Jimmie Johnson Talks About Winning Upcoming Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway

After finishing 12th in Chicago and 5th in New Hampshire, Jimmie Johnson sits fourth in the Chase heading to Dover International Speedway this weekend

Raleigh, North Carolina (Sept. 23, 2014) – NASCAR driver and six-time Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson has been heard talking about his race car driving like a tank. Tuesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway Jimmie Johnson met with the media and fans to talk about the upcoming Bank of America 500 and take a comparison drive in a World War II tank.

“I have made references to how bad my race car is driving and it driving like a tank. Today I will find out if it’s true,” Johnson joked before climbing aboard. “It’s usually relative to our car not turning sharp enough and from our debriefing earlier, it doesn’t turn very sharp.”

“The comparison’s fair,” Johnson said of driving the 75,000-pound battle-tested beast. “They don’t turn very well. I just feel bad that I tore up the grass so bad.”

You can watch Jimmie Johnson compete in the fifth race in the Chase for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series Championship, the Bank of America 500, at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 10 and 11th. Check ESPN and local providers for details on possible television coverage of the upcoming race.

“When we get to Charlotte – granted the format is far different now – but you usually have an idea of who the players are. We’ll have a good idea of who’s showing strength,” Johnson said. “I want another win sticker. This has been a great track for me over the years. It has changed a lot. The surface in May was finally starting to lose its grip. We have a lot of little bumps building around the race track which over the next few years will turn into big bumps and allow us to move around the race track and find some different lines.”

Read about the Pep Boys NHRA Carolina Nationals Eliminations.

Kentucky Speedway Expanding Parking .

Read about the third annual better half dash

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Logano Wins Third Sprint Cup Race of the Season at Bristol

His first win at Bristol Motor Speedway

Joey looked fast and ready to battle for the Chase in a few weeks time
Joey Logano edges ahead of his teammate Brad Keselowski with 44 laps to go at the race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014

Bristol, Tennessee – Joey Logano took the lead at Bristol on Saturday night in his No. 22 Ford Fusion race car with just 44 laps to go and then won the race to the finish line in amazing fashion. This first win at Bristol Motor Speedway cements his position in the race to the Sprint Cup Chase in two weeks time and serves notice to the other drivers with three wins this season that he’s definitely ready to battle for the championship.

Currently, the three teammates Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Logano’s teammate Brad Keselowski also have three race wins this Sprint Cup season. It appears the main battle for the Sprint Cup Championship for 2014 is going to be headed by the three drivers for Hendrick Motorsports and two for Penske Racing.

Joey Logano served notice on this night that he's ready to battle for the Sprint Cup Championship
Joey Logano raises his hands in victory on Saturday night August 23, 2014 at Bristol Motor Speedway

During the after race interview Joey Logano said he wants this win to say one thing, “That we can win the thing. What a Shell/Pennzoil Ford there. When I woke up this morning I wasn’t sure if we were a winning car or not, but Todd Gordon is good salesman.  He pretty much sold me into thinking we had a winning car and we made some small adjustments on it all night and got our third win of the year.  What a year we’re having.  I’m having so much fun.  The past six or seven races have been unbelievable.  We’ve been running up front and it’s just been so much fun.  I’ve got to thank Shell, obviously Ford, Sprint and everyone that helps out at Penske – Discount Tire, Hertz, Auto Trader.  This is like one of the three biggest races of the year, I feel like – the Bristol Night race – and to have this in the record books with your name on it is really, really cool.”  HOW IMPORTANT WAS PATIENCE TONIGHT?  “Important and not important.  On the restart there when we were sixth with tires I said, ‘I’ve got to capitalize right now.’  So I went as hard as I could, raced the 20 really hard and got everybody I could and then I was trying to keep up.  The 20 was really fast and then there at the end I had something going wrong.  I don’t know if it was the brakes or a hub failing in the rear, but it started vibrating really bad and getting really loose.  I’m like, ‘Oh, come on.  A couple more laps, a couple more laps.’  So of course there’s always added drama at the end that you don’t want, but patience didn’t come into play and then when I was racing the 24 there at the end it did come into play.  We were able to make there at the end.”

“I feel like the Bristol night race is maybe the third or fourth biggest race of the year,” Logano said. “Just the atmosphere before the race, if it doesn’t pump you up, nothing does. It’s just the baddest mamma jamma race track ever built.”

 

The full race result for the Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 are below.

  1. Joey Logano, Ford

  2. Brad Keselowski, Ford

  3. Matt Kenseth, Toyota

  4. Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet

  5. Kurt Busch, Chevrolet

  6. Ricky Stenhouse. Jr., Ford

  7. Carl Edwards, Ford

  8. Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet

  9. Paul Menard, Chevrolet

  10. Greg Biffle, Ford

The Second Legends Million Race is Set

CONCORD, N.C. (June 17, 2011) – The second annual Legends Million

returns to Charlotte Motor Speedway Aug. 1 and 2. The largest grassroots

race in history will once again offer the largest Legend Car and Bandolero

purse of the year, as drivers do battle on the speedway’s frontstretch

quarter-mile oval.

