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GM FastLane:No Slowing Down for Chevy

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Alba Colon

By Alba Colon

GM Racing program manager, NASCAR Nextel Cup Series

After winning the first four races in the Chase for the Championship, you might think our GM Racing team is ready for a breather, but that’s quite the contrary. Things are quickly speeding up as we prepare for the final six races of the season. Not only are we doing everything we can to position a Chevy driver to covet the Nextel Cup trophy, we’re also in the midst of several different test sessions and preparing for the Car of Tomorrow.

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Brian Vickers

I was happy to see Brian Vickers win his first-ever Nextel Cup race in Talladega this weekend. Brian’s victory means Hendrick Motorsports becomes the only multi-car Nextel Cup team to have each of its full-time drivers score a win this season. We’re proud to be working with an organization like Hendrick Motorsports that has drivers capable of winning week in and week out.

Even with the Chevy win, the race on Sunday wasn’t what I’d call perfect. When you’re running at speeds of 190 mph, it’s going to be difficult to control everything that happens during the race. The last lap spins were an unfortunate situation for two of our Chase contenders, Junior and Jimmie. It’s important we learn from what happened during the race and move on to what we need to do for the next race.

The down side, but yet the beauty of the Chase, is that no one is going to win the championship until the last lap of the final race. But like I said in an earlier post, GM Racing has tried to provide our teams with everything they need; things like extra wind tunnel time or extra engine parts. We are doing absolutely everything we can to support our teams in the Chase, but it’s going to take a little bit of luck for our drivers in these upcoming events. As you can see from Sunday’s race, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a great example of having a solid car but falling victim to being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It’s great to have won four straight races in the Chase, but the game is still on. We are only six points ahead of the second-place driver, Matt Kenseth, and only 185 points separate first through 10th place. The good news is this weekend we start visiting some tracks where Chevy teams have performed very well: Charlotte and Martinsville. Jimmie has been very good at Charlotte but we can’t take anything for granted. Kasey Kahne will be very competitive after dominating the last race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Hopefully we can use our success at those two tracks to capitalize on the momentum Team Chevy has going.

Even though it’s the middle of the Chase, our engineering team still has many other things in the works. This week we are hosting a GM Racing driver development test session at Nashville Superspeedway with 10 up-and-coming drivers. It’s extremely important that GM continues to develop young and high-potential drivers as these programs help groom our future racing all stars.

In addition to the activities in Nashville, on Monday we completed a Car of Tomorrow test in Talladega, and next week we travel to Homestead for the final NASCAR test of the season. We’re also working diligently on our engine package for 2007. Work sure isn’t going to slow down, but who can complain when you’re winning races and leading the points battle.

Thanks for checking in and stayed tuned for Car of Tomorrow updates in future postings.



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