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Aug 27, 2014 - 07:37 AM
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2014 Atlanta: Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Aug 27, 2014 - 07:31 AM
NASCAR News
2014 Atlanta: Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview


Chevrolet has a long and successful history at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS). During its 54-years, Team Chevy has visited Victory Lane 37 times, more than any other manufacturer.

 

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Several Chevrolet drivers and teams will be in hot pursuit of a berth in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup this week at AMS. Currently Team Chevy’s Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, AJ Allmendinger and Kurt Busch are locked into this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup. With just four spots up for grabs, with just two races remaining before the 10-race run for the title, there is sure to be plenty of action under the light during 500 miles of racing.

As fans prepare to cheer on their favorite Team Chevy driver they can check out the great line-up of Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUV’s on display at the Team Chevy display in the midway. Fans can see a variety of vehicles including: Malibu 2LT, Impala 2LT, Cruze 1LT, Camaro, Equinox 2LT, Traverse 2LT, Silverado 1500 Double Cab, Silverado High Country, Silverado 2500 LT Crew and the all-new 2015 Suburban LTZ. Fans can also ask questions of their favorite Team Chevy driver. Paul Menard, Michael Annett, Reed Sorenson and Jimmie Johnson will all make appearances at the Team Chevy stage during the race weekend.

The 325 lap/500.5 mile Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is scheduled to begin on Sunday August 31st at 7:30 p.m. ET. Live coverage will be available on ESPN, PRN, 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 731 wins and 660 poles in NSCS competition


CHEVROLET ON THE TRACK—ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY:
Chevrolet drivers have won 37 of 106 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Victories by current Team Chevy drivers are:
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Panasonic Chevrolet SS, has five (5) victories at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS) (’95, ’98, ’99, ’03 & ’11)
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s/KOBALT Tools Chevrolet SS, has three (3) wins at AMS (’04 & ’07 – TWICE)
Kurt Busch, No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, has two (2) trophies from AMS (’02 & ’10)
Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS, has visited Victory Lane twice (2) at AMS (’06 & ’09)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet SS, has made one (1) trip to Victory Lane at AMS (’04)
Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, has one (1) win at AMS (’01)


A Chevrolet driver has won two (2) of the last four (4) races at Atlanta Motor Speedway
A Chevrolet driver has sat on the pole at Atlanta Motor Speedway 23 times
Team Chevy drivers have scored 178 top-five and 354 top-10 finishes at Atlanta Motor Speedway
A Chevrolet has led 11,765 laps (35.0% of possible 33,731 laps) at Atlanta Motor Speedway


TEAM CHEVY FOR THE FANS AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY:
· Fans can check out great Chevrolet vehicles including: Malibu 2LT, Impala 2LT, Cruze 1LT, Camaro, Equinox 2LT, Traverse 2LT, Silverado 1500 Double Cab, Silverado High Country, Silverado 2500 LT Crew and the all-new 2015 Suburban LTZ
· At the display fans can see a variety of show cars including: Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet SS. Also on display will be several pace cars including the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 which will pace this weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the Pink themed Chevrolet SS which will serve at the pace car for this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Fans can also get an up close and personal look at the all-new 2015 Colorado, the Silverado Rally and Chevrolet SS.
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, August 30th – Paul Menard will stop by the Team Chevy stage at 4:30 p.m.
· Sunday, August 31st – Rookie of the Year contender Michael Annett will stop by the Team Chevy stage at 4:25 p.m. followed by three-time Atlanta Motor Speedway winner Jimmie Johnson at 4:45 p.m. Reed Sorenson will appear at the Team Chevy stage for a question and answer session at 5:00 p.m.
· Hours of operation: Fri. Aug. 29th – 2:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.; Sat. Aug. 30th – 11:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. and Sun. Aug. 31st – 11:00 - 8:00 p.m.

CHEVROLET SPOTLIGHT: Nine different manufacturers have won in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Atlanta led by Chevrolet with 37 victories.

DID YOU KNOW? Chevrolet Silverado Rally Editions bring a sharp new appearance to 1500 double-cab and crew-cab pickups. The Rally 2 Edition package for 2015 Silverado LT pickups features a body-colored grille with a black bowtie, 22-inch black alloy wheels, black tubular side steps and black mirror caps and door handles. Twin black Rally stripes on the hood and tailgate give the Rally Edition a unique appearance.

Also included will be a trailering package with a hitch and automatic locking rear differential, 10-way power driver seat, dual-zone climate control, remote start, backup camera and rear defroster. The eight-inch Chevy MyLink radio includes a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot with 4G LTE connectivity.

ENGINEER EXPERTISE FROM THE GARAGE AREA – PAT SUHY, MANAGER, CHEVROLET RACING – NASCAR GROUP MANAGER:
“It’s hard to believe we’re closing in on the Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship already. It’s been a great season for Team Chevy and half of the 12 drivers “locked-in” at this point are Chevy SS drivers. Atlanta, this weekend and Richmond, the following week, are important races for everyone not locked-in.