Registration for the Legends Million begins today and is scheduled

to close on July 18. The purse structure for the 2011 Legends Million will

be prorated, based on total cars registered, so competitors are encouraged

to register early.

“As the car count goes up, the purse goes up,” said Don Hawk, vice

president of business affairs, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. “We’re asking

competitors to get their registration in as early as possible so we can get

the purse locked in.”

In the inaugural Legends Million last year, Kannapolis, N.C., native

Daniel Hemric was victorious, taking home an unprecedented $250,000. More

than 300 drivers from 36 states and two foreign countries, ranging from 12

to 72 years old, registered for the one-of-a-kind Legend Car race.

“These are the race cars that launched the careers of NASCAR drivers

like Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano, David Ragan, Kurt Busch and Kyle

Busch,” said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor

Speedway. “The Legends Million is a great opportunity for fans to come to

the track and see the future stars of NASCAR compete in the largest Legend

Car race in the world. It’s also an excellent opportunity for young drivers

to get noticed and hopefully take their career to the next level.”

Registration links are available online at

http://www.charlottmotorspeedway.com and at http://www.uslegendscars.com. The cost to

register is $500. Competitors who purchase a new Legend Car from U.S. Legend

Cars International will receive free entry into the Legends Million.

Competitors participating in the Legends Million are registered in

one of three divisions: Young Lions/Semi-Pro, Masters or the Legends

Million, which is open to all drivers. Each division will run heat races and

an A-Main race, with the Legends Million A-Feature serving as the grand

finale of the two-day event.

Competitors will complete time trials to determine their starting

position in the heat races. Drivers will then progress to B-Mains based on

their finishing position in the heats. The starting lineup for each A-Main

will consist of heat race winners and the first-place finishers from the

B-Mains. A total of 30 competitors will race in the Legends Million

A-Feature event, which will be 100 laps with a 15-minute break at lap 50.

Bandolero Beginner Bandit, Bandit and Outlaw drivers will also have

the opportunity to compete in a Bandolero Triple Crown event, with heat lap

and feature events spanning both days.

The Legends Million is open to all Legend Car competitors, 12 years

of age or older and is not restricted by division. All minors 17 and younger

must complete a minor waiver, which is available for download at

http://www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/waivers.

For additional information on the Legends Million, visit

http://www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or call the Charlotte Motor Speedway events

department at (704) 455-3205. For more information about U.S. Legend Cars

International and Legend Cars, visit http://www.uslegendscars.com or call U.S.

Legend Cars International’s headquarters at (704) 455-3896.

Connect with Charlotte Motor Speedway on Twitter at

http://www.twitter.com/CLTMotorSpdwy or become a Facebook fan at

http://www.facebook.com/charlottemotorspeedway.

-30-

Listen to What the Ford Drivers are Saying About the Pepsi MAX 400

 

As mentioned above, Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 Crown Royal
Black Ford Fusion, has the most Top 10 finishes among all drivers at
Auto Club Speedway with 12.  Kenseth, who also has three wins at the
track, spoke about his success here before today’s practice.

MATT KENSETH – No. 17 Crown Royal Black Ford Fusion – DO YOU THINK
THERE IS SOME SORT OF ETIQUETTE BETWEEN CHASERS AND NON-CHASERS,
LOOKING BACK ON LAST WEEK’S BUSCH-REUTIMANN ISSUE?  “I didn’t really
see what went down last week, so I can’t comment on that, but, in my
opinion, I think you race the same all year.  I think you should race
everybody the same whether they’re in the chase or not in the chase.
I think you try to show people respect all year because everybody has
the same right to be out there, whether they’re first in points or
last in points.”  THAT BEING SAID, ARE THERE CERTAIN PEOPLE ON THE
TRACK THAT YOU’RE MORE AWARE OF AND TRY TO STAY AWAY FROM BECAUSE YOU
FEEL SOMETHING COULD HAPPEN?  “No.  I race the same all year,
honestly, no matter where you are in the points.  If it came down to
the last week or something like that and you’re the point leader by a
bunch, you’re probably gonna be a little bit more careful, but, other
than that, as competitive as it is I think you race as hard as you can
all year.  Everybody has the same right to be out there.  Everybody is
out there racing for wins and have their own particular
responsibilities.”  AS A CHASER DO YOU WORRY ABOUT SOMETIMES RUBBING
FENDERS WITH A NON-CHASER, KNOWING THEY COULD POSSIBLY RUIN YOUR
CHAMPIONSHIP HOPES?  “I don’t want to ruin any race.  No matter where
you are in the points they’re all big races.  I think you go out there
and you’re gonna race whatever your style is all the time.  I don’t
think that really changes.  You still have to race hard all the time
because it’s so competitive that you can’t just go out and think about
not knocking a fender off.  You go out there and think about trying to
get to the front.”  DO YOU CONSIDER THIS THE KIND OF TRACK THAT CAN
HELP YOU GET BACK UP IN THE POINTS?  “Where we are, we’ve got to gain
some significant points on the leader every week to get back in it and
have a realistic shot.  I think our performance has been picking up a
little bit lately, we just have to get a whole race put together.
We’ve been struggling with that a little bit.  There were times last
week where I thought we were very competitive but we didn’t finish it
off.  This has been a pretty good track for us in the past, so,
hopefully we can be competitive from the time we get on the track this
morning all the way through Sunday when we’re done and get a good
finish.  So that’s really what I’m more focused on is just trying to
get back up with the leaders and be competitive so we can get in a
really good position to win some races.”
FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES    Pepsi MAX 400, Page 2
October 8, 2010 Auto Club Speedway

