the end of the race, but we still had a strong finish. We're looking forward to unloading on Friday and getting back after it. We've had a couple of tough races, so this weekend will give us the opportunity to get back on-track."

DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – 28TH IN STANDINGS
“It’s a neat place, definitely a unique track. It’s still a place I don’t have a ton of experience at. I know Tony Gibson has won there a couple of times and does a good job setting up the car. It’s just an odd place to set the car up because the corners are so different. If you are really good in turn one, then maybe two and three are a little off. Or if you’re good in three, maybe one and two are different. I will say that the straightaway is enormous. There’s a lot of distance between turns three and one.”

JUSTIN ALLGAIER, NO. 51 CHEVROLET SS – 29TH IN STANDINGS
“Pocono [Raceway] is a fast, bumpy track and each corner is unique. It will be my second time there in a Sprint Cup car which is good because I don’t have to spend a lot of time learning the track in the Cup car. I can really focus on getting the car tuned to the track."

MICHAEL ANNETT, NO. 7 PILOT FLYING J CHEVROLET SS – 30TH IN STANDINGS
"Last time at Pocono was my first time ever seeing the place and we finished in the top 20. If I learned anything it was that restarts are extremely important there. That front stretch is so wide that it allows for a lot of passing options. We know we'll have a good car, so now we'll try to take advantage of what the track offers."

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: 10
Poles: 9
Laps led: 3069
Top-five finishes: 49
Top-10 finishes: 111

CHEVROLET IN NASCAR SPRINT CUP CUMULATIVE STATISTICS:
Total Chevrolet race wins: 728(1949 – to date); (2,409 possible = 30.0%)
Poles Won to Date: 656
Laps Lead to Date: 216,729
Top-Five Finishes to Date: 3,664
Top-10 Finishes to Date: 7,492

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

GM: 1,063
Chevrolet: 728
Pontiac: 155
Oldsmobile: 115
Buick: 65

Ford: 726
Ford: 626
Mercury: 96
Lincoln: 4

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

Toyota: 65

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