“There are a group of drivers between 13th and 23rd in the current point standings who, mathematically, can still get into the Chase without winning. But winning guarantees a spot for any of them. Anyone behind 23rd in the order must win to get in. That means there is a great deal of pressure to win in either Atlanta or Richmond, and we’re going to see some very exciting racing.

“Atlanta Motor Speedway is a place that rewards drivers and teams who embrace the challenge of old pavement and tire falloff. Car setup plays a key role in tire wear, but so does driving style. Crew chiefs need to understand their driver’s capability in terms of tire management, and set the car up accordingly. The aging surface at Atlanta allows a driver to search around for a fast line that suits the race car if everything isn’t perfect. Multiple lines means more passing ability; and drivers will take advantage of that to get every spot they can on the race track.

“Chevrolet drivers have enjoyed a lot of success on Atlanta’s 1.5-mile oval. Hopefully all of the work that goes on behind the scenes and at the track this Labor Day weekend will result in another win for Team Chevy.”

WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE THE CHEVROLET SS RACE CARS?
This weeks’ race is at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. 23 Chevrolet SS race cars will attempt to qualify at the 1.5-mile oval. Fans can watch and/or listen to all the action on ESPN, PRN, Sirius NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and NASCAR.com

TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT:
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 PANASONIC TOUGHBOOK CHEVROLET SS – POINTS LEADER
“There have been a lot of significant moments that have occurred during my career at Atlanta. My first Nationwide win, my first Cup start, the 85th win, winning some championships there and this upcoming start.
“In my first Cup start, I was completely unaware of what I was getting into. I had a great race car, but I did everything I possibly could do to ruin that opportunity!

“In 1998, we won at Atlanta and it was our 13th win to top off an incredible season. But in 1997, that race weekend was a difficult weekend for us. We were a little bit off on speed and then we had to go to a backup for the race, but we were able to get it done.

“What stands out the most to me about Atlanta is that it’s going to be really fast for qualifying, but then you’re going to slip and slide during the race. You have to manage wheel spin, you’ll have to manage tire wear, the team has to have a setup that is quick but doesn’t abuse the tires, and the driver has to drive it hard but not overdrive it. And you’re going to be searching all over the track for the groove that works best for you and your car.

“It’s just a fun, challenging track.”

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S/KOBALT TOOLS CHEVROLET SS – 6TH IN STANDINGS
“We had a great handle on Atlanta about five or six years ago but since then the track has evolved and changed so much. You are on edge the entire lap on the track. Not only is the asphalt old but there are some bumps you have to deal with. When you ride a few inches from the fence you really have to have a good handle on your car. It’s for sure an exciting race.”

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 JIMMY JOHN’S CHEVROLET SS – 7TH IN STANDINGS
“Atlanta (Motor Speedway) has been a great race track for me the last few years. The asphalt is really worn out and the speed of the car changes a lot from the start of a run to the finish of the run. It makes for some good racing as the cars start moving and sliding around the track.”

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – 9TH IN STANDINGS
"I don't see it as the final tune-up. I see it as another opportunity. It is such a different animal of a race track because of the way the tires fall off. You really don't see that as much with the track's coming up, except for a place like Texas. I see Atlanta as its own kind of animal because of the tire-track combination. But it is important. It does build confidence, which is probably more important than the actual balance of the car."

KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – 12TH IN STANDINGS
“Our team has been really steady this season, consistently racing around 10th, which has kept us in the Chase mix. With only a couple races left before the Chase I really want to get a win and stop worrying about points. I’m excited about Atlanta and our chances there this weekend. I’ve never raced the Cup car at Atlanta, but I’m looking forward to racing on the rough, worn-out surface, which I prefer. Our Target Chevy’s have been really fast just about every race, so I think we’ll have a fun weekend down in Atlanta.”

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOW CHEVROLET SS – 14TH IN STANDINGS
"I think Atlanta Motor Speedway is one of the raciest mile-and-a-half tracks on the circuit for sure. I love Homestead-Miami Speedway, too. Both tracks remind me of each other, but Atlanta Motor Speedway is definitely slicker. It's one of those places that can be very frustrating and very fun at the same time. I really enjoy it at night, and I'm ready to get there. We saved one of our tests for later in the season and tested at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Our teams did learn a lot during the test, it was definitely helpful."

PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 DURACELL/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – 15TH IN STANDINGS
"Yeah, if you took a poll of all the drivers, the number one track to race at is going to be Atlanta for everyone's vote. It's abrasive, it wears out tires and we slide around the track. It's really fast for one lap, then it progressively gets worse from there. All of these factors make it really fun for drivers."