MATT KENSETH CONTINUED — IS THERE A SPECIFIC POINT IN THE RACE WHERE
YOU FEEL YOU NEED TO IMPROVE?  “Our adjustments have just not been
good enough to keep up with the track for whatever reason.  Last week,
the worst we ran the whole race was our last run and you can’t do that
because you’re not gonna get the finishes.  Lately, there have been a
lot of long, green-flag runs at the end and you’ve got to have your
car handling right and do the right things at the end of the race.  On
the last pit stop we came out ahead of Jimmie Johnson and he finished
second and we finished seventh without a caution, so we just haven’t
been doing the right things to keep up on whatever it is – track
conditions or adjustments.  That’s probably my fault for not knowing
what I need for adjustments.  I’m trying to give them the best
feedback I can and hope that we do the right things on the car in the
pits to get it running better.”  WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO DO WELL AT
CHARLOTTE?  “Track position has been really important there since the
introduction of this car with the spoiler and that pavement.  The
pavement has a lot of grip and even though the track gets pretty wide,
it’s a real fast track and kind of hard to pass so track position is
real important.  You’ve got to be in position the last couple of
stops.”  WHAT’S THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE FALL AND SPRING
RACE THERE?  “I don’t think there’s much of a difference.”  WHAT IS IT
GOING TO TAKE FOR ANYBODY TO BEAT THE 48?  “You’ve got to prove you
can beat them.  I’ve said it for five years, they’re the best team out
there and somebody has to beat them and knock them down before you can
say they’re not the best team.  Everybody says, ‘Oh, they don’t have
momentum.  They’re not running as good.’  Well, as soon as somebody
shows they can beat them, I’ll believe it.”  WHAT TRACK ARE YOU
WORRIED ABOUT THE MOST OF THE TRACKS LEFT?  “Honestly, for me I worry
about all of them.  I’ve really just been focused on Fontana this
weekend and then trying to get back on track here and get a good
finish.”  IS THE FR9 ENGINE COMING ON AT THE RIGHT TIME?  “I think the
engine has been helping a little bit.  I think there’s still some room
for improvement and Doug knows that – everybody knows that – because
we’ve only been working on it for six months or a year, whereas we
worked on that old engine forever.  I think it’s certainly an
advantage and it’s better than what we had, plus they keep getting it
better.”  DO YOU THINK IT WILL RUN PARTICULARLY WELL HERE IN FONTANA?
“I hope so.  Fontana and Michigan are big horsepower race tracks, but
they’re also big handling race tracks as well.  It’s real similar to
Michigan, so if you perform well there, hopefully you’ll perform okay
here.”

Ford Racers Talk About the Pepsi MAX 400

       Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, has a pair of wins
this season, including last week at Kansas Speedway.  The win allowed
Biffle to move within 85 points of leader Jimmie Johnson in the NASCAR
Sprint Cup Series point standings.  He spoke with reporters after
Friday’s practice session.

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion – HOW HAVE THINGS GONE SO FAR?
“I’m certainly really excited about coming off a good week last week
and the car is fast right off the truck again – good in race practice
and we switched to qualifying practice and I think we ended up in the
top five, so it looks the same as last weekend so far.  It looks like
we’re gonna have a decent qualifying run, although we’ve got to back
it up on the race track now.  We’ll see what happens here in a little
bit, but I feel really good about this race track.  I like it here.
We run well on this race track and I just can’t wait for Sunday and
can’t wait for qualifying, hopefully get a good lap and look forward
to the race.”  WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON HAVING ONLY ONE CALIFORNIA
RACE NEXT YEAR?  “Obviously I’m not real excited about that.  This is
probably one of our best race tracks that we race at, so getting cut
down to one time – me personally – it’s gonna hurt.  I’ve got a lot of
family here and get back to the west coast a little bit.  I’ve got
friends and family who come from Washington and Oregon, where I grew
up.  I see a lot of people here I used to race with and fans, so it
gives all the west coasters a chance to come and visit this race
track.  So I think it has a pretty good draw from a lot of different
states.  As far as that goes, one is the personal side of it. I really
enjoy coming to Southern California and get to see everybody, but two,
I run really good here so that’s kind of a double thing for me.  I
guess the bright side of it is, if there’s a positive, is at least we
get to come here once a year.  Unfortunately, we’re not gonna get to
come twice.”  DO YOU THINK THE FR9 IS COMING ON AT THE RIGHT TIME AND
WHY OR WHY NOT?  “I was hoping that this was gonna happen.  It was
kind of ironic that the FR9 engine came in right as Ford had struggled
for so long.  We really struggled with our cars.  Our engines have
always been great and made great power and been reliable, so it was
like, ‘When are we ever gonna get our cars turned around and get our
cars running better and be more competitive?’  And right as we did
that, we were integrating the FR9 engine into the program, so it sort
of makes it look like the FR9 engine is really our saving grace in the
whole thing, and that’s part of the piece of the puzzle, but it’s not
as big as what some people from the outside would look at that don’t
know a lot about the sport.  They say, ‘Oh, they’ve got their new
engine.  Now they’re winning races and really competing well.’  So
really, where the turnaround was, if you look back at our stats, was
Chicago for all Roush Fenway cars.  The RPM cars had outrun us for the
better part of the season, so we kind of switched to more of their
suspension package in Chicago and I think Carl has three second-place
finishes then, I’ve got two wins and was running second when the
engine expired at Chicago that very race, so, really, that was kind of
our turnaround race.  We really turned our program around and the
engine came on board, so with the two combination, it certainly made
us a ton better.  Some of the things about the engine, it makes a
little bit better mid-range power, which the passing takes place from
the center of the corner to the corner exit.  When you put the gas
down, the guy whose car handles the best and puts the gas down the
earliest is normally the guy that will make the pass, but also that’s
where you need the engine to have its most power.  So this engine does
that a little bit better and then the cooling package, we’ve really
caught up to all the other manufacturers on our cooling package.  It’s
a little bit more efficient, so we’re able to match the tape on the
front of the car as the other guys, so those two things – and it’s got
the lower center of gravity.  It is a little heavier than the old
engine just because we had to make our engine a little bit longer to
match the other manufacturers, so it has plusses and minuses to it as
far as what it does.”

GREG BIFFLE CONTINUED — ARE YOU FEELING MORE COMFORTABLE WITH IT NOW
AND CAN PUSH THE LIMITS MORE?  “Yeah, I definitely do, especially
after last week because we definitely tested it last week.  The engine
was on the chip for three-quarters of that race from just past the
flag stand all the way to the corner.  The engine shop said, ‘Make
sure you don’t run this engine on the chip.  We don’t want it running
on the rev chip.  Run it right before it.’  When you start making it
miss on cylinders it gets angry inside with all the parts and pieces.
Of course, we listened to them and then ran it on the chip for
three-quarters of the day and the thing lived the whole time.  I got
preliminary reports back that everything looked good in the engine –
the valvetrain looked good, everything looked good – so maybe in the
future we can get another 100 RPM and get the blessing from the engine
guys to run the engine another 100 RPM.  It’s not that you can’t run
it another 100 RPM if you feel like it, it’s just particular tracks.
Like here, we’re turning 9400 RPM or so – 9350 or so, and then in the
race we’ll probably turn only 9100.  So that’s an extreme from last
week when it was turning 9600.  This week during the race it’s
probably turning 9100 or 9200, so it just depends on the race track
and the temperature of the day as far as how many RPM the engine
runs.”  IN THREE OF THE LAST FOUR RACES THERE HAVE BEEN FIVE OR FEWER
CAUTIONS.  AS A DRIVER, HAVE YOU NOTICED THAT  AND IT IS MORE
DIFFICULT TO MAKE ADJUSTMENTS DURING THE RACE?  “Yeah, I can
definitely attest that there have been less cautions because we are
unfortunately sitting here eighth in points because we pitted at Dover
and the caution came out the next lap and caught us two laps down and
the caution came out only one more time.  So with a top 10 car we
finished 19th and here we sit 85 points out of the lead.
Respectfully, we should be about 40 points out of the lead or maybe 35
if we would have just got our laps back that we lost because of that
caution flag.  So, yes, I have seen more green flag running, although
last week it seemed like there were more cautions – a few more than
there were at Dover.  I think the trend is kind of up-and-down and as
we figure these cars out and we all get better at driving them and
more proficient, I think as drivers and teams we make less and less
mistakes, and, of course, that means the caution comes out less and
less as we go.  I think it’s just a product of everybody getting
better.  The engines getting better – if you remember, it wasn’t
uncommon to lose an engine and now it’s a lot more rare to see an
engine failure because technology has gotten better and the guys have
gotten better about building them.  And to be honest with you, these
cars are easier to drive than the old cars.  The old cars you really
had to be on your toes.  These cars are a lot easier to drive.
They’ve got a lot of sideforce, the sides are real big and tall,
they’ve got a huge spoiler on the back of them, so the cars are much
easier to drive and they wreck a lot less.”  IS IT MORE DIFFICULT TO
MAKE CHANGES WITH MORE GREEN FLAG STOPS?  “Yeah.  You’re worried about
getting on and off pit road, which is okay, that’s really not the
biggest thing, the biggest thing is you don’t get a chance to
experiment.  If a race has a few more cautions or a normal amount of
cautions, then you won’t be afraid to put some wedge in it and change
the tire pressure.  Well, when it runs green for four cycles in a row,
if you’re off a little bit, you can get lapped or lose a lot of
positions in a hurry.  You have to be much more executed on the
decision you make because the chance to un-do it if it’s the wrong way
is normally about 70 laps later when you’re out of gas – then you get
to come back and try it again.  Under that scenario, it’s not as
easy.”