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 CESSNA CHEVROLET SS – 16TH IN STANDINGS
“I think Atlanta is one of the few tracks that hasn’t been repaved in a while, so it has a rough surface and bumps that I think give a track a lot of character. I like a track where the tires give up during a run and the driver has to work the car during long runs. That makes racing a lot of fun. We’ve had some good runs on intermediate tracks this season, so I hope we can go down there and have strong run with the Cessna Chevy”.

AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 HUNGRY JACK CHEVROLET SS – 21ST IN STANDINGS
"I don’t want to make it so important that we go to Atlanta Motor Speedway all stressed out. Atlanta is definitely important because it is the last race at a mile-and-a-half before we go to Chicagoland Speedway and kick off the Chase. So, I think there some stuff we can learn. I have always liked Atlanta. It’s probably been my favorite mile-and-a-half track over my career. I like that it is kind of old school. It’s slick and you slide around. I really do enjoy the track and it’s important to us to do well there. I feel like we gained some momentum from Michigan (International Speedway) and Pocono (Raceway) and we learned some things. Hopefully, it carries over to the mile-and-a-half tracks. We have got the test next week at Charlotte (Motor Speedway). Maybe there are some things we can learn at Atlanta that we can take into the test as well. We know the importance, but it’s the same plan. That plan is just to go there and try to do the best that we can. Take each session as it comes. I feel like if we do that and keep doing the things we have been doing, we will be competitive and we will have a solid chance."

KURT BUSCH, NO. 41 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET SS – 22ND IN STANDINGS
“I think one of the biggest things that can be tough at Atlanta is getting your car to handle in turns three and four. It’s very specific. You really need the car to hook at the bottom of three and four, particularly when you’re on fresh tires. If you have a car that can run the bottom close to wide open in three and four, then that’s when you can separate yourself to be a race-winning contender.”

CASEY MEARS, NO. 13 GEICO CHEVROLET SS – 23RD IN STANDINGS
"We're looking forward to getting to Atlanta. We were fortunate to be able to test the GEICO Chevrolet SS there a couple of weeks ago. It's a fast track, but tough on tires, it will be fun."

MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVROLET SS – 25TH IN STANDINGS
“I love Atlanta it’s the best racetrack on the circuit -- it’s right there with Homestead. The Atlanta track wears tires out. It’s that old surface and you can run all over the place there. It’s just a fun place to race. I am definitely looking forward to Atlanta -- it’s been a good track for me in the past. Obviously that’s not a guarantee this time around, but it does give you a shot of confidence going to a place that you really like and feel comfortable racing at.”

DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – 28TH IN STANDINGS
“The first time I raced there was in 2012 and I did both Nationwide and (Sprint) Cup. That seems like a long time ago and that was only my fifth Cup start, so I feel a little more confident and knowledgeable than I did then. It’s a fast place. The tires definitely go off with the surface and the line moves around a lot. It’s a big weekend with a lot going on for GoDaddy, Coke Zero and Chevrolet, so there’s a lot off the track, as well. But I’m looking forward to it.”

JUSTIN ALLGAIER, NO. 51 AUTO-OWNERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – 29TH IN STANDINGS
“It’s a big weekend for HScott Motorsports at Atlanta [Motor Speedway] with it being Auto-Owners Insurance first race with our team. Our mile-and-a-half program has greatly improved since the start of the season, and I’m excited to get to the track to see the results of all of the hard work. We’ve been on a roll the last few weeks at HScott, but we've had bad luck and don’t have the finishes to show for it. I’m hoping to turn that around on Sunday night."

MICHAEL ANNETT, NO. 7 PILOT FLYING J CHEVROLET SS – 31ST IN STANDINGS
"Our speedway program has improved a lot from the start of the season. We started working on the intermediate package since the test at Charlotte last winter, and Bono [Manion, crew chief] has helped move it forward. Atlanta is going to be a good test for us, with it being a hot, slick track. The key for us is to get better as the weekend progresses."

TY DILLON, NO. 33 REALTREE/RHEEM CHEVROLET SS – MAKING NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES DEBUT AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY:
"It's going to be a pretty special moment when I make those first laps this weekend, one that I won't forget. I've been fortunate enough in my racing career to have great opportunities like this one. I'm looking forward to racing the No. 33 Realtree/Rheem Chevrolet under the lights on Labor Day weekend."

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: 13
Poles: 13
Laps led: 3643
Top-five finishes: 60
Top-10 finishes: 130

CHEVROLET IN NASCAR SPRINT CUP CUMULATIVE STATISTICS:
Total Chevrolet race wins: 731 (1949 – to date); (2,412 possible = 30.0%)
Poles Won to Date: 660
Laps Lead to Date: 217,303
Top-Five Finishes to Date: 3,675
Top-10 Finishes to Date: 7,511

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

GM: 1,066
Chevrolet: 731
Pontiac: 155
Oldsmobile: 115
Buick: 65

Ford: 727
Ford: 627
Mercury: 96
Lincoln: 4


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