GREG BIFFLE CONTINUED — MARTINSVILLE IS THE SMALLEST AND SLOWEST
TRACK.  WHY DOES IT CREATE SUCH A BIG CHALLENGE?  “I think that is the
challenge – the smallest race track is probably the biggest thing.
When you take 43 cars and there’s really one lane that makes the
fastest way around the route, it’s hard for everybody to get in that
same lane and make things happen.  That’s really the biggest thing
about it.  The bottom is the fastest way around it because it’s so
flat.  It doesn’t provide any banking, so you can’t really effectively
run the top much faster.  If it had a little bit of a progressive
bank, the top might be a little bit faster, where you could kind of
run up and down the race track, so that’s really the biggest thing is
you’re trying to put so many cars in a circle in one lane around the
bottom of the race track and that’s what makes it so hard – just makes
it really, really difficult.  You get bottled up from the guy in front
of you, the guy behind you can get the gas down and turn underneath
you, sticks you on the outside and even though you’ve got a good car,
you just got checked up a little bit because the guys up there are
playing bumper cars, and, all of a sudden, you get shuffled to the
outside and you can lose 15 spots before you can get back in line.
It’s kind of a gamble.”  HOW DO YOU TRAIN YOUR FOCUS ON WHAT YOU’VE
GOT TO DO EVERY RACE AND NOT LET  THE 48 BE A DISTRACTION WHEN IT
LOOKS LIKE THE SAME SCENARIO PLAYING OUT AGAIN?  “It’s pretty easy for
me because the way I look at it is I worry about the 16 car and get
the best finish I can here at California.  I’ve got to beat Tony
Stewart, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex, Jimmie Johnson and all the rest and
it really makes no difference who I’m racing for the lead or who I’m
racing for fifth as far as what car it is.  What he does, I don’t have
any control over, so I focus on getting the best finish and not making
any mistakes.  Whether it’s sixth or third or a win this weekend, I
just do the best I can.  Last weekend, when I finished the race at
Kansas I had no idea, and I still don’t today, who finished third,
fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh.  I guess that’s bad of me, but I’ve
been so busy this week I haven’t looked at the finishing order.  And I
didn’t know Jimmie finished second until I was in the media center and
somebody said, ‘Well, what do you think about the 48 getting second?’
I had no idea where he finished.  I didn’t see him all day.  I didn’t
see him one time.  The guys later told me he was running in the teens
with about 40 laps to go, or something like that, and they made some
adjustments and got better and whizzed their way up to second place.
That’s a perfect example of paying attention to what we’ve got to do
and do the best we can.  I can’t control what they do.  Unfortunately,
they got all the way back to second, but we’ll just see.  Hopefully,
they’re off one of these races and we can gain some points on them.”
WHICH TRACK IS MORE AGGRAVATING FOR YOU AS FAR AS TALLADEGA OR
MARTINSVILLE BECAUSE THEY’RE VIEWED AS THE TWO WILD CARD RACES?
“Probably Martinsville because there is so little room to race and so
little you can do on that race track.  We predominantly as a company
and as a team have not run as well at Martinsville as we would like
to, so, with that being said, my vote is Martinsville is probably the
nemesis more than Talladega.  We’ve run restrictor plate races and
you’ve got more room to try and get things done and draft and pick a
lane and do those kinds of things, although we did get 10th in the
spring at Martinsville.  We can go back there in the fall do that or
better that by a little bit I think we’ll be good.  And Talladega,
we’re just like everybody else.  I’m ready for it.  I don’t let it
affect me, that we could get caught up in wreck or that somebody else
could.  You just go in there and run the race, when they throw the
checkered flag you look where everybody finished and head to the next
one.”

       Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, finds himself
53 points out of the points lead thanks to fifth and sixth-place
finishes the last two weeks.  Edwards, who will be a guest on
tonight’s Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, spoke about his team’s
improvement after practice.

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion – WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON
THIS WEEKEND?  “Our Aflac Fusion is pretty fast.  I believe that last
week was a good test for us.  That Kansas race track is a lot like the
Auto Club Speedway.  It’s going to be a really hot, slippery race on
Sunday.  It looks like the temperatures are gonna be pretty high.  The
track temp will be really hot, so, hopefully, we can get a good
qualifying effort in here in the next hour or so and start up front.
I feel like our team has been marching towards this points lead just
little bits at a time and I think this track is an opportunity for us
to do that again.”  WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS AS WE GET READY TO GO TO
MARTINSVILLE?  “The spring race, Matt Kenseth had a chance to win that
race and I think, if you ask Matt, that’s not a great race track for
Matt.  Our car was pretty fast.  We’ve had on and off days there, but
I look at that race track where if we can qualify well and can run
like we’ve been running, we’re gonna be good, but it’s a bottleneck.
It’s a spot in the chase that I’m a little bit nervous about, but
we’ve just got to qualify well there.  I think that’s the thing that’s
hurt us the most in the past.  Once we get out there running I always
feel like we run okay, but we’ve just got to make a good lap.”  TEXAS
IS SHORTLY AFTER THAT RACE.  WHAT CAN YOU DO IN A NATIONWIDE CAR THERE
THAT YOU CAN’T DO IN THE CUP CAR AND DO YOU PREFER ONE OR THE OTHER?
“Texas Motor Speedway is a lot of fun to drive in any car.  The
Nationwide car there is just so hammered down.  You’re on the throttle
so much that it’s a different kind of race than the Cup race, but I
like them both.  There is no carryover or transfer of information.
The Cup race there is spectacular.  The track is very well suited to
the Cup cars.  You can run different lines, the speeds are extremely
high, and the track has a little bit of character with the way the
transitions work and there are a couple of bumps that make it a fun
track to drive.  But for me, the biggest thing at Texas is just that
crowd.  Seeing that many people at a race track and that many real
race savvy fans, that’s a really special place to win.”  HOW DOES THIS
RACE BEING 400 MILES CHANGE THINGS FROM THE SPRING RACE?  “Oh, so this
is a 400-mile race?  I thought it was a 500-mile race all weekend.
Man, I’m glad we covered that.  That’s gonna go quick.  The thing is
it’s gonna be hot and starting at noon, a 400-mile race here should be
over at about 3 o’clock or 3:30 at the latest.  It’s such a fast race
track, so that will change things a little bit.  I was really looking
forward to the 500 miles.  I like the grueling aspect of this race
track and that long distance race, but I think for the fans things are
gonna shake out.  The fastest car will probably be leading by the
400th mile, so if that makes it a more exciting race, then that’s
good.”  YOU HAVE A BIG DEFICIT IN THE NATIONWIDE SERIES, JUST LIKE
LAST YEAR.  IS IT THE SAME PHILOSOPHY OF TRYING TO GAMBLE A BIT TO
CATCH UP?  “Our Nationwide program, we’ve just got to go out there and
learn the most we can and take the most risk we can to try and win
races, but, really, it’s about building for next year.  I’ve committed
to running full-time next year.  I don’t know if I’m gonna be able to
race for the championship or not, but we’ll still keep our own score
if we can’t.  We just want to go out and be the best we can for next
season, so that’s what we’re really focusing on right now.  There are
a lot of changes coming to the Nationwide Series and I think that what
we do now is we just focus on building towards that.  Brad has been
doing a great job this year.  They’ve got a really big lead and
they’ve earned it and, unless something major happens, I think they’re
gonna be able to keep that lead.  So we’ve just got to go for it, I
guess.”

CARL EDWARDS CONTINUED — WHAT HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT NATIONWIDE CHANGES
FOR NEXT YEAR?  “I don’t know how many guys from the Cup Series are
planning on running full-time.  I think it might just be me.
Hopefully, Brad will run again.  It would be great if Kyle would run.
It’s fun to be able to race with those guys for points.  That’s fun.
I think what NASCAR is trying to do is they’re trying to make an
opportunity for the Nationwide Series to be more of a development
series.  I think by eliminating the ability for a guy like myself to
run for the championship, I don’t think that changes the face of the
average Nationwide race.  Kyle Busch has won 11 races this year and
he’s not racing for the championship.  There’s nothing that would keep
him from doing the same thing again next year, or our team winning 11
races next year – whether or not I was racing for the championship.
The only thing it does hurt is team’s ability like ours to go out and
get sponsorship to run for the championship.  That’s an important
thing to Copart and Fastenal is for us to have an opportunity to do
that.  I know they’re looking at it from all different angles and I’m
glad they’re doing that and not making a rash choice and, hopefully,
they come up with the right decision.  But I don’t know what it is,
yet.  Nobody has told me.”  IS YOUR SETUP DIFFERENT FOR THIS RACE THAN
EARLIER?  “It is a little bit different because the track will be
slicker, the times will fall off more, it’ll be a different race, so,
yeah, the car has to be set up differently.”  DO YOU KNOW WHAT KIND OF
CAR YOU’LL BE RACING AT THE RACE OF CHAMPIONS LATER THIS YEAR IN
GERMANY?  “No, Jim Hancock from the United States team is here and we
haven’t had a chance to talk about everything yet, but I know he’s
here and he can talk to you about that.  Travis Pastrana has committed
to going.  I’m committed to going.  It’s in that big soccer stadium,
but I haven’t seen what kind of cars we’re gonna race yet.  We’re
gonna go there and get all the practice we can and try to beat up on
those Germans (laughter) the best we can, but they’re pretty fast.”
WHY DOES A LONGER RACE WORK BETTER FOR YOU.  YOU SEEM DISPPOINTED THIS
IS A 400-MILE RACE?  “I work really hard to be as fit as I can be.  My
trainer, Dean, from Carmichael Training Systems, we work really hard
to be prepared for these long races.  I can’t believe I didn’t know
this was a 400-mile race.  This race track just seems like one of the
hottest race tracks we go to sometimes.  When the sun is out here
there is no escaping the heat, so I feel that those long races play
into my strengths physically, and then I feel that from a handling
standpoint and the way the car drives, I think the hotter and slicker
it is suits me and our team as well.  I grew up racing at dirt tracks
and I really like when the car moves around a lot.  I really enjoy
that.”

Will Fords Roll to Victory in the Pepsi Max 400?

MATT KENSETH – No. 17 Crown Royal Black Ford Fusion – DO YOU THINK
THERE IS SOME SORT OF ETIQUETTE BETWEEN CHASERS AND NON-CHASERS,
LOOKING BACK ON LAST WEEK’S BUSCH-REUTIMANN ISSUE?  “I didn’t really
see what went down last week, so I can’t comment on that, but, in my
opinion, I think you race the same all year.  I think you should race
everybody the same whether they’re in the chase or not in the chase.
I think you try to show people respect all year because everybody has
the same right to be out there, whether they’re first in points or
last in points.”  THAT BEING SAID, ARE THERE CERTAIN PEOPLE ON THE
TRACK THAT YOU’RE MORE AWARE OF AND TRY TO STAY AWAY FROM BECAUSE YOU
FEEL SOMETHING COULD HAPPEN?  “No.  I race the same all year,
honestly, no matter where you are in the points.  If it came down to
the last week or something like that and you’re the point leader by a
bunch, you’re probably gonna be a little bit more careful, but, other
than that, as competitive as it is I think you race as hard as you can
all year.  Everybody has the same right to be out there.  Everybody is
out there racing for wins and have their own particular
responsibilities.”  AS A CHASER DO YOU WORRY ABOUT SOMETIMES RUBBING
FENDERS WITH A NON-CHASER, KNOWING THEY COULD POSSIBLY RUIN YOUR
CHAMPIONSHIP HOPES?  “I don’t want to ruin any race.  No matter where
you are in the points they’re all big races.  I think you go out there
and you’re gonna race whatever your style is all the time.  I don’t
think that really changes.  You still have to race hard all the time
because it’s so competitive that you can’t just go out and think about
not knocking a fender off.  You go out there and think about trying to
get to the front.”  DO YOU CONSIDER THIS THE KIND OF TRACK THAT CAN
HELP YOU GET BACK UP IN THE POINTS?  “Where we are, we’ve got to gain
some significant points on the leader every week to get back in it and
have a realistic shot.  I think our performance has been picking up a
little bit lately, we just have to get a whole race put together.
We’ve been struggling with that a little bit.  There were times last
week where I thought we were very competitive but we didn’t finish it
off.  This has been a pretty good track for us in the past, so,
hopefully we can be competitive from the time we get on the track this
morning all the way through Sunday when we’re done and get a good
finish.  So that’s really what I’m more focused on is just trying to
get back up with the leaders and be competitive so we can get in a
really good position to win some races.”
FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES    Pepsi MAX 400, Page 2
October 8, 2010 Auto Club Speedway

MATT KENSETH CONTINUED — IS THERE A SPECIFIC POINT IN THE RACE WHERE
YOU FEEL YOU NEED TO IMPROVE?  “Our adjustments have just not been
good enough to keep up with the track for whatever reason.  Last week,
the worst we ran the whole race was our last run and you can’t do that
because you’re not gonna get the finishes.  Lately, there have been a
lot of long, green-flag runs at the end and you’ve got to have your
car handling right and do the right things at the end of the race.  On
the last pit stop we came out ahead of Jimmie Johnson and he finished
second and we finished seventh without a caution, so we just haven’t
been doing the right things to keep up on whatever it is – track
conditions or adjustments.  That’s probably my fault for not knowing
what I need for adjustments.  I’m trying to give them the best
feedback I can and hope that we do the right things on the car in the
pits to get it running better.”  WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO DO WELL AT
CHARLOTTE?  “Track position has been really important there since the
introduction of this car with the spoiler and that pavement.  The
pavement has a lot of grip and even though the track gets pretty wide,
it’s a real fast track and kind of hard to pass so track position is
real important.  You’ve got to be in position the last couple of
stops.”  WHAT’S THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE FALL AND SPRING
RACE THERE?  “I don’t think there’s much of a difference.”  WHAT IS IT
GOING TO TAKE FOR ANYBODY TO BEAT THE 48?  “You’ve got to prove you
can beat them.  I’ve said it for five years, they’re the best team out
there and somebody has to beat them and knock them down before you can
say they’re not the best team.  Everybody says, ‘Oh, they don’t have
momentum.  They’re not running as good.’  Well, as soon as somebody
shows they can beat them, I’ll believe it.”  WHAT TRACK ARE YOU
WORRIED ABOUT THE MOST OF THE TRACKS LEFT?  “Honestly, for me I worry
about all of them.  I’ve really just been focused on Fontana this
weekend and then trying to get back on track here and get a good
finish.”  IS THE FR9 ENGINE COMING ON AT THE RIGHT TIME?  “I think the
engine has been helping a little bit.  I think there’s still some room
for improvement and Doug knows that – everybody knows that – because
we’ve only been working on it for six months or a year, whereas we
worked on that old engine forever.  I think it’s certainly an
advantage and it’s better than what we had, plus they keep getting it
better.”  DO YOU THINK IT WILL RUN PARTICULARLY WELL HERE IN FONTANA?
“I hope so.  Fontana and Michigan are big horsepower race tracks, but
they’re also big handling race tracks as well.  It’s real similar to
Michigan, so if you perform well there, hopefully you’ll perform okay
here.”

Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season Finale Live on ABC
 
The 2009 season finale for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is this weekend at Florida’s Homestead-Miami Speedway as the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup ends with the crowning of the champion. ESPN’s live, flag-to-flag coverage of the Ford 400 airs Sunday, Nov. 22, on ABC and ABC HD beginning with NASCAR Countdown at 2:30 p.m. ET. The race’s green flag is at 3:30 p.m.
 
Also from Homestead, ESPN2 airs coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying on Friday, Nov. 20, at 3 p.m., as well as coverage of final practice on Saturday, Nov. 21, at 3 p.m.
 
Dr. Jerry Punch will be lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN’s coverage, with analysis by 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Dale Jarrett and two-time NASCAR champion crew chief Andy Petree. Reporting from the pits will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch, with two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Tim Brewer in the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage.
 
Allen Bestwick will host the pre-race NASCAR Countdown program with analysis by 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Rusty Wallace, Brad Daugherty, co-owner of a winning team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion crew chief Ray Evernham in the ESPN pit studio.
 
 
SportsCenter Special Originates from Homestead on Championship Day
 
ESPN’s flagship program SportsCenter will present a 90-minute special from Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 22, at 1 p.m. ET, following NFL Countdown on ESPN. The telecast will lead up to NASCAR Countdown on ABC at 2:30 p.m.
 
SportsCenter presented by AutoZone at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship will be hosted by Allen Bestwick and will give NASCAR fans the opportunity to see things that go on prior to a race that they normally don’t get to see.
 
Mike Rowe, host of Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel, will be a special on-site reporter for ESPN and look at some of the dirty jobs of NASCAR. Rowe’s voice has been heard by NASCAR fans as the narrator of segments during ESPN’s coverage of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup this season.
ESPN’s Dave Burns will spend the program shadowing the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet of Jimmie Johnson, taking viewers behind-the-scenes as the car goes through final race preparation and NASCAR inspection. And ESPN’s Marty Smith will shadow Johnson himself in the hours before he attempts to make history as the first driver to win four consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup championships.
 
The program also will include a heartwarming story of how the building of Homestead-Miami Speedway in 1994 and 1995 helped bring the Homestead area back from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Andrew, one of the worst natural disasters in history, on Aug. 24, 1992.
 
Joining Bestwick in the ESPN Pit Studio will be analysts Rusty Wallace, Brad Daugherty and Ray Evernham. Several NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers also are expected to stop by the studio during the course of the program.
 
 
NASCAR Nationwide Series Finale Live from Homestead on ESPN2
 
ESPN2 completes its season-long coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series this weekend as the series concludes 2009 with the Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The live, flag-to-flag telecast airs Saturday, Nov. 21, at 4 p.m. ET, with the green flag at 4:45 p.m. ESPN2 is the home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series all season, with selected races on ESPN and ABC.
 
Marty Reid will be lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN’s coverage, with analysis by 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Dale Jarrett and two-time NASCAR champion crew chief Andy Petree. Reporting from the pits will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch, with two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Tim Brewer in the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage.
 
Allen Bestwick will host the pre-race NASCAR Countdown program with analysis by 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Rusty Wallace, Brad Daugherty, co-owner of a winning team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion crew chief Ray Evernham in the ESPN pit studio.
 
 
NASCAR Now Originates from Homestead for Season Finale
 
NASCAR Now, ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program, will close out its 2009 season with four shows originating from Homestead-Miami Speedway, site of this weekend’s final races of the NASCAR season. Allen Bestwick will host the programs with analysts including Rusty Wallace, Brad Daugherty, Ray Evernham and Dale Jarrett, and reporters Mike Massaro, Nicole Manske and Marty Smith.
 
The first program from Homestead airs Friday, Nov. 20, at 12:30 a.m. ET (late Thursday night), with another airing Saturday, Nov. 21, at 12:30 a.m. (late Friday night). The one-hour weekend edition airs Sunday, Nov. 22, at 10 a.m. with a preview of that day’s NASCAR Sprint Cup finale at Homestead, with the final NASCAR Now of the season airing at 10 p.m. Sunday.
 
Massaro hosts half-hour editions of NASCAR Now from ESPN’s high definition studios in Bristol, Ct., on Wednesday, Nov. 17, at 1:30 a.m. (late Tuesday night), and Wednesday at 6 p.m. Smith will report from Miami for both programs.
 
 
ESPN Classic Returns to North Wilkesboro Speedway
 
With long-dormant North Wilkesboro (NC) Speedway scheduled to re-open late in 2010, ESPN Classic will bring NASCAR fans back to the 0.625-mile short track with a look at the 1989 Holly Farms 400, a NASCAR Winston Cup race. A one-hour highlights program airs Monday, Nov. 23, at noon ET.
 
 
NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Action Airs Sunday The NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series will air Sunday, Nov. 22, at 11 p.m. ET on ESPN2 with coverage of series action from the event held at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.
 
Featuring race vehicles that range from 5-second Top Alcohol Dragsters and Top Alcohol Funny Cars to 15-second Stockers, the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series is the premier Sportsman series in drag racing. Eight categories are included in the series, which is showcased at selected NHRA national events. ESPN’s Dave Rieff will anchor the coverage from Pomona.